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Nissan Repair/2003 nissan hardbody dbl cab 4x4 2.4i 16v rough / no idle


QUESTION: Hi there. My van has an idling issue which i suspect is a timing issue. I have changed spark plug leads, maf works, injectors are clean and working and compression is correct. When I retard ingnition timing as far as possible on my disttibutor it idles perfectly but has no power, if I advnace the timing the engine has power but feels like major misfire and doesnt idle. Please help.


ANSWER: Hi Deon -

The distributor is controlled by the ECM, so that is why you are not getting good results with the timing.

So you are saying the engine does not idle? Can you tell me if your check engine light is on?

If so, I need the OBD code that is causing it to illuminate.

If not, then have you checked for a vacuum leak?
If the engine acts up only when warmed up, then I would replace the ignition module in the distributor.

Hope this helps -

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Calvin. Thanks for your speedy reply. The engine is a non turbo so where and how would I check for a vacuum leak. Although the engine doesnt idle it also runs very rough like it has a missfire but at high revs it is not so obvious. This happens when hot and cold. Engine also seems to run very rich. The engine light is not on.

Hi Deon -

The fact that it runs better at higher revs, and running rich leads me to believe that there is a vacuum leak somewhere. Most commonly it comes from one of the rubber tubing running from the intake manifold. There should be several of them running all over the place. Your mission is to check each one for cracks or breaks.

The fastest way for me is to start the car, have it idle, while you spray carb cleaner all over the engine. If you spray somewhere and the idle improves, you have located the general area of the leak.

Hope this helps -

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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