Question about 2000 Nissan Xterra

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2000 nissan xterra wont start but will crankover

I have a 2000 nissan xterra that started to idle crazy when it got warm (30 to 45 min use) but cold start was fine. i swapped out plugs, wires, cap, rotor but nothing. i changed the fuel filter,and mass air flow sensor but the same. my wife drove it work and it finally died. she explains it hesitated and rpm's dropped to 0 and would not crankover. i checked fuel line and is getting fuel. does anyone have an idea what it can be, just stressed out cause i miss my truck.

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  • vingee57 Dec 31, 2008

    I have a 2000 Nissan Xterra 6 cylinder that started to idle crazy when it got warm (5 to 15 min use) but cold start was fine. I swapped out air filter, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, pvc but nothing changed. I changed the fuel filter, and nox sensor but the same. My wife drove it to the store and it stopped run. She explains it hesitated and rpm's dropped to 0 and would not crank over. I checked fuel line and is getting fuel. After 3-5 hours or when it is cold it will start and idle but after a few minutes it will idle crazy. Does anyone have an idea what it can be; the mechanic believes it is the distributor that needs replacing. Very stressed out, the repair seems costly should I replace my truck.

  • Anonymous Feb 10, 2009

    same problem

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My truck didn't do the crazy idling so much but it was running a little rough before it finnally died. it just wouldn't start back up. i changed the fuel filter i could hear the fuel pump working i finnally pulled a spark plug out and realized it wasn't getting spark. after hooking a computer module up under the dash it told me that the camshaft position sensor was out. the sensor is integrated into the distributor therefore you have to change the distributor to replace the sensor. hope this helps some, i'm actually trying to fix mine tomarrow

Posted on Dec 04, 2008

  • Paul Blakey
    Paul Blakey Aug 08, 2012

    It was the distributor! I replaced it with one that has a lifetime warranty. cranked right over. it even runs like a new car again since i replace most of the ignition parts before. Thanks for your help.

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Sounds like the distrubitor to me. I had the same issue on a 91 Eagle Talon. The RPM's dropped to zero because the spark plugs were no longer firing, and therefore the sensor could not sense that the engine was turning. I replaced mine, even as hesitant as I was, it fixed the problem.

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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It could be a problem with your alternator. I'm not an expert but I believe the alternator supplies electrical power to the car while it is running and the battery is used to start the car and charge the alternator. I assume by "idle crazy" you mean there was loss of engine power. This could be the alternator not having enough electrical power after it got used up in 30 to 45 min. This could have been the alternator gradually breaking down. Eventually it failed and the battery got drained until the vehicle died.

The same thing happened to me with my 2000 Ford Ranger. My voltage indicator gradually got lower and lower until the car died on me. I was driving at night and all the interior and exterior lights dimmed down right before the car stopped. It stopped in the same way yours did, rpm's dropped and engine stopped and it wouldn't turn over. I fixed it by replacing the alternator (I had to leave the car where it was for the night, I went back with a new alternator in the morning). The car is still running fine to this day.

If you can remember if your voltage was low before the car died then it's probably the battery or the alternator. Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 02, 2008

  • Falcon_16 Dec 03, 2008

    Just a correction... The alternator is what charges the battery and not the other way around. The alternator usually connects through a belt to the crankshaft and that is how it gets its power to the battery to charge it.

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I would check your distributor. when you pulled off the old cap, did you see silver dust or any dust in general? that is an indication that the ball bearings inside the distributor has gone bad which explains the problems you are having. My wife's car did the same thing and I replaced the distributor and it runs like new again.

Here is a link to what I did. I found a distributor at Oreilly's with a lifetime warranty for less than $200. Good Luck!
http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?p=436941#post436941

Posted on Jun 21, 2012

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