97 Maxima starting problems

nissan
maxima

#1

I just recently bought a 97 maxima and I love the car but it has a problem starting. I have been told that it could be a number of things but I will first start by saying what it isn’t since I have spent some time trying to figure it out. The car cranks and cranks but unless I give it gas it will not start. I have checked the fuel pressure and it’s fine. I have changed both crank sensors and the cam sensor. I have tried the starter and it’s fine, I have even changed the ignition. The only thing I have heard that can make sense is that the ECU is bad or that the mating surface of the tranny with the motor is bad. How true is that? Anyways if anyone out there knows what it could be please let me know before I spend any more money. Thanks in advance!!


#2

Does this happen every time you try to start the car? Only on cold starts? Only on hot re-starts? What happens after you get it running? Can you let off the gas pedal and it idles smoothly? How and when did you check the fuel pressure? Did you actually use a gauge and make sure the pressure is within specs? Did you observe the pressure before one of these non-start episodes or only with the car running?


#3

It happens 95 % of the time. I noticed it does it will sometimes catch whether hot or cold it still does the same. Once it starts it runs smoothly and you would think there is nohing wrong. I checked the fuel pressure when I turned the key and it went to 40 pounds then when it tried to start it went to 60. I have yet to try it with the car running. It is just strange but I am almost ready to check the timing and see if it’s off but still open to suggestions.


#4

If the car runs well once started then you don’t have a timing problem.

Do you know what the fuel pressure specs are supposed to be? You should find out since fuel injected engines are very sensitive. Do you ever get a smell of gas when this happens? And/or after it starts? The next time you try to start it, turn the key to run (not all the way to crank), listen for the hum of the fuel pump, turn it back off, back to run - hum - off - run & hum… do that about 5 times and then try to start it.

Also find your fuel pressure regulator and pull its vacuum hose off of it - if it has any raw fuel in it, replace the regulator.

It would also be a good idea to test your coolant temperature sensor.

All of that is assuming that spark isn’t a problem - it probably wouldn’t hurt to use a spare plug or spark tester to verify you are getting spark during these non-start episodes.