Cylinder 1 misfiring on '97 Altima - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:56 AM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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Cylinder 1 misfiring on '97 Altima

I'm trying to fix a "Cylinder 1 misfiring" problem - code 0608 - on a '97 Altima. I've replaced spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, but still have the problem. The car runs okay until it warms up, and then it loses power a bit and the Engine Check Light comes on. I've checked the injectors using the screwdriver test (listening for clicks) and they seem fine. Any suggestions?
Thank you in advance.
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:20 PM
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Did you try checking them by just unplugging the injectors? Just pull of the red clip. At least that's how I diagnosed mine

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:52 PM
jserrano jserrano is offline
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Since you took care of the ignition side then it points to something with the #1 injector. Could still be a bad injector. Also check the injector's bottom o-ring and rubber insulator that the injector sits on. One often used tip is to swap the #1 injector with another side to see if the problem moves.



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Old 02-26-2010, 08:58 PM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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Thanks for your inputs. Yes, I pulled the connector and the engine changed to a different sound. But I also noticed that the clicking sound I heard on injector #1 when I put the connector back on was a little different from the rest of the injectors - like slower (?).
How complicated is replacing the fuel injectors? Any special precautions or tips? I've been told that it's a fairly simple job -disconnect battery, pull fuse, run engine dry, replace injector. Can I just pull an injector individually or do I go by the book and pull the whole fuel rail? Can I use aftermarket parts from Autozone?

Last edited by bobaustin; 02-26-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:05 PM
jserrano jserrano is offline
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From your description it sounds like the #1 injector has increased resistance. That is something you can easily test with a multimeter simply by comparing the reading with the rest of the injectors.



'94 Nissan Altima SE, 5spd. Ultra Red (AJ4).
Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps /w Silverstars, NGK Ignition wires.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:06 AM
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When I had to change mine I just took out the indivdual injectors. It wasn't too bad getting most of them back in.

P.s. - it's a saying I heard that ended up being true. "if you gotta change one, your probly gonna have to change 'em all

1994 Altima GXE
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:32 AM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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Strange thing is injector 1 (the 'bad' injector) measured 11.3 ohms (spec is 11-14). But this resistance is the resistance of the coil, right? So I suspect it is physically bad somehow - like clogged - although it may be electrically good. That's my thinking anyway. Yes, I plan to change all injectors - the vehicle has over 200K mi - but with money being tight right now, I'm going to start with injector 1 first and see how that goes. I sure hope it works!

Last edited by bobaustin; 02-27-2010 at 05:36 AM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:01 PM
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Okay, I replaced the "bad" injector #1 with a new one from Autozone. The old one did take some persuasion to remove, but I did it.
The car started and ran fine - no code. Until after a couple of miles, then all of the sudden the Engine Check light came on again. Same code "Cylinder 1 Misfiring".
Injector clicks fine.
So I have brand new plug, wire, distributor cap, rotor, injector.
I checked the plug well. No oil.
What gives?
Thanks again for any insight!
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:35 PM
jserrano jserrano is offline
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Some other possibilities I can think of that would cause a single-cylinder to misfire are,

1. A compression issues with #1 - need to do a leakdown or compression test to confirm.
2. Internal coolant leak. (Someone, I believe niceguy, once had a small coolant leak that was causing a single cylinder to misfire.)
3. Intake air leak to the #1 intake runner.
4. Clogged EGR ports in the intake runners that is sending the majority of the exhaust flow down #1. This in turn will upset the A/F in #1 and cause a misfire.



'94 Nissan Altima SE, 5spd. Ultra Red (AJ4).
Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps /w Silverstars, NGK Ignition wires.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:34 PM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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jserrano: Thanks for sharing your expertise. I took the car to a garage, and the mechanic said either valve or intake gasket. He hasn't looked at the car yet, but I'm dreading the estimate... Any ideas as to a "reasonable" ballpark cost for either scenario?
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:01 PM
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Okay. The mechanic said he couldn't find anything wrong with the ignition, fuel injection, valve compression. No vacuum or intake leaks either. He's thinking the head gasket went bad causing a coolant leak into cylinder #1. Unfortunately he cannot test for this yet, because he also discovered a radiator leak which has to be fixed first. So he quote me $400 for a new radiator, and $1800 for a new head gasket (assuming it's the head gasket that's causing the misfire). Can I just fix the radiator first and delay the head gasket job a while?
Thanks again for any advice.

Last edited by bobaustin; 03-01-2010 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:56 AM
jserrano jserrano is offline
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After the radiator leak repair he should be able to pressurize the cooling system to see if it drops in pressure over a relatively short time. Don't do the head gasket unless its 100% confirmation that it is causing the problem.



'94 Nissan Altima SE, 5spd. Ultra Red (AJ4).
Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps /w Silverstars, NGK Ignition wires.
ITEMS FOR SALE
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:47 PM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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Since I don't have a lot of money to put in a 13 y/o car with over 200K mi, I took the car back from the shop (after paying them for the diagnostics) and I'm going to work on it in my spare time:

1. Right now I'm thinking about fixing the radiator first, because a cooling leak is the most urgent item. A radiator shop told me they can replace the plastic tank for $170 (instead of replacing the whole radiator). Is this just a band-aid? Or shoud I order a new radiator and replace it myself? If I do it myself, what's the best way to clamp the A/T cooler hoses?

2. Does the '97 Altima have an ignition coil for each cylinder? If so, is it possible that my #1 misfire is caused by an ignition coil? Where is this coil located?

3. I discovered a slight oil leak in plug well #2, so the valve cover gasket is leaking. There was not a puddle in the well, just enough to wet the plug. Now plug #1 is bone dry. Is it possible for #1 misfire to be caused by this oil leak in #2?

Thanks again for any assistance!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:24 PM
drunkmunky drunkmunky is offline
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1997 altima's have an ignition coil mounted inside the distributor.

Your misfire may be caused by a bad valve cover seal inside, which is pouring oil into the spark plug stack and causing it to not fire properly.

Does the car sound like an impreza?

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:55 AM
bobaustin bobaustin is offline
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Update: I haven't fixed the radiator yet, but I've replaced the valve cover gasket (I did it myself). The oil leak seems to be gone as far as I can tell after several miles of testing. But the bad news is the check engine light came on again - same old thing: cylinder #1 misfire.
I've read that a head gasket is typically two adjacent cylinders misfiring, which makes me a little skeptical as to the mechanic's suggestion to change the head gasket.
Could my problem be related to the distributor - can a distributor oil leak cause a single cylinder misfiring?
Thanks again for any ideas on this.
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