By October 22, 2006 8 Comments Read More →

Engine Dies But Restarts

I have a Nissan Altima gxe and it is a standard. Lately while i drive it it just shuts right off and i can start it right back up but it does just shut off. Also when im stopped at a light it idles very low and stalls out i had it cheked out and they said maybe its the distirbutor and i needed a tune up. I got a tune up and it still stalls. WHY?

thanks Laryssa

Hi there Laryssa,

I would really need to run some tests to give you any real accurate suggestions as to what is happening, but I would make sure to check for:

1. A vacuum leak somewhere under the hood. Look and listen for a hissing noise in a rubber vacuum hose or in the black fresh air hose from the air cleaner to the throttle body.

2. Inspect and clean the throttle body of dirt

3. Check idle speed control motor clean if necessary

4. Check base idle setting is idle speed set to low?

5. Check computer codes is there information stored on your computer that might help diagnose the problem

Most of these will require your mechanic to inspect for you, but there should not be any big expense in having them check the items listed above, at least that will help rule out the simple basic things.


Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • kinggabby

    Take your ignition rotor off and look where it attaches to the distributor if there is a grayish color then you need to replace the ignition rotor, Just ran through similar problem .. it kind of acted like a fuel problem but it wasn’t

  • Ap

    It is not the alternator so stop telling people it is. If was the alternator the car wouldn’t start back up.

  • mike

    i will still go by alternator. to me it clearly is a case of the alternator gone faulty.
    BTWuys, i wanted to know if the new altima still using Optima batteries like the old ones ?

  • SnydersDiesel

    The issue is most likely related to your distributer. As stated earlier, the O ring can and will be the cause of this problem.

    Another thing to remember about your Nissan, especially the earlier Altima’s and most datsun’s is that you should use OEM parts for the ignition systems. We have seen over the years where a NAPA, Carquest, or Big A type distributor cap (right out of the box) behaves exactly how you are describing. I had a customer in 1998 who had just had a tune up at a private garage, experienced your problem and took it to the dealer. The dealer recommended a distributor. The car only had @ 40K miles. They brought it to us, and with our experiences with the datsun line, we purchased an OEM cap and rotor and the car has run fine ever since. But, if you see oil in the vacinity of the distributor, then the previously indicated problem is most likely the cause.

  • Misty Capps

    I have a 1995 and have the exact same problem, I have replaced the Knock Sensor and other little things I am up to 900.00 and now they tell me it’s probably the computer gone bad and shutting the engine off…..Help what do I do?

  • brian b.

    its the alternator, you gotta replace it !

  • john viraldo

    the problem with your nissan altimas are in the distributor there is an oil ring on the distubutor that keeps the oil off the ignition that oil ring is bad and when oil comes past the oil ring it shuts off engine I have seen this happen many times it will keep geting worse untill it is fixed. whats happening as soon as the oil drains back down it will start

  • Melissa

    Did you find your problem? Our 1997 Nissan does the same thing.