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help! B13 w/GA16De hard starting when cold

I have searched this forum and learned a great deal about this car/engine, but need some help with this... Please!

My girlfriends car hates to start when the engine is cold, and when it is cold outside. If it is warm out (like above 50 at night) the car starts fine...

She had it towed to the dealer once when it wouldn't start, but after the dealer had let it sit for 2 days, it started right up. They proceded to charge her $400 for a waterpump (ok, she did need one of those), spark plugs, timing adjustment, and an injector cleaning, and they said they took the intake manifold off and cleaned up all the deposits...

But now that it is getting cold, the car won't start sometimes just like last winter/spring.

Is there a fuel pump recall on this car? Sound like a bad fuel pump? Maybe rewire the fuel pump straight from the battery and put a new one in? Distributor/cap/rotor maybe? I am used to coil pack cars (my old quad4 olds, my eclipse gsx and Talon tsi) so I am new at trouble shooting the ignition problems with this car...

Any thoughts/comments/ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
-awdfun
 
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Anyone have any ideas here? My girlfriends car barely starts when it is cold out, and when the engine is cold. If the temp is over 50 or so at night, the car starts just fine...

I was thinking I would start with the cheap stuff and work my way up in cost, unless someone can make a suggestion for me.

check voltages at battery/fuelpump/fusebox
plugs
fuel filter
plug wires
distributor cap/rotor
rewire fuel pump
new fuel pump

Anyone know of any recalls/TSB's that could help me out here?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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How does it idle once it starts? I'm thinking idle air control motor; Nissan calls it something else, I know.

If you have a way to check fuel pressure, I would do that prior to messing with fuel pump wiring. (I get the feeling it is not this)

Might want to see if Coolant Temp. Sensor is telling the cumputer that it is cold -- I think it is just a matter of checkin resistance on the sensor.
 
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Once it starts, it will idle perfectly.

I will look into a fuel pressure gauge before I do any fuel system mods - my cars need a check anyhow...

As for the coolant temp sensor, I don't understand why that would matter - the engine starts just fine when the engine is warm, when it is warm during the day, and when it is cold out and the engine is warm. The only time it starts hard is when the engine is cold, and the ambient air is cold - so the sensor should be telling the ecu that the coolant is cold, right?

She also just told me that if she pumps the gas pedal while turning the car over, it will start much better.

I will see if I can pick up a fuel pressure gauge after work today and see what happens upon startup. Any other thoughts on what to check??
 

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Temp sensor may have failed in a mode that tells computer that engine is hot -- and if it IS hot, then timing, fuel injector pulses, etc are set correctly. If the engine is cold, but sensor says its hot, the fuel mixture, and other computer- controlled adjustments may be off for a cold engine.

Can't see why pumping accelerator would do anything (this IS fuel injected right?). On carbureted cars pumping accelerator activiates the acceleration pump which squirts a little fuel into the throttle body; on fuel injected, it doesn't do anything (I don't think).

But it may offer a clue -- while pumping the accelerator does not do anything, most cars (maybe all) do have a flooded mode in the computer. If the key is on, and you press the accelerator to the floor, the computer goes into this flooded mode and adjusts the fuel air mixture to accomodate the flooded condition. If the car stars better when you do that, injectors may be leaking and flooding it. But I almost think this rich mixture would make it start better, Hmmm. But on startup, computer is calling for rich mixture, leaking injector(s) may make it TOO rich.

Spark plugs are also possibility. I once gapped my plugs too wide and had a heck of a time starting.
 

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There is a fuel pump recall on early production B13's. You didn't say what year yours is. But from the sound of it, I'd say it's more likely that your water temp sensor is bad. I have replaced many of them for no start conditions in the winter months. The symptom is a flooded engine, plugs are wet when you take them out. Have you checked that?
 

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Hi, i just got the same problem a few days ago... what i did was unplugging all the sensors cables, tps and crank angle sensor at the dist. then cleaning the connectors and contacts with "contact cleaner". It works perfect now, just the way it was.
 

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I would say Auxilary Air Control Valve.. or AAC Valve. My 91 Sentra would never start because there wasnt an adiquite amount of air going into the engine due to the temp. differences.
Today I went to a junkyard and surprisingly found some descent parts and a new AAC Vavle.. paid 2$ bux for it.. ha the dealership wants 215$

Runs great.. and starts in the cold
 

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You could do a search on the topics of hard start and you would be provided with lot's of info to this problem.

As someone on this BB once said, a hard start problem is one of the more difficult faults to fix, as there are about 30 components (electrical and mechanical) in the line that can result in a hard start.

For me , the problem was related to the fuel pressure regulator and only recently, fuel filter. Fixed it after 2 months of research.

When the car is cooled (esp in the mornings) I would get this problem; and when it gets warmed, everything works fine.

You could try the engine temp sensor and see if the resistance is up to spec.

Before starting the car first thing in the morning, go to the sensor and remove the connector.
Use a digital voltmeter and measure the resistance between the 2 leads.

Then start the car and see the resistance value dropping.

Here's the values that I took off a website (forgot it's name but it's on the NPM)

68 deg F = 2.1 to 2.9 k ohms
122 deg F = 0.68 to 1.0 k ohms
176 deg F = 0.3 to 0.33 k ohms

:eek:
 
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great info

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

The car is not affected by the fuel pump recall.

Yes, it used to drench the plugs (dripping wet!) when it wouldn't start. I have not checked this in the last 3 months...

I have been so involved in my Talon buildup that I haven't had the time to rip into the Sentra - but the advice I have gotten here should give me a great start on the diagnostics...

Thanks again!
 
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great advice

Hi all, and thanks for the advice.

As soon as I can get around to it, I will be sure and let you all know what it was. (Have to get my talon out of the garage first...)
 

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The fuel pump recall applies to the '91-'93 Sentras/Altimas, if that helps (but in reality they just qiut working).
 

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Probably the air regulator. It is located under the intake manifold/ throttle bosy.

Mine did the same thing a couple of years ago.

Try this to see if it is it:

Start the car with your foot slightly down on the gas pedal 1/16-1/8 throttle. Does the car start fine?

If so, the air regulator is bad. It has a little band spring in it, that opens up the air regulator to allow more air when cold. As the engine heats up the it closes it off. If it is broken, it may be closed not allowing enough air when cold.
 
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My '95 does this and I finally figured out a work around. In my case the problem is the engine gets flooded. Once this happens you will need to pull the fuel pump fuse (15A fuse in panel by your left knee). Crank the engine with the pedal to the floor. Pretty soon the engine will sound like its trying to start. Let off the gas pedal and keep cranking. Now it becomes a game of deciding when to slide the fuse back in. If you wait to long the fuel system runs out of pressure and no gas will get injected. I just start cranking and then when I hear the car is starting I plug the fuse back in.

Another solution that seems to start on the first try (if you haven't flooded it yet) is to insert the key and then immediately turn it through the ON position and start the car. If you leave it in the ON position for any amount of time at all the fuel pump builds up pressure and you flood the car.

I'm guessing it's the cold start valve of coolant temp sensor. Just need to go get some new replacements.

Craig
 

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I have this problems as well on my GA16DE B13. I live in southern california and its hard to start up my car in the really cold mornings. Most of the time, I would have to shift my car into Neutral and let my car roll a bit and it would struggle to start up.
 
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