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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have used this forum over the years to answer many questions with my xterra but I can't find an answer to my current issue so I would appreciate any help.

I have a 2001 xterra SE V6 4x4 Auto transmission with 135,000 miles on it.

Over the past year and a half I have had the xterra stall and die while idling. Each time the problem has seem to go away after sitting for a half hour or so and then I have no issues for a few more months. 4 days ago my xterra stalled while in park after driving a few miles to the dump. After sitting for 15 minutes it fired up and I drove it home. The next morning I started it and it stalled after 10 minutes of idling in the driveway. It now stalls every time I start it and it warms up. I can usually start it again within 5 minutes of it being off and it will run for about 5 minutes before stalling. I am getting no error codes from the ECU currently and it seems even the Knock Sensor error is no longer showing on the ECU. First I cleaned the MAF and the Air Inlet Valve and that did not fix the issue. I changed the MAF sensor, distributor, and fuel filter today with no change.

Plugs and wires were changed about 3 years ago(less than 25k miles)
Timing belt and water pump changed at 110,000


It seems odd that the xterra runs perfectly until it stalls. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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I would normally suspect the IAC valve but... usually that will give you a code P0505

There is a factory service bulletin for the following Nissan models: 2000 Nissan Maxima 2001 Nissan Pathfinder 2000 Nissan Sentra Nissan Factory Service Bulletin OBDII Code P0505

It may affect yours too.
 

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I have a 2002 supercharged Xterra that did this to me in the fall. It let me sit in pouring down rain back in October and I let it sit all winter. After lots of research, everything pointed to the distributor being the culprit. I replaced the distributor last week and although I havent had it out on the road yet, it idles nicer than I remember. It seems that the Nissan Xterra distributors of this vintage crap out 130-150k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could an issue like this be caused from a relay that acts up after it gets hot? I also considered a coolant temperature sensor as some thread mentioned this could cause the engine to stall however, my temperature gauge in the car never gets over halfway up and I believe my OBD scanner said the coolant temp was 177F which seems fine to me.

As far as the IAC, is it possible for this to have caused the random issues over the past year and now to only stall the car after it warms up. If so, is it possible to clean the IAC without removing the intake?

Thank you,
Colton
 

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I suppose that could be an issue. I have never played with the IAC on the Xterra, but I was no stranger to the IAC in my wife's old Elantra. When that would act up, it would either stall sometimes or fast idle. I replaced it once, but after that, I would just take it out and clean out the carbon then put it back in. In that car it was a piece of cake. It took 5 minutes to take off and I think was only like 2 bolts. I dont know about the location in the Xterra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I noticed using my OBD scanner that my engine would stall when the coolant temperature reached ~185F. I would then let if cool down and start it again and same issue. I replaced the Coolant Temperature Sensor but no change in symptoms. This makes me think the issue has something to do with heat as its around the same temperature when the car stalls. Any thoughts?
 

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I noticed using my OBD scanner that my engine would stall when the coolant temperature reached ~185F. I would then let if cool down and start it again and same issue. I replaced the Coolant Temperature Sensor but no change in symptoms. This makes me think the issue has something to do with heat as its around the same temperature when the car stalls. Any thoughts?
probably has something to do with open loop/closed loop switch over check your mass air flow sensor, though these usually throw codes
 

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I have replaced the MAF with no change. I will have to look more into what components are involved the the closed/open loop switch over.
was it a nissan maf or orielly/autozone etc maf? i have never had good luck with aftermarket mafs correcting the issue outside of it clearing the code, but still ran like shit. this coming from a guy who used to work at autozone, there are several things you simply are better off paying extra at the dealer for and a few that even a used junkyard part that is oem would be better. things like plugs, brake pads, light bulbs, car cleaners and waxes, various bolts and nuts, headlight and tail light assemblies (most cars) hoses, belts yeah get em at the parts store but alternators, starters, magnetic type sensors such as crank, cam, knock etc dealer is the way to go
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
was it a nissan maf or orielly/autozone etc maf? i have never had good luck with aftermarket mafs correcting the issue outside of it clearing the code, but still ran like shit. this coming from a guy who used to work at autozone, there are several things you simply are better off paying extra at the dealer for and a few that even a used junkyard part that is oem would be better. things like plugs, brake pads, light bulbs, car cleaners and waxes, various bolts and nuts, headlight and tail light assemblies (most cars) hoses, belts yeah get em at the parts store but alternators, starters, magnetic type sensors such as crank, cam, knock etc dealer is the way to go
The replacement was a cheap one however when the car is warming up the OBD scanner shows the MAF at 8.5g/s at 1,150rpm when cool and shortly before stalling the MAF is 5.4g/s at 800rpm. From what I found online this seems like it is functioning as expected. I will reconnect my old one and see if it is the same as I am not sure if anything was wrong with the old one. I should also mention that I never had any error codes to begin with when this issue started. About a year ago I had the standard knock sensor error but when this issue began there were no error codes and there are still no errors on the ECU.
 

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Hi again,

So now my xterra will not start. It just keeps cranking much like it would after it would die. Not sure where to go from here
pop the distributor cap off and have a look see, have someone crank it while you watch the distributor, the rotor should move slightly when cranking, if not you amy ahve broken the timing belt, does it crank start turning and then die? or just click nothing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
pop the distributor cap off and have a look see, have someone crank it while you watch the distributor, the rotor should move slightly when cranking, if not you amy ahve broken the timing belt, does it crank start turning and then die? or just click nothing?
So I go out to the xterra this morning and it fires right up. Runs great for about 10 minutes and dies. The timing belt was replaced about 20K miles ago.

The last thing I can think of is the crankshaft position sensor. I read a thread with some similar issues and they stated the CPS was their problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
has the fuel sending unit ever been replaced? there was a recall on it a long time ago.
Now that you mention it again. I just read another article about the fuel sending unit and I don't think I checked mine adequately enough to determine if mine was faulty. I am going to give it another look over today as according to some this could cause my car to crap out after 10 minutes of idling. I have an appointment with a mechanic tomorrow so i'm racing to try to fix it if I can : )
Thank you for your suggestion and I will let you know what I find.
 

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Now that you mention it again. I just read another article about the fuel sending unit and I don't think I checked mine adequately enough to determine if mine was faulty. I am going to give it another look over today as according to some this could cause my car to crap out after 10 minutes of idling. I have an appointment with a mechanic tomorrow so i'm racing to try to fix it if I can : )
Thank you for your suggestion and I will let you know what I find.
if they find its bad and its recalled dont let them do the work you need to take the truck to nissan and they will do any open recalls free of charge, you can check for any on your vin number here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
if they find its bad and its recalled dont let them do the work you need to take the truck to nissan and they will do any open recalls free of charge, you can check for any on your vin number here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls
Thank you for providing that link. So there are 5 recalls affecting the 01 xterra, however, none of them apply to my VIN. I suppose that doesn't mean mine is not affected.
 

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Thank you for providing that link. So there are 5 recalls affecting the 01 xterra, however, none of them apply to my VIN. I suppose that doesn't mean mine is not affected.
nope, check with the dealer in your locale they will need your vin and can give you a bit more info about recalls that have been done to it, if say the fuel sending unit has a recall, they fixed it and it fails again they maybe on the hook to fix it again.
 

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I'm pretty sure that recall affects your xterra. How long have you had your Xterra? my fuel sending unit went bad in 2009 under my father before I even started driving. I don't think the unit itself goes bad it's just the connector at the top the gets corroded and breaks.
 
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