Pathfinder loses power - Nissan Forum

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post #1 of 37 Old Jan 24th, 2013, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Pathfinder loses power

First ill start by saying I've changed the fuel filter, distributor cap and rotor and plug wires. My 1996 pathfinder starts up and idles fine when I take off it goes fine as long as I'm 1/4 throttle or less. As soon as I press it pass that it loses power and barely accelerates. Some times it snaps out of it and accelerates fine and gets power but it won't last long and will lose power again. When it loses power and i let off to 1/4 throttle it will start accelerating fine. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! I want to add also there is no engine light.

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Last edited by skidoo; Jan 24th, 2013 at 09:06 PM.
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post #2 of 37 Old Jan 24th, 2013, 10:49 PM
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Couple of things to check:
1 - Possibly a bad MAF.
2 - Test the fuel pressure regulator. The pressure at idle should be around 34 psi.

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post #3 of 37 Old Jan 24th, 2013, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

Is there a way to test the MAF? What's the easiest way to check the fuel pressure? It idles great but sometimes takes a few extra cranks to start.

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post #4 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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The best thing you can do with the MAF is to check the harness connector pins for any oxidation and to clean it. To clean it, you need to remove it. Use only ELECTRICAL CONTACT CLEANER or a cleaner specifically made for MAF hot wire cleaning. This is the only thing you should use to clean your MAF. No windex, no carb cleaner, no brake cleaner, no rubbing alcohol, and no Q-Tips.

To check the fuel pressure, tee-in a tempoarary fuel pressure gauge at the output side of the fuel filter. The readings at idle should be approximately 34 psi.

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post #5 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

I cleaned the MAF and the fuel pressure was about 31 psi. It still runs the same though. Thanks for helping me out. Any other thoughts?

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post #6 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

I hooked up a scan tool and set it to monitor everything while running and when I rev the engine way up o2 sensors go to zero. Why would that happen? Is it normal? While idling they range from 0.050 to 0.500.

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post #7 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 04:18 PM
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Did your scan tool detect any DTC codes?

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post #8 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

I unlugged the maf while it was running so I had a code for that and an o2 code (bank1 sensor1) but I figured the maf being unplugged could have caused that one. But still no engine light ever came on. I know the light works bwcuse when I turn the key on it lights up but turns off as soon as it starts.

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post #9 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 08:48 PM
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Make sure everything is replugged; clear all the DTC codes with the scan tool. Now let the engine run for a while at various RPMs. If the same O2 code comes back, then the sensor is probably bad. Post the actual DTC here.

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post #10 of 37 Old Jan 25th, 2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

I've already plugged everything in and cleared the codes. Ill let you know what happens when I put the scan tool on it.

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post #11 of 37 Old Jan 26th, 2013, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

No codes found. It passed.

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post #12 of 37 Old Jan 26th, 2013, 03:42 PM
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Been having a somewhat similar problem with an old D21 pickup. Have you tried checking the ignition coils with a multimeter to see if they're still good? Also, making sure distributor leads are secure.

Bad coils can cause rough idle, and can foul spark plugs (among other things). It's a shot in the dark, but might be worth a quick check.
post #13 of 37 Old Jan 26th, 2013, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

I've checked all the connections and everything looks good. The engine idles smoothly.

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post #14 of 37 Old Jan 27th, 2013, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Pathfinder loses power

Anyone have any other ideas?????

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post #15 of 37 Old Jan 30th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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I tend to agree with the bad coil as well. It will short from the back side of the coil to the metal distributor casing. It's got weak spark would be my guess. The engine will run fine at part throttle, not requiring much spark to ignite the gases inside the combustion chamber. But under load, it will bog and lose power as the coil tries to find the quickest way to ground i.e. short out. Had to replace mine, but found the 3.3 Liter Nissan coil on eBay for $36 with free shipping.
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