Starter/stalls '99 Sentra


I’ve replaced my starter motor 3 times this year. OK - I can live with that. But now it’s also stalling. I’m not confortable driving a car in Los Angeles traffic that could die at any time. Mechanics can find nothing wrong except the starter motor needs to be replaced again.

You should not be replacing a starter that often. Many cars go their entire life with the original starter. Something else is going on here, tell us more about your car; mileage, when were the spark plugs and wires changed, when was the gas filter changed, air filter etc. Check engine light on? What happens just before it stalls? The more information you can provide the more folks will be able to help you.

Thank you! Yes, I’m thinking there’s something else frying the starter motors. I can’t answer your “replacement” question in detail - depend on my mechanic for maintenance but I have done the recommended 30, 60 90K services. It now has about 110K miles. The first time it stalled was after I came up the freeway on ramp - it just cut out and was coasting. I don’t remember - must have given it some gas, it recovered. I think it was a hot day and the gas may have been at 1/4 tank. This weekend it happened on a surface street. Again, just cut. No spluttering. I coasted to the side of the road and it started right up. Could have been hot - had been doing some driving and it was parked in the sun. Also about 1/4 tank of gas. Thanks for your response - much appreciated!

A clogged fuel filter or a fuel pump on it’s last legs could be causing the random stalling. I am concerned about all the starters being replaced, has this been done by the same mechanic? You might want to look up mechanics files under actual car info and find another local shop to look at your car.

Boy! this site has a wealth of information! I appreciate your concern - the succession of starters is just circumstance. I had the first replacement done at the only place I could find open late one Saturday afternoon. Some months later I brought it to my regular guy with weird noises on start. He wanted me to go back to the original place to claim the warranty but I had kept the paperwork in the glovebox and the car had been stolen and found unharmed except for an empty glovebox. This last time my regular guy wasn’t open early on a weekday so I took it to place # 3. They have told me the starter needs replacing but haven’t done it yet. So I still have the option to get it back to my regular mechanic to be done under warranty. But i totally agree with your logic that there’s soemthing up with the fuel delivery. All of these folks, conscientious as they may be, work on the “duplicate the problem” method. And, since they haven’t been able to make it stall they say they can’t find anything and I should just wait for it to get worse…! As you suggest, I need mechanic # 4 or to take it to the dealership. Thanks so much for your logical and helpful response.