Why does this 2013 Nissan stutter and vibrate while stopped? | Car Doctor

·3 min read

Q: My elderly father-in-law has a 2013 Nissan Rogue with 19,680 miles on it that he doesn’t frequently drive. We bought the car new from a Nissan dealership.

The car runs fine, but there is a shuttering sound and vibration when the car comes to a stop while the air conditioner is on. It’s almost as if the car will stall, because you feel the vibration for a half a second or so, but it doesn’t stall. If sitting at a stop light, it will happen four or five times.

Since he lives in South Florida, the air conditioner is on all the time, and the vibration gets pretty annoying while driving around. It’s been doing this since he purchased the car. Multiple Nissan dealers have found nothing wrong. Any thoughts on the potential issue, or is it just a poor design?

A: I suspect that, after all these years, it is just a vibration inherent in the design of the drivetrain.

I researched technical service bulletins and did not find any that would apply.

All engines produce vibrations, while some are more pronounced than others.

At this point — unless a “check-engine” light illuminates or the engine stalls when stopped — I would call this an undesirable characteristic of the vehicle.

Q: I am trying to find front and rear replacement struts for a 1995 Toyota Celica liftback GT 2.2-liter engine and a 5-speed manual transmission with the sport package.

The Toyota parts system definitely differentiates between vehicles "with" and "without" the sport package. However, most third-party replacements do not distinguish between them and cross reference to either Toyota part number.

Any idea if the Sport Package strut fit is the same as the non-sport package, with just a matter of performance and ride?

A: You are correct that aftermarket shock manufacturers do not differentiate between the sports suspension and the standard suspension. In fact, using Monroe shock absorbers as an example, their one part number cross references to at least 15 different factory part numbers.

If this were my car, I would buy a quality part but purchase the complete assembly with the shock/strut and spring. This way you will return the car to the factory ride height and replace any possible worn parts such as strut bearings and rubber insulators.

Q: My Honda CR-V won’t start. Do I need a battery?

A: For an engine to start, it needs the engine to crank over. If the engine doesn’t crank over, the issue could be a faulty battery, faulty starter or poor electrical connection.

Once the engine cranks over, that engine needs fuel, ignition (spark) and a mechanically sound engine in order to start.

At this point, the best thing to do would be to start with the basics. This includes testing the battery and starter and inspecting the battery cables.

If the engine cranks over, then test for fuel spark and compression.

Q: I presently own a 2018 Fiat 500L that I purchased in 2018. The vehicle was not manufactured with fog lights. Is it possible to have fog lights installed, or is it too much of a hassle? If possible, what would be the cost?

A: It is certainly possible to add fog/driving lights.

Adding factory lights becomes tricky, depending on if the car was prewired for driving lights.

Also, adding the switch is somewhat problematic, since it is part of the instrument cluster and not a single part.

Looking at a direct-fit factory-style aftermarket replacement lamp — from an online source such as CARiD — the cost is about $90 per lamp. The labor will vary depending on wiring and the switch.

With enough time, talent and budget, anything can be accomplished, but in my opinion, the cost isn’t worth the end result.

AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul

John Paul is the AAA Northeast Car Doctor. He has more than 40 years of experience in the automobile industry and is an ASE-Certified Master Technician. Write to John Paul, The Car Doctor, at 110 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904. Or email jpaul@aaanortheast.com and put “Car Doctor” in the subject field. Follow him on Twitter @johnfpaul or on Facebook.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: John Paul: 2013 Rogue stutters, vibrates while stopped with AC on