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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

My vehicle will not start and here's the specs and description.

1995 Nissan Sentra GXE 4DR
Automatic
1.6L engine
Known problems: A/C Compressor pulley bearings bad; front seal oil leak.

When attempting to crank the vehicle, lights come up on dash, however it doesn't turn the engine over. When turning the key, I hear a whirling/whining sound, which sounds like the starter is trying to do it's thing; and if held down, it'll continue to do so.

I checked under the hood while someone was turning the key, and i can see pulleys moving (but rather slowly - does this eliminate the starter?) and no other leaks that would seem out of the ordinary.

The car broke down in a parking lot after travelling a 50-mile interstate drive (which the Sentra has done about 1 to 2 times weekly). It was stopped at a gas station, refueled, and then started again with no problems. About 10-mins later it was parked in the parking lot, for about 10mins, and now will not start.

After this breakdown, I replaced the spark plugs and distributer cap & rotor (they needed it). Vehicle is good on all fluids -- added fresh oil in it that same morning. I don't notice any disconnected hoses or wirings (there was the usual oil leak underneath the car from that front seal). Power windows and lights work without any apparent sluggishness to it, new premium battery was installed about 6-months prior, so I'm believing this eliminates battery & alternator?

I'm at a total loss if I'm overlooking something. It is possible that the A/C compressor finally clunked out, yet the belts are moving because of the other pulleys. I tried to examine the A/C compressor pulley, but it's just down under there I cannot quite see it. I haven't attempted tapping the starter to see if it would work because my friend who was with me suggested that the pulleys are moving, it couldn't be the starter. As well, there were no indications that the starter would be going out soon - since every crank for the past few years on the car went flawless up until this point.

Also checked the fuel pump and fuses; and fuel is indeed being pumped through. Tested it by removing the hose and cranking it in which fuel spit out.

Also to note, the air temp is a moderate mid-60s. And attempts to start the engine have been immediately while it was warm, and the next day for a cold-engine crank.

Unfortunately the vehicle broke down 50-miles away from home, so I've limited trips to try to resolve it unless I have several options in mind.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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No start problem

I have the same year and model Sentra. I just got it back from the shop for a no start problem.

My problem was that the engine would crank normally, but would not start. Mechanic found that the rear o2 sensor leads had shorted out. The sensor was sending some crazy signal to the engine computer, telling it to send it as much fuel as possible. This caused the engine to flood out, everytime I tried to start the thing.

Replaced the 02 sensor and fixed the wiring. All was well for about a month. Then, same problem.

Back to the mechanic and he found the initial problem had caused a wiring problem in the wiring harness that feeds the enging computer. Unfortunately, because of all the excess current being fed to the engine computer, it was fried too.

Ebay came to the rescue. I was able to get a replacement engine computer from a wrecked car for about $40 and a few days wait time. Plopped that in, with the wiring fixed, and it has been working fine since.

I got not check engine light with the no start condition, and the mechanic told me their were no stored codes in the old computer.

I hope your problem is simplier than mine was. I have read that our engines can lose compression, and that squirting a few drops of oil into each cylinder gets the compression back and the engine started.
 

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OK, I have a similiar problem that I hope someone can shed some light on.
My engine turns over just fine but it won't start. I have spark, but the plugs are dry. So I dont have any fuel. I just put in my JWT ECU and it ran fine for a few days. Then one afternoon it wouldn't start. I put my old ecu back in thinking that it was a problem with the jwt one. After pumping the gas pedel, it started up. So I put the jwt ecu back in and it ran fine for about another week. Then it happened. So I changed the ecu again, but it still didn't start up. Again no fuel. I had to tow it to the machanic and its been there since friday. I hope my ecu's didn't fry or something. I guess I'll just wait until tomorrow for a diagnosis. They had to call in a specialist to look at my car, :( Oh Well, I'm trying real hard to not stress out about the problem.
 

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ok, well my car got fixed and it ended up being a problem with my "PCM" they said that they replaced a ground wire and some capacitors or something. I just bought some NGK wires for my sentra and when I installed them the first time, my car wouldn't start. thats when I brought it to the machanic's and they fixed my PCM. I just got my car back today and so I put those NGK wires back in and it did the same exact thing again. I think they are defective or something. Well, I'm calling NGk first thing in the morning, because this is unaccetable and I will not pay for the repair again. So just a warning to all of you people thinking of buying the NGK wires. I definetly don't trust NGK anymore!!!

- Aaron
 

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Have you tried a compression check? The whirring sound that I am thinking of is the sound an engine makes when it has a blown head gasket and cannot build comprerssion. The normal pulsating sound an engine makes is due to compression and without it it spins freely and all you hear is an electric motor doing it's job. Compression testers are usually around $10 at any auto parts store or cheaper at discount places like Harbor Freight.

Another possibility is a bad alternator which killed the battery and would explain the slow turn over. If you suspect this, use a DIGITAL volt ohm meter to determine if the battery has sufficient voltage. It should be at least 12.5 volts while the engine is off and around 14 after the engine has been running for a while. ( DVOM's can be found for $10 or so at discount stores- I paid $2.50 for mine at Harbor Freight). Remember that a analog volt ohm meter should never be used on any circuit that is connected to the ECU because analog models load the circuit to get a reading and can fry the ECU.That's why I stress getting the digital model.

I would also back probe an injector with a test light (test light = $5 tool) to see if it is firing. If not, it is a computer related issue with the ignitor chip or crank angle sensor or the ECU itself. Also, check the distributor to see if the ignition is firing by clipping an inductive timing light onto one of the plug wires. Hold the trigger while someone else cranks it and see if the light blinks. This way you will know if you have spark. Try more than one cylinder of the first one does not work. That way you can rule out several other possibilities. Remember that given spark, compression , air and fuel an engine will run. If it will not, it is because it lacks one of these key elements.
 

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himilefrontier said:
Remember that given spark, compression , air and fuel an engine will run. If it will not, it is because it lacks one of these key elements.
As long as they are in the right ratios. My problem had all these elements present, but flooded the engine - ratio of fuel to air would not fire.
 
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