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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 98 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6L.

Recently, the car stalled separately on two separate occasions.

Once, it stalled when driving in a parking lot at a shopping mall. I was moving the car from one parking spot at the end of the lot to another, when the engine cut out, the dashboard lights came on, and I lost power. I had to coast slowly to the side, then restart the car. It started right away and was fine after that.

Most recently, I had come off the freeway, pulled to the side of the road, picked up a passenger in the city, switched drivers, and I was driving slowly ~15 mpg, looking for parking on the street, when the engine stalled, lost power. All the dashboard lights came on. I tried to restart the car, and the car restarted right away when I tried to start it next and it was fine.

Does anybody have any ideas what could be the problem? I am concerned the car might stall on the freeway or at higher speeds - although this has not been the case. It has only stalled twice - just the two times above. This started in November, so it has happened twice in the last two months.

I replaced the spark plugs with new NGK plugs a few months ago. I also put on new plug wires (although they were the lifetime warranty Autozone kind). I replaced the distributor cap and rotor as well (also Autozone kind). I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the stalling. I also cleaned the throttle body a bit with carb cleaner after the first stall. I have also replaced the PCV valve.

Anybody have ideas? As an aside, not such a big deal....but I noticed the sentra has stiff power steering. I have replaced the power steering fluid several times, and it has helped a good bit....but the steering still seems stiff for only a 6 year old car. The guys at Firestone checked the alignment but says the alignment was fine. Still, the steering wheel does pull a bit left. All the tires are at 32 PSI. Any ideas? (Although, I'm more concerned about the stalling).

Please email me any thoughts - thanks: [email protected]
 

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absolutely classic
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chenp said:
I have a 98 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.6L.

Recently, the car stalled separately on two separate occasions.

Once, it stalled when driving in a parking lot at a shopping mall. I was moving the car from one parking spot at the end of the lot to another, when the engine cut out, the dashboard lights came on, and I lost power. I had to coast slowly to the side, then restart the car. It started right away and was fine after that.

Most recently, I had come off the freeway, pulled to the side of the road, picked up a passenger in the city, switched drivers, and I was driving slowly ~15 mpg, looking for parking on the street, when the engine stalled, lost power. All the dashboard lights came on. I tried to restart the car, and the car restarted right away when I tried to start it next and it was fine.

Does anybody have any ideas what could be the problem? I am concerned the car might stall on the freeway or at higher speeds - although this has not been the case. It has only stalled twice - just the two times above. This started in November, so it has happened twice in the last two months.

I replaced the spark plugs with new NGK plugs a few months ago. I also put on new plug wires (although they were the lifetime warranty Autozone kind). I replaced the distributor cap and rotor as well (also Autozone kind). I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the stalling. I also cleaned the throttle body a bit with carb cleaner after the first stall. I have also replaced the PCV valve.

Anybody have ideas? As an aside, not such a big deal....but I noticed the sentra has stiff power steering. I have replaced the power steering fluid several times, and it has helped a good bit....but the steering still seems stiff for only a 6 year old car. The guys at Firestone checked the alignment but says the alignment was fine. Still, the steering wheel does pull a bit left. All the tires are at 32 PSI. Any ideas? (Although, I'm more concerned about the stalling).

Please email me any thoughts - thanks: [email protected]
Have you replaced the fuel filter recently? What's it do before it stalls? Does it give you any indication that it's about to die, or just stall out? When you clean the throttle body, it's a good idea to take it all the way off and make sure you get all the smaller holes so they flow freely. Could also be your alternator starting to go, did you see the brake and battery light come on at anytime? Just trying to narrow it down a bit. I'm not sure about the power steering. I've driven cars with the lightest power steering (89 accord) and some that are harder, so it could be you're used to a lighter wheel. Do you lose power steering fluid? I noticed my car had a leak right where the hose attached to the pump, due to a loose clamp. When it got low, the steering would get harder and make all sorts of interesting noises. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I haven't done the fuel filter yet.....that is the next item on my list....I just couldn't get the damn hoses off the ends of the filter (after I pulled the fuse and depressurized). So, once I do, I'll swap out the fuel filter.

The car does not do anything before it stalls. It just suddenly loses power, all the lights come on. Then, I need to restart the engine and it starts right away.

As for the alternator, no, I did not see the brake and battery lights come on first. All the lights came on as I lost power. For the power steering, no ....not losing any fluid. We did have another older sentra at one point, and I did notice the steering there was stiffer too...it may be that the sentra's just have stiffer steering in general....compared to a camry, or protege (which I have driven previously)?

If I hook up an OBD ii reader, will it capture any diagnostic messages from when the engine lost power? None of the check engine lights stayed on, so I'm not sure that it will show anything.

Is it possible I didn't seat the plugs right? or the rotor and cap, or plug wires may not be making good contact? Could this cause me to just suddenly lose power when coasting sometimes? I'm getting about 30-31 mpg on the 98 sentra.....although on a previous 95 sentra, we were getting about 35 mpg?

Thanks for any help.

Phil
[email protected]
 

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absolutely classic
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Ok, so it just kinda dies on you. I would clean the IACV, there's a few posts on here how to do that, it's not a difficult fix. It's possible that the spark plugs weren't threaded right, but that would be a constant problem, same if they weren't gapped to .044. I always use a peice of hose to thread the plugs in at first, if they are crossthreaded then the hose will just slip. The fuel filter is a pain, those hoses are on tight, especially if they haven't been removed before. I think cleaning the IACV will help significantly if it's dirty.

edit: I'm not sure but I think that the codes that were thrown during the problem will remain for awhile. It wouldn't hurt to check the codes anyway. Sometimes the problem will cause a "soft" code, which won't trigger the CEL.
 

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I drove a B14 rental when my B13 was being repaired under warranty. To me, the steering was very heavy compared to the B13. Reminded me of the 72 GMC pick-up we had when I was in high school. It did not have power steering. Ok, it was not that bad, but it seemed like night and day difference after driving my B13. :)
 

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i thinkt he b-14's do have heavier steering than b-13's...i can meneaver my b-13 like it was part of my body, but the b-14 is a bit more subborn.

anyway, it could also be your coil pack. try replacing that. they normally just die and you're stuck on the road waiting for a tow. maybe you got lucky twice...well third time's the charm right?

coils die randomly, i would imagine they could overheat and stop working for a moment..per what you experience? i dunno for sure, but it wont hurt any.
 

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My car did the same thing, man. I took mine to a dealership and they said it was the cat. They were also going to charge me like 800 bucks, but i was like i can just go and get an aftermarket one for WAY less than that. I decided to look at some other stuff before I bought a new cat, just to make sure. I replaced the plugs, plug wires, and adjusted the timing. It hasnt done it since.
 
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