Testing the Knock Sensor (KS): – The KS MUST be checked with a digital ohmmeter. Analog ohmmeters may cause damage to vehicle.
1) Raise the hood. View the engine from the driver’s fender. Look into the deep valley between the cylinder banks and below the intake manifold. Identify the KS as a black item fastened to the block by a single vertical bolt. A wire harness wrapped in black leads toward you, out of the valley. That is the KS sub-harness.
2) Follow the KS sub-harness to it’s nearest connector. This is connector F121. It is located near the upper right-hand corner of the valve cover of the forward cylinder bank, as viewed from the front of the car.
3) Disconnect F121. You have to do a “press the latch and wiggle and pull” to disconnect it. F121 has only two pins; if you see more than two pins, you have the wrong connector. Use a digital ohmmeter capable of measuring more than 10 Megohms. You want to measure the pins of F121, not the sockets of the matching connector. Measure the resistance between a good ground (such as the battery negative terminal) and pin #2 of connector F121. On my car this is the highest of the two pins, the one closest to the front of the car. The factory spec is 500 – 620 Kohms.
More on the dreaded KS: Knock Sensor Diagnosis, Test and Installation
Once and for all, a bad knock sensor WILL NOT trip the check engine light. You must extract the codes from the ECU to determine if your sensor is (potentially) bad (code 0304). Some other hints as to a bad KS: poor acceleration below 3000 RPM (I was getting tired of being left behind at stoplights by Honda Civics), and reduced gas mileage.
If you don’t already own a Haynes or Chilton manual, get one. In addition to telling you how to extract the codes and locate the KS, there is a wealth of useful information for the do-it yourselfer. I am very cheap, but this an area well worth spending the $20 or so (I bought mine off of EBAY for $10 shipped).
The ECU is located behind the center console on the drivers side. It is accessible by removing the plastic cover panel right next to the gas pedal. The ECU is a metal box with a screw on the side covered by a piece of tape. Peal back the tape to get at the screw. With the ignition in the “On” position, turn the screw all the way clockwise, hold for at least 2 seconds, turn it all the way counterclockwise. Your CEL will now start flashing out any codes stored in the ECU. The codes are two digit numbers. The first number is signaled by long flashes, there will be a two second pause, and the second number will be indicated by a series of short flashes. Long-long-long-pause-short-short-short-short = 0304 (KS fault). There may be more than 1 code in the ECU, they will be flashed out sequentially and the whole sequence will repeat. To clear the codes from the ECU, follow this sequence: clockwise, hold, counterclockwise, hold, clockwise, hold, counterclockwise.
A good KS will measure ~550 k-Ohm resistance between the left pin of the KS and ground. You can check the resistance without removing the KS by following the harness to the connector. The connector has two pins, only one of them hooks up to the KS, so try them both. The act of whacking on the KS with your wrench can (temporarily) start it working again, so checking the KS once you removed it may not give you the bad reading you suspect. Hint: the connector is not the green one closest to the KS that gets in the way of sticking your hand into the engine cavity (1995-1996 models – most likely 1995-1999). The correct connector is a few inches closer to the front of the car. A heat shielded wire leads into the bottom of
it and there are two wires coming out the top, one clear and one black.
Low cost knock sensor sources: The dealer will charge you $160 or so for the sensor. I purchased a Nissan OEM sensor off of EBAY for $90 shipped. I have seen them for as little as $80 and routinely for $100-$110.
Search for both “Maxima knock” and “Nissan knock” to make sure you get all the possible matches. You can get a Bosch sensors for $115 shipped from http://www.nissanpartstore.com….html
Article Provide by:Cullenj76