Nissan Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so here is my situation. First off, I know absolutely nothing about cars except how to start them. My brother has a 2006 Nissan Altima SE-R. Recently, he moved to Texas and was unable to bring the car with him so it's sitting in my driveway at home. He's been trying to get rid of the car, and some guy is supposed to come and take it away. Here's where the problem starts: So I was bored on Sunday and I noticed that he had an extreme amount of dirt under the hood in his car. What did I do? I didn't spray it off with a hose if that's what your immediate thought was. I got a rag and soaked it with water, and then ringed the water out so it was just barely damp. I started wiping the dirt off of the non-electrical components under the hood. I also wiped off the battery (the cloth couldn't have touched both terminals because the positive one is covered with a piece of plastic.) So, anyways, today I go to start the car because my friend's father was interested in buying it for my friend, but the engine wouldn't start. My foot was all the way down on the clutch, the car was in neutral and I made sure to give it a little bit of gas so the engine would fire, but to no avail. Right away I called my brother in Texas and got an earful. I called my dad and we tried to jumpstart the car because we thought the battery might be dead. It didn't work. My brother says I may have fried the computer (I don't know how though) and my dad says it may be the starter. What I wish is for someone to read my pathetic and laughable story and to offer input and possible solutions. I told my brother I was sorry and that I would pay for anything I broke, but what really makes me want to cry is that he doesn't want this car in his life anymore. He's been trying to get rid of it forever, and here I go with my stupidity and break something. Please advise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
first off, i've power sprayed motors before while they still had the battery in them... only being careful not to spray heavily onto the seals of the engine so as to not break loose any loose seal. electronics can dry and will be fine with very limited corrosion. it's not something i suggest if you're not sure of what will be hurt, but i regularly use a parts cleaner on starters, altenators.. and other engine accessories and they are perfectly fine.

using a damn rag the connection isn't strong enough to unload power from a battery from terminal to terminal.. that requires letting a wrench or screwdriver touch terminals, and it's more likely to drain the battery, not fry the ecu. that's why a car has fuses and relays.. to protect the ecu.

uhhh... if the gas in the tank sat for more than 6 months the gas could have chemically degenerated cause the injectors to clog, starving the engine of fuel.

there is a possibility of shorting something while it's wet, but with a damp rag that's nearly impossible. like i said, i've power washed engines still in the car before and they start right up, only smoking a little while the water and grease sediments that fell onto the exhaust burning off.

check all the fuses, then the relays..

when a battery goes out, there's no sound when turning the ignition on.
when a starter goes out, there's a whining sound as if the starter motor's turning but the flywheel isn't turning due to a stripped starter gear, but for that to happen you would have heard a somewhat loud metal on metal stripping/clicking sound.
when a starter solenoid goes out, the starter won't turn cuz it's an electrical device needing the solenoid to turn it.... easily tested by taking out the starter and checking it at the local autozone. they can test batteries, starters, altenators.
when a fuel pump is operating correctly.. all you do is turn the key to the acc position and you can here it buzzing/clicking by the gas tank.
when a fuel pump is possibly out, you won't hear that.
if an ignition fuse or many other possible fuses are burnt out, it won't start.

a good way to completely determine if the ecu is good or not is to locate it first... usually under a seat or in the passenger's side panel (just to the right of where your feet go.. not in the door but in front of the door) there's an led light on it that will come on when you turn the key on (if the battery is good) that will take out that problem.

but basically you start with all the things that make a car start.

battery-test it
starter-test it
altenator (doesn't really start the engine, just replaces power back into the battery so a battery lasts longer than one drive)-test it, but it's not a main starting factor, just something that would drain the battery and therefore keep it from starting
fuses-check them all
relays-check them too by applying power to the terminals on the bottom of them and you'll here a small clicking noise on the inside.
sensors and stuff aroudn the engine don't really start an engine but certain one do... sensors and solenoids around the engine basically constantly tune your engine's rpm/fuel/air ratios by following commands from the ecu.
the certain sensors that helps start a car are: the MAF (damn... can't remember exactly but it's to do with air flow due to the temperature due to friction of the air entering the intake), the TPS (throttle position sensor... tells the ecu how much air is going in by how far the throttle butterfly valve is open, therefore when to fire the plugs and the fuel injectors to spray), the CPS (crank position sensor... tells the ecu when to fire the spark plugs)

ummm... if the injector solenoids are shorted which is rare due to some water that would have gotten into the spark plug wires or an excess of electrons flowing through the wires... which is constantly regulated by the coil which won't fry cuz it's regulated to increase the volts/amps *this isn't exactly accurate* so the arc can occur across the gap of the plugs.. (it requires more amperage to make the arc than it does to power the coil)... they like to clog up first... then they won't work which clogging occurs from dirty gas... or 6 month old gas being put through them.

hell... you could have knocked loose the spark plug wires.. which wouldn't allow the car to start.

you should go over the entire engine bay making sure you didn't accidentally knock loose a connector on the harness or the spark plug wires... mainly the sensors i just spoke of.

beyond that stuff... (and this is all stuff that is on most cars but in different makes are slightly different and in different places... this is all what i know off my 240) beyond that... i'd wait for some more replies on here.

maybe ask some ppl on here that have a lot of posts or have threads of them modding their engine cuz if they're modding then they already know the basics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
We tested the battery - it was in working order. We tried jumpstarting the engine, no such luck. The engine was running perfectly fine last week when my brother was in town. When you turn the key in the ignition with the clutch down you hear a rapid clicking sound. My first thought was "Maybe there's no fuel, which is why it isn't turning over" but I have no idea still...I need to fix this problem within the next 24 hours before the guy comes from quebec to pick up the car on a flatbed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
usually rapid clicking is
a: battery that has a charge but not enough to turn over the engine
b: starter solenoid going out and not getting enough power through
c: a louder metal clicking could be a slightly ground starter gear but that just not likely if the car ran a week before

it's definetly electrical.

if you didn't put any actual water on the engine....

*thinking*

the rapid clicking i've always found before was the battery giving out enough power... now.. there is this thing.. batteries can charge up but the cells inside them are... (damnit.. trying to remember that lesson on the internals of a battery) ....hold on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
this is a little too informative but here goes.. and i'll try to make the long story short at the end.

batteries are made up of separate compartments consisting of pairs of negative and positive lead plates called cells. each cell as two plates, one from lead dioxide w/ a positive charge, one with metallic sponge lead w/ negative charge. the plates are stacked alternatly (neg, pos) and immersed in an electrolytic solution of sulfuric acid and distilled water. the cells produce electricity when emersed in this electrolytic solution. each cell produces 2.1 volts DC and a 6 volt has 3 cells... a 12 volt 6 cells.

a battery is always charging or discharging. the elec solution is made up of sulfate and hydrogen called ions. the sulfate ions are neg./the hydro ions pos. when you place a load on a battery (starter, etc.) the sulfate ions travel to the neg plates and give up a neg charge causing the battery to discharge. the excess electron flow out the neg side of the battery through the elec device (the starter) and back to the pos side creates the DC current.

once the electrons return to the pos terminal, they travel back into the cells and reattach themselves tot the pos plates.

over time the the ratio of sulfuric acid to water in the electrolytic solution changes to mostly water... at the same time battery acid produces a chemical byproduct coating the plates therefore reducing the surface area that the chemical reactions occur. over time reducing the current-producing capacity.

this is why a battery goes dead after a load device is left on for prolonged periods of time.

also, without the electrolytic solution, the electrochemical process is no longer capable of producing current.

as a battery discharges the solution goes from more acid to water, as the battery is charged the solution goes from more water to acid.

low temperatures cause the same problem.. has to do with the solutions specific gravity (higher with acid, lower with water, lower with cold)




long story short.... mostly cuz someone else want the computer... over time the battery will stop being able to produce current even though it has current stored.

blah blah.. too damn technical cuz i'd have to reread this damn chapter for the next 3 hours pounding it into my brain for me to get it right.

basically....
drop another damn battery in the car and see if it starts....

if not... it's probably the starter, but not likely if the car ran last week.

this is all though.. lol ... a lot of info that someone else here would probably just have a short n sweet answer for that i use to know but it ain't comin to mind right now.

but i've had this problem before.. the batter charged but wouldn't hold charge for long..

another battery with higher cold cranking amps...

THE CAR STARTED RIGHT UP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Even if that was the case though, shouldn't the engine have started when we used the jumper cables? I tried jumping it with my dad's 03 trailblazer. Both of them have 12v batteries, so it should have started if the battery was the problem. I have a friend coming over tomorrow to try and diagnose the problem. Thank you for your help though, much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I had heard the fast clicking sound once. It was found to be the alternator. I am not saying that this is the issue, just thought I'd give an input. Let us know how it turns out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Oh, I had completely forgotten about this. Yeah, we found it was the battery. One of the cells inside was garbage because it was putting out about 8.1v of power, and it wouldn't budge on the voltmeter when we tried boosting it. To make sure it was the battery for sure, we made sure all lights were off, put the key in and turned it to the accessories position. All of the dashboard lights came on and the gauges moved to their appropriate places. Then we turned the wipers on full, and watched as all of the dashboard lights and gauges shut off, and the wipers moved at an extremely slow speed even while on full. That being the case, I just went out and bought an Interstate 12V replacement, put it in the car (found an extreme case of battery leakage / corrosion while i was at it) and the car fired up as if it were brand new. So I left it running for a good 10 minutes and revved the engine before shutting it off. Thanks for your input though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
no problemo..
everytime i've heard that clicking it was the battery...

but ultimately it can be something else such as an altenator (cuz your battery went dead for the altenator not recharging it)

that's the way it goes.. but like everything else it's all circumstantial... being the car ran a week before and it's only an 06, something dramatic would have had to happen for it to not be the battery.

sounds to me like it was a crap battery from the moment you bought it, ey?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
as for when you asked whey it didn't start when you were trying to jump it... it has to do with amperage.. and resistance... too long of wire, wires too corroded, bad cell. ...or a load device ...starter solenoid, lights, coils, sparkplugs. "most load devices simply amount to nothing more than electrical conductors of various lengths, sizes, and shapes."~~~Tracy Martin's published line of Motorbooks Workshop specifically "How to Diagnose and Repair Automotive Electrical Systems"

love these books, they explain everything into, albeit difficult, laymuns terms.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top