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Nathan B
Nathan B, Auto Mechanic
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience:  Over 20 years experience including running my Own garage working on a wide range of vehicles.
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2002 Primera 2,0 estate auto. Starter motor is turning but

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2002 Primera 2,0 estate auto. Starter motor is turning but just a whirring sound and the engine is not cranking, belt is turning the alternator. battery good. happened suddenly after cranking briefly then changed to whirring sound, any ideas?

Hi Patrick

Welcome to

My name is ***** ***** i hope i can be of help to you today but first i just need to ask you a couple of questions so my answer is better sourced for you.

1. When you say the alternator belt is turning, is this just while you are turning it by hand or when you are trying to start the car also?

2. If it is also when you are trying to start the car, is it a fairly quick kind of whirring noise?

I look forward to your replies

Thank you in advance


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Seems I was a bit premature with my diagnosis. The alternator was turning which must mean the engine was turning over. The whirring sound was very much like on an old car when the starter does not engage which is what fooled me somewhat. I now think the problem is the NATS anti theft device which has given problems before. Sometimes this refuses to allow the engine to turn at all, other times, as I believe in this case, the engine turns but no ignition spark. NATS is a real pain. Car started this morning using the spare key.

Hi there.

If it has started using the second key at least that means that the starter is ok and also means that nothing worse has happened like the timing belt snapping etc.

What you should do though is check the battery in the first key as this may need replacing and this could be why it is not being recognised by the NATS system. Once it is replaced you will probably find that it works again.

The NATS systems are plagued with problems and always have been. My own old Nissan used to do a similar thing with starting as it was not recognising the key and then the central locking started going haywire.

I hope this little bit of extra info helps you some more.

If you require help in the future please don't hesitate to contact me on this site via my profile and i will be happy to help you.

thank you


Nathan B and other Nissan Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your replies. Yes the NATS is a real pain, but I will change the batteries in the key fob and see what happens. The car is starting normally now!