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Car won't start

Our 1993 Nissan Sentra would not start one night after setting 8 hrs while my husband worked. The mechanic can’t seem to find the problem. He did say it seems to be electrical, he can bypass the small wire that makes the starter work, by running the big wire from the battery to the starter, and it will work. Any ideas how to speed up his finding the problem between the ignition switch and starter?

Sounds like a bad starter solenoid, which might be built into the starter, if the small wire goes right to the starter. So my guess is replace the starter. Not unusual at 16 years old.

I Can’t Help You, But Wanted To Say That You Stated Your Question Extremely Well.

Certain car models are susceptible to having ignition switches that wear out. Maybe somebody who knows Nissans will weigh in on this. Is this an automatic? Maybe a neutral safety switch is going bad.


If you can hear a fairly loud click when you try to start the car and the starter doesn’t work then the starter solenoid contacts are most likely worn out. If that is the problem it will be intermittent and get worse as time goes on. Another thing to look for is bad connections to the battery. Make sure they are clean and snug to the posts. If those things are ok then as mentioned, the safety switch may be the trouble.

Thanks to all 3 of you. They said it was not the starter, but I am going to tell them what you said. It has had an electrical problem for years, where the seat belt warning light and sound will come on, beep 4 times and quit. It does that every once in awhile, and no one could stop that either.

What happened was that the shovel lug on the end of the wire that the small wire connects to had no juice coming to it…he unplugged it, cleaned it out and it worked! BUT then it happened again! They are going to hardwire it now, hope that works.

Is the engine 1.6L or 2.0L, 4 cylinder? The wiring, for the 1.6L engine is more complicated than for the 2.0L engine. In fact, if it is the 1.6L engine, I’d redo the wiring to be like the 2.0L. This would bypass the section of wiring where the problem may be.

I’m not sure, but will write this down in case we ever have to have a starter, because the mechanic said that wire if it messes up again will get too short in a hurry. Thanks.