Check Engine light and Sputters

I recently did a bad thing and went over on my oil change about a 1k. Money is tight. Well the Tuesday morning I was on the highway cruising at 4200 rpms/80mph. The check engine light came on and it started to sputter. I pulled over. No smoke or smell. I got back in turned the car on and the light was off. Figured it was wierd. Drove off and again around the same thing. 4200rpm/80mph the check engine light comes on and it starts to sputter. I was thinking. Pulled over check everything again. No smoke no leaks. This time I check the oil stick and duh. I was really low on oil. I start the car and no check engine light so I turn it off. Had a spare quart of oil in the trunk. Added it and then pulled into the first gas station. Let the car coll and bit and added another quart and a half to get it where it needed to be. Now I drive it and 80mph is at 3700-3800rpms. No check engine light but i fell a loss of power. no ticks in the engine or oil leaks or sputtering but now I am afraid of taking up to 4200rpms to see if it makes the light go off again? Any ideas? My first thought was the knock sensor was going off but does that limit the car driving. It ran fine til the CEL came on and then I could still drive but if I gave it gas it sputtered.

If the CEL is on, pull the code.

Going over your oil change by 1000 is not that bad. If you checked your oil right after driving it will show low.

I can’t get the code read til this weekend and it turns off once I turn the car off. It only comes back on in certain situations. I am also thinking maybe the distributor which I will check this weekend as well. I am using my fiancee’s car to get bak and forth to work the rest of the week so I have time. I love my DA though and want to fix it before anything more serious happens. It doesn’t run hot and nothing else happens except the sputtering and loss of power once the CEL turns on…

It sounds like distributor, but only sure way to tell is to pull the CEL code.

I know on my old maxima I could jump the code with two wires. Is it possible to do this on these cars?

So the computer will consistently blink this once I turn the car on. Part of the problem is that when I shut the car off and turn it on the CEL goes off and comes back on once I draive again. I just want to be sure how to see this. Does it only work at start up? thanks for all the help Spikeymike.

Once a CEL comes on, the code is always stored regardless if the CEL goes off.

The only time the CEL code is cleared is when you disconnect the battery and clear the ECU.

On a 90, you put the key in, turn it to 1st or 2nd click (can’t remember), and just read the blinks off the ECU.

My code read 1slow 6 fast so fuel injector. great…so any way to test my injectors without going to a shop. I don’t know of any around here but i guess I will have to start looking. I may see if I have any laying around when I go to my parents this weekend too.

Got a fuel rail and injectors from pull a part this weekend. Besides openinong the gas cap is there another way to relieve pressure in the fuel lines when changing this out?

turn the car on and unplug the fuel pump then let it run out of gas that should relieve pressure.

or you can just use the 10 mm bolt on the fuel filter that actualy serves the purpose of releasing the fuel presure. :werd:

That sounds like a much better idea. I am trying this on lunch today while at work since that is where my car is sitting. Wish me luck!!!

Don’t forget to replace the injector o-rings, if they are original they are going to be dry and brittle. Almost 100% chance you’ll have at least one fail. I’d replace them all as a simple precaution.


I also use a little oil so they slide in nice and easy.

Guys, I am totally stupid. I go to start unhooking stuff to pull the rail and injectors out. The plug on Injector #3 was missing the retaining clip and simply bouncing on top of the injector. I grabbed another clip of the replacement parts I picked up. Reset the computer and plugged everything up. The car runs great no CEL and I feel like a big dummy. thanks for all the help in figuring out how to fix this. Wish I had paid more attention instead of being so frustrated and rushing. I probably would have caught this sooner. I am still glad though that G2IC is there for me to help with quick and knowledgeable answers.