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Mike V.
Mike V., Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 23620
Experience:  Nissan factory trained and Certified Subaru Technician.
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I have a 2005 nissan Altima 2.5 4 cylinder. It runs fine but

Customer Question

I have a 2005 nissan Altima 2.5 4 cylinder. It runs fine but the other day I started it and it sounded like it was going to stall out making a sputtering sound. It never stalled out after about 5 minutes it ran smoothly.( The service engine soon light blinks on and off until the car runs smooth again). After that it was fine, until about 2 days later while I was driving and I was doing about 60 mph the service engine light soon was flashing again and the car lost some power but continued to run. While making the sputtering sound. It happened for about 5 minutes again then the light went off and it was fine. I was going to pull over and turn the car off but then it stopped. After that I did some research on it i was thinking it was misfiring so we changed the spark plugs and boots, and I put some fuel injector cleaner in the tank. Still does it. Now I'm thinking about maybe the coil packs? There $80 a piece I really don't want to replace them unless needed is there any way to tell if a coil pack is bad? Just trying to get some ideas on what it could be I don't have alot of money to take it to the shop especially if it's stuff my boyfriend can do for free. What about an o2 sensor? What do you think? Need help
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Hi there,

Do you know which code is being set?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No I stopped at AutoZone but they told me they don't have the machine to check right now I have to find another place.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My engine light is not on so will a code still come up?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

I code won't come up if the light isn't on.
I was under the impression the light had come on.

Does the car use any oil or antifreeze?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Only the service engine light blinks when it happens
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Yeah, that's the light I am talking about.

This only happens after the car has sat a long time and at first start up after that?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do u mean does the car leak oil or antifreeze
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Yea that's usually what happens. This morning it did it after about 5 min of driving, only happened for 5 mins or so then the rest of the day its been fine
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
usually if it does it I turn the car off and the when I turn it back on its fine.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I opened the hood one day while it was doing it and the engine literally was shaking
Expert:  Mike V. replied 2 months ago.

Usually what happens with these is the head gasket begins leaking antifreeze. When it does, it's after a long period of sitting. It leaks into the cylinder and causes a misfire, but only until all the coolant is pushed out of the cylinder. Then it's fine until it's sat for another 6-8 hours or more. So, if the car is loosing some antifreeze this is the likely issue. If not, then it is going to be one of the coils, other then a visual inspection, there isn't a good method for testing unless you can get the code. This will tell you which cylinder is misfiring, but that light has got to be on.

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Thank you so much!