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2003 Altima: Intermittently loses acceleration..driving down…

2003 Altima 2.5L. Intermittently...
2003 Altima 2.5L. Intermittently loses acceleration while driving down the road. I have seen this problem posted elsewhere, but have not seen any real answers. The engine light does not come on during these symptoms.

Description:
There is a slight change in RPMs when pressing the gas pedal, but no real power. I can press the pedal all the way in and the car doesnt go. It will move at idle speed but no quicker. I notice that just before these symptoms occur when driving the dash lights are dimmer than usual. I recently replaced my alternator, which NOW tends to whine now and then, after getting car to rev. I think its bad and cant tell if it is part of the whole problem. I replaced the Throttle body because the symptoms pointed to the TPS(which is electronic and cant be replaced separately on this model) no opening the throttle plate. I cleaned the MAF sensor(with MAF Sensor cleaner). But the symptoms are still there.
Could this be from the alternator, could this be from bad ignition coils, could this be the precat failure problem.

By the way, I have already replaced the Crank and Camshaft Position sensors which solved earlier problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Answered in 28 minutes by:
6/24/2010
Tom
Tom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 26,066
Experience: Qualified to repair all makes and models.
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After replacing the throttle body did you do the relearn?Also cleaning the maf will not help if its bad most of the time.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I did the relearn successfully. Hot idle around 9000. I would think if MAF sensor malfunction I would get SES light, but not. I did get the light when I started the car after disconnecting the cable to MAF, as well as when I disconnected the TB cable. So those, I imagine work.

I was just driving it at lunch and when it happens in the middle of the street, I slam on the gas and get oh so very little. then finally it kicks in after about 30 secs. It seems to happen when in drive. When I am in park it doesnt seem to happen. But I can recall the issue happening in park before so dont know if that rules out Trans.
When a maf sensor fails you will never get a check engine light.Doubt its the transmission.Was this how the relearn done .



graphic


graphic
If it was it was i would start with a new maf sensor and dont use an aftermarket they do not work well .These are the next steps.

Hoped this helped.

Positive feedback and bonuses greatly appreciated.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
That was how the relearn was done. Is that incorrect? If I bought a MAF sensor OEM would I need another relearn?

I researched as many symptoms of the MAF sensor failure and none of them pertain to my issue. It seems that I would have a more sporadic loss of power, varying idle at low idle, lower mileage, but never is it mentioned that you would lose acceleration at high and low rpms like I have.
No you would not have to do a relearn again.Since there are no codes I would start there.If its internal in the transmission you would need to have the transmission pressure tested .Also call the dealer and see fi there is an ECM update for this car.These are the next steps.


Hoped this helped.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Okay. Decided to see if there were any codes sent even though the SES doesnt come on. I got the following:
0732
0507
0731
I think the 0507 is from when I was from after I installed the TB/before the relearn. The others enter an all new realm of knowledge for the transmission. Do both of these codes mean anything to you? I skimmed over the code descriptions but defaulted to you, for the time being, since you are the expert.
P0731-732 Can set light and if tranmission is not shifting into 1st gear when commanded but all other gears operate smoothly a couple of different symptoms may arise. (1) assuming no fail safe condition has occured, fuel mileage and acceleration will be an issue. (2)Car can go into failsafe mode which will prevent you from shifting normally.These are all caused by a faulty mass air flow sensor very common .The reason is that the transmission control module needs proper input as to what kind of load the engine is under so that it can shift the transmission with being to soft or to hard. Again I referring to a misjudged calculated load based on a likely faulty maf sensor.Replace that sensor it should take car of all the issues.Do not use an aftermarket sensor you need a factory sensor.

Hoped this helped.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Very good to hear that, as I was looking up replacement transmissions online.
Okay...Before I take action and replace the MAF sensor, I need to rule out the possibility of this problem being the BCM/ECM. NOTE: I am not trying to sneak in another question. Just trying to rule it out being coincidental after switching much attention to Transmission functionality.

It is my understanding that the shifting is somehow controlled by the BCM or ECM. I have had issues with the Radio not turning off for a few seconds after removing key from ignition and sometimes the auto headlights dont turn off...but I have not seen this for many many months. Do you think, with that information that it might be a BCM failure causing this shifting error? Perhaps my notions are completely off and I would HOPE that the MAF sensor is the main problem.
No all of this leads to the mass air flow sensor .I would definitely start there.No the BCM will not affect the transmission and give those codes.Start with the MAF first.This is the next step.

Hoped this helped.

Positive feedback and bonuses greatly appreciated.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Sorry for not following up on this. I bought a MAF sensor and put it in and had the same problems. Turns out the new alternator was not working properly. It caused the battery to get low and would not recharge it enough. This would not allow the acceleration to happen when there wasnt enough power. Also caused the lights to dim. As a novice, I should've known there was a problem with the alternator when I mentioned the whine from it at different RPMs. Thank you for your help though
Anytime . That happens allot. If you ever need anything else let me know. If I was of help please click the green accept button this is the only way we get credit for our time and expertise. Hoped this helped. Positive feedback and bonuses greatly appreciated.
Tom
Tom, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 26,066
Experience: Qualified to repair all makes and models.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The engine still rumbles when compressor kicks on and the headlights/interior lights still flicker. I think its the tensioner not creating enough tension after changing the alternator a couple of times. The engine still works fine though even after taking care of the precat issue before it caused damage. Thanks for your time.
Anytime of you need anything else let me know.
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