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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

98 Nissan Altima, Jerky Ride
Q: I have a '98 Nissan Altima with a five speed manual transmission. After driving it for about six weeks I noticed a strong surge at low RPM's (around town speeds) in all gears. The actual effect is caused, as I am told by Nissan and my local dealership, by the fuel distribution system. They say as you decelerate, the fuel distribution system cuts part of the fuel flow off (to meet new federal emission standards). When accelerating, the fuel system allows more fuel to be introduced to the engine. It's at this exact time that the lurking or bucking happens; it's impossible to avoid as the flow of traffic speeds up and slows down. It's quite consistent and has become a real safety concern to me with New Hampshire's winter. I feel this lurching or bucking could cause a loss of control during slippery conditions. I have taken the car in three times for the same problem and the dealership and Nissan acknowledge the existence of the condition, but say it's operating to Nissan specifications... "Your vehicle presents no safety or driveability concern" (Nissan's spelling, not mine). I'm at the point of probably taking the car through the New Hampshire Arbitration Board (a.k.a. lemon law) unless I can find a way to fix this. My question to you is, do you know of any way to reduce or eliminate this lurching or bucking of the front wheels?.. Robert

A: I'm not sure who's jerking you around more, your car or the dealership! This supposed fuel distribution technology to meet the new federal emissions standards is by no means new technology! In fact, that technology for fuel injected vehicles has been around for over 20 years! Any driveability technician worth his/hers wrench set will tell you that. Do I know of any way to reduce or eliminate your problem? Would a doctor diagnose your chest pains over the phone? Unfortunately, it's not that simple; there are several components that if not functioning properly, or misadjusted, that could cause your condition. Not to mention the possible engine management "software" problem. If you cannot have your Altima repaired properly then Nissan should provide you with one that does.

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