Engine won't start ...clutch safety switch involved /manual transmission

NissanJoe
105

Asked by NissanJoe Dec 29, 2009 at 08:38 PM about the 2005 Nissan Frontier 4 Dr LE Crew Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

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

57 Answers

greyeagle
90

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......

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
redhawk1sg
50

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??

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
greyeagle
90

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.....

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
redhawk1sg
50

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!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
greyeagle
90

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.....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
dudemankind
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Frog2009
20

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!!!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
fkastelz
0

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

mxs1998
0

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

thirtybooty
30

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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
M_MBenoit98
40

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

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
rodref
0

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.

Groucho
40

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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Front05
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
gionsson
0

THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keala808
0

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mmassey1980
10

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

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
ivorybill
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
7900
10

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!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
shamorock
0

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.

tenspeed
50,655

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.

shamorock
0

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.

Chris Keller
0

Just happened to me also, the plastic on the floor and everything, I was about to drop $150 on a new starter, THANK YOU!

Authenticga
0

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

BigTruck1359T
50

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!

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.
NissanJoe
105

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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
joeb87
0

Still helping. I have a 1998 Nissan Frontier with 336K and had this happen for the first time. Thanks for posting!!!

jxm2119
0

2006 Nissan Frontier with 56K and had this happen for the first time. Thanks for posting!!! A little duct tape as a temp fix.

snikwah
0

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?

NissanJoe
105

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.

barelymechanical
0

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.

txteacher
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
trumpetsaj
0

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.

HLTJR
0

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.

PoppetLady
90

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.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
Ron Lowe
0

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.

Lmnissan
0

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

trumpetsaj
0

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.

Bug Man
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Groucho
40

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Patrick Covington
0

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.

chubyz
0

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!!

nightshadow1st
0

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.

NissanJoe
105

I would double check the plastic tab and make sure its pressing the button like it should.

nightshadow1st
0

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?

NissanJoe
105

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
nightshadow1st
0

Ok ill try that then ill keep you all posted on the problem..

nightshadow1st
0

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.

NissanJoe
105

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Susan Epstein
0

Thank you VERY much from us, too. Worried about logistics of taking the car in and now we don't have to worry!

Ross Pinson
10

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!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
NissanJoe
105

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.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
NissanJoe
105

In a jam, you can use the round disk with the harpoon on it that holds the door panels on also.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
elimitech
0

you can wrap a nickel in duct tape then duct tape to the clutch lever

Alexander Bravo
10

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.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.
sam35228
0

Thank you so much. Used black electric tape. What a life saver! 2008 Nissan with 42000 miles.

Rickey59
0

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.

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