Question about 1995 Nissan Sentra

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Nissan Sentra GA15DE engine - misfiring at random during drive

I have replaced two throttle chambers and on the third one now. However, after installing this brand new throttle chamber, the engine would misfire randomly when driving along anywhere above 80kmh. When it happens, the misfire can be very mild to jerky accompanied by lots of white smoke from the exhaust. After a few minutes, it clears and the engine is back to normal and runs smoothly.

Over a 200km distance I travelled today, I have noticed the misfire would start especially when driving up on a sloping road. It also happens at other times even on level roads and at random. Brought it to the mechanic, changed new spark plugs, fuel filter and diagnose with Consult-II but still the problem won't rear its head in the workshop.

Inspecting the spark plugs they appear clean and normal, not oily or soothy.

The white cloud of smoke, is that unburnt fuel mixture? If it is so, could the new throttle chamber be faulty or the distributor / coil is faulty?

When my two previous throttle chambers acted up, the engine would spatter and belch black smoke and die as soon as the engine warms up to normal operating temperature. The car then would be undriveable.

The MIL light was not even lighted like in the previous incidences.

Would appreciate if anyone have had the same experience and share what to do to fix this problem.

Warm Regards

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  • martnewn Oct 14, 2008

    Latest update. This morning I checked the engine oil and it had lost around 1.5 ltrs. All the white smoke I mentioned yesterday must have been the engine oil burning up. Question is how did it get into the combustion chamber? I went to another mechanic for a second opinion and after a test drive he reckons it could be some piston ring damage or worn valve seals. The engine has done some 270,000Km or roughly 170,000 miles by the way and is regularily maintained. It has been on fully synthetic oil from new.

    The cylinder head has to come off for an assessment of the problem. Will update you guys next week of outcome.

  • stupid_kiwi Dec 05, 2008

    I have similar problems on 4 different cars (I own a rental fleet) but it all goes back to either dry-solder joint or water temp sensor.
    Check this out
    Did you change the throttle body new or reconditioned?
    The smoke perhaps is unrelated to this problem (may be true piston ring is broken)

  • martnewn Jan 02, 2009

    Sorry folks for the belated follow up report. The cylinder head was taken off and couldn't find any fault. Anyway, just gave it a valve lapping job and changed new valve seals.

    The cylinder bores were inspected and appeared in good condition, smooth and no scratches discounting broken rings. To be dead sure, the pistons were removed and the rings were sticky.

    This may explain why sometimes it suffers a blow by. We were also suspicious that the rings maybe weak so decided to change them. So we ended up reboring and fitting an oversize ring and piston. While at it, also replaced all rubber hoses especially those behind the engine and under the inlet manifold which is impossible to get at otherwise. Also the timng chain tensioner pad had worn thin and was replaced.

    The engine has been runnning smoothly ever since the overhaul and no more blow by so far.

    I think the sticky rings were due to the fact that the car was driven by my wife who hardly drives hard or exceed 100kph.

    I have also now changed from using Mobil-1 fully synthetic motor oil to Shell Super Helix a semi-synthetic oil.

    Also thanks to Kiwi for the articles on resoldering dry joints on throttle chamber. I have two old ones and will take apart the cover to check if mine was a dry joint problem as well.



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I have a 1995 Nissan Pulsar and had the same problem with the engine just as you explained, with the white smoke and backfiring, the problem was the pcv valve had failed and the oil was being sucked from it through the vacuum pipe attached to it. the oil would go into the inlet manifold and go into the combustion chamber. I had practically changed everything around the engine block before finding the problem. And also, the MIL light never came on.

Best Of Luck.

Posted on Sep 06, 2010


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