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2004 Nissan Sentra Acceleration Problem

Today I drove this car to my wife’s work to change cars with her, everything seemed fine. Later this evening when my wife went to drive home, the car had trouble starting. Once she got it started, pushing the accelerator did very little. She kept the car running, I went to see her and drove the care basically a couple of hundred of feet. When you push the accelerator, the car does not speed up or rev up. The accelerator feels as it normally does, not sticking, not loose. When I switch the car into second, it continues to operate but no speed up however, you can sense that it is not comfortable being in second gear. My feeling is that it is a fuel injection problem, but might there be something else? Thank you.

You can’t accelerate at all? Did it trigger a CEL? I have seen surging and idling and stalling problems due to bad O2 sensors. Not sure if this is a Drive by wire car or not (my guess is it is) but the throttle body servo may be stuck closed (or if it is not a drive by wire, you may have snapped the throttle body cable.) open the hood, find the thing that moves when you press the gas.

No acceleration at all and yes, the Check Engine Late did come on. Forgot to mention in the opening. I’ll take a look tomorrow under the hood, thanks for the suggestion.

No problem. If it doesn’t rev at all, I am willing to bet it is either a computer, throttle of FI problem. If you have an engine code reader, that would be VERY helpful. These nifty little devices cost about 50 dollars and will read that engine code by plugging into your car.

Does the car do anything when you hit the gas? Does it stutter or start to stall?

Certainly you should open the hood & inspect the throttle mechanism.

But what you really need to do is get either the car to an OBD II code reader or a reader to the car so that you can pull the error codes that come with that check engine light. If you manage to do that write down the exact code(s) (as in “P1234”) and post them.

If you can get the car someplace many auto parts chain stores will read them for free. One of the places near me also had code readers in their “loaner tool” dept. You “buy” the tool and then get a full refund when you return it. I don’t know if that is typical or easy to find but you could make some calls.

When you hit the gas, it does not stutter, it does not stall, it does not rev. My beautiful wife mentioned later she heard a click when she was standing outside the car and I was trying to accelerate. From inside the car, I could not hear this click.

I’ll have to call autozone or pep boys and check on this. A good suggestion, thank you.

Here, you can try this process of gas pedal presses to see if you can get the diagnostic code without having to go to an auto shop:

Hop in the Driver’s seat, with your key with you.

Turn the key in the ignition to put it into the on position.

After it is in the ON position, count 3 seconds.

Now, within the next 5 seconds, you need to floor and release the accelerator pedal 5 times.

After the 5th release, count off 7 seconds.

After the 7th second, press down and hold the accelerator pedal.
After about 10 seconds, the check engine light will turn off.

Make sure you have a pen and paper handy at this point.

Release the accelerator pedal at this point, and the light will start to blink.
Slow flashes indicate the first number of the 4 digit code, faster flashes indicate the other 3 digits.

There will be a pause of about 1 second between each digit of the code.

10 flashes = 0, 1 flash = 1, etc…

A code 0442 would be:

10 long flashes
1 second pause
4 short flashes
1 second pause
4 short flashes
1 second pause
2 short flashes
1 second pause

Then it would repeat, if that was the only code in memory at that time.

To clear all the codes, anytime while the check engine light is blinking, just press the accelerator to the floor, and hold it there for at least 10 seconds. When you release the pedal, the codes will have been cleared.