RPM Question on my Nissan Altima

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike_Stuewe, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Mike_Stuewe

    Mike_Stuewe Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys,

    I have an automatic, 97 Nissan Altima, and I don't know jack about cars.

    Friday I was comin back from downtown Cleveland and I noticed that the RPM's were extremely high for the speed I was going. Something like 500 higher than normal. And it was pretty constant like that all the way home. Now usually, in the winter, when my car is not fully warmed up, it will run at a few hundred higher RPM's. But the second the temperature gauge gets to it's normal operating temperature, it would drop to its normal RPM. It's done this normally ever since I boutght it in the summer of 02. Now for some reason it is running at a much higher RPM.

    Normally this is how many RPM's my car would operate at.
    60mph, warmed up vehicle - 2100
    60mph, not warmed up - 2400
    60mph, how it is acting now - 2600. Normally at that many RPM's, I am doing about 72-3mph.

    So what is the deal here? Is this a big problem, could it be that its just cuz its really cold?

    Thanks guys, I hope I explained the problem properly.

    Mike
     
  2. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Do you have an overdrive on/off button? If you hit O/D off, RPMs wil rise, because the trans will hold a lower gear.
    Is it running above 2600 when it's cold? Are you able to count the gear changes by listening to the car shift? Is the shifter going to the correct spot?

    Need more info.
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Check your transmission fluid.
     
  4. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Like Todd said, make sure the car is in top gear, and that you have any overdrive switches set so that the overdrive will engage.

    While running at 60 mph in top gear, you should always see the same rpm, regardless of operating temperature, load of the car, etc. This is beacuse the engine, transmission, drivetrain, tires, road, etc. are mechanically linked.

    Any rpm variations you are experiencing are an indication of transmission problems, torque converter problems, and/or electrical problems. You should check the transmission fluid, in addition to making sure that the fluid has been serviced according to the manufacturer's recommendations. It is also possible that the electronic systems are the problem. It could simply be that the tachometer is not quite reading the engine speed properly, or maybe the computer is not telling the transmission to shift at the right time.

    Most likely you will not be able to self-diagnose the problem, and, if checking/topping off/changing the transmission fluid doesn't help, seek professional help.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Mike_Stuewe

    Mike_Stuewe Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok so to answer some questions. Checked the fluid, looking good, and the overdrive was the first thing i checked when i noticed it acting up.

    I was goin to a transmission repair shop, after work, and on my way, I noticed it started to act like normal. So I didnt go. The guy was just gonna drive it, and give me his impression, but since it was workin, why bother. I am gonna wait a couple days, hopefully it was just cuz of the cold. Cuz after the car warmed up and had about 20 miles on it, it was good. Gonna watch it the next couple of days. thanks guys.
     
  6. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I have an altima.
    when the car is cold it will go into 4th (OD) and stay a few hundred RPM higher, then after a few miles drop back to normal (for example 3k rpm is about 78) I don't know why it does this, mine always has. (1998 but same engine and trans)
     
  8. HienN

    HienN Stunt Coordinator

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    Your thermostat may be acting up, making it think that the car is colder than it really is. That would make it run at the higher start-up RPM longer than it should.
     
  9. DavidQc

    DavidQc Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    I used to own a 97 altima also, and it was an automatic as well.

    You may want to visit the altima car enthusiast's club forum.
    www.altimas.net

    Those guys may help you find the answers to your questions.

    Good luck.

    Although my altima was pretty reliable, i hated it for it's cheap construction.
    Our Acura is sooo much nicer.
    [​IMG]

    Good luck.
    -David
     
  10. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I've had my altima for 5 years now, it's going away to make way for a wrx [​IMG]
     
  11. Mike_Stuewe

    Mike_Stuewe Stunt Coordinator

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    Found out what the problem is today. The truck at work needed to go to the mechanic down the street from us, so I offered to pick my fellow employee up. While I was there I talked with the mechanic about it. We went for a quick spin, and he said something that was going through my mind. The tachometer is messed up. We got back to the shop, and he got his computer out. Hooked it up to my car and sure enough that was the problem. At idle my car was doin about 900 rpm. He looked at his computer and it said 700. He reved my car to 2000, and the computer said 1600. So the tach is just messed up. He said it could be fixed, but really isnt a big deal. Thats awesome.

    I asked about why it runs higher RPM's when its cold out. He said some cars will run higher RPM's to help warm the engine up faster than normal. So it's all good.

    And Phillip G, right on man. That was my plan for my car, get a reliable Nissan. Get out of college. Get some money. Get a WRX.
     
  12. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    jeeze man, that's EXACTLY what I did.
    I bought my alty in 98 new for like 14k (back when they were a bargain [​IMG] ) drove it for 5 years this month and I THINK I can get 7000 or 7500 out of it with 46k on the clock and in reasonable condition. It has proven to be a very reliable, very economical car to own, aside from the mileage.
    I graduated in december, so bring on the 'rex [​IMG]
     

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