Question about 1998 Nissan Pathfinder

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My 1998 pathfinder sputters and dies after it warms up

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  • tiros98 Mar 31, 2011

    I do have black smoke coming out of the tailpipe. It doesn't use up water

  • tiros98 Apr 05, 2011

    It was the distributor. When ever vehicle became hot the distributor bearings allowed movement. A good indicator was metal shavings underneath the cap that covers the electrical components inside the distributor.

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  • Nissan Master
  • 1,940 Answers

Have the timing checked out. If it is off a couple of teeth, the engine should run, or sputter, but will die when warmed up. Your 6 Cylinder engine uses a timing belt with a manual pulley tensioner. If the tensioner or belt is worn or broken, the belt will jump and timing will be off. The 3.3 liter engine is an interference engine. That means that if the timing belt does break, it may cause internal engine damage, particularly bent valves or broken valve guides.

Just wondering, when the engine dies on you while driving, does it start right back up, or does it start up only after cooling down?

If the timing checks out, you may also want to check/replace the spark plugs and spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, crankshaft position sensor, and fuel filter. Make sure the rotor is pointing to the Number 1 Spark Plug wire when the Number 1 Cylinder is at Top Dead Center.

Posted on Mar 31, 2011

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  • Master
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Hi,

One of the main cause's for this problem is the cold start sensor is faulty and needs to be replaced. This sensor tells the ECM to run the fuel at a rich mixture and as the engine warms up, then tells it to lean out. When the engine is sputtering it is usually a sign that the engine is still running rich and this is the main problem.

However the other problem it could be is the cylinder head gasket is blown and as the engine warms up is then allows the head to separate slightly letting water into the combustion chamber inside the engine.

Are you using water?
Do you see black smoke coming out the exhaust pipe end?

Let me know if you need more information.

Thanks

Jason

Posted on Mar 31, 2011

  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere Mar 31, 2011

    Ok then this is a fuel problem which will be related to the solution I gave you previously.

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