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Have a 2008 Exterra that cranks but won't start. I don't

have a 2008 Exterra that...
have a 2008 Exterra that cranks but won't start
JA: Have you checked the engine's fuel supply? And the spark plugs -- are they all working?
Customer: I don't have any diagnostic equ but I can spray brake cleaner into a vacuum hose going into the intake to see if fuel is the problem. I will also pull a wire to see if spark is going to the plugs but that tells me to check the rotor. What's all I am reading about the ECM?
JA: What is the model of your '08 Nissan?
Customer: A 4wd....likely an S....don't remember it being an SE
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I would like to fix it myself. Have not tried anything yet but watching youtube and reading here.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Poor college student so would like to take a shot at this myself.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
11/16/2017
Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 2,002
Experience: Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
Verified

Good afternoon,

I would try spraying fuel down the intake first to see if the engine will run.

Also, when you first turn the key to the run position you should hear a faint buzz from the fuel tank area for about 3 seconds. Let me know if you can hear the buzz.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Ok, I will listen for the fuel pump sound. I'm working right now and am not where the car is. Can you give me a punch list of things to try with suggestions based upon results? I know it is either fuel or spark.
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
If it is spark and the distributer and rotor look ok where do I look for module controlling the spark?

Aside from checking for fuel and spark watch the check engine light while you crank the engine. Let me know if it flashes or stays solid.

The flashing Check Engine Light while cranking is usually a sign that there is a voltage supply problem from the ECM relay. ECM relay failure is the common cause of the problem. The ECM relay is located in the Intelligent Power Distribution Module (IPDM). The IPDM is the engine compartment fuse/relay box. Push in the tabs on the side of the IPDM to pull the IPDM up out of its holder. There is a row of 4 relays at the bottom of the IPDM. There is a 45 degree angle in the bottom left corner of the IPDM. The ECM relay is the 2nd relay over from the 45 degree corner. The fog light relay is the 4th relay over from the 45 degree corner. The ECM relay had not been available separately from Nissan in the past. We have had a couple of confirmed fixes indicating Nissan is selling a replacement ECM relay now with part #284B7 - CW29E.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
The light goes off during cranking and does not come back on until cranking is stopped.

Ok. In that case I would suspect it's a fuel issue. I'll be here for followup once you do a little testing. If it still won't run with spraying fuel or starting fluid in the intake we can try to figure out where to go from there.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
can hear humming from the fuel pump. Do not have tools handy to open up and spray in fuel. What's next?

1. Check for good battery voltage to the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor with the key ON and cranking. Check the wiring diagram for the wire color of the power supply to the MAF sensor of the vehicle being tested. The MAF sensor gets battery voltage from the Engine Control Module (ECM) relay.

2. Can voltage drop the Mass Air Flow Sensor power supply circuit by backprobing the negative lead of the voltmeter into the power supply wire at the MAF sensor and the positive lead of the voltmeter to battery positive (at the post). Crank the engine. The maximum voltage should be 0.10 (100 millivolts).

3. If there is low voltage (or excessive voltage drop) on the power supply to the MAF sensor, swap the ECM relay with the fog light relay and see if the problem is corrected. If the engine starts, replace the ECM relay.

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Do you have a scan tool to see if it will communicate with the PCM?

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
No scan tool but can go to Auto Zone.....Should I just swap the fog light relay to see if that works? Would rather not try to mess with the Mass flow sensor.

I would try swapping the relay just for grins, but if it doesn't work you will need to get your hands on a scan tool.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Can you show/ explain where I would find those relays?
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Will it hurt the Exterra for me to tow it on the freeway?

You want to avoid towing it a ton or it will overheat the transmission. I would say more than 5-10 miles is probably too far.

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Here is the map of the relay box:

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This is the fuse box that is under the hood.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
What about towing at about 40 mph on side roads? It may be a drive to get to a scan tool.

Most parts stores will lend out a scan tool.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Ok, How do I get back to you later to follow up on this?
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
What scan codes should I look for and what do they mean?

I'm not sure. I've never used the website from the customer side. I'm pretty sure you just need to log back in.

Look for anything relating to cam sensor or cam shaft timing, and just make sure the scan tool will communicate with the PCM. If you can, try to see if it will pull up RPM data. If so, try cranking the engine and see if the scan tool registers any RPM data- if not, then the cam or crank sensor could be the issue.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
You Tube has some good videos on how to get to the cam sensor. I'll try it from here, thank you.
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
This wont let me give you a rating?
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Hello?
Customer reply replied 28 days ago
I have to go now and it won't let me give a rating.

I'm sorry. I had to leave the shop for the day and I forgot to click the ready to rate box.

Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 2,002
Experience: Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 2,002
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