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How to Do a Nissan Altima Idle Relearn

by Mike Vasick

In 2003 the Nissan Altima came equipped with an electronic throttle body. Whenever you disconnect the battery or replace the computer or throttle body, you must perform a relearn procedure. The process involves some steps with a cold engine and others with a warmed-up engine. If this step-by-step procedure doesn't restore a smooth idle, it usually indicates some other issue with the engine. Have the car scanned for trouble codes.

1

Without stepping on the gas pedal, turn the ignition switch to on and wait at least two seconds, then turn the ignition switch off and wait 10 seconds. Turn the ignition switch back on for at least two more seconds, then off again.

2

Turn the ignition switch on again and wait two seconds, then off again for 10 seconds. Make sure you can hear the electric motor on the throttle moving at this time. It will make a buzzing sound.

3

Start the engine and run it until it gets to operating temperature. Turn the engine off and wait at least 10 seconds. Without pressing the accelerator, turn the ignition on, but don't start the engine, and wait three seconds.

4

Fully press and release the accelerator pedal five times within five seconds, ending with the pedal completely released. Now press the pedal fully to the floor for 20 seconds, or until the service engine soon light stops blinking and is on solid. Release the pedal within three seconds after the light becomes solid.

5

Start the engine and let it idle, wait 20 seconds, then rev the engine a few times and make sure the idle returns to normal idle speed.

Items you will need

About the Author

Mike Vasick has more than 25 yrs in the auto repair industry.He is factory-certified for repair on Nissan and Subaru vehicles. Vasick has also held management positions in both dealerships and chain stores with nationwide presence, and has spent several years working online helping DIY customers as well as shops repair vehicles.

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