1996 Nissan Maxima

Engine Performance problem
1996 Nissan Maxima 6 cyl Automatic 180250 miles

I've been having problems with my car. When I drive for about 10 or 15 minutes my car dies on me at a red light or a stop. I have taken it to the mechanic to do a checkup and can't find anything wrong with it. When he test drives the car it doesnt die on him. I also took it to the Nissan dealer to run a diagnostics test and they can't find the problem either. I dont really know what could the problem be and unfortunately no one can find the problem. What can I do? Could it be a sensor?
December 8, 2008.

Thanks for the donation.

To better assist you, could you please give me the 8th digit in VIN?

Does the vehicle idle smoothly at around 750 RPM? Are all of the gauges reading normal? No high temperature readings, etc?

Is it only dieing at a complete stop? Also, does it restart after stalling with no problems?

Please answer these and it will better help me with diagnosing the situation.

Thanks for using 2carpros. Com!

Hi thanx for the response. My 8th digit on VIN is " D".
Sometimes it idles smoothly but after 2 or 3 minutes it starts vibrating and feels like its gonna die. Gauges are normal, no high temperature readings. Yeah it dies at a complete stop but sometimes its random. The car does restart after stalling and sometimes when it restarts the engine dies again. Hope u can help me. Thanks!

Dec 9, 2008.
Thanks for that info.

It now sounds like your idle air control valve is sticking or faulty.

First, check idle speed adjustment.
Then check the IACV (Idle Air Control Valve) circuits for any shorts in the wiring along with checking the IACV air regulator.

Below is the location of the IACV.


Does the IACV also affects RPM? I do notice that the needle on the RPM moves up and down when driving around 25mph. And when I just let the car drive without stepping the gas, my RPM is between 500 and 700.

Dec 24, 2008.
Yes, the IAC valve controls the idle. If it is flucuating up and down then this is an indication that the IAC valve is faulty.

750 is the perfect number to idle. Anywhere around 600 - 800 is normal.

Dec 24, 2008.
I was having a very similar problem with the same car. At first, it would start up everytime and run for a few seconds, but die. Start again and it would run for 10-15min and then start randomly dying on the hwy or at stop signs, whatever. No warning other than it would start stalling a bit. After a while it wouldn't fire right up anymore, I would have to turn the key several times, kinda quick before it would finally start. After replacing the starter, checking the MAF censor and throttle position censor and all that fun stuff it turned out to be a faulty Ignition Switch under the steering wheel.

I replaced the $30 part and she runs like new. Starts up every time, and never stalls or dies. Hope this helps.

Nov 7, 2014.