Nissan XTerra Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 02 Xterra SE 3.3L N/A (130,000 miles w/up to date recommended maintenance per drivers manual) will not reach above 2500 RPM, it will also die at RPMs lower than 1000 and it will also cut off randomly at certain speeds. It shakes, it sputters, it stalls and yes, check engine light stays on even after a battery disconnect.

Backstory; Xterra sits for 2-3 weeks during more than normal rain fall and the past couple of days we had snow here in North West Georgia. Of course because of the cold snap, my battery is at a low 5 amps. I do a manual recharge of battery and the Xterra cranks instantly. I immediately go get gas since it was on empty because I know how bad gas can get just sitting around for weeks. All is well until I start hitting highway speeds of 60mph. About 5 minutes into driving that speed, I start to lose power. It surges and then shuts off completely. I pull over and I can crank it back it up with no problem but the stuttering and surging is now the issue and I have to drive less than 45 mph to prevent shutoffs. If I stop at a traffic light and let it go to idle, it shuts off.

First thing I think is bad gas or water has gathered into the tank. Pretty typical diagnostics for someone who isn't prepared for another repair and just wants to think optimistically about the situation. I "limp" to auto zone and they scan a few codes.

MAF sensor, EVAP Canister Purge Valve, knock sensors. Could be worse yea??

I put some Heet and SeaFoam in the gas tank and a few hours later, no help so I am ruling out water in the fuel system.

I pull down my spare and smell for gas vapors around the canister, all hoses seem fine and tight, no leaks are apparent at this time. Same with engine bay, hoses seem fine with no cracks or worn out, no hissing sounds.

....which leads me to MAF sensor. The symptoms match up considering that I learned what "limp mode" is today which is the computer not allowing the engine to get over 2500 RPM and if it thinks the balance of air to fuel ratio is way off, it shuts off the engine as a precautionary fail safe which is bit of a drag I might say.

Any thoughts? Can I disconnect the MAF just to see any changes while parked? Is that a safe trouble shoot method? I have cleaned the MAF last summer w/CRC MAF cleaner and again this evening and I know these sensors are very sensitive to electrical surges and I am thinking maybe my constant low battery charge problems the last few weeks could have shorted it out? Maybe this freak rain/snow/cold snap has damaged it? Easy fix yes but $100 autozone purchase cannot happen today nor in the next 4 days. Just seeing what advice you pros could graciously send my way!

:laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
bump! I need suggestions on this because I really don't want to spend over $100 on a MAF sensor if I don't need it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Alright well I have a friend who manages the autozone here and he let me "try before I buy" a MAF Sensor and it was in fact my issue! I just need to clear the code to make the service light go away and all is well. The only other codes that came up were Knock Sensor so I guess I need to make the relocation modification my next order of business.

So for anyone trying to troubleshoot "limp mode" issues (I.E. - Can't go above 2500 RPM, sputtering, losing power, engine randomly shutting off) Limp yourself to the auto store, let them scan to see if MAF sensor shows up. Try to clean your old one first because sometimes it's just really dirty, whereas mine was completely dead!

The only time EVAP would ever cause such a ruckus would be because of a large vacuum leak. My EVAP purge canister code went away the third time I scanned and its more than likely from the gas cap leaking out vapors that is depressurizing the system.

Water in gas? Well, with these symptoms and for the duration of the systems, water would hardly be the culprit unless someone purposefully put more than a gallon of it in the tank. Water seepage through the gas inlet would only produce a cup or two worth of water under typical situations. AND if you are really ignorant and drive through flooded roads bumper high, your air intake sucks it all in through the wheel well. DONT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODS!
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top