Q: Random Misfire on Nissan Sentra

asked by on June 18, 2017

My 2003 Nissan Sentra has been experiencing cylinder misfire's for a few weeks now. SES light blinks with a random misfire code. I have replaced all of the spark plugs and coil packs within the past year. The Cam and Crank sensors were just replaced as they failed on me. The misfire, which can arise at any time, most frequently comes about when I'm going just over 60mph. Sometimes I can slam on the accelerator and the misfire will stop, other times the misfire will continue all the way until I reach my destination. Recently, I was driving and the misfire began. I noticed my A/C was on and I shut it off to lower the load on the engine. This resulted in the misfire stopping. This doesn't always work nor does the misfire always occur when the A/C is on, just thought it was interesting. I've read so much about this issue in the '03 Sentra but no one has come up with a clear solution. I'm worried about taking it to a mechanic as many have done so just to have the issue persist.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are at least two recalls of the 2003 Sentra involving engine management issues. Consequently, you should first check your VIN at the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle is affected by any recalls. Carefully check the EGR system. If EGR is stuck open you can get global misfiring. Check the integrity of the PCV system, too. The fuel system needs to be ruled out including the mundane, but real, possibility that you have a tankful of bad gasoline. The actual fuel system pressure should be tested and verified against factory specifications. Injector operation should be verified. PCM failures that can account for global misfiring are rare but they do happen. It will be helpful to look at the engine operation using a real time scanner and also download freeze frame data from the misfiring episodes. If you want these diagnostic steps performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request a misfiring diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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