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Heat stroke?

My 2002 Nissan Altima with about 62000 miles, periodically won’t start after being parked for about an hour. This has happened about 6 times in the past 6 years! I have gotten a new starter and a couple of new batteries. Usually after the car is towed home or to the shop it starts up again without intervention. I am beginning to think it is something in the climate here in St. Petersburg, Fl. I had no such trouble in Miami for the first 3 years I owned it. Happened again two days ago and when the tow truck couldn’t jump start it, got ready to tow it. Tried one last time to start it, and miraculously it did. I drove to Sears (where I had gotten the last battery) and both alternator and battery were fine. Car has been fine since. This latest episode happened on a hot afternoon, but then a major rain hit and that’s when the car started up okay. Could the heat be messing with the computer or something to prevent it from starting? I like the car alot and am happy to see it on your 10 least favorite cars list. But this dying problem is killing me! Never happens at a good time! Can you help?!

Does the car crank over but fail to start? That isn’t really clear to me.

Lots Of Possibilities, Here.
Automatic ?
Does The Engine Crank, But Fail To Run Or Does It Not Even Crank When The Key Is Turned To “Start” ?

Nissan’s got a 4 page Technical Service Bulletin (written to help technicians diagnose problems) for 2002 & 2003 Altimas with automatic transmissions that have a problem with the engine not cranking when the shift lever is in “Park,” but will crank when the lever is in “Neutral.”

The fix involves checking and adjusting the Park/Neutral safety switch if necessary and adjusting the Automatic Transmission control cable at the slotted Transmission Control Arm.

Anyhow, next time it won’t crank, try shifting to neutral. If it starts then this could be it.


Thanks a million, I will try that next time!

Car is automatic and fails to crank in the instances I am referring to. Will try to start in neutral as Common Sense recommended.

You’re Welcome, Svblcsw. Please Let Us Know What Happens.

If it doesn’t crank then we’ll take it from there.

If it does crank then I’d recommend getting a copy of the 4 page TSB if you’re going to DIY or taking to a mechanic who can access it. Sometimes a friendly Parts or Service person at a Nissan dealer will make you a copy.

Nissan Bulletin NTB02-083 (Classification EL02-028)