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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I have a '94 Altima and at low RPMs the car gets jerky. It just starts jerking back and forth as if somebody was hitting the brakes a couple times a second. Also, on acceleration from a stop, it gets to about 1000 rpms and then dips back to about 800, then back up to 1000 then back to 800, etc until I hit the gas harder to get it through that 1000 rpm range. When driving at a constant speed, the jerking happens it seems anywhere under ~ 2000 rpms.

This was getting really bad lately, along with a very loud exhaust leak. It turns out that the flex pipe had broken open, and the muffler pipe had rusted off so there were 2 big leaks. Both were replaced on Friday and the car started running much smoother for a couple days (very rarely exhibiting the problem in paragraph 1). Today, it's cooler and very humid, and the problem's back. Does anybody know what it could be?

Friday I had the flex pipe and muffler replaced, oil and filter change (factory filter, valvoline maxlife synthetic oil), and air filter replaced. The car has 135,500 miles on it. The mechanic can't figure out why my car is doing this. Please help?

Edited to add: BTW, the mechanic hooked up a machine to my car's computer (using the link in the fuse panel) and said there are no codes.

Thanks,
DB
 

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Warranties fear me
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is it auto or a manual?? have you looked at the motor mounts??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's an automatic. I don't know how to check the motor mounts. How would they cause this problem? The mechanic did check the spark plugs and said they look OK? He sprayed some stuff on them and it didn't help any.

DB
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jayman,

What am I looking for? For all I know the wires are the original that came on the car. I don't know how to tell if they're bad. They appear to be plugged in though.

DB
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok folks,

I went out this morning and checked the tranny fluid. The fluid is pretty red (not dirty), and has no smell (service manual said to check for "burnt" odor). That said, there is a WHOLE LOT of tranny fluid in there. The car is cold, it's in the 60s here and it's been sitting overnight. The dipstick has a little grid on it, and the top of that grid says "HOT", which I take to mean that when the engine is hot that the fluid should go up to that level. Well, the fluid goes up past that level, past the "S" shape in the dipstick, and up another inch or two. Do I have WAY TOO MUCH tranny fluid? It's been like this for probably a year. Should I take some out?

Also, could somebody please tell me where this filter/screen is on my tranny? I know nothing about cars....would it be possible for me to take it out and clean it myself (without losing all my tranny fluid)? I have car ramps and could get the car in the air to get under it, but it'd have to be easy with detailed instructions. The place I normally take my car doesn't do trannys, so if this is simple I'd like to do it myself.

So, here's my questions.

1.) Do I have too much tranny fluid, and should I take some out?

2.) How (if possible) can I clean the filter/screen on my tranny myself. It's an automatic transmission.

Thanks,
DB
 

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Hey,

I have the same problem, and I think it may be the Idle Air Control valve. I haven't been able to check it out completely, but toying with it and tweaking it with my hands seems to help, though not for very long. Also, see if the vacuum hoses on your intake are tight. I had bad hoses on my intake that caused all kinds of low idle problems. Anyways, let us know what you find out.
 

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Same problem here on my 90 Stanza at 2000-2500 rpm. I ran a hose from the intake and sucked some seafoam thru. That fixed it instantly, but it came back after two days. I'm gonna dig a little deeper. I'll keep ya informed.
 

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Could very well be your distributor starting to go...or should I say the Camshaft Position Sensor. There is a seal that stops oil from getting in and all over the electric eye...if the seal is fu!$ed then it throws off the eye and will start to jerk the car...eventually your car will stall, die out and wont start for awhile untill the oil runs off the sensor. The same thing happened to me and it started exactly the same way...now I can only drive for about 20 mins before the oil leaks in and messes with my sensor. Then the car stalls out and wont start for 15min-2hrs depending :( check out the seals if you feel brave. Keep in mind to note the exact position of your distributor before you take it off
 

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got widebody?®
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I have an original Nissan Altima auto tranny filter still in its box if you need one. Not sure of they vary by year? I think this one is for second gen but maybe it doesn't matter. I have a 1993 5 speed anyways so it's obviously not for mine. :D
 

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Gabrel said:
Could very well be your distributor starting to go...or should I say the Camshaft Position Sensor. There is a seal that stops oil from getting in and all over the electric eye...if the seal is fu!$ed then it throws off the eye and will start to jerk the car...eventually your car will stall, die out and wont start for awhile untill the oil runs off the sensor. The same thing happened to me and it started exactly the same way...now I can only drive for about 20 mins before the oil leaks in and messes with my sensor. Then the car stalls out and wont start for 15min-2hrs depending :( check out the seals if you feel brave. Keep in mind to note the exact position of your distributor before you take it off
I was having the same problem with my '94 5-speed Altima. Put in a new distributor and everything is working fine again. My mechanic also lowered the idle speed while he was at it.
 

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It's almost over now!!
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ok...there's a ton of threads on this...I will give you a list of all possibilities to look at.
-fouled plugs/wires
-oil in distributor (cheap o-ring fix)
-cap/rotor failing in distributor
-oil seeping into plug holes due to leak in valve cover gasket
-coolant temp sensor may be bad
-bad/dirty/old injectors
-bad/dirty/old fuel filter
-TPS (throttle position sensor) screw may need adjustment
-Upper/lower intake manifold gasket is failing (this was my fix, it's a bit pricey in comparison to the others, but it's the last thing checked)
-MAFS (mass airflow sensor) may be going out on you.

this actually covers alot of what could be the issue, have a mechanic overlook all of these spots and I'll bet he finds one of these to be the fault!
 

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Yep, check the above, starting w/the easiest and cheapest...plugs/wires/cap/rotor....also if the fuel filter is dirty/clogged, it will cause this but it could be one of the other things bushdog posted...Process of elimination, or replacement and then elimination.. :)

Jeremy
 

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Breu Meister
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check distributor cap and rotor... mine was like a brucking bronco and it died... opened the hood and a hole was in my distributor cap causing sparks to leap out. replaced it with rotor and car was like butter.
 
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