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Hi all!

I just bought an 05 Nissan Altima with 129,000 miles on her. A lot of work has been put into her Spark plugs, valve cover, Alternator, camshaft sensor, water pump, belt tensioner, serpentine belt, radiator, and ignition coil. I was driving down my road and all of a sudden she sputtered and then shut off. I tried torestart her and she cranks but she just won’t turn over. Her fuel pump is engaging and there was no check engine light at all. She was idling a little rough however, so I’m not sure what the issue may be. Help!!
 

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Hi all!

I just bought an 05 Nissan Altima with 129,000 miles on her. A lot of work has been put into her Spark plugs, valve cover, Alternator, camshaft sensor, water pump, belt tensioner, serpentine belt, radiator, and ignition coil. I was driving down my road and all of a sudden she sputtered and then shut off. I tried torestart her and she cranks but she just won’t turn over. Her fuel pump is engaging and there was no check engine light at all. She was idling a little rough however, so I’m not sure what the issue may be. Help!!
A common problem with random engine shutdowns is a marginal camshaft position sensor or a marginal crankshaft position sensor. Most of the time when this happens, the "check engine light" never comes on; subsequently when performing an ECU code readout, there was no fault code set. There's been many members here on the forum that have had problems similar to yours and the fix was replacing those two sensors.

The best and cheapest fix for this situation is to replace both sensors at the same time; the reason for doing this is there is no way to determine which sensor is at fault with this type of condition. You can take your vehicle to a dealer/repair shop and they'll tell you there is nothing wrong after they go through with diagnostic tests because at that time the vehicle was running OK. You could end up spending $200 or much more depending on how much time/parts are used.

When replacing sensors, always use Nissan OEM parts from a Nissan dealer; aftermarket electronic items generally are not reliable, don't last long, and many times are DOA. The sensors are not very expensive; around $75.

Here are some additional diagnostic procedures that you can try:

Since there are no fault codes, at this point you'll have to determine if there's a fuel delivery, ignition, or a mechanical problem:

* Testing fuel delivery:
An easy way to test the fuel delivery is to remove the MAF from the throttle valve body. Now spray starting fluid into the throttle body while trying to start the engine. If it starts up for a few seconds and then dies, then there's a problem with the fuel injection system.

The fuel injectors may not be firing. This can be tested with a "noid" light probe for each injector harness connector; the probe kit can be purchased at most auto parts stores or online at Amazon.com. If one or more injectors are not firing, the problem could be bad timing sensors, a bad ECU or missing 12V.

Tee-in a temporary fuel pressure gauge between the fuel feed hose and the fuel rail. Turn the ignition key to the run position but DO NOT TRY TO START THE ENGINE. The fuel pressure reading should be around 51 psi which would be a static reading. If the reading is very low or zero, the fuel pump may have failed or the fuel pressure regulator is defective.

* Testing ignition:
Pull several coil packs to test; use a spare spark plug in the coil pack to test; ground the plug base with a jumper wire to the engine block; see if you're getting a spark while trying to start the engine. If no spark, the coil pack could be bad, missing 12V, or a bad ECU.

* The cam timing may be incorrect:
Check the chain guide to see if it's broken or it may be cracked and has skipped some teeth.

* There may be a major intake system vacuum leak. Check the intake manifold nuts to make sure they are tight. The gasket may have failed. Also check the intake plenum bellows at the throttle valve and at the MAF for cracks or loose clamps.

* The immobilizer system may be preventing a startup. Check the security light in the instrument panel; it should be blinking every 2 seconds; if it's on steady, then there's a problem with the immobilizer system.
 
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