Weird Cylinder Misfire Problem - Nissan Forum
QR25 2.5L Engine Engine Discussion: 2002+ Sentra SE-R and SpecV

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post #1 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Weird Cylinder Misfire Problem

I have a 2002 SE-R with 92,000 miles.

My car has been dropping RPMs to the point where it is about to turn off but dosen't. It shakes for a bit until the temperature goes up and then the car runs normally. No loss of power and the car drives fine once its warmed up.
This problem started about a month ago but it would only happen about once a week during colder mornings. Lately however the problem seems to be doing it every time I start it up and even during the first 10 minutes I drive it whenever I come to a complete stop.

About a week ago it finally threw an SES light with a cylinder 3 misfire. I read up on this and found out about the butterfly valve screw problem. I have had all of the recalls done however and I did an oil change about 3 weeks ago with no metal shards showing in my oil from the cat or anything. Nevertheless I opened up my manifold and all of my screws were still in place. The spark plugs all seemed fine so I switched the number 3 with the number 2 to see if it would throw a misfire code in cylinder 2 but so far no code at all and the problem still persists.

I plan to take apart the manifold this weekend and double check but I am lost on what to do next. My car already has 92k miles so I think the engine isn't under warranty anymore and it still hasn't thrown any codes. My oil level has remained constant and the only aftermarket item i have is an AEM CAI. I've researched some of the forums and have heard about O2 sensors or gas pumps but Im not really sure what to do next. Any help to push me in the right direction is appreciated. Maybe a compression test? Thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just been doing some more research...another option is the head gasket failure?!?!? Ive noticed that my coolant has started disappearing but in very low quantities. But no white smoke except due to the cold morning weather. I also have 92k so I'd be sh*t out of luck
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post #3 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 06:52 AM
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-An oil analysis from blackstone labs would help you tremendously in diagnosis as will a compression test.
-Did u loctite the screws? IF not check the screws. Check into the cyclinders to see if there's any fluids
-Are there any other codes?

So. . . Your face is dumb!
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post #4 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Im planning to do a compression test by this weekend. Any idea how much this costs or wheres a good place to get it done?

And yes, I re-tightened my screws all down but all of them were in place and none were missing.

What is the best way to check the cylinders for fluids? Just by taking out the spark plugs or actually taking off my valve cover?

And the code that it threw was only the cylinder 3 misfire. After I took off my valve cover, checked the butterfly screws and cylinders I erased the code and it has not thrown anything yet. But the symptoms still persist.
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post #5 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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-You could shine a light down into the spark plug tubes to visually inspect for fluids. Taking the spark plugs out is easiest and just as efficient because when you take the valve cover off the tubes remain.

-Unsure what the cost of a compression test would run you.

-(side note) I would get rid of the pre-cat ASAP as it is prone to break up into little pieces and get sucked back into the engine causing scoring of cylinder walls, oil consumption, and even worse... engine failure.

So. . . Your face is dumb!
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post #6 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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When you pull out the plugs and look into the cylinders.....If any are wet or oil soaked it's a gasket. If I'm thinking right your sentra has coil on wire, those are prone to breakage and shorting out. Inspect very closely for cracks or white or any off color's.
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post #7 of 39 Old Nov 4th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelito92105 View Post
I have a 2002 SE-R with 92,000 miles.

My car has been dropping RPMs to the point where it is about to turn off but dosen't. It shakes for a bit until the temperature goes up and then the car runs normally. No loss of power and the car drives fine once its warmed up.
This problem started about a month ago but it would only happen about once a week during colder mornings. Lately however the problem seems to be doing it every time I start it up and even during the first 10 minutes I drive it whenever I come to a complete stop.

About a week ago it finally threw an SES light with a cylinder 3 misfire. I read up on this and found out about the butterfly valve screw problem. I have had all of the recalls done however and I did an oil change about 3 weeks ago with no metal shards showing in my oil from the cat or anything. Nevertheless I opened up my manifold and all of my screws were still in place. The spark plugs all seemed fine so I switched the number 3 with the number 2 to see if it would throw a misfire code in cylinder 2 but so far no code at all and the problem still persists.

I plan to take apart the manifold this weekend and double check but I am lost on what to do next. My car already has 92k miles so I think the engine isn't under warranty anymore and it still hasn't thrown any codes. My oil level has remained constant and the only aftermarket item i have is an AEM CAI. I've researched some of the forums and have heard about O2 sensors or gas pumps but Im not really sure what to do next. Any help to push me in the right direction is appreciated. Maybe a compression test? Thanks for reading.
once you get another ses light let me know the code. i work for cerritos nissan and can help you. i have seen these codes before and can be different things. if your ses light starts flashing then it is a multi cyl misfire. this is caused by a chunk of your cat bouncing around in your exhaust and plugging up your exhaust ports. it normally starts as a cyl 3 misfire. head gaskets are not common in the qr25 motors. its normally engines, cam or crank sensors, and cats going bad. what ever the parts you need i can help you with the prices. these will be genuine nissan products. i will try to compete with any nissan quote that you get. please pm me if you need anything.

A HERO GETS REMEMBERED BUT A LEGEND NEVER DIES. (RB26DETT)
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post #8 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: So tonight my car finally threw the code when I was on my way to work.
0302 - Misfire on Cylinder 2
0605 - ECM
So would this mean I might just have a bad plug? (praying that this is all it is) I currently have NGK, how often are these supposed to be changed?
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post #9 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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NEW UPDATE: The SES light was flashing as I was driving for a while but only for about 30 seconds. Its looking like this might be a pre-cat failure? Thats BS even with the recalls done...I think my engine is toast...So how can I verify if this is the case for sure? By pulling off the CAT and checking it to see if its in pieces? Should I cease driving ASAP?
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post #10 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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while driving if it flashes pull over. try not to drive as much. i spoke to my nissan tech and it is called a "catalyst damaging misfire". check your cat, alot of the times you will see a chunk the size of a golf ball or bigger. best case scenario it is a plug or coil pack. either way you need to take a look at this asap.

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post #11 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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I lost a head gskt, in the morning it would run ruff then clear up and run normal. I still need to get rid of the cat.. looking for a header
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post #12 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah the car only shows the symptoms in the morning after the car has been sitting for a couple of hours and its cold. Otherwise it runs good once its warmed up and no loss of power or anything. So once I check the cat can I just remove the metal or do I remove the whole thing and can't drive it until I get headers?

My new issue is: Since Nissan knew this thing was prone to failure, their remedy was a "heat shield" around the cat, which now apparently might have not worked. That is a product liability issue so shouldn't they be responsible for fixing the problem? I hope that is not the case here but just another thought...what do you guys think?
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post #13 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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Sounds like a head gasket to me. Do a pressure test on the cooling system. Before you pressurize it remove all 4 plugs. If you notice it is losing pressure look in the cylinders and look for anything wet.
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post #14 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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How would I do a pressure test on the cooling system? Would I have to take it to a shop? How much would it be to replace the head gasket?
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post #15 of 39 Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:19 PM
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If you don't know alot about car it may be better for you to take it to a shop. The dealership I work for would charge parts and 10 hours of labor...Our labor rate it 8x.xx a hour.
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