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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 10-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
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Help, My 02 Maxima Won't Start

Let me first give a little history. Bought my (wife's) 02 Maxima in March of this year after selling her 96. Car had over 200,000 on the clock and engine was knocking so I bought it right and put an engine in it. The engine came from a reputable recycler in Canada and had around 70,000 mile on it. I did all the labor myself and got it running.

Even though it is my wife's car, I seldom drive it. Probably have put around 15000 miles on the clock since it was installed. Haven't really had a problem with it until today. Wife went with me to get groceries. Son had left it low on gas so I decided I had enough to get to town (12 miles away) before getting gas. First stop was Wallyworld. Pulled in, shut car off and shopped.

When we came out and went to start it, all it did was crank over but never started. Gauge had dropped some but thought it still had gas. After trying for a couple mins, decided to walk to station and get a couple gallons. Got it and put in the tank. Slowly cycled key from off to run position several times to get pump to pick up fuel.

Next, attempted to start. Ended up cranking the car about 3 times for about 7 seconds each and it never offered to start. Wife did her voodoo ritual of rubbing steering wheel and sweet talking car more than she does me. She hit the key and it fired within 2 seconds. We then drove about a mile to our next stop. When we came out of store and got ready to leave, car would not start again. I knew it had fuel as it was reading over 1/8 tank at this time. Tried listening for fuel pump but couldn't hear it. Ended up cranking it several different times and it finally started. We ended up skipping our other stops and drove it straight home.

When we got home, wife told me her car never gave a notice before when it was ran out of gas once. Car never stumbled or missed at all on the way home. Son said it has done that to him a couple of times and he would have to crank it about 5-6 seconds before starting.

Pulled codes from computer and it was showing the following:
P0345 Cam Position Sensor A Bank 2 Circuit (5 times)
P1167 Manufacturer Control Fuel Air Metering
O2 sensor slow about reading (Can't read code from paper as granddaughter scribbled over it)

Cleared all codes from memory with my scan tool. Read thru my FSM and saw where it talked about the cam position sensor having to sense a signal or fuel pump would shut off during cranking/running. Removed rear seat and listened to pump. It would turn on with key about every other key cycle. Ended up pulling used fuel pump relay from another car and installed it. Same thing was happening. Next, went to original engine that was pulled out of car and pulled cam position sensor from front (radiator) bank of engine and put in place of current sensor in engine. Tried again and still same thing. I have tried everything and even went so far as putting more gas in it to see if it just wasn't picking it up. Have cranked it several times and battery is starting to run down.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to try next? In the old days, I would simply use a spark checker to test for fire at the plugs, but it isn't as easy to do with coil packs. Just wondering if there is anything common to this engine giving this sort of problem. I need to get it going before next week.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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Pull one of the coils out and stick a spark plug in it, then ground the plug to the engine case, should be able to see a spark if there's one there. If your engine is dirty or painted (like mine) you'll have to take a jumper cable and ground it to the negative battery terminal or the car body.

If you have spark I'd look to the fuel filter and/or fuel pump.

If you don't have spark I would check the security light just for the hell of it. While cranking the engine the security light should be out, if it lights up solid then you have a NATs problem.

Anecdote: when I swapped my engine it worked fine for awhile and then I lost the ability to start seemingly out of nowhere. I had no spark from the coils. I checked and changed the sensors like you, no luck. I ended up redoing all my grounds including adding an extra ground to the transmission case between the crank sensor and the starter right to the negative battery terminal. I also changed the ground to the tranny case and it fired right up and has been happy to start ever since.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:40 AM
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