Struggling into gear

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I've got a '97 Nissan pickup XE, manual transmission, 86K miles. When I accelerate from a stop, the first half of first gear struggles to get the RPM's up and it just kinda putts along. Then it'll kick into gear and jolt forward and rev up to the end of first. I'll shift, and it does the same thing for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, struggling in the beginning of each gear. The check engine light comes on every once in a while, then goes off the next day.

2 things I noticed: I noticed it pulls this stunt in the mornings and when it's damp out, like in a fog or while/after a rain. And after I'm on the interstate and in 5th for a while, letting the engine warm up completely, I have no problems in any gear when I'm back in the city.

My first thought is the spark plugs aren't firing right. What do y'all think? Any other thing you think is a possibility? Thank for your help!

posted by  jphobbs123

I think Nissan put the "check engine light" there for a reason, and you've chosen to essentially ignore it. I think you can play Russian roulette and swap out parts until you go broke, or you can do it the right way.

You have a computer controlled powertrain management system that is OBD-II compliant. What you need to do is have a qualified technician hook up his scan tool, diagnose the system and repair the problem.

posted by  vwhobo

So is that your excuse for not knowing the answer? What if I hadn't said the light comes on, what would you have said? I know what OBD-II is. I replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor last weekend (which were all worn-out) for $60 and it runs like a charm now. Thanks for your advice guy

posted by  jphobbs123

I'm very proud of you. If you replace enough parts you'll almost always fix the problem. If you're "Mr Auto Technician", why did you come here and ask your half-assed question anyway.

posted by  vwhobo

ding ding ding, slugging in the wet = ignition

posted by  DodgeRida67

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