Check engine light flashes car shakes and cuts off

Tiny
RNIGGL
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 NISSAN SENTRA
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Sometimes, usually when car first starts for the day but has happened out of nowhere on the interstate. The car loses power the rpm's start jumping and the car shakes something terrible while the check engine light flashes. Feels like the engine rocks back and forth. If I come to a stop it will usually stall or sputter. If I keep driving it can shut down. Usually just let it sit for a few minutes and then start up and works perfectly fine again. In attempts to fix problem so far I have changed the spark plugs, belts, and idler pulley.
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Thursday, July 18th, 2019 AT 7:19 AM

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Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros.

If the light is flashing, that indicates a cylinder misfire is occurring. Have you scanned the computer to identify which cylinder is having the issues? Here are a couple links that you may find of interest:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/check-engine-light-top-ten-reasons

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/check-engine-light-is-it-safe-to-drive

You really need to have the computer scanned to identify diagnostic trouble codes. That will point us in the right direction. It could be several different things. For example, a faulty crankshaft or camshaft position sensor, weak fuel pressure, sticking injector, faulty engine coolant temperature sensor, low compression, and so on.

Here is a quick video showing how scanning is done:

https://youtu.be/YV3TRZwer8k

I realize most people don't own a scanner, but often times, a parts store will do it for free or lend / rent you a scanner. If this isn't done, it will become a guessing game.

I attached a picture below that shows where the crankshaft position sensor is on this vehicle if you want to inspect it.

Let me know what you find or if you have other questions.

Joe
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Thursday, July 18th, 2019 AT 7:56 PM

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