Question about 2002 Nissan Sentra

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COLD START ROUGH IDLE

WHEN I COLD START MY 2002 NISSAN SENTRA IT WILL IDLE ROUGH FOR THE FIRST 30 SECONDS AND THEN IT IS FINE AFTER THAT.

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  • Anonymous May 26, 2009

    I have the same issue, and it just started about two months ago. I thought at first I had just gotten into some bad gas, but it doesn't matter what brand I use, and although it idles rough at first crank most of the time, it's not with every single cold crank. Now, however, just a couple of days ago the "service engine soon" light came on, and about 10 minutes later the car overheated after driving for about an hour in 72-degree weather, and wouldn't allow the engine to rev above 2000 rpm (engine preservation mechanism?). The reservoir was low - interesting, since I just had the radiator serviced last season - so I filled it with coolant mix; however, the car still overheats after about 15 minutes of test driving in moderate (75-80) temperatures. The cooling fan does come on, but I noticed that the serpentine belt is squeaking, and for the past few weeks - warning sign, probably, in retrospect - on cool evenings I would get no heat. Bad water pump? Loose belt? I'm not certain. I'm no diagnostician, but I may be able to fix it if I know what to fix. I question whether the two problems could be related, although I'm not sure how.

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I hate to be the barer of bad news, but may be the head gasket.

My car started with rough idle. Then very hard to start in cold weather. Next started overheating, but no output from heater. Trickling sound from behind dash board. Overflow bottle overflowing.......

I replaced the water pump, radiator cap, thermostat, coolant, fan belts, power flushed the system. Nothing worked. Some research gave me the answer.

The head gasket leak was allowing exhaust gases to enter the cooling system, displacing the coolant. After use, as engine cools, coolant is sucked back into the system and coolant seeps into the cylinder. This gets worse over time.

First thing you'll notice is the rough idle as the spark plug burns off the coolant in the cylinder. (This is especially true at low temperatures.) If it is the head gasket, the other symptoms will follow as time goes by.

Posted on Jun 03, 2009

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