About 6 weeks ago my car started to have little jerky movements while I was driving and notice the indicator of rpm would go slightly up and down. Then with time, the jerky movements became stronger and the rpm indicator would go up and down to 0, then engine would die and start back up without touching the ignition and the check engine would turn on. Sometime for no reason, the rpm indicator would go up to 2000 as soon as I starts my vehicle or when I stop at an stop light. Then, same jerky movements and movements with the rpm indicator but then the engine would shut off. I was able to restart the engine right away at the beginning, then I had to wait few minutes, later one up to one hour and the last time my car had to be towed because it killed my battery at the same time. I brought my car to an auto center for them to run a diagnostic on my car (on invoice: initial emission readings. TSB search. Diagnose 1 dtc trouble. Comment vehicle needs distributor replaced). Conclusion bad distributor. My was changed one year ago, got another one but my car is still doing the same thing to the point that it is not drivable because the car shuts down all the time and several times (last week it took me about hour to cover 1.8mile). No leak was located at the distributor site. The cap was not change with the distributor. The fuel filter was changed. I gave you as much information as I remember about my car issues.
Car has jerky movements and engine shuts off while driving on 1993 Nissan Altima
by degoute in Potwin, KS on November 22, 2013
ANSWER by sparrow1 on November 23, 2013
Recently solved a similar problem. After getting it professionally diagnosed we found it to be a distributor relay sensor sitting under the distributor of my 94 dodge van. Cost $160 including labor to replace it. running ever since without shut down.