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Centex2011 10-19-2012 10:30 AM

04 Xterra dies in reverse
I hope someone can help me out here. Yesterday morning, went to start Xterra and absolutely nothing. Figured an interior light got left on and killed the battery. I jumped it yesterday evening after work and everything seemed fine, it started right up. Checked it right before going to bed and still had a charge and started with no problems. Got up to go to work this morning, started it with no problems, put it in reverse and... it stalled. Tried two other times and the same thing happened- it stalled each time.

I didn't have time to check anything as we (wife & myself) were already late. What could the problem be? I read about a couple possible solutions online that I am gonna try in the morning. I'm also gonna talk to a friend who is a mechanic this evening, but I thought I would try to figure this out on my own. I'm not a stranger to working on vehicles. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Billy_Bob 10-19-2012 11:06 AM

Check to be sure your battery is fully charged. It should be around 12.75 volts with the car off if it has a full charge.

Next check to be sure the alternator is charging the battery. The battery voltage should go up to around 14 volts after the car is started.

If the alternator is not charging the battery, and the battery is draining lower, lower, lower... Then placing any sort of electrical load on it like just the back-up lights could make it go below the point where it can power the computer, fuel injectors, etc.

Could be something else, but check the above first.

DexterII 10-19-2012 11:50 AM

I haven't had the need to touch one of them in a long time, so have no idea how relevant this may be today, but I would look at the possibility of a bad or loose neutral safety switch.

imautoparts 10-19-2012 12:21 PM

Apparently this era of Nissan's have had serious stalling problems due to crank position sensors and (sadly) some apparently more mysterious problems that are identical to what you describe.

I searched google for stalling, reverse, nissan and found hundreds of threads on similar problems.

Here is the best one I found - and apparently Nissans use similar parts on all their models:

First I'd do some "shake and bake" by driving the car in forward for a while (hopefully you can roll or push it out of wherever it is parked without reverse). Sometimes just a bit of driving can either fix or more further identify the problem in cases like this. Many times it is due to a wire working loose slowly. Before spending money I'd be checking the connections and wires at the various sensor points underhood - also, if you can keep it running in reverse, open the hood and see if you have excessive engine movement. I've seen some problems similar to this due to failed or failing engine/trans mounts. will show you where the crank position sensor is. I believe that model also has a cam position sensor which would also bear checking. The kind of failure you describe is almost always a problem with electrical connections, but sadly in this day and age - you can assume your mechanic will insist on replacing parts too.

Centex2011 10-19-2012 11:05 PM

Thanks for all of the replies. I will try these suggestions tomorrow. I will post the outcome.

Carkid0007 10-28-2012 08:40 AM

What was the outcome ?

Centex2011 10-28-2012 11:02 PM

I got so busy with other things I totally forgot to post them.

I don't know what the actual problem was because that next morning it started and when I put it in reverse, it stayed running. We haven't had a problem since. I didn't do anything at all and everything is fine now. Go figure.

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