1996 Nissan 240SX 240SX many problems

Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 NISSAN 240SX
Engine Mechanical problem
1996 Nissan 240SX 4 cyl Manual

Many problems. Thank you in advance

1. Steering. When I turn the steering wheel all the way to the right (car at stop, engine running) I hear a few "clonks". Then I turn to the left a bit (about less than half a turn from full right) and I hear more "clonks". From the drivers seat I hear this from the right side of the engine bay near the front right tire. When I drive the car leans/turns very hard to the right. When I turn left (about 90 to 180 degree left turn) It drives straight afterwards. What can cause this??

2. Speedometer. Does not work, jumps sometimes at speed but not all the time. CEL has P0500 how to troubleshoot?

3. Electrical. This is weird, sometimes while I drive all of a sudden my radio, windshield wipers, and the backlight on my clock shut off (the clock is on but the backlight turns off) at the same time. how??

4. Eng Temp. It was a cold day today and Eng. Temp. never passed the cold position on the gauge while driving for an hour. Heres a youtube link of the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhaabz0N0JA

5. Oil. Engine leaks oil, I can see a puddle about the size of a powerade cap within 5 minutes of parking on the pavement. Also the engine bay is completely covered (at the bottom end) with gritty oil/sludge. I had to replace my alternator and I believe the oil shorted it. What can cause this oil all over?

6. Engine light throws the following codes...
Speed sensor P0500
Idle control valve P0505
Knock Sensor P0325
DTC P1445

How do I troubleshoot these faults (procedure)?

7. Power doors (locks and windows) Does not work at all on both driver and passenger side doors. How can I fix this?

I am a Certified Aviation Maintenance Technician and perform all work on my car so function and terms do not scare me. I know this is a lot. Thank you very much
-Alex
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Monday, January 4th, 2010 AT 10:03 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:

You do have a few problems. Well, lets give this a try. I will number them in the same order you did.

1) The steering has me concerned. To me it sounds like one of the coil springs is broken on the strut. Check that to make sure. It will casue the car to lean and make a noise when you turn the wheel. Sometimes it is hard to see a crack in them so look closely.

2) As far as the speedo, you need the vehicle speed sensor (VSS) replaced. The code you provided indicates there is a malfunction with it, and that will cause your speedo to act crazy.

3) THe electrical problems you mentioned with the wipers, radio, and clock most likely have to do with a bad body ground. Check for broken or loose ground straps. The clock requires very little power to run, but the back light will shut off if the ground is too weak, and it will shut the wipers and radio off.

4) As far as the temp, did you have good heat? The reason I ask is because, the engine's temp could have been normal (creating heat for the heater), but the temp sending unit may be bad causing the gauge not to work.

5) As far as the oil leak, I can you tell if it is coming out of one of the valve covers and leaking down, or is the top of the engine dry and only the bottom is wet? Also, check to make sure the drain plug is tight and the gasket on it is good. Also, check the oil filter for leaks and around the intake and oil pan.

6) As far as the codes, one is the VSS which is causing the speedo problems. THe idle air control valve will usually cause an unstable idle or cause the engine to die when you let off the gas. Is this happening? As far as the knock sensor, do you have problems with valve ping?

7) As far as the windows, have you checked for power to the main driver's door switch? That is where power is distributed to the other doors. If there is no power there, you'll loose it in all windows. Check that. If there is power to the switch, see if there is power out.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 AT 8:40 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
Thanks Joe, I really appreciate you answering the questions.

1. I will check if the coil spring is broken. I had just bought this car and it is very low; however, I looked at the suspension and it does not look aftermarket giving me reason to believe the springs were cut. Recently the noise went away and I can turn full left and full right with no noise, but it still leans to the right sometimes and goes straight sometimes. It does make noise when I drive over bumps (sounds like a piece of metal hitting another piece of metal but not too loud).

2. Is there any procedure to test this out? Just to make sure it is not just bad connections

3. I will check ground for these appliances, but would these three share the same ground?

4. Heater was cold. Found out there was no thermostat so I replaced it with OEM 170 degrees and it now works at operating temp with heater working. Problem now is the temp gauge shakes while driving (typically when I accelerate). I have not checked the fluid after that so I will check it and add more fluid if necessary to make sure there are no air pockets and will let you know.

5. Top of the engine is very clean, bottom end of engine and bay is covered in gritty oil. It is very difficult to locate a leak. I will try to degrease the engine when I have the time and see where the oil starts up at.

6. Idle seems fine, however when I let off gas the RPMs dip a bit. I do not notice any pinging or knocking. I put 93 octane fuel anyway because the extra 5 dollars a tank is worth it, until I replace this sensor/fault.

7. I will check for power to the main drivers door switch

Thanks again,
Alex
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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 AT 9:35 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
7. Power doors (locks and windows) Does not work at all on both driver and passenger side doors. How can I fix this?

Check the circuit breaker behind left side of dash if okay check for power at the smart entrance control unit white and red wire if you got it here and you have good ground on G200 left kick panel, and G203 right kick panel all these okay Send the SECU to the trash can, its defective


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_d1_6.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_d2_5.jpg

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 1:05 AM
Tiny
BMX4637
  • MEMBER
I also forgot to mention

The drivers side door is a bit low and doesn't close properly. When closed it moves up a bit (you cannot see it you can only hear it). It measured to be about half an inch low going into the lock on the car body (steel ring)
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Thursday, January 14th, 2010 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like the door hinges are bad.
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Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 11:19 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
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How would I be able to fix the door hinges?

The radiator was full so I believe the temp sending unit would be bad, where would that be located and how to solve that problem?

And yes the springs were cut, any way to fix this?

Thanks,
Alex
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Sunday, January 17th, 2010 AT 3:24 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The only thing you can do is replace the springs. I had a feeling that was the problem. As far as the temp sending unit, it should be located near the thermostat housing. As far as the door hinge, check at the local parts store. If they have a "Help" section, they may have them in stock. Basically you remove the old pins and replace them. THe door is heavy, so you either have to have a helper hold the door or have it supported so it doesn't fall.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Sunday, January 17th, 2010 AT 10:57 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
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Ok thank you, I will replace the springs and door hinges when I can and will look at the temp sending unit. Do you know what the temp sending unit is called?

7. power doors (locks and windows)

I opened the door panel and saw this on the door with the window switches (no door lock shown so would that mean I have no power locks??)


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_driver_door_switch_1.jpg




http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_TEMPP_1.jpg



connected to this


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_temp_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_temp2_1.jpg



The black wire has ground
The Red/white wire DOES NOT receive power (even when ignition is at on position, it shows 0.01 VDC)

I could not find anything labeled SECU or Smart Entrance Control Unit behind the dash to the left of the steering column. If it is in my car then what panels would need to be removed?
I was figuring the first two pictures were the SECU so I tried following the Red/white wire to the fuse.
I was unable to follow it due to the plethora of wires behind the fuse box and I also couldn't find the fuse at all for the windows (some fuses are at wrong rating)


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_temp3_3.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_temp4_1.jpg



Where would this fuse be??


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/442448_temp1_1.jpg



Thank you
Alex
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Monday, January 18th, 2010 AT 4:21 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It's hard to tell from the picture. It looks like a relay.
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Thursday, January 21st, 2010 AT 8:35 PM
Tiny
BMX4637
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My chilton manual shows a power window relay around the same area as the fuse box but more aft. I took out the bracket that screws three relays together but cannot figure which one the window relay is? There are two black and one blue relays (I can get a picture if you want).

The radio, clock back light, and wipers turning off occurs still (I couldn't find a bad ground or any loose wires). However I have solved the problem. When I start the car the key is turned clockwise to the on position and briefly clockwise more for the start position. When the radio turns off I turn the key slightly counter-clockwise (but still in on position) and the radio, etc. Starts right up. What can I fix here?
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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That sounds like the ignition switch. If things work when you slightly turn the key, check the switch on the steering column. It may be adjustable.
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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 AT 9:56 PM

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