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Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 18713
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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Jay, my name is ***** ***** and I have 2005 Nissan Altima

Customer Question

Hi Jay, my name is ***** ***** and I have 2005 Nissan Altima 3.5L which cranks but does not start. I need your help to bring back this vehicle to 'life'
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: This can be long story.. The car stopped on a highway and I had to tow it home because I couldn't get it started. When that happened I had 2 codes P0300 and P0301. Since then I drained the battery trying to start the engine and I had to take battery out to recharge it. This may have erased the codes and now I don't have those codes anymore.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Nissan Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $20 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for your question.

this type of issue is going to require some checks. How handy are you?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Handy enough to fix things on my Altima
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Ok then, lets get to it then.

When the car died on you, was it like it ran out of gas? or like someone turned off the ignition on you?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It was like someone turned off the engine. It was NOT like engine 'sputter'. The gas pedal was like sponge and I just had to steer the car to the side after it died
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Ok.. First lets pull the fuel pump fuse. Then lets check for spark and injector pulse. I would like to see if it has these primary signals.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I will do things you ask me to do tomorrow since it is night (I live surburb of Phiadelphia, PA) and the vehicle is on the street. Let me tell you what I did and what I found so far, after surfing internet, including Nissan forums and Youtube.
1. changed fuel pump.
2. Changed sensors - Cam sensors and crankshaft - I did twice - one set with 'aftermarket' brand off of eBay and other set with Nissan brand.
3. Checked fuel presence at the connection near couling(sp) and at the connection just before the fuel rail.
4. Changed fuel rail thinking that 'dampers' on the fuel rail were deffective.
5. Checked voltage presence at the ignition coil, fuel injectors, and at those 3 sensors
6. I even changed fuse boxes (IPDM) - Got it from eBay with matching numbers - it didn't work so I changed the original one back to the vehicle.
7. I sprayed starter fluid to the thottle body and it wanted to catch it but it didn't. When I do this, whenever I turn on the ignition key, whether to start it or just to turn on, I get the 'big 'bang' (one spark/one explosion) once in the thottle body.
8. After this I discovered that I get ONE spark when I turn the key to ON or START position.I did these not do in the order above but the list is what I did so far. So these are what I did and what I found
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Oh, by the way all the fuses are good. I don't know about relays because I don't know how to test them. I am guessing fuel relay is working because I hear 'buzz' noise whenever I turn on the key.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the update on what you have done.

I just had a thought and there is something else I would like to try and check. Since this sounds like it's been a on going issue, this maybe easier to help you if I spoke to you. Would that be something you would be interested in?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I guess it depends. If it on weekends and if I am free, I don't mind phone service but since I work full time during weekdays (it is more like 10 hours a day because I have long commute - working in DE), for now I rather communicate via email/text, just like this. Actually I might try that "Keep Nissan Mechanics on call" service for $20/mo I see on my screen
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
To answer clearly, No, I am not interested in Phone Call Premium Service at this time.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Just to let you know, if you did accept the additional service request, it doesn't mean that I talk to you one time and that is it. If you have more questions on this topic, we can speak again.

Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

But let me ask you to try something else while you are doing checks tomorrow.

After you check for injector pulse and spark, Try unplugging the Bank 2 Cam Sensor and see if the engine starts and idles. If it does, turn it off an let me know. If it doesn't, then try unplugging Bank 1 Cam Sensor and same thing, turn it off and return back and let me know.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Actually I tried those, too to see if I have 'timing' issue. I tried all combo (bank 2 cam unplugged, bank 1 cam plugged, bank 2 cam plugged, bank 1 cam unplugged) but no difference.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Well, then lets start with seeing if you have spark and injector pulse.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As I mentioned previously, I only get one(1) spark when I turn on the key - this will be one of the areas you can help me to find the cause of it.
Now, I don't know how check injector pulse because I don't have the gadget - 'node light???' How do I go about checking injector pulse?
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

You need a noid light for that. They are fairly cheap. You can get a set for like 20 bucks.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
O.K. Can you tell me what size I need to get for Nissan product?
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

At the same time, I will also say this. When it comes to after market electrical parts, such as the Cam and Crank sensors. They never work right. Make sure the sensors have this logo on them. If it doesn't they are after market and could still be causing this issue, which is common of after market electrical parts.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/105565483/Cam%20Sensor%20OEM.jpghttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/105565483/Cam%20Sensor%20OEM.jpg

Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

I don't recall the size. The kit comes with 5. One of them fits.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Yea. That's what I got the second time.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

ok.. As long as the sensors you got have those logo's I can trust their operation.

What about a compression test? Did you do that yet?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
O.K. After I check the injection pulse, I will report back to you.
No, I did not do the compression test.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

ok

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Two questions before we go,
1. If I want to sign up for the $20/mo service, do I have to pay that again after I pay you?
2. I am asking this question, just in case I have to do this. IF I have to replace ECU/ECM for this vehicle, and if I cannot find the matching part number, can I get ANY ECU that came out of 3.5L engine, since it has to be reprogrammed anyway? Nor, no?
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Let me try to explain the service.

You are paying for this question. There is no time limit on this question. I will continue to help you the best that I can with this topic. Same with the Additional Service. I would be able to keep speaking with you as long as it's on this topic. But if you want to stay with the question, you need to continue returning back to this question to keep the conversion going until you are satisfied with my help. Then you would rate me. Do you understand?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I think I do.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

ok then. I will talk to you after you have done some more checks. Then let me know how you make out

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Will do. thanks
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

Your welcome

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Jay, I just got noid light set from eBay today and did the injection pulse test. I did NOT get pulses/flashes when I crank the engine. What shall I check/do next? I did not do the compression test since the pulse test 'failed'.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

When you turn the key to the ON position, is the security light on solid?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No the light is not on.
Expert:  Jay replied 9 months ago.

When you turn the key to the ON position, does the engine fans come on?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No. Fans do NOT come on
Expert:  Jay replied 8 months ago.

You did check all fuses with a test light right? Still no codes?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I did check all fuses. Regarding codes, as I mentioned in the beginning, I had p0300 and p0301. After I took out the battery from the car and charged overnight (I did this more than several times), I think the codes have been erased/reset. So, as of right now, I don't have any codes.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
FYI - Forgot to mention one thing last time. I replaced a cable from negative battery terminal to transmission case. It broke off from the transmission case but the mid-portion cable attachment to the body frame was intact. I am wondering if this breakage of ground cable caused some kind of grounding issues. Please let me know.
Expert:  Jay replied 8 months ago.

When the negative battery cable breaks at the transmission it does affect the coil circuit. It can cause coils to melt or over heat. Did you find any coils with any issues? Cause if you do, all 6 coils would need to be replaced.

Let me know..

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry for late response. I examined the coils as well and all are fine. No burning smells or appearance. While back about 2 years ago, I changed all 6 coils when I was changing spark plugs. The coils were not necessarily bad or defective but were old. They were the originals. Since I had to remove the 'plenum' to replace the spark plugs, I just wanted to replace coils while I was there.
So, after this 'cranks but no start' happened, I changed the fuel rail (thinking that it was fuel pressure/damper issue) and while I was doing that, I changed all coils back to the original one to see if the coils were the culprit.
So, at that point, I assumed the coils were not the issue.
Expert:  Jay replied 8 months ago.

Did you check to see if you have spark? Did you pull plugs to see if they are wet with fuel? Do you know if you are getting fuel?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Regarding sparks, if you trace back in this thread, I mentioned that I get one(1) spark only each time when I turn ignition key to ON position or START position. I also mentioned that with starter fluid sprayed in the throttle body, I get 'big bang' each time I turn the key to ON or START position until all starter fluid is burned up.
Regarding plugs, they are not wet visually and I do not smell any gas on the plugs , either. If you recall, the noid light test 'failed' so I am guessing fuel injectors are not operating/not getting signals to deliver fuel.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
In terms of getting fuel, I checked the presence of gas at the connection near firewall and connection at the gas line and fuel rail before I replaced fuel rail. Then, I replaced fuel rail, with the assumption that fuel pressure damper was not working properly (I couldn't just replace dampers without removing fuel rail).
Expert:  Jay replied 8 months ago.
I had a thought. Can you monitor intake timing while the engine is turning over?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
How do I go about doing this? As I may have mentioned previously, I am not a mechanic and therefore, I don't have professional tools, if that's what is required for this task. What are you after with this monitoring? What causes 'intake timing' off? Or what will be the result of 'intake timing off'? Will the fuel injectors be not responsive if the intake timing is off?
These are some questions went through my mind as I was reading your response.
Thanks
Expert:  Jay replied 8 months ago.

I am looking for a stuck sprocket. The intake timing readings at idle should be around 0 to 2 degree's. This is not the ignition timing, this is the intake timing. If one is reading 14 degree's you could have a stuck sprocket or blown out back timing cover gasket which is causing one of the sprockets not to get enough oil for operation. The oil pump applies oil pressure through the back timing cover up to both timing sprockets. There is a gasket that is on the back timing cover that can fail which would cause a internal oil leak. Which would cause low oil pressure to the sprocket which can keep it from operating properly which would affect the performance of the car and can cause stalling.

That is what I am after. If you don't have the tools to check this, then it will need to go to a shop ( preferably a dealer ) to have this checked. The dealer is much more familiar with what to look for on this issue.

Do you have any more questions on this?