2000 Altima Idle Rough

Tiny
THATSGAME1
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 NISSAN ALTIMA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,145 MILES
Car: 2000 Nissan Altima GXE - 4 cylinder automatic

I had a tune-up and my oil gasket replaced recently because it was leaking oil, not running smooth at idle and check engine light is on. Engine doesn't miss when accelerating. So I get car back and oil leak stopped but engine is still not running smooth at idle and check engine light keeps coming back. So I took it in again, this time they replaced the new wires they installed the week before. Engine still idles rough and exhaust sort of putts or puffs at idle only. So I take it back in again and they clean the throttle body. So.

Before I took it in the engine didn't idle rough anything above around 1000 RPM. Just below say 800-900 RPM it started idle rough. That's when they tell me they will clean the throttle body. When I get it back now, the car never idles below 1000-1100 RPM. I put in 1st gear and engine actually accelerates to around 1400 RPM before going back to 1000 RPM. It keeps doing this with me not even touching the gas. Does a similar thing in 2nd gear. Accelerates by itself in gear (drive).

What did they do and what do I tell them to undo when I take it back? I don't want to sound like a rookie.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 12:18 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
MIKEVOLTAGE
  • MEMBER
I own the same car and have discovered this the most common problem with this vehicle. I have close to 200,000 miles on mine and have been troubleshooting this problem for three years. I've tried two rounds of plugs and plug wires, idle control valve, cleaning throttle body and replacing trottle body gasket. I am now 99% sure it is the Intake Manifold Gasket leak at the #4 cylinder as many other forums are suggesting. It's expensive, about $700, but it's the only way to fix the idle and the service engine soon light. I am having this gasket replaced this week and finally putting this baby to bed. I am almost sure this is your problem too.
Hope this helps you.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 4:56 PM
Tiny
THATSGAME1
  • MEMBER
Hi Mike,

How did you find what it was? Is it worth it to take to dealship?
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 6:04 PM
Tiny
MIKEVOLTAGE
  • MEMBER
This topic has come up alot in several other car maintenance forums. Check out carcomplaints. Com and you'll find alot of other owners with similar car symptoms. Also, with the engine idling, try spraying some carb and choke cleaner in the area of the intake manifold at the #4 cylinder. If there is a vacuum leak there the idle will increase and smooth out for a minute.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
THATSGAME1
  • MEMBER
How serious is this? How long can I wait it out?
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 9:43 PM
Tiny
MIKEVOLTAGE
  • MEMBER
Yeah, sure you can wait it out. I've had the idle problem on my car for three years. It gets progressively worse with time, and the 'service engine soon light' will come on more often and stay on longer until it stays on all the time and comes right back after reset. Now my car won't pass emissions and my tag has expired, so I have to spend the big bucks to get it fixed.
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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 AT 10:49 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Have the computer scanned at a parts store and have them tell you what the trouble code is. Also, when I started reading your first post, a vacuum leak was my first guess. So I would check what he recommended.
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Friday, April 1st, 2011 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
THATSGAME1
  • MEMBER
I heard Pep Boys offers this for free. I read a lot about this issue and everything SEEMS to lead to the intake manifold gasket. Cylinder 4 overheats and messes up the gasket.

Are vacuum leaks expensive to repair?
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Friday, April 1st, 2011 AT 9:13 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If it is an intake gasket, it can get a little costly. However, most vacuum leaks are the result of a loose, damaged, disconnected, or dry rotted vacuum hose. If you are lucky and it is that, you could repair it for under a couple dollars. The manifold expect to spend around 2 to 3 hundred. If you can do it yourself, expect around 75 dollars in parts.
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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 AT 4:56 AM
Tiny
MIKEVOLTAGE
  • MEMBER
Just a follow-up on this topic. I recently had the Intake Manifold Gasket changed on my Nissan and it DID fix the problem. The idle was better and the 'service engine soon' light is off and has stayed off. The cost was $600.00 from a local shop. That price was about average comparatively speaking and the job itself is quite difficult according the mechanics who hhave done it. This is supposedly a defect from Nissan. There is a 'hot spot' on the engine intake manifold that causes the gasket to burn up and leak in the area of the #4 cylinder. Unfortunately, I am told this may happen again in time, but since my car has over 200,000 miles on it I don't think it will last that long.
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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 AT 11:07 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Wow! I wish I could make that on an intake. I guess it depends on where you are located.
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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 AT 8:07 PM

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