96 Altima stalling at idle - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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#1 Old 07-28-2007, 09:19 PM
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96 Altima stalling at idle

Ok, I've looked through many threads here and searched and looked at many threads. Seems to me that there are 1256314 different things that cause stalling, so I am typing up my problem in hopes for answers so I don't have just a pile of metal out in the driveway......

1996 Nissan Altima, 151,000 miles 2.4 L automatic. At idle I am having a problem with the rpms dropping and/or stalling out. The car drives perfectly fine, except when I let off the throttle, sometimes the rpms can drop and hold around 1000 (while auto tranny still in drive). With it sitting in neutral or in drive while stopped, the rpms will drop and fluctuate between idle and down to 300 rpm. It can stall often at idle and if I have the AC running, it's guaranteed to stall at idle.

The check engine light is on and I have a scanner. I have codes for the front O2, rear O2, knock sensor and AICV. I've been told by a friend who works for a non-Nissan dealership shop that it probably is the AICV. Well, after 4 weeks spent staring at the middle of the exhaust with my hand up behind the motor, blindly trying to get this stinking AICV out one handed, I finally got it out. I cleaned it with throttle body cleaner, and checked it with a DMM. The spec is 10 ohms, and it read at a perfect 10 ohm.

I don't have the cash to just start replace stuff until it's fixed. I need to know what the heck component it would be that is bad. Can't afford the hundreds of $$$ the garage would charge, since it took me 4 freakin weeks to get the AICV out, I figured it will be quite expensive.

Note, I have read stuff on here about intake gaskets and such. We have sprayed around with throttle body cleaner around the intake searching for leaks and didn't find any.

I'm hoping to have the component pinpointed for me without replacing stuff untill it's fixed. I have many many other issues with this car, and much more needs fixed before state inspection. But I have to get it running first.

Thanks in advance for any responses, much appreciated.

Mike
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#2 Old 07-29-2007, 01:26 AM
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i would replace the 02 sensor by the exhaust manifold, the knock sensor is nothing much to worry about because as i have come to learn that the knock sensor is a common code for altima's. i would say vaccum leak, but im not 100 percent sure on that. you could also need just a regular tune up. if you go to the thread about the blinking ses light when pressing gas a guy mentioned some ngk plugs and i love'em. they have helped my gas mileage out alot. check your cap and rotor too, your rotor could have a lot of build up on it.
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#3 Old 07-29-2007, 01:26 AM
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my tune up only costed like 50 dollars..
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#4 Old 07-29-2007, 01:30 AM
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you need to clean your throttle body and maf sensor with corresponding cleaners. to clean those parts you need to remove air intake hose which goes from air filter box to intake manifold. use old tooth brush or wrap some cloth around screw driver.
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#5 Old 07-29-2007, 05:15 PM
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I have a 95 with 172k miles on it that is having the same issue. I replaced the distributor thinking oil was dripping through a seal onto the knock sensor (camshaft position sensor) but the next day it sputtered and stopped. Now it won't even restart when it stalls unless I wait for a few hours. I'm thinking it's the oxygen sensor. Any ideas? I'll post my results on here once I figure it out.
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#6 Old 07-29-2007, 05:18 PM
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Check your timing. Also, check the MAF to see if it's gunked up.

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Cvl... this may never happen again, so take note of it. Thank you.
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#7 Old 07-31-2007, 11:04 PM
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An update, still having problems. I pulled the AICV and clean the crap out of it. It specs fine with the meter. I checked the front O2 sensor and it was showing out of spec resistance. I did replace that. I cleaned the crap out of my throttle body. It looks shiney and new . I checked all around for leaks around the intake manifold.

The car runs great when driving down the road. It now seems to be fine at idle without the AC. I rev and it drops to a nice even smooth 900 rpm. It doesn't drop, then raise up to idle, just stops and runs smooth at 900. But, if I turn the AC on, the rpms again drop down to near stall, then raise back up to just under smooth idle at 900. It will sit idling with AC, just drops and nearly stalls if I'm driving and go to stop or rev it a bit when sitting in neutral.

I imagine I am due for a new dist. cap and rotor. Would those have anything to do with it wanting to stall under AC load at idle? I'm replacing them tonight as they are cheap and probably could use it anyways. The timing I can't test until I get my brother-in-law in to look. Trouble is, he's about an hour north, rarely comes in my way, and like any normal mechanic doing this 6 days a week, he's quite hesitant to help out on his off time. The motor does sound sort of "tight" when you rev it. I don't know how to describe it. I could be just use to driving the wife's new truck around for the last month or so with a nice smooth 7000 mile V6. When I get in the 151,000 mile buzzy high revving 4 cylinder after driving the quiet V6, it is quite a difference.

Seems I am getting somewhere. It does now run smooth without the AC. No AC just doesn't work out though when it's 115 F at work and I'm stuck half an hour in the car in a pair of greasy jeans. I have to have that AC!

Thanks again all!
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#8 Old 08-01-2007, 12:44 AM
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loosen the lower idler pulley and try to rotate AC pulley. it should rotate easily.

don't waste your money on new distributor just yet. if your distributor is bad your car would die regardless of ac.
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#9 Old 08-01-2007, 09:24 AM
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I am thinking it is one of two things, the IACV or the AC magnetic clutch.

The IACV has a component called the Fast Idle Control Device (FICD) which is suppose to ramp up the idle when the AC kicks in. It might not be getting activated or is not metering enough idle air.

The AC magnetic clutch is a solenoid and made of coil windings. If the coils windings are shorted out then it will place a big electrical load on the alternator, which in turn will drag down the engine via the crankshaft accessory belt.

Do a simple test. Remove the AC pulley belt and disconnect the electrical connection to the magnetic clutch. Kick ON the AC. If the idle ramps up then the IACV is fine. Now reconnect the electrical connection to the magnetic clutch and kick the AC back ON. If the idle still ramps up fine then the problem has to do with either the AC compressor or some high backpressure in the AC charge.



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#10 Old 08-01-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries9 View Post
I have a 95 with 172k miles on it that is having the same issue. I replaced the distributor thinking oil was dripping through a seal onto the knock sensor (camshaft position sensor) but the next day it sputtered and stopped. Now it won't even restart when it stalls unless I wait for a few hours. I'm thinking it's the oxygen sensor. Any ideas? I'll post my results on here once I figure it out.
Aries9, your problem is unrelated to the original thread. It is likely a distributor issue.



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Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps, NGK Ignition wires.
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#11 Old 08-01-2007, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jserrano View Post
Aries9, your problem is unrelated to the original thread. It is likely a distributor issue.
I agree. I had that stalling while driving problem when I first bought the car (3 years old). It was the distributor (specifically the cam sensor at the end of the distributor). If the car is stalling while driving, I've always seen that it is the distributor (not cheap). My problem in this thread is not while driving, but stalling or wanting to stall at idle only.

As for me.... while poking around the throttlebody and stuff, I glanced over where the AICV is and noticed something.... The wire plug wasn't pushed in the entire way! After I pulled it and cleaned it, I must have not pushed it in the whole way upon reconnecting it. So.... that completely cured the close to stall idle with and without AC. I cleared the codes and ran down the road last night. Engine light was off.

The car still seems to be lacking in power. I think this is just the timing needing adjustment (plugs and wires look good, maybe a new cap and rotor as well). This morning, the engine light came back on. I haven't had a chance to check the codes again, but I don't feel any problems other than the lack of power (not a dramatic lack). So, I'll have to get the timing squared away and see if I regain the power and hopefully my fuel milage should increase as well. I've been seeing 24 mpg lately, which I use to see around 30.
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#12 Old 08-01-2007, 11:29 PM
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hey all, i'm having similar problems too with my 93 auto. I noticed though that the stalling stops after I spray intake cleaner right into the throttle body. it starts stalling again probablt after 300-500 miles later. I was thinking about taking my intake manifold out and manually scrub the hell out of it with some degreaser (or warm saopy water, unless this is a bad call). I did also change my IACV (w/FICD), fuel filter, basically everything needed for a full blown tune-up and then some, needless to say my wallet is still screaming at me. anyone think removing the intake manifold and cleaning it is overkill or a possible good start?
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#13 Old 08-02-2007, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystiq_Knyght View Post
I was thinking about taking my intake manifold out and manually scrub the hell out of it with some degreaser (or warm saopy water, unless this is a bad call).
Well, the actual intake manifold is where the air and fuel mixes, so wouldn't just simple fuel injector cleaner added to the fuel help in cleaning the manifold?

You could use throttlebody cleaner, hold the butterfly open, and spray the throttlebody liberally and scrub with a toothbrush. I did this, it is quite dirty in the throttlebody. I've learned from here and other threads that I've searched that the butterfly valve, which is your throttle position valve, can get dirty to where it won't allow the valve to close all the way, thus allowing more air past at idle than normal, I assume.

Now, for the life of me, I can't find a list of codes for the Altima. I had a list, but I can't remember where I found it. I google search and all I get are specific forum thread questions about specific codes..... Here's the codes I'm now getting since the car has been running perfectly fine after finding the AICV plug not fully plugged in.... P0505, P0325, P0135, P0141, which are all the same codes I had before, front O2, rear O2, knock sensor and AICV, IIRC. A new code popped up, P1400 and I have no idea what that is. I did clear the codes yesterday after it started running fine.
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#14 Old 08-02-2007, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrodgers88 View Post
Well, the actual intake manifold is where the air and fuel mixes, so wouldn't just simple fuel injector cleaner added to the fuel help in cleaning the manifold?

You could use throttlebody cleaner, hold the butterfly open, and spray the throttlebody liberally and scrub with a toothbrush. I did this, it is quite dirty in the throttlebody. I've learned from here and other threads that I've searched that the butterfly valve, which is your throttle position valve, can get dirty to where it won't allow the valve to close all the way, thus allowing more air past at idle than normal, I assume.

Now, for the life of me, I can't find a list of codes for the Altima. I had a list, but I can't remember where I found it. I google search and all I get are specific forum thread questions about specific codes..... Here's the codes I'm now getting since the car has been running perfectly fine after finding the AICV plug not fully plugged in.... P0505, P0325, P0135, P0141, which are all the same codes I had before, front O2, rear O2, knock sensor and AICV, IIRC. A new code popped up, P1400 and I have no idea what that is. I did clear the codes yesterday after it started running fine.

hmm, i know i've removed the TB a while back and cleaned it out prior to replacing the gasket. I did notice it was dirty (at that time), i figured because my TPS also died, to do the whole thing at once. Another thing I noticed was that deep inside the manifold, past the opening where the TB mounts to, was also cruddy. After spraying a hell of a lot of AI/TB cleaner in there it formed a small puddle of cleaner/gunk. I absorbed it with a 24" long 1/4" drive ratchet extension wrapped in an old cotton t-shirt to clean as much as I could out, needless to say, I am convinced that my intake manifold needs to be thoroughly cleaned out manually as I could be certain there are nooks and crannies in there that are probably gummed up...this is all just a thought. right now i'm gonna have to wait till it cools off a bit, too damn hot to be working out there
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#15 Old 08-02-2007, 10:11 PM
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A few comments,

Fuel cleaner in a gas tank will not do anything to clean out the inside of an intake manifold. The most you could hope for to clean are the inside of the injectors, the pintel area, and the intake valve areas. But that crud all inside the intake will probably require taking it out to do a manual cleaning. Outside of removal, an intake system cleaning sometimes called an induction cleaning, would require a really good cleaning agent.

If you ever spray a solvent into the intake and the car temporarily runs better, then you either have an issue with not getting enough fuel or there is an air leak somewhere on the intake side.



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