1991 Nissan 240SX SE dies intermittently
Hi...I have had my nissan for about 6 months. it is a 1991 240SX SE with automatic transmission, 4 cylinder, 2.4 liter engine. Sometimes it drives great with no problem, but sometimes for no reason it just dies. When it first started I would hit my gas pedal several times real fast to keep it from dying and try to keep the rpms up, but now it just dies. I have taken it in to two places for diagnostic check, but they both said that they could find nothing wrong. Sometimes it will start right back up and sometimes I have to just sit there before it starts. I changed the plugs, wires and distributer when it first started. I know it is either no spark or no fuel somewhere. When I try to start it I get the same symptom as I would with the coil wire disconnected. Perhaps the ignition module? It has always gotten lousy gas mileage. I drove it around town all morning and had no problems. A few weeks ago I was on the interstate and it died and wouldn't start for about 15 minutes. The week before I drove it on the interstate for 25 miles and no problems. It is intermittent and gives me a funny feeling in my stomach when it seems to cough. I hope you have some good advice for me.
you probably replaced the distributor cap instead of the distributor unless
you had a parts bill of about $200 which is what a rebuilt Nissan
distributor runs @ NAPA and Autozone
Pull the trouble codes. A 240 SX has a similar engine as the Altimas. I suspect you will find either a bad crankshaft position sensor, a bad camshaft position sensor or a bad distributor. The distributor in many Nissans built since 1990 have a LED and a light sensor which does the same functions as the hall effect reluctor / pick-up plates on Ford and Chrysler distributors during that time frame. Nissans are notorious for the O-ring which seals the distributor shaft @ the cylinder head leaking allowing oil to foul the optics.
If you have a bad crankshaft sensor, the part is inexpensive but the task of replacing the sensor is a pain since Nissans are rather crowded under the hood. If you have a bad camshaftt sensor, plan on buying a rebuilt distributor since the camshaft sensor is integral to the distributor in many Nissans from the late 1980s through the early 2000's