Versa Note Jerked, shook, then stalled....help! - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-01-2018, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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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)

Please help!!!
(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
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 12:00 AM
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What your FIL said makes sense. You can also try to add a can of "dry gas" to the current gas in your car.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 12:08 AM
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I was going to say check the battery terminals make sure they are tight. Sounded like a loose cable.

If water is in the fuel heet is good too at fixing that. Water in fuel is usually an immediate issue and would be the same til you added something to the tank or drained it.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks SlickVersa!

Yeah I figured it did....my neon had a similar issue and again, i had to change out a sensor (I think the MAF one)....which I know those usually can get pretty dirty from air filters...I'm curious now what will happen if I change out the air filter...maybe i have a cheap one put in? Maybe the sensor is dirty? I don't know...but I know it's over 30k miles now and that's about time for a new air filter...I know I've asked for one in the past but I dont' know if the service center i used (lube place) actually changed it out, and if they did if they used a good quality one or not. Going to go check it out and put a lightbulb to it to see if I can get some light to shine through...even if I see it dirty I'm going to just get a new one to see if THAT might be an issue...but yeah, I'm still going to take it to the shop on sunday to get them to see if they can figure out what the issue was.

If anyone else may know what it is, please let me know!!!! I'd rather save some money and do something simple if it is something simple than go to a shop and be told I need to get a $400 repair done (one that doesn't need to be...I got this "shtick" on my Neon when I took that in and refused, taking it to another place and they changed out the sensor for a grand total of $80...big difference!).

Thanks for any and all replies/help!!!!!
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Cobb, I'll go check the battery terminals as well! I'll be at O'Rileys so maybe they can check the battery for me too (just to be safe).

Keep the advice coming! All advice is appreciated and welcomed!!!
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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OK! So just an update...

Went to O'Reilly's with the car, it had a slight sputter for a split second on the way there but nothing major, still no warning/problem lights.

Asked the guy in there, he seemed extremely knowledgeable. Explained it all in detail to him and he replied with a simple smile and laugh stating, "I guarantee you have bad gas...where did you go get your gas filled last time?" Told him I didn't know because the wife got the gas last. He explained that a lot of the gas stations around here have not only ethynol in them (which he explained was ok, but not ideal for the versa), but, are also really old even though they "look" new and lots of people have had problems with a tank here or there and gunk or water making it's way into their tanks. He even had it himself a couple weeks back. Told me to get some seafoam, put it in, top it off with high octane, drive it normal until i need to fill up again and then fill up with only high octane, and let that run through before i go back on the regular cheaper 83 grade (was like hearing my father in law again lol). He said if I don't want that, put some Heet in it, either will work fine. I said ok, sure...this is two people (technically 3 now) telling me to do this. So I did just that. Then as i said I would check the air filter...and boy was I surprised...

So the places i get my oil changes done are supposed to check the air filter as well...every time...and I was asked twice to have the air filter replaced, the first time I said no when I saw the filter, it didn't look dirty at ALL...almost looked brand spankin' new, the second time around I saw it was pretty dark, so to be safe I said "yes, please do change it out". Well...after I pulled it out of the car and went inside I told them "I need an air filter..." It was down right black...as if NO ONE had changed it out at all...luckily it's still within the 30,000 Mile marker of "normal service", but when the guy looked at it with me he asked me "...that came out of your car???" I said yeah, apparently they didn't change it when I told them to last time. He said "ummm nope, that's still the stock filter...no one's changed it at all..." Bout made my blood boil...so I put a new air filter in myself and drove the car around for a little while again with all the stuff going on, RPM's are back to normal where I'm used to seeing them, only had a slight sputter once coming out of the store, but after that, not a single one. Acceleration went up a good chunk, still not quite at the top but it's up there (putting my money it was the filter causing the acceleration issue...teaches me to put faith in the lube shops...never again...), and everything seems to be working like it was when I bought it, minus the really down right rotten smell (was told the seafoam would make that smell but it would die down fast) for a minute or two. But yeah...Gonna go with the majority of advice I've gotten and try this out and see if it works.

Also, checked the cables, clean as can be, no issues there! Gonna check them again in the morning when there's more light out and take them off and make double sure they're clean though.

We will see if things come up again or not.

If anyone else has any other advice as far as other things to check on, let me know! I'll definitely check things out!

Thank you for all the help and advice!
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-02-2018, 12:01 PM
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Interesting....

I got some bad gas on a trip to PA from VA at some unmanned gas station that took credit cards. Immediately my car ran rough and shook at idle. Did so for the remainder of that tank til I filled up again.

I had a loose battery cable, but did not know it. I would have problems like you describe. All idiot lights would light up on the dash, at times the car would be dead then start to function.

You can spray your maf sensor with a special cleaner vs replace it. Could be something got into your intake when you switched the filter.

It cant hurt to put a bottle of something in your gas. Or for that matter go to another gas station and top off.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-03-2018, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruri Mihashi View Post
Told me to get some seafoam, put it in, top it off with high octane, drive it normal until i need to fill up again and then fill up with only high octane, and let that run through before i go back on the regular cheaper 83 grade ...
Is it right about 83 grade? Your car requires 87 grade gas.

About your air filter story - it is a time to learn that if you want to have it done right - do it yourself.
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-03-2018, 02:28 PM
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He must live in a higher elevation as they do sell lower octane up there. At sea level we have 87 89 91 and 93 depending on station. Old gas has a lower octane rating and the car wont have any balls. When the going gets tough the knock sensor will sense a knock and retard the hell out of the timing and the cvt will let the engine rev higher to lessen the load.

In that case an octane booster or a few gallons of higher octane fuel will help you.

Like I said, bad gas causes constant problems, not come and go.
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