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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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I have a 2002 nissian altima 3.5 it's gettin hard to start

Customer Question

I have a 2002 nissian altima 3.5 it's gettin hard to start we changed the crankshaft sensor and both cams ha ft sensors still hard to crank and when you r driving the car I'll just shut off then it's hard to start back like it's not gettin any fire
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hi my name is***** will answer your question the best I can if I have helped please remember to leave a positive rating
do you have a service engine soon light on and if so are you able to pull any codes from the engine control unit?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
it's showng them camshaft sensor but I installed both turn service engine light off drive down road light comes on again with the same codes for the camshaft sensor and it's harder to start seems light it got worst by putting new sensors on
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.

It sounds like the timing chain has stretched or slipped and it sets the code for the cam sensors because its reading the cams out of time. the engine will still start and run even if the chain has slipped one or two teeth and it will take a longer crank time to get it to start. The 3.5 engine has a timing chain guide that breaks and causes the tensioner to pop out making the chain loose and allowing it to slip you may even get a rattle for a short time when the engine catches and starts, if your scanner has the ability to monitor the crank and cam sensors while the engine is running it may show one of the cams off by like 15 degrees if that's the case or if your scanner can't do that it would be good to remove the timing cover and check the chains to see if everything is in time

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the car can run perfect and still have a slipped r stretched chain
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.

Yes I have seen the 3.5 altima and Maxima be off as much as 3 teeth and still run

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there an inspection plate instead of tearing the car down to get the timing cover off r any shortcut you know of inspecting the timing chain
Expert:  Rick replied 2 years ago.

No the only inspection covers allow access to the water pump on one side and the tensioner on the other and neither will show any of the timing marks