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Hi, I purchased my 2000 Xterra about 6 months ago. The car has 196,000 Miles on the body and around 70,000 on the engine. The first day I purchased it, It randomly died at a stoplight. No sputtering or idle bouncing, just died. No big deal. Car ran fine since until about 2 weeks ago. Recently, the xterra has been dying at nearly every stop. It sputters and struggles and idle goes up and down and it then dies out. At stoplights I have to start it up when it turns green and quickly punch the gas very hard to get moving again. If I dont come to a complete stop it bogs down but will keep running (barely) So this makes stop signs difficult. After letting it sit it will start back up fine and run perfect for a short amount of time. But, on some days I dont have this issue at all. I really dont understand this. Ive done research and a lot of people seem to have similar problems, But i have not seen a solution mentioned that has worked long term. I know this is hard to understand, but if anyone can help me out it would be very appreciated. Thanks guys.
 

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These issues can be widespread, I would start slow and cheap...
Clean the Mass Air Flow sensor for starters. sounds like air to fuel ratio is off... may need a new MAF sensor
Be sure to use approved MAF sensor cleaner only!
Fuel filter may be dirty or may have never been changed at all... you can get a new one for under 25$
Inspect, and blow out your engine intake air filter. if its really bad replace.
Start with that maybe run some sea foam through a vacuum line, I can post a pic and guide you through the process.
Have you changed the spark plugs at all?

Start with that and get back to us
 

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Check your cap and rotor? Could be fuel regulator which is a cheap part but a swine to get too, could be the rubber hose that connects fuel reg to vacuum.
 

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Check your cap and rotor? Could be fuel regulator which is a cheap part but a swine to get too, could be the rubber hose that connects fuel reg to vacuum.
 

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check the plugs, plug wires cap and rotor and pop the rotor off and shine a flash light down the distributor shaft if you see any metal shavings or peices distributor is bad and i am betting this is your issue happens way too much on the 3.3 and especially above 150k the dust will be metallic or red in color
 

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My 2000 v6 was doing this after I replaced the distributor with an autozone one (had about 3 months on it). It did end up throwing a code after 2 or 3 times. Got another autozone one and it's been fine since.
 

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I would also work your way through the EGR system. This means checking the vacuum lines for leaks. Testing the solenoid etc. There are some good videos online that walk you through the process.
 

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Your MAF may be deforming and malfunctioning when it gets hot.

To test this, when your engine is running, lift the hood and push on the MAF cover. If it dies, replace your MAF.
 

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Hi, I purchased my 2000 Xterra about 6 months ago. The car has 196,000 Miles on the body and around 70,000 on the engine. The first day I purchased it, It randomly died at a stoplight. No sputtering or idle bouncing, just died. No big deal. Car ran fine since until about 2 weeks ago. Recently, the xterra has been dying at nearly every stop. It sputters and struggles and idle goes up and down and it then dies out. At stoplights I have to start it up when it turns green and quickly punch the gas very hard to get moving again. If I dont come to a complete stop it bogs down but will keep running (barely) So this makes stop signs difficult. After letting it sit it will start back up fine and run perfect for a short amount of time. But, on some days I dont have this issue at all. I really dont understand this. Ive done research and a lot of people seem to have similar problems, But i have not seen a solution mentioned that has worked long term. I know this is hard to understand, but if anyone can help me out it would be very appreciated. Thanks guys.
[/QUOTE
Hi, I purchased my 2000 Xterra about 6 months ago. The car has 196,000 Miles on the body and around 70,000 on the engine. The first day I purchased it, It randomly died at a stoplight. No sputtering or idle bouncing, just died. No big deal. Car ran fine since until about 2 weeks ago. Recently, the xterra has been dying at nearly every stop. It sputters and struggles and idle goes up and down and it then dies out. At stoplights I have to start it up when it turns green and quickly punch the gas very hard to get moving again. If I dont come to a complete stop it bogs down but will keep running (barely) So this makes stop signs difficult. After letting it sit it will start back up fine and run perfect for a short amount of time. But, on some days I dont have this issue at all. I really dont understand this. Ive done research and a lot of people seem to have similar problems, But i have not seen a solution mentioned that has worked long term. I know this is hard to understand, but if anyone can help me out it would be very appreciated. Thanks guys.
01 3.3 same issue and no codes. Cleaned stock MAF sensor and looked to be in working order. Finally got worse and threw MAF sensor code. Changed MAF with a duralast brand and runs great. Good luck!
 

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Yep. There are a few things that can cause the problems that you are having. As I mentioned earlier, You should also check the EGR. Carbon can build up and make it stick open, which means too much exhaust gas entering the engine at low RPM, which causes it to stall. You can stick your fingers up under the EGR itself and push the plunger up to make sure it's moving, but of course that doesn't rule out that it may be sticking, especially when the engine warms up. It can be cleaned by removing it and thoroughly cleaning it with carb cleaner. There are plenty of videos showing how to do this online.

Things to check/do that may help troubleshoot without throwing parts at the vehicle hoping that something sticks.
1) Have your codes read to make sure that there are no pending codes.
2) Clean the MAF. Do NOT run the vehicle for a good hour afterwards so that any condensation from the cleaner can evaporate off. Failure to do so will result in a burned out MAF.
3) Inspect the MAF harness for any cracks in the wire shielding.
4) Pull the rotor off of the distributor and inspect the hole for metal shavings.
5) Test and possibly clean the EGR valve
6) Test the other components of the EGR system including inspecting the vacuum lines.
7) Inspect your spark plugs and get back to us with how they look. (black, grey etc)
8) Pop the vacuum line for the FPR off of the back of the intake manifold with the engine running to see if gas dribbles out.
9) Inspect your air filter to make sure it isn't dirty or clogged.
10) Inspect the pre air filter airways to make sure that a rodent hasn't made a nest in them (ask me how I know)
11) The later year gen1's had a recall on the connector for the fuel sending unit because they were known to corrode. I don't believe it covers your year, but you may want to pop the wire harness off of it and inspect the contacts. Apply some dielectric grease to the contacts while you're in there. Also be super careful with any of the harness clips you work on as they do get brittle with age.
12) Check all of the wire harness connectors to make sure that they're properly connected. You should apply dielectric grease to any of the connectors that you disconnect before putting them back together.
Questions:
1) What color is the exhaust? (black, grey, no color?)
2) When was the last time the timing belt changed? I know it's only got 70k on it, but the belts go bad with age as well. My 2003 had 68k when I bought it a year and half ago and I changed the belt anyways. It was dried and cracked.
3) When was the fuel filter last changed? Given the age and the low miles the vehicle has sat a fair bit. There is a good chance that the fuel filter has been gummed up due to condensation and even a little rust. It should be changed as a matter of general maintenance. They cost about $12 and are super easy to swap out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone, Ill try these things and get back to the thread. Appreciate the help
 
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