Question about 1997 Nissan Maxima

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Engine cutting off while driving

I have a 97 nissan maxima se with almost 250,000 miles on it. My car has been a stellar ride until recently. I will be driving then my car and it will start bucking as if it wants to stop. It will stop and go a few times before it eventually cuts off. I will push the peddle all the way down and it will not cease the stop and go. It usually happens when I am driving on the freeway but know it is happening when I am on the streets. At first I would wait a moment when it cuts off, then start it up and drive. But it takes longer to start it up now and the problem persist when the tank is low or full.

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  • elliottbev Oct 23, 2008

    Thanks for your input. I checked the oil and in fact it was low but it did not look like milkshake. However, you saved me from more engine worries. The timing does not seem off and i just had my smog and everything was good. The platinum spark plugs and wiring have not reached 100,000, so my problem persists and I continued to be stumped.

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I almost guarantee the problem is one of 2 things or like in my case a combination of 2 things.

I had the exact same problem and you'll be happy to know the fix is relatively inexpensive.

At the left side of your engine when your are looking at it with the hood up there is a small sensor called a CAM SHAFT POSITION SENSOR, it screws into the left lower side of the engine, its price ranges between 40-50 dollars for an aftermarket one! dont go Genuine Nissan it will be more pricey! and really for what it does there is no difference!

First try replacing just the Sensor first and if it continues leave the new sensor in and also replace the MAF (MASS AIR FLOW SENSOR) you can also find this at a scrap yard for 50-60 dollars

I bet once your car shuts off while driving it takes a while to cool off before it starts right back up again! If you are getting a constant crank! but no Fire.............that would explain why the Camshaft Position sensor should be replaced! As far as the Cutting out while driving that usually is the sign of a faulty or burnt out MAF or Mass Air Flow Sensor.

I changed both these on my car and its been smooth sailing ever since! you Said 250,000! thats nothing im sure you'll get 200,000 More..........This is an excellent year for Nissan and many of these cars make it too 350,000 and in some cases 500,000 (ive seen a few)

If you change your oil regularly and keep up on all the little knicks and Knacks from wear and tear the award winning VQ engine will last you as long as you want it too!

Hope that helped!

Posted on Nov 12, 2008

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When was the last time you replace the gas filter

Posted on Nov 24, 2008

Hmm, In that case, it COULD im not saying it is, but COULD be Catalytic converter clogging. They tend to crystalize over time and use, so it may or may not be clogged, but regardless, gut out your stock one and have a high flow put in, it may be slightly louder, but it will run better, mine did. Other solutions may include but are not limited to:
Igniter Coil failing (ignition system)
Spark plug wires internally broken, and intermitent as the vibrations bring the broken ends back together.
Sludge (burnt oil) in the crank case. (shouldnt be this, but you never know)
Distributer cap just worn out.
My best solution for all issues.
Check EVERYTHING, that way, there is no room for error.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008

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Did you change the oil, oil filter recently or at all? and when you pull the oil fill cap off, does it look like milkshake? your engine could be having oil issues, or timing, take it to a shop and have them check the timing out, you may need a new distributor cap, or ignitor coil.
also change your spark plugs.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008

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