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Greetings oh wise ones!
Car=1999 Nissan Altima
Problem= Start, drive, shut down, repeat ad infinitum. Yesterday start, drive for 15 minutes on interstate avg 70 mph, air temp 92 degrees in sun, shut down for five minutes, no restart. Temp gauge normal. Turn key, normal lights/ radio/ fan all come on, but no ignition, no clicking no sound, nada. Repeat, same result. verify AC off, radio off, turn key and big fat nada. Big sigh. Get out of car, open hood, stare, get back in car, starts right up. Close hood, 5 minute drive home, shutdown. Restarts normally 3 times. Any thoughts?
Sincerely, lmj

starter solenoid

Besides that, it could be an interlock that’s not seeing it is in Neutral or Park.
Is it automatic or stick? Try starting it in Neutral next time it happens.

I had a 2000 Altima and it had a coded key but can’t remember whether the starter engages if it doesn’t detect the key.
Did the dealer give you a regular key, one that opens the trunk but is not supposed to start the car? IF so, try starting the car with it. It won’t start but I’m curious whether it will allow the starter to turn over. If it does not allow the starter to turn over, your coded key or the module inside the car that reads it could be at issue.

Thanks remco and wmm2,
Yes to coded key. It’s an automatic. Did “spank” the shifter a bit while depressing brake and turning key prior to the successful start. Just bought this car, and only got the one key, but understand what you are communicating. Thanks for responding.
What about crankshaft position sensor?

If the CPS were giving you trouble, you would have more than starting problems. I think its the Park/Neutral safety switch. Just give the stick a dope slap as needed.

Along with pushing and pulling on the shift lever while trying to start the engine try shifting to the neutal position and see if the engine starts that way. I also think the trouble is with the safety switch. It wouldn’t hurt to clean the battery connections also.


Wmm2 could be right, or Remco could be right.

With only the information provided, I’m inclined to go woth Wmm2. I 'second" the starter solenoid possibility. When you shut your engine off the temperature under the hood rises. The reason is that the exhaust components and the area around the cylinders is hundreds of debrees hotter than the engine operating temperature, and when the air and the coolant stop flowing that heat radiates outward and heats up the engine compartment. Things get much hotter after 15 minutes on the highway than they do on a 5 min drive home. Some components can become heat-sensitive with age. The starter solenoid is one of them.


Thanks for the follow up. We hear the results far too rarely.

+1 Good to hear you got it back up and running again.