2002 Nissan Sentra EXE

My friend lives in las vegas & she told me for the past year she has been having trouble with her sentra. she has taken it to the dealer & they could not figure out whats going on. So here is what she described to me. '02 nissan sentra exe with 54k miles. when she gets to a stop light/sign and the car is at idle, it stalls. she said it stalls when slowly going in reverse out of her driveway and when she slows down to pull into her driveway. the check engine light has never turned on and the car starts back up again right away. any ideas as to what is going on?

Have your friend take the vehicle to an independent garage and ask if they can check if the Idle Air Control (IAC) circuit is working properly.

This might involve a simple cleaning of the throttle body/IAC valve, or the replacement of the IAC valve.


My friend is very short on cash & can’t afford to take it to a shop. Is checking the circuit & cleaning the valve something we can do?

An IAC is normally something that is very easy to remove and clean yourself. I’ve never been under the hood of a Sentra, so I can’t give you any details, but you can figure this out. There’s a big black tube that runs from the air filter box to the engine. Its the ir intake for the engine. At the engine end it connects to the throttle body. The throttle body is bolted on to the intake manifold. The IAC is attached right there someplace where the throttle body meets the manifold. Do some searches of internet parts places for a 2002 Sentra IAC valve and then you’ll know what one looks like. Pop the hood, find the throttle body and look around until you find it. It will be one of a few things that have wires/plugs going into it. Now look to see how hard it is to remove.

If it comes off you will probably need a new gasket for it. If one isn’t easily located ask at an autoparts store for some sheets of karropak paper out of which one can be cut. At the auto parts store you also want a spray can of throttle body cleaner, a can of electronics cleaner, and small tube of dielectric grease.

Use the electronics cleaner to clean up the electrical connectors - inspect carefully for signs of corrosion/damage. Use the throttle body cleaner to soak and blow out the guts of the IAC. Look at the ports on the intake manifold where the IAC attaches. Make sure those are nice and clean.

When you put it all back together use some dabs of dielectric grease as a way of sealing up the electrical connector against moisture & gook.

Unless you know someone who owns & knows how to use an electrical meter you won’t be testing the actual circuit.

If you search Youtube you’ll probably find 100 videos of people cleaning IACs.

i have a volt meter tester. how do i test the circuit?

You need the specs for that car/valve. You buy a repair manual for about $20 at an auto parts store and follow what it says. Autozone’s free online repair info might have the specs & testing procedure.

You’re welcome, btw.

Sorry. BIG THANKS cigroller!!! I am grateful & appreciate all your knowledge and advice.