Car died while driving, now wont start. - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 Old 06-28-2011, 08:53 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Exclamation Car died while driving, now wont start.

[SOLVED] - Turned out to be the rotor in the distributor. (see post 10)

So, I was driving and came to a stop at a red light, when the engine suddenly shut off. I tried to start it up again, but it would just crank but would not start up.

From what I've read, it seems the engine is either not getting fuel or spark, I dont think the issue is the fuel, since i can slightly smell gas under the hood after several attempts at starting. I haven't tested to see if the spark plugs are creating sparks (I will do this in the morning)

If the car doesnt have spark, what should be next? It seems the problem could then be a bad distributor which is several hundred for parts and labor.

I also read that it could just be the Crankshaft Position Sensor. I would like to replace this and test to see if that fixes it. Can someone tell me where the crankshaft position sensor is located? I'm fairly new to DIY repairs, should this be left for the professionals? also if you have any pics of the CPS location, I would really appreciate it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

This is a 1999 Altima btw.

Last edited by bdarknessb; 07-01-2011 at 03:01 AM.
bdarknessb is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 06-28-2011, 11:55 AM
Registered User
 
TerryInLeesburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
iTrader: 0 reviews
This happened to me as well.
It turned out that the rotor had come off of the distributor and was laying in the bottom of the cap.
Before you get radical, pull off the distro cap and check it.
TE

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
TerryInLeesburg is offline  
#3 Old 06-29-2011, 04:25 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
So i tested for the spark at the spark plug, and it is creating a spark. Would it still do that if the problem was the distributor?
bdarknessb is offline  
#4 Old 06-29-2011, 11:23 AM
Registered User
 
TerryInLeesburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
iTrader: 0 reviews
Probably not. Unless the rotor is loose, and youare not getting good contact.
Checking it is a 5 min job, so I would do it... even if it just to confirm it is OK.

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
TerryInLeesburg is offline  
#5 Old 06-29-2011, 12:46 PM
The Don.
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 6,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts
iTrader: 1 reviews
It's possible to have spark with a bad distributor. I mean, erratic spark, which isn't easily detected to the untrained eye. Your problem definitely sounds like a distributor issue.



'94 Nissan Altima SE, 5spd.
Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps, NGK Ignition wires.
ITEMS FOR SALE
jserrano is offline  
#6 Old 06-30-2011, 01:54 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
>It seems the problem could then be a bad distributor which is several hundred for parts and labor.


Been there done that. That's what started motivating it for me to DIY. Took it to an independent, who took me for $700 and a crappy aftermarket distributor. Had to take it back to dealership to get it right... for $900.

Afterwards, I found it that it's basically a few bolts and on a scale of 1 to 10, like a 1.5 in difficulty - in otherwords even the most clueless DIY should be able to handle it. Do yourself a favor and DIY this fix yourself. See my previous posts about getting a Hitachi/HAP reman, or a bones pull from a yard/ebay, *NOT* aftermarket garbage.
lairdwd is offline  
#7 Old 06-30-2011, 09:03 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
I will check the rotor in the morning, and if it does turn out to be the distributor, would something like this work Link

I can get that for about 150, and try and install myself.

Also, another thing to mention, while i was reading other articles on cars that crank but dont start, I came across the possibility that it could be caused by the MAP Sensor, the article mentioned that MAP Sensor can cause surge which i used to have at idle, and can also cause no-start. What do you guys think of this?
bdarknessb is offline  
#8 Old 06-30-2011, 12:39 PM
Registered User
 
TerryInLeesburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
iTrader: 0 reviews
Before you start replacing the entire dizzy, just replace the rotor and cap (~$30). See if that works first.

My philosophy is to always start with the cheap parts first...

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
TerryInLeesburg is offline  
#9 Old 06-30-2011, 01:06 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
[QUOTE=bdarknessb;4137067]I will check the rotor in the morning, and if it does turn out to be the distributor, would something like this work Link
QUOTE]

I would prefer that you stay with OEM - i.e. Hitachi/HAP - and probably Hitachi of those two. However, getting a dizzy from a local parts store does have it's advantages. We discussed cardone brand in the past, and I did some research on it, and they got mixed reviews on quality (although some of the guys in this forum like cardone). They do some sort of cheezy bench test at least - probably near worthless, but at least not DOA. If you don't mind a higher risk of defect, going local is probably ok, but don't be surprised if it is defective and you have to return for another - just be on the lookout for driveablity problems if it doesn't run right. Personally, I would rather roll the dice on a bones pull - or better yet a hitachi reman for $60 more and get the piece of mind.

1993-1997 Nissan Altima Ignition Distributor - Engine Electrical - Hitachi 93-97 Altima Ignition Distributor - 6672-01047259 - PartsGeek
lairdwd is offline  
#10 Old 07-01-2011, 02:59 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader: 0 reviews
(Thread Starter)
Solved

Thank You everyone for your input. I really appreciate it. And Special thanks to "TerryInLeesburg"

The problem was the rotor after all. I opened the distributor cap and suddenly the screw from the from the rotor fell into the cap. The rotor was on, but the hole for the screw was not in position with the hole on the rotor. I had already bought a new rotor, so i figured i'd just install the new one. Started the car and it started up just fine.

I didnt however change the rotor cap, although i did purchase one, should i replace it or just return it?

On another note, rather than starting a new thread, figure i'd just ask here. When my car is idling in park, the RMPs surge anywhere between 1100-1500. The car has always had higher than usual RMPs since i bought it (about 1000 in drive and used to be 1500 in park). Could this be caused the MAP sensor or something else entirely?
bdarknessb is offline  
#11 Old 07-01-2011, 09:17 AM
The Don.
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 6,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 42 Times in 29 Posts
iTrader: 1 reviews
Engine surging to me spells out an "intake manifold leak". The idle speed is sometimes adjusted to try and compensate for an intake leak. But that's not a good idea though, if you ask me. Just for kick though, check that the TPS is properly adjusted. Then fix the leak, readjust the idle speed, and recalibrate the ignition timing.



'94 Nissan Altima SE, 5spd.
Erebuni 905, Turboing, Hotshot CAI, UR Pulley, Calum ECU,
HUD & ATC retrofitted, DEPO lamps, NGK Ignition wires.
ITEMS FOR SALE
jserrano is offline  
#12 Old 07-01-2011, 11:44 AM
Registered User
 
TerryInLeesburg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
iTrader: 0 reviews
Glad you got it fixed.

I would replace the cap as well. They wear out, as do the rotors, and for a few bucks its cheap insurance.

Also, put a bit of BLUE locktite threadlocker on the threads of the rotor bolt - should help that from happening again.

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
TerryInLeesburg is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum > Nissanclub.com Nissan - Infiniti Enthusiast Forums > NISSAN ALTIMA FORUMS > 1993-2001 Nissan Altima Forums > General Nissan Altima Discussion (1993-2001)

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


<

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome