When driving car suddenly sputters, more frequent in warm weather and when accelerating

New Topics Forums General Discussion 1999 – 2002 Nissan Quest When driving car suddenly sputters, more frequent in warm weather and when accelerating

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  prgonzalez 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #1299

    btate0121
    Participant

    Firstly.. HI everyone! New to the forums and pretty darn excited to see there’s an ACTIVE forum for this van!

    OK, for a few years now my van will suddenly begin to sputter when accelerating. It feels like the the gas has been cut off from the engine.. but it never cuts off.. just sputters violently. The issue is resolved when we let up on the gas completely and coast for a few seconds. As soon as you let up off of the gas the sputtering stops and after coasting for a few seconds will accelerate like normal (MOST of the time.. sometimes it sputters more.. we just repeat the process until it quits it’s tantrum).

    The car has about 160k miles on it I’m guessing it’s a transmission issue. We’ve never changed the transmission fluid (at the suggestion of a mechanic we trust and have used for years) because we’re told that may ruin the transmission.

    2 questions

    Does this sound like a transmission issue to you all?

    If it IS a transmission problem.. how much would replacing it cost? we’re still making payments on the van and would like to keep it long after we’re done.

    #4926

    prgonzalez
    Participant

    First, please take it correctly, no offense intended. I know you are saying you trust your mechanic. You didn’t say why you trust him, maybe he is honest and has integrity. But, giving you advice to don’t replace the transmission fluid is the WORST advice he could have given you all these years. It’s equivalent to saying, don’t replace the engine oil. I would replace the transmission fluid immediately including replacing the pan gasket and cleaning the magnets on the pan from metal shavings. Replace transmission fluid every 30,000 miles and your transmission will be happy with fresh fluid.

    Now, on your problem. Some questions: 1. Is there a Service Engine Light on? 2. Does the engine revs up fine (700 to 3,000 RPM) when it’s in parking or neutral? If no, you have a combustion problem. Check spark plugs, plug cables, distributor and sensor inside distributor, possible air leaks in intake manifold. If engine revs up fine, does it jump one or two inches when revs up? If yes, replace engine mounts. If no, take it to a transmission mechanic for an evaluation. A transmission replace will cost you about $3,500 when replacing with a remanufactured transmission. A brand new transmission cost over $3,000 (if you can find one) plus labor. A transmission rebuild will probably be less costly if the torque converter is in good shape.

    Good luck

    #4943

    jsip
    Participant

    Funny I’m reading your comments. I joined this site because of this very reason. My van has the same issue that started several days ago. Did you find out the cause of this issue? I made an appt with Nissan later this week to have it looked at.

    Thanks

    #4990

    btate0121
    Participant

    @ Jsip.. nope.. no resolution yet. What did the dealer say when you took yours?

    @ prgonzolez no offense taken. and yes.. we trust him because he MOSTLY gives us bad news (he hates our van) and LOVES to tell us we shouldn’t be driving it. He’s been that way since we first started going to him (alternatively we have a Honda he loves). So.. that being said. the REASON he said we shouldn’t change the fluid (this was years ago) was because it was a very high mileage car when we bought it and he didn’t think we should risk a $3k job for something he felt would likely ruin the van. I hear what you’re saying though.

    so for your questions

    1. Is there a Service Engine Light on?

    Yes, the check engine light comes on and the speedometer stops reading during the summer.. (warmer weather) but picks right back up when it gets cooler and the stuttering stops.

    2. Does the engine revs up fine (700 to 3,000 RPM) when it’s in parking or neutral? If no, you have a combustion problem. Check spark plugs, plug cables, distributor and sensor inside distributor, possible air leaks in intake manifold.

    I hadn’t checked the RPM during idle.. i’ll check later when I get home.

    3. If engine revs up fine, does it jump one or two inches when revs up? If yes, replace engine mounts. If no, take it to a transmission mechanic for an evaluation.

    We did replace a cap a few years back when we first started noticing the problem that was FRIED.. but the problems persisted after it was replaced. This same mechanic has already replaced our engine mounts so the engine is good there.

    I really appreciate your feedback! THANK YOU!

    #4991

    jsip
    Participant

    I got off lucky here. I had several issues that needed to be addressed and fixed.

    1) My speedometer stopped working at the same time my van would sputter. The sputtering occurred only when I would accelerate, but once it started it was difficult to get the van to stop sputtering. I never had the check engine light come on.
    – two repairs were made that solved my problem. 1) Speedometer was fixed by replacing the Speed sensor on the transmission. Part cost about $130usd. 2) I changed the fuel filter too. Often overlooked, mine was pretty dirty.

    2) The next repair to stop car from bucking at idle was to replace the TPS (throttle Postion Sensor) Part cost around 200.00UDS.

    My van runs great and I have had no further issues. I have been driving it daily on the highway and also in city like conditions with the AC on. I got off lucky with around $500 worth of repairs.

    Hope this helps.

    #4994

    maluman
    Participant

    Btate,
    When you mentioned sputter… Are you seeing the rpm of the engine jump drastically? Meaning, if you are at 4k rpm, it will jump 500 to 1k rpm lower in seconds?.. almost like a cylinder or two would drop out?

    My issue felt like a misfire, but there were no codes… Did you manage to read your codes yet?

    Anyway, the cause of my vehicle stumbling at idle or while driving ended up being the actual distributer. The top bearing was destroyed, and this caused the cam position wheel not to rotate smoothly. Since the RPM guage is reading from this wheel… I believe when the bearing was damaged, it caused some jolts and non smooth movement which caused the crazy RPM fluctuation , and also caused this stumble.
    If you haven’t checked this yet, its easy to do so. You can remove the distributer cap, then remove the cover with the two screws, and inspect the upper dist shaft.

    Good luck.

    GJ

    #4996

    btate0121
    Participant

    Thanks to you both for the replies! I’ll take a look under the cap this weekend.

    @ Jsip are the repairs something I can do myself? I don’t mind getting my hands dirty at all. Of course I need to confirm if my issue is the same, though it does sound about right. The mechanic I use did mention that the sensor on the transmission probably needs to be replaced.

    #5010

    prgonzalez
    Participant

    bbate,

    1. Service Engine Light … What is the code you have?

    2. Speedometer indicates the speed sensor output. This output is also used by the computer for controlling the transmission shifting. Thus, if the speed sensor is bad, your transmission will be acting up and it can be damaged by not shifting when needed. The speed sensor is easy to change. I got mine replaced at about 140K miles. I bought it from Nissan for $89.00. You can also get it from Autozone or O’Reillys.

    3. Replace transmission fluid if you have not replace it yet.

    My van has 159K miles now and is running smooth. These are good vans.

    Pedro

    #5011

    prgonzalez
    Participant

    It is easy to DIY.

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