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GDibs, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4
Experience:  ASE Certified Master and L1 Technician
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When damp, it misfires. I changed the distributor cap, rotor

Customer Question

When damp, it misfires. I changed the distributor cap, rotor button, plugs and wires yesterday. today it was damp, and ran real rough, I even lost engine power for about 30 seconds at times. In the mornings when it's damp it does this on way to work. In the evenings coming home is runs fine.
JA: Is the power loss consistent, or does it fluctuate?
Customer: Fluctuate's like it's not getting fuel.
JA: What is the model/year of your Nissan?
Customer: 1999 altima
JA: Are you fixing your Altima yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: yes. Replaced distributor cap, Rotor button, plugs, and wires.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  GDibs replied 1 month ago.

Hi, I think you are on the right track with the ignition system. I can tell you from experience that these ignition systems are picky about aftermarket parts. I would say that if this is not a cap or rotor problem that it could also be a problem with the coil producing weak spark. There is also a sensor inside the distributor and sometimes these sensors can get oil on them when the distributor shaft seal leaks. I would look deeper inside the distributor. There is a metal plate that is behind the rotor and held on by a couple screws. Take that plate off and see if there is oil collected behind it, If i was going to replace any part of the ignition system I would use parts right from a Nissan dealer even though they might be a little more expensive.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I checked, no oil clean as a whistle in there.
Expert:  GDibs replied 1 month ago.

That's good there is no oil in there. Does it only act up when it is first started? no problems after it is warmed up? Where did you buy the cap and rotor and wires? Are you running NGK spark plugs. I can't stress enough that these systems do not like on OE parts.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My bad. I did find some oil in there. It's was on the metal pieces of the coil. I removed the distributor housing. do I need to replace the o ring on the back side?
Expert:  GDibs replied 1 month ago.

Depending on how much oil is accumulated in there you might be able to clean it out really good with brake parts cleaner and get by for awhile, however, the seal that is responsible for that is inside the distributor and would require replacement of the distributor housing. Problem with that is most people go and get a remanufactured distributor and then the whole parts quality thing comes in to play again. If I was going to get a distributor I would get one from Nissan or understand that you might get a faulty one if you go aftermarket. if you are going to try cleaning it out I would get a new ignition coil while you are at it. But guess where I would buy the coil?

Expert:  GDibs replied 1 month ago.

Hope you got your issue resolved.

Thanks , good luck