Joined: Jun 2003
Location: Franklin Park, New Jersey
1986 200SX: Occasional Problems Starting After Heavy Rain
I have a 1986 Nissan 200 SX hatchback with only 113,000 miles on it. I'm the original and sole owner. Can I ask a question or two about a problem I'm having with it? I'm not an expert on cars. <grin>
About half a year ago, when I was living in South Florida, my car began having trouble starting. It sputtered but would kick over, and I could drive it once it did.
I took the car to my regular mechanic, who gave it a full tune-up. The ignition wires, distributor cap, and rotor were the originals, so they were all replaced. The spark plugs and fuel filter were replaced also. The air filter was not, and I did not get the fuel injector cleaned.
I've since relocated to New Jersey, and last week, we had a heavy rain. After the heavy rain, my car had trouble starting. I smelled gas when I cranked it, and figured the engine was flooded. I floored the pedal before starting it, and it kicked in, but the muffler was blowing out a lot of smoke at first.
The car has started since then, but a few times, it's been iffy, although each time it did crank over. I put some fuel additives such as dry gas and fuel injector cleaner in the tank, after the problem arose.
When I drive it, it runs all right, all things considered.
What, in your opinion, is the most likely cause of the sputtering? The full tune-up was done only a few months ago. Could the abrupt change in climate (South Florida to New Jersey) affect anything? Can a distributor cap crack or come loose after just a few months? I took the Auto Train, saving 850 miles of driving, but I still drove a lot to get from West Palm Beach to Princeton.
I am taking the car to a mechanic after Thanksgiving, but I just wanted some idea as to what to consider when bringing it in. Thank you for reading this.