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Q: Car cranks but it won't start - 2003 Nissan Altima

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The problem is, I was driving one day and all of a sudden at the red light, my car started shaking and the oil light was flashing. After a few seconds later it stalled. I had to start it again, but it wouldn't start by itself, it would just crank. The only way for me to start was to put gas to the peddle and it would start right up, but rough. Every time it goes under or near 1,000 RPM it shuts down. Keep in mind that i had the check engine light on prior to this happening. I get the code P011, P0300, p0335. I thought it was the crank sensor and cam, but that didn't fix the problem. It would still keep cranking and not start. I've drained and changed the oil and filter and still no success. Spark plugs are new and everything. i don't know what else to do. I might just have to take it to the shop.

My car has 149000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Your symptoms suggest a problem with both c...

Your symptoms suggest a problem with both camshaft and ignition timing (driven off the cam). Given your mileage, I would suspect a worn timing chain, chain guides, and the chain tensioner. It is also possible the timing chain was loose enough (from wear of these components) that it "jumped a tooth" during the traffic light incident, which changes the cam and ignition timing relative to the crankshaft, and will cause rough running, and other potential engine damage.

Replacing the timing chain components is a normal maintenance task for engines with your mileage, and needs to be checked out before driving the vehicle further causes engine damage. I would recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to perform an inspection to determine why the engine is shaking and suggest repairs necessary to get your car back in proper working order.

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