Weird and random starting issue..... any suggestions?

Hi! I have a 2000 Nissan Frontier that is having issues. I had the distributor replaced and the knock sensor. The day I got it home it started having a weird starting issue. It has always started first crank super easy & strong. Runs GREAT.

When the truck is cool it starts right up but, when I’ve been driving around for a bit and turn it off, if it’s a short stop starts right back up, some hesitation. If I stop for 15-45 mins it doesn’t want to start. I can crank it all day and it wont start and gives a little kickback, if I crank too much the engine will smoke a bit, spits and sputters when you turn the key off. The longer it sits before I try to start it the worse it gets… around one hour is the worse. - Finally figured out if I try cranking it over several times, turn off the key and wait literally one to two minutes it starts right up super quick and strong just like when it’s cool. So random and weird.

No warning lights & Nothing shows up when hooked up to the computer, fuel pump checked out OK. PLEASE HELP! cant spend any more $$ on my ride : (

Have the fuel pressure tested. Especially the residual fuel pressure.

The residual fuel pressure is how quickly the fuel pressure bleeds down once the engine is turned off.

On most engines it should take 15-30 minutes for the residual pressure to bleed down.

If the residual fuel pressure drops to zero as soon as the fuel pump shuts off, it’ll cause vapor lock in the fuel system. And this makes it difficult to get the engine started and keep it running.


Mostly likely a no-spark problem. The computer probably thinks the engine isn’t rotating b/c a sensor which is supposed to sense that, isn’t. Those sensors tend to be heat sensitive. Not sure how your engine is configured, but have your shop check the applicable crank and cam sensors.

Awesome!!! … Thank you both so much for the suggestions. Hopefully be able to resolve this without it costing me another small fortune : )