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PLEASE HELP with my Nissan Sentra GXE!

While driving my 2000 Nissan sentra GXE with 88,ooo miles on it for at least 20 minutes (happens for some reason only on the highway) the car looses the ability to accelerate. I have to put the car in neutral and restart the car. This is scary and dangerous some how I managed not to get into an accident. I took the car to a local Nissan dealership. They claimed that they took the car out twice around 30 minutes each, and the car did not act up on them. When the dealership hooked the car up to the diagnostics they found a code for the engine over heat. The car never showed any signs of overheating. The dealership told me that the only thing that can think of was to change the thermostat as a precaution.

I drove the car after this repair and long and behold the car lost the ability to accelerate after 20 minutes of driving it on the highway and kept on happening about every 5 minutes.

Please help me with this problem!

when it happens does the check engine light turn on?

Maybe you have a failing fuel pump. When was the last time the fuel filter was changed, if ever?

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. The check engine light does not go on. I don’t believe we ever had the fuel pump changed. Any other ideas? Where I 'm now with the car is I already spend lots of $ for costly repairs this year. The alternator went (spent $436) then the spark plugs $306, then the fuel sensor $195 and the list goes on!May 2008 the check engine light did go on the vacuum cut value needed to be replaced and now the dangerous problem. The dealership said that they do not know what’s wrong and they’ll have to start replacing part and test driving it to see if that part fixed the problem. Which is going to costly. Do you think I should sell it?

The fuel filter seems to be inside the gas tank-----not changeable as a routine maintenance item.
Take the car to an independent shop. You’ll likely get better service. They can check the fuel pump performance UNDER LOAD. They (should) know how to do that. They should know other checks to perform, as well.

The dealer hasn’t been troubleshooting your car’s problems. He’s been throwing parts at it hoping that one will fix it. Run!

I think the dealer did the right thing by changing the thermostat. With a code for overheating the T-stat is the most obvious culprit and this is just my personal opinion here, but I consider a T-stat a regular maintenance item. I think they should be changed every few years. It’s cheap insurance for a car engine is the way I look at it.

As to not showing any signs of overheating, that could be because sometimes the coolant level is low enough the temperature sender tip may not be totally immersed in hot coolant and this may cause the temp gauge to show normal.

You could take the car to a local AutoZone and have them scan it for any codes. They will do this for you free and it only takes a few minutes. Post any results back here for further discussion.

There’s a number of things it could be but based on the symptoms it still sounds like a failing fuel pump to me and a pump often fails because the filter is partially clogged. Over time a partially clogged filter will kill a fuel pump and it only takes one partial tank of contaminated fuel to clog a filter. At a dealer I worked for one time s salesman’s demo car had to be towed in due to a badly clogged filter and this car had less than 300 miles on it.

One could put an inductive ammeter on the pump wiring and determine how much electrical current the pump is using. An abnormally high current draw could mean the pump is failing or having to work harder due to a clogged filter.

then the spark plugs $306

Run, don’t walk, away from these guys.

A bad battery can kill an alternator. If your battery is 5 years old, consider replacing it. Some of the larger auto parts stores will test the battery and alternator, on the car, curbside. Just ask.