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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 94 Altima that's giving me a lot of problems. Here is the story. All of a sudden without any warning or sign, the car won't start (trying to leave a resturant parking lot). It will crank and crank and crank, lights work and everything, but no start. Mess around with it to no real avail, wait a little while and it finally coaxes in to a start and starts on up (little sluggish though)... Start driving home and notice the rpm gauge dropping off and spiking back up rapidly (this is while driving, which makes for a bumby ride).. The car barely ran as long as I kept it under 2000 rpm or so, but this maximum rpm began to get smaller and smaller until it died at an intersection. Call a tow truck and get the car pushed out of the road. Tow truck arrives and the tow truck driver tries to start my car to get it positioned for the truck. Car starts right up and runs fine. I get it towed to a shop and the shop looks at it and determines it is my ignition coil, dist. cap, button and rotor. So all of that gets replaced totalling $400 parts/labor (I haven't check on all these parts myself, Is that outlandish?)... I pick the car up and drive it home. Take it out that night to eat. Get food, car starts back up fine. Take it for a drive and once I get about 6 miles from home, it dies just like before with the rpm spikes. Realizing that if I let the car sit for about 10 min. it will start back up, I leapfrog it back home, dying once more on the way. It went about 4 miles before dying the first time after leaving the resturant. Take it back to the shop and raise some hell. Talk to them again later, and they say it's the fuel pump / relay (which is what I thought it might have been all along) so that gets replaced for about $200 parts (didn't charge me labor thank God).. Picked it up today and drove to a friends house. Tried to leave there, and the car, once again, did not start. I'm at a loss... Has anyone expirenced this problem, or have any idea what it might be? Remember that the car does turn over fine at all times, electrical system appears fine. It really seemed like the car wasn't getting fuel, but with the new fuel pump I don't know if that's still a possibility.

Delekhan
 

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What kind of shop are you taking it to? Can you trust them? I recomend you pick up a haynes manual and check the error codes, that might give you a clue as to what's going on. You could also try taking it to a Nissan Dealer, it might cost a little more, but they'll find the problem right away. They might also try to sell you a bunch of other stuff you don't need. Anyway, don't be ready to pay a buch of money unless you're sure you know the cause of the problem. It's usually just one thing, not a combination of things.
 

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I had it happen 2 times in my 95. I know what you mean. The car drives and then just dies. It is actually a computer problem. Take it to Nissan. They can fix it for not that much. Luckly my warrenty was still working, so I had it covered for free. It is a computer problem though with our Nissan's. Call Nissan and ask them. I think it is pretty common. Email me if you have any other questions man. [email protected]
 

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Illest in Nebraska
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the fuel hose that comes off of the fuel filter, I forget what it's connected to but if it's not tight then it could cause the fuel to go back to the tank and have to be sucked straight from the tank everytime you try to start it. that was a prob my sisters car had last week just tightened it up and it was cool. maybe not your problem but worth a try
 

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Sad to say, symptoms like these never mean just ONE problem,
especially with ANY shop or dealership. However, just wanted to
let you know the same thing happened to my '93 w/ about 125k.
It would usually crank fine, sometimes a little hesitant or lopey
after, but would drive fine for no set period of time for a week or
two when it started dying all over the place w/ no warning.
I barely got it to a shop and found out the distributors are
usually a big part of the problem. Mine had oil leaking past a
seal, and another distrib. solved it. Plus they had a used one
w/ low miles which may or may not last but it runs fine for now.
Also had the throttle body cleaned a few months later cause it
seemed to be doing the same thing and that fixed THAT problem.
Hope any of this helps, otherwise, it's usually best to start w/ the
cheapest symptom or at least check it out first. There's always
plenty of more expensive options after!
 

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donor cycle
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sounds like your distributor is going out.
 

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Same thing happened to me before, turns out it was the crank angle sensor, it costed about $600 parts and labor to fix. It still sometimes sputters when I turn it over while the engine is still hot (if I park it for 10 minutes and start it back up). I'm not sure what's goin on. tune up didn't fix it. Oh well, atleast it's starting for me now.
 

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Resistance is futile
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kenshi said:
I wonder if we'll ever find out what it is?
No - he had to sell his computer to pay for an oil change at that garage....
 

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this has happened to my car several times..here are a few things to check:
1. fuel filter, it might be clogged up, changed a new one for like $5, do it urself job
2. fuel tubes, makes sure these are tight and not leaking
3. intake, make sure air is actually going in..i removed one of the resonators, the weird shaped one after the maf..and the plug i used was loose, and that causes the engine to shut down..
4. plugs that go into the maf, the one on top ( think it has 3 or 4 pins) clean it..mine had green stuff on it and the plug was loose..cleaned the green stuff, and made it tight, solved the problem
5. distributor, oil leaking into the distributor, i'm still having this problem, from what i hear, a new distributor will fix it..i had all the gaskets on the engine done and it was still leaking..so i'll be putting in a new distributor when i get enough money..

if these don't fix it, u're screwed..haha..i've had the car die on me so many times..and each time, one of these was the problem..good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input guys. I'm gonna give some of your suggestions to the shop guys, and maybe they'll diagnose the problem rather than just guessing and replacing all the parts. Since they've done work on the fuel and ignition systems, and I've got a new fuel pump, distributor cap, and ignition coil, the suggestion about the altima's computer perhaps malfunctioning seems possible. BTW, the check engine light isn't coming on. I don't think any error codes are being generated. The car tends to die when it's hot, and won't start when it's cold.

Thanks

Delekhan
 

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had the same problem

I had the same problem a few weeks ago. I have a 95. The shop replaced the distributor assembly which was $500 in labor and parts. After all that the check engine light came on. I tried to reset the ECU but that did not work. Now the engines cuts off when driving periodically and the door locks and lights go on and off like it is posessed. I know mine for sure it is something electrical and not any fuel pumps but I wish it was cause it is a clear cut reason. Good luck, mine is back in the shop.
 
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