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Hello:I'm looking for a technician with substantial work history in a Nissan service department. This involves a 2004 Sentra 1.8/s. Daughter had scary incident on expressway where speed declined to about 20 MPH and she was unable to accelerate past that. Was in center lane and cars zipped past not allowing her to pull over for quite a while. Long story short, after getting off shoulder, she shut car off, several minutes later restarted, and finished her journey with no repeat. MIL was lit, but this was due to an existing PO447 I have not yet addressed. When she got home I connected scanner - only DTC was existing PO447. I drove car - all fine. Later, she told me this had occurred once before but she forgot to tell me.Been reading up on fail safe mode. Is this what happened - did something trigger fail safe mode ? Sounds like other people have reported same / similar experience, but they have related DTC's. I realize there can be multiple possible causes. What are your top 3-5 suspects, and would you include the possibility of a fluky APP sensor ? thanks ...
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Nissan
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Answered in 6 hours by:
9/29/2017
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago
Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 21,508
Experience: 20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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Hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for your question.

On your year Sentra, this does sound like the vehicle went into limp mode.. Or Brake Over Ride..

Were you using a scanner or a code reader? Does she recall if the vehicle was running hot? Did she have her Ac on?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hi Jay:
OBD2 Scan tool, but not high end. Not running hot, but I imagine she had A/C on as it was about 90 degree day.For my info, how long did you work in a Nissan service dept ?
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago
Sorry, I stepped away. At a Friday wedding.Does she recall looking at the temp gauge?I have been a Nissan tech since 1990
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No problem. My days are very broken up thus the lags in my responses. When she had pulled over she called me briefly. I asked about temp gauge and she said "below mid point". And car has been driven past few days with no issues. I repeatedly tell my kids to watch temp gage / idiot lights and call me if they see anything.
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

Weekends I take the time to do things I need to get done. I am mainly online evenings during the week. Would that work for you?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Jay:Week nights are hit / miss, but please reply when you can and I'll do same. Car behaving currently - goal is to prevent a future re-occurrence if possible.
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

Have you replaced any cam sensors on the car recently? Any recent work done? I will try to reply during the day as I am working to accommodate you

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Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

The P0447 is for the Evap vent control valve. That will not cause this issue. So I will need to ask questions to see what work may have been done on the vehicle to see if I can isolate your issue.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Correct, PO447 should have no effect. Most recent repair was in June, replaced alternator due to bad bearing. Just FYI, I've done nearly all work on my 5 family vehicles and have for many years, including diagnosing and addressing DTC's. I only go "outside" if I'm not equipped for the repair, or I encounter a condition that has me perplexed. Then I reach out to try to find someone who has previously encountered the same condition and identified a solution.
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

ahhh., This is good info. Where was the Alternator purchased? Did this issue happen at night time? Do you have a volt meter?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No not at night time. Jay, regarding alternator, where are you heading with this ?
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

If you got the alternator after market, they are known not to work right. I have experienced this first hand for myself, and for customers.

What happens with after market alternators is that most cases they do not work right out of the box. If you do get one that works, they only tend to last about a year. The worst part about them is that they can also intermittently not charge, and then charge. So when they stop charging they could cause the vehicle to go into a limp mode when system voltage gets to low which may have been what happened. So if you have a volt meter, I have a quick and easy way to check the charging system. Also has this happened only that one time?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Jay: Has happened once before. Asked my daughter, and she says was 2-3 months ago. This would have been with original alternator which was fine other than bearing getting noisy. Current alternator is from my son's '05 Sentra while he's out of country for a few months. Is the original alternator. He says he never had a "limp mode incident". Alternator tests to spec and we have no dimming of lights etc. And not likely for alternator to "hiccup" especially 2 of them. So I'm not suspecting alternator. I'm leaning towards a hiccup elsewhere. As shown below, unfortunately there are many sensors / devices that can cause fail-safe mode. And when it happens rarely and intermittently with no codes, very tough to know what hiccuped. Of course could be a cracked wire in any of these systems ...So I was hoping perhaps you had encountered and cured this 1 or more times before as a Nissan tech. But I have a feeling I'll be searching for needle in a haystackTROUBLE DIAGNOSIS
Fail-safe Chart UBS00B36
 When the DTC listed below is detected, the ECM enters fail-safe mode and the MIL lights up.
 When there is an open circuit on MIL circuit, the ECM can not warn the driver by lighting MIL up when there is malfunction on engine control system. Therefore, when Electrical controlled throttle and part of ECM related diagnoses is continuously detected as NG for 5-trips, ECM warns the driver that engine control system has malfunction and MIL circuit is open by means of operating fail-safe function.
The fail-safe function also operates when above diagnoses except MIL circuit are detected, and demands the driver to repair the malfunction.
DTC No. Detected items Engine operating condition in fail-safe mode
P0102
P0103
P1102
Mass air flow sensor circuit Engine speed will not rise more than 2,400 rpm due to the fuel cut.
P0117
P0118
Engine coolant temperature
sensor circuit
Engine coolant temperature will be determined by ECM based on the time after turning ignition switch ON or START.
CONSULT-II displays the engine coolant temperature decided by ECM.
Condition
Engine coolant temperature decided
(CONSULT-II display)
Just as ignition switch is turned ON or Start 40°C (104°F)
More than approx. 4 minutes after ignition ON or Start 80°C (176°F)
Except as shown above
40 - 80°C (104 - 176°F) (Depends on the time)
When the fail-safe system for engine coolant temperature sensor is activated, the cooling fan operates while engine is running.
P0122
P0123
P0222
P0223
P2135
Throttle position sensor The ECM controls the electric throttle control actuator in regulating the throttle opening in order for the idle position to be within +10 degrees.The ECM regulates the opening speed of the throttle valve to be slower than the normal
condition. So, the acceleration will be poor.
P1121 Electric throttle control actuator
(ECM detect the throttle
valve is stuck open.)
While the vehicle is driving, it slows down gradually by fuel cut. After the vehicle stops, the engine stalls. The engine can restart in N or P position, and engine speed will not exceed 1,000 rpm or more.
P1122 Electric throttle control function
ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring.
P1124
P1126
Throttle control motor relay ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring.
P1128
Throttle control motor ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring.
P1129
Sensor power supply ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring.
P2122
P2123
P2127
P2128
P2138
Accelerator pedal position
sensor
The ECM controls the electric throttle control actuator in regulating the throttle opening in order for the idle position to be within +10 degrees. The ECM regulates the opening speed of the throttle valve to be slower than the normal
condition. So, the acceleration will be poor. Engine operating condition in fail-safe mode Engine speed will not rise more then 2,500 rpm due to the fuel cut.
Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

I received a response with a ton of information, but it's not showing on here.

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Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

did you type this to me? cause it never made it to the question page...

"Jay: Has happened once before. Asked my daughter, and she says was 2-3 months ago. This would have been with original alternator which was fine other than bearing getting noisy. Current alternator is from my son's '05 Sentra while he's out of country for a few months. Is the original alternator. He says he never had a "limp mode incident". Alternator tests to spec and we have no dimming of lights etc. And not likely for alternator to "hiccup" especially 2 of them. So I'm not suspecting alternator. I'm leaning towards a hiccup elsewhere. As shown below, unfortunately there are many sensors / devices that can cause fail-safe mode. And when it happens rarely and intermittently with no codes, very tough to know what hiccuped. Of course could be a cracked wire in any of these systems ... So I was hoping perhaps you had encountered and cured this 1 or more times before as a Nissan tech. But I have a feeling I'll be searching for needle in a haystack TROUBLE DIAGNOSIS Fail-safe Chart UBS00B36 When the DTC listed below is detected, the ECM enters fail-safe mode and the MIL lights up. When there is an open circuit on MIL circuit, the ECM can not warn the driver by lighting MIL up when there is malfunction on engine control system. Therefore, when Electrical controlled throttle and part of ECM related diagnoses is continuously detected as NG for 5-trips, ECM warns the driver that engine control system has malfunction and MIL circuit is open by means of operating fail-safe function. The fail-safe function also operates when above diagnoses except MIL circuit are detected, and demands the driver to repair the malfunction. DTC No. Detected items Engine operating condition in fail-safe mode P0102 P0103 P1102 Mass air flow sensor circuit Engine speed will not rise more than 2,400 rpm due to the fuel cut. P0117 P0118 Engine coolant temperature sensor circuit Engine coolant temperature will be determined by ECM based on the time after turning ignition switch ON or START. CONSULT-II displays the engine coolant temperature decided by ECM. Condition Engine coolant temperature decided (CONSULT-II display) Just as ignition switch is turned ON or Start 40°C (104°F) More than approx. 4 minutes after ignition ON or Start 80°C (176°F) Except as shown above 40 - 80°C (104 - 176°F) (Depends on the time) When the fail-safe system for engine coolant temperature sensor is activated, the cooling fan operates while engine is running. P0122 P0123 P0222 P0223 P2135 Throttle position sensor The ECM controls the electric throttle control actuator in regulating the throttle opening in order for the idle position to be within +10 degrees.The ECM regulates the opening speed of the throttle valve to be slower than the normal condition. So, the acceleration will be poor. P1121 Electric throttle control actuator (ECM detect the throttle valve is stuck open.) While the vehicle is driving, it slows down gradually by fuel cut. After the vehicle stops, the engine stalls. The engine can restart in N or P position, and engine speed will not exceed 1,000 rpm or more. P1122 Electric throttle control function ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring. P1124 P1126 Throttle control motor relay ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring. P1128 Throttle control motor ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring. P1129 Sensor power supply ECM stops the electric throttle control actuator control, throttle valve is maintained at a fixed opening (approx. 5 degrees) by the return spring. P2122 P2123 P2127 P2128 P2138 Accelerator pedal position sensor The ECM controls the electric throttle control actuator in regulating the throttle opening in order for the idle position to be within +10 degrees. The ECM regulates the opening speed of the throttle valve to be slower than the normal condition. So, the acceleration will be poor. Engine operating condition in fail-safe mode Engine speed will not rise more then 2,500 rpm due to the fuel cut."

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Nissan Mechanic: Jay, Nissan Technician replied 7 months ago

Cause with all this new information.. I have a bunch more thoughts...

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