2006 Nissan Santra - Wont start after sitting a couple of hours?

Asked by Jun 22, 2011 at 08:21 AM about the 2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Nissan Sentra, 1.8 S.  I've taken it to two different mechanics, and neither of them can find out why my car is having trouble starting.  

My car starts fine in the morning when the engine is cold, or after a full day of sitting in the parking garage at work (providing I don't go to lunch in it).  However, if I do go to lunch a few hours after I show up, or if I'm somewhere where the car has been sitting for two or three hours, then it has trouble starting.

The engine will just keep turning over, and eventually it will start.  I've also found it helpful to push on the gas pedal.  Not sure why this helps a fuel injected car?

The car will start 100% of the time, but both mechanics cannot figure out where the trouble is coming in.  I guess it's hard to find a mechanic that can actually work, and problem solve, without my car being hooked up to a computer, telling them what's wrong with it.

All of the spark plugs were recently changed, the coils were also changed.  The car has 127,000 miles, and besides that problem, runs great.

I would appreciate any help, to proven solutions.

Thanks!

20 Answers

90

I have Nissan sentra SE 2001. 130000 miles on it. I have the same problem. Did you find any solution for your car. Please let me know.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
2,125

Sounds suspiciously like the Air Regulator... the FSM states: "The air regulator provides an air by-pass when the engine is cold for a fast idle during warm-up. A bimetal, heater and rotary shutter are built into the air regulator. When the bimetal temperature is low, the air by-pass port opens. As the engine starts and electric current flows through a heater, the bimetal begins to turn the shutter to close the by-pass port. The air passage remains closed until the engine stops and the bimetal temperature drops."

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
90

I had the same problem for a few years. It always had a hard start too. You would have to crank the engine for a few turns wait a second and then try again and it will start. I replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter (they come together) and this solved the problem. From what I heard they were faulty from the beggining. The part is about 310 bucks but worth it. Also a very easy install. Took 5 mins and done. I also replaced the cam shaft sensor and the crank shaft sensor. Both of these were really easy and pretty cheap at advanced auto parts. hope this helps

9 of 9 people found this helpful.
130

If you google 'sentra long crank start' you will see what it is. You will also see that the solutions aren't quite as simple as replacing the fuel pump. Those who do tend to experience only a temporary fix. It's really a very odd issue, and one that because it isn't capable of causing a safety risk, didn't create a recall from Nissan. Just a whole load of very angry owners. The issue is the fuel line un-primes itself inside the pump. The reason why it doesn't happen in cold weather is the increase in pressure doesn't happen in the line, forcing the fuel back out of the line. The reason why it restarts when the engine is warm is simply that it hasn't had a chance for the fuel to run back out of the lines yet. You'll also notice that it doesn't happen if it's a hot evening when you stop your car, followed by a cool morning start. Again, the fuel will stay snugged up against the primed section of the pump this way and won't be pushed back out. Replacing the pump will replace the same issue. Oddly some claim it works...Which doesn't really make sense if this truly is the problem. Others claim it's temporary. I presume there's enough people having other issues with similar symptoms to have these other methods work in the cases where it wasn't as far advanced as others. Nissan released a 'repair kit' which installs a check valve in the fuel pump, but oddly, owners experience patchy success with this option too, claiming it comes back again after a brief period of success. http://www.courtesyparts.com/nissan-fuel-pump-repair-kit-2002-2006- sentra-qr25-2003-2006-sentra-qg18-engine-tsb-ntb05-052a-p- 622217.html Other remedies have had people installing one way check valves in the fuel line itself, forcing the fuel to stay primed. Messing with and cutting/augmenting fuel lines isn't something I'd want to try doing myself. The pressure is too high and I'd never feel confident in the job. Some have experienced success by simply leaving the key turned to power, but not cranking it for 10 seconds or so before starting. This helps the fuel pump to prime itself, and at least in my case, shortens the crank times until ignition happens.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
150

IT IS NOT THE FUEL PUMP!! You need to look into your Crankshaft Position Sensor guys. 4 out of 5 Nissan Sentra, and Altimas between 05-07 with over 120k miles will begin to have a oil build up in the sensor.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.
30

Same problem. 06 Nissan Sentra with about 70k miles on it. I've had this problem ever since I got the car a few years ago. Put in a new fuel pump and still does the same thing. Not even a temporary fix.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
100

a have nissan sentra 03 gxe 1.8 i have problems with a/c the cold 10 minit and star warm please help me

60

there is a service bulletin for the long engine crank issue. part number to fix the problem is(22670-zg80c). don't forget to replace the fuel pump to tank seal when you install the repair kit.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
10

Computer is protecting your car from some damaging defect, and shut it down. Need to go to dealership to get it checked and the computer rekeyed.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

I have the same problem with my Nissan Sentra 2013 in the morning it will start fine but when the engine is hot the first time it will stall then the second time will turn on change the air filter clean throddel body and still doing it

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
30

YodaKota23 said: You need to look into your Crankshaft Position Sensor guys. 4 out of 5 Nissan Sentra, and Altimas between 05- 07 with over 120k miles will begin to have a oil build up in the sensor. My mechanic immediately knew this was the problem based on MANY Nissans with this problem and solution. All I had to do was describe the problem. He never even looked at the car. Like someone up top said, it would eventually always start, but it got progressively worse to the point it would drain my battery trying. Put that sensor on, voila, fixed. Iirc, the part was $46.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
10

Are u saying if I change the crankshaft position sensor the problem may be solved. I have Nissan sentra 2006 that does that.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
150

How many miles @prosper1979 ?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
130

Outside of my sarcasm and boredom for what is a clear example of compounding poor engineering, the car is no longer a puppy, and you see less and less of them around.. It will soon be time to replace it, and I find it staggering that there truly has never been a decisive fix. Could it be that there simply isn't one? I know there's a few coddling tweaks that tame th e problem temporatily, but because it'seems such a life long issue, the other components can begin to be blamed eventually simply for now being so old. I would almost kill at this point to see someone replace the cam sensor AND the fuel pump AND the mass airflow sensor (the three parts everyone swears fixes it) at the same time and see how long it holds. The crazy mix of fixes for the same issue has forced me to the conclusion that it isn't one thing; It's a weak system overall, and that is why even slight aging of components can cause this very odd grey area problem that is seemingly fixed by repairing or even cleaning any of the weak points, but only temporarily. My fuel pump fix was not imaginary. It went from a huge 15 second crank time to nothing and held for nearly a year before the same symptom began to creep back. Thinking it couldn't be the pump so soon, I tried cleaning the MAS, and a couple of weeks of good cranks were obtained there.. Now It's back with a vengeance and, shall I try the crank sensor this time? If the evidence I've gathered is anything to go by, I'm almost guaranteed at least a few weeks worth of good starts out of doing so. It's there a lesson to learn here? I'm honestly not sure. I learned to not buy Nissan again I guess. :)

10

I have 117000 miles.

I had same issue 2006 1.8L would crank and crank but not start ,changed both cam shaft sensor and crank shaft sensor with parts from local auto parts store, same issue. so went and purchased OEM sensors from Nissan dealer and did the idle re-learn process and problem gone. Lesson learned is must use OEM PARTS!

simple fix; crank engine for a few seconds, if no start, then quit trying to start (keep key in ON position) wait at least 5 seconds and try again. I have this model and this method has worked every time.

2005 Sentra, 2.5 engine most common in the Altima, I have tried and replaced all of the above. Fuel pump is easy to diagnose, Go borrow a fuel pressure gauge from the local parts store. it should be between 30-40 psi. It should hold this pressure over night. If it does not, investigate you fuel system. If it holds, move on. This car is equipped with several sensor and drive by wire technology all of which can lock out the cars computer into a "no Start" mode. Mine has been on several diagnostic computers which still shows bad Crank and Cam sensors even after replacing them with Nissan OEM parts and clearing the codes. Cam and Crank sensor can be tested. it s a simple test. See Youtube. When this car starts it will run for days... until you turn it off. Then most likely it will not start for days.

I have the same problem right now. The car will crank and crank and crank. I have to feather the pedal and yell at it before it will even half start. It half-starts and dies 3-5 times before finally starting. It threw a crank shaft position sensor so I replaced that and nothing changed. When the car is cold (in the morning after not being driven for hours) it only cranks 2-3 times. The RPM gauge doesn't move when I feather the pedal either. I've considered changing the cam sensor, fuel pump and the spark plugs but I don't see the point in spending all that money on a possible fix, especially considering what people have been saying about the fuel pump change not really working....

130

I still stand by my weak system diagnosis.. I have replaced all of the components. Cam, and crank sensor, and mass airflow, and fuel pump.. While the fuel pump fixed the issue for a while, it returned.. And then something embarrassing happened. I failed to notice the buildup of crap on the negative battery terminal, and when I finally cleaned it up and gave it a solid connection again, it starts right up every time. My point is, it's the same symptom, for a completely different reason and issue. I wasn't imagining the fuel pump fixing it. It did so for a year, unless something ridiculous like me disconnecting and reconnecting the battery reconnected the terminal more successfully.. and maybe I was dealing with a combo, but that same symptom comes up almost no matter what with this car. I half expect it to be present if I get a flat tire. So, for the time being, the starting problem is gone again, but I fully expect it to return, for whatever vague half issue is going on in the engine. Otherwise.. Currently getting something new with a low rpm at idle, causing a near stall engine tremble, combined with the cruise control not engaging. I'm a little tired of throwing parts at the car, but I read it could be the throttle sensor in the gas pedal. Anyone have any idea?

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