Nissan Nissan Swirl Valve Troubleshoot P1130 P1131 P1138
Hey, I'm new to this forum, but just went through a whole ordeal with the Swirl control valve on a 2000 Sentra 1.8L. This may apply to other models, but that was the car i performed this troubleshoot on. This is just a process to help anyone else who may encounter this problem on their car.
So your engine light comes up and you have P1130, P1131, or P1138? These are all related to your swirl control valve. Now I've heard from one or two people that this could be due to a low coolant level, however, I don't know how true that is. But hey, its easy enough, so first off, pop the radiator cap off and check the coolant level. All good? Ok so first off, you want to find the Swirl Control Valve Solenoid. Take off your intake hose and air filter box and reach down behind where the intake manifold connects to the head. It looks something like this.
|||| ___ A
Leave me alone, i'm not an art major. There are 3 nipples on the solenoid itself (A,B, and C). Remove the hoses and the entire solenoid should unscrew like a bolt. Keep track of where the hoses go. (((If you didn't, there are two metal lines going across the back of the engine. Where they come to the solenoid, one is upper(more towards the top of the engine) and one is lower. A hose goes from nipple A of the solenoid to the UPPER metal line. You should feel suction out of this line when the engine is running. Then, there is a hose from nipple B that branches off to the Swirl Valve Actuator mounted on the side of the intake manifold, and the other branch goes to the LOWER metal line, which i believe continues to the swirl valve switch mounted by the ECU. The hose from nipple C goes up into the metal line to the right which connects to the line going into the side of the intake hose that you removed already.)))
Ok so now that you have the solenoid out, unplug it. We are first going to test voltage at the solenoid connector. With the key in the ON position and the solenoid unplugged, test for voltage from the connector. If you don't have 12 volts, then you either have a blown fuse (#20 10 amp fuse under the dash) or you have a broken wire from the ECU to that connector, so trace those wires and inspect them. If you have 12V there, then move on to testing the solenoid itself. Using whatever method you can, apply power and ground from the battery to the solenoid. You should hear it click, it will be pretty loud and the air should blow out different passages. If the solenoid checks out, then plug it back in. Blow out all the hoses with compressed air and reattach them to the solenoid. Now find whichever wire was the ground wire going to the connector (BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO PICK THE WRONG WIRE). On my 00 sentra, it was the blue wire. Now what I did is splice this wire and have another wire branch off of it. With the car running, take this spliced wire and touch it to the NEGATIVE terminal of your battery. Now you should hear the solenoid click when you do that. Also, when you do that, take a look at that solenoid valve actuator we talked about before. You should see the diaphram on it compress, and it should swing the arm attached to it, opening the swirl valves inside the intake manifold. If this DOESN'T happen, 1st make sure your hoses are clear of debris again. Then turn the car off and try to move the actuator by hand. If it doesn't swing, or it gets stuck, or is kinda hard to move and you hear scraping or loose metal inside, then your swirl valve is most likely toast or has come loose. And since the valves are actually part of the manifold, a lot of times you will have to replace the entire lower intake manifold. If the diaphram DOES open the valves properly, the next thing to check is the check switch mounted by the ECU. Now I believe the check switch has a specific code, I think P1138 I've read most often refers to the checking valve switch. Basically it just senses the vacuum at the solenoid, and if its not there when its supposed to be, it throws a code. I've seen some people find a broken wire going to that check switch too, so first check the wires from the connector back and try to find any breaks. Blow out the hose if you haven't done so already. I'm not really sure of the procedure to test the check switch. I'm sure it can be done with an ohm meter but as far as the proper resistance on the terminals, you would have to check the FSM or a nissan tech. If ALL of this testing checks out good, then try this (suggested to me by a Nissan Tech) : take a spare tail light/corner light bulb and connector that you might have lying around. Attach the power and ground to the power and ground going to the circuit of the connector at the swirl solenoid with the 3 nipples. Then tape it to your windshield and after your car is completely cool, start it up. Rev the engine, drive it around, hitting 3000 rpms once in a while. If that light never illuminates, then the circuit to your solenoid valve is never grounding, and your swirl valves are never activating. I think they are supposed to activate between a coolant temp of about 50*F to 130*F at an rpm over around 3000, although I could be wrong. Once again, check your FSM. If your light illuminates, good, your solenoid is working and from the tests before, should be opening your swirl valves, so if you're still getting a P113x code, try the switch or ECU. If your bulb never illuminates (my case), then for some reason your ECU is never telling your solenoid to activate. If this is the case, do you have any other CEL lights for sensors not working properly? (i.e. coolant temp, air temp, rpms...). If any of those codes are on at this point, take care of THOSE first, and then come back to this code. If you have no other codes, my only logical explanation would be that there is a bad swirl valve circuit in your ECU, and you should try swapping it out with another car's or buy one used. I was told that the swirl valve is pin 104 on the ECU connector. If you still can't figure it out, I think its time to bring it to a dealer OR to take your dash apart, find that CEL bulb in your instrument cluster, rip it out, and stomp on it as hard as you can. BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR NISSAN TROUBLESHOOTING EXPERIENCES!!
*Remember to be CAREFUL when dealing with the + and - wires, I have heard that people often blow out the circuits on their ECU's by applying voltage or ground to the WRONG side. I am not responsible for any damage you might do to your car while troubleshooting.
*Special thanks to JohnPaul, Nissan master tech who basically taught me all of this and walked me through my ordeal
Last edited by aprib; Nov 11th, 2010 at 12:23 AM.