Fuel Pump or Fuse? Intermittent starting problems

It’s a 2007 Nissan Murano with 50k miles and I’ve had it about 2 years. Occasionally, it won’t start and this has happened about 7-10 times in 2 years. It turns over and makes all the normal sounds of starting, but never catches and starts the engine. Normally I wait a few minutes, try it again with some pumping of the gas, and it will start. I take it to Midas for oil changes and told them about it - they said the computer revealed nothing.
Yesterday it would not start and I had to have it towed 90 miles home. The tow truck driver said he could not hear the fuel pump “priming” when he turned the key or, he said, it might be a fuse. Two hours later when he delivered it to my home and got off the tow truck, it started. Help me please.

Fuel pumps can be intermittent. Is it still not running? If so it will make it easier to diagnose. Spray starter fluid in the intake and see if she will run for a few seconds. This will tell you it’s missing fuel.

My car started after the tow.

@CathyM76 you’ll have to wait until it doesn’t start to use the starter fluid.

Using it when all is well will tell you nothing

My guess would be fuel pump. I used to carry a 5 pound sledge hammer to pound on the tank when my Buick wouldn’t start. Wouldn’t start in a ramp and had to tow it 50 miles home then it started. Classic fuel pump. Any bumping will sometimes free the pump motor up and once its running it’ll be ok for a while. Fuel pressure doesn’t set a code in the computer also.

@Bing with all due respects . . .

I’ve worked on several cars with lean codes that were caused by low fuel pump pressure

@Bing just thought of something else

I’ve also had cars with stored misfire codes that were caused by a failing fuel pump. The codes set when the pump quit

Yep, don’t disagree but I’ve gone through four or five fuel pumps and it was either on or off and never set a code. When the pump ran, everything was fine, but would either quit mid stream or not start again until jarred. Just saying not having code set doesn’t rule the pump out. Now if it was aging and wearing out and the pressure was low, maybe, but not on an '07. I suppose though if it was a pressure issue, it could be the regulator, but seems that would be more on-going. The fact that the tow driver didn’t hear the pump running, sure indicates a pump, relay, connection, or wiring problem. So in the shop it should go to look for the problem.

Thanks all. The local Nissan service dept said it needs to be in a non-working state to debug it (but they’ve had to do this on a number of other cars). The only consistency I’ve seen with my car is that it happens when it’s sat in the hot sun for awhile, and now we have a cooling tread (not sure to be happy or sad).

This sounds like a problem that Hondas have been often reported to have: a fuel pump relay (under the dash, near the steering column in Hondas) does not work esp. with high interior temperatures. It is not very expensive and is easy to replace. Someone online once posted instructions how to take its cover off and resolder a broken connection on its circuit board.

Yes, as @shanoia says above, if the car sitting in the hot sun for several hous is related to the no-start condition, the fuel pump relay would be my first suspect. It could be the fuel pump too, or an assortment of other problems, but it’s worth checking the relay before looking at the fuel pump and other stuff. If this were my car and I didn’t want to temporily install a fuel pressure guage to look at while I drive around, or wait for the opportunity to get the car to the shop at the exact time it was failing, I’d probably just install a new fuel pump relay and cross my fingers that it solved the problem. The worst case is you’d be out the price of the relay, and still have the problem; but at least have a new fuel pump relay you don’t have to worry about.