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Answered 2015-07-16 19:31:16

sounds like an electrical issue. could be an ignition coil or ignition control module.

It could also be an oil leak into the distributor.

auto zone will hook them up to a computer and give you the diagnostic, likely is the oxygen sensor

When my 94 was doing that, I replaced the distributor and have had no more problems.

Coil gettin warm will do exactly what you described

It can be a defective transistor which is the one attached on top of the air mass sensor...The gray plug looking shape that has three wires going into it.

I had spent $1500.00 at a local shop just to find out about it.

once hot this transistor shut off your engine.

once in a blue moon, the problem is a very, very fine hair line crack in the distributor cap. replace it!

I had the same problem. I replaced the distributor o-ring and no more problems. The way I tested it for this problem was to pull the Distributor cap. Take out the screw holding the Button on and take off the dutton. Take off the black plastic cover, take out three little screws, as you unscrew these they �pop� that metal disk thing but it does not hurt it. Same with putting them back in. After this I had enough room to spray out the electrical sensor with 409 and then I sprayed water to flush out the 409. Put it all together and if it works then oil is getting on that electrical eye that controls the timing or something like that. You have to do this before the car sits. As soon as the car cuts out do what I did and if it starts you know it is the O-ring. Don�t forget to plug the wire back into the distributor when you put it back together. I took the old O-ring in and matched it up at the auto store. Nissan dealer told me it was the Distributor and wanted like $400.00 for the part only. I think the O-ring cost like 50 cent. You have to pull the Distributor out and you will see the O-ring about the size that would fit around you thumb.

After reading some of these stories, I want to share my experience with this exact type of problem in hope to help someone not to expend $400.00 - $1500.00. I have a 97 Altima and it would run for about 30 minutes and then it would stall and not restart. It would sound as if the timing chain was broke, you know like it was fighting to start. I would wait around 30 minutes until it would cool off and then it would start as if nothing was wrong. Thirty minutes or so later the same thing. All this time, the check engine light was NOT on. With some great leads from this message board and advice from a friend who works on Nissans I went and got a can of component cooler from radio shack (around $8.00). This stuff is like freon, it freezes electrical components on contact. It is mostly used to diagnose bad transistors that fail on high temperature. I ran the car until it acted up. I opened the distributor cap (two screws) and removed the rotor (one screw). (the rotor screw is on the side of the shaft) This allowed me to remove the plastic housing. (you have to jiggle it a bit). Once the cover was removed (some oil may seep through the seal don't panic), I could clearly see the disc containig 360 slots and the camshaft sensor (a little black box covering some of the slots). You may see a worn o-ring when the plastic housing is removed. Don't panic, this is just a dust shield, you can trim it and set it back. If you have the same problem as I had, you will be replacing it anyway. I sprayed the sensor with the component cooler(the little plastic box covering some of the disk slots) and the periphery of the metal at the base of the distributor). This action froze the components momentarily and I heard crackling (resulting from the rapid reduction in temperature).

I replace the plastic housing, the rotor and the distributor cap (in less than a couple of minutes, only three screws).

I turned the key on and the car started immediately and rand for a couple of minutes or so until the components reheated. To be absolutely sure, I tried to restart it without success. I repeated the freezing process again and it started immediately. At this point I was becoming confident that I had isolated the component. Unfortunately these electronics appear to be an integral part to the distributor. As someone already mentioned on this board it would require a full distributor replacement. Instead of going to Nissan and paying $400.00, I turned to EBAY. I found two organizations who sold the entire distributor (new) including cap and rotor ready to bolt in for about $150.00. Let me tell you, it took me 10 minutes to replace the distributor(2 bolts). Needless to say, the car is running great.

I someone. Feel free to email me if you require more info after this long winded response. Carlos


I second this advice. My car (97 Nissan altima) was giving me the same problems. I replaced the d. cap, and the d. rotor... and it showed no improvement. I got curious, so I took apart the distributor to see if there was oil inside of the plastic housing beneath the rotor- sure enough there was a puddle of oil in the cover. I bought a new one. Installing it was a simple matter of screws, and marking the old one so that the new one would be aligned correctly. It took minutes to do. I test drove it for most of the day, and it hasn't given me any issues. I think the problem is solved. Great advice!

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