My Altima starts very rough and won't idle above 1200 RPM but when it finally warms up it runs like a champ with no problems. What's wrong??


Asked by Nov 18, 2014 at 01:38 PM about the 1994 Nissan Altima GXE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm going crazy trying to figure this out!

I've replaced the distributor/cam position sensor, new fuel pump and a new coolant
temp sensor. Also, spark is great and fuel filter is brand new as are the cap and rotor.
The ECM keeps flashing all is normal.

I'm not sure where else to look.

Like I said, as soon as the car warms up to operating temp she starts running like a
champ. in fact, I can really tell the fuel pump needed changing anyway.

And suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

11 Answers


It might be normal mine does that too. As long as it dosent stall or die you should be ok. Like I said my ford does that like this morning it stayed about 1100 rpms until it got warm. But I have a check engine light for my o2 sensors. I would clean your throttle body(with throttle body cleaner) and some sensors with electrical cleaner. Also maybe a tune up even though you have good sparks, that's really the only thing I can think of.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Maybe a new air filter too?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Or idler air control valve. It's like 15$ that's all I can think

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no, it idles but it's not normal. If i give it gas it dies or sputters and won't rev at all. not at least until it warms up them it revs and drives great. air filter is about 5 months old.


Maybe i should edit my question to point out that fact. It idles but not normally. it coughs and sputters and I have to sit there and wait 7 or 8 minutes until it's good and warm before the engine starts behaving normally.

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Ok sounds like a vacuum line is off or you have a vacuum leak.


I've already gone over the motor for those. but I will take another hard look today. When it started doing this it started at a stop light when I was on my way to work. I hadn't warmed it up yet so it just started coughing and sputtering at a light. So something broke... clearly. The fuel pump was part of the problem. it's almost like the ECM is telling it to give way more gas then it needs on start-up.


BTW-Thank you for your suggestions! Any and everything keeps me thinking about it and eventually something will come up that is the answer!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yeah cuz that happened to me like when I was at a stop light and had brakes applied my truck started dying found out it was a small plastic vacuum hose that comes out all the time


I'll check it out.


I looked it over your question again. Did you ever look at your oil pump? I know I heard problems with oil pumps causing vehicles not to start and running like crap.

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