1995 Maxima idle problem

I have a 1995 Nissan Maxima that dies after sitting and idling for around ten minutes. It also has been dying at stoplights, etc. It runs fine if I get the rpms above 1000. When it dies it restarts but often I have to push the pedal to the floor for a few seconds, then it seems to catch and run as long at the rpms are up. I have taken it to a place and due to it’s age they couldn’t do a diagnostic check on it. I’ve had the exhaust system replaced (it needed it), the spark plugs replaced, the coolant temperature sensor replaced but still no luck. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

The problem might be caused from a defective Idle Air Control valve.


The IAC valve is what controls the engine idle whenever the accelerator is released. Sometimes these valves can become effected by heat where they fail to go to the proper position for the idle condition and the engine stalls when idling.


While it could be any number of things, I think @Tester is correct about the IAC being the prime suspect. It may need to be cleaned is all. At that age a throttle body cleaning is in order too, as gunk inside may be causing the throttle plate to stick.

Is the check engine light on?

Your car probably has the first version of the engine diagnostic function, OBD I. That’s why the shop said they couldn’t hook up to it, as they only have OBD II versions for their test equipment. the switch from OBD I to OBD II occurred around 1995. But it should still be possible to read stored diagnostic trouble codes in your Nissan; likely a switch or jumper has to be set in the engine compartment, then the DTC codes blink out in a sort of morse code. You need to find a shop who specializes in Asian cars probably. You might be able to find out how to get the codes to blink using Google too, then you can post the codes here.

Note that even with the check engine light off, there could still be DTC’s. If there are any DTC’s, that could provide an important clue to your problem.