Question about 2005 Nissan Xterra

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'05 Xterra engine shut off, seems electrical and sparatic.

Engine sputters while check engine light flashes rapidly. sometimes the 4wd light comes on, the VDC and SLIP light always comes on. At that point the engine sputters, no acceleration possible, still have power steering and brakes though. Turn the key to ACC and restart engine, everything is fine. Has happened 7-8 times in the past two days.

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Engine sputters while check engine light flashes rapidly. sometimes the 4wd light comes on, the VDC and SLIP light always comes on. At that point the engine sputters, no acceleration possible, still have...


The issue is your Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF) and more than likely also the Intake Air Temperature Sensor (IAT) which is part of the MAF housing. Both are probably malfunctioning. This can be due to an overused/very dirty air filter, or even an aftermarket air filter (that uses oil on the filter element), or diriving in very dusty/dirty areas.

2 fixes.
1) Get MAF cleaner of Electrical connection cleaner in a spray can from your local auto parts store. Locate the MAF, which is on the intake tube, drivers side, just after the air filter. It is held down by 2 hex screws. remove it (try not to touch the metal with your hands, and DO NOT touch the little sensors that look like wire resistors you will see inside, if you touch them, it will no longer work!), spray it VERY WELL with the cleaner (use the whole can if you feel the need) let dry in ambient air for at least 10 minutes, re-install and like magic, your car will start & run, probably better than before you had the issue. The CATCH IS, this can end up being a short term fix, may happen again after 10 miles, or 20,000 miles, but it will more than likely happen again.
2) Replace the MAF with a new unit, or have your vehicle serviced under warranty, and have the dealership replace this part.

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