The Nissan Sentra is a daily driver for many, and there’s nothing wrong with buying or owning one, but different car models usually come with different kinds of problems. A Nissan Sentra with problems like stalling or misfiring might be more common than you think. We cover the top problems owners experience with the 7th generation Nissan Sentra, years 2013-2019, and what each of these common problems’ symptoms, causes, and fixes are.
Top 5 Issues with the 7th Gen Nissan Sentra (2013-2019)
1. Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Codes
Signs the 13-19 Nissan Sentra Has MAF Sensor Codes
- Check engine light, known as the “Service engine soon” light, is on for a mass air flow sensor code like P0101, P0102, or P0103
Causes of MAF Sensor Codes
A check engine light does not always mean there is a problem with the MAF sensor—There could be a problem with the electrical connector or wiring. A dirty throttle body or clogged PCV system can also throw a check engine light.
How to Fix MAF Sensor Codes
Inspect the MAF Sensor
- Find the MAF sensor located on the air intake hose near the firewall
- Wiggle the electrical connector and check for looseness
- Inspect the electrical connector terminals for damage, corrosion, or discoloring like green
- Inspect the wiring for wear like tearing or splitting
- If the electrical connector looks okay, it might be the sensor
Replace the MAF Sensor
- To replace the MAF sensor, remove the two screws with a 7mm socket or Phillips screwdriver
- Remove the sensor and inspect it for debris
- If you’d rather not replace the MAF sensor, you can try cleaning it with MAF cleaner
- To prevent debris from entering the MAF sensor, change the engine air filter regularly
- Cleaning the throttle body can also prevent MAF sensor codes
2. CVT Transmission Problems
A Nissan Sentra with CVT transmission problems is common.
Symptoms of CVT Transmission Problems
- Engine stalls when driving
- Car doesn’t move when shifting to drive or reverse and noise emits from the transmission
- “Service engine soon” light is on for a transmission speed sensor code
Causes of CVT Transmission Problems on the 13-19 Nissan Sentra
CVT transmission failure is common on the 7th gen Nissan Sentra, but sometimes there’s just a problem with the transmission sensor.
How to Fix CVT Transmission Problems
CVT Transmission Failure
- If the transmission has failed, it needs to be rebuilt or replaced
- To prevent transmission failure, change the transmission fluid on a regular basis
- Inspect the electrical connectors for corrosion or discoloring
- Inspect the electrical wiring for wear and tear
- Replace the sensor located on the transmission—There is one on the front, side, and the top
3. Bad Front Struts
Symptoms of Bad Front Struts
- Banging sound from the front strut area
- Fluid leaking from the strut
- Front end excessively bounces up and down
- Squeaking sound from upper front strut mount when turning
Causes of Bad Front Struts
Struts wear out over time from use, and sometimes components like the bushings can wear out, leading to the symptoms above
How to Fix a Bad Front Strut
If the car needs new struts, the install steps involve removing the wheel, removing the sway bar link from the strut, and removing the bolts from the bottom and top of the strut. Reverse this procedure to reinstall.
4. ABS/Wheel Speed Sensor Codes
A Nissan Sentra with wheel speed sensor codes for the right rear wheel is common.
Signs the 13-19 Nissan Sentra has a Wheel Speed Sensor Code
- Check engine light is on for an ABS or wheel speed sensor code like C1101, C1102, C1103, C1104
Causes of a Wheel Speed Sensor Code
A bad ABS wheel speed sensor is usually the cause for a wheel speed sensor code
How to Fix a Wheel Speed Sensor Code
Inspect the ABS Wheel Speed Sensor
- Inspect the ABS sensor wiring for cuts or damage
- Remove the 10mm bolt from the sensor
- Remove the sensor
- Disconnect the ABS sensor’s electrical connector, located on the frame next to the gas tank.
- Inspect the electrical connector for cuts, damage, or discoloring or corrosion on the terminals
- If the connector is fine it might be the wheel speed sensor
Test the ABS Wheel Speed Sensor with a Scan Tool
An advanced scan tool can measure the sensor’s condition and ratings when turning the wheel. If the tool gets a reading from other sensors but not the suspected sensor, it will need to be replaced
How to Test an ABS Wheel Speed Sensor without a Scan Tool
If you do not have access to an advanced scan tool, although a bit more work you can switch the ABS sensor with another on the car and see if it triggers a code
5. Ignition Coil Problems
Symptoms of Ignition Coil Problems
- Flashing check engine light
- Rough running engine
- Check engine light for an engine misfire, codes P0300-P0306
Causes of a 13-19 Nissan Sentra with Ignition Coil Problems
It’s common for the ignition coils to wear out on this generation of Sentras
How to Fix the Ignition Coils
- The ignition coils are located underneath the engine cover, closer to the firewall
- To replace the ignition coil, steps include disconnecting the electrical connector, removing the 10mm bolt from the coil, and removing the ignition coil from the cylinder.
- It’s good practice to replace the spark plugs when replacing the igntiion coils
Shop 7th Generation 13-19 Nissan Sentra Parts Featured in This Article
- MAP vs. MAF vs. IAT Sensors
- How to Test a MAF Sensor
- Signs of transmission failure and ways to prevent it
- Bad Shocks & Struts Symptoms
- What Are Front Struts?
- Can You Drive a Car with Leaking Struts?
- Symptoms of a Bad ABS Speed Sensor
- Signs of a Failing or Bad Ignition Coil
- How to Test If an Ignition Coil Is Bad
- Which fault codes are ignition-related?
- How to Diagnose an Engine Misfire
- P0300 code: Mechanic advice to diagnose and fix