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Causes of Nissan Altima Losing Power When Accelerating & How To Solve It

The perfect acceleration is what every driver desires when driving their car.

And indeed, it’s a vital feature that allows the car to go through the loops and curves, and when riding over difficult troughs.

Nissan Altima has its reputation for certain features like décor interior and great rearview, but when it comes to acceleration, the vehicle simply doesn’t give a good name.

Undoubtedly, that’s a problem that is overlooked. But the overlooked is what will cost a fortune, and God forbid, lives.

To save you from the worries, we have identified the root cause of the problem as well as explore some solutions.

Together, we can avoid this repugnant problem and make a change.


The Common Causes of Nissan Altima Losing Power When Accelerating

A car needs a spark, fuel, and air for accurate functioning, and when the problem arises with acceleration, that’s a problem of engine stalling.

Now let’s find out as to why the Nissan Altima won’t accelerate.

01. No oil 

The engine may be on the verge of quarantining if there is very little oil left in the tank.

There will be nothing to excite the engine and eventually there will be no acceleration.

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02. No cleaning of the throttle body

The dirt that’s been creeping up inside and outside the throttle body can be another reason why there’s no acceleration.

Because a pile of dirt can prevent any rotating motor to fidget properly because of the extra friction the motor has to deal with.

Another cause that influences your Nissan Altima is the routine of the powertrain. There are several settings, but few of them can make the change.

03. Routine change

A slight shift in timing will cause the engine to convulse.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that as soon as one activity has scampered another will follow, and subsequently, the system will be fundamentally broken.

The issue will make your car undrivable, let alone accelerate! 

04. Technology misconfigured 

Variable Valve Timing (VVT) is a prominent part of the technology automobiles.

While you press on the accelerator pedal hard enough, the engine can be in the right place regarding performance and otherwise sustainability.

Trouble messages are frequently generated if the VVT mechanism is misconfigured.

However, a bad VVT will not power up the acceleration function properly.

Here is another section that’s been committed to fuel. And fuel is so important that some have a notion that it’s another synonym for acceleration.

But there are certain factors that encourage the topic to exist. Below are listed only a few of them.

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05. Malfunction of fuel pump

When a fuel pump fails to deliver the fuel injection required to keep the power unit running smoothly, it can contribute to a breakdown.

Rather than starting when the consumption of fuel is substantial, the car stalls.

A faulty fuel pump or fuel sensor may be held responsible for this scenario. The problem could potentially be induced by a pump leak.

06. Gassy gas

A vehicle may thwart and not gain momentum if the gas is inadequate.

A deposit of liquid in the gas tank can also interfere with how well the gas ignites.

Should your car winds up running rough and without any other manifestations, downtrodden gas must be the causative factor.

07. Fuel movement in the combustion department

Your Altima will delay if the fuel injector serves up under or over gasoline to the fuel system.

The gasoline nebulizer may have gradually worn out and quit functioning satisfactorily if that is the scenario.

Too much fuel will be resistant, and too little fuel will be simply lacking. 

08. Chemistry of the components

Your car can stymie if a certain air/fuel margin is mismatched. When the air/fuel combination isn’t optimum.

It’s usually due to a suction leak or an incorrect analysis of the detectors.

So. make sure, you always keep an eye out for fuel meters and do a regular inspection.

09. Bad locking

Torque converters of the current era all have a clamping feature.

This locking system establishes a mechatronic relationship between the powertrain and the axles, keeping them attached in all circumstances.

As a result, some crankshaft energy dissipation is omitted, and fuel performance is increased.

Without deactivating the converter, the engine will choke like a conventional automobile it doesn’t even have ample momentum to maintain a shift.

Sensors are the thing that detects a problem, diagnose it and then ultimately send the reports to ECU.

A Nissan Altima has a variety of sensors, and intricate ones to determine the problem more accurately

However, a wrong diagnosis or a bad report can cause a lot of problems, and that includes acceleration problems too.

Here are some common ones.

10. Air sensors

Or more precisely, oxygen sensors. These are related to the issue of the air/fuel mixture.

After the furnace closes, the output emissions are evaluated by the oxygen sensors.

This statistic is used by the Electronic Control Unit to fine-tune the air/fuel ratio.

Stalling could develop when one of these devices has ruptured.

11. The placement sensor

This is linked to the position of the throttle body. These sensors also play role in the dirt being allowed to enter the body.

It’s common for the throttle position sensor to be positioned on the gas pedal. Motor fuel and air intake production are regulated by this sensor.

It’s becoming progressively odd to be able to effectively restrict the flow of gasoline and air pouring into an engine.

Out there now, everything is processed by a machine. This does two things.

It would seem that by minimizing the fatigue on the engine during takeoff, torque is curtailed when you depress the gas pedal for only a few ticks.

Modifications in fuel efficiency seem to be the other key benefit.

There are also other causes which are listed below.

12. Faulty distributor cap

The distributor cap conceals the distributor while also delivering power to the ignition system through the distributor itself.

Oxidation on your distributor’s cap might make your automobile jitter or even stall when you’re attempting to accelerate.

Reasons like dead batteries, bad cooling sensors and alternators, and even clutch releasers also exist.

Seems like there is no end to problems! So, our expert team suggests that you should arrange a full-servicing session for your car every month.

How to Solve the problem

Since the causes have been handed over to you, it’s our responsibility to address the solutions as well.

So, in this segment, we’ll discuss the tools, the cost, and lastly, the step-by-step guide.

Note that, since there are not one but a thousand different causes, and people follow as.

They have tried replacing, cleaning, and repairing almost all the parts of the Altima to fix the problem.

But there was only one solution that made the issue of hesitation go away. And it was a simple throttle body and sensor cleaning.

Yes, sounds funny. But we insist to give it a try, and if that doesn’t work (hopefully that won’t happen!), you can look for other solutions.

Your only hope is, this has worked for thousands of Nissan Altima users, and all models of the car.


  • Wrench
  • 10 mm deep socket
  • 8 mm deep socket
  • ‘Sensor clean’ spray (or something similar you can get from your local shop)
  • Toothbrush
  • Lighter

DIY is always cost-effective, isn’t it?

Cost to Eliminate The Problem

By now you should get the point that there are a lot of other ways to get rid of this devious problem, hence you can plan on your budget in a lot of different ways.

However, you have options for a DIY job or get it done by someone professional. We are listing both of them so you can know what to expect.

DIY cost 

The guidance provided by us will only cost you $25 maximum, yes that’s right!

Even if you don’t have the primary tools, that will take only $7. And the spray itself is priced around $15~$18.

Contrarily, the problem might also be solved while removing some parts and replacing them with aftermarket products.

Supposedly, the parts mostly include the air filters, clutches, or even the vacuums.

They each require certain tools and demand a certain amount of money to replace.

But still, you should keep at least $250 ready to replace any part of the car.

Professional cost

Professional work means nothing but more money and aptitude.

And that’s recommended for beginner car users or someone who has less knowledge about the car’s interior.

Be it a bit costly, but it will save you from a lot of agony and money in the future.

According to statistics, it will charge anywhere from $70 to $150 for labor work.

Eventually, it depends on what degree of professionalism you are looking for, what you intend to replace, and also the hours invested.

Step By Step Guide

Follow these simple steps and you can proudly be a problem solver.

  1. Disconnect the battery

Use a wrench. Apart from safety reasons, the step will reset to default adjustments and make the process easier.

  1. Take off the air filter
  2. Remove the airflow sensor

Take the exterior off with the 10 mm deep socket, you only need to remove one bolt.

And don’t lose it! Also, take off the shroud using the same tool.

After that, remove the clamping. Here, look if it’s loose. And if that is, there’s another problem!

  1. Taking care of the throttle body

There is a sensor connection plug, just press the back tab and it’ll come off. Then start working on the body.

There are 4 bolts, using an 8 mm deep socket, open them up.

  1. Clean!

Using the spray and the toothbrush, clean them off. And by cleaning, we mean everything. The surface, the flappers, and the pivoting point.

If the toothbrush doesn’t reach places, use a lighter and bend the neck a bit.

Also, when cleaning the s=air flow sensor, be careful because you don’t want to damage the rubber gasket.

  1. Put everything back on by simply reversing the steps. Don’t forget any connections or bolts.

And done!

Two Models Explained

Below are explained two of the models of Nissan Altima which have frequent problems of acceleration; just to get you all prepared and informed.

2005 Nissan Altima Won’t Accelerate

This car possesses the engine 2.5L Qr25De engine.

The problem related to the dynamic of this engine was that the engine got very heated when trying to accelerate, again there was no significant acceleration.

If you own a 2005 model, simply you can relate to the issues. Now, you don’t need to frown anymore!

Just go through these simple procedures to identify what parts are problematic and simply get them removed.

  1. Check the connection plug of the throttle position sensor, it might be a bit lose.
  2. Replace your thermostat if you get inaccurate readings and the engine tends to break the stat!
  3. Another problem might be a faulty alternator. Remove the fan belt and then start the engine. See if any improvements are there.
  4. Do all the necessary cleaning, if required, seek help from your local car servicing shop.
  5. Lastly, don’t forget to look out for bad fuel filters, they are the main reason the cars go all boggy and eventually deliver poor acceleration service.

If these tricks don’t work, replace the throttle body and get a new air filter. Poor quality gas entering might also encourage to let the car act like this.

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2009 Nissan Altima Won’t Accelerate

This car possesses the 3.5L DOHC V6 engine, that’s the strongest Altima.

Since it’s a powerful version, problems are less likely to occur.

But you never know! Here are some easy solutions.

  1. Check the fluid ratio of the transmission.
  2. Replace the catalytic converter and the alternator.
  3. If these don’t help, ask your manufacturer for a warranty extension!

Nissan Altima Losing Power When Accelerating

Photo Credit: wikimedia.org; C.C

Frequently Asked Questions About Nissan Altima Losing Power When Accelerating

Take a look if some questions are lurking up!

When should I expect to face acceleration and stalling problems?

With regular maintenance, you can rev up your car smooth like butter up to 100,000 miles. So give better care to your car when it reaches that mileage.

How would I know if my car’s acceleration difficulties are related to clutch problems?

There are three symptoms, if irregular, take care of it yourself before taking it to the mechanic.

They are clutch height, clutch fluid, and clutch action.

Can electrical faults trigger momentum problems?

Certainly, harnessing wears off over time. And loose or broken wires can cause short circuits, which makes it fail to receive commands, including the command of acceleration.

What can I do to make the acceleration more prominent without giving up any of the parts?

It might be tricky, but these tricks will work.

  • Get a performance camshaft for better timing.
  • Get a high-quality air filter.
  • Make your car lose weight!

I have found out that the problem lies with the timing belt and I have replaced it. But still, it doesn’t work for better acceleration. What should I do?

When this happens, you might see a message ‘break-in time needed.

But customers have reported it to be just condolence. So better check out if the installation was made properly.


If you want rides that take only long, smooth paths and not up hills or curves, then Nissan Altima might be the best bet for you.

So, make sure that you make a wise choice when you buy the car.

If you are already an owner of an Altima, then make sure you investigate each of the details that might affect the acceleration of the car, since that’s the biggest issue customers face.

And when face problems, stop using the car because it will only exacerbate the problem.

First, diagnose the problem, solve it and then start using your car again. And to avoid all these, simply keep your car under routine maintenance every week.

To know more about the bone of contention, feel free to check out these videos:

No transmission issues but still won’t accelerate: