Starting problem

I bought a new 2013 Nissan Altima SV, 4 cylinder, in April 2013. It has keyless entry and keyless start. There no place for a key, they did away with this for this model year.

The car was problem free until the cold weather started. Since then, on a very random basis, the car will not start after the engine is warmed up. I starts just fine when the engine is cold with only one exception of a failed remote start at home.

After running errands, etc. I will come out of a store and the engine will not start. The radio comes on, but not the engine. It takes several tries. The dealer told me to go outside and start it with the remote, but this is not a real solution.
I have left at the dealer three times. No codes show up and they cannot reproduce the problem. However, I cannot reproduce it either. It is quite random. I think it is a problem that started in the cold weather, but this may be a total coincidence. I also feel there may be a problem with the start button or the mechanism under the brake pedal. They will not replace anything as they cannot confirm this.

I was stuck at a gas pump for 10 minutes one day last week. This did not make me popular. I left the car there for a day last week. Their latest theory is that is my portable GPS is the culprit. However, I had the GPS in the car long before this started.

Need some help as we have had very cold weather and I sometimes have kids in the car. This is unsafe as well as annoying. HELP!!

Have them replace the brake switch. Document each and every time it fails. Take it to the dealer and do not leave without them documenting the problem. Call the district service rep and tell them of your problem. This could qualify for the Lemon Law, but you need documentation.

Can we assume that when it doesn’t start, it is not cranking over at all?
The GPS claim sounds bogus to me.
So you say the failure to start happens only when hot, but that it did happen once when cold. How many hot start fails have you experienced?

Thanks so much for your help, I am very frustrated. I think the GPS theory is bogus as well. I have experienced 20+ hot start failures. All are random. All since the weather turned colder. The car usually starts within 5 or 6 further attempts. The longest the problem has lasted is about 10 minutes twice. The only cold start failure was with the remote and only one time.

I have suggested they change out the brake pedal mechanism or the start button. They will do neither unless it happens with them. I think it is time for better documentation on my part and a call to the district manager. Thanks again.

Keep hounding them

Call them every day. Keep track of when you call, who you talked to, etc. If they don’t pick up the phone, note down what time you called, and if you left a message, and whether it was returned or not, who returned the call, etc.

Send registered letters . . . it is amazing what can sometimes be accomplished when you send registered letters. That is how I got the installers to promptly fix my kitchen when they botched the countertop and sink installation. The next time they sent a different crew, replaced the countertop again, and did a perfect installation

Keep escalating it, until some big shot is tired of getting your calls and tells the dealer “I’m getting tired of talking to this person. I’ve got better things to do. Fix it immediately. No ifs ands or buts. I don’t want to hear from this person again. Don’t make me come over there.”

Good luck an keep us updated, please

I assume when you say the engine won’t start you mean the starter motor doesn’t crank the engine over in the START mode. If that is the case there may be another safety switch besides the brake switch. If the brake lights are working when this trouble happens then I would suspect that switch is okay unless there is a seperate set of contacts for the starter circuit on it. A bypass switch could be installed to the starter solenoid in case you get get stuck somewhere and need to get the car started when the trouble happens. You could also try shifting the car into neutral to see if that gets things going. If that works then the safety switch is the trouble.

Thanks for the input. These are very helpful comments.

I am going to put a notepad in the car today and keep track. Like the idea of registered letters.

Cougar, the engine does not crank in the start mode when this happens. I will try putting it in neutral. Will also check the brake lights.

Since the starter isn’t working when the fault happens then the trouble is most likely with the safety switch circuit for the starter solenoid. The shop should be informed of that information at least. I don’t know what the details are of the circuit design for your car is but the shop will know that. Installing a bypass switch will get the starter working when you have trouble but you might have a problem getting a shop to do that since it would byypass a safety design.

A couple of small test lights could be installed at key points in the circuit so the driver could see which lights didn’t come on when the trouble happens. The shop could figure where to look for the problem knowing that information and the design of the circuit. This isn’t normally done though.

When a dealership is either unresponsive or appears to be unable to resolve a customer’s problems with a new car that is under warranty, I honestly don’t understand why the customer continues to butt her own head against the wall by continuing to deal with that service department.

First the OP needs to familiarize herself with the Lemon Law in her state. In most states, 3 failed attempts to resolve a mechanical or electronic issue makes the complainant eligible for relief under The Lemon Law. However, this does vary from state to state, so the OP REALLY needs to educate herself about the pertinent regulation in her state.

Then, the OP needs to open her Owner’s Manual and find the contact information for Nissan at the corporate level. While you can initiate contact Nissan corporate via telephone to begin the complaint process, you will need to follow-up with written communication sent via Certified Mail. Once a mfr knows that you are aware of Lemon Law relief, they will move heaven & earth (by sending qualified personnel to the dealership to inspect & repair your car), as they don’t want to have to give you a comparable replacement vehicle or refund your money.

Why do people continue to deal with unresponsive/incompetent dealership personnel when legal relief is available?

Thanks, good advice.

Do you have 2 cars with a FOB key for each car?