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Jake
Jake, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 3995
Experience:  Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
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Hi Mike, last Sunday I bought a Nissan Almera Tino 1.8l petrol, 2003 model . Drove it hom

Resolved Question:

Hi Mike,
last Sunday I bought a Nissan Almera Tino 1.8l petrol, 2003 model . Drove it home about 60 miles .
Near the end of the journey the engine fault light came on . Can't recall the Code but it was for a lean mixture . I replaced the upstream lambda sensor and the petrol consumption improved dramatically . This was all done on that Sunday . Yesterday morning it would not start . It fired briefly and died . Tried this many times . I removed the camshaft cover to check the chain timing marks - they were ok . The tensioner showed about 10mm of shiny metal on the ram . I replaced the cover and cranked the engine - it started immediately and was was ok for the rest of the day .
This morning I have the same problem , it fires briefly and dies .
Any ideas ?
Thanks,
Eugen
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
Jake : Hi there Eugene
Jake : When you replaced the lambda sensor did the lean code come back?
Jake : or stay off?
Jake : Let me know please
Customer:

Hi Jake ,

Customer:

The lean codes did not come back .

Customer:

No codes this morning .

Customer:

The lean code did not come back .

Jake : Can you see if the car will start while pressing the gas pedal down
Jake : I am assuming the engine cranks just fine correct?
Customer:

The battery is in good shape and the engine cranks strongly .

Customer:

Pressing the gas pedal does not help .

Jake :

Thanks, ***** ***** check for spark for me?

Customer:

I will check to see what happens to the spark when the engine is cranked later today - in about an hour from now .

Customer:

Earlier today I checked to see if it is a case of fuel starvation . I have concluded that it is not short of fuel because after the initial priming ,I disconnected the fuel pump power connector and the engine still attempted to start about 4 times without the pump being powered - presumably operating on the residual fuel in the system . The only conclusion I can draw from this experiment is that the ECU is either preventing the sparks or the fuel injectors , or both due to some sensor problem .

Jake :

well whether your missing spark or fuel can be a big difference in what's going on.

Jake :

Generally a no spark condition is related to a cam sensor failure or a timing issue

Jake :

where as no injector pulse is generally related to a NATS issue where the key registration is not being detected.

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake,

I checked the spark . When the engine briefly fires there obviously was a spark, but then if disappeared with continued cranking and would again appear at short intervals as the engine attempted to start .

I replaced the camshaft sensor with a known good unit without any

effect . I have purchased a crankshaft sensor and will fit it tomorrow .

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.

Please le tme know if the crank sensor helps.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Tried to locate the crankshaft sensor from the top but could not find it .

Are you able to give advice on how to gain access to the sensor ?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Tried to locate the crankshaft sensor but could not locate it .

Any advice on how to access it ?

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.

its on the back of the motor by the oil pan on the left side.

let me know if you need more assistance.

thanks.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thanks . I will jack the car up and have a look from underneath .

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
Let me know please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake, I was able to gain access from under the car . The new sensor made no difference - in fact it only produced a very short burst of life every 5 tries , or so .

I replaced the old sensor and it seems to give a better response from the engine . The engine attempts to start every time and in fact would sometimes run on for about 3 seconds while the revs were going up and down . Is this possibly a clue ?

Thanks for the help so far ,

Eugen

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
If the car is actually starting temporarily I would bet it's more of a fuel issue then a spark issue, which is why I wanted you to actually check for spark first. Generally spark won't be intermittent you either have it or you don't.
So pull a plug and check spark, if it's there lets try some starting fluid and see if it will start that way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake, I have checked the spark already - it seemed to stop when the engine stopped firing even though it was being cranked .

However, I will give the starting fluid a try .

Eugen

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake , I tried the starter fluid , but it didn't help .

However, I noticed that the engine was firing for longer as kept cranking and then I pressed gas pedal down and it sprang into life .

After it ran for a while, I was able to stop and restart without problem .

I drove it for about 1 mile and seemed a little sluggish .

I then checked for codes and found

P0340 - Camshaft position sensor A Circuit Malfunction

P1612 - NATS Malfunction

Thanks,

Eugen

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
Didn't you already replace the camshaft sensor?
you may want to put the original cam sensor back in if a new aftermarket cam sensor caused a code. I would just clear it and see if it comes back.
The NATS malfunction is for an issue with the immobilizer communicating with the ECM for reading the key.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake,

On Tuesday I temporarily swapped the Camshaft sensor from an identical car and it made no difference and I put the original sensor

back .

I am puzzled that the new Crankshaft sensor did not work as well as the original .

I have just gone out to car and it started second attempt . I cleared the codes and have driven a few miles . It is running well but sometimes hesitates a slightly under heavy acceleration .

No codes have returned .

If the cam chain has stretched and on starting from cold the tensioner has not properly tensioned the chain then the P0340 will be

generated .

Is this the kind of behaviour one would expect from a stretched

chain ?

When I had the cam cover off, I could see 6 V-notches on the tensioner ram . Does this give a clue as to how far the tensioner has extended ?

Thanks,

Eugen

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.

The easiest way to know if the chain stretched would be to look at intake timing with a scan tool.

Before I went in to replace the chain I would at least scope the cam sensor or put a new one in first.

The tensioner should nto be fully extended though.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

From your experience, can a stretched cam chain cause the symptoms that I am seeing ?

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.

Stretched chains are pretty rare on these cars, they more often jump time then stretch.

Now the symptoms of a chain that jumped a couple teeth or a stretched chain include. hard starting, loss of power, hesitation or misfire.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake, it certainly is difficult to start, but once going it is smooth and accelerates well .

I am still curious to know it the tensioner ram is at the end of its travel .

I was able to see 6 ''V' grooves on the ram where it comes out of its housing .

Temperature could be a factor . Today it started at the fourth attempt .

It was a warmer day .

Tomorrow I intend to change the oil and oil filter . Since the chain tensioner is oil pressure activated , it could have an effect .

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
if the tensioner is sticking way out like 2 inches or more then it's maxed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jake, on various forums I keep seeing 10mm as being the maximum extension , though a local Nissan tech says he has seen them at 20mm .

Expert:  Jake replied 2 years ago.
YeS, 20mm is maxed. What I was referring to.
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