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Long one folks, sorry!

So I recently bought an 02 Sentra GXE. Only previous owner was a female with a small child. Couldn't be in better condition for a used car, right? So I thought for the first month I had it. Ran fine, relatively sure it had an aftermarket alarm system, since it armed within 30 seconds of leaving the car. Armed, but did not lock the doors, so you can understand my wanting it to get removed. Then, the check engine light comes on. Check the code, and it says Random/Multiple Misfire (P0350). Bring it to a mechanic, checks it out, can't find much of anything wrong after checking all of the coils, replacing spark plugs, etc.). He removes the alarm system, and returns it. Next day, it doesn't start. I think it's because of the removal, have him check everything, no results. Finally, I replace the crankshaft positioning sensor after a tip from a friend, starts up fine.

I bring it for a test drive, feels great until I bring the RPMs up over 4000, where it surges, loses power, and when I come to a stop, stalls. Start it up again, get it home, but every time it sits still, in park, drive, whatever, it stalls after a couple seconds to a minute. Usually lasts longer after initial start up. Bring it to another mechanic, he checks the coils, wires, everything looks fine, except he says he's not getting power coming from the ecm, so it could be either a bad circuit or a bad ecm. Check light had come on when it first started losing power, no longer has the P0350, now has P0340. Change the camshaft positioning sensor, things seem good again. Drive again, no problems at 4000 rpms, but same thing with sitting still and stalling. In drive, sitting at a light, stalls out on me. Start it up again, stalls within seconds while I remain stopped. Start it, rev the engine, put it into drive, and make it home without having to stop. So now I'm thinking it's a faulty ecm, which I'm going to try to find online and replace. Any tips/advice? Has anyone experienced something similar to this, and if so what was the fix? ECMs are expensive, and I'd like to replace it myself since mechanics charge crazy for something that isn't a whole lot of labor. But before I spend all of that money, I figured I'd check here and see what you guys had to say. I know the main two symbols on the ECM need to match, mine says 4 K, so i need to find the same, do I need to do anything else? I don't have any mods so will I have to reflash the new one? Where can I get one that's cheap?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Long one folks, sorry!

So I recently bought an 02 Sentra GXE. Only previous owner was a female with a small child. Couldn't be in better condition for a used car, right? So I thought for the first month I had it. Ran fine, relatively sure it had an aftermarket alarm system, since it armed within 30 seconds of leaving the car. Armed, but did not lock the doors, so you can understand my wanting it to get removed. Then, the check engine light comes on. Check the code, and it says Random/Multiple Misfire (P0350). Bring it to a mechanic, checks it out, can't find much of anything wrong after checking all of the coils, replacing spark plugs, etc.). He removes the alarm system, and returns it. Next day, it doesn't start. I think it's because of the removal, have him check everything, no results. Finally, I replace the crankshaft positioning sensor after a tip from a friend, starts up fine.

I bring it for a test drive, feels great until I bring the RPMs up over 4000, where it surges, loses power, and when I come to a stop, stalls. Start it up again, get it home, but every time it sits still, in park, drive, whatever, it stalls after a couple seconds to a minute. Usually lasts longer after initial start up. Bring it to another mechanic, he checks the coils, wires, everything looks fine, except he says he's not getting power coming from the ecm, so it could be either a bad circuit or a bad ecm. Check light had come on when it first started losing power, no longer has the P0350, now has P0340. Change the camshaft positioning sensor, things seem good again. Drive again, no problems at 4000 rpms, but same thing with sitting still and stalling. In drive, sitting at a light, stalls out on me. Start it up again, stalls within seconds while I remain stopped. Start it, rev the engine, put it into drive, and make it home without having to stop. So now I'm thinking it's a faulty ecm, which I'm going to try to find online and replace. Any tips/advice? Has anyone experienced something similar to this, and if so what was the fix? ECMs are expensive, and I'd like to replace it myself since mechanics charge crazy for something that isn't a whole lot of labor. But before I spend all of that money, I figured I'd check here and see what you guys had to say. I know the main two symbols on the ECM need to match, mine says 4 K, so i need to find the same, do I need to do anything else? I don't have any mods so will I have to reflash the new one? Where can I get one that's cheap?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The '02 1.8l had a lot of issues. I went through a lot with mine but got it running smooth. I would clean the MAF sensor first and see if that takes care of the stalling when you come to a stop. It is easy to do and should only take 15 minutes. The MAF sensors were extra sensitive in the 2002s. They are expensive to replace as well so try to clean it first.

The ECM was recalled for a lot of the 2002 1.8L's. Moisture would get into the housing through the foam and would corrode the circuit board and give the car weird problems that varied. If your getting random codes and they come and go its more than likely the ECM but could be the wiring which was also crap in the 2002s. Call Nissan and they can tell you by the VIN number if your car had recalls and if the previous owner did them.

I diagnosed a faulty ECM in my car after testing the wiring. I found one in a junkyard for $100 (has to match the old one like you said) which the yard said was tested and came with a 3 month warranty. I didn't want to spend the $800 the dealer wanted and took a chance with the used one. I opened it to see if it had the foam taken out (Nissan does this in the recall), which it was and it has been over a year and haven't had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
just bought the stuff to clean the MAF sensor, so I'll be trying that out over the weekend hopefully. Do I need to do any relearns or anything after cleaning it or after changing the ECM? Or even after just taking the ECM out and putting it back in (besides disconnecting the battery of course)? I checked about the recall, no dice there with my VIN, and I checked the housing and the ECM itself, no foam. I checked my air filter, looked clean, but I noticed one of my hoses doesn't seem to be connected to anything? I'm not sure which hose it is, the best I can say is that it's to the right of the intake when looking at it from the front of the car.

I notice you're in Westchester, I'm in Orange County. What junkyard did you go to? I'd take that deal for that 3 month warranty alone. Maybe I can get a new MAF sensor too while I'm at it.
 

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just bought the stuff to clean the MAF sensor, so I'll be trying that out over the weekend hopefully. Do I need to do any relearns or anything after cleaning it or after changing the ECM? Or even after just taking the ECM out and putting it back in (besides disconnecting the battery of course)? I checked about the recall, no dice there with my VIN, and I checked the housing and the ECM itself, no foam. I checked my air filter, looked clean, but I noticed one of my hoses doesn't seem to be connected to anything? I'm not sure which hose it is, the best I can say is that it's to the right of the intake when looking at it from the front of the car.

I notice you're in Westchester, I'm in Orange County. What junkyard did you go to? I'd take that deal for that 3 month warranty alone. Maybe I can get a new MAF sensor too while I'm at it.
ECU should just drop right in with no calibration required. As far as cleaning the sensor, just unplug the negative on the battery regardless of what you're doing. As far as that hose? probably the transmission ventilation hose. Follow it, it should go to the transmission bellhousing. While we are on the subject of hoses, make sure all your hoses are ok and connected (besides the tranny hose). A vacuum leak could make your car act the way it does.
 

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Pic of unconnected hose?
 

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ok, if one hose shouldn't be connected to anything I should be fine. All of the other hoses are fine. I'll try to get a pic up tomorrow, but it's a very small hose right next to the air filter that does an upside down U and ends. Gonna do some more work tomorrow and hopefully actually get the MAF clean, then check it out again.

also, I forgot to mention I'm losing coolant at a very quick rate. Could the ecm effect that? Or might that point to something else being wrong?
 

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ok, if one hose shouldn't be connected to anything I should be fine. All of the other hoses are fine. I'll try to get a pic up tomorrow, but it's a very small hose right next to the air filter that does an upside down U and ends. Gonna do some more work tomorrow and hopefully actually get the MAF clean, then check it out again.

also, I forgot to mention I'm losing coolant at a very quick rate. Could the ecm effect that? Or might that point to something else being wrong?
Just follow the hose, see where it goes.

How fast you losing coolant? You've noticed any leaks? or sweet smelling exhaust?
 

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If you've noticed sweet smelling exhaust and/or drops of oil in your coolant, or mayonnaise-like stuff on the bottom of your radiator cap, You might have a blown headgasket. IF you're not burning the coolant (no sweet smell) it might just be a mere leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey all, thanks for the help. I've been out of town for awhile so it didn't really make sense to bump this when I couldn't get pics or a video up. That being said, I have gotten a video of it after being started, and you can hear it hesitating and then eventually it stalls (just a couple minutes after the video ends) with the RPMs jumping around a bit during the hesitating. I cleaned the MAF sensor, didn't seem to do much. I also did an idle relearn, which seemed to help a little, but didn't fix the problem. I also did it doing the pedal dance and I'm not sure exactly how accurate I was. Are there other relearns I should try?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, not yet. Heard that is an expensive fix. Also heard I can clean it? Would the MAF sensor cleaner work or do I need another special kind of cleaner?
 

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Not sure if cleaning the throttle body will help solve the problem, but Seafoam makes a spray that can be used on carbs and throttle bodies. You can find it at an Autozone or Advance Auto Parts
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey everyone, sorry to bump this from forever ago, but I pretty much gave up on fixing it for the winter. I was in the city working anyway and various non-related issues got in the way of me getting any time to work on it.

That being said, I do have some updates. I replaced the ECM with one from the same model, but repaired. It helped for a minute, but the problems persisted. I was ready to scrap the car, an was doing a last check through when something odd happened. I had taken the MAF sensor out to clean it again and had gone inside for awhile. While I was inside, my brother had a friend over who was a mechanic, and wanted to see if he knew what the issues might be so he started the car, not realizing the MAF sensor was out.

The car ran perfectly. No hesitation, nothing. So this leads me to believe that the MAF sensor is the cause of my problems now (whether they are the same or new). Anyone have any experience with this sort of issue?
 

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I was going to say try unplugging the MAF and start the car. In the video it look like the MAF was dead. My sister car had the same thing happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I replaced the MAF sensor. It seemed to help a little bit, but I'm not out of the woods yet. Took it to another mechanic and he suspects the head gasket b/c I'm losing coolant. So right now I'm trying a product that is supposed to seal it for up to 5 years, temporary solution but it's a start. I'm driving it around a bit as a result, and I notice it stalls out on me, but seemingly only when I go down hill? Would this be a symptom of the head gasket or something else? So far the sealant has not worked. Will update if it does.

Oh, and the acceleration hesitates if I go past 2500 rpms or so. Not sure if related :/
 

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Check the continuity of the wires connecting the MAF and ECU
The wire should have better continuity then the MAF is able to do.
maf.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Going to check the wiring today. The sealant stuff didn't really appear to work. Checked codes again, and now it has even more! Woo!

It has codes p0340 (Cam), p0600, p0102, p0350 (Ignition coil).

I hate this car :(
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Final Update: It's working!

Well, it was. My alternator or battery or both are dead. But, I attribute that to the stress it's faced over the past year and constantly having it jumped. But anyway, I took it to YET ANOTHER mechanic. The guy replaced the camshaft positioning sensor, the crankshaft positioning sensor, the cam sensor, and the radiator cap. And it worked beautifully for the past two weeks, but the alternator (I believe) died on me yesterday. So, now I'm going to fix that and hopefully that'll be the last issue I have for awhile...
 
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