Versa Note Jerked, shook, then stalled....help!
Hey everyone! Hope everyone is having a good friday afternoon!
So, let me start off with some basic information. I have a 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR, with just over 35,000 miles on it. It'll be time for an oil change soon, but right now it's still good. I have been making sure to give it oil changes on time with reliable mechanics. I only had one issue in the past and that was a failed battery right out of the lot (they replaced it free of charge, had no issues ever since, well...until today...)
My wife was driving it today, and things were fine. She came by to my work to pick me up and all was well. She was in the car for maybe 30-45 minutes listening to the radio with the engine turned off. This is normal for her. I got in the car, all was good, car cranked up fine. She backed up fine and we drove maybe 30 feet and then it felt like something grabbed the back of the car and tried to pull it back (so it jerked), then it shook and jerked for a few seconds before the engine turned itself off and it rolled to a stop. I had her wait a minute, start it up again, give it a couple minutes and it did it again. Then we tried one more time (3rd times the charm right?) Did it again. NO Lights of any sort were on at any time! They only came on AFTER the engine shut itself down (Brake light, engine light, oil pressure light, and battery light, all 4 came on each time). Had no idea what was going on.
SO I told her to let me have a go at it, sounded like something my old Dodge Neon did a few times in the past (we had to replace a sensor in the end on that car). So I sat down, cranked it and we sat for about 5 minutes. All was good! I reved the engine several times to see if that might cause it to shut down...nope! Still no lights, no nothing, everything seemed all fine and dandy. I backed up, pulled forward and started driving out of the parking lot and onto the main road. I noticed it was about to start jerking again (it gave small shakes just before a heavy jerk each time), so I hit the brakes lightly to try to slow the RPM's down and that stopped the jerking from happening. Hit the gas again, and got to the red light where I stopped and waited...it was still running!
Tried driving it home, and I know I have a heavier foot than her lol. I gave it more gas than she did, and I noticed a few times around the 15-20 mph range it would try to do the shake/stall, and again, tapped the brakes to try to lower the RPM's down real fast before quickly hitting the gas again and all was well. Took it up to 35 mph, no issues...almost shook one more time at another red light...took it up to 40 mph, no issues, at all. Keep in mind the ENTIRE TIME I'm driving, no lights are coming on, not even when it tried to shake. I noticed the RPM's on idle were going as low as 500 (this seemed normal since about a month of driving it after I bought it brand new 2 years ago). So finally I took it up to 55mph when I reached the highway and it drove smooth, minus one issue...it almost felt as if there was something under the car weighing it down (I would describe it almost as if another 1000 pounds was added to the car out of no where). Hitting the gas hard from stop to go it didn't want to accelerate like normal, it took it's time and slooooowwwlly climed up (about half as fast as normal when really giving it some gas). Thought maybe something might be clogging it up? I called a few places up when I got home, sitting in the car as it idled. Nissan Dealership wouldn't pick up, kept going to someones voicemail repeatedly. I called one place they have me for an appointment "just in case" in a few days as they have NEVER heard of this kind of an issue before. Called another mechanic and they said the same thing as the other one, "is the engine light on? Is any light on??" Again...no lol. Nothing was on, it was as if nothing was wrong, other than what I described already. Took it to auto zone to see if MAYBE they could check the battery and do a diagnostics....well with no lights on it came back as nothing wrong lol. They explained to me without a light on their diagnostics won't come back with anything negative! Jokingly they told me I should "go get a real car" lol. Again, it was jokingly, they both agreed the car was fine. They said they don't know what to tell me other than go to the dealership with it or a full service mechanic. So I called my father-in-law who knows his fair share, and he said he's never heard of any car doing this before, but said his Honda (SUV) was having an issue just last week driving down from the mountains. Would sputter and jerk a few times without warning. He told me I should, just to try it, do what he did: go get a full fuel system cleaner, put it in the tank, top the tank off with high octane fuel, and go "drive it around for a bit to let it start working". Told me there easily could have been water in the tank, especially since the humidity gets to be around 90-99% around here (NC), or bad fuel (water in the fuel already). I'm thinking of doing that here soon, but figured I'd ask the forums first! I asked the guys at Auto Zone what they thought about doing that , they said "well, we doubt it's water, carbon buildup, or even an issue with your fuel system...but it won't hurt it to try it, it'll only help if there is something wrong there".
I've driven it around for another 20 minutes just around corners, slower roads (trying to keep it around the 10-25 mph area as much as I could the entire time) just to see if I could get the issue to come back again. It only "shook" for a split second once that entire 20 minutes, and again the acceleration just wasn't as strong as I'm used to it having been (not that the Versa's have a 'strong' acceleration...) when I tried give it some extra extra juice (it went up to 4000 rpm, then down to 3000 rpm on it's own before climbing again). When I saw that I went "ok, lets just drive it easy..." and it drove smooth, no more shakes, no nothing. Even sat in the car for another 10 minutes after it all letting it idle...the idle speed was around 750 now at it's lowest (which i wasn't used to seeing at all), but it didn't even try to do it's normal "single shake" when the idle RPMs went down from 1000 to 750 (it would do a slight one ever since I owned it when it went from around 800 down to 500 then back up, and i was told this was "normal" by the dealership). But again...no warning lights, no nothing, it's as if nothing had been wrong with the car at all...
Has anyone had this issue? Does anyone know what it may be? Could it be something as simple as water in the line or just something clogged up?
As a side note: when the engine cut off, the batteries were still working, power was still going to the radio. It didn't have any issues cranking right back up all 3 times for my wife, as if literally, NOTHING was wrong...it's as if it was protesting and saying "hey...no, I just wanna chill here for a bit" lol)
(Forgot to mention, it is an automatic, nothing modified at all on the car, stock SR 2015 note hatchback with the orange stripes on the seats).
Last edited by Ruri Mihashi; 06-01-2018 at 11:47 PM.
Reason: Added in note about it being an automatic