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88 pathfinder won't keep running while idle


Whoacomer
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I have an 88 pathfinder, it starts but won't stay running a lot of the time  and sometimes it runs but when it runs its idling really rough. Changed the following: cam  crank sensor, battery, mas air flow sensor, starter need it, the idle senser thingy and roter. I had the idle sensor replaced by a mechanic and then it was idling super high so he turned down the Gas air thing and it ran fine for about 6 months now it's not ....Can someone help me figure this out.. 

Thanks

Edited by Whoacomer
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There's no obvious cracks or breaks. There is some problems with the emissions stuff. The part on the fire I thi,k it's a solenoid, is plugged up and the one next to the radiator is plugged and I just replaced the filter on the side of the firewall , that the solenoid is plugged on. I'm stumped. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, up to today it has ran intermittently with some dies and some almost dies and stalls. but yesterday it did not want to run.. I had been putting fuel cleaner in it and it was running better but I put gas in and did not add fuel cleaner and it stopped running. may have nothing to do with it.

I have changed the Rotor, mas air flow sensor, idle control sensor and removed the CAT..I have pulled out the Oxygen sensor and it did not start. I have checked the distributor and it was turning, I checked fuel lines all have fuel. the only other thing I can think of is the engine temperature sensor...

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Make sure that the egr valve is not sticking open, leaking, or has vac going to it at idle. Pull the vac hose off the egr and see if it will run. 

 

Hopefully it isn't a bad injector. Those are getting rare.

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I need help understanding where my fuel lines go.. Does the fuel line go from the fuel filter to the top of the fuel pressure regulator ?

 

I believe it to be backwards going to the bottom of the fuel regulator.. 

 

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The line from the fuel filter is the pressure line. The one next to it is the return. You will want to "T" into the line between the fuel filter and the engine to get your fuel pressure readings.

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I had a similar problem, although mine is a 1998. It would run with load but stall at idle unless I kept RPMs above 1500. Replaced/cleaned many of the same things as you with little effect.

 

Eventually it stalled and wouldn’t restart. Towed and upon arrival at shop when tried to start, engine would turn over but could see spark arcing to base of distributor. This was only evident when the hood was in the shade and could not see with work light or if engine in sunlight. Replaced distributor (entirely) and have not had a problem in the two years since. 

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so I cleaned the throttle body and it seems to turn over better but no start could it be a dirty throttle body-- how do I know if the fuel pressure sensor is working correctly.. is there a way to test it or see if its broken ie stuck open. it has fuel going into it and comes out the return to go back to the tank. could it keep my car from starting. any suggestions we be great 

 

 

 

-

 

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The best thing is to use a gauge to see what the actual fuel pressure is. You can try restricting the return hose to see if the engine will start. If it does with the return hose closed, then you know the fuel pressure regulator has failed. Simple way to restrict the hose is to wrap a spot with a couple layers of tape and then gently clamp with some vice grip type pliers. 

 

To check if you are getting spark, you can pull a spark plugs and out of the engine. Reconnect the wire to the plug and lay the base of the plug on a bare metal part of the engine and have someone crank the engine while you are watching the electrodes of the plug. You should see a blue spark jumping the gap. Orange is a weak one and will have trouble lighting the charge in the cylinder. 

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it is the fuel pressure regulator and I can not find one that fits.. can I use any Nissan part from 88, like a stanza or something..

walker parts a crap they don't fit, so frustrated with this..

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it will crank like 4 times the fuel injectors are spraying but only when  its being started , while key is turning. then does not stay running. 

Fuel pressure is at 36, then drops to 30 when stating or trying to start etc

Computer has no codes but the check engine light is flashing, before it was just on..

 

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Wonder if your ignition switch is bad. So the injectors are spraying while cranking, and the spark plugs are firing while while cranking, but it all stops when released back to run, seems like the main relay is not getting power in the run position.

 

Sorry, it is hard to do long distance diagnostic on old trucks like ours. 

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What makes you think it's the throttle body? If it starts when you turn the key but dies when you release it, that could well be an ignition switch issue. Shouldn't be though if the fuel pump primes when you turn the key on.

 

The '89 FSM specs 36.3 psi fuel pressure at idle, so that looks good. Odd that it's falling off when you're trying to start it, I'm not sure if it's supposed to do that. Long shot, but you might try the fuel filter.

 

Also strange that it's flashing the CEL while cranking but not returning codes. Are you turning it off and on again before you check for codes? These ECUs aren't all that sophisticated, they forget a lot when turned off. If you check right after a failed start, you might have better luck finding out why the light's flashing.

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I think its the Throttle body because about 2 years ago my mechanic said it was going bad. I ignored that in hopes that I could keep her going..i have tried to get mechanics that have more than 20 years of experience to diagnose it but I have gotten no answers that were legitimate, one said it was my alarm.. nope does not come with a kill switch..

im stumped. it does not start it turns over about 4 times but no start and no codes..

it used to start and then die but no longer starts..

Edited by Whoacomer
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no he did not. just said throttle body.. she turns over better now and stayed running for about 2 seconds then died. its getting better I changed plugs and cap. do you know where the Air Idle Control valve is on the car.. I think I'm going to try to clean it..bought a kit to rebuild throttle body.. how hard will that be. thanks

Brandy

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