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Discussion Starter #1
I see some knowledgeable folks around here, so I am looking for assistance.

2001 Altima GXE: the engine occasionally shuts down - while driving. No warnings, no lights coming on, until after the engine is stopped, when the whole dashbord is lit up (as expected).

It shut down on the highway a couple of times. Not an experience I want to repeat.

Sometimes I can feel the engine is about the die, a relay click can be heard in the dashboard, the "Check Engine" light flashes, then everything is fine (engine running, light off).

On two occasions I had dificulty starting after the unexpected shutdown. It would crank, but the engine won't start. After a few trials, and some wait, I manged to start.

I took it to a "mechanic", he had no clue; he drove it to a Nissan dealer. They said the ignition key had to be reprogrammed (which they did); it doesn't make any sense to me: if the key is not programmed properly, the car will never start.

Anyone experienced anything like this? Any ideas?

Thank you!
 

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woo..im 25 dollars poorer
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hmm, i dont think anyone has experienced this. but did you reprogram the key yet? maybe the key is messing up and the car doesnt receive the signal anymore so it shuts off. If nissan told you waht it was, then do it, better putting the money down now, than regretting it when u get into (hopefully you dont) an accident on the highway when it turns off on you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Teh00Alty,

Thank you for your post.

I did reprogram the key (Nissan did it); the engine died on me a couple of times even after that.

Now that you brought back the "ignition key" idea...I am not familiar with the principle of these "smart ignitions". Is the computer checking the key even after engine has started? Will it shut it off if the key does not respond? If the answer is yes: that's stupid design. Nissan never heard of fail safe? I would rather have the car thieves take off with my car than having the engine shut down on the highway with kids in the car.

I suppose the key has an RFID tag in it. If it randomly malfunctions (fails to transmit) or is not activated properly by the RFID receiver (which should be located in the ignition cylinder)...So it could be a defective key (hough corectly programmed) or the recevier has problems.

I saw a posting about ignition cyclinder problems? Could that cause my troubles?

Another idea: how can I bypass the antitheft system?
 

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woo..im 25 dollars poorer
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lol just go remote ignition... i have no clue.. i thot the key would solve it, but ur car is still fairly new, why is it doin this to you?
 

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Re:

I am currently having the same issue. it just started happening. Have you heard any more about what the issue is? i would like to know so I can get mine fixed!
 

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Well, i've determined that my car must be possessed. In the two years I've owned my '01 Altima, I have had only maintenance issues with it (replacing hoses and the like). Then last Thursday, during Blizzard Part 2 in Colorado, I experienced the same issues borsa_boy had. I took it to the dealer and of course, it wouldn't misbehave for them, but when i went to pick it up, i opened the door, got in, put the key in and no lights came on. So I shut the door hard enough to hopefully trigger something, and then everything went fine. It hasn't stalled since the other night, but it definitely has me wondering what the issue is. As lame as it sounds, could a bad key be causing this? The key in question has a crack in it. i don't know much about cars with programmable keys, so this is all new to me. ARGH! Help!
 

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Didn't the dealer check the ECU for any stored codes or not?
Regardless you have to have the OBD computer checked for store codes, if the engine light is on or not. From there, you'll be able to pin point where your problem is at. Autozone will do this for free or if you have a Haynes manual it tell you how to do it yourself. Do this first and let us know what happens

Frank
 

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I'm not entirely confident that the dealer looked for stored codes. I didn't know that Autozone would check for codes. I think I'll go there! I'm suspect that it's some kind of ignition problem. Perhaps one of my keys is bad - it has a crack in it possibly jamming up something! of course, i may be way off on that one. the whole programmed key is new to me so I might be jumping the gun! I have a new key that doesn't act up like that!
 

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Look at the work order from the dealer it should list what was done. I suggest you toss out the cracked key to begin with it might be the suspected culprit.

Frank
 
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