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My car just concked out at a light

I was stopped at a red light and when it was time to go, I pressed the gas and instead of driving forward the car coasted backward. I went back and forth between the break and the gas two more times. Same result. The engine didn’t rev. After a momentary panic I put on my hazard lights, put the car in park, turned the car completely off and then on again. When I put it back into drive it went forward like a good little car and I was able to turn onto a residential street and park.

What happened?

Nissan Versa
Model-Year ?

CSA

Make/Model/Year? Manual or auto xmission? Did the check engine light come on? Or has it come on recently?

There are at least a dozen potentional causes. Sometimes an auto transmission on the fritz will act like this, it often appears at first in 1st gear, only in that case the engine would usually rev ok but the car wouldn’t move. But there are xmission failure modes that could cause the symptom described. If an auto xmission, check the fluid level.

I’m assuming you checked the gas tank and it wasn’t near empty, as that condition could cause this symptom. It may be you got a bad tank of gas perhaps which has contamination that is blocking the entrance screen to the fuel pump, and stopping the car for a few minutes let the contamination settle enough to allow the fuel pump to deliver good gas.

A bad EGR valve or EGR control could cause this symptom too. Easy for a mechanic to check.

All Nissans made since the Versa came out are throttle by wire. Sounds like the computer was not accepting the input from the throttle and needed a reboot. Isn’t it wonderful that the manufacturers can replace a simple cable with a computer? Rube Goldburg is alive and well.