1995 Nissan Maxima Will rotate but not start

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 240,000 MILES
My Maxima will only sometimes not start. It's very random when it chooses to start or not start. When it has trouble starting, the engine will rotate and try to catch, but nothing happens. The ignition doesn't rotate slowly or make weird noises, it sounds just like it normally would, but just won't catch.

Today I tried to pump the gas pedal a bit when it was having trouble starting, and it started, but a puff of black smoke came out.

The engine light is on, and I was told by a friend who read the code about a month ago that it was something to do with a thermostat and wasn't important to fix right away.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, September 4th, 2009 AT 7:41 PM

1 Reply

I am in no way a licensed mechanic or anything of the sort. I just happen to do a lot of the work on my own cars as I am fairly mechanically inclined.

I too own a 1995 Nissan Maxima, and have had a similar problem in the past. I had a check engine light come on and when diagnosed, it showed to be a heat circuit, bank 1 sensor 1. This is NOT anything to do with the thermostat. This is an overheating circuit in the catalytic convertor. It is normally caused by a faulty O2 sensor just before the convertor. The PCM, relies on the O2 sensor to tell it how much fuel is in the exhaust gas, therefore allowing it to properly supply fuel for the next combustion. If your O2 sensor is bad, it could be reading very lean causing the PCM to put too much fuel in the cylinders, and flood the engine. The puff of black smoke is excessive fuel in the cylinders. I would suggest figuring out which circuit is bad and causing the engine to overfuel. Then replace faulty sensors, and your problem should go away.
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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 AT 2:39 PM

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