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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

A few months ago my Pathfinder started to randomly not start.

I had it parked for about an hour, then when I tried to start it, it wouldn't turn over (battery power comes on like normal when the key is turned half way, but the starter wont turn over when the key is turned the rest of the way). After I let it sit overnight, it started right up the next day. It seemed to work fine for a day or two, then it wouldn't start again. Again, I let it sit overnight, and I was able to start it the next day. It worked for about a week, and then it wouldn't start again (it has been doing this off and on over the last few months). However, I noticed that if I don't lock the car (or even TOUCH the locks), then it wouldn't do it nearly as often. It has been working fine for the last few weeks, but a couple days ago it happened again out of nowhere (I didn't even touch the locks). But this time, I really can't get it to start (it has been sitting for about 3 days now, and it still wont turn over). I have a feeling its not going to start up again without the problem being fixed.

As for the Pathfinder, it's a A/T and basically all stock (including the security system). I tried disconnecting the battery, playing around with the locks, tried switching it in and out of park, ect. No luck.

Another thing (i'm fairly sure this has nothing to do with the problem, though), someone broke into my car through the passenger side window about a week before this started happening, and the problem began the first time it rained (I had the window temporarily covered with tape until I installed the new one). It's possible that a little water may have gotten through, but I think its sorta just a coincidence.

Any ideas? If it's the security system, is there a way to disable it or something?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

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try to disengage the alarm

I had similar problems and it was my alarm that was causing random no startups. Just one question, when you try to turn the key, does it sound like its trying to turn over and just doesnt have enough to make it or does it do literally nothing, starter wise (the power to the stereo and such should still be working).

If it does sound like its trying to turn over, I would say check your battery, starter and solenoid first. It probably isn't your alarm. Power might be going to the rest of your vehicle, but there might not be enough juice to start the car or there might be a prob with you starter or solenoid. You can take all of those to most auto parts stores and they will test them for free.

If there is nothing happening when you turn the key all the way except power going to stereo and gauges and whatever else like it normally does, then it could be the alarm. Most alarms now have a starter kill function that can sometimes error. A quick way to test this, quicker than taking out your starter btw, is to try to disengage your alarm. If its a factory alarm, check the vehicle's owners manual and it should tell you how to deactivate it without having to uninstall it.

It could also be your ignition. If its the second scenario and disengaging the alarm doesn't work, try checking you ignition in your steering column. Its relatively easy to take out and put back in so its worth a shot at troubleshooting if the alarm thing doesn't work.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. I can't give you specifics cause I have a 95 and they are quite different than the 97's from what I know, but I might be able to give you general ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply! It appears there is no power at all going to the starter motor. It's not even trying to start. All the dash lights and stuff come on, though. The last time it started it fired right up. Were you able to resolve the issue with the '95?

I bought the shop manual for it last night, but didn't see anything about disengaging the alarm. And I couldn't find anything on the internet about how to do it either. Thanks,
 

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Not familiar with the '97, but my '03 has a red security light to the left of the steering wheel (marked 'SECURITY'). If there's an issue with the chip in the key, the fuel pump is disabled and the red security light turns solid. The engine turns over easily but won't start.

If you have a second ignition key, try using that to see if it makes a difference. With my last car the issue was that the key's surface was dirty. With the Pathy, cleaning didn't seem to help so I just switched to a different key.
 

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If you dont have the original owners manual, then try checking the underside of the dash on the drivers side and look for an unidentified tiny black button, about 1/4" dia, prob near the base of the steering column or something. If you see it and your sure it doesn't belong to anything else, try holding it down for about 5-10 seconds and with the button still pressed, try starting the car. If it starts, turn it off again and if the little red car alarm led on your dash or door stays off, then the alarm should be disabled. BTW, is that little red alarm light on right now, that shows your alarm is armed?
 

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sounds like my prob with the ignition got a new one and it was fixed i would try to start it and it wouldnt so i would turn the key off then on but slow enough to let it start if it would want to
 

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I am not sure if I have the same problem or not here...

I have a 96 XE, I don't use the stock alarm system, I lost the key FOB, so I use the key for entry...

I stopped by the grocery on the way homes tonight, I was inside for no more than 15 minutes, and when I got back to the car it wouldn't start. The radio, headlights, etc. all had juice, just the starter wouldn't turn over. No noise at all. No clicking, nothing.

I have towed it home with hope to find the problem tomorrow. Any help?
 

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I am not sure if I have the same problem or not here...

I have a 96 XE, I don't use the stock alarm system, I lost the key FOB, so I use the key for entry...

I stopped by the grocery on the way homes tonight, I was inside for no more than 15 minutes, and when I got back to the car it wouldn't start. The radio, headlights, etc. all had juice, just the starter wouldn't turn over. No noise at all. No clicking, nothing.

I have towed it home with hope to find the problem tomorrow. Any help?
Thats exactly what happened to me except my 95 XE would randomly start/not start, then months ago my dash lights and parking lights stopped working, all other lighting worked fine. Same situation where I don't use the alarm, just the key to enter vehicle. I think one of the previous owners installed an aftermarket DEI alarm on top of the factory and I dont know what happened after that.

What I did was disengaged the aftermarket alarm by disconnecting all the wires to and taking out the alarm computer. After that, everything worked fine for about a week, then the dash and parking lights went out again and haven't worked since. Ignition seems to be fine though, has fired clean and instantly as it should each and every time.

I don't know if the two probs are related, but you could try disengaging your alarm without physically removing it via owners manual instructions and see if that helps.

Otherwise, I have scoured the web for help for months on this issue and have only found this (a reply email from a different post from a guy with similar probs):

"The electrical problem has been solved. I took it to my trusty mechanic and he told me the problem was inside the dash. What it is, he stated Nissan installed two modules, that act as a breaker or fuse and they are a dealer item if purchased new. The good news is that they can be removed and repaired. Ask your local Nissan dealer (parts department) and they can give purchase price for a new one or they can find a source that can repair this item since they are integrated with your vehicles computer. I hope this will help you solve your problems, Good Luck."

I'm gonna have a mechanic buddy of mine check it out next week and I'll let you know the results. Please go to my other post on this forum that is directly related to this so that we do not saturate this one: "Dash lights and parking lights don't work" under nissan pathfinder
 

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I know on older pathfinders they have a typical issue of just a click sound when you go to start it. Many people have said this. I don't think its anything serious (had a 92 with this problem since we got it like 4 years ago). This problem is not the starter or anything. Some people say its a relay, others say the ignition. I say its the ignition.
Reason: If you hold the key a certain way it seems to work without aproblem.
For me it is like holding the key down a littl helps. You can give it a try and see.

As far as alarms, we have a viper alarm (DEI really) and it never gives any problems like that. If it did, either the alarm went bad or the install wasn't done right.
 

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I have a 1999 Pathfinder that is giving me the same no start issue w/a good battery (12.4 v).

Symptoms:
I have no dome light, no power to my seats, no radio when I turn the key to acc or to the run position, no head light, no map light, etc... Nothing electrical with the exception of clicking coming from the key less entry control box and the blinking red security light on the dash. This box has been replaced and reprogrammed to work with my key FOB. Still noting.

I have checked all fuses in the car under the dash and under the hood. I have also checked the power going to each block, to insure it is not the fuse-able link with in the positive battery cable, all are showing 12.4 v . I have also replaced the ignition switch. When a scanner tool is attached to the OBDII port under the dash with the key in the off position, no issues the scanner turns on, once the key is turned on the scanner blinks along with the click from the key less entry control box.

I will at times get the dome light and the time will show on the radio. when I try to turn on the radio the clicking starts again.

Lost with out answers. Please help.
 
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