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Discussion Starter #1
Seems that this has been a pretty big problem In the past, and everybody stopped talking about it in 2012, so I'm gonna ask again. I know that people have solved this problem simply, but there has to be a pretty standard solution that doesn't involve me freezing my butt off outside in this weather.

I have a 2002 Xterra 3.3 V6 SC,
It idles rough. The RPMS bounce around a lot when in Drive (in N or P it idles smoother with the higher RPMS). As you sit at a red light, it will shake badly and then smooth out perfectly.. then start shaking again.

Also, while driving it will misfire and the service engine soon light will blink. It looses lots of power and slows down. It has yet to completely stall.

I have a Knock sensor code, Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire, and it changes between a "too rich" and "too lean" code.

I have read many other posts about similar problems, and just about all of them ended with spark plugs or distributor. I need help yall! Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

I'm getting very frustrated with this problem, considering I just purchased this.
 

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Seems that this has been a pretty big problem In the past, and everybody stopped talking about it in 2012, so I'm gonna ask again. I know that people have solved this problem simply, but there has to be a pretty standard solution that doesn't involve me freezing my butt off outside in this weather.

I have a 2002 Xterra 3.3 V6 SC,
It idles rough. The RPMS bounce around a lot when in Drive (in N or P it idles smoother with the higher RPMS). As you sit at a red light, it will shake badly and then smooth out perfectly.. then start shaking again.

Also, while driving it will misfire and the service engine soon light will blink. It looses lots of power and slows down. It has yet to completely stall.

I have a Knock sensor code, Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire, and it changes between a "too rich" and "too lean" code.

I have read many other posts about similar problems, and just about all of them ended with spark plugs or distributor. I need help yall! Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

I'm getting very frustrated with this problem, considering I just purchased this.
So have you replaced the plugs/wires/distributor?

As a general tune up when I bought mine I did plugs/wires/dist cap and rotor and it smoothed it out alot. If you're getting shaking and misfires the dist. bearing might be bad which means either replacing it or new dist.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So have you replaced the plugs/wires/distributor?

As a general tune up when I bought mine I did plugs/wires/dist cap and rotor and it smoothed it out alot. If you're getting shaking and misfires the dist. bearing might be bad which means either replacing it or new dist.
I have replaced the #6 and #1 cylinder spark plugs. the wires are all in good condition with good continuity, and the inside of the distributor is clean with what looks to be a new cap and rotor. unfortunately, the spark plug tubes are so dirty that cleaning them out and replacing the other plugs would take a supercharger removal. I have the manuals and am capable of doing such work, but its so damn cold out that I don't really have the ability to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The number 6 was the only one that was popping up a code at all though for a misfire
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just curious, does it seem to do it more when it is wet outside, rain, fog, snow, mist, etc?
Honestly it just started, so I'm not really sure.
 

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I had heard /read somewhere that moisture in the air can cause faulty spark plug wires to arc and cause a cylinder to mis, even on wires that would otherwise appear to be in good condition. I've never verified this but apparently you can spray a light mist around the wires while running and dark and see if you can see any arcing. Quick cheap thing you can test out to MAYBE diagnose a component before replacing anything else

I know you said you replaced #6 plug, did your code go away?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had heard /read somewhere that moisture in the air can cause faulty spark plug wires to arc and cause a cylinder to mis, even on wires that would otherwise appear to be in good condition. I've never verified this but apparently you can spray a light mist around the wires while running and dark and see if you can see any arcing. Quick cheap thing you can test out to MAYBE diagnose a component before replacing anything else

I know you said you replaced #6 plug, did your code go away?
Haven't had the chance to see if the code went away, a little frustrated after seeing all the dirt caked in the spark plug tubes. It's mostly a dry cold here though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had heard /read somewhere that moisture in the air can cause faulty spark plug wires to arc and cause a cylinder to mis, even on wires that would otherwise appear to be in good condition. I've never verified this but apparently you can spray a light mist around the wires while running and dark and see if you can see any arcing. Quick cheap thing you can test out to MAYBE diagnose a component before replacing anything else

I know you said you replaced #6 plug, did your code go away?
Havent seen the code drop off yet, but my drive home yesterday was not as bad as it was driving in the morning
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, I replaced the distributor and problem solved, the car ran great, ran the tank a little lower than I like to and filled it up after about 700 miles on the new distributor and bam the problem came back. Now, its a knock sensor code again and random multiple misfire. looking back on the fix, I started driving the truck again when it got warm out with no problems and the current problems coincide with the cold weather returning with a vengeance. The passenger side idler pulley for the SC belt needs to be replaced, and unfortunately the autoparts stores around me don't sell the damn thing. Anyone know where to get that? and have any idea what the hell the problem could possibly be? I'm at the point where I'm just gonna call the insurance company and have it fixed or light it on fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Done a compression test?
what spark plugs do you have in there?

no compression test, but when it runs without problems it runs great so that's not gonna be the problem. I have however come to the conclusion that the problem only happens when it is incredibly cold outside. Yesterday the truck ran great without problems, today during this nasty snowstorm it ran okish in the morning and in the evening it ran like complete garbage. for the first time since this started happening it stalled out, not once or even twice but nearly 10 times.

Idle bounces around all over the place while in gear and coming to a halt. it doesn't matter if its snowing, when it gets cold it runs crappy.
 
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