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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, my father owns a 1996 Maxima GXE automatic with just under 120,000 miles. He is soon going to be passing it over to me which i think is great but with one MAJOR drawback. The car itself is in fantastic condition but there is a problem with ignition. I turn the key and normal battery functions happen (i.e. radio, beeping if door open, etc.) but nothing with the engine. No sounds of the engine attempting to turnover, not whine from the starter motor, nothing. To start it at all you have to keep trying somewhere between 2-6 times before it starts. If after 6 tries its doesnt work, i have to take the shifter, move it all the way to low gear and back up to park, and then reattempt ignition. After this ritual it finally works...sometimes. I've asked around other places and I've heard somethings like transmission/safety switch malfunction or the tranny being worn out. I've attempted no engine work of anykind including forced induction, ECU, etc etc. I appreciate any help.

By the way, hello everyone im gonna love being part of this community.
 

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First off...welcome to NissanForums.

I drive a 5spd so I'll try to help with as little knowledge as I have, but it's a start. I would have to agree with the safety switch theory. Maybe there is a solenoid or a short somewhere. It's just my opinion but since you are needing to mess with the shifter selection in order to make the ignition work then I would definitely start there.

If you aren't mechanically inclined then I would suggest befriending a mechanic with a knowledge of electrical/auto-transmissions for help.

If it were me I'd get a Chilton's or Haynes and try to diagnose the problem myself from their suggestions.
 

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I had a similiar issue, I used to have to wiggle the key back and fourth to get the car to start.
I had to replace the electrical portion of the ignition switch (PART#48750-1E411) and now it starts with no issues.
Yours may be the same, but like stated before if you actually have to play with the shifter, the problem may lie there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks, both of you guys, and i really appreciate the ultra specificness of the electrical thing for the ignition (especially with the part #). The car probably 9 times out of 10 will start without having to toy with the shifter so i'll check into that part (any ideas where i can find that part?). Also something i just remebered that is strange about it is that it tends to start up easier in cold weather when the engine is ice cold than when the engine is warm or hot.
 

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MechanicalAnt said:
thanks, both of you guys, and i really appreciate the ultra specificness of the electrical thing for the ignition (especially with the part #). The car probably 9 times out of 10 will start without having to toy with the shifter so i'll check into that part (any ideas where i can find that part?). Also something i just remebered that is strange about it is that it tends to start up easier in cold weather when the engine is ice cold than when the engine is warm or hot.

That part number I gave is the dealer part number.
The part cost like 15.00 bucks and its normally in stock.
Its real easy to swap out.
You just basicly unscrew the plastic steering cover to access the switch portion.
 

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this is a common problem on the older (89-94) Maximas as well. the culprit are two plastic bushings on the ends of the shift cable wearing out and causing slack in the line. this keeps the tranny from going 100% into park and thus the park indicator in the tranny will not let the engine start.

those parts are about $3 from the dealer and can be replaced very easily by anyone that can find the shifter cable and knows how to pull a cotter pin.

Hope the fix is similar on yours.. that's what it sounds like to me.
 

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Key ignition problems 96 Max

FLAVOR247 said:
I had a similiar issue, I used to have to wiggle the key back and fourth to get the car to start.
I had to replace the electrical portion of the ignition switch (PART#48750-1E411) and now it starts with no issues.
Yours may be the same, but like stated before if you actually have to play with the shifter, the problem may lie there.
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My 96 Max GLE was doing the same thing and I just replaced the whole key ignition instead of just the switch portion which probably would have worked. My car would not start but only turn on interior lights but not turn starter. I would turn key back and forth 10 times before it would catch. Now with new igition Starts Perfect everytime. Hope this Helps Ya. Mark
 

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Matt93SE,
Would you please elaborate a little more on the location of the "plastic bushings on the end of the shift cable". If I a have to take a guess, this is below the shift handle compartment and not mounted on the transmission end.
Thanks,
Steve
 
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