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Old 08-15-2007, 02:07 AM   #16
ateymura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
I don't know what guts are. However, the distributor was a rebuilt one and I don't think the cap and the rotor were replaced. It was just the distributor.

when i said distributor guts i meant camshaft sensor and other things..

it can be a really tiny crack in your distributor cap

it can be a defective transistor which is attached on top of the air mass sensor...A gray plug shaped thing that has three wires going into it. when this transistor heats up it will shut off your engine. you can test this by buying a component cooler from radio shack.. when you car shuts off next time spray the suspect part to cool it.. and you car should start imidiatly.. then you know who/what is at fault

or it is possible that your rebuilt distributor is not rebuilt very well

also test the spark plug wires

Last edited by ateymura : 08-15-2007 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:18 AM   #17
ateymura
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I did some asking around and now i am almost certain its your Ignition Coil/Power Transistor assembly.. the plug looking thing that i was telling you about.. it heats up and kills your car.

if you diagnose it when the car is cool it will check out as normal.. so to be able to diagnose it you have to try to test it with ohm meter or in the way i told you about in my previous post (with component cooler) right after the car dies.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbaxleyjr
Suggest checking fuel pressure and for spark the next time it stalls and does not re-start. Want to rule out the fuel pump.

just for self education.. how do you check for no spark without re-starting?
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:52 AM   #19
ateymura
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Originally Posted by tbaxleyjr
if you try to re-start and get no spark. I have found intermittent failures of hall effect devices require a few minutes to function again. What I am tying to sort out is if this dude has a fuel pump getting ready to crap out


i got that.. it's just you said check for spark.. and then you said don't re-start... i wasn't sure how to check for spark without restarting.
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Old 08-15-2007, 02:54 AM   #20
wildestkabs
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I will check to see if the distributor caps might be faulty and yes, the cam sensor was replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
it can be a defective transistor which is attached on top of the air mass sensor...A gray plug shaped thing that has three wires going into it. when this transistor heats up it will shut off your engine. you can test this by buying a component cooler from radio shack.. when you car shuts off next time spray the suspect part to cool it.. and you car should start imidiatly.. then you know who/what is at fault

Interesting. When you say "shut off", do you mean it would cause an abrupt shutting off, where the tacho needle would drop straight to zero, or would the tacho needle drop slowly, like it would if the car were to run out of gas?
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:01 AM   #21
ateymura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
Interesting. When you say "shut off", do you mean it would cause an abrupt shutting off, where the tacho needle would drop straight to zero, or would the tacho needle drop slowly, like it would if the car were to run out of gas?

it should abruptly drop to zero.. it happens because the spark plugs stop producing a spark when the transistor heats up.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:17 AM   #22
wildestkabs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbaxleyjr
if you try to re-start and get no spark. I have found intermittent failures of hall effect devices require a few minutes to function again. What I am tying to sort out is if this dude has a fuel pump getting ready to crap out

tbaxleyjr,

I appreciate your help. Please help me out a little bit here as I am not very knowledgeable about fixing cars.

If my vehicle has stalled, how do I figure out whether there is a spark or not?
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:20 AM   #23
wildestkabs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
it should abruptly drop to zero.. it happens because the spark plugs stop producing a spark when the transistor heats up.

Now that I had the distributor fixed, entire throttle service done, replaced spark plugs, air filter and the fuel filter, I figured that the only part which could have been defective and was causing the stalling would have been the crankshaft sensor so I got that replaced as well. Like I had mentioned before, the vehicle still stalled but this time when I was able to start it back up, the check engine light did not come back on.

Does a defective power transistor cause the check engine light to show up?

PS - I was able to locate the power transistor. I will buy a component cooler first thing tomorrow.

Last edited by wildestkabs : 08-15-2007 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:26 AM   #24
ateymura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
tbaxleyjr,

I appreciate your help. Please help me out a little bit here as I am not very knowledgeable about fixing cars.

If my vehicle has stalled, how do I figure out whether there is a spark or not?

to check for a presence/absence of a spark you take off one of your spark plug wires stick in an extra spark plug in it (or you can actually take one out off of your car).. stick it into the connector.. hold the metalic part of the spark plug (grab it by the insulating boot of the wire) somewhere that it touches the body (unpainted part) of your car.. and ask someone to crank the engine.. you should see a spark.. if you dont then you have a problem

BUT if I am right than your problem arises only when your Ignition Coil/Power Transistor assembly is hot... so unless you do this test right after your car stalls.. you will not see a problem.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:31 AM   #25
wildestkabs
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By the way, a quick piece of information - while driving, if I release the gas pedal and then try to accelerate again, the vehicle jerks for a second, almost as if the power supply was cut off for a fraction of a second (it is not cut off in reality but that is the impression I get, that act itself is difficult to explain). The acceleration is neither gradual nor smooth. This happens when I have been driving the vehicle for a while and it is heated up. Also, it generally happens between speeds of 40-50 mph.

It does not happen when I begin the drive.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:33 AM   #26
wildestkabs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
BUT if I am right than your problem arises only when your Ignition Coil/Power Transistor assembly is hot.

Is the entire ignition coil/power assembly of the vehicle located in that one gray plug - the power transistor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
so unless you do this test right after your car stalls.. you will not see a problem.

You mean the component cooler test or the spark plug test?

Last edited by wildestkabs : 08-15-2007 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:46 AM   #27
ateymura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
Is the entire ignition coil/power assembly of the vehicle located in that one gray plug - the power transistor?

yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
You mean the component cooler test or the spark plug test?

or the ohm meter test.. they are all basically different ways of testing the same thing...
I mean if you just check the spark plugs and see no spark.. you will have to wonder to why dont i see a spark? and one of the resons for no spark is a bad ignition coil
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:57 AM   #28
wildestkabs
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Thanks ateymura. I thought the ignition coil was a huge assembly, somewhat the size of a battery or even distributor. Interesting to know that it is an extremely small gadget.

At this point in time, at my level of knowledge, the component cooler test seems to be the easiest, so that is what I will try out first. I will let you know as soon as I have an update.

Thanks to you and tbaxleyjr.

Two quick questions - Is it accurate to say that the ignition coil is the power transistor? Are they one and the same thing? The reason I ask is that you used the term "ignition coil/power assembly" but did not use the term transistor.

Also, the previous question that I had asked - Does a defective power transistor cause the check engine light to show up?

Last edited by wildestkabs : 08-15-2007 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:28 AM   #29
ateymura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
Thanks ateymura. I thought the ignition coil was a huge assembly, somewhat the size of a battery or even distributor. Interesting to know that it is an extremely small gadget.

At this point in time, at my level of knowledge, the component cooler test seems to be the easiest, so that is what I will try out first. I will let you know as soon as I have an update.

here is a link to nissan altima manual... hope it helps to figure out what looks like what and where it is...
http://www.courtesyparts.com/nissan-...san-Altima.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
Two quick questions - Is it accurate to say that the ignition coil is the power transistor? Are they one and the same thing? The reason I ask is that you used the term "ignition coil/power assembly" but did not use the term transistor.

it is an assemply but i belive they can changed separately (i might be wrong)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildestkabs
Also, the previous question that I had asked - Does a defective power transistor cause the check engine light to show up?


not neccesarely... electrical problems are always tricky.. one faulty thing might cause something else to act up and you get some code pop-up on the computer.. where it really wasn't the reason
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:34 AM   #30
wildestkabs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
it is an assemply but i belive they can changed separately (i might be wrong)

But if I change that "gray plug", that means I would have changed the entire ignition coil/power transistor assembly, and if that indeed was the problem, then it should not happen again, regardless of whether it was a power transistor or an ignition coil problem. Is that correct?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ateymura
not neccesarely... electrical problems are always tricky.. one faulty thing might cause something else to act up and you get some code pop-up on the computer.. where it really wasn't the reason

You might have just hit the nail on the head. That is exactly what I am beginning to think that even though the vehicle was stalling, the check engine light was on, and the codes which were pulled up were fixed, that might still have NOTHING to with the core issue - the stalling itself which might be totally unrelated to the codes and their correction.

One more question - Would a new power transistor/ignition coil not face the same issue of overheating? Is there some part within the power transistor/ignition coil which is defective, which is causing it to heat up, or is it the whole assembly which is defective, which is why it is heating up?

Last edited by wildestkabs : 08-15-2007 at 05:13 AM.
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