Question about 1998 Nissan 200SX

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Flashing Check Engine Light during normal operation

Bought 1998 Nissan 200sx 5spd manual transmission over the weekend with 157,000 miles on it. It ran great for the first 100 miles I drove it (but check engine light was on). Filled up with fuel at a reputable gas station. Since that fuel up, the car is making popping sounds during acceleration and normal driving, the check engine light will flash on and off for a time then go back to solid. I did add some fuel treatment thinking it might have been water in the fuel. I could really use some help on this as I can't afford a major repair.

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  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    The known issues with the car when I bought it was an exhaust leak (which is very minor) and a loose clutch. Like I said earlier, it ran great when I test drove it, and then I drove it about 100 miles on the highway to get it home. It was only after I filled up with gas that this new issue started. Why I thought it was bad fuel. I saw on a different site that it could be a loose gas cap. Could that cause a stuttering issue really?

  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    The fuel treatment was added after all of this began yesterday, in fact I added it this morning after sputtering my way to work.

  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    the CEL has stayed on since I bought the car on Sunday. It only flashes when it sputtering.

  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    I'll try this at lunch

  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    Okay, I took the easy way out and went to Autozone to have the codes read. they are P0105 (maf sensor) and P0304 - Cylinder 4 misfiring. So now I need to figure out why cylinder 4 is misfiring.

    I did tighten the fuel cap before I drove to Autozone, and it ran fine for a bit but then as I got closer to Autozone it started to shudder again, and then all the way back here.

  • brian_schwar May 26, 2009

    sorry, p0105 is absolute pressure sensor according to the codes I saw

  • brian_schwar May 27, 2009

    You were absolutely right. I took it to a shop yesterday, and it was the spark plug in number 4. They tightened it, and presto, the car started running great again. Only cost me 6 dollars to fix. Thank you for all your suggestions.

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    number 4 is misfiring because ecm has leaned out the fuel. and the sparkplug maybe a little fouled. but since it is leaned the air fuel mixture problem is asserbated by the bad map sensor. lets try to clean it from the inside I dont think it is bad. I think its just dirty

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    I found this on the internet this morning. let me know. I will try to find your trouble codes. by the way the ECM will put the car in a self preservation or "limp "home" mode if there is a trouble code

    read here before doing the computer removal

    I have been told tha t you maybe able to do it this way also: I would try this first before tearing the thing apart

    1) Sit your **** in the driver's seat.

    2) Turn the ignition key to the ON position and wait three seconds. (Do not start the car.)

    3) Fully depress and release the accelerator pedal five times in less than five seconds. (If you've got bad ankles, give up now and drive the car to the dealer.)

    4) Wait exactly seven seconds. Fully depress the accelerator pedal and hold it down for about ten seconds until the MIL light begins flashing.

    5) Release the accelerator pedal and start counting flashes to obtain the four-digit trouble code. Long flashes (0.6 seconds) indicate the first digit of the code; count the blinks one through nine and write down the first digit. (Ten blinks indicates a zero.) The next three digits follow in turn in the same fashion except with faster blinks (0.3 second) and a 1.0-second pause between digits.

    The ECM code repeats intself until you turn the ignition key to the OFF position, at which point the ECM resets itself to standard get-in-and-drive-the-car mode. You can look up the trouble codes in the ESM/FSM; there's a bunch of them. In the ESM, refer to page EC-639. Additionally, if you get four blinks of ten (0000), the ECM is indicating no malfunction.

    You can clear the code (and the annoying MIL) by holding down the accelerator pedal for more than 10 seconds while in Diagnostic Test Mode II. When you release the pedal, the ECM erases the trouble code(s).

    In my case, my trouble code was 0442 - "Evaporative System Small Leak" - discussed on page EC-973. This could indicate anything from a poorly sealed gas gap to a leak in the evaporative recovery system underneath the car. I checked everything I could and decided to clear the code, thinking that maybe a slightly loose gas cap might've been the culprit. It apparently was, as the MIL hasn't shined since.

    This is exactly the kind of problem that I hate -- hate -- having dealer monkeys diagnose, as it takes hours and hours for them to dirty up the inside of my car, change all my radio presets, go through my trunk and glovebox and grease up the doorhandles and hood before they wander over and say, "Well, it's fine now." Noooo thank you.

    One other interesting bit (well, I thought it was mildly entertaining at least) I ran across while poring through the OBD section was that the ECM often changes engine behavior when it senses a fault. We've all seen the posts from folks whose engines wouldn't rev past 2400 rpm, for example, and seen them report the bad news their dealers had provided: The MAF gave up the ghost.

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    ok how mechanically incline are you. If you are willing to do this we can get to the bottom of the issue....

    print this out

    Anyway, here's how to read the codes from the Nissan: When sitting in the driver seat of the Nissan 200SX, by your right foot, under the console, behind your radio, and bolted to the hump between the driver and passenger sides you will find the cars diagnostic computer system under a plastic cover. There are 2 nuts attached to bolts in the front and 2 phillips screws in the back (one per side). Remove the 2 nuts and 2 phillips screws. You will also need to pull out the plastic inserts that the screws go into.

    On the back of the assembly is a flat piece of metal that slips under a clip. After the nuts, screws and inserts are removed lift the front of the assembly and pull it forward (cover and all). Now work the assembly and the cover together over to the passenger side. There is not enough room to take off the cover so you need to move the cover and the computer at the same time. Of course, be careful of the wiring harness. You should be fine if you are not rough with it.

    Once you have the computer over on the floor of the passenger side remove the cover and turn the computer around as best you can so that you can see the back of it. On the back of the unit under a clear piece of plastic tape you will see a flat-head screw. peel it back so that you can put it over the screw again. NOTE: The normal position of this screw and turned completely counter-clockwise. Insert your key into the ignition and turn it until the dash lights come on. DO NOT START THE CAR. You should now see all the dash lights steady on including the yellow MIL light. Now turn the screw on the computer completely clockwise; the yellow MIL light will go out; wait about 3-5 seconds and turn the screw completely counter-clockwise to where it was originally. You have just switched the computer from diagnostic mode 1 to diagnostic mode 2 and within a few seconds the yellow MIL light will start to flash the failure code(s). The codes are 4 digits (XXXX) and are read as follows: The first two digits are given first (the tens digits) by .6 second flashes and then the second two digits are given (the ones digits) by .3 second flashes. for example 3 long flashes (03XX) and 3 short flashes (XX03). So the code would be 0303.

    If you do not want to erase the code(s) you can simply turn your ignition completely off and wait for more than 5 seconds. The computer will automatically switch back to diagnostic mode 1 and the failure codes will still be there (the MIL light will still be on). If you do want to erase the codes and turn the MIL light off again just turn the screw completely clockwise and wait 3-5 seconds and then turn it completely counter-clockwise again.

    Manually switching from diagnostic mode 2 to diagnostic mode 1 causes the failures to be erased from the memory of the computer. You are also supposed to be able to erase the codes by disconnecting the battery and waiting 24 hours for the memory to erase itself but to put it bluntly THAT SUCKS we should be able to find a listing for the engine codes on the internet

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    normally the check engine light will stay on if the fuel cap is the issue. when you turn the ignition on car off does the check engine light go out or does it stay on. We can also check the engine code problems.

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    The fuel treatment may have broke up material within the gas tank. this clogging the mesh (sock) this maybe a seperate piece that can be bought from your local autoparts store. removal of the pump is not hard if you have time

  • Raymond Ramirez
    Raymond Ramirez May 11, 2010

    3 possible things. the fuel pump maybe going bad or the screen mesh on the fuel pump maybe going bad.

    you can use carbreator cleaner and spray the air intake down. The TPS look here it should resemble this one.

    with the car off take the air intake hose off clean spray liberal amout... if this doesnt work we are looking at a possible fuel pump or fuel filter problem..

    let me know



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HI you need to scan compuer to see what code you have

Posted on Sep 23, 2009


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