Question about 1988 Nissan Pathfinder

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88 nissan pathfinder v6 4wd idles too fast and smokes

Hi, noticed your post on a discussion forum, and thought I would ask for help. I have an 88 pathfinder v6 4wd a friend gave me when he moved. It needed brakes all the way around, so I did those, and noticed he hadn't done much maintence on it so did a tune up; new fuel filter, new plugs, oil change. It ran perfectly before I fixed it, now it is smoking and doesn't seem to idle down. I tried to adjust the idle screw but had little effect; tried adjusting the timing but is very advanced and if brought to 12 btdc it dies. Did the diagnostic on the ecu and got 11 (crank angle sensor), 12 (air flow meter), 13 (engine temperature sensor). The manual I have, doesn't tell me how to test any of these items, or what to do if they should fail. Could these items be causing my problem, are they all related, and failure of one could register failure of the other two. I replaced the coil, have checked the spark plug gap half a dozen times, thought maybe somehow the timing belt slipped. Turned the timing marks on the damper to tdc and the rotor appears to be in the area for the number one plug to fire but I see no mark on the distributor. Is there a mark on the distributor for plug number one? Can I replace the crank angle sensor? Also, my manual doesn't show a vacuum hose diagram, and I believe vac hoses are missing, where do I find one? Sorry, I know this is a lot, but if you can point me in the right direction it would be great.

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Considering it ran fine before I would make sure everything is plugged in tight. There is no way to tell at this point what you did wrong to get to this point but if you like you can go to mitchell1diy online and get everything there is about your truck. The only thing I can think of that would cause a smoking issue is the MAP is unplugged which would cause it to go full rich . Also if you have any air leaks after the air flow meter the PCM will not see that air and the fuel control will be way off. Most likely this would cause a struggling idle. Any vacuum leak after the air flow meter would cause eitther a slightly raised idle or stumbling idle depending on where the leak is located.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010


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Will an air pocket in the coolant system cause it to overheat or over pressurize on a 2001 Nissan Sentra ?

1. The radiator cap if working correctly it will release pressure in the system provided the cap you have is the correct pressure setting. If you are having a problem with pressure then replace the cap with a new radiator cap with the correct pressure setting. Do not use a cap with a pressure setting other than the original equipment pressure spec. So you do not go to the parts store and buy any radiator cap on the shelf that fits because they come with different pressure ratings and some of these will be totally unsuitable for your car.

2. If the pressure valve is stuck in the "old" cap the pressure release system will not work.

3. Overheating
Air pockets in the cooling system can definitely cause overheating and can retard coolant flow through the system. If you are draining the radiator to replace the coolant or replacing the radiator you need to follow the correct procedures for bleeding air out of the system for that particular engine after coolant refilling. Some engines have bleeder screws on the cooling system to assist in the air bleeding procedure and some don't.

There are various causes for overheating so don't assume it will necessarily be solved by bleeding any remaining air from the cooling system and replacing the radiator cap with one that works.

Other causes can be...........
1. Faulty cooling system thermostat. (Replace the Thermostat)
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3. Cooling fans not working and if so the cause needs to be tracked. Check that your fans are kicking in. If the engine is overheating the fans should be running because they will switch on when the coolant reaches a specific temp and well before the coolant gets excessively hot.

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If you have bled air from the system and have continuous air bubbles in the cooling system I would suspect a compression leak. In that event a basic leak down test will show if you have compression gasses leaking into the cooling system and from which cylinder(s). The spark plug is removed and compressed air is forced into the cylinder via the spark plug fitting and air bubbles will show up in the coolant of there is a leak into the cooling system.
Have the problem with overheating addressed immediately. Running the engine with an overheat condition will cause expensive engine damage many times the cost of fixing the overheating issue.


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I have a 2001 nissan pathfinder se and it won't idle. keeps wanting to die if you don't keep giving it gas and it's blowing black smoke out of the exhaust.

there is a very common issue with bad distributors in nissan pathfinders,xterras.and quest. just replace the distributor

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1990 nissan pathfinder has started to idle faster after warming up

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MY 96 Nissan Maxima has rough idle and is blowning

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Hi Pathman,

I was going over unsolved problems and found yours.

After a cool night, condensation forms on the cool metal. The white smoke is that condensation burning off. If it did not stop, that would be indicative of a worse problem.


May 26, 2008 | 2000 Nissan Pathfinder

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