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Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20500
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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I have a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder with a 3.3L v-6. I recently

Customer Question

I have a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder with a 3.3L v-6. I recently replaced the timing belt and water pump. I ended up replacing the belts and the hoses as well...including the bypass hose that was leaking. Now suddenly it started stalling when idling or when stopping such as a stop sign or stop light. I can sense the low RPM and rev it up to prevent the stalling. If it ever dies it will restart just fine. I did some research and founf the didtributor can cause these types of issues. I bought a new distributor (cheap one) not Nissan. I replaced it then the vehicle ran fine until warm. It started to stall again. I took it for a test drive and it ran out totally fine so I thought maybe the computer needed to reset. Later I took it for a long drive and it started to die once. It cooled down at a friends house. On the way home it never had an issue. I'm trying to figure out what this can be. I've considered the MAF sensor. What do you think? I have also checked for vacuum leaks by spraying carb cleaner all over the hoses with no change in idle.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 2 years ago.
Hi, My name is*****'m happy to help you today. During our conversation today, I may be presenting you with different things to try, and ask you some Questions to get a better understand of the issue so I can answer your question properly. So stick with me to the end, and I am sure we should be able to get this issue resolved for you!Did you try cleaning the throttle chamber and adjusting base idle to see if that would help?Let me know,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I sprayed cleaner into the intake while I had it apart to do the timing belt and water pump. I have not adjusted the idle. When cold it idles around 1500 then levels off to 900. When in gear and with AC on it might fluctuate around 500 to 900 but idles steady when not having the intermittent issue.
Expert:  Jay replied 2 years ago.
At idle, when warmed up, the idle should be around 750 rpm's, not 900. When you turn the AC on, the Idle Air Control system should raise the idle to 850 / 900 Rpms since the compressor is a load when engaged. What I would start with is cleaning the throttle chamber. To do this get a can of carb cleaner and a old tooth brush and a clean rag. Remove the air intake duct that goes to the throttle chamber. Pull the cables so the butterfly opens. Then spray the carb cleaner around the throttle, top and bottom. Then use the toothbrush to scrub it and spray again to clean. Then with that clean rag whip it down dry and put the air intake back in. After you do this it will be hard to start as it needs to burn off that residual carb cleaner but it will eventually start. So don't be alarmed by that. After you get it running, see if it's any better and take note of idle Rpms. See where they are at. To adjust the Base idle, it's kind of tricky. The bottom connector of the TPS is unplugged. Then you need a long screw driver to access the idle adjustment screw. is not the best image, but gives you a location of it. You want to turn that while the engine is running to set base idle.If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask.If not, and you're satisfied with my help, please Rate me. I hope I have provided you with Excellent Service.Thanks Jay!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I cleaned the intake that way previously while it was apart. I double checked and idle is actually at 750 then goes to 900 when I turn on the AC.
I'm having a very intermittent issue. Wouldn't the intake be more consistent?
Expert:  Jay replied 2 years ago.
Well you would need a scanner to monitor the fuel trim readings if you think you have air leak and to monitor what is going on more.Did you do a knock sensor or have the intake off also?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I didn't remove the intake. I did not replace the knock sensor. I'd have to research where that is. My issue matches issues many solved with distributor replacement but it didn't work for me. Today I've been driving it all over and can't duplicate the issue again.
Expert:  Jay replied 2 years ago.
Did you buy a Distributor From your local auto part store?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Jay replied 2 years ago.
That could be part of the problem. I run into this allot. When it comes to after market electrical parts, especially distributors, Cam Sensors, MAF sensors and so on. Main signal type sensors they never work right. They can be intermittent, or actually cause false codes or have you replacing parts you don't need. So you may want to consider replacing the distributor with one from the dealer or put your original one back in and see if the problem is the same but more consistent. If you have the same issue with the original Distributor but it acts up more, or it changes how it works, that tells you your in the right area, you may have bad parts.Did you use a timing light to set your timing?