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Old 07-01-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
eyeSea
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Default Car mechanics! My 2001 Sentra won't start =[

So my commuter car a 2001 Sentra XE decided not to start anymore.

It has 84,000 miles and this is how it went down. It all started a week ago when I tried to start the car it took a few tries turning over the engine before it began to fire.

Fast forward to today, the engine won't start anymore. The starter turns the engine over and over and over and over.

Once it did start... then idled.. then sorta lost power... then picked itself backup and sounded normal... then died.

Tried again and was able to drive a few feet then lost power and died.


So I checked the plugs which were pretty jacked up so I replaced those.

I also changed the oil and air filter.


I did some searching thinking the fuel filter may need changing but according to Nissan the 2001 Sentra XE 1.8L has the filter w/ the pump in the tank.

I can hear the pump priming so it ?should? still be good?

I also read that it's possible that a injector could be stuck open flooding my engine?


I'm pretty much at a loss right now trying to figure this out, any help would be awesome!
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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Is there gas in the car?

Are you sure you are getting spark? If so, how did you check?
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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If you are positive that it's turning but won't go, it's a either fuel of fire problem. Did that year of Sentra have coil packs? The easiest test is to make sure your spark plugs are firing. You can pull complete coil pack with plug in the end. Hold the spark plug end near metal (less than 1/8 away). Have your friend start the car and watch for spark. Do all 4. If you have fire in all 4 then check if you're getting fuel. Pull line going to fuel rail and put it in the end of a can. Have your friend start car to see if fuel is getting to rail. Check back with us later.

EDIT: I just thought about what I said and that you may be a noob. Do not actually hold the spark plug with your hand next to metal. You can just lay the coil pack down where the spark end is near metal but not touching.

Those coil packs do crack and need replacing. Just under the part you plug the connector to (fat round part) there is sometimes a crack going down the side of the coil pack (not the rubber part going down to the spark plug)
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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+1 Check for spark.

Then check for fuel, does sound like clogged fuel filter.

If you have spark, spray ALITTLE bit of Starting Fluid in throttle body, and see if it fires up.

Last edited by shiftdrift06; 07-01-2009 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phreaktor View Post
Is there gas in the car?

Are you sure you are getting spark? If so, how did you check?
Yes, gas was added 2 days ago and almost full tank. No, I haven't checked for a spark yet~ thanks I'll go try that now.

Thanks Phreak!

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Originally Posted by TK2005 View Post
If you are positive that it's turning but won't go, it's a either fuel of fire problem. Did that year of Sentra have coil packs? The easiest test is to make sure your spark plugs are firing. You can pull complete coil pack with plug in the end. Hold the spark plug end near metal (less than 1/8 away). Have your friend start the car and watch for spark. Do all 4. If you have fire in all 4 then check if you're getting fuel. Pull line going to fuel rail and put it in the end of a can. Have your friend start car to see if fuel is getting to rail. Check back with us later.

EDIT: I just thought about what I said and that you may be a noob. Do not actually hold the spark plug with your hand next to metal. You can just lay the coil pack down where the spark end is near metal but not touching.

Those coil packs do crack and need replacing. Just under the part you plug the connector to (fat round part) there is sometimes a crack going down the side of the coil pack (not the rubber part going down to the spark plug)
Sounds good, I'll go check for fuel and spark. Do I have to have the threaded part of the plug touch ground? Or just having the plug in the coil pack is enough of a complete circuit?

It is a coil pack and not a distributor system. If I don't get a spark what would be the next thing to do/replace?

Thanks TK2005!

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Originally Posted by shiftdrift06 View Post
+1 Check for spark.

Then check for fuel, does sound like clogged fuel filter.

If you have spark, spray ALITTLE bit of Starting Fluid in throttle body, and see if it fires up.
I'm hoping it isn't a fuel filter issue as I don't want to take apart the fuel pump assembly =[ But we'll see how everything goes after the spark / fuel test.

Thanks shiftdrift06!



If I don't respond in the next hour I may be dead from some catastrophic failure. j/k
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeSea View Post
Yes, gas was added 2 days ago and almost full tank. No, I haven't checked for a spark yet~ thanks I'll go try that now.

Thanks Phreak!



Sounds good, I'll go check for fuel and spark. Do I have to have the threaded part of the plug touch ground? Or just having the plug in the coil pack is enough of a complete circuit?

It is a coil pack and not a distributor system. If I don't get a spark what would be the next thing to do/replace?

Thanks TK2005!



I'm hoping it isn't a fuel filter issue as I don't want to take apart the fuel pump assembly =[ But we'll see how everything goes after the spark / fuel test.

Thanks shiftdrift06!



If I don't respond in the next hour I may be dead from some catastrophic failure. j/k
In all the Sentras we fixed, it is never the fuel filter. I am not saying that isn't your problem but just that it never turned out to be that. Just lay the spark plug (still on the pack) on the shock tower or heat shield, wherever you can lay it with out it falling over when the engine cranks. It works better on bare metal, not the painted stuff. If you find one without a spark, swap out the plug with one from a different cylinder that did spark. If it gets spark now, it was the plug. If no spark, then it's the coil pack or connection to that pack. Sometimes people don't snap them all the way back in. You could buy some electrical part cleaner and brush off the terminal ends. I'll see if I can find a pack of a bad coil pack online so you can see what the crack would look like.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:11 PM   #7
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Do you have a check engine light? If not try to scan it with a obd2 scanner and see if you get any codes? Also see if the sentra has a camshaft position sensor maybe that could be the problem, your problem sounds like what i had in my maxima and thats what it was a bad camshaft sensor.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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I've narrowed it down to either fuel, spark or air.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK2005 View Post
In all the Sentras we fixed, it is never the fuel filter. I am not saying that isn't your problem but just that it never turned out to be that. Just lay the spark plug (still on the pack) on the shock tower or heat shield, wherever you can lay it with out it falling over when the engine cranks. It works better on bare metal, not the painted stuff. If you find one without a spark, swap out the plug with one from a different cylinder that did spark. If it gets spark now, it was the plug. If no spark, then it's the coil pack or connection to that pack. Sometimes people don't snap them all the way back in. You could buy some electrical part cleaner and brush off the terminal ends. I'll see if I can find a pack of a bad coil pack online so you can see what the crack would look like.
So I just un-hooked the fuel line going to the rail on Cyl 4 side and got a ton of gas coming out during a start. So I guess that puts the fuel pump/filter out. I did not try the line going into Cyl 1 side of the fuel rail (goes into a fuel pressure regulator of some sort then connected to the rail).

I pulled coil pack on cyl 1 and could not get it to spark with the new spark plug so I put the old plug in and couldn't get it to spark. I used a pretty decent gauge wire + alligator clip on the ground bolt to the motor and the other end on the old spark plugs annode. Still no spark, I'll try laying it down on some of the cars metal to see if that helps and with the rest of the coil packs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketchup83se01 View Post
Do you have a check engine light? If not try to scan it with a obd2 scanner and see if you get any codes? Also see if the sentra has a camshaft position sensor maybe that could be the problem, your problem sounds like what i had in my maxima and thats what it was a bad camshaft sensor.
I don't have a check engine light but a "Service Engine Soon" light. Not sure if this is the same thing but if I can't figure it out soon I'll run upto schucks to see if I can borrow a OBD2 reader. How would I check the camshaft position sensor (noob at this part).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff92se View Post
I've narrowed it down to either fuel, spark or air.
Well.. fuel seems good but the spark just doesn't seem there yet.. on Cyl 1, checking the rest now.




Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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I wish I was there to make sure you were checking for spark correctly. As soon as you find spark on one then you'll know how to do the rest. The spark end has to be very close to bare metal to see the spark. It won't travel far. It has to be spark plug gap close. You don't use a ground. The spark will just travel that line instead. You should technically be able to see it without holding it close to metal but it's easier to see next to bare metal. Make sure you are letting it crank for a little while so the coil cycles back around to that cylinders turn.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:44 PM   #11
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If you can't get any spark from any of the sparkplugs test the coil pack..

Also, stated earlier, could be sensors. If the camshaft or crankshaft sensor is off or no good, it was cause no spark. Also a broken timing/skipped tooth would also..

Now I don't anything about sentra's or if they come equipped like that, I am just throwing those ideas out there for you...
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK2005 View Post
I wish I was there to make sure you were checking for spark correctly. As soon as you find spark on one then you'll know how to do the rest. The spark end has to be very close to bare metal to see the spark. It won't travel far. It has to be spark plug gap close. You don't use a ground. The spark will just travel that line instead. You should technically be able to see it without holding it close to metal but it's easier to see next to bare metal. Make sure you are letting it crank for a little while so the coil cycles back around to that cylinders turn.
Too bad I don't live in Houston anymore or I'd take you up on that offer. =[

I just tried every possible way to get the first 3 coil packs to fire up a plug but no go. At first I tried with the plug in the coil pack then grounding the thread of the spark plug. Then I tried a ground wire connected to the arch of the plug, still nothing. Then I tried laying the plug where the electrode is really freaking close to a ground bolt, still nothing.

So this seems to be my problem. What would I do from here?
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeSea View Post


I don't have a check engine light but a "Service Engine Soon" light. Not sure if this is the same thing but if I can't figure it out soon I'll run upto schucks to see if I can borrow a OBD2 reader. How would I check the camshaft position sensor (noob at this part).




Thanks for all the help guys!
Well depending were the sensor is at you can unplug and see if there's oil in the plug and connector then that would probably mean its bad. Just go get the obd2 scanner cause it will show you whats wrong
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:52 PM   #14
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My ex-g/f has a sentra and it kinda had what you are having. I just disconnected the battery for about 5 min hit the brakes to kill all the juice in the system and plugged it back in. The car started right up and never had a problem agian. Won't hurt to try
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:53 PM   #15
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they were some issues with its ecu going bad. try swapping with a known good one.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:59 PM   #16
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they were some issues with its ecu going bad. try swapping with a known good one.
Ugh I hate TechLine sometimes .
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:17 PM   #17
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IF you truly have no spark, your ECU could be bad (I don't think that's it but it could be). Is there a CEL on?
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #18
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Well after some digging around I found out that the Cam Position Sensor is known to go bad on most Sentra's built from 2000-03.

http://www.nissanhelp.com/Ownership/.../NTB03-124.htm
*apparrently this affects 2003 350z's too*

I called the Nissan dealership just down the hill and they confirmed my VIN number qualifies for 2 different recalls. Just scheduled my car to be towed there on Monday, hope this fixes my problems.

Well it should... as the recall states the car would die while driving (which it has) and the Service Engine Soon light would come on.

Thanks for all the help again guys, at least I learned a thing or two about diagnosing no-start issues from this experience.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #19
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These had a recall for the camshaft position sensor. If the sensor has not been replaced yet, I would look there first.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 03V455000

Summary ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE CIRCUIT BOARD FOR THE CRANK POSITION SENSOR MAY HAVE AN IMPROPER SOLDER JOINT DUE TO SOLDER DEFORMATION CAUSED BY HEAT STRESS ACCELERATED BY THE EXISTENCE OF FLUX RESIDUE DURING THE SOLDERING PROCESS.

Consequence THIS COULD CAUSE THE "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" WARNING LIGHT TO COME ON, CREATE A NO START CONDITION, CAUSE REDUCED ENGINE POWER, OR CAUSE THE ENGINE TO STOP RUNNING WITHOUT WARNING DURING VEHICLE OPERATION, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.

Remedy DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE CRANK POSITION SENSORS. VEHICLES INVOLVED IN A PREVIOUS RECALL CAMPAIGN, 01V357, ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS NEW CAMPAIGN. THE REPLACEMENT SENSORS USED IN THAT CAMPAIGN ARE ALSO AFFECTED. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN ON DECEMBER 22, 2003. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261 OR INFINITI AT 1-800-662-6200.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/pr...ls/results.cfm

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:37 PM   #20
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^^Lol. I was a bit late.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:37 PM
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