Nissan Maxima random stalling

Recently while driving in good weather, no rain, about 35 mph my 2003 Nissan Maxima stalled. It failed to restart on the first try, but on the second, started right up without trouble and has been fine since. I took it to a garage where they could find no obvious problem. They said I might have 3 things done to potentially address the issue:

  1. replace the air filter
  2. do an “idle relearn procedure”
  3. flush the fuel induction system.
    Any thoughts or suggestions on whether these would be a good idea, or whether I should just ignore the problem?

You should not ignore the problem. You need to inform us of what has been done in the past. Air filter is usually inspected at oil changes, have you ever replaced the gas filter or plugs? how may miles on the car?

Whats the tune up status of this Max? Last tune-up? Also how did it stall? While in the middle of acceleration? Or coming to a stop? It matters for the diagnosis actually.

Without knowing the method of the stall I cant really start to help you.

Likely suspects will be the fuel filter…if it stumbled at a stop and stalled…
To the spark plug coils/electrical…if she died in the middle of acceleration…as tho you shut the key off…etc

Without knowing the complete story of how she stalled…here’s what I say do…
Pull your pos terminal off the battery…this will force a ecu shutdown and relearn… See what occurs after that… Bec if the dealer said to do an idle relearn then he is thinking that it stalled when you took your foot off the accelerator as you were driving and the car didn’t or couldn’t idle…so it stalled.

If you get really specific then we can get more specific with what to do…but for now…do the above…and make sure you have your radio code…if its code protected


This could be a stretch but since yours is a Nissan as well, it may be worth checking:
On my in-law’s car, a Nissan Altima, I found that the AC condensor case that’s under the dash couldn’t get rid of whatever it condensed so it would flood and that water would spill all over the ECM, it being located right under that case. The car would just randomly stall and do weird things. It would only show itself on muggy warm days.

There’s a rubber line under the passenger side front, right behind the half shafts that could be clogged and causing this condensation to not drain fast enough or not at all.
You can open it up with a pipe (as in ‘smoking’) cleaner or coat hanger by poking it into that rubber hose.

Thanks so much for the comments. The car has 80k miles, and I get the oil changed every 5,000 miles (last one was about 1,000 miles ago), but I don’t have other tune ups. If my mechanic recommends that a filter or something additional be changed, I do it. I am pretty sure I haven’t had the fuel filter or spark plugs replaced.
The car stalled while I was going about 35 mph. I think I had taken my foot off the gas momentarily and that’s when it stalled.
Thanks again for input and advice!

“I get the oil changed every 5,000 miles, but I don’t have other tune ups…I am pretty sure I haven’t had the fuel filter or spark plugs replaced.”

This sounds essentially like a poorly maintained car, but I could be wrong.

The OP should look through her service records (you DO save them, I hope!) to determine when the car’s spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filter were last replaced. If the spark plugs have not been changed in the past 60k miles, they should be replaced (with the exact same brand and model # specified by Nissan in the Owner’s Manual).

If the air filter & fuel filter haven’t been changed in the last 30k miles, they are overdue for replacement. An old, clogged air filter can lead to problems with the Mass Air Flow sensor, so cleaning or replacing the MAF may be needed. A fuel filter that is overdue for replacement can lead to a weak fuel pump, so it would be a good idea to have the fuel pump’s output checked also.

By beginning with normal maintenance that might have been skipped, you will do either of two things:

You will make the problem easier to diagnose
You will resolve the problem

So–open up your Owner’s Manual to the section where the Nissan Maintenance Schedule is displayed.
Compare your service invoices to the list of all maintenance services up to 80k miles, and make sure that all of them have been performed. If you can’t verify certain maintenance procedures with documentation, then you have to assume that they have not been done, and you will need to do them now.

And–don’t rely on your mechanic to tell you when a specific type of service is due. It is your car and YOU need to take charge of making sure that it is maintained at least as well as the car’s mfr specifies. Consider yourself and your mechanic to be a team. You keep track of what needs to be done, and he does the maintenance that you specify.

Yup surely