How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jake Your Own Question
Jake, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4372
Experience:  Experienced collision repair technician, Pulaski Tech graduate and DSM hobbyist.
Type Your Nissan Question Here...
Jake is online now

Hi Mike, last Sunday I bought a Nissan Almera Tino 1.8l petrol, 2003 model . Drove it hom

This answer was rated:

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 ?
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

Hi Jake ,


The lean codes did not come back .


No codes this morning .


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?

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


Pressing the gas pedal does not help .

Jake :

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


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


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.

Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 3 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 .

Please le tme know if the crank sensor helps.

Customer: replied 3 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 3 years ago.

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

Any advice on how to access it ?

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

let me know if you need more assistance.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

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

Let me know please.
Customer: replied 3 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 ,


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 3 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 .


Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 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



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 3 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 ?



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 3 years ago.

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

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 3 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 .

if the tensioner is sticking way out like 2 inches or more then it's maxed.
Customer: replied 3 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 .

YeS, 20mm is maxed. What I was referring to.
Jake and other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you