I have a 2002 Nissan Exterra 4-wheel drive. It just stop running. Any suggestions?


Asked by Nov 04, 2012 at 09:52 AM about the 2002 Nissan Xterra SE 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

15 Answers


need more info. could be lots of reasons

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I really do not know much else. I had no warning signs... that I am aware of. It just stopped running literally in the flow of traffic. It is a 6 cylinder 3.3 SE. It does not act like the battery is dead.... as a matter of fact it was jumped at the scene....with no luck and I had a battery charger on it all night. I tried using a spare key..someone suggested the computer chip in my key may have went bad. I tried unhooking battery and hooking it back up to reset everything. I still have lights, radio etc., We have also been told maybe the timing belt. I hope this helps...please any suggestions are appreciated

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

ok if it was a key (nats) issue the key light on dash would flash for security.could be timing belt does it turn over and not fire? if so take off distributor cap and if the rotor turns when you turn engine over the belt is probably good. how many miles on belt??? oil good? if it won't turn over remove all the drive belts and make sure nothing id siezed ( alternator, power steering, a/c ect.).

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Yes, it would turn over but not fire. We took off the timing belt and it was broke. Also, there are other belts that look kind of worn..will probably need to replace those as well. Would you happen to know how to set the timing ? and is there anything else that we should check on? Thank you again for your help.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

the cam gears have dots that line up with ridges in plate behind them and the crank gear same. http://repairguide.autozone.com/znetrgs/repair_guide_content/en_us/images/0996b43f/80/20/95/a2/medium/0996b43f802095a2.gif

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

line up the cam gears with the marks then all you have to do is put dots on belt on cam dots then line up dot on crank gear and once you have them all lined up and belt pulleys and tensioners i typically use a wrench on crank (temporarily reinstall crank bolt) and turn engine over a full rotation one way then back and make sure dots still line up

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Your last answer was a great answer too :-) Thank you so very much for your consultation, your time and prompt and courteous responses. You have been a great help to us. I have to admit I could not afford the costly labor this would have cost me however; we are not in the clear yet. Wish us luck. I will definitely recommend CarGurus/Robert 115. BTW, you have a beautiful family :-)

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I do not know why I added 115 lol . I will keep you updated.

If the timing belt was broke that is why your X won't start. The bigger concern is just how much damage to the engine was done when the timing belt broke. This could be a very big ticket item because the timing belt is the worst belt to have break when driving because it bends pistons and other parts. You may be better looking for a low mileage used engine and replacing to keep the cost down.



2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If you check on the issue of damage, there are many Nissan ASE mechanics that will dispute when you say no damage will occur. If there is carbon build up on the pistons you very well will have damage occur when a timing belt breaks. If you look at most Nissan mechanics they are VERY serious about changing timing belts even a little before the 105,000 maintenance routine on Xterras. I for one would never want to assume there would be no damage and then end up replacing or rebuilding my engine. I would suggest doing much research before taking the word of any one person. I am not saying that Robert doesn't know what he is talking about but I always get multiple resources of information.


I've been a nissan tech for 7 years. Not sure how carbon buildup will affect anything when a belt breaks it'll be the valves hitting the pistons that'll break things but the 3.0 and 3.3 litre engines will not do that.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My Nissan has done the same thing but the belt is not broke what else could be causing this problem?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I believe if you put your cornhole on the tip of the exhaust it should remedy your problem of carbon buildup I am a certified mechanic....P.S. Your Welcome

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had the same problem with my 2002 and it was one of the connectors on the electrical unit that has five or six wires together. They are expensive to replace but if you could have someone look at each connector that's what happened to mine. It would cut out just going around the corner and then sometimes it would work. I'm a lady that doesn't know much about cars but just want you to know that's what my problem was. Carol

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