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2005 Nissan Frontier won't start until after at least 10 minutes wait

Hi All,

I have a weird problem and I’ve been searching the web but couldn’t find the cause of it. The problem is whenever I turn off the engine, I have to wait at least 10 minutes for the engine to fire up again. During that ten minutes everything is normal such as cranking, lights, radio etc… the only missing thing is sparks. I replaced camshaft position sensors and also crankshaft position sensor. I even replaced the IPDM and the problem still persists.


So when this occurs it cranks ok, robustly, but won’t pop, fire up, and run? hmm … well your theory about the crank position sensor makes sense, but apparently that wasn’t it. On what basis, what test , do you say that you don’t have spark? The reason I ask is b/c for this problem the cause is usually either no spark or no fuel, and solving it is much easier if you know for certain which one of those two items is the cause.

If you are certain there is no spark, given what you’ve already done, the next suspect would be the ignition module. If I had that problem I’d use my o’scope to verify the ignition module was getting its trigger signal, but if you can’t do that test, probably makes sense to just assume that the computer is telling the ignition module to fire, and for some reason it isn’t. Heat related symptoms with ignition modules are a common post here. We had one yesterday in fact, about a Ford Ranger as I recall. fyi, a cam position sensor fault wouldn’t usually cause this problem.

I took one of the plug out and hold it close to the engine while someone crank the truck and there was so spark at all. How do I test to find out if the ignition module getting the signal?

Do you have the v6 4L or the straight 4 2.5 L?

BTW, when I test for spark I use an extra spark plug, holding its threaded part against an engine ground, but clear of the battery, other places where a spark might ignite something. Did you remove the wire connected to the spark plug & hold it near the engine? I had to do something like that on my truck a couple months ago b/c I had no spare spark plug at the time. But I inserted a paper clip into the connector, and held the other end of the paper clip close to a ground. I’m not sure that just holding the wire close to a ground would create a spark or not. The spark gap has to be pretty close. With modern electronic ignition systems the spark can be pretty unfriendly, even lethal, so a good deal of caution is in order with this sort of experiment.

V6. Yes, I removed the wire and used an extra spark plug.

Has the check engine light come on at any point?

No check engine light. Everything is normal and after ten minutes, the engine will start up like nothing happened every single time.

Does it make any difference how long car was running?
Let’s say, if you started it for a minute (it’s still cold), then shut down, then try restarting?

If the problem is linked to the temperature, I might suggest to make more experimentation with the ECM, which is located high in the motor area, on the passenger side, I would assume it gets a lot of heat there from the engine.

I dont think the heat is the problem because the longer I drive the less time I have to wait but regardless how long I drive I still have to wait 5 - 10 minutes.

The V6 doesn’t use an ignition module apparently. The ECM supplies the trigger signal to each of the coils directly. It seems unlikely all the coils would fail. Possible, but still unlikely the ECM isn’t producing the trigger signals. You’d have to use an o’scope or similar instrument to make that determination. I think I’d start by verifying the ECM relay is working, as its output powers all the coils. There’s a 20A fuse in that circuit, and that could be the culprit too. Finally there’s a condenser (capacitor) to check. Capacitors are the least reliable of the discrete electronic parts, so a faulty one of those needs to be considered. If you have battery power to the coils when this is happening, you’re probably going to need to get some help from somebody with a Nissan scan tool or an o’scope. Each of the coils has 4 connections. pin 1 is the trigger signal from the computer, pin 2 is connected to chassis ground, pin 3 is battery power coming through the relay, and the last one is for the spark plug.

Hi George_San_Jose1,
How do I test to see if I have the battery power to the coil?

You need to clarify this. Did you hold the plug body away from the engine block and look for spark from the plug body to the engine block? It has to be touching the block and then observe the spark gap in the plug…

I’ll verify it tonight and let you know.

Measure the voltage between pin 3 and pin 2.

So I took out the coil of the driver side front spark plug and use a spare plug to test. I let the plug touch the engine and start cranking and there was no spark at all. After 15 minutes wait, I tried again and there was no spark at all until the engine fired up after a second or two. What do you think?

While cranking?

Yes, that’ll work. I expect however you’ll find you have power to the coil whenever the key is in the “on” or “start” position.

I’m learning now so can you explain to me what do you mean by ‘Measure the voltage between pin 3 and 2’?

Do you know how to use a voltmeter? If not, google that phrase. I’m presuming you aren’t familiar with this procedure. Once you get to the point you can accurately measure the voltage of an AA battery, post back.

I’m not that bad :slight_smile:. Anyway, I know how to use a voltmeter and know how to measure AC or DC. So what’s next?