Problems with 97 Nissan Maxima Starter

My car will not start after a long drive and the outside temp is high (95 degrees or higher). There’s no initial problem starting the car. the problem only occurs in the summer and after a long drive. The dash lights come on, radio and the air conditioner. After about 20 minutes or so, the car starts as if nothing is wrong. I’ve had the starter replaced and the problem continues. The mechanics at Nissan can not diagnosis the problem because it never happens at the shop. Any suggestions?

The trouble may be with the safety switch for the starter. Try starting it in neutral when the trouble happens again. If that works then the switch is the trouble.

My car will not start

How about a little more details. You turn the key… What exactly do you observe. What do you hear? A click, the starter turning normal, turning fast, the starter turning the engine (normal or slow) etc.

And of course when was the last time you changed plugs wires, fuel and air filters… ?

I’m had similar starting problems with a maxima of the same year. Assuming you mean the starter isn’t running when you turn the switch. Turns out it was the ignition switch itself. You can test for voltage at the starter solenoid with a multimeter while someone is turning the key.

There is no sound. don’t hear the engine or the starter trying to turn etc.,
I have only 98,000 miles. The 90,000 service and I always have the car serviced by NIssan in May or earlier if there’s a problem.

As you can see by the mileage, I haven’t put much mileage on the car for its age. so, I"m surprised that there’s a persistent problem that is unsolvable.
Thanks for your reply

thanks I"ll try this.

I drive a 97 Maxima with 150k miles, and had the same problem about 3 years ago. Turned out it was the ignition switch. The Nissan tech who changed the switch said it’s a problem that tends to show up more in hot weather for some reason.

This usually points to a faulty ignition switch, faulty inhibitor relay, or a faulty neutral switch. The latter may be referred to as a transmission range sensor. This allows the engine to start in PARK or NEUTRAL only.

If it’s acting up for 20 minutes that should be sufficient time to figure out which one is the culprit. Other than that it may take a part replacement on an educated guess. The most likely of the 3 would be the transmission range sensor as it receives the bulk of the wear and tear. Next in line would be the inhibitor relay unless this car has seen a lot of key cycles, which means most of the driving has been short hops and many trips. In that case the ignition switch might have an equal chance of being at fault.