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Rick, Nissan Master Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 503
Experience:  27 Years working in Nissan Dealerships Currently working for Nissan Dealer
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Nissan Frontier not starting

Customer Question

I have A 2012 Frontier with about 125k miles. A few weeks ago I turned the truck off and it when I got back in to start it turned over for a few seconds but wouldn't crank. I turned the key off and tried again. It turned over for a few seconds and it started. Never thought about it again. This morning I stared the truck and let it idle for a while before putting in gear. I put it I gear to leave and it died. Now it will only turn over but not crank. I am thinking it may be a weak battery causing the theft system to not work properly. Never mmustnd on battey..Just put on new battery and same thing. Tried starting fluid and no fIre. Pulled coil of plug and checked to see if it was firing and couldn't see spark. Seems to be electrical. Don't know what fuse to check...if any.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
The most common problem with the Frontier truck when it has no spark while cranking is a bad cam sensor the problem is, which one, if you have a scan tool you may get a cam sensor bank1 or bank2 code depending on which one is out. There is also a crank sensor that can cause the no start problem as well, it would be helpful if you knew the trouble codes if any in the ECM, there is one trick that may get it started if its a bad cam sensor, the sensors are located on the back of the cylinder heads just below the valve covers, the easiest one to get to is on the drivers side if you disconnect the connector to that sensor and the other sensor is good the engine will start and run on the one cam sensor it will take an extended cranking time but it will start if it doesn't work disconnecting the drivers side then plug it back in and try the one on the passenger side, it may be necessary to get the truck towed to a dealer or another shop with the proper equipment to diagnose the problem if my little trick doesn't get it started. let me know if you need any more assistance and if iv'e helped please remember to leave a positive rating and thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I haven't tried your advise yet but was wondering if were one one the cam sensors would it die after idling for a few minutes as it did.

Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Yes that's possible if the sensor was working then all of a sudden lost its signal the ecm may cut the engine out. I do know for a fact that the engine will run on one cam sensor I actually started one up on one cam sensor when the bank 2 intake cam shaft broke in half, of course the engine only ran on 3 cylinders on the other bank
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dumb question but how the hell di I unplug the sensor? Do you have a diagram to make sure I am on the correct sensor?

Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know how you make out
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Give me a couple of minutes and I'll see what I can do for a diagram the connector should just have a lock you squeeze and pull off the sensor
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Here is a picture of the wire harness and the location of the bank 2 cam sensor it may help you locate it
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
The green F25 connector
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Was able to unplug driver side....Won't start. Can't find passenger side. Is there a "scan tool" of some kind that may help me that I could get from autozone? Also, not sure if it matters but when this all started I noticed that both trip meters reset. Thought that was a little weird.

Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Most any scan tool you get should give you at least a fault code that would start us off in the right direction, keep in mind that there should be at least one code that we just created by unplugging the cam sensor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Went and got a scan tool but it tells me there is a "link error" wouldnt communicate with truck. Thought maybe a bad tool but connected to my wife's 2014 altima and it worked. I changed the crankshaft was cheap and easy enough but no luck. Also was able to find the passenger side cam sensor but was couldn't unplug it. It wouldn't come loose....any suggestions?

Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Not being able to communicate with the ECM may be if were lucky a simple problem we should check all the fuses if there is a blown fuse to the ECM it won't communicate and probably won't start the engine, I'm going to check the wiring diagrams to see where the fuses are for the ecm
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
The wiring diagram is way too large a file for me to post, there are several fuses that power the ecm make sure you check all the fuses, under the hood in the IPDM/ER there are a lot of fuses that feed the ecm there, also the fuse panel inside the glove box. If you can't find any fuses blown and they all have power then there is another reason the ecm won't communicate and thats probably going to be either the IPDM/ER or the ecm itself. I think if you can't find a blown fuse it may be time to tow it to the dealer because the diagnosis from here gets very complex and will probably require the Nissan scan equipment