1989 Sentra All Power Lost at Low Speed or When Stopping - Page 2 - Nissan Forum
B11/B12/KN13 82-90 chassis B11 (1982-1985 Sentra), B12 (1986-1990 Sentra), and Pulsar

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post #16 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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In case you guys are wondering how post #15 came to be, I'm posting the link here. Not for sure whether it's okay to post a link on here though.

https://1drv.mhs/v/s!AixACD1v4AoNg_M18pF4aLwdTIELIg

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post #17 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2018, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helpout View Post
Located a 2 nd master mechanic and he came out today to try to fix what the 1 st master mechanic had given up on. I turned the car over and he listened to idle at various rpms for about 15 minutes. Then the car suddenly dies. He mentions fuel pump but I tell him I already replaced it. He mentions fuel filter but I tell him we cleaned it out previously (black liquid and thick white slop had poured out of it). Each time I turn over the car it is dying quicker and quicker. I get out of the car and notice a lot of white smoke coming from the tailpipe.
You gotta be kidding about the black liquid and thick white slop had poured out of the fuel filter. There's a good chance that the fuel tank, fuel pump and line running up to the filter is probably loaded with crud; the system needs a good cleaning out. Even though you replaced the fuel filter, some of the remaining crud is probably finding it's way to the fuel injector and causing problems. The previous owner certainly didn't maintain the car properly.

KA-T for life, yo!
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post #18 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2018, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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When mechanic #1 poured the fuel out of the old fuel filter, it spilled out black. Not black and viscous, but black colored gasoline. A scary white colored stringy looking, goopy thing did splash out onto the concrete. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say some plastic/rubber broke off, heated up, and the fuel filter caught it. Then the good news: Before the fuel filter incident he installed a fuel pump so we got a good look at the gasoline (about a quarter tank) and it looked all clear. Other good thing is weeks later mechanic #2 also emptied out the old fuel filter (before replacing it) and clear colored fuel spilled out-much to my relief. Only caveat is that the car has barely been driven in a month due to all these repairs. The previous owner is me. I'm the original owner and have never flushed out the fuel lines...unfortunately. Only thing I can add is about a year or two ago my fuel gauge stopped rising to the top. So I pump the gas and the pump clicks off but when I drive away the needle is still below full.
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post #19 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2018, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry post #16 is a dead link. It was just a vid of the engine and exhaust. Hopefully this link will work better:
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post #20 of 23 Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 11:11 AM
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So watching the video...
I do not believe you have any timing chain issues,
The idle sounds good.
I would like to hear it rev up with a quick throttle opening.

IF you did have a blown head gasket, a compression test would show a variation between cylinder compression of 15+ psi.
An easy check for a blown head gasket without compression gauge on the engine (I have had two blown head gaskets on different ga16i motors):
With engine completely cold take off the radiator cap (not the reservoir cap) and start the engine. You will get coolant spraying out of the radiator as soon as you start the car if the gasket is blown between the coolant port and compression. If the coolant does not spray out in the first 10 seconds (you will see a geyser), then you don't have a blown gasket in that area (could still be blown between oil port).

I know you said you have new wires, plugs, ect, but humor me. At night when it is dark start the engine and raise the hood. Take a squirt bottle of soapy water (I use windex) and spray along the wires from the head all the way to the dist cap with the stream mode. You will hear snap-snap-snap and see the flashes if any of your wires have an issue.


Another test, hook up a fuel gauge In-Line after the fuel filter:
Start the car, and the pressure should go up to 43-47PSi very quickly.
Shut off the car, and watch the pressure, an hour later you should still have at least 40PSI.
Start the car again, and rev up the engine quickly while watching the fuel pressure, does it drop at any time you pressed the pedal, or did the pressure stay steady?

You want more tests to run?
With engine cold pop the hood and look on the passenger side of the engine above the thermostat housing for the yellow plug (your ECU coolant temp sensor).
There is a wire safety clip to remove the connector, unplug this connector and hook an ohm meter to the 2 terminals in the CTS not the harness plug. You should have about 2000 ohms at 70F, and more ohms if it is colder. Next start the engine and continue to watch the ohms. The ohms should drop below ~300 ohms when the engine is fully warm. If it is outside this range, then you have a bad CTS

Depending on how much more you want to dig, I can give you other things to check, but this should be a good start.

BTW congrats on keeping a b12 GA16i alive for so long. I still have 2 GA16's running, and I have seen just about every symptom you can with these cars over 20+ years

Last edited by bob89sentra; Mar 3rd, 2018 at 11:17 AM.
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post #21 of 23 Old Mar 4th, 2018, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Updated Description of Issue: 1989 Sentra idles rough, idles and then dies, loses power (that is, goes into limp mode) at stoplights, loses power driving at low speeds, loses power driving at higher speeds (40mph). The farthest I've been able to drive before losing ability to accelerate is approx. 4 miles. Although the car frequently dies during idle, I don't ever recall it dying while driving. Instead, the engine is still running but without ability to accelerate. There is no check engine light. The one constant: the car always starts. That is, it always turns over.

Mechanic Recap and Inability to Scan: 1st master mechanic gave up after replacing spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, fuel pump and fuel injector. 2nd master mechanic gave up after testing alternator, getting 47 psi on fuel pressure gauge, and replacing fuel filter. His last guess was engine cylinder head failure due to white exhaust smoke. Yesterday, 3rd mechanic came out to give it a try. 3rd mechanic arrived convinced it was a clogged catalytic converter. I informed him new flex pipe, cat, and tailpipe already installed at a professional exhaust shop due to rusty pipe separation and rust hole leaks. His highest priority was to hook up his OBD1 scanner to my car. He has a connector which he labeled "1990 Sentra". It did not fit my 1989 Sentra. Without the use of his scanner, we spent the next 6 hours testing the car. Assuming he labeled the connector correctly, does anyone know if the 1990 Sentra has the same scanner plug in/receptacle under the dash as the 1989 Sentra?

Testing: Mitchell resource gave 140-180 compression range as acceptable. With the car running, but cold, we got 160-185 compression range on the cylinders so my mechanic concluded the engine is good. He tested the battery and his multimeter went right to green=good. He ohmed the 20 yr old spark plug wires: 9k, 8k, 9k, and 6k. He said don't sweat the 6k b.c. that is the shortest wire. He pulled the new spark plugs, tested them and measured the gaps. We did not test the new distributor cap and rotor. He tested the coil wire and got 6000 which he said was "good enough". He tested the grounds. During EGR testing, the car "stumbled" which according to Mitchell indicates proper EGR functioning. For kicks we ran the ECM again in self diagnosis mode. Still spits out code 55=no faults detected. Oil he said was okay, just overdue to be changed (4,400 miles on it, not 5k as I had thought). I spent most of my time feathering the gas pedal trying to keep the car running so actually more testing was done that I did not see. Also replaced 10 feet of small diameter hoses-my receipt reads 9/32" but quickly ran out of hose before complete. Does anyone know the proper diameters and approximate lengths of the different hoses to purchase?

My current (3rd mechanic) is very experienced but not with the Nissan brand. One of the biggest challenges was identification/location and proper testing procedure for the different components. Can anyone link me to such a resource?

Last edited by helpout; Mar 4th, 2018 at 10:05 AM. Reason: "more testing was done..."
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post #22 of 23 Old Mar 4th, 2018, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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head gasket

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob89sentra View Post
So watching the video...
I do not believe you have any timing chain issues,
The idle sounds good.
I would like to hear it rev up with a quick throttle opening.

IF you did have a blown head gasket, a compression test would show a variation between cylinder compression of 15+ psi.
An easy check for a blown head gasket without compression gauge on the engine (I have had two blown head gaskets on different ga16i motors):
With engine completely cold take off the radiator cap (not the reservoir cap) and start the engine. You will get coolant spraying out of the radiator as soon as you start the car if the gasket is blown between the coolant port and compression. If the coolant does not spray out in the first 10 seconds (you will see a geyser), then you don't have a blown gasket in that area (could still be blown between oil port).

I know you said you have new wires, plugs, ect, but humor me. At night when it is dark start the engine and raise the hood. Take a squirt bottle of soapy water (I use windex) and spray along the wires from the head all the way to the dist cap with the stream mode. You will hear snap-snap-snap and see the flashes if any of your wires have an issue.


Another test, hook up a fuel gauge In-Line after the fuel filter:
Start the car, and the pressure should go up to 43-47PSi very quickly.
Shut off the car, and watch the pressure, an hour later you should still have at least 40PSI.
Start the car again, and rev up the engine quickly while watching the fuel pressure, does it drop at any time you pressed the pedal, or did the pressure stay steady?

You want more tests to run?
With engine cold pop the hood and look on the passenger side of the engine above the thermostat housing for the yellow plug (your ECU coolant temp sensor).
There is a wire safety clip to remove the connector, unplug this connector and hook an ohm meter to the 2 terminals in the CTS not the harness plug. You should have about 2000 ohms at 70F, and more ohms if it is colder. Next start the engine and continue to watch the ohms. The ohms should drop below ~300 ohms when the engine is fully warm. If it is outside this range, then you have a bad CTS

Depending on how much more you want to dig, I can give you other things to check, but this should be a good start.

BTW congrats on keeping a b12 GA16i alive for so long. I still have 2 GA16's running, and I have seen just about every symptom you can with these cars over 20+ years
Did you mean 15+ variation between different cylinder test results? Or 15+ variation testing the same cylinder multiple times? I ask because the 4 cylinder results ranged from 160-185. Also, my mechanic was questioning the variation on multiple tests of cylinder #1 . I remember a result as low as 140 when I was flooring the gas, but then we switched positions and when he hit the gas it rose above 160.

Spark plug wires are 20 years old. But we ohmed them and I posted results (see post #21 ).

Would the geyser trick or water spray trick work if the car starts and then immediately fails? I can't keep it running very long.

Mechanic liked your fuel pressure idea but we didn't implement yet. Did get steady PSI of 47 on initial test.

We did try to get to the CTS. Instead, Car guy informed us we pulled and tested the Radiator Fan Switch by mistake.

Also I believe the coil wire measured 6000. But you mentioned when the coil warms up it can fail. So do we need to heat up the engine before taking the measure ?
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post #23 of 23 Old Jul 15th, 2018, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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MAF Mass Air Flow Sensor aka Mass Air Flow Meter

Just realized I never circled back to sum up. For the next guy who reads this...cold engine total loss of acceleration (some call this loss of power) while driving with engine still running, cold engine start and stall, cold engine idle revs up and down again and again before warm up, and cold engine car stalls if gas pedal is touched. Then in the latter stages of MAF failure, loss of acceleration even after full engine warm up. Replaced the MAF and problem solved.

I'd like to add that there are truly Amazing people on this board. All you need to do is reach out for their help!

Last edited by helpout; Jul 15th, 2018 at 02:18 PM.
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