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Discussion Starter #1
My car is a 1991 Nissan Sentra, coupe

I'm having trouble here... When I start my car, it shakes when it idles. Not super violently, but it's apparent, and it's rhythmic. The faster I go, the less it seems to shake (or maybe just less noticeable?). However, when I go up hills (and even on straight aways) I notice a loss of acceleration. I'm struggling to get up hills I had no problem with before. This morning I had to rev up to almost 4500 rpm to get up a hill I don't have too much trouble with.

I notice my RPMs go up the same amount as they normally do when I depress the gas, and it shifts when it always used to shift (I have an automatic), I just seem to be getting less power overall. In addition, the exhaust coming out of my muffler kind of... puffs out, to the same rhythm my car seems to be shaking to. And there seems to be a bit of white smoke coming out as well. Also, under the hood, in the top left quadrant, there seems to be a mystery fluid that is leaking from somewhere. It looks black when I touch the wet spots, but it has no odor (its not oil or coolant). Oh yeah, strangely, my gas mileage seems to be unaffected, for now at least. So that is a good thing. But I can't pass inspection like this, so... haaaalp!

Anyone got any ideas? This is killin me!
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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4,244 Posts
get a compression check ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is there a way to do that on my own? Or do I have to go to a mechanic for that?

If there is a compression leak, would it be the vacuum hoses? Or other stuff? I've never touched this before.
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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i don't know how much a simple compression gauge costs these days but they are relatively inexpensive compared to mechanic time. i will look.
you unscrew all the plugs, screw in the gauge head till it seats then open the throttle and crank. normally 3 pumps get you to a stable reading, the do other cylinders

For our cars you should pull the fuel pump fuse and ignition power somehow,
maybe some one can enlighten us, you still need to be able to crank it.

This should be done with a warm engine, then compare with the spec.

You look for even compression across all four cylinders, and minimum should be over the factory spec minimum.
 

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Pull the fuel pump fuse in the engine bay. Attached to the battery tray. Same as when you go to do the bumb trick for loosening the crank pulley.
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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Thanks, that takes are of fuel.
what about the ignition ? but still need it to crank !!
 

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since you will have all the plugs out already, just pull the coil wire. this way you wont get zapped by the fire that may jump from a loose spark plug wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Took it to my mechanic... he says there is a crack in the head gasket. Ugh. Time to shop for a new car... there is no way for me to pass inspection like that, is there?
 
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