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Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 19503
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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1996 nissan sentra: stalls..low idle..stop lights..Car turns over fine

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1996 nissan sentra , stalls at low idle when stopped at stop lights. Will not start again for a couple of minutes. Car turns over fine, just does not fire or even attempt too. I noticed at a low idle when I engaged the power windows or turned on the heater fan it draws the engine down and can stall it out. There are no check engine lights on. I did pull one of the spark plugs after it failed to start, and did not find any gas on the plug or smell gas in the cylinder. I replaced the idle sensor with a used part, but I am still having the problem.

Jay :

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer.com

Jay :

Did you clean the throttle chamber and adjust base idle?

JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

No, I did not clean the throttle chamber or adjust idle. When I start it cold it idles fine, and most of the time after it shuts off, when it sits for a minute, it will start right up and idle fine then. Around 800 rpms. It seems as though it is an electrical thing. How would cleaning the throttle chamber fix this. I am not a mechanic, so that may seem like a stupid question. Is the chamber that small and would having the engine warm cause this issue.?. It does not do this when it is cold.

JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

Where is the throttle chamber, and how do I clean it out?

Jay :

Well most times I have seen when the throttle camber gets carbon build up, it can be hard to start, and stall when coming to a stop.

Jay :

To locate the throttle chamber, follow the air filter box to where the air goes into the engine. That is the throttle chamber. There will be one or two cables attached to it. When you clean it, pull the throttle cable to open the butterfly and use a old tooth brush and some carb cleaner and scrub it clean. Then wipe clean with a clean rag.

JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX give that a try this morning. Would this stalling and starting issue be the same if the engine is cold or warm? Because when it does decide to start, it will fire on the first crank of the engine. I have had it on rare occasions to shut off while driving down the road, then turn on again. That has happened only a couple of times. Now it seems as though it only turns off when the rpms drop below 500. Then it needs to sit for a minute before it will fire again. Thanks, Dave

Jay :

It can happen both.More when warm, cause the heat of the engine makes the carbon build up swell and makes it sticky, where when it's cold, the idle air control valve gives the engine a higher idle to warm up and the carbon is hard and not sticky

JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX will check this out and get back to you. Dave

Jay :

You got it Dave.

JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

Jay, Just wanted you to know that I have not had a chance to try what you suggested yet. My son had the car yesterday and to day, so I am hoping to get to it this evening or tomorrow. Dave.

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JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

I included a picture of the idle control valve that I replaced. Is the throttle camber located where this part inserts? That is the area that I was going to clean. Dave

Jay :

Dave, yes that is the IAC valve. Here is a image of the throttle chamber location for you. That is installed very close to it. I don't recall if that actually goes into the throttle chamber or not though.

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JACUSTOMER-taotqb9s- :

Jay,I cleaned the throttle body like you said and have not had a bit of trouble with the car for 2 days. I was skeptical and ought that it had to be an electrical issue. Thanks for the advice. I would use you again in the future. The picture you sent was a big help in making me feel confident that I was following you in your instruction. I did read a couple of posts on another site and took their advice in not disconnecting the sensor to the throttle body. They said that they had to go through a relearning process for the idle. Anyway, thanks again, Dave

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