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Tim Mohr
Tim Mohr, ASE MASTER TECH
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  30 YRS EXPERIENCE, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, GAS AND DEISEL
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2000 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.8L Automatic VIN #3N1CB51D!YL340362

Customer Question

2000 Nissan Sentra GXE 1.8L Automatic VIN #3N1CB51D!YL340362
Car wont start - no spark at any coils.
So here's the story, the car was running rough, as in vibrations and bad mpg and stalling at low speeds ( I believe from the swirl control valve, it was throwing a code for this. She was driving on the freeway after a couple days and the car got hot and she pulled over. It didn't hit the redline. I arrived and started it after it cooled down a bit, it had a long crank time, about 5 seconds. I towed it home and now it wont start at all but does crank. I replaced the crankshaft and both camshaft position sensors, the battery and spark plugs. No fluids are mixed, no water in oil, oil in water etc etc. All cylinders have good compression. The timing chain looks fine. I had the ECM tested and it is fine. I have narrowed the problem down to no spark in any of the plugs. I know it has a code for the knock sensor now and one of the coils , I haven't replace them yet because the ECM is still in the mail. I am out of ideas, I have no clue what the issue could be?? Will one coil going out cause this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Hi, My name is*****'m happy to help you. During our conversation, I may be presenting you with different things to try, and ask you some Questions to get a better understand of the issue so I can answer your question properly. So stick with me to the end, and I am sure we should be able to get this issue resolved for you!

1 coil will not cause this. Did you replace the Cam and Crank sensors with ones from your local auto parts store?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
okay sounds good, yeah, they came from autozone...is that bad? the crank sensor had voltage coming from it after install, i tested it with a mutlimeter
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

yeah.. When it comes to after market electrical parts, they never work right. Did you have a code for either of them? Is that why you changed them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yeah, i had a code for one cam and the crank so i just replaced them all
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Ok.. Well the first think you will need to do is replace those two sensors with ones from the dealer. It's very common for after market ones not to work.

Do you still have the old ones?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do, but theyve been laying in the dirt getting kicked around for a week
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Lets try cleaning them up, cause the car at least ran with those correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it did when it first died, but once i towed it home it was a no start condition
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think at least the camshaft sensors are good because its getting fuel to the plugs, but i will order a new crankshaft from the dealer unless you think i should just replace them all
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

It's two sensors. I was trying to see if it would start with the old sensors. But yeah.. I would replace both those sensors as a start to see if it will start.

Let me know how you make out after you do that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wait so theres not 2 camshaft sensors?? its a dual cam though? because i replaced 3 sensors
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also is it okay if i wait to approve untill i get the ecm in and do the sensor swap?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Two sensors meaning, 1 Cam and 1 Crank sensor..

the other is a intake timing. That didn't need to be changed. That is the one towards to front of the engine up top.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i replaced the crank with an angled crank sensor on the back of the engine down below and what I thought was 2 cams, one in back of engine just under the valve cover and one on the side of the engine also same height... i used an angled cam sensor and a straight one, is that bad do i need to replace the one on the side of the engine with the right sensor now?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Yeah, that is right.. The 2000's had two cams.

I forgot about that.. So yeah. I would replace all 3

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
oh damn okay lol I felt really stupid for a moment, thanks I will get back to you when I swap them
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

LOL.. I feel stupid.. Don't work on the older Sentra's that much any more. When you work at the dealer, you get use to the new stuff.

Talk to you soon!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put a new crank sensor in and still no spark. Could this be some kind of ground issue?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can i get a diagram for wires to test for shorts?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I am away for the weekend. What circuit did you want to check for shorts for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im not sure, whatever could be causing this i suppose. I dont really understand what it could be besides a bad wire at this point
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

It could be a bad computer. You would need a scanner and a oscilloscope to verify it though

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had the computer tested and it showed as good, firing normal, normal power, good communication etc

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