Author Topic: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start  (Read 7387 times)

JesinFL

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1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« on: February 03, 2011, 04:51:49 PM »
I'm trying to get some help troubleshooting the problems with my car so I know if I need to purchase a different one or spend money on this one.

I have been struggling to figure out what is wrong with this one for about a month.

The event that occurred immediately before the car stopped working was it was revved to 6,000 rpm, returned to idle, put into drive, and then it stalled. The compression is low but even. The fuel pressure is right. The pump is working and fuel is getting past the filter with full pressure. A NOID test [?] was performed on the left-most fuel injector harness and it was fine. The codes that are showing are knock sensor and camshaft position sensor. The knock sensor code was present prior to the car quitting. The camshaft is turning when you try to start the car. The battery is good.

I don't know if there's anything I'm forgetting, but I'm hoping for some ideas that aren't coming up in what we've tried so far.

Thank you.

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discretesignals

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 06:59:01 PM »
What are the compression numbers?
How about spark?

What are the code numbers?  If you are missing a cam position signal, it won't run.  You'll have to test the cam sensor circuits to see if the cam sensor is getting power, ground, sending a 5 volt on and off signal to the ECM while cranking the engine.  You can check with a volt meter, but a scope would be ideal.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by discretesignals »

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JesinFL

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 08:30:36 PM »
The compression was around 80, but there were some problems when you would press on the gas before the car quit so I don't know if the throttle was opening all the way for the compression to be correct.

There is spark and we replaced the spark plugs first when the car wouldn't start.

I'm not sure about the knock sensor code, but the mechanic that scanned the car said that the camshaft code was 0340. I didn't write it down when he was here with the code reader. I called him and that's the code he said.

I don't know the exact wording here, but he used a voltmeter and connected into the distributor harness and the ECM on three terminals. 40 and 41 worked, but 44 didn't work.

I'm not sure if it means anything, but something I find strange is when I crank the car the first two times it turns over it sounds more like it's going to start than on all of the times after that. When you take out the fuel pump fuse the car seems to turn over differently and I think it turned over stronger on the first couple times it cranked after the fuse was replaced. The same kind of thing happens when you unplug the distributor and plug it back in. Like I said, this could mean nothing so I don't want it to throw off any other possible solutions.

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discretesignals

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 08:49:31 PM »
80 PSI on all cylinders?  It won't run on that kind of static pressure.  Put a little bit of oil in the cylinders (teaspoon) and retest your compression.  Make sure that you have the distributor electrical connector unplugged and the battery fully charged when retesting your compression.  If the compression is still low and close to the same on all cylinders, you might want to check out the timing chain.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by discretesignals »

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JesinFL

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 09:03:57 PM »
I don't have the compression tester anymore, but I don't think the distributor was disconnected. When you talk about checking the timing chain, what would I be checking for?

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discretesignals

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 08:50:36 PM »
Two possibilities.  You didn't state if you had spark or not.

It is possible to not have spark and still have injector activity.  What will happen is if you crank on the engine the injectors will be spraying fuel into the cylinders.  Without spark the fuel doesn't get consumed and washes out the cylinder rings causing low compression.  Disabling the cam sensor by unplugging the distributor electrical connector will keep the injector from spraying while you crank the engine or perform a compression check.  If the cylinders are washed out, you can add a little motor oil to each cylinder which will help reseal the rings and restore compression as you crank the engine.  

If the compression doesn't come back up on all the cylinders after using the oil trick and the compression readings remains the same in all cylinders, that would probably indicate a valve timing problem.  What causes a valve timing problem is usually a timing chain that has jumped or some other mechanical problem in the front of the engine related to the timing chain.

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JesinFL

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Re: 1998 Nissan Altima Cranks But Won't Start
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 09:37:02 PM »
I do have spark and we put new plugs in. I just can't remember if the person who did the testing unplugged the distributor while they did the compression test. It's sort of hard when someone else has all the tools. You don't really want to question their techniques. :/

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