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Have you tried cleaning the MAF. It is an easy procedure and although it's not throwing a MAF code, a dirty or failing MAF can and usually will cause the engine to surge and buck and stall randomly. It may feel like the transmission doing crazy things, but it is the engine stuttering. It normally happens at lower speeds and especially during deceleration or prolonged idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I would hope the shop would have done that, but it's an easy item to check off. So I'm headed to get a can of MAF cleaner
 

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Check your battery cables to make sure their not corroded and tight.

Check your negative battery cable at both the battery and point of ground for proper contact.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Dropping this off at Nissan, not worth getting killed. This is what it has been doing on the highway. 4wd flickers, graphic goes away it feels like I'm going to leave my transmission on the highway.

Hoping for the best, otherwise I guess it's time to start searching for a replacement.

 

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Seen a similar issue with a wheel speed sensor which failed
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Got a call from Nissan this morning. I was told the rear differential exploded internally. At the tune of $3210 to fix.

I don't understand that. Wouldn't it always drive like shit if it were shot and not come and go? How does this explain stalling and starting right back up when not in park. Weird
 

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Something isn't adding up. I was hesitating commenting on your post because it sounded like it was going to be a TCM, or 4WD contol module issue, but wasn't sure if the power loss was limp mode, or something else.
I'd want an explanation for what would cause the behavior you get.
Also, I'd just replace the entire diff/axle assemply from a scrap yard myself or by a local mechanic. no way Nissan gets that kind of coin from me.
 

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Something sounds very fishy. Like you said a rear diff issue would likely cause your rig to run like crap 100% of the time. Ask to see the damage that they are claiming. I would take the rig to another shop for a second opinion, things don't quite add up.

If it does turn out that you need a new rear diff, make sure you can see whatever you buy in person first. I just had the most horrible experience with LKQ on a rear axle assembly for a friend's vehicle. We ordered an assembly with 83k miles on it and promised overnight shipment to the shop. A week later there was still no part delivered, the 83k mile axle was "damaged" in transit, but they were dispatching an equivalent axle, get this, with 193k miles, but they weren't going to charge us extra to ship it expedited (WTF!). It took over 60 calls to get them to send something with lower mileage, but we are still fighting the company for pulling a really nasty bait and switch and delays. By the time the assembly actually arrived, there was damage to the dust shields and the brake calipers that were supposed to come with the axle assembly were nowhere to be found.

I highly recommend avoiding LKQ or any of it's contracted subsidiaries, Automotix, All Used Parts, among others. Shop locally for your replacement ale if at all possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I called the service adviser back and asked why this didn't add up in my mind to the symptoms I brought the car in for. One would certainly notice a blown differential and I wouldn't think you would be able to drive on it for an length of time ? I asked if I could text him the video of my concern and asked if this was a diff issue would this stalling when not even out of park as was the case prior to the first shop examining it. The check in guy dismissed all the details I gave him and he assumed a diff issue because of the flickering 4wd light I showed him.

Personally I don't think its the cause, I can see damaging the differential from whatever the cause was but certainly not the primary cause. He's supposedly rechecking things ??
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Even after describing symptoms they stand by they can't find anything else wrong and the 4wd light is being illuminated by the rear diff. slipping. I'm still unsure I believe this is the cause. Limping it home and paying the $129 diagnostic fee. Not sure where to go from here with the X.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Interesting event on the way home from the dealership the damn Xterra FINALLY threw a code. P0335. Now could this be my problems or is this a rabbit hole. And is there anything wrong with my rear differential at all...
 

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That's the crankshaft position sensor. There is an in depth howto on how to address that. Make sure to get the OE part.

 

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I would do crank and cam sensors at the same time. yea that would cause stalling. The 4wd flicker..... dunno tbh, it might be a red herring. but if a diff is going you will usually hear it howling or get noises when you are on and off the gas.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I can confirm the sensor will not fix the issues. There is/was obviously something major wrong in the computer/ engine and must have destroyed the differential when it started acting up on highway speeds. I changed the sensor and took it for a test drive where I felt the rear axle lock up and skip on me. I see no point in replacing the rear axle as there is obviously an issue under the hood that 2 garages couldn't diagnose. Guess this vehicle is junk at 134,000 miles. Very disappointing
 

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could it be that the sensors in the motor causing the intermittent stalling caused the rear diff to grenade?

so that rear diff may in fact need to be replaced, but sitn necessarliy the root of the issue but a side effect..

i'd be curious, supposed you did have the dealership replace the diff an it didnt fix the issue? they going to reimbruse you or cover the costs to fix what was actually the issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #37
I believe that's precisely what happened. I think something is off in the engine/computer. I wish I could find someone knowledgeable to look it over. I'm not entirely convinced the prior Nissan dealership even had the differential cover off.

I've been driving it locally only and it has been alright, but I don't trust it at higher speeds.
 
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