Just bought the X for my daughter all seemed fine... - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 12-04-2012, 05:28 PM
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2001 Xterra
retcav1sg is on a distinguished road
Just bought the X for my daughter all seemed fine...

now not so much. Here's the history...2001 Xterra XE 2wd 3.3l 207,000 miles. Decent repair history, oil changes done, timing belt done among other things. I've had it for a week, it ran great getting it home (75mph on interstate). It's been at the house while I stripped it and repainted all the faded trim and various body pieces. It looks almost new. It started fine the few times I had to move around the driveway. Today I changed the oil (only put in 3.5 qts) added some brake and power steering fluids and changed the air filter. Let may daughter take it for a test drive and all seemed fine. I then took it for a drive and things went bad quickly. It started feeling like it wanted to bog down, acceleration was horrible and I barely got it home. Idle was very rough and it would shut down if I didn't give it some gas. Very weird, the only thing I can think of is changing the air filter caused some sort of vacuum leak or who knows what. BTW, no check engine light. Now it won't stay running when I start it. Runs very rough and shuts off, If I give it gas it just runs rough at a higher RPM. Feels like its not getting what it needs in the way of air or fuel or something. It's strange that this happened right after I did some lite maint. Sorry for the long post just wanted to give as much info as possible.

Any thoughts much appreciated
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#2 Old 12-04-2012, 06:34 PM
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inspect the rubber hose between the airbox and the throttle body. Did you break it or is it not on all the way? This would cause bogging or it too shut off. also see if you're loosing spark could be the distributor
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#3 Old 12-04-2012, 06:35 PM
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Definitely look at the Fuel Sending Unit (FSU)

You can access it through the back seat passenger side. Lift up the seat and remove the panel, that'll expose the FSU. They go bad quite often... good news is it's an easy fix and the part is fairly cheap.

Also look at your air intake setup... there's a way to "get the most out of your stock intake". If you do a little search you should be able to find the thread titled exactly what I just put in quotations. That should answer some questions and help clear things up on the air side.

Your problem is most likely air or fuel.... my guess is the FSU.

An easy way to check is to spray some MAF cleaner directly into the intake tube while you try and start it... that will eliminate spark being the issue.

Last edited by Steeze; 12-04-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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#4 Old 12-04-2012, 07:23 PM
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I'll echo the fuel issue.
My pump died a few months ago. Before it went I started getting similar symptoms. Swapped the pump out and only had one issue since(my fault for being a bit heavy handed during the swap).
If the initial Test Drive went well and downhill from there I'd look at fuel and air.

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#5 Old 12-04-2012, 09:36 PM
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warn manual hubs,PML, and a ditched rear sway bar.K&N Drop w/ resonators removed.Plastics Repainted Black.
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#6 Old 12-05-2012, 03:08 AM
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The rattling in the video was present...I thought it was a loose cat heat shield. Appears it might be the distributor.
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#7 Old 12-05-2012, 10:26 PM
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Yeah I wouldn't rule out the distributor either

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#8 Old 12-06-2012, 12:53 AM
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Mine did what you described, it was the distributor. $300 fix.
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#9 Old 12-06-2012, 01:54 PM
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retcav1sg is on a distinguished road
Update...put new MAF in today and it started and ran fine for about five minutes, once it got warm and I had to give it gas same symptoms returned. I should have tried to start it before I put the new MAF in but...oh well.
Looks like it may be the distributor or maybe fuel related, a friend is coming over tomorrow to hook up diagnostics to see what codes may be stored, hope there is something there to get us started.

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#10 Old 12-06-2012, 02:41 PM
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my FSU went out and i had ALL those symptoms. driving totally fine-then bam! bogging down, i coast into a lot and im like flooring it and pumping it and barely moving. go back next day with a guy but it starts up fine and i drive it for 2 days with probably 6 starts all fine. then it happened again, got new FSU and no problems since.
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