2003 Nissan Sentra Trouble Starting Car

Tiny
NEALSON1
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 NISSAN SENTRA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 75,000 MILES
Please help! I have been dealing with my car having trouble starting since I bought it 2 years ago. The first time I had the issue I took it back to the shop due to the check engine light and they told me it appeared to be the fuel pump, but to see if the check engine light would come back on. Since then, I have replaced the air intake control, intake air temperature sensor, and a few different shops have checked everything out and can't find anything. The car will act like it is going to start and if I pump the gas a few times eventually it will. However, sometimes it won't start at all until I practically flood the engine. Of course, after that happens and I take it to the shop, they never have the issue. I hate to replace the fuel pump since it is so expensive and then that not fix the issue. It seems like a lot of other people have had the same issue with no luck. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, May 14th, 2009 AT 8:35 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Nealson1,

Thank you for the donation.

Need to confirm the following.

Is the Check Engine Light still showing while driving?
What was the Diagnostic Trouble Code retrieved?
Do you have performance issues with the engine when it is running?
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Friday, May 15th, 2009 AT 8:18 AM
Tiny
NEALSON1
  • MEMBER
I took the car to the shop and my mechanic said the code was saying something about the Fuel Pump level, but the pressure and everything else was good. He got the light to go off and it hasn't come back on since. It runs fine once it is started. It is just getting it started that is the issue.
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Monday, May 18th, 2009 AT 8:15 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
You did not mention if it is difficult to start when cold or hot so I assume it is when engine is cold.

Difficult starting with cold engine can be caused by:
1. Low fuel pressure. The pressure regulator or fuel pump check valve could be faulty resulting in low pressure at start up.
To test, turn ignition ON for 2 seconds and then OFF. Repeat cycle 3 times and try starting, if problem goes away, it is fuel pressure problem.

2. Engine Coolant Temperature sensor. The wrong signal sent by this sensor would result in the PCM providing the wrong starting signal.

3. Weak sparks. Ignition coil could be failing resulting in weaker than required sparks for starting.

4. Compression. If the compression pressure is low, cold starting would be affaected.
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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 AT 9:13 AM

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