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99 Pathfinder not running stalling when hot

 
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marconissan



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: 99 Pathfinder not running stalling when hot Reply with quote

Good morning everyone and thanks for having me on this forum!

On a 99 Pathfinder I am experiencing the following problem:

Last 3 days:
the vehicle starts, idles and runs flawlessly for a good half an hour.
When it gets into temperature or left parked for a while in the heat (we are in the 100’s…) will start and run fine until about 2,200 RPM then it bulk, stall and there is zero power
It was drivable as long as it would stay below 2,200 RPM. Engine would do that in Drive or in Park. It would not rev past 2,200 RPM.

Yesterday morning:
the same problem came in earlier in the warm up process and ran worse than the day before, still drivable below 2,200 rpm.

Yesterday afternoon:
while trying to diagnose the problem with a friend it started fine, drove around the block for maybe 2 minutes and ran even worse, bulking and loss of power came in earlier in the tachometer 1,800 rpm. It turned itself off at a stop light and then I had to restart it.
We immediately parked the car for about 5 minutes to try to check everything we could think about and then it would not start at all. Tried at different intervals to no avail. Towed car back home.

This morning:
the car started right up, idling correctly but before the temp gauge reached operational temperature the problem came back. Just revving up the car in park you can hear the hesitation and lack of power.

I have evaluated a bunch of scenarios but I am left pretty confused.

The first diagnose in my mind because of how the problem evolved (raise of outside temperatures, progressively getting worse and total shut down when hot would be to look at the Catalytic converter(s).

I am also not ruling out the MAF and/or the distributor since the 3.3L engine seems to be prone to this problem although the one on the car I can see it has been replaced at some point more but than 4 years ago.

What I have done so far

Changed both coolant temperature sensors
Changed air filter
Opened and cleaned throttle body
Opened and cleaned MAF
Checked for loose cables/connections did not find anything visibly wrong.
Disconnected battery for 2 hours

There is no CEL, CEL comes on normally when key is turned on
I did not check if there are any codes active or stored.

WHAT I HAVE DONE/NOTICED BEFORE THIS

The day before the start of this issue I drove for about 100 miles at highway speed (60-70 MPH) which I basically never do with this car. Car was running fine that day probably because rev was constantly below 2,200 rpm. I did notice some lack of power on the only passing I did that day. Kind of like pressing the gas but nothing more would happen. Issue started later that day while city driving.

On the weeks prior to this I would rarely see a slight laziness of the engine but thought nothing about it because it would not affect drivability.

Maintenance is up to date. Recently changed oil/filter, radiator, water pump, timing belt. Vehcile has 235k miles

I have extensively researched similar issues on this forum but could not find a close enough situation and I have done everything recommended by other owners on similar problems on slightly different scenarios.

I hope to find someone with more talent than me on this forum! Thanks to all for your interest! Have a great week-end
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 4656
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the classic symptoms of a bad distributor. Cold, they'll be fine and then they'll act up as they get hot. If you can duplicate the stall/no start condition, check for spark to the plugs. If there is no spark, replace the distributor assembly, preferably with a genuine Nissan part. Distributor failure is fairly common on VG engines as they get up in mileage.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, Nitto Dura Grappler P265/65R17, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks
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marconissan



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your answer and for your time. I will certainly look into the distributor next. Again, much appreciated!
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marconissan



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello smj999smj, your answer and confirmation of one of my initial thoughts has been a life saver! I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for the tip. It was the distributor. I replaced temporarily with a new distributor bought online (sorry could not fit the price that nonchalantly my Nissan dealership quoted me, $ 615 plus core fee into my budget right now.)

The distributor I took out was an original Nissan. Possibly the original that came with the car. Lasted almost a quarter million miles I can't really complain. The shaft was not turning freely at all.

Again thanks for taking the time to help! Have a great day!

For anyone interested to get an original Nissan part this was the best price I found. https://www.worldoemparts.com/worldpartsnissan/oem-parts/nissan-distributor-assembly-221001w601re?origin=pla&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI89Xjmta72wIVBI5pCh3zkQqcEAYYAyABEgKJ5_D_BwE
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Hooligan



Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Posts: 129
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Marco, Thank you for taking the time to come back and showing your appreciation to SMJ and letting us all know that your problem has been resolved. All too many people show up all of a sudden and with their first post ask for help and are never heard from again. When you take the time to show your appreciation it is in turn appreciated by all of us.
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You only go around once in life and THIS is no dress rehearsal
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marconissan



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Hooligan,

Much appreciated. That was the minimum I could do. Free competent and correct technical advice? It's a rare find nowadays...

This forum is a great resource and I will be taking an in-depth look n the months to come. I already saw a couple of projects I want to undertake with my Pathfinder. Again thanks to all the contributors. Great day to everyone! Marco
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