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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have been reading threads about altima idle problems. Mine had the same for about 2-3 months. Randonly it would stall and misfire at any speed, then shut down if I stop accelerating. Very sluggish most of the time but not always. Out of muffles black specks would come out. I am running out of ideas what to fix. But it seems to be a distributor.

Here is the detailed list what I tried to do in the last 2 months:

I was driving one day on the highway and all of a sudden a felt a loss of power and could smell something burnt. Later on that night the car would stall and shut down.

First I saw some oil in the distributor cap. So I took the car to the shop. The replaced the distributor with the refurbished one and an oxygen sensor. One day later the problem came back.

I also took it to another shop to replace PCV valve which didn't help at all.

Then I took it to Nissan dealer and they replaced an injector for way too much money. One day later all problems came back. I found oil in the distributor again. They refused to give me my money back since when I brought the car back, there where no signs of stalling. They also told me that injector had a problem but it wasn't the only problem and they are not responsible for other problems.

Then I ordered a used Hitachi distributor with Nissan cap, rotor and NGK wires from ebay. The distributor was sitting very well in the hole. So I thought the problem would be fixed. After driving for about an hour, the problems came back. I couldn't let car idle. Very slugish most of the time but not always.

The distributor is loose in the hole which means that oil is coming through again. Not that much oil but I can see it is on the side of the cap, but not on the distributor plate.

When I take the distributor out, there is always oil coming out of the hole where distributor goes. I am not sure if it is normal or not. Should so much oil be there?

Also tried to replace Ignition Module (Power Transistor) since I heard itis a common problem with Altimas. No luck at all. Also changes oil a couple times. Replaced Bosch Platinum plugs with NGK plugs just in case.

Today I took the cylinder head to see how the oil get inside distributor. There is a hole inside that will let oil come inside distributor.

I hope to get some help here :)

Take care,
denski
 

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Biru O' Kudasai
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1,426 Posts
I think you are certainly trying to do the right thing in getting your Altima to run correctly and unfortunately I don't think the shops have been diagnosing everything as thoroughly as they should. The replacement of the distributor with a rebuilt was ok but I think they should have stood behind the parts and service with some type of warranty just as the dealer should have stood behind their work since they replaced an injector and it didn't run any better. The shop that replaced the PCV valve just didn't have a clue.

I would first check for stored codes in the ECU to help to give a little more of possible cause. To retrieve the stored codes from your Altima you need to gain access to the ECU. The ECU is under the front of the console. The trim panel under the very front of the console on the driver's side. The ECU has a diagnostic mode which is activated by turning the ignition to the on position without the engine running and then turning the mode select fully clockwise for two seconds and then turn it back fully counterclockwise. Wait for the inspection lights, which are next to the mode selector on the ECU. All you have to do is read the long and short flashes (the first digit is the long flash(es) and the second set is the short flash(es). To get it out of diagnostic mode just turn off the ignition just make sure the selector is all the way counterclockwise.

I would recommend cleaning the fuel system with a good concentrated cleaner like BG 44K
http://www.bgprod.com/bgconsumer/bgservices/44k.html
Also I recommend changing the fuel filter with a new Nissan filter.

It is normal to have the oil to the distributor and come out when it is removed. If you are having a problem with the sealing around the distributor buy some new distributor seals from Nissan. Compare both the distributors side by side for markings, length and size.
Your replacement of the spark plugs for the NGKs was a good idea. The problems could also be in the coil, a bad ground or power connection, or something a code could help with diagnosing.

Troy
 

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missing sparks

denski said:
Hello,

I have been reading threads about altima idle problems. Mine had the same for about 2-3 months. Randonly it would stall and misfire at any speed, then shut down if I stop accelerating. Very sluggish most of the time but not always. Out of muffles black specks would come out. I am running out of ideas what to fix. But it seems to be a distributor.

Here is the detailed list what I tried to do in the last 2 months:

I was driving one day on the highway and all of a sudden a felt a loss of power and could smell something burnt. Later on that night the car would stall and shut down.

First I saw some oil in the distributor cap. So I took the car to the shop. The replaced the distributor with the refurbished one and an oxygen sensor. One day later the problem came back.

I also took it to another shop to replace PCV valve which didn't help at all.

Then I took it to Nissan dealer and they replaced an injector for way too much money. One day later all problems came back. I found oil in the distributor again. They refused to give me my money back since when I brought the car back, there where no signs of stalling. They also told me that injector had a problem but it wasn't the only problem and they are not responsible for other problems.

Then I ordered a used Hitachi distributor with Nissan cap, rotor and NGK wires from ebay. The distributor was sitting very well in the hole. So I thought the problem would be fixed. After driving for about an hour, the problems came back. I couldn't let car idle. Very slugish most of the time but not always.

The distributor is loose in the hole which means that oil is coming through again. Not that much oil but I can see it is on the side of the cap, but not on the distributor plate.

When I take the distributor out, there is always oil coming out of the hole where distributor goes. I am not sure if it is normal or not. Should so much oil be there?

Also tried to replace Ignition Module (Power Transistor) since I heard itis a common problem with Altimas. No luck at all. Also changes oil a couple times. Replaced Bosch Platinum plugs with NGK plugs just in case.

Today I took the cylinder head to see how the oil get inside distributor. There is a hole inside that will let oil come inside distributor.

I hope to get some help here :)

Take care,
denski

I had the same problem with my '95 altima bro. the problem for me was the spark wires. when was the last time you changed your spark plugs? what kind of plugs did you use? did you tighten them pretty tight? what i did was bought the bocsh spark wires for 50.00 at auto zone and new platinum spark plugs. you could go with the stoke ngk spark plugs but i think you have to special order them. just take the spark wires out ONE BY ONE and instal them ONE by ONE. dont over tighten the spark plugs just a little pressure will due or your combustion will shoot past the spark plugs and push the wires up. you might want to check the motor mounts. since i changed the wires i have not had any problems. in fact i had a noticable difference in power. make sure to avoid the bosh spark plugs though i hear they run pretty shitty on altimas. good luck bro.
i think the biggest thing is that you probably put the spark plugs in too tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks a lot.

Tried to replace valve seal this morning which I bought from AutoZone. 3 hours later I got oil all over alternator. Oil sprayed all over the place, but not too much. The seal seems to let oil through.

Also installed a new distributor seal. The car was driving fine for about 3 hours. The jerking came back for a little while and shut down twice in slow traffic. That's when I discovered the oil on the alternator and on the left side of the engine. For the next hour it was fine. I will check for distributor leaks tomorrow. Nothing on the outside yet.

I wonder if spark plugs go bad after all the jerking and stalling? Should I change the plugs again?

What should I do with seal?

Thanks,
denski
 

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Biru O' Kudasai
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1,426 Posts
I would reseal the valve cover with a new cover and spark plug gaskets. At the cam plug use a RTV silicone to seal the hard corners. The spark plugs I would replace them if they are fouled, more than a year old, or worn at all, then I would replace them with the stock replacement NGK.

Troy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks a lot.

I did replace spark plugs recently with NGK. I had Bosch before.

While the valve seal was leaking, the car stalled badly and shut down in the morning. After driving at a higher speed on the high way. It got better.

Well, I tried to reseal the valve cover. The valve cover bolts broke on me. They are useless now and wouldn't hold anything. Pretty much all of them. I must have overtightened them.

I am going to NAPA and Nissan to see if they will sell them to me.

Thanks,
denski
 
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