Cranks but will not start intermittently

Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • NISSAN PATHFINDER

I have a SE with 245,000 km, V6 3.3L and all of a sudden it would not start, only intermittently.

When I just turn the key it cranks but will not start.
When I press the pedal down full and then try to start. It cranks and seems to want to start but then does not.

I checked:
- spark plugs and there is a good spark.
- for two to three seconds of whining of fuel pump when key is turned 3/4 prior to trying to start.
- fuel tank is full.
- fuel lines seem to be pressurized?

Any idea what it could be?

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Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 AT 9:25 PM

14 Replies

Tiny
DATSUNRAISED
  • MEMBER

You might need try checking the compression in your cylinders. If you have good spark, good fuel/air, and it is cranking, then all you really have left is poor compression; or timing my be off.

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Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • MEMBER

It is definitely not the starter as the engine turns over very good. Today I took it out a long drive and when I came back and stopped the truck, I was able to restart it a few times no problem, even checked it an hour later and it started?

It would not do this if the fuel pump was not working or the distributor was not working? Maybe the crank sensor? Or an injector(s) got stuck?

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2007 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
DATSUNRAISED
  • MEMBER

It should not be just one injector, because as soon as it hit a good one it would still turn over. But to make sure your getting fuel to all cylinders, disconnect your spark plugs, leaving the holes open. Then crank the car a couple of times. You should be able to smell gas coming out of all your cylinders. To then clear the gas out, reconnect your spark plugs and pull the fuse for your fuel pump. Crank again to get the gas out.

As for as the crank sensor goes, I have usually experience really rough idle also when those go out, but it is definitely a viable option as well.

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Thursday, June 7th, 2007 AT 11:39 AM
Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • MEMBER

If I hear the fuel pump and the fuel filter is okay. Then what could be the problem if fuel is not getting to the engine?

I have still pull out the plugs and check for fuel.

I will let you know. Thanks for the input.

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Friday, June 8th, 2007 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
KIN CHAN
  • MEMBER

Let me take a shot at this. Spray heavy dose of starting fluid and see if the engine will turn over with combustion. If it does you can pretty much conclude is a fuel control problem. If it does not then it is a timing problem and I mean ignition, cam, injectors, whatever that is not correctly timed.

When you plug a wire out in open air to verify spark on a cold start if you put your injector pulse through a scope your computer get a signal as starting it length at least four times on injector pulse to richen up the system in order to start so if you do not have a signal and get extra fuel to kick start, guess what it is not happening?

If this is an intermediate problem on this guy then we can pretty much rule out compression, if you have bad mechanical problem it is not happening no matter what.

Service writer maybe right on coolant temperature sensor which is another form of fuel control. As a mechanic who makes a living on commission no time for that research and development spray and it does not work then I do not have to pull scope, scanner and move on to something else. What do you think guys?

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Sunday, June 10th, 2007 AT 10:39 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

Starter signal takes the place of the cold start valve to lengthen the pulse width for the initial enrichment especially in toys. If the PCM does not see it, it will kill injectors-just like the Ne and G signals no fuel. Also the CTS will affect fuel delivery.

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Sunday, June 10th, 2007 AT 5:32 PM
Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • MEMBER

I changed the distributor cap, rotor, and plug wires and it started with good idle, the four times I tried. The next night I tried starting the truck and it would crank but not fire! After about six to eight tries, I was able to start the truck. Took it for a ten minute drive, came back, turned off the engine and tried to start it and it would not. I took out spark plug number one and it was dry, checked it for spark and there was. Did the same for spark plug number three with the same results.

Does this sound like a fuel delivery problem now? What should I check? Senors? I have not "check engine light on" nor any codes coming up. What gives?

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • MEMBER

In frustration brought it to the dealer, replaced the distributor also, changed the fuel pump relays around and I still seem to have this intermittent start.

They checked everything no codes, fuel pressure was good, sensors were fine. They were not able to get the truck not to start so it was hard to pinpoint. Then I get it home and it does not start. Could any of the sensors, like coolant temperature, cranks position sensor, camshaft sensor work intermittently?

When it does not crank and I check the plugs, they are dry. So no fuel is getting to them, but why?

Thanks for any input. Boy I hope the next person can learn from my posts.

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Sunday, June 17th, 2007 AT 10:19 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
  • 9,235 POSTS

Hey
Pathfinder,

Like Kin says, next time it does not start, you need to access the throttle body and spray some starting fluid or similar into it and crank it to verify the no fuel situation. We need to verify the lack of fuel or not. Intermittent are a bear.

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Sunday, June 17th, 2007 AT 9:29 PM
Tiny
PATHFINDERRS
  • MEMBER

The problem was the relay for the fuel injectors was not working properly, so by changing the relay it solved everything. That is why no fuel was getting into the cylinders.

Thanks all for your help. Hope this helps someone else.

From Ken: The location of the relay is on the next page.

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 AT 1:51 PM
Tiny
DAMIEN SHRIMP
  • MEMBER

Hi pathfinderrs, I am having the some problem you were having when I read through this when I see how you fixed it. I went looking for that relay on my pathfinder but could not find it anywhere so could you please tell me where about is the fuel injectors relay? I have a 2001 pathfinder.

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Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 AT 8:14 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 9,409 POSTS

Hey Damien,

Yes, I got you covered and found this for you.

Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
PATHFINDER 2008
  • MEMBER

I have the same problem I have a Pathfinder 2008. I noticed that if I do not used the truck for more than twelve hours it cranks but will not turnover. Any idea what could be the problem?

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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 6:34 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 9,409 POSTS

Hey PATHFINDER 2008,

When the engine does not start do you hear the fuel pump running in the tank? Also, check for spark, this will help us narrow it problem down to a system.

Here is a guide to help.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-test-an-ignition-system

Please let us know happens so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Thursday, December 15th, 2016 AT 8:44 AM

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