My mechanic gave up on my Frontier truck

My 2000 Frontier 4WD truck stalled out and would not start. My mechanic put in a new ignition distributor but the check engine light remained on. He had it for a month and tried everything he could think of, but the light remains on. The code was

PO 443 evap. Anyone encounter the same problem… with I hope, a resolution~

You truck needs a new mechanic. One that does diagnosis.

It’s simple: for cumbsution you need spark, compression, and proper fuel metering. The first step is to see what’s missing. The second is to see why. The third is to determine root cause.

I’m going to wildly guess that your fuel pump is dead. I’m guessing that because of the EVAP code. The mechanic should have first checked for spark, then for fuel. My guess is that the fuel pressure would have been missing. If it were, he should have checked the pump. And, because of the code, checked to see that the RVAP system is working (the charcoal bed or the line not plugged).

I could be wildly off base here, I’m guessing. But, unlike your current shop, I’m not doing it at your expense.

I just can’t imagine that the evap code has anything to do with the thing not starting.

You need to give some more info on what the mechanic did to further specify the problem - i.e. a new distributor went in. Shall we assume that there is no spark? As mb asked, is there any fuel pressure? Are the injectors operating? At least cut the question in half so we know about spark or fuel.

PO443 is reporting a problem with the EVAP Canister Purge Control Valve & Solenoid Valve, you or your mechanic really need the factory manual to run the test sequence before replacing this component (it’s not cheap).

Update : I guess you could always pull that valve and just check it’s working by hooking up to the battery with a couple of jumper wires, you’ve got nothing to lose by performing that test.

A mechanic who comes up with a P0443 code for the EVAP system and decides to resolve the problem by replacing the distributor is not much of a mechanic, IMHO. I have heard of throwing parts at a problem, but he threw a part that is not even vaguely related to that trouble code.

That being said, the truck’s starting problem may be totally unrelated to that trouble code. What the truck needs more than anything else at this point is a competent mechanic. Ask friends, relatives, and business associates for recommendations, and also use the Mechan-X files on this site to find a good mechanic.

Whatever you do, DO NOT go to Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, AAMCO, or any other chain operation.

I’m lost. Did your mechanic get the truck running with the new distributor? If the truck never got running, the check engine light (CEL) will remain on until the engine starts. When the engine stalls out, the CEL lights to tell you the engine is not running, but doesn’t set a DTC for not running.

An engine needs fuel, air, compression, and spark. If he had it for a month and tried ‘everything’, he should be able to tell you which one of these things is not happening. The P0443 code is a red herring, and will not keep the engine from starting.

If the truck runs okay, put some black tape over the light…

The Frontier will give this code if you chronically overfill your gas tank. Always stop on the first click.

I guess I wasn’t clear. My mechanic is excellent. He tried everything you have mentioned but it didn’t work. He didn’t charge me anything since he didn’t fix it eventhough he had it for a month. The stalling out/distributor was not connected to the problem with the check engine light though I thought it strange that both things happened at the same time. I was looking for anyone who might have had a similar experience… or someone who thinks “outside” the box… I’ve heard of ethanol being a problem or I did buy a replacement gas cap (not Nissan part) a couple of years ago…could that be a problem even after all this time? Thanks for your help.


He did get it running right away… I even got it back but the next day, the light came on… thus taking back for 3 more weeks…he replaced parts, changed the valves… nothing he tried worked.

So all you really wanted were suggestions about the P0443 code? At this point I’d want a full list of what your mechanic did - the first things we’d say are often the first things they’d do.

One thing a lot of “excellent” mechanics don’t do is check circuits - the purge solenoid has wiring to it. All of that needs to be checked.

It is also possible for the problem to originate in the PCM - in which case I’d be tempted to go with the black tape.

With a scan tool one can find out if the solenoid is getting signal and actually operating.