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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone i'm having a problem with my 93 XE and can't seem to find the problem. I also searched but couldn't find what I needed. . .

A couple days ago I was driving home and my car started to shake and lose power as I was driving down the road. Concerned I pulled over and as I did so the car died. I Couldn't figure out what was wrong on the side of the road so I started it up again and limped it home, but the whole way it was jerking and bogging really hard. Wouldn't respond to the gas pedal, almost like it wasn't getting gas.

When I got home, I went out and got a new air filter (got the ghetto airbox mod) in case it might be dirty and replaced the fuel filter (with one from a '91 300zx). This seemed to fix the problem as the car would idle semi well. However, I took it out later that night and drove about 40 miles with no problem b4 it started to bog again. This time it was so bad that I my car wouldn't even stay started and I had to be towed home.

The funny thing is that the next morning, I threwt some fuel injector cleaner into my tank and got the car idling decently (it would die sometimes) but took it out again and the same problem happened. Wouldnt stay running after it died on me.

Fuel pressure is good, but increases when the car starts screwing up. Usually it won't respond to the gas when it's dying or it will respond really fast and race before dying back down. Have cleaned the throttle body and IACV, checked the resistance on the injectors (it's good) and checked out my MAF and TPS (both fine). Could this be just clogged injectors? And would this show up in the error codes? Please help, I am at my wits end here.
 

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see if you can get it to do a limping idle and start pulling spark plug wires. this will let you know if the problem is isolated to one cylinder or is a general fault.

if its a single cylinder my money goes on a bad injector, sometimes they stop working but maintain good resistance readings when you test them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay I got it idle for a mintute and tried what you suggested, but got mixed results. It seems that the only time I can keep it running is the time everything is ok. All of the cylinders were firing and it idled fine for about five minutes before it started bogging again. . .

This seems to be this cyclical, idling/running for three to five minutes, then bogging hard and trying to stall which requires me to feather the gas and get the engine up to high revs to keep it going. The fuel pressure then changes wildly, going from as low as 20 (when it dies) to as high as 42.

One thing I just noticed, whenever it starts having problems I can hear a clicking sound coming from inside the car right next to my gas pedal. What the heck is this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay new development, my car won't start now and i have absolutely 0 fuel pressure. It should pressurize when I turn the ingition ON but dosen't. Is this the fuel pump or could the fuel pressure regulator? THX!
 

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PunkySentraXE said:
Okay new development, my car won't start now and i have absolutely 0 fuel pressure. It should pressurize when I turn the ingition ON but dosen't. Is this the fuel pump or could the fuel pressure regulator? THX!
If you can't hear the pump prime up when you turn the key to acc, then your pump is most likely shot. Before going out and spending the money for a new pump, you should check the fuel relays. If it's not connecting due to age, corrosion, or whatever then you will get the same symptoms. I wouldn't rule out the regulator, but if the pump isn't priming, that's a good place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK hate to ask but where are the fuel relays? Are these the relays under the instrument panel to the right of the fuse box? I was searching and found a guy that had a problem similar to this who fixed it by replacing one of these.

Did I mention that my car makes a clicking noise whenever it starts acting up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK I replaced the fuel pump on my car, but it still wasn't running, so I checked the (battery) ground and found that it was at around 5 ohms resistance. Scraped some paint off and got the resistance down to a reasonable level, but the car still won't start.

Whenever I crank the car, it will start for a few seconds before dying suddenly. Fuel pressure never goes below 36 psi now, but weirdly pumps up to 42 or so after the car dies.

The clicking sounds that I mentioned in the last post is coming from a green relay plugged into the ECU that seems to be called the "Fuel Injector Relay". Bought a new one from the dealer thinking that this could be the problem, but upon replacement didn't make any difference. This relay clicks/buzzes madly whenever the car is started.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've spent nearly 200 trying to get this fixed and it still won't run. . . however I need this car as it is my daily driver and I can't borrow my uncle's car forever.
 

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I'll give you a free bump, but I'm not great with the wiring on your car. I would check the wires and grounds. Maybe there's a short from an exposed wire off the fuel relay. Sorry I couldn't help you out more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey does anyone have any idea what the heck is wrong with my car? I'm about to stick a shotgun in the gas tank and see If I can't get an insurance claim. . .

I removed the sprak plugs the other day and they are all wet with gas but my car still won't even start.

One thing, when I was removing the plug wires two of the metal sleeves broke loose and pulled out of their respctive boots. I reattached them but don't know if this was effective. WOuld this be enough to make the car not start?
 

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PunkySentraXE said:
Hey does anyone have any idea what the heck is wrong with my car? I'm about to stick a shotgun in the gas tank and see If I can't get an insurance claim. . .

I removed the sprak plugs the other day and they are all wet with gas but my car still won't even start.

One thing, when I was removing the plug wires two of the metal sleeves broke loose and pulled out of their respctive boots. I reattached them but don't know if this was effective. WOuld this be enough to make the car not start?
Definately replace the wires if that piece came out. That happened to one of the wires on my set of Magnacor 9.2mm wires and since the charge had to jump from the bad connection it burned up my distributor. And distributor's are way more expensive that plug wires. next, if you have gas on you plugs then gas isn't the problem and air rarely is a problem so that leaves ignition or compression which with low compression I'd think the gas would still ignite just not do much. So now we are down to ignition. That could be a few things including the spark plugs, plug wires, distributor, distributor cap, distributor rotor. Check the plugs and if they ain't fouled then leave them but first do the wires. If that doesn't do the trick do the cap and rotor. If that ain't it then I'd bet the distributor needs replaced. Keep us informed.

Mitch

Edit: Just read the beginning and realized it sounds like what happened when my distributor burned up. It would run fine when it was cold but when it warmed up the distributor would over heat and the car would die and not restart. That would be plug wires and distributor replacement. If you're good with working on cars a distributor ain't too hard to do just need to make sure it's timed right when you're done. I know alot of people on here don't like ebay but I went through 2 distributors from advance auto parts in 9 months but found a used one on ebay for $20(not a reman) and have had that in for over a year and a half and have no issues with it. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Ok I finally founf time to work on my car over spring break and here's what i've done so far:

1. Replaced the distributor with a used ebay one and the two damaged wires with old ones that came with the distributor.
2. Checked that I didn't screw the fuel lines up and somehow get them reversed, switched them one way and no fuel pressure so I switched them back.

Mixed results with this, my car still dosen't run but just after I switched the fuel lines back I tried starting it and it actually caught and ran for about a minute (i was feathering and racing it kinda hard to keep it going) before going dead again and refusing to start. NOw it's just as dead as before, checked the fuel pump relay in the engine bay and it's activating, but not running the pump. I can manually short it and get it to run, but it won't run the pump by itself.

What controls this relay? Is there some other relay that provides power to that or is it directly connected to the ecu?

Also is there another realy dealing with the fuel pump inside the cab? What is the deal with the one brown and three blue relays to the right of the fuse box? Does anyone know what they do?

EDIT: weirdly, out of the four plug receptacles on the fuel pump relay plug three of them have power. Two have about 12 volts in them and one has 2.5 or something random. Shouldn't I have two powered and two ground?
 

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here's the relay description from the FSM for my 94 sentra. I hope this helps at least a little.

inside the car, in the fuse panel, those four relays, from top to bottom:
- rear window defogger relay
- ignition relay 2
- accessory relay
- ignition relay 1

under the hood, to the left of the battery, there's only one fuel pump relay. the rest are for the radiator fans and the clutch safety/neutral safety switch.

if you get a screwdriver or something and place it on a fuel injector, and then place your ear on the other end, you should be able to hear it click.

also, take out the bottom part of the back seat and make sure the harness for the fuel pump is tight, not corroded, and that the wiring isn't chafed anywhere.

you also said you heard a clicking when you had the trouble. you probably heard the relay. one of the ignition relays, or the fuel pump relay, shutting down.

try doing a self-diagnosis on the ECU. that could very well help you pinpoint any bad components. it is also possible that the ECU could be bad, but I haven't heard of this happening too often. but I'd DEFINATELY do the self-diagnosis cos there's a good chance it can point you in a better direction.

Dan
 

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also, about your edit, no.

a relay is sort of an electrically-operated switch, just like the solenoid on your starter. there's a little coil inside there that uses 2 of the 4 terminals. there's also a moving armature and a stationary contact. the armature is held disconnected from the stationary contact with a spring. the armature has one terminal, and the contact has the last one.

when battery voltage is applied to the relay's coil (probably what you were reading), the coil produces electromagnetism which pulls the moving armature down so that it connects with the stationary contact. this is just like turning a light switch on. current can then flow through the last 2 terminals. when battery voltage is released from the coil, the spring pulls the armature back up, breaking the connection between that and the contact, turning the switch "off".

so testing for power at the relay wasn't a bad idea. you just gotta know which terminals are which. you should be able to look on the bottom of the relay and see a little diagram with terminal numbers.

Dan
 

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I am having the same symptoms with my 95 Altima (4 cyl), I did all the things you did, plus new plugs, wire, dist cap, etc. and it turns out I have a bad Crankshaft Position Sensor. I had to order a part, but it should be here tomorrow (3/22/05) and I hope that solves my problem. The sensor runs between $20-$30. You may want to try that too. Good luck!
 

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I don't think Sentras have a crankshaft position sensor. there is a camshaft position sensor, but that's inside his distributor, since the distributor is driven by the RH camshaft. since he replaced the distributor, I can't see that being an issue.

there's a vague possibility that it could be your IAC valve. try pressing the gas pedal down a little bit when you crank the engine. if you can get your hands on an ECU that you know is good, swap it and see if there's any difference. but like I said before, I'd do a self diagnosis and see if any problems are pointed out. that's just a matter of turning the setscrew on the ECU over clockwise, counting to 5, turning it back, and watching the CEL and counting the flashes.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Awesome, thanks for the info! Will try a self diagnosis right away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay it's been awhile but I thought that I'd just finish out this thread. I found the problem. Last year my buddies and I swapped a 225 thousand + mile engine for another for less milage. However, when we put everything back together we didn't checkt the ground, which was very poor. To get to ground the car was using the ecu ground wire, which is extremely small and couldn't handle the strain. After a few months of driving (and overheating) the resistance in the ecu ground became so high that the car wasn't getting power to ecu half the time (eventually all the time) and the ecu couldn't provide power to the fuel pump. This seems that it is a pretty isolated problem, but I hope it helps someone. Thanks for all the suggestions!!
 

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PunkySentraXE said:
Hey does anyone have any idea what the heck is wrong with my car? I'm about to stick a shotgun in the gas tank and see If I can't get an insurance claim. . .

I removed the sprak plugs the other day and they are all wet with gas but my car still won't even start.

One thing, when I was removing the plug wires two of the metal sleeves broke loose and pulled out of their respctive boots. I reattached them but don't know if this was effective. WOuld this be enough to make the car not start?
It's probably the fuel pump. Cost ya about $150 for a new one from Napa.
 

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well it depends. if that metal sleeve was actually broken off and disconnected from the inside of the plug wire boot, you've got a problem. and if 2 of them broke, you've got an even bigger problem. you'll have to replace the plug wires. and it isn't a bad idea to spend the extra 99 cents on that little packet of dielecric grease they'll try to sell you. when you use it, it helps to transfer the heat from the spark, and there isn't any corrosion building up on the inside of the plug wire boot from the temperatures and dissimilar metals. so it won't sieze in place.

I don't know if a 4-cylinder engine can run with 2 non-firing cylinders. if it does, it'll be extremely rough. that's where it helps to have the lifetime warranty plug wires.

I just replaced a fuel injector about two months ago in my 94 SE with 217,000 miles. it was bogging and misfiring and shifting rough. I could get it to about 45 mph and when I hit the gas, I had nothing left. sounds almost like what you're going through. I swapped the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and even the entire distributor and ECU with known good ones from my other 94 sentra. no dice, so I started the engine and started disconnecting the harnesses from the injectors. on the first three, the engine stumbled terribly when I disconnected them, meaning they were working. on the fourth, there was no reaction, so it wasn't working. I checked its resistance with an ohmmeter against FSM specs, and sure enough, there was infinite resistance. about a day later and $70 less in my bank account, I got it taken care of, and she runs like a new car again. it wasn't too bad, you'll have to take off the upper air intake plenum, and get a new gasket for it. it can be done in about 3 hours with enough motivation and all the parts.

Dan
 
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