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2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S...my mechanics can't figure out what's wrong with it

When I first bought the car I noticed issues with it not starting the first time I cranked it after it had been driven for a while, so I asked the guy who sold car to me if I should bring it in, but he said that it will go away it's just because it has been sitting on the lot for a little while. Well, it didn't go away.

A year later still have the problem and it's worse, but here is what I've noticed. In the AM or after the car has been sitting for 5 hours or more, starts up fine. ONLY if I've been driving it for 30 minutes or more and I turn the car off and let it sit for 20-30 minutes or more, it will rev up like it's going to start but won't start the first time I crank it. It always starts the second time. One time it did not start at all (after my hair appointment to my best friend's WEDDING that I was in!!...go figure) so I left it and had someone pick me up and after it got to sit for several hours it started back up fine. It's winter now and if it's a real cold cloudy day it might happen, but just won't sound as if it's struggling so hard to start. However, if it's a cold day, but it's sunny and it's been sitting in the sun after I've driven it, it will have the same issues starting. It always revs up, so never a clicking at first start. Except when the one time it didn?t start at all, it revved up, died, than clicked when I turned the key, but that?s the only time, but again it usually revs up. When it's trying really hard it will rev than putter slowly and the car shakes then it cuts off, but again second time I turn that key it starts beautifully. Pushing on the gas pedal does nothing usually; a couple times it helped, but most of the time I can push all the way down on the pedal and it does nothing. 3 mechanic friends have looked at it and all ruled out the battery, starter, and alternator. Only one told me they think it's the fuel pump, the others said they have no clue. I don't think it's the fuel pump though b/c when I turn the ignition key on I can hear the fuel pump cut on and I was told if I hear that than it's probably not the fuel pump, but if that?s not true let me know. The warranty is up, but before it expired I took it to the dealership to get my 30k mile maintenance and I had them look at it this issue for me too, but the guy said it was fine. Now the warranty is up and I don't really trust the dealership (for other unrelated issues) so I?d really like them to be my very last option to take my car to again. Also, and I don't know if this is linked to it or not but could be, from the very beginning of having my car my factory CD player had issues with it over heating and I couldn't listen to CDs for very long, and it progressively got worse to where now I can't use the CD player at all because it over heats that fast and starts making a fuzzy sound like out of range walkie talky. (I assume over heating is the issue b/c my CDs are on fire when I take them out).

I just want to know if anyone has ever heard of this issue before, or maybe have some suggestions that I can tell my mechanic that I trust to look at for me before I?m all out of options and have to take it to the dealership. I was told by a friend to try this site out. Thanks for your time to who ever responds.

Comments

  • edited January 2008
    This sounds a little like my issue.

    I've got a 2004 Nissan Sentra 1.8s. Not too long ago, the car wouldn't turn over while I was at a strip mall parking lot. No rapid clicks only a flicker of the dash and then nothing. When I would turn the key to the first click in the ignition process, it would turn on the dash and radio. However, if I turned on the headlights (since it was night), the whole system died. Some of the times, it seemed like it was going to kick into gear but nothing happened. For whatever reason, the car eventually did turn over and start and I drove it home.

    Nothing else happened for awhile adn then the same issue at a gas pump on one fo the coldest days of the year. This time nothing happened at all adn so I had it towed to my dealership. They determined the battery was dead which couldn't be true considering it wasn't more than a month old. They switched out batteries and the car worked fine. I had the "dead" battery checked out and 3 other places stated the battery was fine. I digress.

    Not more than a week after this happened, my car started acting up again in much the same manner. Like the very first instance, I was able to get it turned over and drove it home. So far, it's worked okay but now the power locks and rear defrost don't work. I'm wondering if it can't be the alternator, blown fuses and a wonky electrical system in general. I too am hesitant about taking it back to the dealers unless they can credit the money to have the battery replaced towardw hatever they find out.
  • edited January 2008
    Since you took these problems to the dealer while the car was under warranty, and they weren't resolved, they are still covered by that warranty. Call the Nissan regional representative with your complaint. Be polite, firm, and persistent.
    Lack of a warm re-start can have a number of causes. A couple of suspects are: the fuel injectors leak fuel into the engine after shut down. This would flood the engine. One way to detect it is if the exhaust has a gasoline smell during, and after, the engine is cranked, and first started. To start a flooded engine (fuel injected, like yours), hold the gas pedal to the floor while cranking the engine. As the engine starts, ease off the gas.
    The crankshaft position sensor (cps) is a suspect. It can be tested. A few minuets after the engine is shut down (the period of the greatest heat soak), the electrical resistance (ohms) is measured with a "voltmeter". If they aren't what they should be, the cps is defective.
    Make that call to the Nissan representative.
  • edited January 2008
    I thought about contacting Nissan Corp., but I checked the receipt that I have to the 30k mile maintenance they did, and they did not put on the receipt that they checked for an issue on my car. So, that's just here say now isn't it? Or is my word still going to hold up?
  • edited January 2008
    Well I hope you have better luck with figuring it out than I have had.
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