2001 Nissan Altima – Erratic Engine Idling Problem

Reader Question: Hello,

I need help on my 2001 Nissan Altima 4-cylinder GXE 45K mi idling problem.

During startup, I am getting high RPM about 1200-1300 RPM even after warm-up. When I rev it goes down to 800 RPM, the RPM or rev start to hunting (up and down between 900 to 700 RPM). It does not stay to 800-RPM steady (normal). So far, I change spark plug, wires. There is no engine code.

Any suggestion is greatly appreciated.



Hey Danny,

I would inspect two items first. Look and listen for a vacuum leak under the hood somewhere. Start the engine, listen for a hissing noise, and inspect the rubber vacuum hoses and their connections to make sure they are in good shape and there are no leaks.

Double-check the air cleaner installation and the air cleaner box for a good sealed fit. Run your hands under the plastic ductwork from the air cleaner to the engine checking for leaks.

Second, I would ask your mechanic to clean your throttle body of any carbon build up that might have accumulated there. This is a pretty inexpensive and quick maintenance item that can usually be done while you wait.

Most fast lube oil change places are capable of doing this for you as well. A dirty throttle body can cause slow starts and erratic idle speed.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

1 Comment on "2001 Nissan Altima – Erratic Engine Idling Problem"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mel Newman says:

    I want to warn you that everyone who has cleaned their throttle
    body has complained of erratic idle. Don’t do it!!!
    So far, the only sure fire method that has been found to work is throttle body replacement and relearn.

Got Something to Say?