I have a 2002 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.8L and the check engine light has been on for about 2 weeks. It has been idling a little rough and I had the code checked and it said "coolant low." The coolant is actually full and I've never had problems with it. Could the rough idle be due to a rare fill-up of bad gas? (By the way I only use Premium). Is the coolant message just a sensor problem?
Yes, if you know you got bad gas, then this could be the rough idle. You may want to replace the fuel filter. Low coolant. If you have a radiator cap, check coolant there. If it is low and the reservoir is good, replace the hose from the radiator to the reservoir. Have no kinks in it. If both are fine replace the sensor. Low coolant doesn't effect the engine unless it is over heating.
A problem that occurred 2 weeks ago but you ignored is now more costly to repair
if you only check the coolant level at the reservoir then it is time to check it at the radiator cap as there may be no water in the top tank and that is why the sensor reported the fault
The rough idle may be from over heating
Lights are not fitted for no reason but are there to warn you of impending high cost of repairs
Have the fault codes read and fix problems
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whats the new code? is it the same o2 sensor? you could have a vacuum leak causing it to set the same code. is your air filter clean? whens the last time you changed the fuel filter? had plugs installed in a long time? start with these items. they could all effect your fuel mileage. hope this helps
Sounds like it could be overheating. Especially if your wife is driving slow speed through town then there is less air going thru the radiator and the electric fan should take care of that. The reserve does not need to be full but should not be completely empty. When the engine coolant heats up it is pushed into the reserve tank when hot and then gets sucked back into engine when it cools. Anyways the first thing I would check is the radiator electric fan. If the fan is not working then the engine will overheat if stopped or at non-highway speeds. Check the fuse is good and make sure the fan relay is working. There is a seperate fan that works for the a/c and if you notice it start running rough then turn on the a/c and that will kick on the other electric motor to help cool the engine(just hope it is not winter time). You could let the engine idle for a while and see if the fan comes on. The mechanic using the computer has the ability with that computer to actually tell the car's computer to turn on the fan that way he can verify it is working. Sometimes thermostats go bad and can get stuck closed and cause an overheating issue also. So you could also replace the thermostat. Let me know if you have any more questions.
You will need a new catalytic convertor assembly. Yours is below treshold efficiency in other words its "no good".If you have it replaced, ask the garage/dealer to give you the old one back. Its worth some cash if its full. It doesn't matter thet it failed. They are going after the mesh inside of it and that is worth some $$$$. May not be much , but better than nothing.