06 Altima won’t turn on

So I have 2006 Nissan Altima that won’t start, I turned the key late last night and it sounded like the engine was about to come on but then it didn’t. I tried starting it again and all I could hear was a rolling sound (hard to describe it) but no sound from engine. 2-3 weeks ago I just had the Valve Gasket & Coils replaced along with my alternator. It ran fine, I haven’t seen any issues till now. Is it possible spark plugs could be the issue?

IF your battery is fully charged…and that is important… It sounds like your starter is hung up… Try this… Instead of just holding the key in the spring loaded start position… quickly flick it multiple times into the spring loaded start position… start, start, start, start…rapidly… It may catch at some point when you do that.

If my trick works your starter bendix is either gunked up or rusty or degraded somehow and or the starter motor is getting weaker (either internally or because of battery being low) That can make this condition occur as well because the starter motor doesn’t come up to full speed and torque fast enough (instantly is the requirement)

If you need to keep doing the trick above you probably need a new starter. Did I mention your battery needs to be healthy? Dont forget that.

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So, it won’t “turn on” and you can hear it make a “rolling sound,” and can’t really describe it, but “no sound from engine.” :thinking:

We can’t even hear it! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

You don’t suppose the rolling sound is the sound of the starter cranking (rolling) over the engine? :neutral_face:

Lots of possibilities here. I think the best advice is to get somebody who knows about cars to have a look and listen. I wouldn’t guess at needing new spark plugs without better diagnosis. Plugs don’t suddenly drop dead. :wink:

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I bought a new battery in October and replaced starter in late November

No kidding? So you are saying your engine is not turning over yet you hear the starter motor spinning?

This can happen, I just dont know if that is what you are trying to describe. You should be able to know if the engine is being turned by the starter or not. If NOT… did you try the trick I outlined above. Its good that the starter and batt are new…doesn’t rule them out unfortunately.

The battery has to be fully charged for the starter to function properly… What happens when you try the trick I outlined? You haven’t tried it have you? I guess you cant if you have push to start button…hopefully you do not. If you have a key to turn, try it as outlined…there is a good reason I mentioned it.

Please clarify if this is a no-crank (you don’t hear the normal rrr rrr rrr sound w/the key in “start”), or a cranks ok but won’t start (you hear the rrr rrr rr souind, but it doesn’t catch and run.) If you aren’t sure, ask a helper to watch the belts in the engine compartment during cranking. If they are not moving with the key in “start”, it’s the first one.

Battery was replaced in September, Starter Late November & Alternator just done in February (due to oil leak, cracked gasket seal). None of that worked so I had it towed to my mechanic, I actually just called & he said it’s starting up fine now, very odd. I thought maybe crank sensor but I had that done in September…

Sorry it did crank, just didn’t fire up. Should’ve been more clear, hard to describe sounds through words!

either you have a vehicle that has a lot of problems, or you like to try to fix problems by throwing a bunch of parts at it- instead of figuring out what exactly is wrong and just fixing that. (And judging by your question about this issue possibly being plugs, I’m guessing it is the latter.if so, that is a very costly way of fixing cars.)

I drove it to Florida and back to Rhode Island 3 times, would explain the maintenance lol I don’t make issues up, have a good mechanic! I replace as they go… I’m just throwing ideas of why it maybe won’t fire up, my mechanic is looking through it as we speak now.

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If the engine turns over but doesn’t start right away, the problem may be lack of fuel and fuel pressure at the engine. A diagnosis (also a solution) is the key dance: turn the key to Run (not all the way to Start.) The fuel pump should run for a couple seconds - you may hear it back in the tank. Do this Off-Run, Off-Run a couple or few times. Then turn the key all the way to Start. Does the engine now start right up?

A leaky injector or anti-drainback valve in the fuel pump assembly may be the culprit, but if everyone who uses the car knows the key dance, problem solved.

BTW, my wife ran the Honda out of gas a few months ago. The helper who brought gas told her to do this key dance a few times before trying the starter motor. A wise suggestion. She did and it started right up.

Why did she run out of fuel? One factor: the low fuel indicator light quit years ago. The switch for it is part of the fuel pump assembly and as far as I can tell it’s not separately replaceable. So the car is on its now 20 year old fuel pump.

I uploaded a video of me trying to start the car

Cranks ok but won’t catch & run is usually either a spark or fuel problem. So the first thing to do is narrow it down to one or the other. It’s easier to check for spark, so I usually start there. Shops have specialized instruments to check for spark, but what I do is move a plug wire to a spare spark plug I keep in my tool box, then (wearing thick rubber gloves) I hold the threaded part against a chassis ground (far away from any fuel) and look for a healthy bluish-white spark jumping across the tip of the plug during cranking.

Another idea, you posted it seemed like it was about to catch but didn’t. That could be weak spark. Since you’ve had some work done on the electrical system, good idea to do a quick, simple check if you have a DVM. Before the first start of the day the battery should measure about 12.6 volts; then immediately after starting the engine it should measure 13.5-15.5 volts.

I presume you’ve already checked for diagnostic codes and didn’t find any. If you found some codes, for better help, post them here. If you have a code reader that measures fuel trims, but you can get it to run but not perfectly, that would be the test I’d do next if nothing above solves it.

Jay, play close attention to the posts by Eddo and George San Jose. GSJ knows more about cars than most mechanics I’ve known. I know George told you the cardinal rule and that is you’re dealing with Fuel or Fire, either you aren’t getting enough spark or fuel. Follow GSJ instructions as holy writ. That being said, don’t be defensive when given good advice, Eddo is correct, you empirically seem to be replacing too many parts in a very short time frame, and that’s definitely not how we go about repairing our cars (empirically means “obvious to all who would view”). I thought EXACTLY the same thing as Eddo when I read the laundry list of repairs and parts you have paid for recently, and you are spending way too much money with this mechanic Jay. A better, more honest mechanic would have told you “let’s address the problem at hand before we start fixing anything else”, he should have isolated his work to your starting problems before the other things he’s done since. I’d be willing to bet cash money that everything you listed did not fail all at once…,.the odds are almost too high to calculate that you needed, what was it, a starter, alternator, ignition coils, battery…? This car wouldn’t have started if Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon held a prayer group in your garage if all these parts were bad. Like I said, don’t be defensive, Eddo, GSJ and everyone else here are sharing their expertise for free, I also don’t have a dog in this fight, we’re just trying to solve your problems and save you money at the same time, the shops will only try to do one of those things my friend

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Sounds like the timing is off - slipped timing belt or incorrectly replaced one?

A compression test is in order before going much further. While you have the plugs out, check the basic timing: crankshaft and valve train must be in correct relationship.

Yeah I understand & I’m not mad, I don’t replace un-needed parts. Trust me the starter had to be tapped on from June till it died in November last year. I actually just picked up my car from my mechanic today, he tightened an oil leak and the car has been starting for him & now I started it twice today… it’s fine. Apparently it not turning on is a mystery, I’m a bit worried about taking it somewhere & it won’t turn on later on

In one of the Car Talk radio episodes, a caller had this same problem. Tom joked to drill a hole in the firewall, then the driver can poke the starter with a broomstick handle when it won’t crank … lol …

Thanks for the compliment, but remember I’m just a driveway diy’er with very limited experience fixing any car besides an early 70’s Ford truck, an early 90’s Corolla, and a late 70’s VW Rabbit. Professional mechanics – like some of the posters here — on the other hand have the knowledge, experience, and tools to be able to repair most any car driven into their shop, irrespective of make/model/ and model year. Comparing my car repair skill level to them, not even close. Not to say the diy’er perspective isn’t useful. The Car Talk forum provides a good mix of diy’ers and pro posters, which is a good thing imo. .

If the mechanic says it is starting fine now, I’d vote for fuel pump. Timing generally doesn’t heal itself but pumps can be intermittent. BWDIK (but what do I know)?

I just picked the car up today, after sitting at his shop for 2 days he says it started up fine for him every time. All he did was tighten up a little oil leak I had, I started it up a few times between 4-1030 no issues. I’ll just have to wait till the next time it does this again. Granted I have driven the car on E but this time I left for vacation and filled the tank, come back 10 days later and it didn’t start. My friend started it and drove a few times while I was gone as well…
Also: If the fuel pump was going wouldn’t I have acceleration issues? I’ve never had that problem or lost speed while on the highway