This even has NPR's Click and Clack brothers stumped...

Home  \  Repairs & Maintenance  \  This even has NPR's Click and Clack brothers stumped...

This problem, which may seem small and insignificant at first glance, has stumped 5 local mechanics and has even got NPR's Click and Click brothers unsure of what to do on 2 of September's shows. The problemm which started over 2 years ago, has basically become a shrouded unsolved mystery for my Gold 1992 Nissan Sentra 1.6 L XE which I will not let rest with untill it is resolved.

Here is the problem:

- Quite Simply, the car will not start when the engine is below roughly 50 degrees F.
- Just about EVERYTHING has been checked, double checked, changed and/or swapped on the car and still nothing. This includes (in no specific order or reason) the fuel pump, starter, fuel filter, distributor, ignition wires, spark plugs, every sensor known to science, oil, oil filter, air filter, gas, primary gas tank, secondary gas tank, fuel injector, altenator, battery, full exhaust, and basically anything else that has anything to do with prohibiting a car from starting.
- There are three different ways to eventially start the car in sub 50 temps. 1-Add Ether into Air intake before starting and it will almost instantly start up with a very high rev. 2-Poor hot water over engine block/valve cover (real good for car by the way), and 3-Crank the starter for about 20-30 secs while catching the gas peddle just at the right moment (this is perhaps better than regular oil changes) This method however will only work on the 50 F border line and anything 40 F and below will just let the starter crank for ever with no sign of anything.
- Once the car starts it has absolutely no problem running and drives like a dream. The car will continue to start absolutely perfectly for about 4-5 hours after it has been shut off and will not restart untill the engine has completely cooled down again below the 50 F.

I purchased a 1994 Nissan Sentra off E-Bay that was in 100% working order and pulled every part possible from the car so I would have a good base to start swapping more parts. Obviously by me buying the '94 Sentra, the point is no longer getting the car to work because I need it but rather has become more like an unsolvable rubick's cube that has every mechanic and mechanics friend I know stumped.

Please respond with the best advice you can give and I will use whatever I can from the 1994 Sentra to go to work. If anyone would like pics of either the 94 Nissan or 92 Nissan let me know as I have an extensive collection brewing for both cars.

posted by  maiolo99

I'm betting there is nothing particularly mysterious about the problem with your car as it may seem. The problem most likely is the people you had "diagnose" the problem(s). I can almost be sure of that. All those parts changed, and no fix. Yeah, that's the problem. Hopefully if today is my lucky day, and yours, I can lead you in the right direction to get this thing really diagnosed.

Looking at the parts list of some(all?) of the things that were replaced, they seemed to replace fuel related parts the most. I counted 5. Fuel pump, Gas tanks (what the...), Fuel Filter, Fuel Injector. Also, you said hitting the gas pedal at the right time & It fires up. And this tidbit "Add Ether into Air intake before starting and it will almost instantly start up with a very high rev." I'm going to start with the fuel related things.

Disregarding a few things you said, such as pouring hot water on the block helps to get it started, I'm going to suggest something that has come to mind. Alot has been changed, and although this doesn't exactly fit all the things you said, the fuel pump relay comes to my mind. I think you should test it. I realize this is not a very likely cause, but it's slighty possible and therefor I'd like to get it out of the equation.

Just a note... Since your car runs fine once it is started, that rules out alot. It just about brings it down to fuel and/or spark. In that case, I don't see where the big trouble lies in the diagnoses. If there is anymore information you can post, post it.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I am out to check the fuel pump relay- it is raining, but not too bad. I will check back in when I know more. I will also take pics of everything I do so you can follow along. UPDATE!- I just put together a basic picture webiste so you can follow along with what is going on:

posted by  maiolo99

Just in case the edit did not show up- here is the website: ... Sorry if you have to read this twice

posted by  maiolo99 have forged pistons? They tend to shrink out when its cold, even worse all that cranking and injecting fuel into the cyliders causes something called a wash out. It lowers the compression even more. Check your compression when its cold out, it will suck, but do it anyways. Then add oil through the spark plug holes and check it again. Does it raise a lot? Cheap ass forged pistons may be the cause, when they heat up, and it dont take long, they expand and fit the cyliders again. Oh, and when you check your compression, disable the fuel pump, dont let the motor flood, k. Sounds like a

posted by  hi.alt.perform

You'd like to have it for 5 hours? Come on now, you could f*ck it up sooner than that.

Thanks for trying, but please, don't try again.

Great, another idiot on these forums. :banghead: :banghead:

posted by  DodgeRida67

DR67 hit the nail on the head with this one. "Cheap ass forged pistons". Please enlighten us all as to why you said those ignorant words. You sir are a moron. :banghead:

posted by  vwhobo

Its easy to judge my response because maybe i have 3 posts. Maybe they assume you havnt done enough of the obvious fixes. Read the replies these guys make on this and other threads and we will judge their personalities. I am reaching for the more complicated theory as i have faith you have done everything else. Just check it, its free, and easy. Oh, and this has happened before, im a newbie here, but not in the real world. OK.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Oh geez.

If you have something to say, please say it where others can see.

Take a shot poll? No. That conclusion has been seen before? Are you trying to tell me that your diagnosis has been used before?

So lets see. 2 posts and I got a lot of information about you.

#1. You are an Idiot.
#2. You are full of sh*t.
#3. You avoid confrontation.

posted by  DodgeRida67

"Cheap ass forged pistons" is your version of a more complicated theory? I think you misspelled that and meant to type incomprehensible or perhaps clueless theory. :banghead:

posted by  vwhobo

I do not have a screw in type compression gauge for a good reading, but before I buy one (I know they are cheap), why would it start up so well with ether in the air intake before starting if the pistons are too big/warped for the fuel/air mixture to move them alone at all? I know ether has more "kick", but once the car gets the ether it starts right up and immediatly runs fine. If it truly were the pistons, wouldnt it run hard untill the engine warmed up? And, lets assume compression was an issue and a teaspoon of oil upped the compression, indicating a bad ring or bore, again wouldn't the car accelerate poorly or something else indicating poor compression? This car runs like a dream once it goes. I am not saying you are wrong - I will check it out- but first tell me if I am crazy for being sceptical of a piston issue. I will need to buy a compression gauge too at autozone....

posted by  maiolo99

I feel terrible, this thread is for advice not us arguing amongst ourselves. Id send another private but they would show it anyways. So ill argue here. I sent a mess. to vw, forged pistons expand and contract a lot. The cheaper forged pistons do more of this. On an old motor with ring and wall wear, compression may be an issue. Insufficient compression=no start. I assume you really have replaced everything except the short block....hummm? By-the-way although nothing could be ruled out, why dont you guys explain why a relay will not work until the car is started?? And after its warmed up it works fine? Maybe, and i hope so, easy fix. But i would have to assume even the most back yard mechanic has checked fuel pressure and spark when it still doesnt start. Making sense yet? Oh, and ether starts it, only way i know to get a low compression motor to start or even try to run.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Correct, correct and correct. No you are not crazy. Finally ley me say it for you. He's wrong, at least on this point.

posted by  vwhobo

As I said, it is not very likely. Why won't it work UNTIL it's started? I guess you didn't stop to think it works and THEN it starts.

BUT, as I said, several times, it is not very likely, I just want it ruled out of the equation.

posted by  DodgeRida67

ok, better yet, let it get cold, take out the plugs, pour in some oil, then reinstall them and try to start it. Thats free and easy.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

College boy, let me ask you a question. If he dumps hot water on the engine, how much do you think it raises the core temperature and therefore the piston temp. Not very damn much.

I never diagnosed or said anything about a relay. You'll have to ask someone else about that. Unlike you, I read this thread a few hours ago and intend to sleep on it instead of making rash, unfounded and unthoughtful recommendations. Slowing down makes you sound so much smarter. Try it sometime.

posted by  vwhobo

Yeah, i know you said it was unlikely, like a compression issue. The relay fires for several seconds when you turn the key on. Then it stops untill you begin cranking the motor. during cranking it again turns on and the injector fires. At that point it will remain on untill the car is shut off. I was asking why it wouldnt work at all until the motor is actually running? There may be a reason, who knows? I hope that clears that up.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Tell me something. What does pouring oil in there actually diagnose? Do you even know?

posted by  DodgeRida67

[QUOTE=vwhobo]College boy, let me ask you a question. If he dumps hot water on the engine, how much do you think it raises the core temperature and therefore the piston temp. Not very damn much.

I agree, hot water wouldnt do much, if anything. Can we rule out possibilities, or do we have to hit this thing on the first try? Revise your threads, you sound like an moron yourself...k. Something helpful may be to say, you know what, i dont think the compression is a possibility. Try that next time. Although, i love the competitve spirit.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

It would suggest a piston to wall clerance issue. Too much clearance can somewhat be resolved by using a thick oil to seal that clearnce. Usually would suggest bad rings, oh and forged pistons heat up quick and expand quick, thats why i thought once the car had started those clearance issues may be resolved.

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Sorry...was not trying to argue...just trying to chat about it- Like I said, I am no car genious and am just trying to make sure I understand what is being said to me. If it helps, I can post any additional info anyone wants on the car. It is hard to list everything and still try and make the post meaningful...So if you want to know something specific, ask me and I can do my homework on it. I can give you info, MPEG videos, pics or whatever. So for example, if anyone wanted to watch a video of the car try and start I would be more than happy to tape it and post it on the site I made. So far it has rained the entire day and I havn't got much done. I did update a few pics on the website though.

posted by  maiolo99

This reply is to noone in specific. There are a few small things I forgot to mention but might help some. 1-Regardless of how cold it is, the car "wants" to start the very first crank. I can hear the exhaust rumble like it has started and then apon the second crank it is PURE crank and the engine will not even think about "wanting" to start again. This is where I have to do either the ether, hot water, or cranking all day untill it finally, finally starts. And here is another small detail. The cranking method (where I just keep cranking it untill it starts) is very gradual. About 10 cranks in the egine starts to run at very low RPM but needs assitance of the starter motor by me continuing to crank to run. The engine starts taking over more and more until finally, VROOOMM it starts up like a new car and from that exact point on runs 100% beutifully. From this point there is not so much as a stuter in the engine, acceleration seems perfect and has absolutely no issue. The ONLY issue it has (and an odd one) is it starts to really act up around a quarter of a tank (and really not a second before). It starts loosing acceleration completely on hills and sometimes stalls. In order for me to get the car started again, rather than using ether, I have to crank a few times. THIS WILL ONLY work on a level surface. One time I forgot to get gas and stalled at 1/4 tank. I leveled the car and was able to get another 80 miles out of it on the Thruway which is all flat. The second a hill came on the thruway again, the car would loose acceleration and stall again. I finally got it to a gas station and filled it up. Once filled it had absolutely no problem at all. At first I thought the gas must really be empty at 1/4 full on the guage, but that really wouldnt explain the extra 80 miles I got out of the tank unless my car also runs on nitrogen and oxygen, which I dont believe it does....Also note, the parts replaced were mostly used (but "working"). If anything makes you more than enough sure it is probably a part that I already changed, let me know and I will double check that part. Tomorrow I am having a ThanksGiving dinner in Watertown with my folks and will be back at six. If it is not raining, I am going to try everything mentioned so far. I will probably start with adding some oil in the spark plug holes and start again. Then go on to test compression and anything else anyone posts between now and 6:00 tomorrow. I try and keep pics updated of everything I do on the Nissan website I mentioned earlier.

posted by  maiolo99

That changes alot. Those details would have been extremely helpful on your first post. The more you say the more it narrows it down to fuel as I suspected. Was the fuel pump replaced once? I remember you saying something about a parts car, so was the fuel pump new or used? I don't know for sure, but it sounds a good bit like a fuel pump. Last night I got to thinking alot about that pump, and thought about telling you to test fuel flow and pressure at the engine. I believe somehow, someway, you just arent getting the fuel you need efficiently.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Didn't think so.

There you go.

You are really screw up on this piston expantion crap. Really, go do some reading on it. It's very intresting how it really works.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Again i would have to say a relay would be equally as far fetched. Its fun to talk about possibilities. Unless the car is in front of you, you can't hit everything perfect. So dodge, get off hobos dick and actually try to help. Has anyone tested the fuel pressure on this motor? If its been to several mechanics i could only assume they did that much, but you never know. Still try the oil because you may be getting too much fuel or not enough. Rememeber what i said about the cyliders washing down? This is a fact and if the car immediately floods (the car will add more fuel when the car is cold to react with the denser air) it will wash down the walls and still be a compression issue. These are suggestions, almost no one has the right answers over a computer. Good luck working on it, i hope something turns up!

posted by  hi.alt.perform

It makes me very uncomfortable that you have such a strong preoccupation with my dick. Instead of spreading your special brand of BS all over this forum and talking about my anatomy, why don't you go find someplace where you are more at home. I was thinking . Yeah, that's the ticket.

posted by  vwhobo

hi.alt.perform, YOU are the biggest idiot I've ever seen on these forums. What makes you such an idiot is not only posting obviously way off track information that the average born blind/deaf person would know is BS, but the fact that you keep at it. You keep saying stupid things, not knowing what the hell you are talking about, and stick to that BS like it's fact. When you are wrong, admit it and move on. That's how you learn. If you don't do that, you'll be a dumbass forever. I hate people like you. :banghead:

I was really wanting to help this guy, but you have to come along and f*ck it up. Stupid S.O.B. :banghead:

posted by  DodgeRida67

The fuel pump was replaced NEW August 2003. I bought the car in April and could not be certain it is/is not the fuel pump because April through August it never really got too below 50 F to know whether or not the Fuel Pump gave the problem. The reason the fuel pump was replaced is because the car was stalling around turns, NOT because of the issue of not starting in the cold. To basically sum up what I am saying, I cannot say YES or NO to a fuel pump problem (although it was new) because I never had any fuel pump but the current one since it has been below 50 F. Still think it is the Fuel Pump? Let me know- I have the spare from the scrap nissan if you are still mostly certain this is part of the problem.

posted by  maiolo99

Could be... could not be. Like I said before, fuel flow and pressure should be checked at engine. Then you will be able to rule out fuel pump, or come closer to it. Depending on the outcome of the test. Really important test.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I was brosing the ARRC (Auto Repair Reference Center) and got curious and checked out the Service Bulletins/Recalls. You need a subscription to the site so I pulled the PDF's off and stuck them on my site that got my attention. Here are the URL's: and

The second one (NoColdStart.pdf) is more of a recall in my mind than the first (though I do not believe officially) and really seems to head me in the right direction. It speaks of a a 91-94 GA16 Engine (mine) not starting at High Altitudes (above 5000 Feet) with the combo of cold temperature. It says it is due to too rich a mixture and a faulty countermeasure (C/M) altitude switch. I know I am not above 5000 Feet (there may have been a glacier slide last night I didnt see), however, the First PDF (ColdTips.pdf) almost seems to strike the nail on the head with exactly what it takes to start my car with the "Cranking" method I talked about earlier.

I will leave the judgement up to you guys, but could this be it or am I making crazy assumptions. Check out both PDF's. If you do not have a PDF reader, I'm sure you can pull this info up on any recall website for the 1992 Nissan Sentra XE GA16 1.6L Engine. If you do think this is it, can I use any of the 1994 Nissan Sentra parts as a sub for buying this "kit" to fix it? I would have no idea where to begin with this unless I bough the "kit" which probably cost a small fortune direct from Nissan.

posted by  maiolo99

I am a noob.

I'm going to go ahead and get that out in the open, simply to reduce the "shut the f*ck up because you don't know what you're talking about" responses to a minimum.

You're having issues getting it started, unless you put in ether, or hold it down for a long period of time while pumping the pedal. Like another person said, that means a fuel problem. I'm inclined to agree.

It's not firing. Or maybe it is, and there's nothing there.

That tells me that there's possibly a pressure issue here. Not enough air and fuel mix to fire. The "Cheap assed forged pistons" could possibly cause that, or maybe bad rings. I don't think this is an issue with spark plugs, unless they've not been replaced. Have you tried replacing the distributor cap? I don't quite recall seeing that on the list. Maybe it's not firing properly?

Replace your pistons, check your fuel hoses, make sure there's no leaks. Double check the fuel pump. Is it electronic? Is it plugged in?

If it turns out to be something simple, then I really have to wonder why it stumped even Click & Clack. Those guys are geniouses.

posted by  Leuthesius

I just recorded the engine noise as a wave for anyone that would be curious hearing the car start themseleves. It is currently 42 F here and I just made this recoding about 8 minutes ago. The belts you hear do not normally whine like that and is probably because I have no started the car for a week or so and it is so humid and cold out. But anyways, Here is the URL:

The file is about 1.6 MB.

posted by  maiolo99

Don't rev up a cold engine like that! However, it sounds very healthy.

I can't really tell anything from that sound clip. Thanks to that very, very, very annoying sound.

This just keeps on changing. I'm going to have to suggest you call them and talk to them about it.

What a load of crap. :screwy:

posted by  DodgeRida67

Click and Clack are geniouses and the first call I had with them about the car they told me about the elevation issue but said it only really affected cars in Colorado and other high elevation so they gave me a list of things to fix, which I did and tried to mention the best I could remember. Everything they suggested was replaced, and still the same problem. I called them again, and again, and again and finally was able to get on the air again. They immediatly remembered my call/car and where stumped themselves it did not fix it. They said to check into the elevation issue with a mechanic but never mentioned anything about it accompanying a cold start as the PDF's I just posted did. I did not make the conection untill I just read them that they were talking about the same thing. So anyways, I duplicated the starting noises using my excellent vocals on the same call and they said to recheck the parts I had installed and to have the computer replaced- which I did. I can not remember everything now, but everything they suggested I do, I did and the car has the same problem. I have not talked to them since. They did not include the distributor and cap in their list (they were focused mainly on fuel issues) but I replaced them anyways for the heck of it (along with spark plugs and wires). This is when (2 months later) I started this post after I bought the 1994 Nissan because I have become 100% determined to fix it. The Audio Clip is from 15 minutes ago at 42 F (acording to and may help as you can listen to it first hand.

posted by  maiolo99

I hate to say it, but this could very well be an issue similar to my own Nissan.

It's called "A Lemon"

I've poured around $12,000 into a car I bought for $3,500 (3.5k inculded in 12k), and still I have issues, transmission needs repalced or rebuilt (again), hub assembly is needing replaced.. the car is *almost* brand new mechanically, but then again, it's got 195,000 miles on it, and the engine is immaculate.

Could just be because the car is a nissan, or old.

posted by  Leuthesius

Same URL, - different audio clip. This time I closed the door so the annoying beeping sound would not be heard. In trade, you cannot hear the egine as well. Same size, 1.6 MB- 1 Minute Long. I did not rev the engine this time and if you can listen closly you can hear the engine finally start off and idle nicely before I shut the engine off and stop the auidio clip. I have no idea if this audio clip will help anyone at all- sorry if it is more annoyance than help.

posted by  maiolo99

It's not a lemon in my book. The car has no issues at all other than this listed on this post. The transmission is good, engine is good, body is good, steering/suspension/tires are great (plus just about every peripheral engine component now being new). Once this car gets started it drives as nicely as a new car. In the Spring/summer it is 100% reliable and will start every time. I was thinking about selling it in the summer and act ignorant but I just couldnt do it and besides I get attached to all my cars after I have them for a while. Everything that has gone wrong on my 92' Ford Escort since I owned it in '98 I have fixed and it is nearing 200K- All the sudden you notice your pride and joy is worth nothing to anyone else (perhaps $400) and everything you have with the car is emotional. Although I can see why you might think I am crazy for making so much trouble about an old 92 Nissan Sentra- it's just somehow different in my eyes when you own it and poor your own blood and spit into it. I just feel like I am so close to give up... And still, it does start, just not the way most would prefer, including myself.

posted by  maiolo99


That sound clip is alot better. I know you are sick of making them, but could you do one more? This time Crank the car as always, when it starts, let it run for a few seconds, cut it off, start it again until it runs. Just as soon as that engine shuts down, crank it immediately right back up. If it doesn't start right back up after shutting it off, just immediately after shutting it off, I'm going to have to go and look at wiring diagrams of how the ignition and fuel system is managed when the ignition is in the START position.

As I said before, about the C/M switch. I suggest that you call Nissan and talk to someone knowledgeable about this C/M switch and get all the information you can about it. Symptoms and such. I'd really like to know what exactly this thing does. I'll see if I can find out myself.

posted by  DodgeRida67

Ok- Here is a nice audio clip of the engine starting 3 times.( ) Let me explain a bit about it before you listen. First of all, it is currently 50 F out (well, 48 F) and you will see what I mean about the engine starting better. Remember where I said 'On the first crank it always wants to start'? Well, because it is near 50 F the first crank or so it DID start. Then you will hear me shut it off and it crank again. This time it does not start on the first crank as you will hear. It finally starts and I repeat the process again for the third start (then the audio clip ends). This audio clip is a lot nicer (i think) because I stuck the recorder under the hood to give a nice clear sound (no annoying beeps either!). I don't know if it is the best test because it is so close to 50F. If it were 30F or something you would definatly hear a difference because the car would REALLY not want to start (sorry I use CAPS for italics becase I dont know an easier way at the moment).

However, with all my babling- here is a verbal response to: 'If it doesn't start right back up after shutting it off, just immediately after shutting it off...' - Let's assume it was still 40 F out. It NEVER would start right back up after it ran for a few seconds. The engine at least has to be running for a bout 15 mins to 'warm up' for this to work.

posted by  maiolo99

You know, the problem as Nissan explained it is that the air/fuel is to rich to start when below 50 degrees and at high altitude above 5,000FT. To rich... However, it cranks fine when warmed up. Correct? Well, you need a richer mixture when cold as opposed to a leaner mixture when the engine is at or near normal operating temperature. So what I'm saying is, if the fuel/air is to rich when cranking, it should be even worse to crank when its at normal operating temperature, because that requires a leaner mixture. Also, in my mind, if it was infact a problem with air/fuel mixture being too rich, it would start up when you cranked it immediately after shutting it down, or atleast come close to it. But that little detail doesn't have to hold true.

What I'm saying is, I'm doubting that this C/M switch would solve your problem. It doesn't add up. However, if it wasn't your problem, it is a hell of a coincidence.

Putting all that aside, it really sounds like you are not getting the fuel you need judging from that last audio clip. Back to what I said many posts back; you need to check fuel flow and pressure at the engine. Do it when it's a little colder out. You are going to need the help of a friend.

posted by  DodgeRida67

This is slightly off topic but will only take a second. Check out: . It is recorded right at the valve cover and is the engine running. It is about 20 Seconds long. Are you hearing what I am hearing? This day never ends....

posted by  maiolo99

Look, Maiolo, i dont want you to feed into the negative things others say on this site. These guys may have worked in a shop forever.....but i OWN my shop. Local mechanics take their problems to me when they cant be solved. I have to tell you that it is extremely hard to diagnose a problem over the internet. My marketing team thought it may be smart for me to try. I am new at car forums, however, i DO know A LOT about drivability problems. Dont let these guys shut people down on this site. Ive noticed that there are very few people here trying to help. Did you try the oil trick? Your sound waves are a bit on the quite side, however, your engine does seem to turn over quite fast. Is that accurate? Is it turning over faster during inital start up than at other times? Thus it would still suggest a compression issue. Oh, fuel pumps work or they dont....Very rarely do they pump, but at a barely less than optimal pressure. About the pistons, i've been so busy to really explain, and i didnt want to write a book about it. However, on an engine that has forged pistons(your car may have them or not) they have much greater expansion and contraction properties than others. Take into consideration ring and wall wear and you may end up with a compression issue. I dont want people to knock me right away, but i cant go on and on here. To make a car start, you need the proper amounts of fuel, air compression and timing. These are the things we have to focus on. Dodge may be right, you dont have enough fuel, howerer, what if you have too much? Check the pressure, is it in spec? You have a good injector? Good sensors? Coolant temp sensors do this crap all the time, but if your motor is spinning faster than usual, it may have lower compression. This may be caused by the things ive talked about. Ether will start a low compression motor. Does your car blow black smoke after start up? Or no smoke at all? Does it seem rich when its cold i.e. black smoke again, do your plugs look black and sooty? Feathering the throttle will make a car that has a rich start condition finally start ( try holding it wide open, on some cars it will shut the fuel off and help it start). Again, these things are hard to fix online, i said bring it to me i could do it. I caught some crap for that, but i know i could. But online, we do this one step at a time. I will still be here, unless you say otherwise. Lots of guys are down here are giving me advice to tell you, cold start injectors are a topic, however, these guys know nissans and have been racing them forever, let me know. K

posted by  hi.alt.perform

Well, first of all- everyone that has given me advice so far I have weighted just about equally. Judging someone's expertise when I am no expert myself is like trying to guess which horse will win before a race if I know nothing about horses or races- in other words, early judgements on who knows what is useless if I am the biggest dummy myself. Some questions are obviously off wack, but mostly what I have gotten from everyone seem's like a fair enough shot given what everyone knows.

Anyways, with that said- you gave me a load of questions that I will try and answer the best I can within the next few days, so stay posted to this forum. These are the questions I will be focusing on:
- Is the pressure in spec?
- Are the injector's good?
- Are the sensors good?
- Does the car blow black smoke after start up?
- Or no smoke at all?
- Does it seem rich when its cold? (i.e. black smoke again)
- Do the plugs look black and sooty?
- Does holding the throtle wide open help it start?

posted by  maiolo99

HOLY COW!!!! there is alot of blog on this one!!! or maybe its just alot of that frickin mouse.. its huge.. make that thing smaller.
?: does it fire up fine after you get it going and its warmed up?
is it a new distributor, did you check for oil in side by the optic sensor? this could be a cause of not getting proper spark from the distributor to the wires, but everything else looked good in test

honestly my thoughts go to the last post: The fuel rail...
your injectors do rely on vacumm from the firing and pressure from the fuel pump. so if your getting it started by injecting an ignition source thru the intake then it fires up; it could be gummed up in the fuel rail before the injectors take it.
Just a thought!! :thumbs:

posted by  klnshavn

Whatever happened with this vehicle? In all the replacing going on was air looked at? Perhaps the amm? My sister's volvo is starting to act up like that.

posted by  buzzardsbrew

when this happens does it sound like it cranks slow? crank speed is important. there are a million and one options to your problem that can be solved with one tool(very expensive though) find a diagnostics technician with a MODIS, snap-on's new tool you can read 4 channles of anything for anything on anything and is by far the coolest shit ive ever worked with. and if you got money and wanna know the right answer. Dave Hurtubise of Hi-Tek training is by far the best diagnostics tech i have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and if it has a computer than this guy can find your problem, i dunno if he does any work in the states but i believe he has a shop in canada here somewhere. so when all else fails i'll get more info and you can ask this guy, otherwise bring it up north and i'll tackle it for you... or fire bomb it(got good insurance ;)

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

It might seem like an obvious thing but did you try dry gas or check for a restricted feul line like vaporlock. Also check if your feul filter is going in the right direction, there should be an arrow on it.

posted by  chud298

I gave up after two pages because my vision blurred :mrgreen:

I can't believe a simple thing like an engine start problem couldn't be fixed (or diagnosed) by a qualified mechanic in less than an hour.

Be interesting to know what the problem was. Cold start injector circuit or throttle air valve?

posted by  Wally

Ahhh...looking back. The problem was never solved. I gave the car to a local mechanic for free and he gave up after it wouldnt start at all and had it towed for scraps I believe. He said the outside temperature at what it would start kept climbing until it wouldnt start in the summer. That was about 3 years ago. Looking back, who knows what it was. Maybe everyone in my town is an idiot (it's possible) or perhaps the car was possessed...Oh well, its all done now. Thanks to all those that helped.

posted by  maiolo99

Wow!! Someone actually took the time to come back almost four years later to update us. You stumped the Tappet brothers AND vwhobo? That problem was unsolvable. Should've run it off a cliff or something though. lol

posted by  chris_knows

should have buried it alive, now it probably came back as a Kia or a Hyundai. Who knows what it will take down with it this time...:laughing:

posted by  dvdrose18

It's funny. I was just driving home from work today and my brain started playing this entire forum conversation back in my head out of the blue. I must of saw an old sentra on the road or something or who knows what - but really, a good chunk of the posts started flowing though my head. So anyways, I get home on my laptop, dug though some old sentra photos and started searching for the forum site which I had long forgotten where it was. I finally found it using the magic of google keywords and fondly reminisced. Then, to reply, by a true miracle, I guessed my password on the first try. I had not used that password in probably 3.5 years. In fact, once I logged in I tried to change my password but could not guess what it was (I just typed it in!). I tried all sorts of stuff and finally had them send me a password reset. I swear, my brain re-lived all this information in an instant, of which I had never thought of it once really since I gave the car a way, way back when. weird stuff.

posted by  maiolo99

Your Message