Hesitation under heavy acceleration

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  #1  
Old 03-07-07, 01:02 PM
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Hesitation under heavy acceleration

My 2001 Nissan Maxima (5 Spd Manual) has been acting up lately. When I first start the car, and don't let it warm up too long, it is almost bucking as I drive down the street (1st and 2nd gear). After about 30 seconds or so (when I turn off my street - about 1/4 mile) it seems to be ok. This is Problem #1.

Problem # 2 is when I get over 3,000 RPM there is a hesitation that is rather pronounced. This happens in almost any gear, and any speed.

I ran some fuel injector cleaner through my gas tank on several ocassions and also put in engine oil additive. Didn't seem to fix the problem.

Today I went to a Lube Express (usually I go to the dealer but that is difficult for me) during lunch and they changed the oil and ran an engine cleaner through the engine that supposedly cleans all of the deposits and sludge. They also ran a pressurized fuel injector cleaner through the manifold (done while the car is running).

I figured the combination of these things would have fixed the problem, but it is still there. However, it didn't seem as severe.

I won't know about the first problem until tomorrow morning when I start the car after it sits overnight.

Can this be another problem that I didn't address? Could it be clutch related?Could have I just been taken for a ride at Lube Express? I did not tell the mechanic at Lube Express about the symtoms I was having before the work was done.

Thanks,
Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 03-07-07, 01:33 PM
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Sounds like it may be a spark plug or wires.
Get those checked out 1st
 
  #3  
Old 03-07-07, 01:58 PM
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I should have mentioned that I changed all spark plugs with Bosch Platinum a few months ago (I was actually having this problem prior to that and thought it was the spark plugs, I just haven't had time to get it checked out until now).

I did NOT check the wires. Should I just replace the wires, or will I find something wrong upon close inspection??
 
  #4  
Old 03-07-07, 03:17 PM
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Bad plugs or coils should cause a CEL on a Maxima. Coils are expensive on our cars. Usually around $70 a piece. So, there are no wires to replace.

I bet it is your MAF sensor. I have a '01 Max as well and had to replace the MAF. Engine would run like crap over 2500-3000 rpm.
 
  #5  
Old 03-07-07, 03:46 PM
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Your engine does not have plug wires, they are coil directly on top of the plugs, I'd get rid of those Bosch plugs and put the NGK factory plugs back in, there are too many problem with them in Nissan's engine.

As HotinOKC mentioned above, it's more likely the Mass Air Flow meter is going south, without the reading from scanner, this's only a guess but I've seen lots of them acts that way, crapping out at high rpm.
 
  #6  
Old 03-07-07, 07:24 PM
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Oddly enough, just before this was happening my service engine light came on. I went to Autozone and I had 2 or 3 codes come up. One said it couldn't properly read one of the O2 sensors. Another code specified a particular 02 sensor was picking up a reading of the engine running too lean. The last code specified the same sensor saying the engine was running too rich. strange. The guy at the store figured it was my fuel injectors, so I put some of the fuel injector cleaner/octane booster through a few tankfuls of gas and about a week later the service light went off. The hesitation problem still exists, but no service engine light.

I already replaced 2 of the O2 sensors last year. Where is the MAF sensor located? Can I replace this myself? Is there a way to check the sensor to determine if it is bad before replacing?

Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 03-08-07, 02:59 AM
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The MAF sensor is located at the end of the upper part of the air filter box, big air duct tube on one end and other is to the throttle body, it's easy to replace at home but you may have to take it back to dealer for them to reprogram it, some older MAF does not requires reprogram but most of Max's are required to. The best way to find out is ask the part counter open the box and see any "note" in there, no "note" no reprogram, "noted" reprogram, (this statement apply only if you getting part at your Nissan dealer. I do not know much about aftermarket replacement).

If you replace one that requires reprogram the ECU and you don't, more headache later on.

edit to ad

" Is there a way to check the sensor to determine if it is bad before replacing?".

Unless it's really bad to the point of not running at all, yes, just disconnect it and see if it's started, other than that you'd need some kind of scanner that would be able to reads the "value" of the sensor while it running.

If you can get one that can reads the value, look for the percentage on "Alpha 1" and "Alpha 2", the number will increase and decrease constantly, from 70% to 99% = system run to rich, from 101% to 130% = system too lean.

If the MAF is going bad, usually it's on the lean side, you can see it's somewhere between 110-130 or higher at 2000-3000rpm most of the time. The good working MAF is run between 95-105 depending on engine temp.

Hope it helps.
 

Last edited by New guy; 03-08-07 at 03:14 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-08-07, 02:49 PM
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You do not have to reprogram for a MAF on this year Max. You can, but it will not make any difference. You can purchase some MAF cleaner and see if that helps, but it might be worth getting new. MAF's for this car are about $100. It is on the intake tube right past the airbox with a electrical connector going to it. These are sensetive, so be careful.
 
  #9  
Old 03-13-07, 01:05 PM
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I found an MAF sensor online for $104. I will replace it and see what happens. The parts guy at Nissan says it needs to be re-programmed, but I am sure he would rather have my business in his service dept.

HotinOKC - you say a reprogram isn't needed for a MAF on the 2001 Maxima. Are you 100% on this? What will happen if it IS needed and I replace the part in my driveway?

I am going to order the part shortly.

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-13-07, 03:49 PM
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You can get a reprogram if you want to, but I never did on mine andit runs like a dream. You will be amazed at the difference when you put in a new one, your car will feel brand new again.

I think Nissan will charge you about $100 to reprogram. It's really up too you.
 
  #11  
Old 03-13-07, 06:42 PM
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As I've said before, depending on the part you get and what type of emission on the car (federal or California), most of them requires reprogram, if it requires and you don't do it, check engine light will comes back on, it's all up to you, it's your car, your time and your money.
 
  #12  
Old 03-17-07, 10:44 AM
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I received the part yesterday and plan on installing it today. If it does need a reprogram, will I still be able to drive the car?? I don't want the car to be undrivable after doing this. Can I go to the dealer later for a reprogram??

Thanks,
Dave
 
  #13  
Old 03-17-07, 01:14 PM
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Yes you can.
 
  #14  
Old 03-17-07, 01:26 PM
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Mark and New Guy,

Thank you both for all your help. I just replaced the MAF (trickier than I thought, had to pull the whole airbox out to get to the bottom MAF screw) and took it for a test drive. Hesitation is GONE and my old car is back!! So far it doesn't look like I need to reprogram.

I would never have thought to replace this, as I thought it was possibly the fuel injectors or gummy engine deposits. Dealer would have charged 100 to diagnose, 100 parts 100 labor and 100 to reprogram (just like the first O2 Sensor the dealer replaced - the next one I did myself). So you guys just save me $300 bucks!! and the MAF says Genuine Nissan - bought it from autopartswarehouse.com for $103.
 
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