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Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima


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computerinfoseeker23
User

Sep 30, 2012, 6:10 AM

Post #1 of 8 (2694 views)
Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Hello friends. Hope everyone is doing well. Here is my problem. I hope someone here can tell me some possible things that could be causing my problem so I can appear more intelligent when I relay this info. on to my local mechanic when I take the car in to be looked at.

Ok, I have a 2005 Nissan Altima. This car has only 14,000 miles on it, so only driven approx. 2K miles per year. Here is my problem. I hope someone here can give me some suggestions as to what might/could be going on so I can be a little more knowledgeable than I am now.

Here is my problem. This car surges about every 20 seconds. It is not a very noticeable, hard surge. It is very subtle. You don't even notice it with city driving but when I am on the highway, I can engage the cruise control and there is a slight surge or acceleration about every 18-20 seconds. The surge is only for a fraction of a second. Please, can someone here give me any suggestions as to some things that might be causing this so I can be more knowledgeable when I take the car in to my local car mechanic to have the problem diagnosed and repaired? Thanks in advance.

2005 Nissan Altima
2.5L 2500CC L4 FI VIN: QR25DE

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
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Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 30, 2012, 6:54 AM

Post #2 of 8 (2661 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

It sounds like you are describing a slight misfire in one of the cylinders, most likely caused by a weak coil. The trick is to determine which cylinder it is. The computer may track individual misfires and have available data that is accessible with a quality scan tool. When it gets bad enough it should set a code that identifies the cylinder but it probably hasn't gotten to that point yet.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 30, 2012, 7:12 AM

Post #3 of 8 (2652 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Hmmm - Low mile low use vehicle issues. A code may be lurking to target the trouble area but at age now w low use like that some off the wall things might be at play.

Try to periodically use up most of the fuel but don't run it too low now and then. Fuel stabilizer and some by brand Techron can help. I'm not a big fan of magic in a bottle but gasoline doesn't age well.

Batteries don't age well either so know how old it is. If you know it's original get it out of there and do not cheap out on a new one. If not equipped get a memory saver while it is being replaced as I couldn't guess what tricks or toys this may have that will not like battery being disconnected.

Some silly stuff if this just sits a lot can still go sticky. Pivots for throttle some items sensing throttle position that you don't see moving too.

Tell the place you go what conditions the car is under most of the time. If it rarely fully warms up or gets a good run say that. Oil lasts ages in containers but not so well if periodically used or even low use so don't neglect changing that based on miles, time counts too.

If kept outdoors things will happen faster with low use,

T



computerinfoseeker23
User

Sep 30, 2012, 8:17 AM

Post #4 of 8 (2643 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Thanks Tom and Hammer for your replies.

@Tom, I know the battery is good. I replaced it less than a year ago. I was thinking about adding some magic in a bottle to my gas tank, but I am not a big fan of that either. Perhaps, worth a shot before I take the car in. The problem is really mild. It is barely noticeable. The car is kept outdoors. I will take it in sometime next year, not sure exactly when and will tell the mechanic what you said.

@ Hammer, thanks for your reply. It is a minor thing at this point but I don't want it to turn into a major problem. Do you think I should wait until the problem gets slightly worse? It is actually my mother's car. I drive it from time to time just to see if the car is running ok. You really will not notice it or feel it unless you put the car on the highway with the windows rolled up and no background noise inside the car like the radio or AC on, but you can feel the slight surge about every 18 seconds like clockwork. I asked my mother and she has never noticed it. Most of her driving is stop and go city driving.

Hope you guys are having a good weekend and thanks for the responses.

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
**********Line****************


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 30, 2012, 8:21 AM

Post #5 of 8 (2641 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Does the cruise control have to be activated for this to occur? Is the surge a surge in acceleration or deceleration?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


computerinfoseeker23
User

Sep 30, 2012, 9:21 AM

Post #6 of 8 (2630 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Hi Discretesignals. Thanks for your reply. The cruise control does not have to be activated for this to occur. I simply use the cruise control so I can pay closer attention. It feels like when it surges, there is slight acceleration. It is like a "heartbeat" or pulse sensation.

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
**********Line****************


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Sep 30, 2012, 9:29 AM

Post #7 of 8 (2628 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

Hmm. As the others stated it could be a misfire. Most ignition system misfires I have experienced don't have some type of time limit to misfire deal like you have. Usually ignition related misfire are spontaneous. Someone is going to have to do some data gathering to see if they can tie something together.

Probably wouldn't hurt to check your ignition coil boots for flash burns and plug wells for oil. Do some exploratory visual inspections.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Sep 30, 2012, 9:50 AM

Post #8 of 8 (2622 views)
Re: Need troubleshooting suggestions for Nissan Altima Sign In

It all depends on whether the shop is able to identify the right cylinder or not. If they can, I would go ahead and replace the coil now. If they can't, you may have to wait for it to get worse.

I would also pull that plug and look for a crack.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Sep 30, 2012, 9:51 AM)






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