My beloved '96 240 manual transmission will start and run well except loses power on hills. My mechanic can't find the problem. Anyone have an idea? I'd rather not give it up but I'm not a mechanic.

Asked by Apr 10, 2016 at 06:08 PM about the 1996 Nissan 240SX 2 Dr SE Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

13 Answers


Have him do a compression test on the cylinders.


Changed the clutch recently? Typical of a worn out clutch.


I thought of the clutch, but do you think a mechanic would miss something so obvious?

Thanks guys! (I'm assuming you are guys, hope ithe stereotype isn't offensive) These seem very helpful. He mentioned the cylinders once but hadn't seemed to pursue it. Also it's my original clutch so those are very valuable tips. I've taken what I think is very good care of it and, I know nothing lasts forever, but I'm having a hard time with the idea of parting with it. I always loved driving it.


Maybe if you can give some more detail on what the engine is doing? Like is it revving up as you go up a hill? or is it holding back? Has the catalytic converter ben checked?

I think the best description is "holding back". IIt wasn't revving , just seemed to barely be getting gas. I felt as if the fuel pump was going out but I just had that replaced in December. Honestly, I don't remember if he mentioned the catalytic converter, I'll check with him on that too. The first week I had it in there I think several had the flu and they've been busy. Also, I hate to natter on, but it might be relevant. The day before it was making a slight "noise" uncharacteristic; it sounded like - in my highly uneducated conception- a small hole in the muffler or a belt that was loosening or wearing out. However my notions regarding that sound might be a red herring. And I haven't noticed the noise since. This may not help you any, but I'm sooooooo grateful to you for your interest and help!


How many miles on it? Did the car run any better after you changed the fuel pump? If it did run better, you could have a faulty pump again. It happens all the time. I still think it's the clutch. But one other thing might be the problem. Remove and clean the TPI sensor, throttle position indicator. Use electronic cleaner on it and the connector. But the simplest fix might just to clean the battery ground connections, especially on the negative cable to chassis. Good Luck


Sounds like "a small hole in the muffler" is the key, I'm just about sure it is a plugged catalytic converter, as it is causing back pressure and the exhaust has to escape from somewhere, the weakest point like at a connection. Have the cat. checked out.

Y'all the best!! Thank you both for the time and attention to my problem. I'll let you know the outcome. - It's got 250,000 miles. I know a quarter of a million miles is a lot, but the older I get myself the more stubborn I feel about giving up on her/ him. Again thank you for selflessly sharing your expertise.- v


Anything can be fixed one way or another...

So, I'm getting a new TPI sensor. I'm going to be on the lookout for the other fixes to need to be addressed either now or in the future. A thousand thanks for making my car a phoenix! Y'all are great, if I can ever reciprocate with a cooking question, it would be my privilege. -v


With 250,000 miles on the original clutch, you are one easy driver. It's the clutch. Major work, but long overdue.

That's exactly the insight I need to know, I don't think as proactively as I might outside of the standards, diligent oil changes, and the like. Thank you.

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