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Discussion Starter #1
Car make: Nissan Sentra
Model & Year : GXE 1996
Transmission: Automatic

Hi I am a new member of this forum. I have been reading the posts and saw that all members are really helpful. I have an issue with the car and would really appreciate some help.

I am facing a weird problem with my car. My car does not start after I take it for a long drive. And by long drive I mean more than 50 miles. If I leave the car for some time like 30 minutes approx and try again it starts. Sometimes its more. There is no weird noise or anything at all. When I turn my Key in the ignition it doesn't start. I have tried to find a similar issue in the forum posts but couldn't find one with the same problem.

Please help find the root of the problem. Feel free to ask any other questions regarding the car. My car specs are noted at the beginning of the message.
 

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The worste part of your problem is that it could be lots of things because anything in a car could mess up after the drive so idlelise the wih excat part could be wrong it could be the starter plugs wires distributor or something that heats up way too much that wont work till it cools thats why maybe it take your car 30 minutes or more to turn back on but thats a guess..... good luck post up if you think its something else or if you got it fixed i hope i was a help to you
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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Please explain what happens when you turn the key?
Does the engine crank but not fire ?
Maybe it doesnt crank?
does it click ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hear one click but I guess thats the Key turning, but otherwise the engine is silent. I am not familiar with what cranking might mean but the engine makes no sound absolutely when the key is turned.
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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I hear one click but I guess thats the Key turning, but otherwise the engine is silent. I am not familiar with what cranking might mean but the engine makes no sound absolutely when the key is turned.
Ok so you turn the key, and if you lift the hood and listen you should hear a fairly substantial clunk from the starter solenoid and gear pulling in.
I think that not happening, and you are in luck because this happened to me on a car once.
So do you have a volt meter ?
If not perhaps buy an inexpensive one digital, under $10.
One like this is fine Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
Then measure with this across the battery terminals with the car off
You should measure about 13V, record the reading
Turn ignition on and get someone to turn the key to the start position and hold while watching the reading, record the reading.
If the meter voltage drops then recovers a little, the solenoid pulled in and went from pull in current to holding current.
so with the car not starting the solenoid contacts or starter is bad.
If the voltage does not show the solenoid action, and you cant hear it, ie solenoid does NOT pull in, then the check the ignition switch and wiring to the solenoid. The solenoid itself could be bad if you have the power to the solenoid.

If the solenoid or starter is bad replace the whole assembly.

Hope this helps....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so you turn the key, and if you lift the hood and listen you should hear a fairly substantial clunk from the starter solenoid and gear pulling in.
I think that not happening, and you are in luck because this happened to me on a car once.
So do you have a volt meter ?
If not perhaps buy an inexpensive one digital, under $10.
One like this is fine Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
Then measure with this across the battery terminals with the car off
You should measure about 13V, record the reading
Turn ignition on and get someone to turn the key to the start position and hold while watching the reading, record the reading.
If the meter voltage drops then recovers a little, the solenoid pulled in and went from pull in current to holding current.
so with the car not starting the solenoid contacts or starter is bad.
If the voltage does not show the solenoid action, and you cant hear it, ie solenoid does NOT pull in, then the check the ignition switch and wiring to the solenoid. The solenoid itself could be bad if you have the power to the solenoid.

If the solenoid or starter is bad replace the whole assembly.

Hope this helps....
Ok thanks. I will get the voltmeter and do as you ask but I was a little confused. If the wiring was bad then the car would never start. If the solenoid contacts or the starter or the solenoid itself is bad then how does the car start after cooling down for sometime?

I have not worked on cars too much and so please excuse the ignorance.
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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4,244 Posts
Thats Ok.
As I mentioned this has happened to me. And its rare!!
I drove around town, back and forth to work and no problems.
We left for a vacation and at the next gas stop when the car was hot, it would not start.
It was ok the next morning and every morning for 15 days, but would not hot start. Exactly the same symptoms, turned the key and nothing.
So problem is to find this.
In my case and maybe this is NOT the same as yours, there was a bad contact inside the solenoid assembly. I found this after the starter solenoid assembly was replaced, and i took it apart.
This could be the key switch or a lose wire, but most likely its in the starter Solenoid assembly.
Also before you spend any money remove and clean the battery connections, just in case.
 

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Ok so you turn the key, and if you lift the hood and listen you should hear a fairly substantial clunk from the starter solenoid and gear pulling in.
I think that not happening, and you are in luck because this happened to me on a car once.
So do you have a volt meter ?
If not perhaps buy an inexpensive one digital, under $10.
One like this is fine Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices
Then measure with this across the battery terminals with the car off
You should measure about 13V, record the reading
Turn ignition on and get someone to turn the key to the start position and hold while watching the reading, record the reading.
If the meter voltage drops then recovers a little, the solenoid pulled in and went from pull in current to holding current.
so with the car not starting the solenoid contacts or starter is bad.
If the voltage does not show the solenoid action, and you cant hear it, ie solenoid does NOT pull in, then the check the ignition switch and wiring to the solenoid. The solenoid itself could be bad if you have the power to the solenoid.

If the solenoid or starter is bad replace the whole assembly.

Hope this helps....
Another good trick is to have someone turn the key, take a hammer and tap on the starter. If it starts, you know you have a bad starter/solenoid since they are attached. Sometimes they freeze up.
 
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