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Dan, Automotive Management
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 624
Experience:  36 Plus Years of Direct Automotive Experience
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1998 Nissan Sentra wont start. No code shows up ...

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1998 Nissan Sentra won't start. No code shows up on checking device we rented. Any suggestions would be awesome. Fuel pump good.
Thanks for the help.

How many miles on this car?

Auto or Standard Shift?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: 78,xxx miles, automatic

There are either one of two problems, no fuel or no spark. We need to know which one in order to zero in on the real problem. I would suggest purchasing some starter fluid and spraying it directly into the air intake and seeing if the engine starts. If nothing happens, check for spark. If you don’t know how to do either of these checks you will have to rely on a trained professional to help you. Either Auto Zone or PEP Boys may help you along with these diagnostics. I wouldn’t start replacing parts until we know what parts are defective if any at all. There is NO rubber timing belt, so you can rule that out. It may just be a clogged fuel filter.

If the engine doesn't crank over, clean the battery terminals and make sure the battery is fully charged.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: Mike says battery terms and battery are fine, he did all that already. Now he is looking to see if there is a relief for the fuel line or filter? This may take some time, as the manual is not very easy to read. I will respond within few minutes. Thanks so far! Kim
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: Ok, we have fuel and spark, but still won't start.

Hi Kim & Mike

Base on what you've said so far it sounds like it may be fuel related. The fuel filter is located on the left side of the vehicle against the firewall. It's a little difficult to get the lower clamp off and pull the hose off. Be carefull not to spill gasoline where is will cause danger.

What lead to this problem? Did it just happen? Did it happen as a result of a recent repair? Sometimes you have to back track to figure out the cause.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: It ran fine yesterday, no repairs, it just happened. Fuel is getting through the filter fine. It cranks but will not turn over. Not starter. Weird sound during cranking process.

Check the cap and rotor, it is possible that the contacts could be burnt. You can take a screwdriver and scrape off any build-up on the contacts. It will improve spark... Check the engine oil, make sure the level is right.

On a personal note, I have a Nissan Sentra and have bought and sold many Nissan's. A great car with very little problems. I suspect something minor based on your description. I only use genuine Nissan tune-up parts. Cost only a little more then the local parts store but worth the extra expense.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dan's Post: Well, we were waiting for the tow truck this morning, and it started right up. Drove the car to the service station, and I don't know what to tell the guy to look for when he calls.
Thanks for your help. Sorry we couldn't find the problem.

This is exactly what I thought would happen. I would just look at it as "maybe this wasn't the day to travel"

I would still look into the cap & rotor.

Good Luck


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