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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hate to sound so desperate here, but I am. I have an 07 Nissan Xterra 4.0l 4x4. It was running good, till it wasn't. It would randomly shut off while driving, just like you turned the key off. After I pulled over I would have to sit there for a few minutes before it would restart. It would turn over, but wouldn't fire. But after a few minutes, it would start and run again. One day it did that and when it crunk up it had very little power, was getting terrible fuel mileage, pretty sure it is only running on 4 cylinders, and the SES light is flashing and the VDC light it on as well. Cleaned the MAF sensor, reset the ECU but didn't help. I'm kinda thinking it's either the ECU is bad, or the IPDM took a poop, I can't drive it anywhere to get the code read on it so it will have to be trailered where ever it goes. Any ideas before I have to drag it to a mechanic just to get the code read? Any in put is welcomed and appreciated! I'm at my whits end here with this. Battery is good as well. So I have no clue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a classic description of a failed crankshaft position sensor.
I replaced the both of them on the top back side of the engine next to the firewall about a year ago. Possible they went bad again so soon? If so, are those the only 2 on the car? Or is there another one I don't know about? Thank you for your help I will try that next!
 

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Hate to sound so desperate here, but I am. I have an 07 Nissan Xterra 4.0l 4x4. It was running good, till it wasn't. It would randomly shut off while driving, just like you turned the key off. After I pulled over I would have to sit there for a few minutes before it would restart. It would turn over, but wouldn't fire. But after a few minutes, it would start and run again. One day it did that and when it crunk up it had very little power, was getting terrible fuel mileage, pretty sure it is only running on 4 cylinders, and the SES light is flashing and the VDC light it on as well. Cleaned the MAF sensor, reset the ECU but didn't help. I'm kinda thinking it's either the ECU is bad, or the IPDM took a poop, I can't drive it anywhere to get the code read on it so it will have to be trailered where ever it goes. Any ideas before I have to drag it to a mechanic just to get the code read? Any in put is welcomed and appreciated! I'm at my whits end here with this. Battery is good as well. So I have no clue.
Get a scan tool from Amazon, harbor freight or your local auto parts store. Way cheaper than trailering it anywhere and it's always good to have a reader on hand.
 

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Another thing to look at is your fuel pump. I had a 1993 Mazda MX6 that would act like what you are saying. I was the type to always wait for the fuel light to come on to fill up and come to find out the pump need fuel splashing around to cool it off. Now I fill up at 1/4-1/3 tank.

Like BeardnBrew said, get a scanner as that can tell you if the crank sensor is not working. Also I believe HF has fuel pressure gauges as well.
 

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I agree with possible bad crank sensor and to get OEM. Also if you can get your hands on a scanner (perhaps your local auto parts store does a tool loan with one) and pull codes that would give more insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with possible bad crank sensor and to get OEM. Also if you can get your hands on a scanner (perhaps your local auto parts store does a tool loan with one) and pull codes that would give more insight.
Thank you! I will be getting the cam sensor soon as it's relatively cheap and even if it's not bad, it probably will be soon. I'll ask around and see if anyone I know has a scan tool I can use. Thanks again!
 

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As has been said, purchase OEM or made by original manufacturer.

Purchasing aftermarket sensors for the VQ4.0 engine is not recommended.
 

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I will be getting the cam sensor soon as it's relatively cheap and even if it's not bad, it probably will be soon. I'll ask around and see if anyone I know has a scan tool I can use. Thanks again!
If you don't have a scanner, you can get the code results without one.
Just count the dash light flashes and it will count out the code for you. Follow the procedure outlined in the pdf below. Maybe you can record the flashes on your phone to play them back, might be easier to count that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you don't have a scanner, you can get the code results without one.
Just count the dash light flashes and it will count out the code for you. Follow the procedure outlined in the pdf below. Maybe you can record the flashes on your phone to play them back, might be easier to count that way.
Awesome! Thank you!
 

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Awesome! Thank you!
If your check engine light isn't turning on then you won't have an error code to scan. It's possible to have a pending code tho. The problem with bad cam sensors and IPDM's is they don't always throw a code or check engine light. I bought my Xterra not running and it had no codes, turned out it was the IPDM. A few weeks later I started having random crank-no-start issues and it turned out to be a cam sensor, so I replaced both with OEM parts and it's been over a year since with no problems.

As for the IPDM, it's also somewhat difficult to diagnose. There's a test you can run which should tell you if the IPDM is bad, but it's not very accurate. Mine kept telling me everything was working perfectly, but it wouldn't start. Threw in a new black IPDM and it's been running perfectly ever since. The white ones fail so often it would be smart to just replace it with a black one. You can get them new from the dealership for around $230, or you can try to get lucky and find one in a junkyard, but it's hard to find '10s and newer there.
 

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The problem with bad cam sensors and IPDM's is they don't always throw a code or check engine light.
Yes.
I'm not certain of the parameters required to set a code for a failing crank sensor, but many users report performance issues just prior to it failing, with no codes available. It seems to take a near complete failure of the sensor before you get a MIL. In this case the MIL is flashing, so he got his warning, however late.

The IPDM test is called the "Auto Active Test" in the 'Power" section of the factory service manual , if anyone ever needs it. The test will repeatedly turn on certain circuits to quickly test for power. It only does electric cooling fan, ac clutch, headlights, tail lights, electric defog, and wipers. No tools required to run the test, just a short sequence of on/off with the key, and pressing the door switch 10 times.

This is a good place for a big F-you to Nissan for taking previously inexpensive replaceable relays, and soldering them onto the IPDM circuit board. Since many of us are not set up (or now lack the eyesight) to test and service circuit boards, expensive replacement of the whole board is the only option, as @Tlrtucker pointed out above.
 

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Yes.
I'm not certain of the parameters required to set a code for a failing crank sensor, but many users report performance issues just prior to it failing, with no codes available. It seems to take a near complete failure of the sensor before you get a MIL. In this case the MIL is flashing, so he got his warning, however late.

The IPDM test is called the "Auto Active Test" in the 'Power" section of the factory service manual , if anyone ever needs it. The test will repeatedly turn on certain circuits to quickly test for power. It only does electric cooling fan, ac clutch, headlights, tail lights, electric defog, and wipers. No tools required to run the test, just a short sequence of on/off with the key, and pressing the door switch 10 times.

This is a good place for a big F-you to Nissan for taking previously inexpensive replaceable relays, and soldering them onto the IPDM circuit board. Since many of us are not set up (or now lack the eyesight) to test and service circuit boards, expensive replacement of the whole board is the only option, as @Tlrtucker pointed out above.
A big f you for building one of the most robust and dependable vehicles on the road? Lol, ok then...
 

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Dukeofvegas stole my thunder. I was going to say, first thing I'd do is a fuel pressure test. Quick and easy. Similar symptoms to a failing crank sensor sometimes. They can also fail when hot, too.

Sometimes they'll get a dead segment in the armature, and will become a crank, no-start when the pump happens to stop on the dead segment. Every mechanic loves being a hero after whacking the gas tank with a rubber mallet, and to the driver's delight, the engine fires right up again. :p That look of joy never gets old. :)

When they get old, they can stick, then free up at random, too, which would account for intermittent bad driveability. If you can throw a gauge on there while it's acting up, that will tell you for certain if the pump is the issue. Should be 50 PSI ± .

Sometimes you can even hear a failing one. It'll sound inconsistent, and like there's shards of glass churning around inside. Other times they just howl loudly, or quit altogether without warning.


I've got an '86 Grand Marquis that has 288k on the ORIGINAL electric fuel pump in the tank. I'd wager this to be the most reliable vehicle ever built. ;)
 

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first thing to do is find out what the truck is literally telling you is wrong with it by getting the code scanned.

I bought a $25 scanner off amazon and its paid for itself many times over at this point.

yes its possible to get the code without a scanner, but i tried it and its a total pain in the ass.
 
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