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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1996 Altima that refuses to start while the engine is hot. It starts fine in the morning and can be driven for miles without issue. However, when I turn it off at the gas station, it won't start again until the engine has cooled down. If I wait for ten minutes or so, it will crank and almost start, but die.

The distributer has been replaced, but the problem persists. The temperature gauge does not indicate overheating. The ECU reader returns no error codes. This seems like some sort of sensor issue, but I'm not a mechanic. What is causing this problem?
 

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Sounds a lot like a bad fuel pump to me. A quick and dirty check for that is to have someone wang on the underside of the gas tank with a hammer or a tire iron or something like that while you're cranking the engine. If taht makes it start right up then you can be sure it's the fuel pump.

Failing that you'll just have to resort to some good old fashion diagnosis. You need fuel, spark and compression to start. Compression is unlikely to be intermitant, and is usually fairly obvious. Leaving spark and fuel. So put a spark checker in one of the spark plug wires, a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail and a noid light in one of the injector connectors and crank it over. See which one you're missing and go from there. Good luck!

Cheers.................Todd
 

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When is the last time it had a good tune-up? When the engine is cold, the ECU will richen up the injectors pretty good, so it will be easier for it to start.

Could be something as simple as worn out spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors or badly clogged air filter or fuel filter. Try running some good fuel system cleaner through the engine too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. This car belongs to my dad, so I don't know its maintenance history. I'll tell him to try the hitting the gas tank idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for everyone's help. It was the fuel pump after all. It has been replaced and the car hasn't had a problem since. 200k miles and counting.
 
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