Question about 2002 Nissan Altima

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2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S wierd problem starting it up.

Hi. I own 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5S. Since the day I had the car in my possession I experienced problems starting the car up. Here I will give some description of my problem.

In May 08 when I tried to start the car up it would spin the engine for about 5 to 8 seconds and then it would pick up and start normally. For the rest of the day it was fine. Then one rainy morning in June the car would not start at all, it would not spin the engine. AHA! Must be the battery, I changed it and car started to respond like new, the engine would pick up right away, but another problem occurred.

Since June until October (warm weather) these symptoms would appear:
When I craned the car up it the engine would hesitate for just a second and RPMs would at first go down to almost 100 promoting the engine to shake violently and then it would jump up to about 1100 RPMs and as the engine got warmer the RPMs got to the normal position of about 500-700 RPMs after that the car would run and start normally entire day! Next morning the symptoms would return and same thing would happen. When I left the car standing for 4 days with out starting it up than as I tried to crank it up it would just die down while engine was shaking violently, but eventually it would start after the 3rd try. I went to the mechanic and he told me that it is most likely my “Idle speed control” and that he recommends me to slightly press on the gas pedal when I start. I did that and yes the car with the gas pedal pressed starts up normally. Now it got colder ... and the car would not start with out me pressing on the gas pedal. When I do so I have to hold it for at least a minute because if I release gas than the car shakes and dies down. After about 2 minutes of me slightly pressing gas the car operated fine entire day, no matter how many times I have to start it. If I leave the car to just sit there for couple of days in cold with out starting it than even slightly pressing on the gas doesn’t help, I need to really pull the pedal to the metal to start it. It drives me crazy! What can it be? I did some digging on the internet and some people with similar problems recommend doing “Idle re-learn” procedure. Will this help?

Thank you for all your answers!

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  • holypython Dec 19, 2008

    I have the same problem, but it only occurs during cold weather. For cold start, the engine turns over, will start after a couple cranks, but then the rpms suddenly drop and the engine dies. If I try to restart, the engine will only turn over. After cranking for about a 30 seconds, the engine will "sputter" like it is trying to start and will continue to do this until I press down on the gas just at the right moment and it will start. I have to keep the gas held down for about 10 seconds and slowly release the gas to keep it running. After that, normal operation as long as the engine stays warm. The "check engine" light never comes on so no code is stored. I've had all of the recalls performed and nothing has addressed this issue. I've told the dealer about it during a couple recall visits and they can never reproduce the problem since the engine is warm by then.

  • souljah00 Dec 23, 2008

    I have a 2002 Nissan Altima, it starts up fine but I can't get it to shift out of park. I can move the gear shift but it won't change on the dashboard or physically.

  • Anonymous Mar 14, 2014

    I have a 91 300zx Twin Turbo with 68k miles. When I initally start (cold Start) the car it idles high for a few minutes then settles down to a normal idle speed (.05) when it gets warm but occasionally it will not settle down it stays above 1.2 rmps for the duration of the trip. Then there are days that it will settle down without a problem. On my other cars after the engine is warm if i step on the gas abit it settles down but the 300Z does not always respond to this. What is the problem?



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Try putting the car in neutral then starting...a bad park switch on the altimas.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008

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There have been several recalls on this vehicle for similar problems. I don't see in your posting where you took the vehicle to the dealer to check for recalls. You can call Nissan at 1-800-Nissan1 (in the U.S.) and have them check the VIN without taking it to the dealership. They will tell you if there are any outstanding recalls.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008


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