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Old 06-26-2002, 03:21 PM   #1
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Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

I have a '99 Maxima GXE. About three weeks ago, while running the air conditioner and while stopped at a redlight, I noticed that the motor was "jerking" like it was either wanting to go on or wanted to die out. It never has died out on me and it runs good when it is in motion. However, while idling, it constantly has a jerk, miss or surge in the motor. I don't know the correct car terminology. All I know is my car is doing something weird that it hasn't always done. Also, it is now making the same jerking action whether the air conditioner is running or not. Occasionally, say I am driving up a hill, the motor will sort of jerk like I have described above, especially when I don't push the gas pedal down all that much.

I took it in to a local Nissan dealership this week. No computer diagnostic codes came up. They really had no clue what was causing the problem. They thought it might be dirty fuel injectors, torque converter problem, transmission problem or ignition coil problem.

They ruled out the transmission, but were still sort of puzzled.
They decided to simply do a 60,000 mile maintenance job on the car. They cleaned the fuel injectors, changed spark plugs, adjusted timing chain, changed all filters and fluids, etc. Of course, they thought the problem had been cleared up, but within an hour of driving away it came back.

Anybody else had this problem? Anyone have any guesses at to what it could be?

Shawn

P.S. I use at least 91 Octane gas always.
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:30 AM   #2
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i have this same problem. I dont know what it is either. I have tooken it to a dealer in Texas n they dont know. I have an appointment with a dealer in california next week. ill let u know wat they come up with.
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:38 AM   #3
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Sounds like it might be that your throttle body is really dirty or could me MAF sensor related
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:43 AM   #4
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Did they hook up a Fuel pressure gauge to your car? I am having a similiar problem though I know mine is fuel pressure related, car kinda jerks at partial throttle due to fuel pressure going up and down...
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Old 07-09-2002, 02:56 AM   #5
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I have this on my family's Auto max (my old car). Man...it's very annoying right now.

I remember though, I used to have this problem. I put in a bottle of Chevron Techron Concentrate, and stuck to the highest octane (from a dependable station) since. And it fixed the problem...

but since I've left the Max at home for a month or two, I think my dad cheaped out and filled it up with 89, or maybe Arco gasoline.

I'd tell you to search, but you've described my problem so well that I'll just let someone who knows the answer explain it.

Oh yeah, and it ISNT your throttle body. I tried cleaning that before. It's funny because you have a 99 Maxima, it should be in top condition. We have to figure out the common problem between a 96 (like mine) and a newer model, 99, like yours.
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Old 07-09-2002, 03:20 AM   #6
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My brothers 99SEL had same kind of symtoms... His prob was a bad Coil...
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Old 07-09-2002, 07:17 AM   #7
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Try:
- Cleaning Throttle Body (can't hurt)
- Did they change the PCV valve?
- Look at IACV (idle air control valve)
- Clean or replace your air filter (do you have a CAI?)
- Check the MAF sensor
- How's the tension on the throttle cable?

I had a similar problem in a previous car and it was a clogged EGR valve, maybe a possibility?
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Old 07-09-2002, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by breaux124
Try:
- Cleaning Throttle Body (can't hurt)
- Did they change the PCV valve?
- Look at IACV (idle air control valve)
- Clean or replace your air filter (do you have a CAI?)
- Check the MAF sensor
- How's the tension on the throttle cable?

I had a similar problem in a previous car and it was a clogged EGR valve, maybe a possibility?
I have the same problems!!!
And, i've done all that's above...i recently got a MAFS code...does
anyone think a vaccuum leak caused this??? I'm gonna post again...

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Old 07-09-2002, 10:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by FLO_BOY
anyone think a vaccuum leak caused this??? I'm gonna post again...

FLO_BOY
It could. My car definitely acted like it was misfiring. Thought one of th coils or injectors was out. However, when I went at the injectors with a stethescope, I also heard a loud swushing from the intake manifold. The car was visibly jerking and sputtering at idle and when reving the engine and then disengaging the clutch, it would drop rpms badly and often stall out. After tightening up the from manifold bolts, the leak was gone and the car was back to silky smooth. I suppose any of the tubing to the manifold could be potential leak sites. Certainly though, since the symptoms are so common, especially among cars as new as 99, i doubt the problem would be vacuum leaks...
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Old 07-09-2002, 01:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mishmosh
Certainly though, since the symptoms are so common, especially among cars as new as 99, i doubt the problem would be vacuum leaks...
I believe its a vaccuum leak because the problem is MORE apparent when
the engine is cold...and it is intermittent (although, happening more
and more now), which makes me think its a vaccuum leak, because as the
engine gets warmer, the tubes/pipes expand closing the leak...

anyone else?

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Old 07-09-2002, 01:38 PM   #11
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i had a similar problem in my wifes honda

it sounds like your car has more trouble when you are putting strain on the motor (ie air conditioning or accelerating) than say at idle, my wifes honda accord had this problem and soon later you started noticing fuel smells under the hood...turned out to be fuel injectors were bad...had to replace them and the problem went away with no problems since.
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:36 PM   #12
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Since I posted the first message in this thread, I have used Octane Boost once. For the first day I thought the problem had somewhat cleared up. Well, its back and worse than ever. Actually, the engine is jerking now as I am slowing down to make a turn, etc. It was only doing it while stopped and idling.

Based on everything that I have read here and in other threads, I believe that I will take my car back in and have them look at the coils. I know nothing about any of this, but, to me, that is the most logical place to start the next go round. I am going to try different gas stations in the meantime to see if that helps, but I am being realistic about that solution.

If anyone else has any suggestions or solutions, please post them as I will make sure all suggestions get attention when I take my car in to have it looked over.

Thanks
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Old 07-12-2002, 06:44 AM   #13
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Try resetting the idle according to the Nissan shop manual procedures. I just did that on my '97 and have noticed an incredible difference in drivability. While doing the procedure, I disconnected the throttle position sensor as described in the manual, revved the motor to 2-3K, but couldn't get it to idle. So I had to set the idle screw way up to start with, then work my way back down to 650 RPM. Apparently my idle was set way too low and the system was trying to compensate which made the car run poorly. The last step of the procedure has you clear out the error codes in the computer AND the automatic transmission. This is a very important step as it "resets" everything and lines up the idle, computer and auto tranny. It made a HUGE difference in drivability and was FREE! It's worth a try. Don't forget the last step...it is essential to make everything work correctly! Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2002, 07:17 AM   #14
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same problem w/ mazad

i have and had same promblem w/ my girl's mazad. Turns out that there was a hole or split in this tube connected to the throttle body. I don't know exactly what the tube is called, but it looks like an accordion. He put duct tape around it and it ran like new. The tube is connected to the fuel injector on the mazad. The problem i had was that the rpm would drop down and pop up when i came to a stop. it would do this until i began to drive. Then once i started driving, it would buck. But once i got rolling at high speeds, it would run fine. I started having the problem again, but just added more duct tape and it runs fine again. Let me know what you find when you inspect your tube. I'll find out the correct name of this tube and let you know.
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Old 07-12-2002, 09:33 AM   #15
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vaccuum leak

vaccuum leak is my (guess) My Expedition had the exact same problem, but it also showed a code for it. It was just a loose hose.
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Old 07-12-2002, 10:14 AM   #16
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Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

Try cleaning out our idle air control...mine was carbonized and cleaning it did the job..i had a problem where my car would start and jerk at times....and then sometimes would just completely shut down.....what does ur max idle at when u turn it on?.....does it jerk while u have the foot on the gas or only when ur foot is off the gas?....when i would let off the gas my RPMs would almost drop to 0 and the car almost turned off but it would jerk back up most of the time....plus have u noticed the check engine light on at all (doesnt have to be consistently on)...get back to me...i think i am right for once!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2002, 10:46 AM   #17
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Re: Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

Quote:
Originally posted by KGBSJU
Try cleaning out our idle air control...mine was carbonized and cleaning it did the job..i had a problem where my car would start and jerk at times....and then sometimes would just completely shut down.....what does ur max idle at when u turn it on?.....does it jerk while u have the foot on the gas or only when ur foot is off the gas?....when i would let off the gas my RPMs would almost drop to 0 and the car almost turned off but it would jerk back up most of the time....plus have u noticed the check engine light on at all (doesnt have to be consistently on)...get back to me...i think i am right for once!!!!!

for my situation, I already cleaned this...

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Old 07-12-2002, 12:34 PM   #18
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clean your throttle body and check the spark plug boots at the ends of the ignition coils. IF they are ripped, torn or even slightly worn it can cause ignition spark to miss the spark plug. This is what was wrong with my car. Change the boots!
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Old 07-12-2002, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

Quote:
Originally posted by FLO_BOY



for my situation, I already cleaned this...

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Old 08-15-2002, 12:37 PM   #20
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Alright, here I am again to update on my original post.

My car has been acting the same way as reported in the original message of this thread. However, last week, it started bucking or jerking while I was actually moving down the road. It would do so if I had to ease off the gas for a second. It had only been acting up while sitting in idle.

I took it in to another Nissan dealership and within a few minutes they came out and said Bad Coil pack. No question. It is causing one cylinder to misfire badly. Had to special order coil pack, so I will let you know later if this worked.

I do have some related questions on this issue:

(1) What are the disadvantages to replacing just the one coil pack at this time. They recommended changing all six at once, but I don't have the dough. Am I just causing more problems by changing the one coil pack?


(2) When this problem first started, I took car in. Dealership said 60,000 mile tune up will fix problem. It didn't, but that is another story for another time. Anyway, as part of tune up, they were supposed to replace spark plugs. Yesterday, the other dealership recommended in addition to replacing coil pack that I change spark plugs. I told them other dealership changed them less than 1,000 miles ago. They stopped short of saying the first dealership ripped me off, but hinted that is what happened.

Ok, with the bad coil pack, should those brand new spark plugs look worse for wear? Only a 1,000 miles have been put on car since new plugs were supposedly installed?

(3) Finally, first dealership had no idea what was causing the problem in my car. Second dealership found the problem in about 15 minutes. No diagnostic codes ever showed up to help them out. First dealership said there were no Technical Bulletins issued on my car that resembled my problem. Second dealership said there has been a Technical Bulletin issued on that problem on my car for awhile and that it was the first thing they checked out.

What is going on with that first dealership? Is it common for some dealerships to miss Technical Bulletins? What is difference in Technical Bulletin and a Recall Notice? Is the dealer responsible for any of the costs of repair on a Technical Bulletin?

Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:46 PM   #21
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Re: Re: Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

Quote:
Originally posted by FLO_BOY



for my situation, I already cleaned this...

FLO_BOY

I FIXED IT!!!

long story short --> bad MAFS wiring!!!

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Old 08-15-2002, 03:34 PM   #22
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Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

Quote:
Originally posted by SLHines
I have a '99 Maxima GXE. About three weeks ago, while running the air conditioner and while stopped at a redlight, I noticed that the motor was "jerking" like it was either wanting to go on or wanted to die out. It never has died out on me and it runs good when it is in motion. However, while idling, it constantly has a jerk, miss or surge in the motor. I don't know the correct car terminology. All I know is my car is doing something weird that it hasn't always done. Also, it is now making the same jerking action whether the air conditioner is running or not. Occasionally, say I am driving up a hill, the motor will sort of jerk like I have described above, especially when I don't push the gas pedal down all that much.

I took it in to a local Nissan dealership this week. No computer diagnostic codes came up. They really had no clue what was causing the problem. They thought it might be dirty fuel injectors, torque converter problem, transmission problem or ignition coil problem.

They ruled out the transmission, but were still sort of puzzled.
They decided to simply do a 60,000 mile maintenance job on the car. They cleaned the fuel injectors, changed spark plugs, adjusted timing chain, changed all filters and fluids, etc. Of course, they thought the problem had been cleared up, but within an hour of driving away it came back.

Anybody else had this problem? Anyone have any guesses at to what it could be?

Shawn

P.S. I use at least 91 Octane gas always.
BAD COIL PACK would have been my guess

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Old 08-16-2002, 04:15 AM   #23
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Bad Coil Pack?

Ihave a 99SE and have the exact same prob as the original post. So I tested my coil's acording to chilton's specs. Chilton says the harness connector to the coil pack is supposed to read "around 0.8 ohms resistance". Sure enough I got 0.68, 0.72 on 2 coil packs. I was wondering if anyone knows if this warrants a "bad coil pack"????? Or is 0.68 "around" 0.8? Gosh I hate chiltons! What the heck am I supposed to make out of "around". couldnt they be more acurate?
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Old 08-16-2002, 06:54 AM   #24
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Re: Bad Coil Pack?

Quote:
Originally posted by $tillen$ux
Ihave a 99SE and have the exact same prob as the original post. So I tested my coil's acording to chilton's specs. Chilton says the harness connector to the coil pack is supposed to read "around 0.8 ohms resistance". Sure enough I got 0.68, 0.72 on 2 coil packs. I was wondering if anyone knows if this warrants a "bad coil pack"????? Or is 0.68 "around" 0.8? Gosh I hate chiltons! What the heck am I supposed to make out of "around". couldnt they be more acurate?
if i am correct..your gonna have to double check me on this it looks like your coil pack could be ok. espicially the one that reads 0.72
you might want to check the gapping on the spark plugs and while doing that check out the coil pack to see if they are bad. your worse case scenario could be a malfunction fuel injector or if your lucky they might just be dirty. you might want to check your ecu on your own. i took my 99se to the dealer five times and everytime they came back with the statment the car is running fine and there were no probs. i checked my ecu and sure enough i got the code for cylinder five misfire. there is also a tsb on this you might want to check out from what i hear. i havnt looked at it myself but on a few other posts i have read about it. good luck!! i know how frustrating it could be. let me know if this helps or not.
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Old 08-16-2002, 07:10 AM   #25
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Re: Re: Bad Coil Pack?

I have two coils that need only new booths. I can hook you up with them for like 25 each. Let me know. Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2002, 06:11 PM   #26
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Re: Engine Jerks/Misses while Car Is Idling

i had same problem. i went to the junkyard and picked up a trhotle body with the tps attached and it solved my problem
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Old 08-24-2002, 09:39 AM   #27
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all I can tell you is that I had the same exact problem and it came down to a bad coil in #1 cylinder, spent $100 on diagnostics for some ECU codes that led to that coil and another $70 to replace it, so far the jerk dissapeared but the check engine light stayed on and I'm wroking on resetting it, any ideas?
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Old 11-12-2002, 02:45 PM   #28
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New coils packs....

Quote:
Originally posted by SLHines
Alright, here I am again to update on my original post.

My car has been acting the same way as reported in the original message of this thread. However, last week, it started bucking or jerking while I was actually moving down the road. It would do so if I had to ease off the gas for a second. It had only been acting up while sitting in idle.

I took it in to another Nissan dealership and within a few minutes they came out and said Bad Coil pack. No question. It is causing one cylinder to misfire badly. Had to special order coil pack, so I will let you know later if this worked.

I do have some related questions on this issue:

(1) What are the disadvantages to replacing just the one coil pack at this time. They recommended changing all six at once, but I don't have the dough. Am I just causing more problems by changing the one coil pack?


(2) When this problem first started, I took car in. Dealership said 60,000 mile tune up will fix problem. It didn't, but that is another story for another time. Anyway, as part of tune up, they were supposed to replace spark plugs. Yesterday, the other dealership recommended in addition to replacing coil pack that I change spark plugs. I told them other dealership changed them less than 1,000 miles ago. They stopped short of saying the first dealership ripped me off, but hinted that is what happened.

Ok, with the bad coil pack, should those brand new spark plugs look worse for wear? Only a 1,000 miles have been put on car since new plugs were supposedly installed?

(3) Finally, first dealership had no idea what was causing the problem in my car. Second dealership found the problem in about 15 minutes. No diagnostic codes ever showed up to help them out. First dealership said there were no Technical Bulletins issued on my car that resembled my problem. Second dealership said there has been a Technical Bulletin issued on that problem on my car for awhile and that it was the first thing they checked out.

What is going on with that first dealership? Is it common for some dealerships to miss Technical Bulletins? What is difference in Technical Bulletin and a Recall Notice? Is the dealer responsible for any of the costs of repair on a Technical Bulletin?

Thanks.
Hi there!

So, did you get to put on the new coil packs?
If so, what happened? Did the problem go away?

Thanks,
FLO_BOY
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Old 11-14-2002, 08:26 AM   #29
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Same problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by SLHines


I took it in to another Nissan dealership and within a few minutes they came out and said Bad Coil pack. No question. It is causing one cylinder to misfire badly. Had to special order coil pack, so I will let you know later if this worked.


(2) Second dealership said there has been a Technical Bulletin issued on that problem on my car for awhile and that it was the first thing they checked out.


Thanks.
Do you by any chance remember this TSB?

I have the same problem and I took my 99 SE twice to the dealer. First time they could not reproduce the problem, and second time ( different dealer) they tried to charge me for labor only to say the same.

My car is under extended warranty, so I think they should fix it. But without TSB I'm helpless in this fight.
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Old 11-14-2002, 09:41 AM   #30
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:48 PM   #31
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Re: Same problem.

I dont remember the TSB but however what you could do is check your ecu codes. ANd that will tell you if the cylinder is misfiring or not. It will be a soft code unless you drive real rough and occurs a multiple of times in a short period if will register as a semi-hard code. I suggest that if one day your driving home and you feel your car jerk then when you get home dont turn your car off right away. Get your tools out and then turn the engine off, but not the car. Then read your ecu and it should tell you what's up. If it says a cylinder misfire most likely it is the coil pack. Depending on your extended warranty if it is silver or gold it is covered. You have to pay your deductible which should only be around 50 and your set. Try to get them to change all six coils if you find one that is bad. GOod luck!




Quote:
Originally posted by ALOHA1973


Do you by any chance remember this TSB?

I have the same problem and I took my 99 SE twice to the dealer. First time they could not reproduce the problem, and second time ( different dealer) they tried to charge me for labor only to say the same.

My car is under extended warranty, so I think they should fix it. But without TSB I'm helpless in this fight.
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Old 11-25-2002, 09:34 AM   #32
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Re: Re: Same problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by OAKMaX
IANd that will tell you if the cylinder is misfiring or not. It will be a soft code unless you drive real rough and occurs a multiple of times in a short period if will register as a semi-hard code. I suggest that if one day your driving home and you feel your car jerk then when you get home dont turn your car off right away. Get your tools out and then turn the engine off, but not the car.
Hello...couple of Qs:

1) A "soft code"? what's that?
2) Turn the engine off, but not the car? OK...but, you can only pull
codes if the ignition is in the "ON" position...so, turn it off,
and then turn the key back to "ON"?

Also, SLHines --> what happened?!?!? Did you solve your problem???

Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2002, 11:34 AM   #33
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Re: Re: Re: Same problem.

you turn the enigine off and put the key into the spot where the radio stays on but the engine is off...and then you put it in II but dont turn the engine on. and you will be able to read your codes.


Quote:
Originally posted by FLO_BOY


Hello...couple of Qs:

1) A "soft code"? what's that?
2) Turn the engine off, but not the car? OK...but, you can only pull
codes if the ignition is in the "ON" position...so, turn it off,
and then turn the key back to "ON"?

Also, SLHines --> what happened?!?!? Did you solve your problem???

Thanks!
FLO_BOY
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Old 11-25-2002, 11:48 AM   #34
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Same problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by OAKMaX
you turn the enigine off and put the key into the spot where the radio stays on but the engine is off...and then you put it in II but dont turn the engine on. and you will be able to read your codes.
just tried this...my car "died" or stalled...and when I checked for
codes, all i received was a 5/5 - which is no codes.

maybe my ECU is bad?

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Old 11-25-2002, 02:05 PM   #35
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I am the original poster on this thread and here is my update. I took a chance on the problem being a bad coil pack and went ahead and ordered it through the Nissan dealership. It took the dealership about 15 minutes to actually do the installation when I took it back. The problem went away immediately. I only replaced the one coil pack even though the dealer recommended changing all of them at once. I feared that if one started going bad, all of them would start to give out. However, it has been at least 3 months since I had the work done and have not experienced a single problem. COIL PACK was DEFINITELY the problem on my car.

What did I learn from this experience? First, some dealerships are rotten, dirty and do not belong in the free market system. Remember the first dealership tried to scare me saying Transmission, Torque Convertor, blah blah blah, and then gave me the "good news" that I only needed a 60,000 tune up. $500 later I am convinced the dealership was too lazy to actually look for the problem.

The second dealership found the problem in less than 15 minutes and fixed it in about another 15 minutes. Dealership #2 said there was a TSB on the problem and didn't know why Dealership #1 missed it. Said it was a common problem. I also asked the first dealership about coil problem based on what I had learned on this website. They said it could be coil pack but that there was no TSB on problem. Dealership #2 also questioned whether Dealership #1 actually performed all work it was supposed to under 60,000 tune up.

Everyone on this board gave great suggestions and some were dead on right (You know who you are). Thanks for all your help. Hopefully, I can drive my car with a peaceful mind now that the problem has been corrected. I absolutely loved my car before this problem started happening. After my car started to have trouble, I told all my friends I felt like my car had had an affair on me. I just didn't feel I could trust her anymore. She is back in my good graces for now.

Thanks for your help and putting up with my post.

Shawn Hines
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Old 11-25-2002, 02:05 PM
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