Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine performance - 1997 Nissan Maxima

asked by on

i have a 97 Nissan Maxima. its been hard to start for a little while now. well now its worse. Runs rough, misfires, hesitates at acceleration, sounds like its sputtering at idle. replaced MAF, starter, coils, spark plugs, fuel pump. Thinking it may b injectors. could that b it? I'm a single mother with 4 kids and little money. So i don't have cash to pay for it to put on machine plus parts and labor. Please help thank you!!! GOD BLESS
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the engine is running as poorly as you describe, it will actually be cheaper to pay the diagnostic fee so that the correct repair can be made rather than to continue to waste fuel. Obviously, a poorly running engine uses more gasoline than it is supposed to. You could easily save $30 a month in fuel costs if the engine can be made to run properly without too many repairs. Of course, the cost to resolve (fix) your car’s issue(s) will depend on the exact fault.

There can be mechanical faults (such as uneven cylinder compression, leaky valves) that can be costly versus really mundane and reasonably low costs, problems like a disconnected or broken vacuum line, stuck EGR valve, defective spark plug wire, blocked fuel filter or similar "limited" issues.

As far as the injectors, while installed, the solenoid component of each injector can be tested and the mechanical operation can be tested to some extent, but the only way to test injectors (for blockage) is off the car flow testing on a machine.

Injector service is definitely a good idea here. Typically, on a car of your vintage in any major engine work, I would automatically send the set of injectors to a specialized lab for complete refurbishment, including flow testing and internal filter basket replacement at a frankly minimum cost of $17 per injector. Of course, the injectors have to be removed from the engine first.

But before thinking about that service, there are many more obvious and easy-to-do checks including possibly a compression test to see what the basic mechanical condition of the engine is, before assuming anything about the injectors. In your situation, I would have another diagnosis of the performance issues, so that you can make the best decision on how to handle this scenario.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Loss of compression on all 4 cylinders

There are quite a few issues that can cause a four cylinder engine to lose compression on all cylinders. Unfortunately, none of them are what would be considered inexpensive. There could be a problem with the timing chain, camshaft problem,...

Q: Speedometer broken in 2001 Nissan Maxima

If your speedometer is inoperative this will cause your odometer to not work as well. This is because they use the same sensor to calculate speed and distance traveled. There is a problem with your vehicle speed sensor. It could...

Q: Engine not running correctly - high idle, little acceleration, p0400, p0300

Hi there. You might want to read this article about the P0400 OBD-II code which includes what it is, what causes it and the possible solutions. The EGR valve or solenoid might be the source of your high idle issue....

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...