Intermittent starting issue – Suggestions please as Micra too good to scrap

Hello All

My mum has owned her 2001 K11 Micra 1.0 CVT for over 12 years. It has been a great little car and other than having to replace the throttle body around 6 years ago, it has given very reliable motoring.

This changed about 4 weeks ago when it developed an intermittent starting problem.

The car starts immediately about 30% of the time. Once started, it runs perfectly. The other 70% of the time the engine turns over but refuses to start. There appears to be no pattern and the problem can happen when the car is cold or hot. Sometimes it will start perfectly 5 or 6 times throughout the day and then fail to start. Other days, it won’t start at all.

A diagnostics check revealed no faults. The battery has been tested and is good. It has been serviced every year at our local garage (despite only doing 15k over the last 12 years) with the total mileage being 35k.

To try and resolve the starting issue, the car has been checked over and the following has been replaced:

- Crankshaft position sensor
- Fuel pump and filter
- Engine temperature sensor

Unfortunately, the problem is still there. We do not want to scrap what is a very good low mileage Micra if the problem can be resolved.

Any suggestions on what might be causing this would be most welcome. Many thanks.
 
Don't forget the contact lock both starter and ecu are wired separately. Having good mass about everywhere is necessary to be certain of. Intermittent pin contact lock I beleive number 4 is starter will not make it start but fuelpump should prime. The other way is more interesting, Intermittent contact lock 5 will start but ecu will not be online. From all Nissan engines from our age, contact lock is being overlooked.

You should check if engine sparks and fuelpump is online and tell us
 
Thanks for the reply. By contact lock, do you mean the ignition switch?

The spark plugs are fairly new and have a good spark. The new fuel pump (very new) was supplying fuel when checked but the problem is intermittent so perhaps this is not always the case? It does seem fuel related as the garage said that it would start when Easystart was sprayed into the throttle body.

Any other suggestions appreciated please.
 
Yes it is ignition switch and I mention it because many times people overlook it. Generic answer make sure ecu is receiving power and that fuel pump primes or receives power and that starter motor engages. But if key wiggling fixes your starting problem it is close to 100% that is what is going bad, ignition switch
 
Well, it was worth a try at fitting the relatively cheap ignition switch but unfortunately the problem is still there. I fitted the switch, and the car would not start (when cold) until the fifth or sixth attempt.

Took it for a 30-minute run after which it started immediately for the next 5 attempts. Left it 10 minutes and it would not start!!!

Thanks for your help so far. Does anyone have any other suggestions please?
 
I wonder if you unplug the MAF sensor and run up without that if it will play up then. If it doesn't you have diagnosed it as a dodgy MAF sensor telling the ecu fibs.

It should run in closed loop without it and will put the eml on but resetting that isn't an issue after the experiment.

I suggest this as you've been through everything else I'd have tried.

Kirkynut
 
If you mass is bad it *might* be the non starting, I had this, even interrior light went out, ten minutes later on again. But now pin 4 and 5 should powe ecu and make fuel pump prime. Then the ignition, you should check for spark. For fuel you can start it perhaps with ignition loose so it cant start and look for wet plug. Be sure to start it dry without iginition. This only advisable if you can charge your battery. Also check your plugs aren't fouling.

If you can post some youtubes this might help
 
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Another option is disconnecting and reconnecting those plugs interconnections between battery and engine but be carful some lines there intermittent can give bad starting but if you create another issue it will become harder so please wait for more answers perhaps only do this when you have been there and starting problem arose

Another option is a big vacuum hole perhaps but then engine should run very rough when it runs and car keeps driving bad
 
I'm wondering if it might be related to the lines running to the carbon canister, there's a valve on the gearbox end of the head that closes once hot, it might be a cause to your child start issues.
 
Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions – really helpful as I’m determined to the save the car!

Kirkynut – I’ll try disconnecting the MAF sensor. How do I reset the EML afterwards?

Richardwbb – The fuel pump is priming, there is a good spark and the plugs are newish (and dry). I will check the wiring and connections as suggested. What was the issue with the interior light?

Fuzzy-hair-man – I will check the lines / valves going to the carbon canister.

Thanks again. Will post a further update once I have had a chance to try all the above.
 
If it gives spark I wouldn't bother for now for connections. Dry plug means no gas? I think you didn't mean to write it that way but one of the not so good tricks is disconnect spark, start it a while see for wet plugs. Then start it some more to clear excess fuel, but this only if you can charge battery if needed.
 
Hello All

My mum has owned her 2001 K11 Micra 1.0 CVT for over 12 years. It has been a great little car and other than having to replace the throttle body around 6 years ago, it has given very reliable motoring.

This changed about 4 weeks ago when it developed an intermittent starting problem.

The car starts immediately about 30% of the time. Once started, it runs perfectly. The other 70% of the time the engine turns over but refuses to start. There appears to be no pattern and the problem can happen when the car is cold or hot. Sometimes it will start perfectly 5 or 6 times throughout the day and then fail to start. Other days, it won’t start at all.

A diagnostics check revealed no faults. The battery has been tested and is good. It has been serviced every year at our local garage (despite only doing 15k over the last 12 years) with the total mileage being 35k.

To try and resolve the starting issue, the car has been checked over and the following has been replaced:

- Crankshaft position sensor
- Fuel pump and filter
- Engine temperature sensor

Unfortunately, the problem is still there. We do not want to scrap what is a very good low mileage Micra if the problem can be resolved.

Any suggestions on what might be causing this would be most welcome. Many thanks.
There is a relay beside the battery in a box the first controls the radiator fan the other one could be your problem they tend to over heat or give intermittent problems its in a long rectangle box swap it out for a new one easy to get there blue in colour .
 
I would use Nissan Datascan to see what is working and start from there but that requires Nissan Datascan and I wouldn't know much about another approach because I bought Datascan when I had use for it (idle and timing) and it can be done without but it is harder. Nissan Datascan can be pretty useless in some cases but here I recommend looking up everything that is still good instead of pinpointing the defect.
 
Thanks Alomd12. The relay in the drivers footwell has been checked. I will swap the one beside the battery box as a test. To save buying a new relay, can I swap it with the one for the fog light? Cheers
 
I did it with the blue relay for a green one you can look that up in FSM just some resistor protecting ECU. But perhaps this answer is not an answer but just a way to get you along :)
 
Thanks Alomd12. The relay in the drivers footwell has been checked. I will swap the one beside the battery box as a test. To save buying a new relay, can I swap it with the one for the fog light? Cheers
I don't no about the fog light but there are 2 in the box i mentioned i have swapped them around the car started immediately and gave no trouble of course the bad relay I replaced any car dismantlers would have them.
 
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