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I have a 2001 Nissan Maxima 3.0L V6 that starts no problem but dies almost immediately. If I give it gas as I start it and hold the idle around 1500-2000 for a few seconds, then ease off, it will stay running.

Once it's been running, if I turn it off and restart, it starts and stays running no problem.

Other information:

When I turn the key to "On" before starting the car, I can hear the fuel pump kick on and prime.

Once it's running, it seems to idle and drive fine.

Two CELs, one p0430 for a cat, another p0440 for an evap leak I haven't been able to trace down.

There are two reasonably sized exhaust leaks in the midpipe and muffler.

Any suggestions on what this might be or how to diagnose?

Thanks!

  • Do you see any black smoke on startup? It could be you have a leaking injector which is "flooding" the engine while it sits and the residual fuel pressure bleeds off. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 12 '15 at 11:48
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Sounds like the throttle plate is dirty, closing off the needed air for idle, causing the idle to be low, especially when cold when the engine needs more air to maintain proper idle speed. If the idle air control valve is compensating all it can to give more air, eventually it cannot go far enough to keep the engine running when cold.

Try removing the intake boot at the throttle body, open the throttle plate and spray the plate and the bore with carburetor cleaner. You may need to run your fingers around it to loosen it he carbon build up, and maybe wipe it with a shop towel (not paper) and spray it again. Once clean you will need to put it back together and start the vehicle. You will need to start it with the gas pedal to the floor until it starts, then let off once the engine clears. Do not over rev the engine, just let it run up to 2000 or 3000 RPM's until it runs smoothly, then let it idle and see how it does. This will cause lots of smoke and foul smell. You may not be able to tell if it worked until the following day because once run and reved up, as you stated, it would idle.

You could also gave a sticking or defective idle air control valve. But, first things first. Start with the easy thing and go from there.

Good luck! Let us know if this fixes the problem.

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I was able to resolve the starting issue by replacing the IAC valve.

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Would need alot more technical information such as a puting it on maching to read error codes that is your first thing you should do but sounds like a dirty MAF

  • What error codes? I used my scanner to read the p0430 and p0440, that's all there was. – Joseph Apr 12 '15 at 1:57
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