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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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2003 Nissan Sentra: slowly..It cranks for about 3 seconds, then starts

Customer Question

Hi...I have a 2003 Nissan Sentra that start very slowly. It cranks for about 3 seconds, then starts. When it is warm, it starts just fine, but when cold, takes a lot longer. Any idea's? Thanks, Dan
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 You need to put a fuel pressure gauge on it and check the "rest" pressure. See if the fuel pressure drops off quickly when the key is shut off. This can mean a pad fuel pump that is letting all the fuel siphon back to the fuel tank. 3 seconds doesn't sound like that long of a cranking period though.
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 747
Experience: 38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
Tech501 and other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: Being a "shade tree" mechanic, I don't have the equiptment to check the "rest" pressure. Since it starts "faster" when the engine is hot, How long does it take before the fuel siphon's back to the fuel tank?
3 seconds seems like an eternity to me. The other cars\truck that I have start in less than a second.   
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 I understand your equipment shortages but you asked how to diagnose it and that's how it's done. If the check valve in the fuel pump is bad, it will siphon and over a period of time, it will empty the fuel filter and lines and that will have to be pumped back up again before it reaches running pressure. You can't just throw expensive parts at it because this is only a suspicion and must be tested first.  
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I know I didn't give a whole lot of information on the starting issue, and It's true I don't want to throw expensive parts at it before I have the check valve checked. Just for fun I went to try and get some sparks plugs, air filter, and pvc valve.....NO sparks plugs in stock at three places, air filter found and replaced. PVC, wrong one given to me.

I had an old Ford Excort once, and it did the same thing. I took, well pushed it down to the station down on the corner, and they told me Excort's need 13 volts to start.   They put the charger on it for an hour, and sure enough, it started. I thought what the heck, I took the battery cables off the Nissan, and cleaned them with a wire brush. They was no corrostion? on the cables. I put them back on, and started the Nissan. Less than a second to start! Let it set a few minutes, checked the oil etc, and it started again, less than a second. I went and did a few odds and ends, and started it again, all three times with a cold engine. Started fine. Oh ya, I also had to put two fuel pumps in the excort too, a year apart, just when the warranty on the pumps expired. Maybe I do need a new fuel pump on the Nissan, but I think I will wait until it doesn't start....Thanks for your help.....Dan

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