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Q: Car "sputters" wont climb when accelerating, not showing up on mechanics diagnostics on 1991 Nissan Maxima

I Bought My Maxima About Two Years Ago. The First 2-3 Months It Drove Fine But For All I Know This Problem Existed Before I Bought It, As This Problem Is So Intermittent. Without Notice And When Accelerating My Car With Start "sputtering", Thats The Best Way I Can Describe It, It Shakes And Struggles To Maintain A Speed. I Can Floor The Gas Pedal And The Car Will Not Accelerate And Sometimes Slows Down. After I Pull Over It Struggles To Even Idle And Even Occasionally With Die. I've Taken It To A Shop Several Times, The First Time They Replaced The O2 Sensor And Fuel Filter. Within 24 Hours It Did It Again. I Dropped It Back Off At The Mechanic And They Drove It. However It Did Not Act Up By The Time The Got To It And Nothing Came Back On Their Diagnostics. This Problem Was Now Occuring Regularly And Mostly At Freeway Speeds Until I Took It To Another Mechanic. They Simply Changed The Oil And Miraculously The Car Seemed Better. We Drove It Again For Another Year (with Regular Oil Changes) Without Any Problems And Now Its Acting Up Again. I Know I Probably Need An Oil Change But I Just Don't See How The Two Can Be Related. My Guess Is That No Mechanic Has Been Able To Diagnose It Because After The Car Rests In Their Parking Lot While Waiting To Get Fixed It "heals". I Drive 4 Hours A Day In It And It Seems To Be Happening When I'm Either A.) Broke Or B.) In The Middle Of Nowhere So I Haven't Been Able To Get It In. No One Seems To Know What Is Going On But Everyone Has Their Ideas. From Spark Plugs, To Distributor Cap To My Heater Shorting Out. (occassionally My Hot/Cold Gage Gives Me No Reading And/or Stops Blowing Hot Air). Any Insight You Might Have Would Be Trully Appreciated. I'm At My Wits Ends With This Vehicle And Not Looking Forward To Pouring More Money Into It But As Long As The Bill Stays Below The Price Of Replacing It Altogether I Have No Choice.
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Direability issues like yours are a Bi*ch and I know this for a fact. I honestly don't believe changing the oil is the correction. Nor the heater. Spuutering while the engines under a load (going up hill or attempting to pass or excellerating) these are indications you're having a misfire under a load. It's usually typical of a "Spark" related issue, although, I've seen where injector wires were chafing somewhere on the engine when the engine was torqued with twisting movement while under a loaded condition, ie. excelleration. This sort of problem requires commitment of a technician to get his hands into the engine compartment and start moving wires and harnesses around to see if he might hit the right spot. Also doing a visual of spark plug wires to see if there's any noticeable arcing residue, (white spots on the wires). Try this, get into the car and with the engine at running temp., preform a power brake. Hopefully your car is an automatic. Put your left foot on the brake peddle firmly and put the car into drive. Then press the gas peddle to the floor for 15 seconds. Don't allow the car to move. See if you can get the engine to sputter. If it does, you most likely have a spark issue. You now can show the mechanic what you're problem is.
I have same problem in my 2009 Infiniti FX. Started only when you had it in "snow mode". Immediately when you pressed this button, it would start sputtering, then lose speed, mostly at highway speeds. It would take very long for it to get moving again even though gas pressed to floor. It has gotten so bad that even at at low speeds with it pressed to the floor, it sputters and barely gets moving. Help! I want to bring it in and know whjat I'm talking about so not get taken for by the shop. Infiniti is famous for this!
Idle air control valve is dirty, take it apart and clean it or have it done by someone who knows what the hell they are doing.
I had the same problem with my 2000 maxima, I replace O2 sensor and fuel filter and the problem still exist. The problem is the Mass Air Flow sensor, after replacing it the problem went away.
im having the same problem with my 98 sunfire, and it just happened to turn my engine light on finally!!!! anyway the code that was set was p0335 crankshaft position sensor circuit so it could possibly be your ckp sensor.....GL tell me if this helps
I tried that test and had no results. However, that whole day I had no problems with the car. So I guess what I need to know is if doing this brake test will trigger the sputtering even if at the moment the car is running good as long as there was still this "spark" issue that just wasn't acting up.

Also, I forgot to mention in my last post, and again, I don't know if this is related or just coincidental. When I warm up the car in the morning I notice a gas smell inside.

My car starting acting up this afternoon while I was driving up a steep incline. I noticed it WAS worse uphill however when I pulled over and revved the engine I could see the RPMs sputtering then too. Of course no negative reactions when I just coast.

I too have a 93 Max giving me similiar problems. 136k miles on it with no prior mechanical problems. While trouble shooting my problem with the engine seeming to "bog down" when I give it the gas even with the petal to the floor. It only does this at intervals and is not consistant. I've noticed that the fuel cap is under enormous pressure when my car is symtomatic. I've loosened the cap and the problem seems to be resolved. My next problem is finding what is causing this pressure to build so high. I'm leaning more towards the fuel pressure regulator as the culpret. The return line off the fuel rail back to the tank is clear with no obstructions. I don't want to start throwing money at this problem until I know for sure what is causing this problem. I've read other comments that the crank sensor, MAP sensor or the injectors cause similiar episodes of this. If anyone has any other suggestions as to what is causing this I'm listening!
I am having the ame exact problems, gas smell, jerking, sputtering, seems like the tail pipe is puttying but has no smoke, there is built up air when i take the gas cap off, did you ever find out what your problem were, i have a 95 nissan maxima as well
I have the same problem with my car. I have replaced a few different parts with the same results so i stoped and looked at all the different parts everyone was saying they changed but same results. So i thought out side
I suppose youv'e heard this before but on my 91 nissan maxima se it sputters because of the poor connection on the spark plug wires. They seem to "wiggle" up and loosen the connection with the top of the plugs. periodic checking fixes it for me. also running only premium gas ( is called for in the manual) is necessary and even a little octane boost don't hurt. good luck :/ my car has an apparent short now and I haven't done anything to the car for 10 years damn things get mad at ya like a woman they won't tell ya whats wrong till you figure it out! :). I hope I helped :)
also check the spark plug tubes for oil. if you find oil in any of them you need to change the valve cover. i had this issue with my 03 altima. you just cant change the gasket, the tube grommets are built in to the valve cover. $75 later it is fixed.
csfredicksen: I have exactly the same issue as you. Did you ever find out what was the cause of this? I already replaced my catalytic converter but still the same. I'm looking into changing the MAF sensor. I don't know what's next. My mechanic can't figure it out.
My 99 maxima is doing the same thing. I discovered a broken ignition coil while changing the spark plugs. I haven't had the money to replace it yet, but I'm hoping this will fix it???
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