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02 Altima "Cylinder #3 misfire" error


us_matrix
05-24-2007, 01:57 PM
Hi,

I got a check engine light on and used the scanner to read the code. It said "Cylinder #3 misfire". I replaced all the spark plugs and cleared the code but few weeks later same error comes back again. Car is running fine but sometime idle is not too stable. Is anything i should worry about OR something that need to be replaced? I already changed the spark plugs when the error came out at first time but it show up again.

Thanks.
Mugen

Toolman5523
05-24-2007, 06:54 PM
Make sure your head gasket is not leaking.

us_matrix
05-25-2007, 02:29 PM
Make sure your head gasket is not leaking.

But the error code came out twice (erased and back again) in same Cylinder #3. If head gasket would that be any cylinder or all???

Thanks.

Toolman5523
05-25-2007, 06:07 PM
If the head gasket is popped at cylinder #3, then it will show #3. Head gasket can "pop" cylinder to cylinder, cylinder to coolant passage, cylinder to outside, or cylinder to oil.

suren
05-25-2007, 06:11 PM
I suspect your spark plug wires or injector not working, here is the flow
I created from reading Nissan service manual after my plug misfired.

easy to test:
- while car running, put long thin flat screw driver on each
injector and hear clicking sound and compare to other injectors.
- check for hissing sound for vacuum related at vacuum hoses
for cracks, bulge, disconnected hose
- check for exhause blockage, smoke and its color and odor
- attach a timing light and make sure it fires on every
spark plug wire.

- let it cooldown car overnight. and when car is cold:
- check and compare ignition wire resistance, 4.15 - 5.61Kohm
- check and compare spark plug resisitance
- check injecor resisstance(if no clicking heard on the injector
when car running), 10 - 14ohm
- check EGR resistance and voltage levels

more involved, longer time to test:
- warm up the car fully
- diconnect hose at fuel pressure regulator EC12, and attach
vacuum gauge at the hose, leave FPR port floating. Start
the car and see reading
- spary carubator clearner at every connection at intake
and exhaust manifold joints and change for idle speed.
- stop engine and connect vacuum gauge to the FPR and apply vacuum
source, plug the vacuum hose end and check operation
- while car is warmed, turn off, remove fuel pump fuse
start the car to purge fuel. Remove top filter hose and insert
fuel pressure tester (can not loan the tool, have to buy it),
34 psi at idle vac hose connected at FPR, 43 psi hose disconnected
EC 157, supEC18, EC-243-247, haynes 4-3
- compression test (get loaner tool) 149 - 178 psi, difference between
cyliners 14 psi
- fuel injector volume test
- "warm up three way catalyst converter" test
- leak down test (get a loaner tool), online instructions.

Toolman5523
05-25-2007, 06:14 PM
02 Altima's have individual coil packs, no wires. Thanks for playing.

us_matrix
05-26-2007, 05:40 AM
02 Altima's have individual coil packs, no wires. Thanks for playing.

It may related to other problems happend about same time... the car overheated (Water gauge went all the way up) and i opened the radiator cap found out that it was empty and on the same time A/C quit working (Blower working fine but no cool A/C out after few minutes being turned on everytime) But after i refilled coolant, the A/C seems working again. I checked the floor and no leaking after i refilled coolant since 2 days ago. Do you think the Cylinder #3 missed fire causing coolant empty out and A/C not working? Because of Head gasket is broken? What should i try to determine the problem?

Thanks.

Toolman5523
05-26-2007, 10:31 AM
If you have a funnel that will fit in the neck of the radiator (good and tight ) fill about half full with coolant/water, and see if you get any geysers of fluid while it runs. Let the engine get up to operating temp., then shut it off. Pull out s-plug when cool enough, and look inside the chamber for any coolant. You could use a pressure gauge.

us_matrix
05-26-2007, 02:16 PM
I will try that in next week.
My friend have a pressure gauge and we tested the radiator is not leaking.
Where is the s-plug?

Is the Radiator related to the Cylinder misfire and A/C problem?

Thanks.


If you have a funnel that will fit in the neck of the radiator (good and tight ) fill about half full with coolant/water, and see if you get any geysers of fluid while it runs. Let the engine get up to operating temp., then shut it off. Pull out s-plug when cool enough, and look inside the chamber for any coolant. You could use a pressure gauge.

Toolman5523
05-28-2007, 08:44 PM
The vehicle's ecm has an override to keep the a/c off if it happens to run out of coolant or get too hot. That could be good news that the rad is not leaking, but what about the entire cooling system? By s-plug, I meant spark plug. Just too lazy too type.

dphess
05-30-2007, 09:49 AM
I had a similar issue that started the same as yours did and it was a blown headgasket. I had all the plugs replaced, headgaskter, exhausht manifold gasket and intake manifold gasket and now my car runs better than ever.

us_matrix
05-30-2007, 01:43 PM
How do i check if it is blown headgasket? This mroning it is doing again. I started the car and i can smelled coolant from outside of the car and hear some water rumbleing under the hood. When i driving the car to work and the water guage jump to almost to top in a second and then drop right back to normal and done that for few times.

I had a similar issue that started the same as yours did and it was a blown headgasket. I had all the plugs replaced, headgaskter, exhausht manifold gasket and intake manifold gasket and now my car runs better than ever.

dphess
05-30-2007, 02:07 PM
How do i check if it is blown headgasket? This mroning it is doing again. I started the car and i can smelled coolant from outside of the car and hear some water rumbleing under the hood. When i driving the car to work and the water guage jump to almost to top in a second and then drop right back to normal and done that for few times.

This is what nissandoc told me to do. "run the engine and let it get hot, cut it off and wait 4-5 hours and then pull the spark plugs(dont start it beforehand). you should see the coolant sitting on top of the piston."

I noticed that I was refilling the coolant tank every 3 weeks, no leaks in any hoses, it was all leaking back in to the cylinders. I saw the pictures and #1 cyclinder valves were white and #2 was starting the same. It was definitely a headgasket. Don't wait too much longer..

us_matrix
05-30-2007, 07:46 PM
I am going to try with pressure tool to check and the method you mentioned this Sat. But do i really need to wait 4- 5 hours ? Toolman from above post with a similar suggestion but he said that just need a fennel put on the neck of the radiator and wait till the engine get up to the tempature and check the #3 cylinder to see if any coolant left.

Also, This is 02 with 85k miles on it. Is it too early for Headgasket broken? My friend told me it is going to be a whole day job or more for changing headgasket and also may need to take the engine block to machine shop to check for flatless if the headgasket is really the cause of all these problem (A/C, Missfire #3 and overheated) :banghead:

Thanks


This is what nissandoc told me to do. "run the engine and let it get hot, cut it off and wait 4-5 hours and then pull the spark plugs(dont start it beforehand). you should see the coolant sitting on top of the piston."

I noticed that I was refilling the coolant tank every 3 weeks, no leaks in any hoses, it was all leaking back in to the cylinders. I saw the pictures and #1 cyclinder valves were white and #2 was starting the same. It was definitely a headgasket. Don't wait too much longer..

Toolman5523
05-30-2007, 09:35 PM
US_Matrix, you miss understood me. You wanted to know how to check for a blown head gasket, and I gave you three different simple checks to do so.

dphess
05-31-2007, 06:21 AM
I am going to try with pressure tool to check and the method you mentioned this Sat. But do i really need to wait 4- 5 hours ? Toolman from above post with a similar suggestion but he said that just need a fennel put on the neck of the radiator and wait till the engine get up to the tempature and check the #3 cylinder to see if any coolant left.

Also, This is 02 with 85k miles on it. Is it too early for Headgasket broken? My friend told me it is going to be a whole day job or more for changing headgasket and also may need to take the engine block to machine shop to check for flatless if the headgasket is really the cause of all these problem (A/C, Missfire #3 and overheated) :banghead:

Thanks

My 02 Altimata has 84,300 miles on it right now. Yes the job is an 8-9 hr job if you have all the equipment and tools to do it.

us_matrix
06-03-2007, 04:52 AM
Hi Toolman and dphess,

You guys are right! It is the headgasket :banghead: . I let the car cool down for couple hours and removed #Coil and spark plugs, saw coolant sitting on top of the piston. I am shocked and disappointed of getting this problem becasue of only 85k miles and it is 2002 model. (Headgasket usually don't goes bad that early....) I called Nissan dealer last week asked the pricing of headgasket and also mentioned if there is any similar known problem or recall with 02 Altima, the parts guy told me that they only sold 1 set of headgasket for this model year so far and need to be special order which mean that I am the second of the lucky guy who got this rare problem happens in 2002 model year they ever sold from the dealer. I also checked with service dept about cost of repair and they told me that labor alone would be around $1500 :banghead: .

My friend told me that if you have dealer or third party shop to do the job, they will always take the head to machine shop to check any crack of the head or surface may need to be machined.
Here is my other concern, What if i have anyone to do the headgasket job but they found out the head is cracked after they take everything out. What would be my option ? The replacement head going to be another $2k??? or may need to be machined of the surface for few hunderd bucks extra?
Here is my questions?
1) Is it necessary to have machine shop to check the head?
2) Is it very likely to crack the head for the problem that i had or need to be machined of the surface?

If the head is cracked that would costs me over $4k easily for everything.
Do i have any other options???

Thanks.
Mugen


US_Matrix, you miss understood me. You wanted to know how to check for a blown head gasket, and I gave you three different simple checks to do so.

Toolman5523
06-03-2007, 01:08 PM
Hell yeah it is important to have the head checked out by a machine shop. It should be checked at least to see if it is warped. Unlikely yours is cracked, those motors do have a problem with head gaskets going bad. It just sounds like your dealer just hasn't seen many. If the head is cracked, many times a good machine shop can repair it ( if it's not too bad ). Don't worry about the cost, a new engine from Nissan doesn't cost that much ( sorry, not very comforting I know ).

us_matrix
06-03-2007, 02:12 PM
I was told there is another huge problem in 2002 Model by a member in this forum and also found a lot of people reproted that in carsurvey.org. The catalyst converter fell apart in around 80k and ran into the engine to make it faile. Replacement of the engine. A couple of people mentioned that after they spent $$$$ headgasket job. Few months later, engine burned oil like crazy and lossing power ....turned out to be cat converter fell apart and get into the engine costs another $4k to replace the engine.
Since i have not done anything yet. Is there a way i can diagnose if i may lucky enough :banghead: to have the cat converter problem altogether?

Thanks






Hell yeah it is important to have the head checked out by a machine shop. It should be checked at least to see if it is warped. Unlikely yours is cracked, those motors do have a problem with head gaskets going bad. It just sounds like your dealer just hasn't seen many. If the head is cracked, many times a good machine shop can repair it ( if it's not too bad ). Don't worry about the cost, a new engine from Nissan doesn't cost that much ( sorry, not very comforting I know ).

Toolman5523
06-03-2007, 02:24 PM
you can drop your exhaust pipe down from the cat convertor, and look inside the cat. pop the upper o2 sensor out and look inside there as well ( it will be tight though ). Basically what you don't want to see, is anything that looks like it's coming apart ( should be solid looking ). check your oil and note what color it is. remove your valve cover, and check to see if there are any granules in the oil, especially on the cams. it will make greyish film on the cams and caps if the cat is damaged.

us_matrix
06-03-2007, 02:43 PM
Thanks i better check all these together before i replace the headgasket.

you can drop your exhaust pipe down from the cat convertor, and look inside the cat. pop the upper o2 sensor out and look inside there as well ( it will be tight though ). Basically what you don't want to see, is anything that looks like it's coming apart ( should be solid looking ). check your oil and note what color it is. remove your valve cover, and check to see if there are any granules in the oil, especially on the cams. it will make greyish film on the cams and caps if the cat is damaged.

us_matrix
06-04-2007, 02:46 PM
Hi guys,

I have not checked the cat converter yet but i went ahead called Nissan Dealer to find out how much is it in case if i need one. You know what.... parts guy told me that it is on back order for quantity of 700 which sounds like there are 700 Altimas outthere in states waiting to be replaced. :banghead: He does not know how soon he can get me one if i need to order. How come Nissan not issuing recall of this known problem??? :banghead:


you can drop your exhaust pipe down from the cat convertor, and look inside the cat. pop the upper o2 sensor out and look inside there as well ( it will be tight though ). Basically what you don't want to see, is anything that looks like it's coming apart ( should be solid looking ). check your oil and note what color it is. remove your valve cover, and check to see if there are any granules in the oil, especially on the cams. it will make greyish film on the cams and caps if the cat is damaged.

Toolman5523
06-04-2007, 05:49 PM
Well they did have a recall for 02 and 03 Altimas and the cat convertors. Wrong heat shield caused too much heat, causing cats to fail early (yeah, whatever). The reason you don't see any new recalls for your car is that, well your out of warranty. You no longer matter (to Nissan).

timguyli
06-18-2007, 05:28 PM
I have a 2000 altima with the cyl 3 misfire. Engine runs very rough and feels like it wants to stall. The plugs all look good and there no coolant loss. I changed the valve cover gasket, and still the same thing. Im thinking maybe bad injector or cat.. any suggestions?

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