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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1996 ALTIMA STALLS WHILE DRIVING

Greetings-

Maybe someone can shed some light on my car issue. Here we go. Last year I was having problems with my 1996 Altima GXE running rough. I had a local mech. look at it and I needed the intake manifol gasket replaced. Not a cheap job either, $450.00. Sometime around March of 2004 my engine light came on, but the car still drove fine. I trouble shooted the code myself and it was the EGR valve. So sometime in the late summer I replaced the valve $137.00, cleared the code and everything worked fine. Twoor three weeks later the engine light came back on, with the same code. So this time around I replaced all the vaccum lines go to and from the EGR / BPT valves. I cleared the code and all was well for about 1 month. Now it is October/ November, I replaced the spark plugs, distr. cap, rotor, fuel filter, air filter except wires (basic tune up) Everything ran fine for two weeks. Then the while in a parking lot with wife and 5 month old baby I put the car in reverse and it stalled out and the engine light came back on. I finally got home and had the car brought to a local mech. He came up with a trouble code of 0340, which is the cam sensor. He cleared the code and drove it for 5 miles, no problem he said $75. please. Not sattisfied with his result, I threw in the towel and brought the car to a Nissan dealer. Turns out the the distributor is shot and needs to be replaced, plus the sprk plug wires a quote of $610.I declined, but not with out a warning from the head mech that the car will stall out at any time. So armed with that info. I called the local mech and asked hime to quote me on the same part. Turns out it is a dealer part only. He was able to find me a distributor not at a dealer. total cost now is $351.00 I brought the car in and he fixed it. Then I bought some spark plug wires installed them and drove the car on a 30 miles test run. Everything is okay. that same day I decide to visit some family 70 miles away. 3 miles from my destination the car loosed power, luckly I was on a back road. I pllued over, and restarted the car after two times, I turned over. Reluctant to drive it home I have it towed to my house, where it lays mothballed. I talked to my mech. He said there could be a short in the wire harneess from the distributor to the ECR, basically an open circuit exists. He all so said the ECR could be bad. Any adivce or suggestion would be appricated. As a side note, I got so fed up, my wife and I just bought a 2003 Altima S.
 

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Biru O' Kudasai
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Well I'm sorry to hear that you had a big problem with the reliability of the 96. I doubt that the problem is in the harness or the ECU. I would see if you can get an OBDII scan tool for the Nissan to read the code(s). It could be as simple as a relay or even a problem with the distributor he installed. try pulling the distributor cap to see if there is any oil visible.

Troy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advice. I read thought thos forum, and i see other people have had similar problems. I will check for the oil in the distributor to see if it is clean. Do you think the MAF sensor could cause a sudden power lose while driving?


KA24Tech said:
Well I'm sorry to hear that you had a big problem with the reliability of the 96. I doubt that the problem is in the harness or the ECU. I would see if you can get an OBDII scan tool for the Nissan to read the code(s). It could be as simple as a relay or even a problem with the distributor he installed. try pulling the distributor cap to see if there is any oil visible.

Troy
 

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Biru O' Kudasai
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I don't think the MAF would cause an intermitent problem without any issue at start up. Also a code would typically pop up.

Troy
 

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Will work for beer
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sounds like the mechanic did a horrible job of installing your distributor.

fortunately I've never had that problem, but I fought the intake manifold gasket for years. you got out cheap with that job too- the dealer quoted me $900 for that job.. and the only part replaced is a $5 paper gasket!! (the only problem is that you have to rip the engine apart to get to it. absolute nightmare. took me over 18 hours to do it myself.)

as for the distributor, it sounds as if it's failed completely. pull the distributor cap off and see if the rotor is still securely tightened on it and that the shaft doesn't wobble or have any play in it when you try to twist it.

If it is, you should be able to pick up another used one at a junkyard for around $100 and install it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Matt93SE said:
sounds like the mechanic did a horrible job of installing your distributor.

fortunately I've never had that problem, but I fought the intake manifold gasket for years. you got out cheap with that job too- the dealer quoted me $900 for that job.. and the only part replaced is a $5 paper gasket!! (the only problem is that you have to rip the engine apart to get to it. absolute nightmare. took me over 18 hours to do it myself.)

as for the distributor, it sounds as if it's failed completely. pull the distributor cap off and see if the rotor is still securely tightened on it and that the shaft doesn't wobble or have any play in it when you try to twist it.

If it is, you should be able to pick up another used one at a junkyard for around $100 and install it yourself.
Well last night I took off the distributor cap and the rotor. No indications of oil leaking into the cap. I did notice that when the distributor and rotor are off the the plastic housing for the distributor was loose. Not is rotational matter but straight, back and forth. I placed the cap and rotor back on and it acted like a clamping action to hold the plastic housing on the distributor tight against the engine. I did replace the spark plug wires, Bosch brand. I started up the car and it runs fine but not relaible enough to drive everywhere. One think I notice is last night is that with the lights on and heat one, it seems like the battery or something else might be getting over taxed. I hear a slight whinning sound and I you get the feeling that the car's battery is going or the alternator is not recharging the battery properly. I don't know if this causes the car to loose power suddenly when the engine is between 500 - 15 RPMs. Another thing I notice is that when the car stalls out ans I restart it. there is a ratteling noise, possibly under the car. Is it possible the knock sensor if causing my stalling problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The dealer as well as the local mechanic mentioned that the distributors they install are all remaufactued. I have the car at the local mechanic to have them look at it today

clayton_2020 said:
Buy a new distributer from the dealer for some reason nissan's are funny when it comes aftermaket/remanufactured distributers
 

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LONDONDERRY said:
The dealer as well as the local mechanic mentioned that the distributors they install are all remaufactued. I have the car at the local mechanic to have them look at it today

I HAVE A 1997 NISSAN ALTIMA SE AND IN THE LAST 3 WEEKS HAVE CHANGED THE KNOCK SENSOR, CRANKSHAF SENSOR BECAUSE I HAD THE SAME STALLING PROBLEM. ITS STILL NOT WORKING. WELL, JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH MY MECHANIC AND NOW HE IS SAYING IT IS THE CAM SENSOR (IF THATS WHAT ITS CALLED DONT KNOW :confused: ) SAYS HE THINKS I SHOULD JUST REPLACE THE SENSOR I TOLD HIM TO REPLACE THE WHOLE DISTRIBUTOR. ITS GOING ON ABOUT $1000 TOTAL ON WHAT I HAVE SPENT ON THIS CAR IN THE LAST 3 WEEKS. TO BE HONEST, I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED IN NISSAN FOR THIS CAR. I DONT KNOW IF I WANT TO BUY ANOTHER NISSAN AGAIN ALTHOUGH I LOVE THE CARS THEY MAKE. ABOUT 3 YRS AGO I HAD TO REPLACE SOME PART CALLED AIR SHAFF SOMETHING THAT LUCKILY IF I DIDNT HAVE AN EXTENDED WARRANTY ON IT IT WOULD HAVE COST ME ALMOST $2000.

I HAVE A 1994 FORD ESCORT THAT HAS 137000 MILES ON IT AND HAVE ONLY REPLACED THE CLUTCH, TIMING BELT, AND MUFFLER ON IT.
 
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