Engine won't start ...clutch safety switch involved /manual transmission
Beware....If your truck has a manual transmission and truck won't start. There is a good chance its not a dead battery. The first thing to check is the cheap plastic nipples on the clutch pedal post that depresses the safety switch which lets you start the truck. They get brittle and break off when you least expect it. If that happens, the safety switch will not allow the ignition switch to start the truck. If you see any plastic on the floor board by the pedals, its a good sign they are failing. Mine and a friend of mine both had this happen within a month of one another. Both trucks had less the 45,000 mile on them. Thought I would pass this information on
Mr Nissan Joe you were exactly right about the plastic nipples on the clutch pedal...Thank the Good Lord we still have all American folks wanting to help others...As you said I found the cheap plastic on my floor board, rigged me up a home made nipple placed it on the clutch pedal hole and it works fine now....Had I went to have it fixed it would have probably cost me $200 dollars or more...By the way my 2007 frontier has less than 44000 miles on it...The cheap stuff they put on vehicles these days is dispicable....thanks again Joe......
Mr Nissan Joe, Thanks for your help! mY 2007 Nissan Frontier just suddenly would not start. After trying to jump it several times I went to search the internet for people who may have had this problem. It lead me to this site. I checked for plastic on the floorboard and found the nipple broken off. I stuck the nipple back in the hole on the clutch pedal and it started right up. I'm still trying to figure out how to rigg it so it will stay and I dont have to spend money at the dealership. What a cheap nipple! Recommendations??
I TOOK THE ROUND PIECE THAT BROKE OFF THE NIPPLE AND TAPED IT TO THE HOLE ON THE CLUTCH, WORKS LIKE A CHARM..BET IT LAST A LONG TIME.....
That works for me. I also thought about a thick plastic disc taped to the back of plate covering the hole on the clutch because my round piece broke in half. I appreciate your help!
Glad you got your clutch fixed up...Think I will keep a piece of bubble gum handy in case, you know when gum is hard you cant break it....Nissan can't think like that........Now I wonder what else will mess up with a cheap part.....
I had the same problem. This happened to me in the tie down area of a boat ramp at 9:00 P.M last night. I had the boat hooked up and was parked on a steep incline when all of a sudden it would not even turn over. I ended up leaving the truck over night, and went back to troubleshoot it this morning. I found the plastic pieces on the floorboard as well. I'm really pissed at Nissan for this because the vehicle basically left me stranded in a bad way with my wife and kids along. Good thing for family and friends who came to help us home.
This happened to me today and I was so scared it was the battery....and didn't have the money in my budget to buy a new battery.....after reading about the "nipple" online sure enough I found it on the floorboard. I was able to take a screw/washer/nut and screw it into the metal swtich plate....and my Nissan started right up. I do think it's nice to have such a safety feature.....but just maybe Nissan should somehow add this to the owner's manual....I would not have known about this without the help of other people. THANK YOU!!!
Thanks! A little electric tape and I'm back in business, only 42,000 miles and the nipple was broken off the floor board. Thanks again for the post
Many many many THANKS!!!! my truck would not start this morning, and I had no idea what could've been wrong. No warning signs, a fairly new battery, and no "clicking" sound.... it was as if I was trying to start my 2005 Frontier without holding down the clutch, except I was holding it down.... One quick read through this forum and my truck started right up once I saw the broken "nipple piece" on the floor and I secured it in place with some electrical tape.... my worries about an expensive fix to the problem are all gone... so now I know, and knowing is half the battle
Clutch safety switch fix: Go to the hardware store and buy a small 1/4" bolt or smaller with a 7/16 nut put the bolt through the hole with the head of the bolt facing the clutch safety switch apply the nut to the bolt and tighten. It would probably be best to use the nut with the locking mechanism so it won't vibrate loose. Quick inexpensive easy fix that lasts forever.
Last weekend My husband went to the store and when he came out his 1998 Nissan Frontier wouldn't start. His friend came the next day pushed the truck off so my husband could get the truck home. We were dreading trying to get the truck to the shop and not knowing how much the repair would be. Thank goodness for your article! My husband just took the nipple piece the broke off (which neither of us knew what those plastic pieces were for before) and some electrical tape and made the repair. The truck cranked right up!!!! Yea!!!! Thanks again!!! M_MBenoit98
Many thanks to everyone who share their story. .I too had the problem.. I had already bought a battery last year.. here I was trying to jump start...NOTHING, neighbor came over we trying looking for fuses, etc, noththing.. never thought about the clutch, but I figure it had to be a relay...Well.. I am not exactly average joe wish I had saw this review.. I took it too the Nissan dealer.. It did cost too much $61..but I learn something...and now I know.. but thanks.. by the way I had 86k on the 2006 truck before I had any problems.
Mine made it 52k before this happened. Until I can fix it properly this weekend, I found that I can put my foot under the clutch and work the switch directly.
Great advice! My battery has been a bit weak over the past few months (original in 2005, 7 years ago). When it wouldn't start today, and I noted the some cable corrosion, I gave in and purchased a new battery and cleaned the cables but was dismayed when it still would not turn over. After reading your answers, I found the nipple on the floor and duct taped it back in place with great success! Thanks all.
THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Omg!! First I wanna thank Jesus! Second whoever found out that this was the problem. I just came back home put my brand new battery in and still would not start! I was gettin more n more pissed. Then I saw this post. Pushed the little black button with my finger n she cranked right up!! Thank u thank u thank u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes!! I love Google. I made to 155555 miles, literally, until I had this problem. Nothing is scarier than going through times financially knowing its more serious than the battery and then reading this in front of an AutoZone store. I prayed hard this morning as I went to leave for work and had to push my truck out of my garage to jump start it. Thank God and thank y'all! I'm just treating this as an anti-theft feature for now. I'll tap the secret switch every time I start it. lol
Mine also broke off and the one they sold me was to large for the hole. Went back they ordered another one it also would not go in the hole after two hours of work and trimming like they told me to do. I installed a bolt and nut in the hole. One would think that they would sell one that would fit the hole like the original equipment. The dealership was no help.
I've broken two of these little nipples and my 2012 Frontier only has 450 miles on it!! I guess I press the clutch down hard. It is quite a piss-poor design. I popped a nut and bolt in, but worry that one day that switch will fail-- think about it, every time you shift you depress the switch. Considering bypassing the switch, or at least keeping a spare in the glove box. The dealer did hook me up with a bag full of nipples for nothing though!
Thanks for this information. Mine quit last night, and I was able to fix it in just a few minutes thanks to you all. I can't say it is an unreliable part, I mean, I have nearly 420,000 miles on my 05 Frontier and this is the first time it broke.
I'm a little surprised that no one has jumpered out the switch. In the old days people were smart enough to start a manual tranny in neutral or have the clutch depressed.
I had thought about doing that, but from time to time, someone else might start it up. Like when I get tires or have to take it to the shop. I don't know how smart some of those people are.
Just happened to me also, the plastic on the floor and everything, I was about to drop $150 on a new starter, THANK YOU!
Thank you so much, this just happened to my 06 frontier, I almost didn't search the Internet because I figured everyone would be saying battery but I'm glad I did
2012 Nissan Frontier manual transmission. Yes, 2012 and happened in 2013. Only have 7,000mi on truck and this part has failed! The parts dept calls it a clutch rubber stopper and runs for $7. I super-glued a penny to the back of it so hopefully this doesn't happen again. I would have had the battery serviced, fuses checked, key (transmitter) checked, etc...had it not been for the previous posts. Thank you all!
Glad I posted this problem, because it looks like it has helped alot of people out and saved them some money too. I used a nut and bolt ....it will be safer.
Still helping. I have a 1998 Nissan Frontier with 336K and had this happen for the first time. Thanks for posting!!!
2006 Nissan Frontier with 56K and had this happen for the first time. Thanks for posting!!! A little duct tape as a temp fix.
Not an answer but a new problem...after doing the fix talked about here the switch component broke. So have been trying to just connect the 2 wires in the back of the switch, still no start, battery checked good...Any suggestions why no start?
Did the vehicle start before the switch button broke? The clutch must be depressed on the switch for the vehicle to start. If you can start the vehicle by jumping directly to the starter, the problem has to be in the switch, thats how I found out what my problem was.
I found out that there is a relay mounted near the battery under the hood that if it fails will keep the truck from starting. Once replaced, the truck starts just fine.
After 251,000 miles the clutch rubber stopper broke on my 2000 Frontier. Thanks for the help. We used a screw/nut for a temp fix. The part was $15 at the dealer. Glad that this was the only problem.
I've had this happen twice on two different manual transmission Nissan Frontiers. The best solution is to remove all of the plastic parts. Then install a bolt with a rubber or plastic top (one example is a foot for a small table). Find a nut that works and insert the bolt with plastic towards the switch, Tighten it down with a lock washer and never worry about it again.
I had a similar problem two days ago and then again last night. Sounds like this may be my problem because. Can't wait to go home and look for the plastic in hopes this is the only issue. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.
Same deal with my 2006 Xterra ~60k miles. My husband went out of town and I'm at the train station at 8pm and, well, you know the deal. Luckily it started up the second time I tried. But I was mystified, and worried. Next day I spoke to him on the phone and he told me it was the clutch safety rubber stopper, which he had previously rigged up out of some little rubber doodad he found in the tool box when the original cheapy plastic thing broke a while back. Sure enough, it was on the floormat. What I want to share is that I found on Ebay both the original cheapy plastic white thing and the upgraded OEM replacement rubber part, see picture below, and http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xnissan+xterra+clutch+rubber+stopper+46512-EA00A.TRS0&_nkw=nissan+xterra+clutch+rubber+stopper+46512-EA00A&_sacat=0&_from=R40 I'm going to buy the rubber one (or two), since I think the rigged one is going to keep falling out.
Thank you very much. I just hooked up my camper and was going camping with friends. I checked fuses and all kinds if other things. I googled the problem. Your post came up and it work. What a relief. Once again I am very thankful.
I had this problem 3 months ago in my 2006 Frontier. My dad figured it out an glued a penny down there. So my truck started after that but yesterday I had my truck towed because it just won't start. Is not the battery I think is the switch that stop working, anyone else had this problem? I don't wanna spent a lotta money if it's something I can fix in my own. Thanks
The penny may not be deep enough to engage the switch. Reach down and manually hold the clutch button down and see if the truck starts. If so, mount something thicker.
If this stopper breaks, and you are miles from nowhere... you can still start your truck. While pressing the clutch, gently push the clutch to the right as you depress the clutch and it will press down on the switch in the floor. You can get to somewhere to fix the problem anyway you wish.
I have to push my clutch to the left. I've been running it that way foe over a year. It's like a free anti theft device.
Happened to my 86 1/2 a while back. I super glued 3 pennies together and it was the perfect thickness and then glued the pennies to the firewall.
just happened to my 07 frontier,, after reading all this great info , I went digging in my garage,, found a nut & bolt with a couple of washers, and walla!! my truck started.THANK YOU all for posting this great info!!
Hi, my Nissan frontier 2004 will not crank at all. all lights are on, battery is good, i have gas in it, its standard and i checked the plastic that presses in the clutch switch that is still intact. its 4 cylinder and the starter is still brand new, i replaced it last year January. when i turn the key i hear nothing at all, all lights in the dash are on, the fuses are all still good. i did a push start to the truck then it kinda almost turned on but not fully stayed on and just died. It was good when i drove it to pick up my nephew from school then i turned it off. I tried to turn it on but then it will not crank at all. no click sound but all dash lights are good. need help please.
I would double check the plastic tab and make sure its pressing the button like it should.
Ok i did. its still not cranking. I even pressed it with my finger while the gear is on neutral still won't crank. Will it just be that clutch switch that might just burned out. I might have to direct it like jumper the wire. will that be the problem , bad switch?
Thats can be possible because you can start the car through other means. Thats how I finely found out it was the switch button. I could not start the truck, but could start it by jumping directly to the starter or by pushing. Let us know what the problem was when you get it fixed.
Ok ill try that then ill keep you all posted on the problem..
Hi guys , well i took out the switch and just jumped the wire.. it still didn't start. So what i wanted to do since i had lots of time on my hands, is i decided to try and take out my starter and have it tested. I brought it to napa auto to get it tested and it happened to not turn over. i was happy i found the problem. my starter is just 1 year old and it gave out soo soon. So i installed it and my truck just started. Im soo glad that it started. Thanks NissanJoe well now i know if ever it wouldn't want to start i know it might just be the clutch switch or starter.
Thanks for the update on your problem, Since you had just bought a new starter, I think most of us just figured that it was not the problem. But always check the plastic tab first. Thats the easiest to check out and fix ..... then work you way to the starter.
Thank you VERY much from us, too. Worried about logistics of taking the car in and now we don't have to worry!
NissanJoe - THANK YOU! My 06 frontier 100k miles wouldn't start today after work. I was mentally spending money thinking what was wrong and came across this. Went up to the parking lot and sure enough there be the infamous nipple on the floorboard! It was a sight for sore eyes. It was 9 degrees out so I'll figure out something tomorrow. Thank you for not only finding the problem but sharing with others, bless you!
Glad the posting helped you out and kept you hard erned money in your wallet.. Just think, if I had not posted it, some shady repair shop would be charging you for a starter or who knows what, knowing this broken little piece of plastic was the problem all along Some of the other comments will tell you the size of the nut and bolt to fix it . Cheers and happy motoring.
In a jam, you can use the round disk with the harpoon on it that holds the door panels on also.
you can wrap a nickel in duct tape then duct tape to the clutch lever
Thank you so much from a Mississippi boy working in big Texas!! YOU are a LIFE saver! Btw, my truck had 178k before it happened, mine is an 2001.
Thank you so much. Used black electric tape. What a life saver! 2008 Nissan with 42000 miles.
I have the same issue as nightshadow1st but my starter has been tested good battery good. I pushed the depressed the clutch with my finger and it still did not start, I am going to try a new relay under the hood for the ignition switch.
Thank you all SO much for posting these tips! The same thing just happened to me and my husband. I'm just recovering from a heart attack and our budget is really tight. Our truck just wouldn't start. As soon as I read this we found the nipple in the floor and he used a nut and screw to depress the switch. I Crunk right up! Thanks so much!!!
Little plastic nipples... Totally what was wrong with my Nissan too. I found both pieces of the nipple, and I am super-gluing them back together for re-installation. I was not stoked to be towing and having the guys at the shop charge me $85 an hour to figure this out. THANK YOU.
Please help. I have a possible problem. My husband's truck died earlier today, and I haven't been able to take a look at it and see if his problem relates to all of yours- but I haven't seen one like his. His truck died, jump started it, but noticed his dash meters were dead. Went home, turned off his truck and won't start back up. He replaced the battery, but still no start. Could it be the same nipple problem? I haven't been able to ask him- mind you, he is capable of doing a quick fix for his vehicle, but I'm totally capable of googling problems..... trying to find a fix for him, please help!
Hello, Jaymus Is your husband truck a manual transmission. If it is, try looking to see if the plastic nipple broke off. Sometime a partial breakage will let it start sometime and not the other. Thats what happen to me,,,,sometime it would start and other time it didn't until if broke completely. Need to check it out. Hope this helps you
The nipple part looks to be in tact and pretty solid. He has an 04 nissan 4x4, xtra cab at 85000 miles, manual trans. It was running perfectly last night, he was able to use it this morning, then it just died. =( I haven't heard him try to start it yet, but he said everything works, his lights, radio, etc., but it makes no sound when trying to start it.
Found out our problem. It was a corroded meter 10amp fuse. Bought a whole new battery, but I think that old battery would still have been good. Regardless, we have a new battery that we don't need to buy down the road, and our "fix" only cost us $100... Bittersweet... Lol... Thanks!!
Hello Jaymes.....to play it safe, I would still replace the plastic nipple with a nut and bolt. That way, its one less problem you can nip in the bud and not have to worry about down the road. Happy motoring.
Hi, my husband is out of town and I'm having all the same probs as the rest of ya'll. I've been able to move the clutch over to the right and start it, but that isn't working anymore. Ok, where is this hole at exactly? I'm having trouble figuring out where the nipple needs to go. Thx. You guys rock btw!
It is located on the clutch pedal. You can google it to see a picture. Thake out the old plastic and put a small nit and bolt in its place so pedal it can depress the button in order to start engine.
The quickest fix is: use 3 pennys and tape them together. Then tape the stack of pennies to the underneath side of the flange that sticks out to right on the clutch pedal right over the hole where the plastic part use to be. Until the tape gives out, this will fix the problem. Later it will be easy to use the nuts and bolts method if you want. I am so grateful for the people who put these answers here. I was really panicked about the cost of fixing my 1998 Frontier because I had already put a battery in it that checked-out good.
NissanJoe, another happy person here who found your thread on this topic. Thank you SO much for starting this topic. 2009 Frontier manual trans. with 33K. Same as the others, truck wouldn't start. Was familiar with the clutch safety switch from my manual trans. Hondas. Looked at the Frontier and the front part of the clutch "nipple" was there so I though it was something else. Checked battery, fuses, etc. no luck. Then decided to feel the back of the nipple which I then determined that half of the backing was missing...i.e., partially broken. Rotated the back piece a little bit...truck then started. Will need to do a more permanent nut and bolt fix. Thank you again for posting for all of benefit.
Glad to have been able to help you out and save you from spending your hard earned money or something you can fix
Glad to have been able to help you out and save you from spending your hard earned money on something you can fix yourself.
I cannot thank you enough for this dead simple fix! Just bought a really nice condition 2007 Frontier about a week ago. Probably started it a hundred times or more since then, no probs. Suddenly this afternoon, I hop in it to go somewhere and...nothing. I could tell it probably wasn't electrical and I've owned enough manual transmissions over the years to know about the interlock switch on manual trans vehicles. After fiddling with trying to start it and getting it to crank up one time, but not the next time, I began to suspect something in the clutch or gear shift wasn't engaging the way it should. I went online and found this thread and sure enough, this was my problem. I go back out and start looking in the floor under the clutch pedal and there's that broken rubber nib, laying partially hidden under the edge of the floor mat. I put it back in place and wrapped it securely with electrical tape and she cranked right up! Now I just need to get to my mechanic and see if I can't order a few of these things to have as backups for the next time. Thanks again for a quick and simple fix!
Fix it yourself....just put a nut and bolt in its place and you won't have to worry about it again. Happy Motoring
Why would Nissan even go with this design? Why not just leave the pedal alone instead of drilling a hole in it and using a part which will fall off in time? This makes no sense at all! Well my wife's 2001 Crew Cab V6 Manual with 280,XXX miles starts intermittently. The plug is there but I did find one on the floor in pieces. Last year I did replace 2 plugs with small bolts on the brake pedal which fixed the cruise control after not working for about 5 years. I discovered this fix for the cruise after fumbling online. Well I did tighten the cable at the starter which was very loose. I cleaned the battery terminals. The battery is only about a year old and I tested it. I cleaned the MAF sensor and the truck finally started. Now 4 days later it's not wanting to start again. After sitting about 20 mins it started! How do I test the starter? I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I did jump the clutch pedal switch and it would not start. How would you jump the truck from the starter? There's no room there to connect the cables? Or am I simply over thinking this? Where exactly is the relay for the ignition? I'll check again but I did not see one under the hood.... Once I hear back from someone here, I'm planning on swapping out the starter myself. Is this pretty straight forward and easy? I'm very mechanical.
I forgot to ask, what would this plug I found go to? It's not the clutch switch or the 2 on the brake pedal and I can't see where else one would go?
The rubber part that breaks pushes down on the starter safety switch. The starter safety switch under the clutch ensures that you are pushing on the clutch before the truck can be cranked for safety reasons. I surmise that if you use a bolt and nut (because it is cheap and readily available) then you will break the switch because the nut and bolt is TOO MUCH AND TOO BIG. Nissan used the rubber nib in order to soften the blow to the switch and thereby not break the switch. You can buy a OEM part rubber part for about $15 but you could use any rubber piece as a substitute for less than $1. These rubber bushing type items are used all over cars and other items. So if you know what the shape and size you need, you can find a substitute. Don't put too much under the clutch pedal because that will cause too much stress on the safety switch. The 'plug' as you call it goes on the flat arm that sticks out from the clutch pedal that is near the floor. That arm holds the plug so that the plug can push on the switch which is mounted on the floor and is only partially viewable.
I have a 2011 Frontier, bought brand new. This happened to me after about a year and a half with only 6,000 or so miles on it. Didn't know what was wrong. Had my truck towed to the dealership. Luckily I bought the extended warranty, which paid for the tow and the replacement piece. BUT NOW, this happened once again, today, about 3 years later. Now that I know what it is, I was able to fix it myself using a nickel and some scotch tape. I agree with those that think Nissan would find a better solution than using cheap ass parts.
I've always replaced mine with a little felt furniture piece that you put on the legs of the furniture so they don't scratch your wood. They're usually 97 cents for a pack of four and they work for years. I did this to mine at least 5 years ago and it still holds and works perfectly.
I had this problem on my 2008 Frontier. The plastic tip broke off of the clutch lever. I discovered how to shift my foot just right off the lever when I started the truck and had planned on letting it stay that way until the plastic tip broke off the firewall side a month or so later. Now until I get a new switch I have to put the truck in neutral, get on the floor and depress the switch with a punch or some sharp pointed object to start my truck. Sucks on rainy days! Does anyone know if there is a way to just remove the switch all together?
WOW you guys are the BEST ! Fortunately my '08 Frontier Nismo had a Clutch Start switch but found the plastic parts on the floor and put a flat head bolt head IN the plate on the top of pedal arm on firewall side with couple washers and nut. ALL GOOD !!
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