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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here is the story..

Car had been sitting for about a month because the radiator support had completely rusted off. I finally got that fixed and was excited to start driving it again. Then my starter goes out so I replace that. Finally, I turn it on, everything is great and I drive off. On my way back from the mall I notice the RPMs begin to get a little too low and the car begins to shake. I arrive at a red light and they drop below 500 and car shuts off. I manage to start it again and keep it on by giving it some gas. Eventually make it home trying my hardest not to time my stops at red lights so it wont shut off again.

I had some pre-exisiting codes so I cleared them using the OBDII reader. I took out the MAF and sprayed it with Choke/Carb Cleaner..(not sure if this was a good move), I cleaned the air filter and put it all back together. I start it and it works ok for a little while. In fact I started it 10 mins ago and let it warm up..but once I moved it about a block it started dropping RMS again. They get so low that eventually the car just shuts off. After this, I try starting it again but as soon as it starts the RPMS drop all the way down. I make it back home by giving it some gas (to prevent it from stalling).

Any ideas? I haven't driven it much since I cleared the codes but no Service light yet... MAF?
 

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Sounds like the MAF. Mine gave no warnings and just died at 1 AM one night as I'm trying to drive 30 miles home.

Unplug the MAF. See if it starts and idles. (You will be able to drive it like this.... but only at partial throttle/load)
 

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I'm going to say IACV. I had this happen last week to me. I had to keep reving up the car to keep it from dying out until I brought it to my installer. He confirmed the IACV was toast. He adjusted a screw on the throttle bottle to help and adjusted a hose going into the iacv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did the whole MAF thing to see if that was the culprit. Unplugging the MAF and running the car without it gave me the MAF code. I erased the codes again to se if it would give it again with the MAF plugged in but nothing. It started fine in the morning (cold start) and the revs remained stable. I even drove it around the block once. I could see the RPMs get low at times and when I turned it off and tried starting it again it would not start. It would sound as if it were ready to start but RPMS would drop and car shuts off. Seems like its worse when it warms up. I checked for fuel and spark and both were present (and the fact that I can maintain the car on with the gas pressed). Leaning towards the IAC valve as well. Probably have to remove the throttle body and find a new one. Gah... any way to clean it with seafoam?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I replaced the IAC valve. Not sure if the other one was working or not. I checked the plug and voltage was being reported fine but the valve itself would not open/close when I hooked it up to a car battery. Either way, I replaced the IAC valve and the car started fine but the same thing happened again. Shuts off and will not stay on. I cleared all the codes to see if I got new ones but nothing. I may have found the fix however.. I noticed that there is an adjusting screw where the accelerator cable rests when idle. The top of the screw was pretty eroded from the last 11 years of use because once I moved it up a little the car began to idle better and would no longer shut off. I will test it for a few days to see if this is the culprit. Will update soon!
 

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Is this an 00-02? If so the IACV has to be relearned to work properly.
 

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hes getting a misfire when the engine is warm and he notes it gets worse when warm and low rpms. Sounds like a cylinder misfire/ignition system break down.
I would grab a new high quality cap and rotor and replace or at least wrap the stock wires in electrical tape.
I think from sitting you got some dust, moisture, awesome water in gas etc. These distributor based nissans are very picky about there spark, you may have spark but a tiny current loss will reak havoc and make you feel like something is seriously wrong. If the ECU detects to much or to little current ;It shuts the car down. On restart those weakened components cannot produce enough spark, however when you put your foot one the gas your telling the computer to produce more spark because the throttle is partially open, which makes the car almost start or even sputter.

So many people overlook the cap, rotor and wires because they were recently replaced or are "new from autozone" when in reality only oem and a few select names like NGK cut the mustard. If you like pissing through oxygen sensors and catlytic converters you use junk or old ignition components.

In a case like this you should #1 replace cap ,rotor, plugs with oem nissan parts and wrap the factory wires in electrical tape (ghetto but highly effective total cost under 50 bucks)#2 if your still running rough its the IACV only if you get a check engine code for the knock sensor (not a hidden code a physical light) as they work together and if its not doing its job the ecu knows right away #3 swap the MAF with a known working one for a few days if problems persist swap back look elsewhere. Im not a fan of the MAF pin readouts as ive seen some working ones not in tolerance and some bad ones in tolerance.
 

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I recently read a thread about a bad distributor that caused the engine to cut off once it had warmed up. The explanation was that oil had gotten past distributor's inner seal and the oil, which became more mobile when the engine was warm, was blocking distributor's electronic eye causing misfire. The engine would only run when the engine was still cold. Once it was warm, it would cut off. this is not the same thread, but it sounds a lot like your situation.
http://www.g20.net/forum/showthread.php?133121-Died!-No-Start!-Camshaft-Position-Sensor!-!&highlight=oil+electronic+eye
On this next thread, read what mustang dude posted, and see if it sounds like your situation.
http://www.g20.net/forum/showthread.php?33831-car-shut-down-today-while-driving-please-help&highlight=oil+cam+position+sensor
 

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I recently read a thread about a bad distributor that caused the engine to cut off once it had warmed up. The explanation was that oil had gotten past distributor's inner seal and the oil, which became more mobile when the engine was warm, was blocking distributor's electronic eye causing misfire. The engine would only run when the engine was still cold. Once it was warm, it would cut off. this is not the same thread, but it sounds a lot like your situation.
http://www.g20.net/forum/showthread.php?133121-Died!-No-Start!-Camshaft-Position-Sensor!-!&highlight=oil+electronic+eye
On this next thread, read what mustang dude posted, and see if it sounds like your situation.
http://www.g20.net/forum/showthread.php?33831-car-shut-down-today-while-driving-please-help&highlight=oil+cam+position+sensor
+1 pull the cap
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys, I did pull the cap but found it fine, aside from a little residue which I cleaned off. The problem now is that when I start the car for the 1st time It will appear to have started and as soon as I let go of the key it completely dies. If I hold the gas pedal down for a minute or two until the car is a little warm and let go of the pedal slowly the car stays on albeit with slightly low rpm (500-600) and a little shaking.. I can put it on drive and reverse and the rpms continue to be low but the car no longer shuts off. Seems its only doing the shutting off when its cold now. I let my brother know of the problems and he borrowed it to drive to work (20 miles away). I'll get his verdict later today. He made it back home so I'm guessing it didn't die on him on any red light stops. I'm thinking MAF next (even if no code is given off) and wires/cap after that. Thanks for all the info, highly appreciated!
 

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i bet you have a bad seal inside the dizzy. there is an oring that keeps oil out of the electronic part of the dizzy once the oring cracks oil gets in and you will have serious stalling and no start issues. i tore my dizzy apart after i replaced it and there was a teaspoon full of oil in it and the o ring was half gone, the camshaft position sensor is inside the dizzy and protected by the oring ive mentioned and the car will not run properly with a malfunctioning cam position sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You're referring to the crankshaft position sensor (dizzy?) Car has been running a little better. I'm more comfortable taking it out longer distances now but the problem of not starting while cold still persists. I ordered a $20 MAF sensor from ebay. If that doesn't fix the issues I will try looking at the ckp sensor ... although I would think that the sensor would throw a code ?
 
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