Tough Start Altima


My 2002 Nissan Altima won’t start in this cold weather. Checked Batt. voltage and it’s good. Is there a way to tell if a solenoid ha s gone bad or if the fuel pump isn’t working. Engine turns, but won’t kick in.


The easy check for the fuel pump is to take off the fuel cap and have someone listen to see if they can hear the pump run for a second. You MAY be able to hear it from inside, but the ear-to-the-filler method is foolproof. If the pump engages, you could still have a plugged filter, but usually those will just cause the engine to run poorly.

IF you have fuel delivery, you’ll need to check to see if you have spark to the sparkplugs. There are several ways to do that, but the easiest is pull one of the plug wires out of the plug’s “well” and attach it to ANOTHER plug outside of the engine. Yes, you should use an extra plug, not one from your engine. Have your assistant crank the engine. You should be able to see a blue spark each time that cylinder is supposed to fire.

Report back and let us know what you’ve found. Then we can dig deeper.


Thanks for the tips on starting the Altima in cold weather. What I did was to put some dry gas in the tank and kind of pushed the car back and forth until I heard gasoline sloshing around. After that the car finally started, and has been ok since. I believe I just got gasoline that had water in it which froze overnight and caused the fuel pump to be blocked. I will investigate those other methods suggested.