Fixing Nissan Murano Hesitation When Accelerating: A comprehensive Guide

If your Nissan Murano’s get up and go seems to have got up and left, you’re not alone. 

Hesitation on acceleration is a problem many car owners deal with each year, not just Murano owners.

Fixing Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating requires a comprehensive analysis of the root cause. So, let’s dive into the possible reasons.

Image for Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating shows a copper colored Nissan Murano against an ocean background

Why Does My Nissan Murano Hesitate When I Accelerate?

Over a dozen different engine problems can cause Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating. These engine issues range from something as simple as a dirty air filter or punctured hose to a shot transmission.

Many of the problems are easy and relatively inexpensive to fix. However, some problems will need a garage.

Poor acceleration is a common problem that can happen for so many different reasons that it can take time to find the specific issue with your car. 

I’ll list the specific causes below to help you figure out why your Nissan hesitates. 

Reasons for Nissan Murano Hesitation When Accelerating

Let’s start with the easiest problems to find and correct first. This way, you can save the money and time of looking for more complex issues!

Dirty Air Filter

We had a reader once ask “why does my Nissan Murano hesitate when accelerating? It has done so gradually”. This is an essential.

Your Nissan Murano’s air filter will need to be extremely dirty to cause hesitation during acceleration.

If it’s dirty enough to be clogged, it’s choking your engine, causing slow acceleration and struggling to move from a stopped position. Clogging takes time to happen.

This problem is easy to find and fix with a new air filter. If you don’t have a new one, tap the dirty one off as much as you can before driving to the auto-parts store. 

Low Transmission Fluid

The Nissan Murano’s hesitation when accelerating when the car won’t accelerate correctly but the RPMs go up is probably because of low transmission fluid

The power needed to move the wheels stops at the torque convertor without enough fluid for the system to operate correctly

Check the fluid level and add as necessary. 

A Punctured Hose

If a punctured hose is a reason for your Murano to hesitate, you should be able to see a crack or puncture when you examine the hoses under the hood. 

The problem could be with an air intake or fuel hose. 

Run the engine while checking the hoses to spot problems easier, but keep your hands clear or hot or moving parts. 

A Vacuum Leak

Engines operate in a closed vacuum.

A hole or crack in a hose can let too much air in or allow fluids to leak out, but a leak where a hose joins another part might not be as apparent as a hole. 

Anything that interferes with the vacuum inside the running engine can stop the car from accelerating. 

A mechanic can check oil pressure and other parts of the engine’s vacuum while it’s running to confirm whether a leak could be the problem. 

Clogged Fuel Filter

A fuel filter that’s clogged or going bad can keep your Murano from getting enough fuel to accelerate properly. 

A way to diagnose this without removing the filter for an inspection is to notice if the vehicle reacts poorly at higher speeds, too. 

The Check Engine light usually illuminates during fuel filter problems, but not always. 

If the Murano accelerates after the hesitation and the speed goes up steadily until a certain point where it feels like it’s hesitating again, it could be a clogged fuel filter.

Other clogged filters listed below can also cause this problem.  

How Long Will My Nissan Murano Last 1 1 Fixing Nissan Murano Hesitation When Accelerating: A comprehensive Guide
Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating can be frustrating.

Clogged Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is an emissions filter that filters the toxic gasses caused by your engine’s combustion.

If it gets clogged, exhaust backs up in the system instead of flowing through normally. 

You might find that your Murano won’t want to go above a certain speed, much like with a clogged fuel filter.

Other symptoms include a strong exhaust odor, poor gas mileage, and a car that runs rough.

In addition, the Check Engine light will often come on when your catalytic converter isn’t working correctly. 

Clogged Particulate Filter

The particulate filter is another emissions filter on your Murano. 

This filter is prone to clogging if you do a lot of short-trip, in-town driving but not many long trips where you can drive the speed limit. 

Check this filter before moving on to other more complex causes. 

Clogged Oil Filter

If you haven’t had your oil and filter changed within the last few months, this is worth checking. 

A clogged oil filter can cause sputtering and slow acceleration. If the vehicle sputters at all speeds, this could be the problem. 

Clogged Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors can cause problems like Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating. Dirty injectors also cause jerking and sputtering on acceleration. 

A clogged fuel injector doesn’t introduce the proper air/fuel ratio to the engine, which hampers your vehicle’s performance.

Check with Nissan to see which fuel injector cleaners you can use on your Murano if you want to do it yourself, or let a qualified mechanic clean and check the system for you.  

Bad O2 Sensor

If you’re experiencing Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating, your car might have a bad oxygen sensor. 

A faulty sensor gives the vehicle the wrong information about the air inside the engine. 

Not only can a bad O2 sensor interfere with acceleration and how the vehicle runs, but it can also cause the catalytic converter to fail over time. 

So while a failing sensor will usually cause the Check Engine light to come on, it’s worth checking when you’re trying to diagnose a hesitation problem. 

A Bad Fuel Pump

If a bad fuel pump is to blame, you’ll probably notice other problems. For example, stalling and jerking while the car is moving are common problems with a bad fuel pump. 

You also might have trouble starting the vehicle in addition to acceleration problems. 

Bad Mass Air Flow Sensor 

The mass air flow sensor (MAF) can get dirty or go bad and convey poor information about air intake to your engine.

This incorrect information causes the wrong fuel/air ratio in your engine. Too much or too little fuel then causes accelerating and other problems. 

A warning light might come on with this issue. If there’s no light, it’s worth checking the sensor to see if it’s causing problems. 

Other Considerations For Nissan Murano Hesitation When Accelerating

Other car troubles that can cause slow acceleration, hesitation, jerking, sputtering, and poor engine performance are more involved and more expensive to fix. 

Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating can be caused by more severe issues.

If you have fuel pump issues from the above list, you know that’s not cheap to fix, but it only requires a new pump. Some of the more complicated failures that can cause Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating include:

  • Worn piston rings
  • A blown head gasket
  • A bad transmission 

Replacing piston rings or a head gasket can cost up to $2,000 because of labor costs and expensive replacement parts.

Replacing a transmission will usually cost $1,500-$4,500. 

Bottom Line On Nissan Murano Hesitation When ACcelerating

Let’s cover the first big topic: Nissan Murano hesitation when accelerating isn’t common. If it happens to you, then there’s something wrong. You should check it as soon as possible.

Most reasons for a Nissan Murano to hesitate when you try to accelerate are relatively minor, like clogged filters, leaking hoses, and an engine running too lean because a sensor is malfunctioning. 

Other causes that cost more to fix usually show other symptoms besides slow acceleration. A vehicle in good condition will be worth the investment to repair whatever has caused the problem.

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