Question about 1999 Nissan Pathfinder

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Nissan Pathfinder will not start when engine is luke warm. Please read through the details as the Fixya character counter sucks/

I have a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder 3.3L that will start and run great when engine is started cold or hot however if the engine is allowed to partially cool luke warm engine it will struggle to start and most times will not start until it is allowed to cool completely. if I unplug the coolant temp sensor it will start and once it is started and idles smoothly I plug it back in and it usually runs ok. My commute to work is 50 miles and I start it cold in the morning and again in the afternoon and most times I don't have a problem a few times it has stalled in stop and go traffic and runs a little rough but not very often. My problem is on the weekends when I run arrands walmart, lowes when I get back to my car it won't start and 1/2 the time when it does it runs rough. I have scanned it many times hoping for a code to point me in the right direction put the only code is the coolant temp sensor from when I unplugged it. Now what I have done through this ordeal is a new distributer, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and coolant temp sensor. I would really like to know how the coolant temp sensor reading warm could affect it in this way. time line running rough tune up: Plugs, Wires, Cap, Rotor runs better but then the luck warm no start first occurs replaced the distributer after learning of there many problems no change beating my head against a wall many times unplugged the coolant temp sensor and it started victory I thought replaced the coolant temp sensor and still no change d**n it partial victory I can at least start it now unplugging the coolant temp sensor and I'm not getting stranded any more. more beating my head against a wall current day asking for help

Posted by Anonymous on

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Mar 28, 2015

    Hi Anonymous, I'm going to put this in the comment section since it is not really an answer.
    If your scanner will read data from the sensors, I would want to know what that coolant temp sensor is reading cold, warm, and hot. If for some reason the sensor is way off when the engine is warm, it could be making the injectors very lean or very rich. Could be a wiring problem too.



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Please don't hurt more walls! Just kidding..what a problem. If you have the correct sensor installed and it is working correctly (check with multimeter for change in resistance when cold, warm, hot) then the signal getting to the computer must be getting scrambled in some way. Check the wire connection where you clip it onto the sensor. Use a multi meter and check for continuity there and back further along the wire.
if you can't trace the wire all the way to the computer, you may have to do a bodge job..rig a wire into the cab with an on off switch.
Only to be used when the engine is warm..flick switch to off, start truck, flick switch back to reengage sensor.......
think of it as an unusual theft deterrent !

Posted on Jun 03, 2015


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