'01 Sentra stalling after startup - Nissan Forum
QG18 1.8L Engine Engine Discussion: 2000+ Sentra XE, GXE, & 1.8

 
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post #1 of 2 Old Jun 12th, 2009, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Post '01 Sentra stalling after startup

Hi, I have a 2001 1.8L Sentra with a wealth of recent issues.

This started a few months ago where it started a rough idle and a loss of power. The code was for cylinder 1 so I changed out all the spark plugs and the coil for just that cylinder. The engine light changed from flashing to solid.

Since then, it has been alternately disappearing and coming on solid. I did read the code one time, and it was for the catalytic converter. Around the same time, I lost my heat shield over the catalytic converter.

A couple of weeks ago, I changed out the remaining three coils (just because) and the engine light went out shortly thereafter. It has not returned since, but now my car has problems with starting up.

If the car hasn't been running for 4 hours or so, it will still start up fine, but sputter and usually stall when I throw it into reverse. It will restart with no problem, but usually die on me once more in drive as I'm just getting going. After this, it never seems in any danger of stalling again. It seems slow to respond when I hit the gas at low or high speed, but feels almost normal in the mid-range.

Both the battery light and brake light came on one day, so I took it to the shop, where they changed out my alternator/belts and dusted off my brake cables. There are currently no lights on, but my car runs like crap. Finally, I tried changing out the PCV. The old one seemed to be stuck open a little, but the new one hasn't had any effect on the stalling issue. Thinking about the fuel pump next, but don't really see why that would only be right after startup. I'm wondering if anyone else has suggestions or ideas of where to look?

Whew, that was long. Hopefully someone stuck through that. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 2 Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:42 PM
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I work at an auto shop and had my first Sentra nightmare come in for a no start.
The no start diagnosis:
-First I cranked the engine to confirm problem. Did not start as expected.
-Held accelerator pedal to the floor ( clear flood mode) and cranked again. Still no start.
-Checked fuel pressure, injector pulse and spark at all injectors and coils. All ok.
-Under hood check revealed low coolant in radiator and reservoir.
-Pulled spark plugs. Wet with fuel. #1 piston looked too shiny for 180,000km.
-Pressurized cooling system. #1 cyl filled with coolant.
-Blew cylinders dry, reinstalled spark plugs and coils. Engine started and ran normally. Hard start from coolant filled cylinders was enough to allow flooding and no start. This engine uses drive-by-wire throttle. Clear flood mode may not have executed.

More to the point. head gasket failure resulting in cylinder filling with coolant can cause enough of a hard start to have engine flooding resulting in a no start condition. Coolant will fill cylinders only if pressurized. Normal operating temperature will increase pressure to approximately 15psi. Also combustion pressure leaking past head gasket can cause low enough compression for a misfire (rough run, Check engine light blinking, etc)

Check for low cooling system level in reservoir and radiator (when cold, no pressure). and if you feel comfortable, remove coils and spark plugs, look for a shiny piston and a different looking spark plug.
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