2007 Xterra Won't start in cold weather; cranks but won't turn over

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Asked by Jan 05, 2014 at 12:56 PM about the Nissan Xterra

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a used 2007 Nissan Xterra that won't start in cold weather. Had the battery
replaced. Fixed temporarily then wouldn't start again. Towed to mechanic. They said no
charge so replaced the throttle and something else for $1100. Now won't start again.
Had the oil changed last week and they said the spark plugs and everything they could
see looked great. It runs great when weather is warm, but when temps drop like they
did to 0 degrees last night it won't start. Have a heater on the engine today and have
added Heet to the fuel tank. Still won't start.Any ideas what this could be?

248 Answers

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I ran into the exact same problem on a dodge last week. Not saying this is your problem for sure but there is usually 2 things that will do this. 1-EEC relay 2-ECM The eec relay is usually beside the fuel pump relay under the hood. Not very expensive. Try what I did, remove the ECM/computer from the car,put in in top of your dryer for a 1/2 and take it out and plug it up and see if it starts. If it does the ECM is going bad.

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19,415

In the house on top of your dryer for a 1/2 hour. Sorry for that.

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19,415

If it has already started today put it in the freezer for a 1/2 an hour and see if it doesn't start. Same thing, the ECM is going out.

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Thanks for the response. I have no idea how to do any of that but will share this with my husband.

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4,875

sounds like the ecm if you don't have a code. next time it won't start in the cold get your husband to warm up the ecm with a hair dryer for a few hours and if it does start then you'll have to replace it. (the ecm is on passenger side of engine bay behind battery it'll have 2 large plugs into it)

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So I am having the same issue this winter. ECM was replaced last year. Got to work ok. Parked in parking garage. Temps dropped to -1. Car won't start to go home tonight. Help please.

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I currently have the exact same issue. Exact same year xterra... the only way to get it started is to take the small plastic cover off of your ECM (its located under the hood, it is bolted to the rear of the left fender.) take a hair dryer and put it on the ECM for about 5 min untill its warm to the touch. I guarantee you the truck will start right up.. A ton of people are having the same issue with the ECM's on these trucks and as usual nissan is avoiding it at all costs. Please let me know if this works for you. As it has for me every time I tried it. I am in contact with someone about trying to form a class action suit over it.. Thanks

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My xterra 2007 would not start in the cold and i had it towed to dealer they replaced my relay and fuse box and battery and ternamels and put in new thermostat flushed raditor and new cap change cabin air filter basicly keep for a week till weather warmed up andvit run and sent ti home with me not fixed. Now its like 7 deg and $400 to tow it again couple weeks later. I put heat lamp on realys that dont work. Any better ideals?

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I had the ECM replaced, new battery and terminals, and many other things...still won't start when it gets below zero. My mechanic friend says it's an electrical problem that's nearly impossible to find. I gave up and traded it today for a Kia with a 10 year warranty. Nissan, as a company, is terrible to work with.

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I just fixed my problem by replace left and right camshaft sensors $158 parts $200 labor

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Now that you mention it, I might have done those too. Still had the cold start problem. Nothing seemed to solve the issue for me. Hope you have better luck.

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Hey Ryan let me know if and when you can get the law suit going i will be glad to join the list.

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My 2007 Nissan xtera that I bought brand new in 2007 has the same problem I luckily have another vehicle and the last two winters I just haven't used it thinking it was a dead battery but with that replaced 3 times and it's starting this crap again now I looked it up and found all of you other people with same issue please let me know what I should do my 16 year old was going to start driving it soon when she got her license next month and I DONT want her to have problems! I should also say it only has 50, miles on it as well. Any help would be great!!!

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I unfortunately traded my truck in. I had enough.. You can easily tell if your issue is going to be a failing ECM or not.. Wait for a real cold night. If the engine cranks and cranks, but wont start first thing in the morning/.. Take a hair dryer or heat gun and warm the ECM.. If you look in the engine bay the ECM is on the left fender near the back of the engine bay towards the windshield. It has a small plastic cover over the top that you can pop off. Pop off the plastic cover and heat the ECM for 3 or 4 minutes. The truck will first up instantly after that.. I spent an entire winter starting my truck with a hair dryer.. Good luck to you!

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Thank you very much I will be doing that this morning!!! And trade in was the next thought on my mind!! Nissan used to be a good company sad they have gone down hill like this!

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I traded mine too in January. Make sure you trade it in a warm day so it fires easily.

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Dam I just put too much money into my 07 pathfinder to trade it in. New tires, tuneup fuel pump, battery, and more. Plus it's cold so the dealer won't value this truck right with this problem.

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I will give an update when I fix the problem it will get fixed.

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My son has a 2007 Xterra. Won't start when it's cold. Been having the problem for years. Nissan has been useless.

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Still haven't fixed my cold start Issue. i park my truck in front of a battery booster pop the hood and hook it up is the Fastest way. Its not a battery issue.

My son carry's a jump booster with him. He's already had to jump start has Xterra this year. Sucks. No one has the answers. Nissan knows there's a problem but won't address it because it's not a safety issue.

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I can't believe how many other people have this problem with there Xterra and Nissan still won't do a thing!

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I have an 07 pathfinder. Been chasing this problem in the cold for 4 years now. Still can't find a solution. What I do know is anytime we get single digit weather, here in Wisconsin that is often, I get a crank but not start. I'm getting no spark at the coil packs. I've tried more things than I have time to mention here. Like many of you, if I jump it from a charger, it starts right up. From a jumper pack, it will not start. I think maybe an amperage issue. Somehow when I up the amps with a charger, it jumps wherever the issue is and gets the voltage it needs to start.

Hi Jim. My son and I have been looking for a cause for 4 or 5 years now. He bought it new. Problem didn't start until it was out of warranty. Nissan couldn't find a problem. I told my son to add some kind of engine warmer to plug in. He doesn't want to do that. His won't start in the 20s. He swears a battery will help. The factory battery had 550 CCA. The Interstate he bought several years ago had 800 CCA. But he's read where they've had problems with the Interstate batteries. I told him if he's going to go with a new battery then go with the Optima Red Top. He can't afford to trade his Xterra in and I doubt Nissan would give him much. They know there is a problem and they won't address it. One thing for sure, him and I will never own another Nissan.

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Hey Butch. I'm in much the same spot as your son. just paid this thing off and have invested significant funds in keeping it up over the last few years. I can't trade mine in either. I have a 750 CCA battery in mine. I've also considered the redtop wondering since a charger will jump it, maybe that battery would start it. Honestly I don't think it would. As I mentioned I have brand new jumper pack, rated at like 350 cranking amps. If that and my fully charged 750 CCA battery won't start it doubt another battery will. If it helps, I was a mechanic from a family of mechanics and I've tried everything. I have a buddy a dealership that put it on his code scanner (high end one). NOTHING. He told me that I'm trying everything they would try to diagnose the problem. I've swapped relays in the IPDM (that is one online fix), I've checked voltage at the cam pos sensor with a multimeter as well as at the coil packs, I've even cold stored (put in the freezer over night) the IPDM and ECU on separate occasions trying to duplicate the problem and narrow it down. Car started fine after hooking them back up. One thing I know is, mine at least, is an issue in the ignition system somewhere, (because in the single digit weather I lose spark at the coil packs). If I understand what I've been reading (and I've done a lot of reading on this thing) Ignition system problems most likely are in the ECU, IPDM, Cam pos sensors, or crank sensor, or coil packs. What I can't figure out is where I'm losing spark in the cold and why. More confusing is the fact that a little more amperage added from a battery charger set to 10 amps will start it every time. One thing i can assure you. As you guys said. NEVER again will I buy another Nissan. Thanks for your comment. Best of luck. Let me know if you guys ever find a resolution and I will do the same. Jim

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Jim I've considered the cam and crank sensors. They're not all that expensive. But how many parts do we replace looking for the cure. I'm pretty sure I've read over the years that people have replaced the ECU and the sensors with no luck with the results. I just recently considered the coil packs. My wife had one go bad in her car at 110,000 miles so I replaced them all. They were $30 each. For a middle priced Xterra coil pack they're $50 each. So you'd be looking at $300 which is a good hit. I would still like my son to try the engine warmer. But like he said, a lot of good it will do if he's out somewhere for a period of time. I'll keep searching the internet looking for answers. Hopefully some guru will discover the cure!! Thanks! Butch

Jim one other thing. My son said when it doesn't start he'll crank it down to the point it sounds like the battery is dead and then it will fire up. Doesn't always work though.

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That is great to know Butch. I'll give that a try as well.

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Guys, I'm telling you its a bad ecm. I had the same issue occur.. I would crank and crank the engine.. Sometimes right before the battery was almost dead it would fire up.. This was because the starter at that point generated enough heat under the hood that the ecm warmed up. Take the plastic cover off the ecm the next time it is freezing out.. Confirm the engine will crank but now start.. Grab a hair dryer .. warm the *ECM ONLY* for about 3-5 minutes. Hop in the truck.. It will fire right up.. I had another forum thread open on another site several other guys confirmed the same issue as well.. The end fix for most was buying a new ecm. Its thought the issue is related to bad solder joints or a silcon chip failing on the ecm due to heat over time.

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Correction * Confirm the engine will crank but *NOT*start.

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Also try to find a used ECM for a 2007 xterra.. They are almost non existent. The majority have failed.. I also have seen similar storys from altima owners near that year as well.

60,565

Lori- If the heater is not on long enough you won't get any benefit. A battery heater could also be needed. If your car battery is too small or weak that could also be the problem. What kind of heater did you have installed?

60,565

One other thought. What weight oil do you run in the winter? You may need to switch to a winter weight engine oil. Check your owners manual for recommendations.

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Im not posting here to gain posting points.. Ive spent alot of time diagnosing the issue. As have many in my position.. The issue is failing ECM's. Engine oil weight has nothing to do with lack of spark in cold temps.. Lets keep this clear and to the point.

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Well Ryan I'm glad you stopped by. You're the first I've seen who who have confirmed a bad ECM. I'll have my son do the blow dryer test. Based on the forecast it shouldn't start tomorrow! Thanks. Appreciate the info.

Ryan do you recall what the ECM cost you? I assume you bought a new one and not a used one.

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I honestly did not replace the ECM.. It was my final thing that put me over the edge. Transmission cooler line blew up into the radiator, Radiator replaced, full engine flush, Exhaust, air bag controller, IPDM board, Evap vent valve, Cam chain guides were starting to whine at 100k, battery died... I called it quits. I was able to confirm by removing the ecm in the summer and putting it in the freezer. When I quickly went from the freezer and reconnected it. Crank , crank, crank, no start. Let the ecm warm back up to ambient temps and it started fine. I had to rule out the hair dryer being a fluke for my own sanity. If I didn't see it occur I wouldn't have believed it. Id show up to friends houses in the winter with a hair dryer to start my truck.. Before I traded it in I got a quote from http://www.courtesyparts.com/ They are pretty much the cheapest around. i think the ECM was around 580.. The you still need the dealer to install and program it to your truck which is around an hour labor (from what Ive been told).. But no I never replaced it.. I ditched the truck

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Look up xterra trans cooler line failure. There is an extended recall for it. If your radiator hasn't failed yet trust me it will.. When it does your transmission pumps fluid into your engine and it will seize. You can avoid all this by replacing the radiator ASAP.. Other issue that crops up over 60k is your timing chain guides will start to fail and whine until they finally wear through and your engine blows up.. Nissan knew about all of these issues as well as the bad ECMs. They have been getting away with it for a long time.

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*FYI the transcooler line issue only pertains to automatic transmissions..*

We had that problem too. Another problem Nissan failed to address. I looked in my sons radiator and almost died. Milky pink. I was pissed. I bought a new radiator from Rock Auto and flushed (wasted) 20 new quarts of trans fluid trying to get the bad out. It's been just over a year so I think we saved the tranny. My son had told me his transmission was starting to act up. Yep, found the problem. Nissan knows there's a problem. But since it's not a safety issue the NTSB doesn't get involved and Nissan says to suck it up.

I got a price of $580 on Ebay. They're always my first source for a price check!

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I feel your pain. I had the exact same thing happen. My engine looked like a milkshake. The only reason i was hesitant to buy one on ebay was because they are all starting to fail right around now. I figured if i kept the truck I would probably get at least another 7 years out of a new one.. A used ebay one may start acting up a few months down the road. The failures were definitely pricey one after another.. Good luck!

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Ryan thanks so much for this input. I tried the ecu warm up this morn. I too had read about this. It didn't work for me but today it was -5 F so maybe just sooo cold it wouldn't warm up. I did pull and cold store the ecu this fall in my freezer overnight to test this. My freezer is digital and was set to 0 degrees. Plugged it in the next morn and it started no problem. I have not had the trans line prob yet but have read about it. Had to replace my timing chain tensioner sat 60k for the whine though. Another reason I want to hang onto this truck. Any thoughts Ryan?

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Ecm..sorry

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You issue could be slightly different.. there still is a fuel related starting issue as well which can be a cheaper fix from what ive read. There is 5$ relay you can try swapping out in the IPDM board. I believe that issue was related to the fuel pump relay circuit failing. http://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how-tos/29652-how-ipdm-er-replacement-now-temporary-relay-swap.html The ECM issue the truck will crank forever pretty much until the battery dies. Sometimes mine would generate enough heat from cranking so long it would finally kick over. I was able to reproduce the issue and fix every time by either freezing the ecm warm temps.. or heating it with a hair dryer in cold. If it sounds like the issue you are having.. Let it heat up even longer and see. It takes a while to get the whole thing warm to the touch roughly 5min or so with a good hairdryer in very cold temps..

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Sons Xterra won't start. Put the blow dryer on it. Still won't start.

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Blow dryer did not work for me

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I'll try again tomorrow. We have another frigid night and day on tap. I know man is electrical, I've checked it for spark at the cool packs with a spark tester want to does this. Also just to be doubly sure I've shopped a little starting fluid in the throttlebody and cranked it. But it definitely does not have spark

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...at the coil packs when it has this issue.

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Well sorry that last post was terrible. I did that on my phone and accidentally submitted before checking it. Lol The point is I have no spark at the coil packs when I have this cold crank but no start issue. Therefore I'm sure it is electrical I just am having a problem finding out exactly where the electrical issue is. ECM makes total sense. Just wish I could make it produce consistent results so I would know that's where it is before sinking that kind of money into it.

My son is here now to get a can of starter fluid. He at least wants to try it. No spark at the coil packs huh? I doubt you have 6 bad packs. Does the ECM go directly to the coil packs or does it go elsewhere? Although the blow dryer didn't work my son is taking the ECM out and is taking it inside to warm up.

The cold must be making something contract to the point that something is losing electrical contact. Then when it warms up it must be expanding. But for something to contract that much doesn't seem possible. What other affects can the cold have on something?

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I believe you are exactly right Butch. Something in these things is not making connection when contracting from cold weather. It could be as simple as a weld in the ECU as someone I believe mentioned earlier. I've lost track. lol Great idea about bringing the ECU inside overnight. I thought of doing the same. May try that tomorrow if I can't get the hair dryer to work. My understanding of some of this wiring on these things is limited. However, I believe that the Crank and Cam sensor are sending a signal (i.e. voltage) to the the ECU and IPDM first. (This is how the ECU and IPDM receive input on the timing of the engine) Although the exact order of this is unclear to me (The ECU and IPDM then in turn operate together to send input (voltage again) to the coil packs and injectors, causing them to fire, in correct time with the engine. I know this is a basic explanation but this is essentially how this all works as best I understand. So to answer your question, I'm not real clear on how to test where we are losing voltage on these things. This is the number one issue that has stumped me and prevented me for pinpointing where the voltage loss is coming from and thus what part is being effected by the cold.

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ps. That bottom bolt on the ecu is no fun to get out. Avoiding that again as long as I can unless I must. Not to mention i get really nervous poking around with plastic connectors in weather this cold. Those things get like glass and break so easily.

I'll look into the Crank and Cam sensors to see how easy they are to access them. I really don't need to access them, just get heat to them. I think if we can get heat on whatever part is bad then the engine will fire up. Just have to isolate them one at a time.

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That's what I tried today to no avail. But it was really cold -5 F and my hairdryer wasn't doing a lot to beat back those temps. I applied heat to IPDM, ecu, drivers side cam Pos sensor (on the rear of the drivers side head) the other is a little harder to reach (rear of passenger's side head) I left it alone. Crank sensor. You have to pull the passengers side wheel well covering for that one, it has a rubber cover on it at the back of the engine. And is in pretty deep, not sure how much heat I effectively got on that one. Anyhow let me know if u have better results.

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Butch the ecm rebuilder I was able to get intouch with sayed I would have to send the ECM to them to be repaired and they had no way to test it in cold conditions. They also said they don't know of any issues with Nissan ECM. But possible soider failure. Lots of money to chance.

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I have replaced my cam and crank sensor that was a waste of time and money.

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That's helpful to know Lee. I thought cam and crank sensors maybe the culprit but knew it was somewhat of a long shot. I thought of doing the same. Sorry u had to waste money on them but thanks for sharing this info. Thing like the this are what make these forums invaluable

Glad to hear that. Saves me some work. Looks like things are getting narrowed down to the ECM. But it is still a costly repair if you can't duplicate the problem. When my son puts it back in and it doesn't start it leaves me doubt.

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I've been trying to find a solution for the same issue on a 2008 titan. I live in Arizona so temperature drops only to 30'see and still truck doesn't start. Anyway, it is at the dealer and they don't seem to know how to fix it either. They say it is electrical. Already had the relay replaced, cam and crank shafts sensors, battery, starter. checked cables. Ecm was tested but not removed to test. Dealer now says truck will jump start cold and be fine for the day. No one here has replaced the ecm to confirm that's the issue. My thought though is if you spend all that money to replace it and they don't know what the real issue is then they haven't fixed the issue with the new ecm they install. Therefore you could end up with the issue again.

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What's really sad is that Nissan is making a ton of money replacing parts that aren't bad.

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yeah Butch. If that was your issue it should have started after being inside all night.

He never got it out Jim. He got tired and gave up. Now it's in the 40s. I want it to be freezing out when he does put it back in just in case it's a different part that's affected. Putting a warm part in a warm Xterra defeats the purpose.

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I'm going to try wrapping my ECM tonight to insulate it. I even considered using maybe an old sock with a couple of disposable hand warmers inside. We had another cold night last night. High of 5 degrees F I think? I parked outside so i could do the hairdryer test this morn. Of course today the car started normally. lol I can't win. The difference was that I parked very close to the garage door so I would have easy access to all my tools this morn. I'm wondering if blocking the cold air the grill with the garage door maybe beat back some of the cold. Just a thought but as good as any I guess when it comes to these Nissans. lol

5 degrees and it starts? That's bad. So warming up the ECM and it starts doesn't tell you whether it's bad or not. Where you parked shouldn't make a difference. It only had to be 30 degrees here for his not to start. He was wondering if his remote starter could be the problem. But he had the remote starter 2 years before the problem started.

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Update on truck. Dealer talked to expert electrician and they think they got it fixed. Seems the problem is a faulty connection to the starter. I will update if they were correct or not.

Please keep us updated I would love to know the issue before my daughter gets stranded

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That would be great to know and if you will exactly where that connection is. Thanks Xpire.

That would be nice if that's the culprit.

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Indeed it would

I'm skeptical though. Turning the starter over hasn't been a problem. Getting spark is.

Jim my son put his warmed up ECM back in his Xterra. No luck. It wouldn't start. Have to see how Xpire makes out with that starter connection. I hope we're all not looking at DIFFERENT problems here.

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Hey Butch. This thing is such a crazy issue. One thing I've recently discovered is if I park with the grille near my house or behind another car at work blocking the wind to it, so far it's been starting.nit sure how the cold air is creeping in there enough to make a difference. Maybe cover your grille one night and see what happens. Got another cold one coming Sun night. I'm gong to try it again to Make sure.

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Hey Butch. This thing is such a crazy issue. One thing I've recently discovered is if I park with the grille near my house or behind another car at work blocking the wind to it, so far it's been starting.nit sure how the cold air is creeping in there enough to make a difference. Maybe cover your grille one night and see what happens. Got another cold one coming Sun night. I'm gong to try it again to Make sure.

Jim I'll have him cover the grill to see what happens. But that still doesn't fix the problem. At one time he considered replacing the starter. I talked him out of it. It has always cranked well. Just won't fire up. At least you discovered there wasn't any spark. Now we have to find out why.

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Agreed Butch. I replaced my starter a while back before I figured out I wasn't getting spark. Of course that did not help. LOL I'm wondering if maybe there is something to do with how cold the coolant gets that's causing a message to go to the ECU you doesn't crank. Or perhaps some wiring harness near the grill area that is losing connection in cold weather. I'm going to have to run some of that down and check it to see. Step one will be to put it back out in the cold again and see if I can get it to start or not start Sunday night.

Jim I considered heating up connectors when it doesn't start 1 at a time. Put a blow dryer on one. If it doesn't start then move to another. I'm sure there are sensors on the radiator to heat up but I don't remember. I did replace that part when it contaminated the transmission. Nissan knew about that problem also but never contacted us. We were lucky to save the tranny.

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That has been such a huge issue with these things. I don't know how many times I've read about the Trany Cooler problem. I've got around 120k on mine and thankfully have not had that issue yet. I have had to replace the timing chain tensioners at about 60 K if I remember correctly. So many issues with these engines. One would think Nissan would do something about it. I may try heating connectors as you mentioned. It's such an odd issue to completely lose spark. You would think that there would have to be almost a complete disconnect somewhere.

Yeah Jim, my son said his transmission was acting strange so I went online to see if there was anything. Yep, dozens of complaints about the radiator leaking into the transmission cooler lines. I opened the radiator and I was sick. It was a creamy pink. I was worried about his transmission being ruined. I ordered a new radiator from Rockauto.com. I drained the transmission. More pink. Then I ran 20 quarts of new transmission fluid through the transmission and cooling lines. Drained what was left in the system and installed all new transmission fluid. I spent a lot on fluid. But if it works it's worth it. Been over a year now and the transmission is doing good. He's lucky. Many lost their transmissions.

Mine is doing the exact same thing. Just started this. I have a 2008 xterra with a whopping 286000 miles. Just put the first set of brakes on it 3 months ago... but last week it was 25°f here in memphis and my wife said it won't start. When I got home it was 40° and she fired right up. Next morning it was 20s and no start. Did some research and found this is most likely related to a bad batch of ECU they say the printed circuit board contracts in extreme cold causing a loss of connection. I wouldn't consider 25° extreme but who knows. I've also heard people can boost off a full charged battery and they will start. I believe the extra amperage generates enough power to make a full.connection with the Ecu. It's supposedly the imde communication signal that it looses. I'll post all my progress.. I am a very knowledgeable tech and electronics is my strong point

Hi Bvr. My sons won't start in the low 30s. He brought the ECM in for it to warm up overnight. He put it back in and nothing. He's had the problem around 5 years. The ECM is an expensive investment if it's not the problem. Some of aren't convinced yet that it is. Glad you're here though. The more people the better! Hopefully we'll figure this out. At least Jim discovered there wasn't any juice getting to the coils and spark plugs. So I guess we need to somehow back trace from there. I've never been good at car electrics.

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Thank you Bvr350. Exactly what mine does as well but only when down in the single digits. I've done lots of diagnostics on mine and I believe what u are saying makes sense. Just can't figure out why when I warm up the ecu with s hairdryer why I can't get it to start. I've also cold stored my ecu in the freezer overnight and couldn't duplicate the no start. As you said, I can jump off a running car or batt charger and start every time. I'm assuming just what u mentioned, it gets the Amps it needs to jump the gap.

Let's try boosting it off even.if the battery is good. That's what I plan to do in the morning. My battery is 650cca and load tested at 100% just yesterday. However I've heard that the extra amperage boost helps generate enough amps to kick it off. Seems like not so much a voltage issue vs a amperage. If this works for me then I'm going to order a xterra dual battery set up. They have a kit to add a extra battery.

Bvr my son has a 800 CCA Interstate battery and it won't start it. Sometimes jumps work and sometimes they don't. The factory Xterra battery was only 550 CCA. I don't think it's a battery problem.

If you're considering 2 batteries you'll need this plus some heavy cable. Not sure how much room is under the hood of the Xterra. http://assets.bluesea.com/files/resources/instructions/9001e_web_version.pdf

I am kinda looking at alternate ways to repair seeing as how mine is at 300000 miles it's not worth putting a extravagant amount of money in. A new ECU already flashed is about 500.00 plus the down time to send mine off to have the PROM changed. But like we have all said it seems to be a slight bit different from vehicle to vehicle. Mine won't start at temperature below 30°f or 0°c some require a much colder temp. Some can use a hair drier on the Ecu to start and some can Simply jump start. Some can't do either. This is so odd. Also in have done the ECU relay recall and if you didn't know nissan has a redesigned IPDM FOR THESE

Well got up this morning and it was about 30° and wouldn't you know it started right up. Guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow. It's supposed to be in the middle 20s

Yesterday my sins Xterra wouldn't start. He hooked up the jumper cables to his work van. While hooked up to the van the entire time his Xterra battery started to die. He said right when the Xterra battery sounded dead the engine started up. This isn't the first time the engine started when it seemed like the battery was on it's last breath. This is so damn baffling.

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How long are you guys leaving the hair dryer or heat gun on for.. The issues. I fond it strange you are having the exact same issue and heating is not resolving it.. (except for the guy that temp does not seem to be a factor) Leave it on a long time till the ecm casing is hot. i actually opened the ecm to see if there were any noticable solder contacts that were broke.. The circuit is all very intricate with no large welds.. I had also mailed it to an ecm repair place at one point who said it looked fine and did not need repair.. When they mailed it back to me it was about 10 degree outside.. I popped it back in and it would crank and not start.. Heated it up.. Fired right over.. The ecm housing or casing does not touch the circuit board. for the board to get to the same temp as its metal housing may take some time.. I would say that one of you should try just heating it a real long time 15- 20 minutes when the issue occurs. Then try to crank it over.. For me it was night and day. Some of you may have the issue worse than me or the silicon or solder may have a greater deal of separation than I had.. Either way.. We all know its it not a fluke.. Nissan knows as well and plays dumb.. I had talked to a nissan mechanic who was a family friend who agreed there are solder issues on xterra ecms and other nissan makes around the same time frame..

Good info Ryan... I as well have talked to nissan techs and also foreign ecu repair in Texas and he explained that with this issue they have had a few instances where they heard of this but could not visually see any issues with the Ecu. He did advise me that he could sell me a new one and install my PROM chip from mine into a new one so that it would be plug and go with no dealer flash needed.

I've not proven the ECM is bad yet so that could be a very costly mistake to buy a new one if the old one isn't bad. We've put a blow dryer on the ECM and even brought it inside for the night. Neither worked.

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Titan is still not fixed. I don't have the paperwork to tell you exactly what they tried to do. It's going back to the dealership.

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Butch have you replace your IPDM relay or IPDM board? I started with both of these.. Once that is out of the equation the only thing left is the ECM if your not getting spark... There is nothing else that would prevent power to the coil packs preventing spark..

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* Aside from a wire harness issue....* I also went as far as to replace the battery terminals and all ground connectors off the harness.

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I'm going to try heating the ECU longer Monday morning, we have a sub zero night coming, sun night. I did take an old insulated glove and rag and wrap the back of the ECU where it's aluminum and has the airgap next to the fender well. Highly doubt that will stop my problem seeing how I'm really not holding any heat and but maybe just keeping some cold away from that aluminum surface that spreads cold so easily. Thought I would give it a try at least either way I'll have to test it Monday morning. Very helpful stuff Ryan, I'm sorry you've had so many issues with yours and has cost you so much money.

Xpire sorry about your Titan. Just make sure they don't soak you for things that don't fix the problem. There's a lot of that going on.

Ryan I haven't replaced anything electrical.

Jim there are 3 sensors that talk to the ECM that I'm interested in. The "Intake Air Temperature" , IAT sensor, the "Engine Coolant Temperature", ECT sensor and the "Fuel Temperature" sensor. Those items all send temperature readings to the ECM. Going to have to look into them.

Just some info to ponder Jim. DIS MODULE & SENSOR CHECKS Here is a little trick that will literally show you if a DIS ignition module and its crankshaft sensor circuit are working: connect a halogen headlamp to the spade terminals that mate the DIS module to the coils. A headlamp is recommended here because it puts more of a load on the module than a test lamp. If the headlamp flashes when the engine is cranked, the DIS module and crankshaft position sensor circuit are functioning. Therefore, the problem is in the coils. If the headlamp does not flash, or there is no voltage to the module or coil pack when the engine is cranked, the problem is most likely in the crankshaft sensor circuit. On most vehicles, a bad crank position sensor will usually set a fault code, so use a scan tool to check for a code. Or, check the crank sensor itself. Magnetic crank sensors can be tested by unplugging the electrical connector and checking resistance between the appropriate terminals. If resistance is not within specs, the sensor is bad and needs to be replaced. Magnetic crank position sensors produce an alternating current when the engine is cranked so a voltage output check is another test that can be performed. With the sensor connected, read the output voltage across the appropriate module terminals while cranking the engine. If you see at least 20 mV on the AC scale, the sensor is good, meaning the fault is probably in the module. If the output voltage is low, remove the sensor and inspect the end of it for rust or debris (magnetic sensors will attract iron and steel particles). Clean the sensor, reinstall it and test again. Make sure it has the proper air gap (if adjustable) because the spacing between the end of the sensor and the reluctor wheel or notches in the crankshaft will affect sensor output voltage. If the air gap is correct and output is still low, replace the sensor. Hall effect crankshaft position sensors typically have three terminals; one for current feed, one for ground and one for the output signal. The sensor must have voltage and ground to produce a signal, so check these terminals first with an analog voltmeter. Sensor output can be checked by unplugging the DIS module and cranking the engine to see if the sensor produces a voltage signal. The voltmeter needle should jump each time a shutter blade passes through the Hall effect switch. If observed on an oscilloscope, you should see a square waveform. No signal would tell you the sensor has failed.

Ok guys so here are my results as of this morning with a outside temperature of 21°f... No start.. found no power to coils, and no fuel pressure. Engine cranked over fine. Tried to heat ECU for 10 min with no results.. Tried to heat IPDM board with no results. Checked load on battery and it checked at 70% however @ 40° it checked out at 100% . Put my battery charger on it with a 200amp boost and it immediately started. So I think I am going to add a second battery to increase cca over 1000cca... may be a improper fix but like.in said before I have 300000 miles on my 08 xterra and I can't Justify 1000 in repairs to it. If extra amperage kicks it off then so be it..

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Can u send me a link on the dual battery set up Bvr 350. I have a 07 Pathfinder but have considered dual battieries several times. I'm going to check mine in a hour or so too. Left it out last night at -5 and this morn it's -7. I'll let u guys know.

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Thank you Butch for the testing procedures. I just happened to see your post now. I've done some of the testing are talking about, I have the three prong system. The crank sensor is so difficult to get that I have not done all of the testing they did.. My feeling is that if the crank or Cam centers were the problem, they would probably most likely be consistently bad. Also I have a friend put my truck on a scanner like they use a dealership he found absolutely no problems with it. We even retuned all the factory settings while he had it on there. Wow this thing has me boggled. For some reason I'm beginning to wonder about coolant temperature. What you said about coolant temperature sensor sending a reading makes me wonder if as the temp goes down maybe that sensor is not letting spark or fuel get through. However I must say it's an odd thing that the temperature variation for a no start issue on all these various vehicles is so different. It continues to sound like some kind of a physical lack of connection problem somewhere.

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Sorry I was talk texting that in on my phone and it really doesn't understand my southern accent. LOL

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Alright guys here's todays scoop. -5 degree night and colder this morn. I left the Pathfinder outside and as expected got the crank and no start. I heated the ECU with a hairdryer for 10 min. It was warm to the touch...nothing. I tried heating the coolant temp sensor on a hunch....nothing. (although this one is tough to get heat to because of location) Even heated a connector at the front of the radiator (lower half though the lower bumper air ducts) also on a hunch...nothing. Put my battery charger on, set it to 10 amps, gave it 2-3 min. Started right up. CRAZY! One thing I noticed is this. I parked close to the garage door (really close) a few nights ago on what i believe was pretty cold night if memory serves me. The truck started the next morn. On a fairly cold day at work this week I parked close behind an SUV with cars on both sides, wish I would have recorded the temp, it started fine. Tonight i will park near the garage again, intentionally did not park close last night to check the ECU heating trick, and we will see what happens tomorrow. We are supposed to have another negative to single digit night tonight. I'm wondering if the coolant is getting so cold that somewhere in the engine a sensor is telling the ECU not to send the signal for fire and or fuel? Has anyone looked into block heaters? I see them online but can't seem to find one that is Chargeable. I would need one that can go 8-10 hours on a charge and still heat because my issue happen when on the parking lot at work. At home I can keep it in the garage if I want to and it's fine. I'll keep you guys posted.

Jim I've heard there is a block heater out there but haven't seen one for the Xterra. I have seen an electric heating oil dipstick!! My son doesn't want to go that route because it doesn't fix the problem when he's on the road. He's a snowboarder. So when he goes snowboarding he uses his remote starter every hour to run his Xterra to keep it warm so he doesn't get stuck at the mountain. I'm also not sure the 2 battery system would work in his SUV just because what he goes through to jump it. There's also not room for 2 batteries unless you really downsize the batteries.

Oh my! I was hoping for an easy answer when I started checking what's wrong with my 07 Xterra. I just bought it this summer and today is the 2nd time it hasn't started. What really scares me is that I've started thinking Mt transmission needs to be checked because it seems to shift hard or something. Seems this has all decided to happen at once. I see a trade in coming very soon!

I think a small float charger would.be the cheapest solution if you don't travel much. Just permanent mount it and run the cord out of the grill. Then simply plug it up on cold nights. I believe that some of these xterra, pathfinder, frontier and titans are just sensitive to the amperage than others. Also I think that when some people are heating the ECU they are heating the area around the battery as well which would increase the amperage of the battery. This is why all batteries have a CA and a CCA. I think if you can maintain a amperage above 1000 CCA you will be good.

Also I can't seem to share that link for the dual battery set up. Just Google 2nd generation xterra dual battery and you'll find lots of information

BP16 you better check your radiator ASAP. If it's a creamy fluid inside you have a transmission contaminated with antifreeze. When I say ASAP I mean ASAP. We saved my sons transmission but many lost theirs. The transmission cooling lines run through the radiator and they're prone to corrosion cross contaminating each other. I had to buy a new radiator, drain the cooling system and drain the transmission. I flushed the radiator and filled it. I then used 20 quarts of transmission fluid to run through and flush the transmission. Then that was drained and filled with new fluid. It's been over a year and the 2007 Xterra has been fine. Nissan knows about this problem and refuses to address it. Starting problems in the Winter is another problem Nissan knows about and fails to act on it.

Well so far I seem to have fixed my issue concerning the cold start. I bought a optima battery and installed it and it immediately started. I did not buy the recommended optima battery because it was only 650cca and 800ca I opted for a different series optima 34R it is 800cca and 1000ca. I'll know for sure in a few hours if this does it. It's 24°f at the moment.

My son has a 800 CCA Interstate. It doesn't do the trick. Either does jumping it at times. Did you get the red or yellow top Optima? The red is regular and the yellow is deep cycle.

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Let us know how it does. I've given great consideration to the Optima but seeing how our Coke temps hit negative digits and often I'm not sure it would start for me even with the 1000 cca at those temps

I don't get it. My son can jump his Xterra with his work truck and it doesn't fire up until his Xterra's 800 CCA battery is almost dead. This is becoming the norm for him.

Success.. It's 21°f this morning and it started right up. Also I got the red top 34R it is 800cca and 1000 ca. The recommended battery is a yellow top I believe he said but it was only like 650cca. The 34R will fit just fine but it's not quite as tall so you will need to shim your mounting bracket just a little. Took me 5 min to install but cost me 235.00

Jim if you can verify that you need extra amperage to start yours then I would suggest dual batteries run parallel circuit. Just Google search it and there a diy tips and kits for sale too.

Butch try a float charger or a battery blanket. Remember guys I'm in memphis so we only hit single digits once or twice a year. In winter 30s and 20s is the normal.

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Thanks so much for sharing. I think I may try one of the Red Top Optimas. I know that with my charger set to 10 amp charge it starts every time ( I have an old one with only a 2 amp or 10 amp selector switch) The only thing preventing me thus far from investing in a red top is that I bought one of those 350 CCA booster packs a year or so ago thinking that would start it on cold days just like the charger does but somehow the booster pack will not do it.

Butch try a float charger or a battery blanket. Remember guys I'm in memphis so we only hit single digits once or twice a year. In winter 30s and 20s is the normal.

My issue with not starting has been narrowed down by mechanic to likely be a faulty alarm causing fuel line to be cut off from engine to prevent starting. One remedy I tried was locking then unlocking drivers side door with key. Nothing. It's been cold but not extremely--down to like 28 at night...so doesn't sound like frozen ECM issue. Any ideas on resetting alarm on 07 xterra to get it to start?

Xterra07 it only has to be low 30's for my sons Xterra not to start.

@butch. Really!? And how does it end up starting?

It starts in the mid 30s and above on it's own. He has an Interstate 800 CCA battery which is probably being destroyed by these starting problems. He jumps his Xterra from his work van. When it sounds like his Xterra battery is almost dead and the starter is barely cranking it fires up! That seems to be the norm now. It doesn't take a lot of battery to fire an engine up. The Optima may work but it hasn't solved the problem.

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Butch. I wonder if when the battery is nearly gone the circuit (whatever it may be) has warmed just enough from all the cranking that it starts. I do know the current traveling the wires in these Nissans is sensitive. A while back I was checking voltage readings on my cam sensor connector on a warm day to get kind of a base setting to compare with a no start cold day. I used a paper clip in the connector as a way to attach my multimeter and not bend the blades in the connector. Hooked the thing back up. No start. Finally realized, despite my efforts, I'd slightly bent the blades of the female ports just enough to lose connectivity. They didn't even look bent. Took the connector apart. Bent all three blades back down, started immediately. THAT is just how sensitive the components on these things are to flow of current. They are a mystery for sure.

Well I'm on day 3 with the optima 34R battery and have not had a issue. I do still make sure the blower fan and headlight are off before attempting to start. Mine was having issues like butch at any temp below freezing it would not start. Also butch I understand that your some is repeatedly running the battery almost dead then boosting off his van. Next time try to hook up the van prior to attempting to start. Mine would start with my large shop battery charger on 40 amp boost. I never ran my battery dead though. I would just check to see if it would start and if it did not immediately start I would hook up the charger and it would immediately start.

I GOT GREAT NEWS TODAY, FINALLY! A CLEAR RESOLUTION FOR THE COLD ECM ISSUE!! After paying $$$ to replace the cam and crank sensors w/o any luck...and after having two GOOD mechanics diagnose and not find anything else wrong...I called around to several Nissan service depts to see if anyone worked on Xterras w/ this issue of not starting. BINGO! Finally found a place who had seen it several times, and they shared a lot of info. Simply put, the ECM eventually stops being able to get enough power from the regular battery and needs a more powerful one. They had no idea why and had been baffled trying to find the resolution. They said no need to replace ECM. I need an Optima red top or yellow top battery... he said that battery volts have to be at least 10.6 to power the ECM. You can check your battery for a "voltage drop" as you try to start your car and if the battery shows less than 10.6 that's a good indication that a heavy duty battery will solve the problem. So I'll be trying that in the am...stay tuned and wish me luck. Gotta shell out another $200 bucks though SMH...

I'm still not totally convinced. My sons 800 CCA Interstate battery when jumped with his van doesn't start it. I think someone here did say they spent $225 for an Optima and it worked. A new ECM is $500 and has to be programmed and you can buy a Red Top Optima for under $200. So the battery is the cheapest way out. But what happens a year from now. Is the Optima still going to be enough. I sent your post to my son. We had discussed the Optima before. I think I had also read that some put in new ECMs and it didn't fix the problem. Thanks.

Yesterday, the Nissan guys told me that the Optima battery gave me a 50:50 chance, they've seen it work and they've also seen where it didn't work and after taking numerous measures the truck was a loss. I decided to give the battery a try today. I bought an Optima Red Top 800 CCA/34R (Napa was cheapest = $174 + $18 core + $11tax), didnt work to start my X. Spoke back w/ the guys at Nissan again today, they had to use an Optima 1000 CCA Yellow Top. Gonna try that one. If no luck, one last check to make sure it's not a fuel issue since there's also no indication that fuel is making it to the engine to allow it to start. If i still dont have any luck...actually even if i do have luck, I'm looking into a lawyer specializing in class action law suits against auto manufacturers. I'll also be contacting Nissan's consumer affairs dept. Even the Nissan mechanics said they brought the nissan engineers in to solve the issue to no avail in most cases. That's a problem for me. It's clearly an engineering/design flaw.

Xterra07 I don't think it's a fuel issue. Jim discovered spark wasn't getting to the coil packs and spark plugs. I guess it's possible that a fuel sensor is telling the ECM don't send spark to the coil packs and plugs. That's why I was leery about the battery. I didn't think you could get a 1000 CCA Optima!! I think Yellow Tops are deep cycle which many people use as their car battery. The thing that gets me is the 2007 Xterra factory battery was only 550 CCA. My son has an 800 CCA and it won't start it. This morning it was 23 degrees and it started. Now it's 28 degrees and it won't start. You can't go anywhere with it out of fear of being stranded. This sucks. After all these years I can't get over no one has solved this problem. This isn't the only site discussing it. I've been on many sites reading about it for years. It's frustrating and Nissan just pisses me off. I hope with more and more people coming here we will resolve the problem. My son can't afford to get rid of his Xterra so he's in it for the long run. Jim has been the biggest help. I hope he doesn't sell his vehicle because I'm relying on his knowledge. Thanks Jim. Plus thanks to everyone who has helped out here with their experiences. We will figure this out.

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I agree with that Butch. Someone is bound to have an answer out there for a permanent solution. I also have been on tons of forums over the last 4 years and googled the hell out of this thing. This has been the most helpful thus far. At least in my case, I definitely have an electrical issue in cold weather. That is a long ways towards diagnosing the problem. I'm not selling mine anytime soon. I may be forced to drive it only in warmer weather but with it paid for and otherwise in great shape, I'm hanging on to it. I've begun to wonder, after having better starting results when parked near a structure, if maybe cold air near the front of the engine bay, somehow affects the battery. Even thought of insulating my Battery as a test. This, I realize sounds ridiculous, but no more ridiculous perhaps than this kind of issue in nearly every major brand of Nissan truck with no solution provided by Nissan. I wouldn't even mind paying out of pocket for a fix if they would just tell us what is actually wrong. So very frustrated. In 1 week I start a second shift job and need this think functional at night when it really gets cold here. Keep swinging the bat guys, we're bound to connect with something.

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Hello all, I am another victim of this problem on my Nissan 07' Titan. Same problem as all. Starts right up in perfect temps greater than 29F. When its freezing temp( below 32F), the engine cranks but would not start. I went through 3 regular battery replacements(Napa, Nissan, Advance Gold) and replaced to the best spark plugs with no luck. The truck won't start with a portable car booster, but will start immediately with a jumper cable to a car battery. I thought my batter would just get cold but neither would it start with a freshly charged warm battery(kept inside house). My current solution is just carrying around an extra battery and using a booster cable to get it started. Judging from everyones success with the Optima yellow top 1000 CCA, I think that it will give it a try, being that I currently use two batteries ( 1300 CCA) to start my trunk. Count me in for the lawsuit. I will report back here with Optima yellow top battery findings.

Givemeajumpstart welcome to the forum. Hopefully we'll figure this thing out. The reason they're not starting is because there isn't any spark getting to the coil pack and spark plugs. We need to figure out why.

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Xterra07 this worked for me too. Had 1 instance the other day where we had a hick up and it took just a extra second to crank because the blower fan and headlight were on. But all and all optima worked great.

Also as I stated before if you want a good way to see if it's a loss on cca and voltage would be to leave a 1 amp float charger or battery maintenance charger hooked up over night or get a 40.00 battery blanket off ebay to keep your battery warmer. Also I bought the biggest optima they make 800cca 1000ca and it was not the recommended one it was actually bigger. It worked great for me so far. However I'm in Memphis tn so it's not that cold on a regular basis. But yesterday it had 4" of snow piled on it and it didn't hesitate to start at 25°. What's sad it we still have not correctly solved the problem. We are just bandaid it. I will install 2 optima it the problem shows up again. I know its voltage related because I could always add extra amperage and crank it (prior to the optima)

Bvr350, Xterra2007 said the Optima didn't work for him. What concerns me is your Optima going to work a year from now. The Optima isn't fixing the problem. It's putting a band aid on it. Our batteries are cranking good I assume. They're cranking good enough to make an engine fire up. Something somewhere is telling the ECM not to send spark to the coil packs and plugs. For now your Optima is signaling something that tells the ECM to fire it up. Maybe a cold battery is the problem. But I don't think there is a sensor on the battery that talks to the ECM.

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Hudson Nissan just called me up with a solution to my problem 07 Pathfinder cold no start issue. They said that the ECM needs to be replace. 1,300 for parts and labor. I read in a post that if you add an extra ground cable to the ECM and the Flow master sensor. It will also solve the problem has any one try that?

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I will change my ECM relay before anything else just to see. Check this out. http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/baddad1/201 1-04-29_143556_ntb10-137b.pdf

Ray there isn't much labor needed to replace the ECM. They do need to reprogram it. They can be bought online for $480. $1300 is a heavy hit. If you do it let us know how it works out.

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That's the thing if I buy ECM online I need to program it with the key signal which I don't have computer equipment to do. So I will have to tow it to the dealer. But I hope the extra grounds cable I will add works. I will post an update on Sunday when I do it. P.s check the muffler pipes under the trunk their is a ground cable that might be rusted and disconnected this might lead to something.

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Plus I will talk with the tech guy from Nissan tomorrow when I pick up my pathfinder to see if we can fix this with out replacing the ECM.

Good luck. We'll all be waiting!

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The guys at Nissan are no smarter then us. But they said that their equipment indicates that there is low signal from the starter to the ECM and from the key to the ECM pulse flow master to the ECM so that's way they say I must replace my ECM.

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Its funny that when I went to pick up my SUV they didn't know how to jump start it. I guy clamp the battery in the wrong place and I had to tell them they was doing it wrong. I also told them don't expect me to pay 1,347.54 for you guys to do this repair. Lmao I will update this weekend when I look into this issue. Ps I will not buy another Nissan ever not even a gtr is I hit the lottery.

Ray I'm pretty sure I have read elsewhere that someone replaced their ECM and it didn't fix the problem. Of course Nissan didn't tell you why the signal was low between the starter and ECM or from the key to the ECM. Nobody at Nissan knows how to fix the problem. But they know there's a problem.

I have this issue also with my 2007 Xterra but also live in the South. It happened twice last year when the temp dipped into the teens and twice again this year. My boyfriend had the same issue with his 2008 Titan. He initially replaced the battery and still had the issue however it would start faster with a jump and the new battery. He then took it to a Nissan dealership and they told him it could be the aftermarket tow package on his truck which has a light that is continually lit. They said it may drain the battery just enough that when it gets really cold out it doesn't have enough juice to turn it over. He has been working a job in Ohio which has been extremely cold recently so he goes out every night and starts it before bed and lets it sit about 10 minutes to charge the battery and doesn't seem to have any issues when he gets up in the morning. (He will have a better idea when he gets a chance to disconnect the tow package). I started doing that with my Xterra on the really cold nights going out and starting and haven't had any issues since. There is an indicator light that flashes constantly on my vehicle and I wonder if that might be causing the drain to the battery. Any thoughts?

I doubt it's the tow package and welcome to our headache!! But all info is good info!

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I'm interested to see how things with Ray's grounds work out. I too have considered a ground issue as a potential problem. I checked and cleaned all of my main grounds in the engine compartment, even ran an additional, battery cable sized ground, from then neg terminal to the starter to ensure good ground on starting. No luck there of course. We have more cold nights coming next week. Just started a second shift job. I'm nervous about time to diagnose now and mostly about being out in a parking lot every night now when temps are at their coldest. For reasons mentioned in an earlier post I'm thinking I will try insulating the battery itself for hopes of starting it until we all find an actual solution.

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Ok this morning I changed the ECM relay and notice it was a different parts number l. Meaning is the recall one Nissan should have changed. It only cost me 5 bucks for two. Look up this web page to help you. http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/baddad1/201 1-04-29_143556_ntb10-137b.pdf

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Every thing I did today dose not ensure to solve our problem cause the weather warm up to 50 in my town in New Jersey. So I will not give you details yet. But please tell me if you guys have factor alarms system. My alarm is acting up and I was told it could be draining my battery.

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I do have the alarm system. I tried the relay swap they mention online but it didn't help mine,

Jim something is telling the ECM not to send voltage to the coil packs. That is where the problem is. A sensor somewhere, affected by cold, is talking to the ECM, or not talking to it. In the summer I could put a 200 CCA battery on it and it will start. I don't think a warm/cold battery is the problem UNLESS the battery has some sort of sensor. And a weak battery wouldn't tell the ECM to shut off the voltage to the coil packs.

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Mass airflow sensor might be the problem. I will do some testing when it get cold again to get some reading from it soon.

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I think you are correct Butch. I'm just grasping at straws here. Lol

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It 46 degrees and my Nissan started just find. Maybe it's not cold enough. For those how got colder weather try this simple step. Unscrew the top of you ECM and brush the metal with any thing that works to remove the paint off that mount/ fender so it makes better contect and add a ground wire. Long enough to to reach the ground/ negative of the battery. Don't connect it till your ready to start it in cold weather after sitting all night. Let me know how it goes. If you need a picture text me and I will send you one to you can see. 2014232145

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I Also spray paint wd40 on battery terminals and every grounding cables in my engine bay. If you look inside that passenger side fender you will see lots or cables screwed in. Spray it not to much. Plus follow the ground cable from the battery to the motor and spray it as well.

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For those of you who are heating up the ECM try heating up the mas airflow sensor not to much tho. I believe that where the problem is.

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I heated up the mass air sensor and it start right up. Going to replace it this weekend after I do other testes.

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That sounds like you may have narrowed things down Ray. I appreciate you sharing. We have had unusually warm weather for up our way this last couple of weeks so not testing possible right now for me. I have to hit single digits to get mine to not start. Next time we get a cold night, I will definitely try that though.

Ray did it start before you heated up the mass air sensor?

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Butch I tried to start it twice then I heated up the sensor and it started right up. But Like I said I still have more testing to do cause I gotta wait till the weather cool down over night to retry and test again. I also will check volts and ohms on the wires coming out the ECM and at the sensor it self. Getting new sensor this weekend from dealer.

Thanks Ray. I don't know what the dealer charges but Rockauto.com sells those sensors. They have like 5 or 6 different makers of them. I get all my auto parts from Rock Auto. Great place.

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The weather out here in New Jersey is high in the 60s and it gonna be like this all week. I can't do any more testing cause my car starts up with no problem in this weather. Hope you guys can find this issue.

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Butch my Nissan is stock and to my knowledge I must use a Nissan sensor to get the most exact fuel mixture so it can run the way it's meant to. If we was to add a turbo or supercharger then we should calibrate or go with after market to match up the fuel and air mixture right. Other wise I will buy all parts from dealer. Thanks I could save money but this problem as me going crazy I just want it fix at all coast.

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5pfwDFW5rko

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303. 90 cents for this mass air flow sensor. From Nissan don't buy it yet I will test it first

Wow, that's a hit. Is there a brand name?

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Genuine parts from Nissan part number 22680- 7S00A

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Nope it's not not the sensor no need to by it. I replaced it last night and it 35 degrees and didn't start till the four time. Problem is still active.

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Everything still points to the ECM failures.. Across all the random issues and occurances. It has been the only thing to resolve the starting issue. I believe it's a failure with one of the silicon chips on the ECM. For me (and others on nissan forums) heat worked to start vehicle. The ECM is not recognizing an acceptable amperage reading in cold temps and fails to provide power to the coil packs for ignition. Reading through here adding a higher amp battery does make sense as well for the short term.. Though as we all saw these issues occur around the same time frame I would guess they will all totally fail in the near future. It has to be a faulty chip set on the ECM's that they will not own up to.

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So sorry Ray, I know your pain in dashed hopes after continued investments in these stupid things.

Heating the ECM to room temperature didn't work for us. It's another expensive part especially if it doesn't fix the problem. There are companies out there that repair ECMs but I've heard good and bad about them. I don't know of anyone yet who replaced the ECM and it worked.

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Butch as I said for some it works for some it didnt.. If you have searched nissan forums you will find that the ECM has fixed the issue for several people in the same boat. I know your hell bent on saying the ECM is not the problem.. But I was in the same boat.. I replaced every sensor, ground, and relay.. I gave up after finding out it was the emc and traded the truck in.. Prior to that I also mailed my ECM to a repair company 3 times.. Each time they were unable to resolve the issue until they offered to sell me a refurb.. Which was not far off from the cost of a new model.. Good Luck!

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Ryan you might be right after all but we need comfirmation on it some one need to buy a New ECM and replace. And I heard of a Nissan Frontier who had this issue just got it replace last at Nissan dealer where I got my parts from. I will try to contact him to see how it turn out.

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By the way Lori on the top of this chat room said she had her ECM replace and didn't work I hope she got it replace with a new one not a junkyard used one.

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I will continue this search but it you don't want to spend any more money I think it's best to add and extra battery with a fuse and switch in the trunk. Only switch it on in cold weather. But remember to do this only add the same kind of battery under your hood and keep it professional with a battery box tied down In you trunk.

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My truck only has 72,000 miles and replace so much and new tires in Nov. So trading it in will be an mistake.

My problem Ryan is replacing parts that don't resolve the problem. I've been that route in the past. An ECM is $500 plus the cost of the dealer programming it. If that doesn't fix the problem then that is one expensive lesson. Now here is another thing to consider. The vehicle starts in the summer but not the winter. Sounds cold related. So we bring the ECM in the house overnight to try and reproduce warmer temperatures. It did not work. If it is the ECM then why didn't it work? It was warm. Something is stopping or not sending voltage to the coil packs. If it is the ECM at the base of the problem, then to me warming up the ECM to warmer temperatures should fix the problem and it doesn't. I need more to go on before replacing the ECM because once you buy it, it's yours to keep.

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Butch thanks for that info the leave me with IPDM I will look into replacing mine with a new one not used.

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Butch, I agree that you may indeed have a totally different issue. If I was in your situation I would start by replacing the IPDM relay which is about 5 bucks. It is also a know failing part that can cause the same issue.. I had replaced that.. Then the entire IPDM board for 285$. Neither resolved the issue for me.. But for some it did..

$5 I'll try!!

Ryan I keep going back to that no voltage problem to the coil packs and spark plugs. Jim discovered that. That's a problem we've been trying to figure out. What is stopping the voltage from going to the coil packs/plugs. Jim went as far as freezing his ECM in the freezer in the summer to recreate winter conditions. It started up!

One other thing. I have wondered if we do have different problems. But we all do have cold weather starting problems.

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I just look up the IPDM and Nissan doesn't sell the one my car is equipped with which is white. They only offer the black one which they say fits like a glove. Price is 325 plus tax. Their is s reason why they stop making those white ones to bad they don't recall this issue.

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Ryan what IPDM you had and which one they put in was it new or used?

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Hey guys. If it helps, I tried the relay swap (ignition and trailer something if I remember?) they have the same part number printed on them I know. That didn't work for me. Also tried, on separate occasions, freezing the IPDM and ECM overnight. Both had no result, (the truck started fine). Heating the ECM has not worked for me either.

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Way too long to go into, but because of a slightly bent blade in the 3 pin connector on the cam Pos sensor, bent by some testing I did, I found that even a minutely bad connection leads to a crank but no start issue. That said, these things seem to be super sensitive to loss of current flow. I think this thing could be as small of an issue as a bad connector, faulty wire or wiring harness in the ignition system wiring somewhere. Where is, of course, the $24,000 question. What we know is that we get no spark at the plugs when cold, i.e. It's ignition related not fuel related. This issue affects different trucks at different temps. Quick poll here, does everyone here have the 4.0L v6 that I have in my 06 Pathfinder? Also what is your year model and make?

2007 Xterra. 4.0 V6.

Jim I think the majority of us have the same problem just for the fact it's a cold wx problem. A lot of parts have been replaced by a lot of people and the problem hasn't been resolved. I thought of going out on a cold day with a heat gun and heating different parts of the wiring harness to see if I could make it start. A heat gun will get parts warm in a hurry. Just gotta make sure I don't start a fire!

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I have an '09 Pathfinder, bought used just about 2 years ago. I had no problems until winter hit. We bought it as spring was starting and then had a great summer and fall. I am in Flagstaff, AZ (bought it a little south of us, Prescott, where it does not get as cold) and temps can be -10 / -20 in winter. Last winter the problem started and we assumed battery. We went through several. A new battery fixed the problem but only temporarily. Then I read that it could be a fuel pump freeze issue. The suggestion was to turn on the key to the accessory mode for a few minutes. Bingo! That worked.....for a while. Here we are, coldest winter since we've moved here, regularly below zero and my Pathfinder hasn't started all week. My husband put the battery charger on it yesterday and that was no help. This thread has been so valuable and I think we at least have some good things to try out. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and troubleshooting. It is nice to know we are not alone in this frustration although it stinks that so many of us have this issue and the manufacturer will do nothing. I've loved my Nissans (had a Quest prior to my Pathfinder) and this is really disappointing.

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Nissan put a new IPDM in my Xterra. After that I got a New IPDM off Ebay and changed it out again. Then I got a couple new relays to keep warm for spares. None of these worked for me.

Sounds like an expensive lesson. This is what worries me. If a new IPDM didn't fix the problem then Nissan shouldn't charge you for the parts and labor or give you a refund if you paid. I'll bet they're making thousands replacing parts that aren't bad.

Welcome Terri! Love Flagstaff. Been there several times back in the 70's. Hopefully we'll come up with a cure.

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I am readin online and looking for the factory warrantee does any one know what it really is. Some say 80,000 miles other day 60,000 miles. The ECM should be covered.

So here is an update on my boyfriends Titan. He had the tow package disconnected. Temps were very low last night in Cleveland and his truck was covered in snow and ice this morning and it started right up. This seemed to have solved his issue.

LovesmyNissam ask him what he did. Can't wait to try it. I'd die if it's the fix!!

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Me too!!!!

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lovemynissan does his tow packaged consist of just a wiring harness connector for towing a trailer (the connector where the wires for the trailer connect) or does he also have a trailer brake attached? Just wondering because my pathfinder has a factory tow package with just the wiring harness for trailer lights.

My son has the tow package also.

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Mine has tow package also.

Hello fellow Nissan victims. I have a 2008 Pathfinder V8. This is the 3rd winter I have been fighting this problem as well. I had the truck for 4 winters before that with our problems what so ever. I replaced the IPDM two years ago for the problem with the fuel relay. Nissan redesigned the board and it was about $280 as Ryan mentioned. The new board comes with all new relays and fuses. And as others have mentioned this did nothing for the cold cranking issue. I will mention this. If you have a fuel relay problem this is what happens at least to me. First time I backed out of a parking space and when I pulled off the engine died, the dash lit up like a Christmas tree, the engine fired back up and the truck was in drive but acted like it was in neutral. I turned it off and cranked it and it was fine. Three weeks later it did it again but on a busy road at 45 miles an hour. I didn't trust it on the interstate after that incident until I fixed the problem. And Nissan was zero help talking to them and like you all just had to track it down. I won't get into the long list of what I've checked and done over the past 2 years but I'll pass on a few things I have done with success. Not fixed but has worked for me. I keep my pathfinder parked outside in Memphis. If it gets into even the mid to low 40's overnight the problem will crop up. I keep a battery booster pack in the back and it will start it everytime. So last winter on cold nights (in the mid to low 20's) I started parking in the garage and plugging in my battery charger before bed and it would fire right up. I would just unhook the charger and kept it on the workbench. Now for what is going to sound crazy but I read this on another forum last winter in relation to this problem and have had success. Success even on nights when it has gotten to freezing with the truck parked outside. When you go to crank up. Turn the ignition to ON but don't attempt to crank the truck. Wait about 5 seconds and then turn the ignition back off. Do this 3 times and on the fourth time try to crank it. If it does not fire up repeat it again and mine will fire up on the second attempt most times. I have had to do it 3 times before. Now if it gets down in the 20's this doesn't work for me. But on nights outside when it's gotten cold enough for the problem to arise it has worked. I'm looking at a trade too later this year before next winter. Just have to get through about another month and she will run like a top through the summer. Unless I finally find the solution. I would be very interested to see about disconnecting the towing package. Mine has it also.

Hey Terri sorry didn't see you mentioned the accessory trick also. Sounds crazy but I've been doing it except on really cold nights at least for Memphis and it has fired up.

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Welcome JayRay. I'm in Wisonsin so we get insane temps this time of year. My 07 Pathfinder stops starting somewhere near the single digits. We had a single digit night last night. I have a jumper pack also that I bought new last year. Usually it will not start the vehicle for me. But this morning I hooked it up and it cranked it up. This was after two attempts of trying to get it to start before connecting the pack. I am recharging my pack today. Going to take a chance, I'm hoping it will start it again tonight at work, I get off around 930 so I'll have good cold temps by then. Also tonight guys I'm going to try pulling the fuse and/or any relays for my towing package. I will let you guys know if that makes a difference. Best of luck to all of you we will figure this thing out.

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Pulled the trailer fuse and all tow package related relays today. 5° tonight at work. It did not start AGAIN. Jumper pack was fully charged just before leaving for work. I left it in the pathfinder. Would not start the truck. I had to have a coworker jump me off from his truck. This is infuriating. Come on Nissan. Who is the CEO over there now, Darth Vader?

02 nissan xterra same issues I'm in northern Illinois thank you all for this thread trying to figure out what's up. Spent close to 1000.00 in past week trying to fix. It didn't start at all today even trying to jump :(

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Has any one with this cold starting problem changed the IPDM completely from white to a new black one yet. I am reading reviews on it. It has less relay on it which I was told was the problem. But does it really work?

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Please look at the IPDM let me know if your is black or white. So I can narrow down this issue we are all having. I have a white IPDM. Remember IPDM is a fuse panel.

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Ray twice I changed IPDM did not fix my problem. Wasted time and money

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What color you had what color you put in?

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Black was in it when I got the truck and nissan replaced it with and black one. Then I got another black on off E bay but the lid cover was a little diffrent. I put a block heater and heat lamps through the night and keeping extra updated relays warm in the house ti change them out and I would poor two boling hot 5 gallon bucket of water in that area. NONE OF THIS WORKED FOR ME! Still no Start. But putting a big 200 amp charger will Start instantly

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Pooring hot water on the battery seemed to help without boost if it was not really cold.. The IPDM is for sure not my problem. And I have changed all my sensor that did no good...thought sensors change fixed it for me once But it was the jumping the truck off by another truck that got it going really.

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We had to pick up the truck from the dealer because they gave up on it. They couldn't figure out the problem nor did they fix anything. We think it is an electrical issue or something to do with the ground wiring, but not sure exactly where it occurs. The good news is that we have been able to start the truck by doing the following: open the key on and off a few times but not all the way, don't try to start it. After the third time step on the brake and hold it while you try to start it. This has actually worked two days so far. Hopefully it will work for others and it can give us a better clue of where to find the issue.

All ready tried it. Didn't work. Doesn't that reset the fuel system or something? The dealer gave up! I guess once you picked it up it's out of sight out of mind. You would think they would go higher up to try and fix this thing. Nope. They don't want to be bothered.

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The dealer where the truck was did try to get help from the engineers, but no one is admitting that these vehicles are having issues. Our truck was out of state and we had to go pick it up to try and fix it here, the dealer wanted their loaner car returned. Someone on this thread mentioned the possibility of us having different issues, and I might be in agreement at this point if different things are helping to get the vehicles started. Jump starting the truck didn't help as it is not a battery issue for us. All that did was keep the battery from losing its charge while we cranked for over 20 minutes. I will update if we find out anything new. Or next winter since it is starting to get hot here.

Xpire I think all of the cold starting vehicles 90% have the same problem. That's just my uneducated guess. My sons Xterra won't start a lot even when jumped and I think his has the same problem as everyone else's. I would also guess that over 1000 of us have this problem. This isn't new to Nissan. They won't address it. At least Jim, from this site, has discovered that no spark is getting to the plugs and coil packs. My guess is that we all have that problem. We just have to figure out why.

My car wouldn't work with jumping all I heard were clicks. I'm on my 3rd starter since november. Crazy thing is that I had a new starter put in last week I started my car a total of 6 times then it was done. Had my 3rd starter put in yesterday so far so good. So maybe a possibility for some. It is possible for new parts to be bad.

Some bad news. It's 40 degrees here and my sons 2007 Xterra won't start. That tells me it's getting worse. Will it come to a point that it won't start in the summer? Who knows.

Hey Butch I'll tell you. My 2008 Pathfinder started this 2 years ago. It has been consistent that if it gets below 40 or close to it the problem crops up. Now last night it got down to 51 and was parked outside and it fired up first try. So far I've never had a problem if it was above say 42 or so at night. Hopefully yours won't get any worse. It's just maddening. I have tried everything short of replacing the ECM and I refuse to spend that money since its been paid for for almost 5 years now. What baffles me is that it never was a problem for the first almost 7 years then it started and is consistent.

JayRay they won't do it but Nissan needs to take one of our cars to their headquarters then get a couple of their best mechanics and engineers and figure this thing out. There has been thousands of dollars spent on parts and labor that hasn't fixed the problem. I'll bet there are over a 1000 of us that have this problem. It's not just one model or one year. Nissan knows there is a problem and refuse to do anything about it and then burns my butt.

Installed my optima and I am still good... no issues in a month. Also if you plan to.change the complete ECM call foreign ECU repair in Texas. This guy is real nice and can sell u a new one if you send your old one there will be no programming needed upon delivery. Plug not play. I think it was like 600.00.. this is in fact the problem but a optima battery corrected my issue. But I am in Memphis and winter is not harsh here.

Greetings folks. I've got a 2006 Xterra 4.0 with 125k mi, which I bought new, and has had the same cold start issue for 2 winters. I've only tried the relay swap to no avail. I've read this 2 years worth of posts like a good novel, anxiously waiting to see what comes next and hoping the next post would have the magic solution. Thanks to everyone for the fix attempts and for sharing your learnings along the way. I hate to see how much $ and time has been spent without getting to the root cause, and Nissan's lack of support is beyond disappointing. I still hope to get it resolved...I've had ZERO issues otherwise.

Homesick1 welcome. Keep an eye on your radiator/transmission cooler. They have a reputation of corroding through and cross contaminating each other. My son said his transmission was acting funny in his 2007 Xterra. I checked the radiator and transmission. They had contaminated each other. Plus his fuel gauge quit working so I had to replace his fuel pump. The radiator problem too is all over the internet. Nissan knows about it but they'd rather install new transmissions. Nissan isn't going to fix anything unless it's a safety issue and then probably only with a prodding from the NTSB.

Thanks Butch. I've read about the radiator problem and feel like I'm on borrowed time there. Between the looming radiator concern, the cold start issue, and the fact that I am due for tires, I'm feeling like maybe I should move on to something newer. It's a shame though, if there was a fix for the cold start I'd have no problem replacing the radiator and slapping new shoes on the old girl. It's the lack of root cause & solution that really bugs me. There are a ton of really smart people on this and other forums plus all of the dealers looking at this, and 'why' is still unanswered. Crazy.

2005 Xterra 4.0L V6 -same issue. Will crank not start. I did have two engine codes (P0345, P0340). I replaced both which cleared both codes(~125 from AZ.) Still cranking but not starting. Battery is drained from this so I am recharging..I've read everyone's comments and what a shame we can't figure this out...

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VgdLTVnEjvc

Well just finished my 3rd winter with this problem and over the last few weeks it has gotten worse. Previously the Pathfinder would crank if it was above low 40's. We have had some pretty warm weather here in Memphis and even on nights it didn't get below 45 it still didn't want to crank. Last week it got up to 71 degrees one day and was sunny and after sitting at work in the warmer weather it wouldn't crank after work. That has never happened it has always been after sitting overnight. Last night it got to 34 degrees and it was parked in the garage with the battery charger on all night and still wouldn't crank today. I had to put my jumper pack on and it fired right up. I have a digital thermometer in my garage and it registers the lowest and highest temperatue over the past 24 hours. The lowest it got inside the garage last night was 50. The last few weeks I have had to turn the ignition on and off several times then try it. And do this 2 to 3 times to get it started even when the temperature has been as high as 60 for the overnight low with it parked in the garage. Has anybody else noticed it getting worse even with warmer temperatures? I was looking forward to spring and not having to deal with this through the summer but recent events have me wondering now if the problem can get worse to the point warmer temperatures don't make the problem go away as it has the past few years since it started.

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Yes JayRay I had that trouble. Turned out it was a connection problem on battery negative side. There was a pice of metal on the end of the wire that was left on when the factory battery clamp was cut off and crowded in a way that I couldn't see. I cut it off and attached the ground wire right to the battery clamp. That fixed my warmer weather issues.

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I have a '09 Xterra (70k miles) and am also having the 'cold' crank but no start issue....I am in Houston and have the problem any time temps drop below 60ish....the colder it gets the worse the problem (I know I am wuss for calling sub-60 cold, but apparently my truck agrees :-). I have found that without exception my truck will turn over once I have: 1. cranked without luck and 2. sat with the key in accessory mode for seconds to minutes...the colder it is the longer I have to sit waiting. I have noticed that parking in the garage, even in much colder temps, is less bad compared to parking where the truck is exposed to wind despite much warmer temperatures (I get the whole transfer of heat thing with wind, but I'm talking a big difference). I have changed the coil packs and spark plugs and am about to go for the new ECM but don't want to commit until I can confirm I'm not waisting more money. Anyone had any luck or have a solid recommendation?

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MPS we haven't found a cure yet. Our problems have been mostly 30 degrees and colder. Replacing the ECM will be hit or miss. It's costly if it doesn't fix the problem.

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I have the same problems as everyone else, the only thing I haven't heard mentioned here is the block heater effect. When I have my block heater plugged in it greatly extends the temperature range my car will start in. Without the block heater my car won't start if it gets below 0C basically, but with the block heater plugged in the car will still start if the temperature drops to around -10C to -15C. I assume that it has something to do with less power being required for engine to turnover given the oil is warm. I feel like this doesn't jive with the lack of power getting to the coil pack issue though.

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I don't know. The battery needs to get below a certain voltage before cranking the engine duplicate the problem. Otherwise, all is fine. Looks to be about 12.3 volts and the temperature has to be pretty darn cold. But then again, it could be pretty darn cold and the voltage is over 12.3 volts at the battery it will start. Very temperamental.

Hi guys, I have the same cold start issue. Hopefully we can resurrect this thread and get the issue figured out this winter. My truck is a 2012 Frontier 4.0l 6spd. I believe my IPDM is the updated version, since my truck is a 2012. Anywhere below 30F I start seeing the cranking without starting issues. Down to 10 to 15F, I've been able to crank a couple times consecutively, let the truck sit for a minute, then crank again and it would start. This morning it was 0F, and no amount of cranking would start it. Finally I pulled out a battery charger. After a few minutes of charging, it still wouldn't start. Then I let it charge for another 10 minutes, and it started right up. After the initial startup in the morning it starts fine for the rest of the day, even if it has been sitting for 8+ hours. I charged up a 900 CCA battery that I'll try next time the issue happens.

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I worked on one today. A second battery in parallel solved the problem for us immediately. I tried heating several components while jiggling others for proper connections. I am an opponent of the amperage issue to the computer. By using the two batteries, we sent much more amperage to the computer. I am thinking a solder joint that expands and contracts. I have seen this in broken televisions and when you move them they work fine. However, heat makes the board expand and contract. Just my opinion, but worth a shot. I am trying to find some details other the insides of the ecu now (how it is made). As far as any type of block heaters, I personally don't sway that way. I thought they are more for controlling viscosity of the oil and keeping anything from cracking. Unfortunately, I am not a mechanic, so the stuff I am saying may be totally incorrect.

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Sorry for the poor typing. I was just reading what I wrote. The solder joint I mention could be inside this component. I am not sure, just throwing darts. What I was trying to say is if the interior of this component expands and contracts, maybe this is when we lose connectivity. By applying more amperage we are able to jump this "bridge" and send the signal to the rest of the car. If it were the relay I wouldn't think it would have started by adding another battery. Very confusing. Nissan surely must be embarrassed that this has went on for so long. Their engineers know what is going on, but they can't admit to blame without a huge class action suit.

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Also, one thing that communicates with the ECM is the V V C S. It is the little black box that surrounds the negative ground cable. If you are testing your alternator you will need to disconnect this POS. It acts as a governor on your alternator output to save MPG. When disconnected the vehicle reverts to the normal alternator regulator system. The problem with adding aftermarket batteries is the ECM is programmed for the OEM battery output. The last thing we need is an additional governor on the alternator because of the EPA. If you decide to disconnect it you may see fault codes P1550 P1554 and may need to clear them. Don't worry those are related directly to the VVCS aka Battery Current Sensor ...Read more: https://www.autocodes.com/p1554.html ... Read more: https://www.autocodes.com/p1550_nissan.html

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Also, happened again during down to zero degrees cold soak overnight. 1. Turn ignition ON 2. Pump pedal to the floor 5 times 3. Wait 10 seconds 4. Hold pedal to the floor and wait until the SE light blinks 5. Start motor This resets the throttle programming.

I found the CURE!!!!!! 6 months and 4 mechanics later and a few thousand of useless part replacements and tow bills. Here are the facts on my case: 2007 Nissan Xterra - 140,000 miles approx Live in BC Canada - problem started in late summer when morning temp was around 15 degrees Celsius or less started off that is would not start easily in the early summer mornings when it was cool. First mechanic could not find any codes on it. did some reading online and came across the problem online and also figured out it started fine when it was warm so started parking in the garage and that was ok for a couple of months until around November when it was colder then I was struggling to start it but jumping it worked so we replaced the battery. No difference. Did some research and came across something that said the Mass Air Flow sensor, so changed that out. No change. Next mechanic said fuel pump, changed that out. No difference. But this time I was starting to leave my car running or going out every couple of hours and starting it up to keep it warm I was at work so I would not get stranded at the office during the day. I parked it inside the garage at night. Came across another mechanic that said they thought they could figure it out. They said that when they hooked up the battery and the computer the car was reading the battery as dead when the battery was not dead, so they said they figured it was something with the computer but they did not have the capabilities that a Nissan repair shop would as far as working on the Nissan computers. So I finally relented and took it into the Stealership. Where of course despite the pages of online forums that talk about this problem they had never heard of it before. They then went through the entire diagnostic procedure from start and checked everything that had already been checked again. apparently they have to. At the end of the day they had no idea and apparently had their Nissan help line on the phone and everything. Then the women in the repair department asked if I had any of the contamination problems come up as mine was within the year, model and miles for that to happen. We had known about this particular Nissan coolant contamination issue when we bought it and had actually had the procedure done to bypass it so that it was a none issue. But the service department figured that it was possible that perhaps some contamination had occurred before we had done the bypass and that condensation would have gotten cold and froze around the sensor in the transmission. Well I'm not mechanically inclined.....at all so I could not tell if that seemed plausible or not so they kept the vehicle another day and by this time our weather had dropped well below zero so they kept the vehicle over the weekend and ran the codes on it first thing when it had sat in the cold for a few days and they said that the code came up for the transmission sensor so it might be a transmission replacement. And then the service department said they came up with a temporary bandaid fix, that they could attach one of those stick on oil pan heaters to the bottom of my tranny and keep it warm so it would start. That sounded shady as hell to me. So I said I'd look into doing that and they went to get my vehicle for me whilst I paid the 400 worth of diagnostic work they had done. The service manager came out and said "we can't get your vehicle started anymore" By this time I was ready to push my car with the nissan mechanics off a cliff. So I hired a rental car and left my vehicle there wishing I had not already paid. The next day they call me and turns out there was no communication between the TCM and ECM. They found a used ECM part for me here is the part that is says on my invoice KRTP USED ECM for $525.00 labour $260.00 And its now been 4 weeks and I have left my vehicle out in -19 Celsius till its completely cold and so far it's started up instantly every time. It's been a problem for so long that I'm still holding my breathe every time I start it in the cold but so far so good. Hope that helps someone else out there as this was a pretty frustrating 6 months and I could have probably saved a few grand in useless parts and labour if I had had the answer sooner. Otherwise I do love my Xterra though.

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I finally caved and took my car into Nissan, to no ones surprise they did not find a solution, nor did the Nissan "Technical Centre" have any experience with the issue. Ended up paying 2 hours of diagnostics (they spent about 5 hours on it though) and $60 for a new battery (they tossed my old one even after I told them not to as I knew that wasn't the issue). The only issue I have is they fully removed my auto start and didn't reinstall when hey realized it wasn't the issue. I knew I was gonna get effed one way or another if I brought it to Nissan. Could have been worse I guess, they were proposing swapping out the IPDM, reading this forum saved me that expense, thanks, people! I'm now curious if anyone else has tried Shalon's solution to see if it works. For now I just bought an automatic battery disconnect, will be installing it this week, we'll see if that works. http://www.wirthco.com/battery-life-preserver-automatic-battery-disconnect-switch-p-1190-l-en.html

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One question for Shalon, did the dealership just swap out your ECM? Or was it a part within the ECM? I thought people tried the ECM swap and it never worked.

For $525 they better have replaced the whole ECM. There are brand new, complete, ECMs online for as low as $550. Quite a few people on the Xterra and Frontier forums have replaced the ECM and solved the issue, and I'm thinking that's my next step too. Lately, if it's been below 10F I've had to heat up my ECM with a little shop heater. I'm 5 for 5 on startups after heating it up just the area of the ECM, so I don't think the MAF, fuel pump, cam sensors, crank sensors, or any of the other parts that people have mentioned are the problem in my case. Sounds like the ECM was the root cause in Shalon's case too.

I am not sure if it was the whole thing or just a part within the ECM, I was told a new one was around $800 CAD but that is stealerships for you. when I went to pick up my vehicle they had found a used one and put that in instead. I'll check my invoice when I get home and see what I can determine on the part. But the dealership was River City Nissan in Kamloops BC if anyone wanted to ask them directly the women I dealt with was Alana in the service department.

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I just spoke with the dealership Shalon used, they were a lot more helpful than the one I have been dealing with. Sounds like it they just put a used ECM into her vehicle in the end. They did suggest that I check to see if my car has the transmission fluid contamination issue as this could be tied to the whole thing.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I fixed my issues by swapping the ECM (computer) and must reset your keys to match. One of my keys had a weak signal. If I was you guys try to replace you keys first before the ecm. It's been 2 months now and My 07 pathfinder start with no problem under 20 degrees. I live in NJ and NY area.

I fixed my issues by swapping the ECM (computer) and must reset your keys to match. One of my keys had a weak signal. If I was you guys try to replace you keys first before the ecm. It's been 2 months now and My 07 pathfinder start with no problem under 20 degrees. I live in NJ and NY area.

This is definitely with the ECM but still not sure if it needs to be replaced before checking everything else out. For example, the BVS may not be working correctly as well the the anti-theft system. If the battery was replaced or disconnected you still need to check both. If the BVS appears to be not working or not working properly then intentionally set off the car alarm. Roll down the front window. Set the alarm with the fob. Open the door to set off the alarm. Disarm using using the fob or key. Test drive the vehicle and see of the battery needle eventually becomes significantly lower than usual. This will indicate the battery is fully charged and the BVS is now engaged and working properly. If the BVS is sending a low or no signal to the ECM then it won't send a signal to the IPDM, which can cause a no start situation. Unfortunately, the BVS and the anti-theft system can cause a no start if not working properly with the ECM and the battery is weakened due to extreme cold soak with no apparent indication that there is conflict with the ECM. Of course, replacing the ECM forces Nissan to start from the beginning, which will erase any inherent bugs that caused this mess to begin with. Doesn't mean the bugs are still not there unless the programming has been updated, which I doubt. So, there is still a chance the same circumstance may still arise for no apparent reason.

Hey Ryan! Thank you so much for your ECM post. Warmed up the ECM with a heat-gun and my 2007 Xterra fired right up. Currently looking for a replacement ECM. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba so -4 F is pretty common in the Winter which means my truck won't start for much of the Winter here with the current ECM. Thanks again. Mike

Jumping on this thread... I have a 2007 Titan doing the same thing all your guys' vehicles are doing.... Mine ran great for about 6 years, then all of a sudden, after this past winter, it started with the no starting thing. I have replaced the IPDM and the camshaft sensors (no surprise, nothing). I'm reluctant to swap out the ECM, just because it seems to only have a 50% success rate... Weird thing that I picked up on another forum, but if I crank the engine several times to the point where the battery almost dies, it sputters and almost starts... At that point, I hook up the jumper cables and it starts up...

Hi guys, i live in San Diego Ca, and beening having the same problem for 7 months now, the funny thing is it doesn't get colder then 48 degrees.

Also, Having an Electronic background, i did several voltage checks and noticed that when the voltage is lower then 12.6v, that's when it wont start. And again it dosen't get that colder here.

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