cranks but won't start - Nissan Forum
GA16DE 1.6L Engine Engine Discussion: 91-99 Sentra, 95-98 200SX, 91-93 NX1600

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post #1 of 31 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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cranks but won't start

I have a 97 sentra that twice now has had a problem where it will crank fine, but not start. I have replaced plugs, wires, cap, and rotor. EGR is relatively new. Fuel filter gets changed every 30k. When problem happens I go through the Haynes - all wires getting spark, fuel delivery appears OK, injectors ohm out OK, grounding OK, all vacuum lines appear OK, starting fluid doesn't help, no apperant moisture issues. First time this happened (~4 years ago), had it towed to a shop, and they said car started for them first time they tried it and has been fine until a couple days ago - same problem - Sunday night. Checked everything out as described above Monday night - couldn't find the cause - cranks but won't start. Tried first thing Tuesday morning as a last ditch effort before having it towed to a garage - started first time and has been fine all day! Any ideas? It has been cold out (20-30 deg F) both times.

Thanks, any help much appreciated,
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post #2 of 31 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Yes, did you move the car a short distance like moving it into or out of the garage without driving it till it reached normal temperature ?
If so you flooded the car. Hold the pedal down then crank till it starts. This tells the ECU the car is flooded and it cuts the fuel enabling you to start the car, when you lift off the floor the car returns to normal.
It works !! both my 97 GXE and daughter SER have had this problem.

2003 Pathfinder from 2004 SE 4WD
1997 SER 5sp Manual from new Rear Ended 2009 !!
Gone to the Knacker yard...
New ride 3.0 manual RWD not a Nissan !!!
1997 Sentra GXE from new .... Sold 2008
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post #3 of 31 Old Dec 4th, 2007, 11:35 PM
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this might help

I know this sounds off the wall but works and beleve me it does.. I had a nissan 200 sx and my bro has a 97 sentra. Anyways when this happens all u need to do is pop off the fuse box cover and pull the fuse for the fuel pump. the fuse is not bad. Wait about a minute and plug it back in. It takes all the fuel and it goes back in the tank. For some reason they flood. It took us 2 days to nail it and it has worked everytime since. It only happens every once in awhile. so try that and report back and let me know if it was a fix or not...... talk to you soon Tim u can email me too. just put nissan as a subject.

Last edited by u2shibby; Dec 4th, 2007 at 11:37 PM.
post #4 of 31 Old Dec 5th, 2007, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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cranks but won't start

Thanks for the replys!

Ian H: Now that you mention it, I did move it only a short distance right before the problem happened most recently - can't remember if that was the case previously. I did try holding the pedal all the way down but it didn't work - maybe I didn't hold it long enough - I'll try it if it happens again.

u2shibby: Not sure how that works but hey, if this happens again I'll definately try it - especially if it's 20 degrees out again!

Looks like both responses point to flooding which makes sense.

****Just found a post from another forum that combines the two responses. Here's summary:

If the car is run from cold for only a short period of time when you stop the engine the fuel pump continues to run on for a while. The pressure builds up and fuel leaks past the injectors into the cylinders. If the engine is warm enough it evaporates. If not it condenses over the spark plugs and when next you try to start it it is flooded and turning the starter just pumps more fuel in and makes matters worse.

Simple remedy is lift the hood and in the fuse box you'll find a fuse for fuel pump which should be removed.

Then crank the engine repeatedly with your foot to the floor just to pump lots of air through to dry things out.

Replace the fuse and start the engine.
post #5 of 31 Old Dec 5th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Well i am glad i am not crazy for sayin pull the fuse. It is a simple way to get the fuel to run back into the tank hense giving you some air and room to crank it over. I have never had to try starting it with out the fuse in i just simply pulled the fuse and waited a min or so. but whatever works. I know the problem doesn't happen all the time but it happened to me a couple of times at least.. hope it works..
post #6 of 31 Old Dec 9th, 2007, 09:22 PM
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I don't want to intrude on a thread but that sounds almost exactly the same as my problem. Heres my story:
So i was driving my1996 200sx Se home last week and it started to sputter like I was running out of gas. I geared down thinking my rpm's might be too low, and my car died. I coasted to the side and tried to start her up. Nothing, immediately i thought it was the fuel pump because it wanted to turn over but it seemed like she wasn't getting any gas. Bought and replaced my fuel pump and fuel filter. I tested the old pump with a multimeter and it was about 1/6 the resistance as the new one so i figured that was it. Tried to start her up and still nothing. She turns over but does not start. As I'm trying to start it, about every 5-10 second it sounds like something puffs out air (if that has anything to do with it). I replaced the starter no longer than four months ago. Battery is good also. I checked all the pistons and they are all moving, and all the plugs are getting spark. I also replaced my Front Heated O2 sensor not too long ago. Also tried starter fluid and that was a no go. When i was feathering the pedal as i was starting it my dad noticed flames from the throttle body. I haven't checked the fuel injectors or distributor yet.
post #7 of 31 Old Dec 9th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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Hey feel free to jump in anytime mooseboy. It is a very common thing that has happened to you. that sounds like the problems we had with my bros Nissan Sentra. same engine as the 200 sx. We did go over about all the things you replaced including the starter fluid you used. I tell you all it took was that damn fuse to be pulled to the fuel pump. The fuse was located in the fuse box inside the car by your clutch or brake whatever. are you up and running now??? If not give it a shot. pull the fuse to the fuel pump, crank it with the fuse out if you want and then put the fuse back in and hope for success. I know it sounds stupid and from what i understand is they flood themselves once in a while and for somereason the fuel will run back if you pop that fuse off. I have done it at least 5 times and it worked so i am not crazy.. I hope this is the problem you are having. Also check your timing chain or belt. I heard of this too. What happened was my friends car was driving along fine and all of a sudden it acted up and if you hit the gas pedal as it was slowing down it would bog out. Sounded like what i thought was the fuel pump but i checked it and it was fine. Later investigating around i found the timing belt broke. Now this was not a nissan it was a ford. so feel free to write me back and let us know what happens. if you want to email me it is at good luck tim
post #8 of 31 Old Dec 9th, 2007, 10:26 PM
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In the Haynes manual it says you need to relieve the fuel pressure by taking out the fuse and cranking it. I did it and actually forgot to put in the fuse after i finished installing the new parts, so it was cranked a few times before i put the fuse back in. So i don't think thats it. It hasn't started since it died on me. I also have not checked the timing chain but that thought did cross my mind. And no i don't think your crazy, haha.

Last edited by mooseboy52; Dec 9th, 2007 at 10:29 PM.
post #9 of 31 Old Dec 9th, 2007, 11:22 PM
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Alright. Well i wished that worked. The most obvious thing to look at is what happened when the car died. you said that it did sputter right? That makes it sound like a fuel delivery problem.but you seemed to do everything right to fix that. Now when you are trying to start the car what happens.? Does it sound like it is about to start or does it sound dead.? I will try to help. I am not a proffesional but i have a pretty good understanding about cars.. I have that same haynes manual. talk to you soon.
post #10 of 31 Old Dec 9th, 2007, 11:39 PM
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It sounds like its turning and everything is going good, its just not starting. What is weird is that even with the starter fluid it didn't fire whatsoever. Other times I have used starter fluid it ran for a moment just on those fumes. Yet everything sounds normal. The spark plugs are firing and the pistons are moving when i crank it. If the timing chain was broken would the pistons move? and would there be a distinct sound? The only thing i hear that is abnormal is the puff of air sound every once in a while when i keep the key turned. But for all i know that could be a normal sound (although i highly doubt it). Thanks for all your help.
post #11 of 31 Old Dec 12th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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I just wanted to thank you all for this thread (and this website). I had the same problem with my 1998 200SX SE (with 215K on the odo) where it sputtered like I had gotten some "bad gas" and almost died, but then kept going. the rest of the day it was running OK. The car sat for a few days and when I went to use it again, it would crank but not start. After finding this thread, I pulled the fuse as directed (and replaced the fuel filter while the fuse was out since it was WAY overdue). The car started like normal. I test drove the car for a few miles after it got to operating temp, and everything seems to be working fine. I'll update this thread if anything else happens. Thank you, everyone!!!
post #12 of 31 Old Dec 12th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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That is awesome. It is always good to hear that these threads have helped someone. There is an easy fix sometimes but you could end up spending much more on something you can do in five minutes or half an hour. I am glad you found the info you needed.
post #13 of 31 Old Dec 17th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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Does anyone know a reasoning for flames out my intake manifold when i use starter fluid? I am assuming the spark is lighting it and its getting into the cylinder. Also my timing chains are working and it doesn't look like my valves are off (visual inspection with the valve cover off). Lastly, the fuel pressure and everything runs smooth when it comes out the fuel filter. Where can the fuel go wrong from there? (not including the injectors, the resistance is good, but i will have them checked professionally soon) I really don't want to admit defeat and take it into a shop. What a blow my ego would take

Moose - :*
post #14 of 31 Old Dec 22nd, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mooseboy52 View Post
Does anyone know a reasoning for flames out my intake manifold when i use starter fluid?
Could be from the spark timing being off.

I've owned my 95 for 5 years now. Its been a great car except for one occasional problem.....random no start condition. It has happened 6 or 8 times. It floods the engine with fuel when you try to start it.

I have cleaned the injector and that did no good.

What does it take to get the car going again????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????

Remove all the spark plugs, unplug the injectors, than crank it over a few times to help ventilate the wet, drippy combustion chambers. Let it sit a few hours (to dry out) and then put it all back together. Starts right up and goes again for another 8-10 months. John
post #15 of 31 Old Dec 22nd, 2007, 03:07 PM
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i wish that was my problem but i have let it drain for a few days with the fuel pump fuse out and still no start. Its been going on for a few weeks. i plan on taking it in on Wednesday.

  Nissan Forum > Sentra, Pulsar, NX, B14 200SX > GA16DE 1.6L Engine

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