2000 Nissan Maxima Starting problem

Tiny
MAIRX10
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 NISSAN MAXIMA
Electrical problem
2000 Nissan Maxima 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

Occasionally when I turn the key to start one of the following will happen:

1. Car will turn over fine.
2. The key will turn but nothing will happen.
3. The engine will start to turn over then hit a spot that resembles a dead spot and not start. If I continue to hold the key it will usually start (like it got past the bad spot).
Subsequent starts for #2 and #3 will start the car on the second try.

This may only happen once in 20 starts although it now seems to happen more frequently. Earlier this year there were times when I only noticed it do it maybe once every two weeks or so but now it seems to be every other day or so.

I'm leaning towards a bad starter. I had the car in the shop and they tested the starter and could find nothing wrong. They did not want to replace the starter until they were more sure it was the starter.
Go figure - an honest repair shop.

I have replaced the battery about 6 months ago.
The starter was replaced about 50k miles ago.
All ignition coils have been replaced about 40k miles ago.
Two o2 sensors were replaced about 30k miles ago.

Any ideas on where to look? Tests that can be done.
Any help would be appreciated.

I don't want to replace the starter and find out it was something else.
Could it be the solenoid?
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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 AT 9:15 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
STEVEW84
  • MEMBER
Where did you replace at? Where did you get the starter from? 6 months in 50k Miles? I would probably lean to a bad starter or ignition switch. You will just have to wait for it to happen more. When it does happen, you have to make sure there is power going to the starter.
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Saturday, July 25th, 2009 AT 9:28 PM
Tiny
MAIRX10
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The starter was replaced by my local Nissan dealer at the same time the engine was replaced (thats another story). Car currently has 111k miles, engine/starter was replaced at 61k. Engine was a salvage with apprx 5k miles. That was apprx 6 yrs ago. There have been no problems with engine other than coils, O2 sensors.
Car is currently not driven much (apprx 2k miles per year) but I don't like the uncertainly that it may strand me.
Shop that checked the starter said even if starter has bad spot the magnetic movement of the starter should move it pass bad spot on subsequent cranks. Not sure if this is true but it seems so.

Is there a test to determine if the ignition switch is going bad?

Whats less expensive to replace? Starter or ignition switch.
I have a est. Of $290.00 to replace the starter.

Thanks for all the help.
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Sunday, July 26th, 2009 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
STEVEW84
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The only really way to diagnose this problem is to have the problem happen again and when it does verify there is power going to the starter. The magnetic thing they were talking is possible, but that shouldn't rule out a bad contact inside the starter or an intermittently bad solenoid.
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Sunday, July 26th, 2009 AT 10:18 AM
Tiny
MAIRX10
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I will probably go ahead and replace the starter in the next month or two. At least that way I will eliminate two possibilities (starter and/or solenoid) and then see what happens. Hopefully that will fix it.

We have had the car since new and I would like to keep it a few more years since it's not driven that much.
It's been extremely reliable up until the last 8 months so I'd like to resolve this problem as soon as possible without throwing a lot of money at it. I don't want to get into a situation where we're replacing things just to see if that fixes it.

Again, thanks.
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Sunday, July 26th, 2009 AT 11:41 AM

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