Xterra runs rough when warm


Old 09-29-11, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central PA
Posts: 757
Xterra runs rough when warm

2002 Nissan Xterra. 3.3 liter 6cyl. Runs great when cold. Go somewhere, come back & start it & has a bad miss & check engine light flashes. Kick it into passing gear a few times & it smooths out & light goes off. Tried plug wires, plugs, distributor cap & rotor and can of gas conditioner. Fuel filter might be next but I fugure if that was blocked it would miss all the time? Mechanic suggested replacing fuel injecter for #2 cylinder since the code reading was #2 missfire. Pretty expensive job but will have it done if that cures the problem. My question is, is that how fuel injecters act when they go bad? Why does it only do it when engine is warm but clears up when engine is pushed to higher rpm's? If injecter is bad would'nt it miss all the time? Any ideas on what else to check or thoughts on injecter would be appreciated.
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Old 09-29-11, 07:27 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,314
apparently, there were error codes involved. might be a good idea to post them here maybe?

my experience with heat related issues is twofold.
1. it's metal. metal shrinks when cold and expands when hot. micro-cracks and gaps close on cold, and open on hot. as a result, air leaks get worth on hot.
2. sensors. relays. electronic switches. solid state ignition coils. electronics can be quite sensitive to temperature. Infamous case is Honda's ignitor/ignition switch known to be temp sensitive.

question is - why did you have 2nd cylinder misfire. is it bad ignition coil? is it bad injector? or is it simply bad O-ring, leaking gas around and flooding cylinder? or is it bad ignition coil plug?

do 2 things.

1. run engine hot somewhere in a very dark place, with hood open, and look for power drains off wires.
2. spray brake cleaner fluid, through straw nozzle, following all around the engine. if it chokes at a particular spot - you got air leak there.

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