Question about Nissan Frontier

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2003 Frontier 4cyl Hear noise then what feels like either a miss in the engine or the tranny slipping. Happens mostly at 60-70 mph or at highway speeds. Noise sounds like a motor or pully squeak. Also have the AC on at the time, not sure if its got something to do with the compressor kicking on. The noise and slip is very quick, 1-2 seconds at most, then normal operation. Steve, North Carolina

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  • klek22 Jul 30, 2008

    I can try that, but it doesn't explain the noise.....

  • klek22 Jul 31, 2008

    This does not happen when the AC is off, only when AC is running. Also tested with transmission in Park with Tach at 2000 rpm and again it only happens with AC on. Is there a short in the compressor when it comes on?



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Replace spark plugs first, check if they are covered with oil.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008

  • 1 more comment 
  • Ginko
    Ginko Jul 30, 2008

    Car Engine Misfires Poor Running - Tune Up
    Engine Miss Fire and Rough Running Condition

    There are three kinds of gasoline engine misfire scenarios, first there is the
    "under load" misfire and there is the "at engine idle" misfire,
    and finally there is misfire continuously. All engine misfires exist because one
    of three things has occurred. First, a cylinder has lost compression, a cylinder
    needs a certain amount of compression to operate correctly. Second, the
    ignition system has failed or is failing intermittently, spark is needed at the
    time of compression to ignite the fuel air mixture. Third, the fuel air mixture
    is incorrect, proper mixture is needed for the ignition system to ignite
    fuel properly. If any of these conditions occur
    in the engine, the engine will misfire.

    1. Low or no compression can be caused by

    a. burned or leaking intake or exhaust valves

    b. worn or broken piston or piston rings

    c. worn out camshaft

    d. wrong weight motor oil was installed holding the cam followers from adjusting

    e. broken valve spring

    f. failed head gasket.

    2. Ignition system has failed or is failing

    a. spark plug has fouled or is worn out

    b. ignition coil has failed

    c. spark plug wires have shorted

    e. engine control module coil driver has failed

    3. Fuel/Air Mixture is incorrect

    a. vacuum leak at the intake manifold

    b. fuel injector has failed

    c. EGR valve is stuck open

    d. mass air flow sensor has failed

    e. oxygen sensor has failed

    f. air intake boot is cracked

    Most vehicles can monitor the cylinder misfire condition and will illuminate
    the "service engine soon" light if a cylinder misfire has been detected. A engine
    code reader is used to read the trouble codes and can isolate the cylinder
    malfunction. See

    Checking Trouble Codes
    after the repair is complete the "service
    engine soon" light must be reset with a code reader. The vehicle has to be
    driven thoroughly (30 to 60 miles) to let all computer monitors and relearn their system to deem
    the vehicle repaired.

    common problems:

    1. fuel injector has failed or is failing

    2. spark plug wire has shorted

    3. spark plug is worn out or is cracked

    4. ignition coil has failed is failing

    Visit -
    How to
    Tune Up your engine

  • Ginko
    Ginko Jul 30, 2008

    The post above was from 2carpros.
    About the noise, there are many parts that can cause noise, if it is an high pitched squealing noise, kind of eeeehh it comes from a belt, usually serpentine belt, in need of more tension or replacement.
    Try to listen the engine with the help of somebopy pushing throttle pedal. If noise comes from cam belt, and is not the constant noise caused normally from chain/belt, go immediatelly to a mechanic, if cambelt is slipping you can cause a bug damage to valves.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Jul 31, 2008

    If it only happens when the AC is on then probably is noise from air conditioner belt worn or faulty, or from AC electric clutch plate.
    In this case it should not affect car drive safety.
    It is better not using the AC until you fix it, if it is only the belt or the clutch (AC is cooling) then you risk to damage the compressor, escalating the problem to a more expensive repair.
    Here is how to troubleshoot car AC.



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