1998 Nissan Altima Car doesnot start up

Tiny
KRAVIREDDY
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 NISSAN ALTIMA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 141,450 MILES
I returned to start my car after parking for a couple of hours and notice that the doors aren't getting unlocked with the remote. I unlocked the doors using the key and when I tried to start the car, it doesn't. There is no engine lights coming - all the red lights that show up just before starting - nothing. I need my car ASAP!

No electricals in the car work. If you can advise of the possible fault and repair estimate, that would be great. And can I do it on my own?
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Friday, May 14th, 2010 AT 9:02 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi kravireddy. Welcome to the forum. Possibilities include a dead battery, blown main fuse, or battery wasn't recharging while you were driving last time. A blown main fuse isn't likely, but if it is, the battery will be fine yet. Use a cheap digital voltmeter to measure battery voltage. It should be very near 12.6 volts. If it is less, a jump-start should get it started. At that point, when the engine is running, measure battery voltage again. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is less than 13.75 volts, the battery is not being recharged. Instead, the engine is running off the battery and will stall when the battery is almost dead. Starting with a fully charged battery, that will take about two to three hours if you are not running the head lights, radio, heater fan, or wipers. With a battery that needed a jump start, expect the engine to stall in a few minutes.

If you find battery voltage is between 13.75 and 14.75 volts, there was likely a drain on the battery after you parked it. Leaving the head lights on is the most common cause. If that's what you find, simply driving the car a good 15 to 30 minutes after having it jump started will recharge the battery enough so it will start the next time. No other repairs will be needed. If head lights are not the problem, there may be some other drain on the battery. Sticking power antennas, interior lights that don't turn off, and one of the various computers not turning off are also common. Some computers remain powered up for up to 20 minutes after stopping the engine. If your battery is failing due to age, it may not be able to run those computers AND start the engine. In that case, all you need is a new battery, but don't just throw one in in hopes it will solve a problem. The charging system should be tested first and other problems should be ruled out.

Another common cause is nothing more than loose and dirty battery cables. Wiggling them will often show where the problem is by causing a little spark. Keep your eyes as far away as possible. Batteries give off hydrogen gas which will explode if a spark ignites it. If wiggling the cables brings things back to life, both cable clamps should be removed, cleaned, and tightened.

Caradiodoc
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Friday, May 14th, 2010 AT 1:49 PM
Tiny
KRAVIREDDY
  • MEMBER
Thanks caradiodoc! I'm gonna try them first thing tomorrow morning! Hopefully one of your suggested steps works and the car springs back to life.
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Friday, May 14th, 2010 AT 9:29 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
  • MEMBER
Thank you for using 2CarPros. Com. We appreciate your donation and look forward to helping you in the future.
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Monday, May 17th, 2010 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
KRAVIREDDY
  • MEMBER
Thanks caradiodoc and thanks 2carpros. Com. As suggested by caradiodoc, the headlights were turned on draining the battery. Jump started it and did a 3 hour drive and the car is back to its own self. Sorry for this delayed thank you. Was traveling over the weekend in my Altima!

Thanks once again!
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 AT 6:11 AM

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