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Nissan won't start, battery/alternator/starter fine

I have a a 2003 or 2004 Nissan Pathfinder (can’t remember which at the moment). For the past few months, it’s been having the same problem. One morning, I’ll go out to start the car and the radio will have stopped working, but everything else is fine. A few days later, however, the car won’t start in the morning. I’ll jump it off, and the car and radio will be fine again for a few weeks. This doesn’t last for long though. Eventually, the radio will go out, and a few days later the car won’t start again. I took it to my local mechanic and they tested the alternator/battery/ starter and said they were all fine, and that the battery cables just needed to be cleaned. After the cleanup, the car and radio worked fine for a few weeks…but sure enough, a few days ago, the radio went out. This morning I had to jump my car off again. Anyone have an idea of what the real problem is? I’m taking it to the shop again today, but I’d like to have an idea of what else it could be…

You may have a short in the radio that’s draining the battery.

If the shop again can’t find anything wrong, you may be able to solve your problem with a cheap workaround. Install a battery cutoff switch:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=7631490840504065882&sa=X&ei=vzagTtPOFsny0gG6zIynBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CHMQ8wIwAQ

Could be the coil or igniter. I had a similar problem with a Toyota a couple of years back. Went through everything from spark plugs to timing belt and battery. Even removed the carburator to take a peek. It was the coil all along.

Over the years, problems such as this have shown up and if the owner was patient they were made “whole” again. Automatic lights on vanity mirrors, truck lids and hoods, leaking leveling systems, errant relays and voltage regulators, and “possessed” computers have been determined to be the problem. Break out boxes were once available, and may still be, and make diagnosis much easier. But sometimes it is just luck. I had jacked up a car to inspect the fusible links at the starter and left the car on stands. When I was locking up, I turned off the shop lights and saw the dim glow of the under hood light. On my way home I drove by the owners home and saw that the driveway was quite steep and if the husband arrived home first… Anyway, such problems can be difficult and if a local shop seems to be particularly talented at electrical nightmare you might consider going there.

I think I am interpreting your post differently than anyone else here. You start this everyday, or at least 5 days a week, but occasionally the radio stops working. It still starts and runs OK for a few more days, just no radio, then one day it wont even start.

Describe the “no start” condition.

Does the starter motor turn over the engine, that is you can hear it cranking? Is it cranking normally or slower than normal? If it won’t crank, do you hear any sounds at all, like a click?

If it does crank normally, then does it feel like it is trying to catch or does it feel like there is no spark?

If after they cleaned your cables and it worked fine for a while I suspect that they didnt clean the cables and batt posts thoroughly enough. On MOST vehicles you have a Positive Batt cable clamp PRIMARILY to go straight to the starter…then usually there is a secondary piggyback wire on the Pos cable clamp that powers up just about everything else in the vehicle…I am worried about the junction of where that piggy back splits off from the main pos cable clamp…disassemble this pos cable clamp into all of its constituent components and wire brush or Dremel w a steel wheel the surfaces of both pieces…then grease and put back together nice and snug…Clean both Batt posts…grease… ALso the negative side as well AND…the point where the ground wire attaches to the frame…follow it from the neg post… CLean grease and tighten…Bet the issue goes away for good.


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I have the same exact problem with my 2002 Pathfinder, did you ever get a clear answer to the cause? I have had my battery replaced and had the cable ends replaced 2 years ago due to the same issue now it’s happening again.

It might be better to post your problem, with details, as a new post. A 6 year old question with a long gone poster isn’t likely to elicit a bunch of help. Many posters don’t answer back with the solution. As much as we’d like them to.

Will do, thanks!

I completely forgot about this post! Long story short, the mechanic
unhooked the radio as it was somehow draining the car battery. We still
have the same pathfinder, sans radio, and it hasn’t experienced the same
issue since then.