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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have searched "Xterra stalls" and find lots of posts but none seems to match... I replaced the cam position sensors 6 months ago (when it also stalled). That one was easy, the stall pattern fit tons of posts. Has been running fine...

Now it has stalled 3 times in the last 3 weeks and all three happened the instant the headlights were turned on. (Randomly) Once in the driveway and twice at hwy speed. When it stalls, the motor dies, all the dash lights come on and the tach & speedo all go to zero. Alternator is charging fine and the battery is like new (with clean posts). One other odd symptom was (one time) the transmission would not shift into 1st gear when I got off the hwy. It was like it was stuck in 3rd gear. I turned off the motor & restarted it, that fixed the transmission. That was odd... Only code was a pending knock sensor.

BTW, bought it new and has 270K miles on it. No smoke & still runs great other than these stalls.

Anyway, just looking for suggestions or other search key-words to try. Thx
 

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Man that makes almost no sense...unless you have a short somewhere. Let me ask this, does it start right back up after? You could have some kind of relay failure or a short across somewhere

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Just as a test, disconnect the headlights (up in the front) then get back in and start the car. Turn on the headlights and see what happens. If the engine stalls, then disconnect the tail lights and other yellow/orange lights in the front and repeat. If the engine still stalls, the short is between the fusebox and the headlight switch. Or between the switch and the headlights ( but not from the headlight to ground). Heck you might even try starting the car and open the door, just to see if the cabin lights kills the engine. Or just turn on the yellow lights, but not the headlights and see what happens.

It might be easier to just pull the headlight fuse... but this is so strange. I am just trying to pinpoint the short. I would think the fuse would blow before it would kill the engine.
The only thing that might make sense is that the short is affecting the camshaft wires or the distributor in some form.

When the engine stalls, is it INSTANT or does the engine sputter and dies in 1-2 seconds? If it is INSTANT, then it's an electrical kill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry I'm slow to reply (was out of town)... Done it 4 times total. It's starts right back up every time. Matter of fact, it has restarted itself when it did it on the hwy. The one time in the driveway, it restarted just fine. The wife drives this daily and it has not had a repeat in more than a week. Very random... I just reconfirmed, no codes and the ground to the body & the motor was perfectly clean. I applied dielectric grease to both anyway. The battery cables are spotless. I pulled the fuse block out (white) and nothing looks suspect. What might be telling is that it resets (all the bells & whistles go off etc) just as if the key was turned off & turned back on. I sure don't want to take this into the shop with nothing to start with... That's a perfect storm for extremely high bill. I have read some posts on that fuse block and relay going bad (even some recall on other years). IDPM? But it would be a stretch to say the symptoms sounded the same.

Back when it had a stalling issue (cam position sensors), it did not always start right back up. So my gut says this is a new problem...
 

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Could be your ignition module shorting out

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any pointers on where that is or how replaceable it is? I mean, if it's a plug-in thing and cost $50, hell it's worth a shot... I do appreciate the suggestion, I'll do some searches & see what I can learn. Thx
 

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Well it could be your actual ignition key cylinder, where you start your car...the wiring under there could be buggered...IIRC the ignition cylinder is electronic and could be shorting out...and that is around 50-75 bucks

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fixed! I hope...

Well, I think it's fixed. I installed a new IDPM ECU relay about 3 weeks ago, no problems now. It was stalling a few times per week (sometimes without turning on the headlights). I bought the part on eBay for $5. Took 2 minutes to install... This is the same part that was a recall item on the 2006 model, but not on my 2007... I think I'll live spending the 5 bucks. Thanks for the input guys!
 

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I have searched "Xterra stalls" and find lots of posts but none seems to match... I replaced the cam position sensors 6 months ago (when it also stalled). That one was easy, the stall pattern fit tons of posts. Has been running fine...

Now it has stalled 3 times in the last 3 weeks and all three happened the instant the headlights were turned on. (Randomly) Once in the driveway and twice at hwy speed. When it stalls, the motor dies, all the dash lights come on and the tach & speedo all go to zero. Alternator is charging fine and the battery is like new (with clean posts). One other odd symptom was (one time) the transmission would not shift into 1st gear when I got off the hwy. It was like it was stuck in 3rd gear. I turned off the motor & restarted it, that fixed the transmission. That was odd... Only code was a pending knock sensor.

BTW, bought it new and has 270K miles on it. No smoke & still runs great other than these stalls.

Anyway, just looking for suggestions or other search key-words to try. Thx
Hey bud, this exact thing happened to me yesterday .... I called my mechanic and he had no idea. Did you get it figured out?
 
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