Nissan 240SX problems. Help!

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I've been having this really odd problem with my 1993 Nissan 240SX SE. I'll be driving the car down the road, when all of the sudden my gas pedal will stop responding, and my steering wheel locks up and will only move slighty left or right. Warning lights on the dash show up, the oil light, battery light, and the brake light. To correct the problem, I have to stop my car (most of the time IN the road, which is really bad), put the car in park, turn off the ignition, and start it back up.

I have no idea what this is, and I was wondering if anyone could help me. Since this has happened over the past few days, I've put in some STP Gas Cleaner, Super Premium gas (OC93), and filled my oil up. Also, my battery isn't very old, either.

Help would be appriciated. Thanks.

posted by  CypherXero


Don't take this the wrong way as me not trying to help you, BUT.......You need to take that car in and have it looked at. That is EXTREMELY dangerous and I certainly hope you are not driving it on the road like that. The accidents you could cause with a situation like that, I can only imagine. You need to get that fixed and I don't think it will happen fast enough on a car chat forum. Personally, I have never seen that issue with any car. I am going from what you told us it is doing. I know quite a bit about cars but this one is something I would have to see and troubleshoot myself.

I don't thing STP, premium gas, nor a battery will resolve the issue. :wink2:

posted by  cmeseadoin

I cant say much but as cmeseadoin said get that looked at sounds link you enging is stuffed up big time!

posted by  Zaran Zion

Obviously I'm with the other guys on this one in that you HAVE to get it looked at ASAP! But.....when you say the steering moves only slightly from side to side do you mean that no matter how hard you try the wheel wont go any further? the reason I ask is simple....I'm assuming due to the age and model of your car you have Power Assisted Steering? (PAS) if you do have PAS and the whell will turn with a lot of effort it could be that the car is stalling whilst moving meaning nothing is working and this would aslo mean that the PAS wouldn't opperate, PAS is extreamly heavy to opperate without the engine running due to the pump not working and so on...also, if this is the case all of your ignition lights will also illuminate as they do when you first start the engine or if you turn the ignition key to the first setting...So if this is the case, chances are it's purely an engine/ignition fault.

I hope this helps but I'd highly urge you not to use the car and have it towed to a garage! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy


I just read that dude's posting again and I think you might have it knocked, LOL. That is a very likely scenario and I did not post it because SURELY we would all like to think that the poster of this message would have told us that the ENGINE WAS CUTTING off had that been the case. He said, rather, that the only way to get rid of the problem was to stop in the middle of the road and turn off the IGNITION (not mentioning if the engine was running or not still), then in it was still running fine. I TOTALLY overlooked that scenario because if the problem IS in fact what you told him.......CYPHERXERO is a total :screwy: for not TELLING us that. I love these generic non-specific postings. Cliffy, I think you solved the problem.........CYPHER, let us know please....then we'll go on with WHY the engine is stalling if that is the case. Of course, we'll need to make an agreement that from now one we'll be told EXACTLY everything that is occurring and that the most IMPORTANT details are not left out to assumption. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

posted by  cmeseadoin

OK, I had one of my mechanic friends take a look at it (sorry for being such a newbie with cars, I am, however, good with a computer, I'm an IT Admin major in college)

My friend looked at the car, and we found out it's a bad rotor, and we need to replace it. We also replaced the distributer, spark plugs, and the gas filter.

posted by  CypherXero

So it was cutting out? and the steering did move more, but it was difficult? surely the dizzy and rotor wouldn't cause the stalling..the fuel filter would though!

posted by  Cliffy

Well then, can you tell me why on my task bar, it appears to have another task bar hiding behind it? It's barely visable, though at times it will obstruct the pop-up text when you scroll across the programs running in the task bar. Doesn't seem to be a problem, but is bugging the crap out of me. It was not always there and I can't recall when it appeared. WinXP SP1

posted by  lectroid

Cliffy I think we'd better give up on this one. None of our questions got answered and the problem's "fix" seems to not match the problems "description" too closely. usually the rotor or anything distributor wise will not cause stalling. It could cause backfiring, loss of power, hard starting, intermittent misfires or multiple cylinder mis-fires, etc. We'd need a better answer from the poster!! :banghead:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Right-click on the taskbar and select "Lock the Taskbar"

As far as the car situation goes, here's exactly what was happened when I drive it:

The gas pedal would stop responding, the steering wheel would still turn, but it took more effort to turn it, like the power steering stopped working, one the dask, the brake, battery, and oil lights came on. The only way to start going again would be to put it in park (or neutral), turn off the ignition, and start it back up again. The engine wouldn't completly stall on me, when this would happen, I could still hear the engine idling.

My mechanic friend said that the distributer cap and the rotor looked pretty bad, and that could most likely be the problem. We also changed the gas filter just incase. We ordered the new rotor, and it should be in the store today, so that's the last thing we need to replace.

I hope I've given you enough information, but if I haven't, I am sorry, since I don't know enough about cars. :doh:

posted by  CypherXero

I just wish terrible things like that would bug the crap out of me, I might feel a lot better. Someday, I'm sure this will really effect me :screwy:

Ha :PP

posted by  snoopewite


You're cool..we like picking at people but your posting was definitly a little opaque. If the engine is not stalling completey, it could almost stall and yet not cut off and the dash lights could still come on due to this..then return to a normal idle or not. Oil pressure would have dropped, therefore some of your dash instrumentation may illuminate. A degraded rotor and other distributor based igniton components may be the culprit, very possible. With what you've done with it, you'll have to wait till you get the new components installed and then go from there. Let us know. :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin


I have been meaning to ask you what that girl on your avatar is doing? It looks like she's gonna suck a big one? :laughing:

posted by  cmeseadoin

:lol: cmeseadoin, it is sexually suggestive but it also appears like she's looking at whatever's above my posts. See, she's looking at your post right now.

posted by  snoopewite

:laughing: OHHHHH OH does this mean "she" might wanna foshissle my nisshle? :laughing: :laughing:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Here's some photos of my car being worked on yesterday: (we're going to install the new rotor sometime today)

posted by  CypherXero

:thumbs: there you where are the pics of you standing there holding the wrenches? :hi: :smoke:

posted by  cmeseadoin

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: GOT ME, GOOD ONE :clap:

posted by  lectroid


If by that you mean "sizzle ma pizzle" then probably by the looks of her

posted by  snoopewite

Wow! With all of the "help" everyone has provided it's unbelievable to me that one of the first and possibly most important question hasn't been asked yet.


There, I asked it. I don't recall you saying anything about the MIL being illuminated. If it is that's always the FIRST step. If it's not, it's still a step that should be taken early on. Just because the MIL isn't on doesn't mean you don't have set codes. And doing anything beyond a basic visual inspection without scanning might just send you off on a wild goose chase.

posted by  vwhobo

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