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Another starting problem-replaced just about everything

Old 01-23-2006, 10:04 AM
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Another starting problem-replaced just about everything

I've been having this problem for about a month just a few days after a clutch job. I can get it to start but it some times takes a while. Sometimes when I'm cranking the engine, it will crank and then stop suddenly and then resume cranking.

Here is a video from tavarish of his car trying to start. Listen to the pause he gets while cranking.


No codes either

Edit: When I had a guy from nissan hook up a computer to the car in the back parking lot He noticed the POS reading fluctuating wildly, so I replaced the Crank sensors and nothing.

I've replaced the following-
-spark plugs
-ECT sensor (engine coolant sensor)
-crank sensor
-crank ref sensor
-camshaft sensor
-ignition switch
-switched batteries
-4 of the 6 coils are fairly new
-fuel filter within 10K
-2 different starters from a junkyard, both 10 tooth. No one seems to have an 11 tooth starter unless I buy a new one. One was from a 96 and one was from a 99.

UPDATE: An 11 tooth starter from an 01 has been added without solving this, but improving it slightly.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

EDIT: PROBLEM FIXED!- http://forums.maxima.org/showpost.php?p=4716170&postcount=130


UPDATE:

9/30/06
Had some starting glitches come back so I added more wires to the starter and the starts are ok again, guess my grounds on the tranny were worse than most peoples.

Starter has 4 ground wires running to it.
3 8ga (2 of them are running directly to the neg terminal)
1 10ga

Tranny has 2 12ga still.

This thread(thanks to C MAX's advice) has helped the following solve thieir starting problem: crazy97, KRRZ350, vj72ct, Mishmosh, Ptatohed, Vettefever5, Tavarish, Mxzmax, White Shadow, T love, Max Gator(5TH GEN), acidspit86, prince starbai, JaTan, oVeRdOsE, liquidx, serfer420, UT-Max, wwjd180, maxihari77SE96, momay, Ham1987, liqidvenom, mistuhjj, mansurxk, TunerMaxima3000, 1chewabacha1, titanbk, miserov, Kidyahoo1, smai555, foxracing12, azn_mint, Peter1, Ratbert90, drn, 036mtmax

Last edited by crazy97; 04-12-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:13 AM
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I would have started with the cleaning of your IACV and Throttle body before replacing all the items you listed.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:18 AM
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check the IACV... aka clean it...
Check you engine grounds...
Chekc your fuel injectors....
check fuel pressure
check fuel pump
chekc Fuel puressure regualtor
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:30 AM
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IACV looked fine. I took it apart during the summer when I removed and cleaned out the plenum. The TB looks clean. When I first got the car it was full of sludge and it ran ok. But it is clean now. I guess I need to get an ohm meter to check the injectors. But what would explain the cranking interuptions. I will literally stop cranking for a second and then resume. Weird.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:41 AM
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Check the ignition relay...
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:50 AM
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more like ignition switch
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by f550maranello2
more like ignition switch
Already changed that.

Where is the relay at?
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:01 PM
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use injector cleaner
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:43 PM
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I have the same problem. Of late, it has gotten worse but has been around for the past year. I have wondered if it was related to my clutch change at that time but I think it actually preceded it.

The interruption in cranking is the KEY symptom. What others suggest may be good for "routine" starting issues but the "hiccup" during cranking is the puzzling issue to me. I too replaced much of the same sensors you did since I suspected it must be some sort of electrical signal problem. For instance, if I try to start the car with the crank POS sensor unplugged, it will not start (as expected) but the wierd thing is the cranking will be continuous. Same thing with the cam POS sensor. For now, I am left with some sort of timing issue. Is it possible that timing could be off somehow--I did change the waterpump and thought that maybe the chain could have jumped a tooth. The car however will run perfectly once started with no power or idle problems whatsoever. My start problem will happen hot or cold. Very frustrating. I have also changed the ignition switch AND relay with no change. Sounds like I have exactly what you have Crazy97.
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:47 PM
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again check the fuel pressure and all item associated with fuel and spark
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:16 PM
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Mishmosh, I thought I read in some thread that you solved yours, guess not huh?

I have also unplugged the cam sensor and cranking was fast and normal. On to fuel pressure checking I guess. I just know if I take it to a dealer they will tell me to replace the computer,and other stuff for about $56565555.99 and if I take it to a cheaper mechanic, they will not know what to look for on this car and tell me "Oh it must be the starter". The fuel parts are a little more expesive than the stuff I've been replacing so it doesn't get any easier from no on.
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:02 AM
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No, not solved unfortunately. Fuel pressure tests out OK. Can't verify what's going on at the injectors though or the FPR... Still, that doesn't explain the pauses in cranking. I too have tried two different 10-tooth starters and no change.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mishmosh
No, not solved unfortunately. Fuel pressure tests out OK. Can't verify what's going on at the injectors though or the FPR... Still, that doesn't explain the pauses in cranking. I too have tried two different 10-tooth starters and no change.
Do you think it could be one of the pullys ps, ac, alt, main engine pully causing an occasional drag on the cranking performance? My ac and alt is new so the rules out those.

I was looking at a 01 SE on Cars.com.... Very tempting.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:07 AM
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crazy and mishmosh, why don't you start doing some more detailed diagnosis. I don't see any other way.

See what voltage you see at the starter while cranking.... monitor it while cranking and see if it drops to zero when the cranking stops...

The only parts that affect cranking are the starter, associated ignition relays and ignition switch. Fuel, injectors, air, crankshaft, camshaft sensors all will affect if the car actually fires, but WILL NOT affect cranking.

Look at the starting/ignition circuit carefully and start isolating parts. Thats your best bet.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:15 AM
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Yeah, I'll have to get an ohm meter right? I don't know what I'm doing as far as those go, but I'll have to learn.
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:31 AM
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sounds like all ur fuel pressure is bleeding of and takes awhile to start....does this occur all the time or only when the car sits for a while
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:26 PM
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Thanks for the help njmodi. I'll have to whip out my multimeter when the weather gets a little warmer. I hear what you are saying about the cranking but it is VERY reproducible that the cranking is solid and continuous when you unplug either the crank or cam sensors, yet when you go to start the car normally, it will have a sickly stutter or pause, resume cranking, and repeat (if it doesn't start up already). Someday, I hope to record this.
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:55 PM
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I really think this is it

I am having identical problems with my car almost to the T. Everything you discribed, mine is also doing. I just got off the phone with Nissan and they told me that 97-98 model Maximas had some problems with the Engine wiring harness. They said that one of the wires inside the harness is broken and is not making a good connection. Btw, this is gonna sting. The harness cost 2000 dollars from Nissan. I have been dealing with the problem now for several months and finally have an answer. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-24-2006, 04:54 PM
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Interesting...looks like I'll have to check the voltage to the starter sooner rather than later. It really does sound like the signal to the starter is stopped for a slit second and then resumed. However, with one of the above sensors removed, the cranking is always continuous... argh!
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Old 01-24-2006, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Mishmosh
Interesting...looks like I'll have to check the voltage to the starter sooner rather than later. It really does sound like the signal to the starter is stopped for a slit second and then resumed. However, with one of the above sensors removed, the cranking is always continuous... argh!
Mishmosh - is the cranking/speed/frequency any different with one of the CPS removed? or is it the same, except that with the CPS removed, the cranking is continues, and without it, the cranking just stops periodically?

The reason cranking itself may sound different with the CPS plugged in, is in that case the ECU does actually try to start the car (fuel, spark). With the CPS disconnected, only the starter is running and the ECU is inhibiting spark (since it can't get a good timing reference). Or at least that's my thought on the matter.
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Old 01-24-2006, 05:41 PM
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When either the crank or cam sensors unplugged, the starter will crank strong and continuously. When everything is connected as it should be, most of the time, i get these cranks-pause-cranks...etc until it starts. I've never heard it on the car before when I had starting issues. I almost feel that if it would just keep cranking continuously, it would start up. It certainly could be what you are saying where the car is trying to fireup but doesn't quite do it (during the stutters). It is not a dead pause but one where a sickly noise is made.
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:29 PM
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Mishmosh - did your problem start right after the WP change? Your description makes it sounds like it's almost misfiring while cranking...
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabuttattu02
I am having identical problems with my car almost to the T. Everything you discribed, mine is also doing. I just got off the phone with Nissan and they told me that 97-98 model Maximas had some problems with the Engine wiring harness. They said that one of the wires inside the harness is broken and is not making a good connection. Btw, this is gonna sting. The harness cost 2000 dollars from Nissan. I have been dealing with the problem now for several months and finally have an answer. Hope this helps.
Jeezus christ!
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Old 01-24-2006, 07:00 PM
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Njmodi, can't say for sure. It was a very seldom thing that got more and more frequent. I'm thinking now that it was probably even before because I actually went to Autozone to have them look at the starter and test the battery--they *thought* it was the battery but a new one did not fix it. I then got a starter and no change. Now it happens nearly about every time starting although it will fire up always. My water pump change preceded my clutch change by maybe a month or two. That was about a year and a half ago now...my memory doesn't serve me that well though.

You know the car runs great otherwise...makes this starting problem all the more baffling. Anyways, I appreciate all the thought you've put into this...any input certainly helps!
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:27 PM
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The clutch/pressure plate is straight? Doesn't drag on the flywheel?
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by SVI30
The clutch/pressure plate is straight? Doesn't drag on the flywheel?
That could be it, but why did it run fine for a week and then act up. That would make sense. Is there anyway to test for this besides dropping the tranny.

Later I am going to test the positive battery to starter wire.
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:27 PM
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If it's a drivability problem, you'll know it while driving. Since this happened after you worked on it, tracing back on what you did may help.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:58 AM
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had the same symptoms as you have...

i got my tranny repaired earlier this week....a few bearings were worn off and the tranny was real noisy (96 se 5spd), cost me 750$ can to get it right (ALL bearings replaced)

my ring gear (the one the starter turns) had 3-4 tooths that were notched, the shop filed them since the budjet is pretty tight right now.

got my starter to a rebuild place (original 257 000km), they changed the brushes and the solenoid

now it starts like a new car
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:21 AM
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I think the pause in cranking is gone!

Well, its improved since yesterday when I regreased the starter. It is starting way better. Started on the first crank twice in a row after sitting. I'm guessing there is carbon buildup burning off in there now since I flooded it a few times. The platinums that I pulled out Sat. were covered with black chit and my oil level was 'up' - gas in the oil from flooding it.

Mishmosh, if you haven't re-greased the starter, I would strongly recommend it. Fairly easy to do. I left the 3 little gears and all the stuff on that side of the starter alone, they were fine, but I concentrated on the 'big dog' that spins in there. Sorry, I don't know what you call it but it's magnetic and big and it was totally dry. Sprayed some brake cleaner on it and inside where it spins and spread some heavy duty lithium based grease on there and inside the unit.

I'm still going to replace the fuel pressure regulator soon.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:05 PM
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Well, keep us informed. Previously, I thought there were weeks here or there where it would start normally...but ultimately the problem came back.

I am not ruling out the starter completely, but I have tried 3 of them, including one I regreased. Granted, I have heard of people getting autozone starters that didn't work when they got them so it is possible the two I tried had the same defect, but I'm a little dubious of that. And of course, I haven't tried the 11 tooth that some have sworn cured their starting woes where the 8/10 tooth starters didn't.

I didn't replace the FPR (and mine certainly could be bad), but are you going to do that for the hell of it?
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mishmosh
I didn't replace the FPR (and mine certainly could be bad), but are you going to do that for the hell of it?
Yes, I might as well replace that thing. Maybe I will improve my crappy highway mileage in the process.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:09 PM
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What mileage are you getting? I have pretty much been getting the same mileage, starting problem or not, and have no idle or performance issues once the car is started. I get 24mpg summer, about 21mpg winter.

Since I have about 15k miles on my NGK copper plugs, I pulled them to regap. Interestingly, all needed a little closure of the gap but I noticed that the right bank all were saturated with gas (left bank were dry). I started the car a few times before that so maybe it was from that but it got me wondering because sometimes I hear backfiring during startup--even when the car doesn't take long to fire up.
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Mishmosh
What mileage are you getting? I have pretty much been getting the same mileage, starting problem or not, and have no idle or performance issues once the car is started. I get 24mpg summer, about 21mpg winter.

Since I have about 15k miles on my NGK copper plugs, I pulled them to regap. Interestingly, all needed a little closure of the gap but I noticed that the right bank all were saturated with gas (left bank were dry). I started the car a few times before that so maybe it was from that but it got me wondering because sometimes I hear backfiring during startup--even when the car doesn't take long to fire up.
I have no performance issues either. The car runs even better now that I took out the platinums(only 20K on them) and replaced them with NGK copper plugs. Usually the best mileage I can get is about 25. 24 in the summer and 22ish in the winter. Maybe that will change now that all of these sensors and plugs were replaced. I hear the ECT will cause lower mileage and if the Fuel Pressure Regulator is old it may affect things as well.

Which parts of the starter did you grease? Did you remove and grease that part in picture #4 in the website below? You have to slide that copper looking part out of there.

http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/516
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Old 01-27-2006, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by crazy97
Which parts of the starter did you grease? Did you remove and grease that part in picture #4 in the website below? You have to slide that copper looking part out of there.

http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/516
Yeah, did that. So your starts are still good I take it?
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Old 01-27-2006, 01:02 PM
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what is IACV?
and check fuel pump fuse.!!!
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Old 01-27-2006, 01:12 PM
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looks like the fuel pressure regulator, i have similar issue. When i go to start the car right off the bat, it carnks for a while... and then starts. After it runs for a while, and i turn it off and start it up again it starts up fine. Only when it sits for a while, then it has to turn over a few times before it starts. I'm obviously getting a spark, but no fuel. The fuel pressure regulator is not holding the pressure. Try this, before you start your car, turn the key to ON position and let the fuel pump, pump up some fuel and get the right fuel pressure. When i do this, the car starts up normally.
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Old 01-27-2006, 03:44 PM
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i would check the fuel pressure regulator too.. i had it go bad in my car and couldnt figure out what it was for the longest time... real annoying...
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:08 PM
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F550maranello: were you having car starting issues with the FPR or when the car was running. My understanding is that there is no way to test it...you just have to swap it and see. If so, I've got nothing much to lose...most key parts have already been swapped!
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:23 PM
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Well, mine still needs to crank and crank sometimes. I called Napa about a FPR and they quoted me $129!!! Nissan is $60 online. Guess I will have to order online and wait for it.
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mishmosh
F550maranello: were you having car starting issues with the FPR or when the car was running. My understanding is that there is no way to test it...you just have to swap it and see. If so, I've got nothing much to lose...most key parts have already been swapped!
FPR test procedure is in the Nissan FSM.
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