yesterday while driving, my radio suddenly cut off, the dashboard warning lights came on and the lightheads dimmed. shortly after, the engine began to struggle. I stopped and allowed it to idle. a few minutes later, the engine really began to struggle and then it died. Today I went to pick it up and everything started just fine. A minute later the same sequence of events occured. I almost made it home but traffic forced me to stop. I was able to keep the engine going but when I engaged the clutch nothing happened. It died shortly after again.
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1998 Nissan Frontier
Question: radio cuts out, lights dim and then it stalls minutes later
Answer #1Visitor, March 10, 2010, 16:15
I assume it is not your battery. When your car dies while driving and you try to start it again, you should hear the cranking sound. All your lights and radio should work fine too when the key is set on AC or On (not super dim or dead). Now I suspect it might be a fuel/spark problem. You may want to check your fuel filter or spark plugs/boxes. The fuel filter might be bad or have residue in it, blocking fuel flow after a while as the engine is left on. The residue may sink back down if the car is left alone (not on) for a couple of hours (2-6) which would allow fuel to flow back through at least for a little while. I didn't check to see if your car has computerized spark sensors (I don't think it does), but those typically do not go out as they usually have back ups. Another not so common problem that may be related is a sensor problem such as the crank sensor or the fuel oxidation sensor which is causing the fuel to burn incorrectly. I would recommend testing each to see if it is the fuel or the spark first before actually buying any parts. If nothing seems to come up or you're not sure what it is, I would recommend visiting a shop as they have the proper tools to check and fix it. Just make sure they don't try to con you into a oil change or buying unneeded stuff.