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I'm here because my 88 sentra is acting up. I can't complain too much because the car only cost me $300 4 years ago, with 136k on it, and I've put 60k on it since then. It is a nice little junker, not impressive looking, but does the job and it's always been easy to work on (relatively). However the horseshoe wired to the grill is starting to lose its powers these days. But I really don't want to give up on it b/c then I'd have to get another car and b/c I kind of like it. If I were to buy a newer car, people would be shocked.
 

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Welcome! I just registered today as well as I just bought a 1990 Sentra (well, about to buy, either tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest). What issues ar eyou having? I've been researching all day long and I might be able to help ya out! (I'm a VERY fast learner)
 

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Hi, I'd appreciate any help I can get!
I pasted the post here because I don't know how to make a link to it yet....
Enjoy,

>>>
88 TBI surges and dies
I'll describe the symptoms, and then tell you what I've checked already...

When first started and still cold, the car works fine. After 5-10 minutes and the temp gage comes up to between third to half way, the engine jerks and lurches above a certain rpm (don't have a tach), regardless of what gear you're in. When I finally get to 4th (4-speed) I can't get over 47mph. When sitting at a light, it will idle find for a few seconds, then suddenly start idling VERY slow and die. At stop lights I can keep it running by putting my foot on the gas lightly and holding it there.
While sitting in neutral, it will cycle up and down in rpms if I put my foot down a little more. If I put my foot down even more, it cycles up and down more slowly. When I let my foot off, it idles fine for a few seconds then knocks down to a really slow idle and dies right away. I can drive around okay as long as I prematurely shift and don't go over 47, but it looks to everyone like I'm learning how to shift.

I've spent a couple hours searching other posts, but haven't answered all my questions...

I took off the air filter housing to check things. All my vacuum hoses are only a few months old and I didn't see any that were cracked or loose. PCV valve is new. EGR valve moves and holds a vacuum. Air filter is clean. Gas filter is about 20k mi old. Plug wires and distributor cap are about 2 yrs old (bosch). Timing was checked last year. Plugs are a couple years old, should be fine, but I guess I could take one out.

The ECU gives a code of '12', which says air flow meter and associated wires.
To make sure, I cleared the ECU so that it said '55' and drove around again. Code 12 came back, so I'm sure it indicates a current problem. I took off the air flow meter and did the check suggested in the haynes manual (I think it's the same as the check in the FSM) where you apply battery voltage to wires C and E and measure the voltage at A and D for stagnant air and blowing air. It of course reads just fine (arg!), so I checked the connector contacts on both the female and male plugs, both looked bright and shiny and not bent or anything. I checked for battery voltage on the harness-side of the connection at terminals C and E and it is there. So according to the ECU, the AFM is bad, but according to the voltage tests, the AFM is good.

I thought I'd simply go to Napa and get an air flow meter and see if that did it, but turns out that nobody has the meter and the dealers want $187. CRAP!
Even the junkyards want $125-$135, of course they're crooks, what did I expect...

So, I guess what I'm wondering is...

Am I on the right track with the air flow meter?
There are 6 contacts on the AFM, but the manual only checks 4 of them. What are the other 2? Is there another check for the AFM that I can do?
Is there something else that can cause an error code 12?
Where to get an AFM more cheaply or somebody that has one I can borrow for the purposes of troubleshooting?
Will AFMs from newer sentras work?

Thanks for any help
 

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u can floor it right and it just kinda bounces as if the rev limiter was like 2 grand but it only starts doin it after it warms up in 5 minutes lik eu can floor it around all u want but as soion as u turn it off that first time or drive it for 5 10 minutes its just crap, if thats it i told u to smack the iscv and see if it verified the issue , back left of throttle boddy 3 icnhes long about half inch in diameter white plug on the end, smack with something like the back of a screw driver not metal cant spark at ya yet heavy enough to give a smack
 
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