Well … calling on the Car Commentariat once again. Sigh.
I mentioned the other day that I had doubts Tuesday’s wrenching actually cured the Xterra. I was right.
This morning I drove into the woods with the dogs and all was fine. We took a short walk, then when I started up again, the idle was rough. Not rough enough to threaten to die. Just “rumbly” with the tach lightly bouncing up and down.
I put it in drive and we got rolling. And after maybe 100 yards, I felt it losing power, the tach dropped. Several seconds later the engine died and all the dash lights came on.
As usual, it started right back up. But then … death again. Every 100 or 200 yards. Always the drop in power followed a few seconds later by the engine quitting.
After that happened eight or ten times, there was a final “episode” in which the tach dropped almost — but not quite — to zero. This time the engine didn’t die and everything was fine (except my nerves) the rest of the way home. This is far and away the worst thing it’s done to date.
After the third or fourth death, I put it in park and revved the engine hard a few times, in case something needed to be blown out of the system. That had zero effect.
I’m stumped. Any ideas?
On Tuesday the mechanic:
- Changed sparkplugs and wires
- Replaced the distributor cap and rotor
- Replaced the air filter
- Replaced the fuel filter
- Cleaned the mass air-flow sensor and throttle body
- Replaced the cold-start sensor
- Checked for vacuum leaks
At his suggestion, I also added Heet and fuel-injector cleaner to the gas tank. Did that Tuesday and all has been well until this morning.
I haven’t talked with the mechanic yet this morning (too early for him), but I’m not sure our Plan B — replacing the idle air control valve — is the next logical thing to try.
ADDED: I called him. He has no idea what it could be. I’m also going to post this to an Xterra forum.
My other thought, based on looking around on the ‘Net, is that something might be wrong with the crankshaft position sensor.
But if you knew how little I know about auto repair, you wouldn’t take my word for anything.