Yesterday I posted this mystery and the Car Talk community responded. The problem was the ignition switch, diagnosed by mechanic based on; (1) The problem occurred only when the ambient temp. outside was over 70 and 2) When key was in start position the dash lights were on and did not dim when trying to engage starter. This problem is common in '95-'99 Maxima’s, if you encounter make sure to troubleshoot ignition switch before putting in starter. Thanks again to 'CT Community!
It’s great that your mechanic could go from symptom to cause. Sometimes, the easy way work; most times, it doesn’t. Does your Dr. ever run tests on YOU when your have symptoms? A car’s problems are no different.
Thank you for posting results, wish others would!
Your problem was related to the outside temp only because the outside temp affected the inside temp (this is where the ignition switch is located). You may want to hold off on popping a cork, I don’t see any temperature sensitive components of a ignition switch, relay, yes I can see a temperature relation (as we see on Hondas). But a ignition switch just mid-duty contacts. Most people give these repairs some time before they call them a definite fix. Can you make a technical connection for the switch failing due to temp?