Q: Car engine makes hissing sound when driving and bogs down when idling. 2004 Nissan Maxima

asked by on February 27, 2017

My car engine has been running rough the past few days. When I put it in drive or reverse and let off the brake the car is jumpy. But when given gas it seems to run smoother. At the same time when giving gas the car engine makes a hissing sound like a hose leaking. When I come to a stop or red light the car will idle low around 500 rpm and about every min it will bog down and the headlights get dim. This only last for about 5-10 sec and then it goes back to 500 rpm. When giving the car gas it seems to do fine other than the leaking hose noise. When I turn the car off there is a rush of air sound coming from the engine. Any clues?

My car has 215000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there - you are on the right track. If the hiss comes more directly from the engine (with the hood up for example), you probably have an air leak in the intake tract of the engine. If the hissing is more from the exhaust (standing behind the car), there may be an exhaust leak, and a possible restricted exhaust (restricted exhaust pipe). I recommend an rough running inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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