Q: Car starts, idles rough, stalls when accelerating past 2000 rpm.

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I have a 2001 Nissan Frontier, 2.4 L, 4 CYL engine. Driving through the mountains the car began to jerk when accelerating hard, so I went easy on the way home. On the flat highway, I began to accelerate after a red light, and the engine died, had to get towed because car would not turn over, and battery would get drained. Changed out the spark plugs, spark plug wires, and the distributor to find that the car started up to a rough idle and the engine would stall when accelerated past 1800 rpm. The MAF sensor popped up as a code and when swapped, car would get up to 2100 rpm then stall. Checked the fuel pressure to find it was running under the normal psi. Changed the fuel pump and filter and now car has correct fuel pressure but has the same problem. In addition, the smell of gas has been apparent throughout the problems (why I checked the fuel pump) out of the exhaust. Very near to throwing in the towel but I am desperate to keep it going.

My car has 260000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

The odor of gas is due to misfiring. Check engine compression and check for any exhaust restriction preferably by measuring exhaust back pressure but you can also infer exhaust back pressure by testing engine vacuum. If compression is good and there is no back pressure, the other usual suspects are clogged fuel injectors (remove from fuel rail and send out for cleaning; cleaning injectors on a car is a waste of time because each injector has an internal replaceable filter basket that MUST be replaced), the throttle position sensor, the throttle body, EGR and vacuum leaks, and so forth. It would probably save you time and perhaps needless expense in parts replacement if you request a rough running diagnostic. if you were to request such a diagnostic from YourMechanic, the protocol is pretty standard: a certified mechanic will test for ignition, fuel system, air induction and/or engine sensor problems and these possibilities are tested, in a sequence, using a diagnostic "decision tree". Often, the problem is limited and straightforward, that is easily repairable. There is a good chance of that so I recommend that you request a rough running diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will travel right to your location and get this diagnosed and resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic.

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