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stall, rattle, low idle, hard start

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stall, rattle, low idle, hard start

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Old 07-05-2018, 02:24 PM
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stall, rattle, low idle, hard start

  • '95 Maxima suddenly stalled in traffic at stop. several engagements of starter to get engine running. rattling noise when engine running at low RPM. noise goes away at higher RPM. Any ideas what the problem might be? idle now too low and stalls. hard to start. seems like gas flow issue. some smoke coming from engine when turned off (no odor) but the smoke did not happen before this rattle, stall issue which began twenty minutes ago. Happy to report I went to move the car and it started with no issue nor rattling sound when moving. (I don't mean to spoil the learning process as one reads through this thread but possibly save lots of effort by) ► check the coolant level in the radiator.

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Old 07-05-2018, 03:06 PM
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Has tge check engine light been on a while?

Are other lights on as well?
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:08 PM
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Is unusual smoke coming from the tailpipe?

If so, what color? Does it smell like unburned gasoline back there?
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:04 PM
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Check the 1st post in the following thread to determine if you have similar symptoms as shown in the video.

https://maxima.org/forums/4th-genera...e-exhaust.html
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:28 AM
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Next time you're at the gas station ... DON'T use the green nozzle.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:53 AM
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Heys guys, thanks for the responses. Now I know to be careful when selecting a pump nozzle at the gas station yet I had not filled with diesel. Did not notice any smoke from tail pipe. Next afternoon was 108 degrees outside. I went to the car to go to a doctor's appt. Turned the key, dashboard lights were on but silence from the starter motor. no cranking, no clicking. I juggled the battery cables and reached along the positive cable pulling from the starter motor towards the battery post but no change. Took a bus to the doc, got home and watched a youtube video about inserting a jumper wire in the socket of the starter relay to bypass some safety measures and a possible bad relay. this morning I went to the car with a voltmeter, power bank jump starter, and wire jumper. Battery measured 12.6v with no load, I reached down between battery and firewall on driver's side and rattled the wires and connectors. turned the ignition key and car started right up! Interesting to me that I had encountered the low rpm rattling and low idle, then was able to move the car without issue after a twenty minute break, next day no cranking of starter motor, yet following morning starts fine. Seems to be two separate issues. 1- Getting current to crank the starter motor and 2- gas flow to the warmed up engine.

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Old 07-07-2018, 11:22 AM
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Our cars have a known problem with the electrical portion of the ignition switch. It's a 30 dollar part.

Instructions are in the stickies.

I'm not saying that this is your problem, but it is a likely cause.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:27 PM
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Day after taking bus was hot too. Although at 9 AM, engine started easily but at 3 PM NO CRANKING WHEN TURNING KEY. Lifted hood and jiggled wires/connectors on driver's side between battery and firewall. Engine started. Drove 3 miles RT to Post Office and back. At 7 PM engine started easily to drive 3.5 miles RT to Walgreens and back.

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Old 07-08-2018, 04:40 PM
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Well you seem pretty determined it's got something to do with the wiring on the firewall why not have someone hold it one direction and test it 5times, hold it in another direction test it 5 times, etc. I do think the ignition switch is a good item to check
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:32 PM
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Several days later (four) I went to the car but no cranking. this after starting each day for four miles errands. I lift the hood and jiggle the wires between battery and firewall and pull the positive battery cables. still no cranking. Next I lift the top off the fuse case on the front driver's side wheel well near the battery. I saw one fuse socket marked IGN and pulled it out. There were two pins and I put it back. I touched/wiggled a couple of other fuses then put the top back on the fuse case. Turn the key and the starter cranks. Yes I am aware of faulty ignition switch operated by key and yet it is interesting that jiggling cables or fuses corrects whatever was preventing the starter cranking. A few weeks later I realized I needed to clean and reshape the negative battery cable clamp so the nut bolt could get tighter.

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Old 07-11-2018, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jayboydog View Post
Several days later (four) I went to the car but no cranking. this after starting each day for four miles errands. I lift the hood and jiggle the wires between battery and firewall and pull the positive battery cables. still no cranking. Next I lift the top off the fuse case on the front driver's side wheel well near the battery. I saw one fuse socket marked IGN and pulled it out. There were two pins and I put it back. I touched/wiggled a couple of other fuses then put the top back on the fuse case. Turn the key and the starter cranks. Yes I am aware of faulty ignition switch operated by key and yet it is interesting that jiggling cables or fuses corrects whatever was preventing the starter cranking.
Jiggling wires would help if it were a broken wire. But thats not gonna be the case unless you yourself caused it. Pulling the fuse has nothing in common with jiggling wires. You're just getting lucky and are 0% closer to solving your issue.


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Old 07-12-2018, 12:02 AM
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Hard starting usual is a sign of a fuel pump going out not able to pump enough volume/quanity to the engine...Or a defective water temp sensor...You might want to pull your codes!
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CMax03 View Post
Hard starting usual is a sign of a fuel pump going out not able to pump enough volume/quanity to the engine...Or a defective water temp sensor...You might want to pull your codes!
Pull your codes. They have fuel pressure gauges you can borrow from the auto stores to test your fuel pump. The crankshaft sensor on the front of the car below the exhaust can cause no starts or hard starts or rough running of the engine. Many things can, the MAF, fuel pump, injectors, coil packs, the crank and cam sensors. The "rattling" noise could of been many things, if an engine isn't running right it will tend to shake, this could be indirectly causing the rattle in a number of ways from anywhere on the car.

The issue could be anything that's been listed so far but most of them will give you a check engine light and a code to be read at an auto store telling you what's wrong
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:44 PM
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Check if you have injector signal, check for ignition, check your Water temp sensor!
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:17 PM
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Thanks for all the comments. It's been four weeks since the first time car stalled. I had noticed the negative cable clamp on the battery was loose. needed to reshape the clamp so I could use the nut and bolt to tighten the clamp further. I took the clamp off the battery post, used a wire brush on the post and clamp, then placed a metal rod that is a long rectangle 1/8" wide between the bolt and circle of the clamp and squeezed the circle with a vise grip wrench. car was running fine for two miles and then stalled. I believe the rattling sound is the valves from incomplete combustion. returned home. I want to focus on the fuel pump. I had been told the fuel pump pressure was low a couple years ago when I was aware of needing to crank the starter motor a few times to fire up the cold engine but had not done anything about the fuel pump pressure. the stalling, hard to restart, incomplete combustion with horrible rattling sound problem occurs when the engine is hot. Seems to start and run fine while cold. No evidence of water mixing with oil but engine seems as if water is getting into the combustion.

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Old 08-03-2018, 09:20 PM
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The valves are not rattling from incomplete combustion.

you need to have the battery charged.

you need to clean the battery terminals and the battery posts.

you especially need help from someone who truly knows about cars. Like a real mechanic.

Because your sources dont. seem to have a clue.



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Old 08-04-2018, 07:23 PM
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I would buy a new negative battery cable with the clamp on it. Dies not cost all that much money.

That may or may not fix the current issue, but will prevent other problems in the future.

Cars need current flow or amps to be abLe to function properly. The replacement battery clamps cause a lot of problem's. They should be thought of as a temporarystopportunity gap solution until one can buy the proper cable.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:47 PM
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The no crank issue

Please quit ignoring replacing the switchCheap,easy,and if you keep pulling on 20 year old wires you will undoubtably create a problem.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:36 PM
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Frank50e "Please quit ignoring replacing the switch" what switch is this referring to?

each day the engine starts and runs fine for the first two miles until the engine heats. starter motor is cranking engine every time so the negative battery cable clamp needed to be cleaned, reshaped, tightened. yesterday I disconnected the two temperature sensors' wires from front of car on drivers side of engine. did not affect the stalling and rattling engine performance.

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Old 08-09-2018, 06:30 PM
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The two switches which were mentioned were

1. ignition switch, because your car would not crank

The battery cable and it's terminals would also cause this.

2. The ects,or engine control temperature switch.
It is quite likely the reason your car stalls once the engine warms up. Its job is to report the temperature of the coolant to the computer. The computer will adjust how much fuel the injectors provide. Also timing. It's possible that the engine is not getting enough fuel to run, hence the stalling.

You can check to see if it good or not with an ohm meter and some research about what the readings should be. Or you can just buy a new one and replace it.

You have received some good advice from several
respected members. You need to follow through.

You also need to respond to the direct questions we have asked you.

Specifically, is your check engine light on? If so.have you investigated which codes they are?

We can be far more helpful once we have the codes. We are only guessing what the problem might be until we have the codes.


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Old 08-09-2018, 11:56 PM
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Ignition switch

As pointed out above.
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:00 PM
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2 miles and the problem begins as engine is warmed up.

When the coolant temperature sensor wire was disconnected, the check engine light turned on. After reconnecting the coolant temp sensor wires I drove another two or three times. After going two miles without any sense of malfunction, the engine stalls and when driving at 20 MPH or faster I am not getting a good combustion. Read the flashing codes today before driving two miles, stopping to pick up some online orders from a shoe store and drove 2 miles back home. Made it to within a quarter mile of home when the stall occured. Not getting good combustion the final 350 yards.

Codes are:
0504 auto trans control unit.
0707 rear O2 sensor.
0103 engine coolant temp sensor.
0304 knock sensor.

At this point I believe the problem is a fuel delivery issue. the coolant temp sensor code was most likely triggered when I had the wire disconnected. Auto trans control unit code might be a response to my moving the gear selector to drive while double pedaling brake and gas to keep the engine RPM around 1,500 to avoid stalling. From the service manual I read that the fuel pump needs to deliver with higher pressure when the engine warms up. to access the fuel pump I pulled the two plastic loops at the bottom front of back seat bench to release the bench and then pivoted the bench front up while back of bench moved forward so I moved the bench next to the front seats. The fuel pump is located in the middle under the back seat bench. Ordered a fuel pump from eBay.

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Old 09-26-2018, 09:39 AM
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Installed replacement fuel pump under the rear seat bench. lift the entire pump/fuel level float mechanism out. i applied heat from a blow dryer to soften the hoses. pivot the hoses clockwise and back several times to loosen stickiness and continue pivot as pull hose off. when placing pump/fuel level back place the pump in its cradle, don't stretch the rubber gasket which fits in the circular trough surrounding the access hole. i had to cut a bit of the gasket out after i had stretched the gasket. place the metal ring with six screws down before reattaching the two hoses on the top. be careful not to drop a screw allowing it to roll under the metal seat support. after installing pump, engine started but the issue of stall when warmed up was not fixed.

Next morning, engine cranks but does not start. fuses look ok. I cleared the ECU codes and could not get the engine to start. I initially felt the non start would be related to the fuel pump installation. I may have altered the placement of the fuel pump causing an issue with fuel getting to the front of the car (maybe the hose and filter below the fuel pump were not properly situated in the fuel). I took the fuel pump out of and placed it back in the fuel tank trying to ensure the segment of hose with filter attached was oriented at the bottom of the gas tank and the lever mechanism with fuel level float was positioned properly.

after checking electrical connections (fuel pump relay behind plastic panel on left of driver's legs in front of door, near floor) for voltage (as explained in the factory service manual) with key off and with key on, I did not find any errors in the wiring, fuses, relays. (left side of plastic panel cover pulls out near driver's door and the cover snaps off. I had pulled the right hand edge of the cover away from the wall and was reaching behind the (now perpendicular from wall) cover to then pull away a flexible foil shield to reach the relay which I then rotated away from the wall by bending the metal mount. the relay is released from its socket by pressing or levering back the tab. I left the functioning fuel pump relay unmounted which is good so I can reach down and feel the relay operating when key is turned to on position (when in traffic, it's difficult to hear the fuel pump as other vehicles make noise), during times when the warmed up engine is stalled and not easily restarting.

checked voltage at the 2-wire connector to the fuel pump. (don't know why I was not satisfied with my checking the 2-wire connector earlier) but voltage was fine at the 2-wire connector.

Under the front hood I disconnected the fuel hose (from the tube going to the engine near throttle mechanism and accelerator cable), cranking the starter sent a small bit of gas out of the fuel hose. I reattached the hose to engine and started the car. (I knew I was getting spark plug energy as after pulling one wires from a spark plug, a passerby confirmed he saw sparks arcing to metal when i cranked the starter.

as the engine seems starved for fuel only after reaching normal temperature, I want to focus on the Oxygen sensors which use an internal heating element to bring them up to operating temperature because they have to be hot before they generate a signal. At this point I haven't found a code indicating any problems with sensors. Following day I read the codes from the ECM. i wrote the code numbers down and started the engine after several brief crankings. drove to the bank two miles away. After leaving the bank, the engine cranked but would not start. Sitting in the parking lot I looked up the meaning of each code number. Two of the six codes were intriguing.
  • P0150 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
  • P0125 Insufficient Coolant Temperature for Closed Loop Fuel Control <-- this prompted me to look inside the radiator. I began adding water and lots of it. Looking under the car I saw a leak in the area below the power steering fluid pump, directly above the passenger side CV boot. At this point the car started and I drove 1/4 mile to pick up some motor oil I had ordered. After leaving the store, the engine cranked but did not start. I added more water to the radiator and the engine started. Drove two miles home placing the car in neutral as often as I could to keep the RPM low not wanting to generate excessive heat. . Next time I added water to the radiator I saw the leaking water under the AC compressor, under the water pump.
  • A few days later drove two miles and an hour later the engine cranks but would not start. adding water in the radiator simply went down and out the water pump leak.
  • As I was observing the dashboard with key in on position (engine not running) the tachometer needle was moving near the 1000 RPM mark. when I turned the key to off, the tachometer went to zero. checked the wiring diagram and saw a circuit which both had the tachometer and the MIL (malfunction indicator lamp). I erased the OBD2 codes and the tachometer stopped displaying 1000 RPM when engine was not running.
  • I decided to raise the passenger side with the jack to make the radiator level as I was parked where the curb gutter is lower than center of street. My reason was faulty as I wanted to get water into the upper radiator hose (I was thinking the water added to radiator would flow towards the upper radiator hose when the radiator was not tilted to the curb forgetting that water flows down until the water level is high as the upper hose. water will never get higher than the leaking water pump. so I removed the upper radiator hose and poured water into the hose until water filled the hose. (coolant temp sensor is at the other end of the upper radiator hose). reattached upper hose to radiator. car started with a jump and I returned home again in neutral as much as possible.
  • Today I neglected to raise the passenger side. the car was tilted down at the passenger side. I added water in the upper radiator hose but the hose did not fill up. the water went to the engine and out the water pump leak and did not fill up the upper hose. could not get the engine started with a jump.
Watched a few youtube videos on replacing water pump. i want to hire a mechanic for this job.

I replaced both the crankshaft position sensor and cam shaft position sensors which are inexpensive from Rockauto.com and are easy to unscrew and replace. this did not solve or affect the engine stalling after reaching normal temperature.

Crankshaft position sensor problems

Problems with a crankshaft position sensor are common, especially in older cars. If the sensor is not working properly, a car may stall or not start. The engine will turn over, but won't fire up.
Sometimes a failing crankshaft position sensor may cause intermittent issues such as long cranking or stalling in certain conditions, for example, when the engine is hot, or in wet weather. Sometimes a car may stall when hot, but restart after cooled down. In many cars, a failed crankshaft position sensor can also cause a Check Engine light to come on.

The most common OBDII code related to the crankshaft position sensor is P0335 - Crankshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit. In some cars (e.g. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Chevy, Hyundai, Kia) this code is often caused by a failed sensor itself, although there could be other reasons, such as wiring or connector issues, damaged reluctor wheel, etc.

In some cars, the intermittent stalling can also be caused by a problem with the crankshaft position sensor wiring. For example, in some Ford and Mazda vehicles, if the sensor wires are not secured properly, they could rub against a drive shaft, which can cause intermittent stalling.How the crankshaft position sensor is tested

Whenever there is a suspicion that the problem might be caused by a crankshaft position sensor or if there is a related trouble code, the sensor must be visually inspected for cracks, loose connector pins or other obvious damage. The proper gap between the tip of the sensor and the reluctor wheel is also very important.

The correct testing procedure can be found in the service manual. crankshaft position sensor EC-199. camshaft position sensor EC-101

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Old 09-26-2018, 04:49 PM
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never had a code for it, but the wires and plug were covered in oil. after replacing, started right up, only to have white smoke and strong gas smell pouring out of the exhaust the next morning. did the iacv, 2 02 sensors as well as all the gaskets on the uim and valve covers. so fricken sick of trying to fix this gd thing i could puke.
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