Micra K11 2001 1.0L - Not Starting and Intermittent Starting when cold


Over the last week, I have had a problem starting it in the mornings. Turns over fine, not firing. The first three days it eventually started after a number of tries. Engine management light on. My mate put his diagnostics on and it returned code P0335 - Crankshaft Position Sensor "A" Circuit Malfunction.

Replaced CPS with second hand one from a mate who owns a garage. At first try it did not start, so my mate swapped the Cam Sensor as well. It started. Come the next morning, not starting again.

However, if I ever do get it to start it is fine for the rest of the day, until the next morning again. This has been the pattern for almost a week.

I've had the AA out three times. Friday: No start at all. That's when we replaced the CPS. It was not an easy job, could not remove the old one from the casing, had to have it drilled out. Second-hand one put in on Friday. Saturday, I could not get it to start after a number of tries. Called AA and it started on his first try. He advised that I try again on Sunday morning one or two times to see if a fault code is generated. I tried twice on Sunday morning, no start. so I call AA again. When he arrived, put analyser on but no fault code. it started on his first try again.

When the fault is there, there is no spark on plug one. I've got a brand new CPS coming just in case the second hand one is also faulty. I simply don't understand why the problem only manifests itself in the mornings only (when it's at it's coldest I suppose)?
Had a new crank sensor fitted. Made no difference. When it doesn't start we are getting zero RPM signal on a live test. Someone suggested it may be a stretched timing belt causing out of phase between the cam and crank sensor. But when it is running it is faultless, no misfiring etc.
One thing I heard, is that running when warm but not while cold but otherwise flawless can be caused by hairline cracks in the fuses or relays or a bad connection to one of them/dry solder joint etc.

When the car is heated up or on a warmer day the fuse/relay provides no resistance and the sensors read correctly and the parts they control receive current and all is well.

To test them, pull each fuse one at a time (I made the mistake of pulling several, testing them in batches and when I found one broken ended up not knowing what I'd blown when I went to replace it, rookie error on my part) and use a multimeter across the pins. Set it to resistance 20 ohms, you're looking for less than 1ohm resistance across. Relays are a bit harder to test, there are good guides on youtube which will explain exactly how to test 4 or 5 pin relays. For those you throw the switch with 12 volts and test for continuity across the activated pins (with no load flowing so you don't damage your multimeter), 60-120 ohms between the other 2 is good.

obviously the first thing you would look at is the battery in the case of struggling to start in the cold, but I would assume if you've had the AA out the first thing they would have done is hooked up their battery tester
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also, you said no spark on plug 1? do you have coils or HT leads?

Is there no spark at all throughout the whole cycling of the engine or just incorrect spark timing? Some issue with the distributor (common issue on micras) if it has one? if your spark is controlled by coils it could be ECU/sensor related which is down the lines you seem to be going in. Are you testing for spark by plugging something into the end of the lead, or by watching the sparkplug? would changing the sparkplugs help get it going on colder mornings? It can be harder to get a spark going on a cold/humid day.

When the issue develops, what happens if you swap the leads on 1 and 2, will cylinder 2 now have the issue? if so that would be relevant
Check the plugs (cause it is simple , )
For the idea of a stretched can chain kinda doubt but the side panel were the cam sensor does come off to check the timming,
I had one micra that didn't start and acted like the timmin g was gone, quick clean , checked the timming , plugs ,cleaned the earths and + terminal and it ran fine again

Did it ever make any noises when running , last service? Use it running Bosch plugs (they can be crap for cold starts specially if repeated without getting the engine warm)
Thanks for the replies. The car is still at my mechanic's place until Tuesday. It is coils on this one. Someone else has told me via a friend that the K11 doesn't use the cam sensor to phase with the crank sensor and therefore will not be a stretched timing chain. He's done a lot of work on K11's in the past, he used to rally them, and never had any timing chain problems ever.

However, I spoke to two different Nissan dealers and they both said the same thing - stretched timing chain?????

There's no spark throughout the whole cycling.

When it's running it's sweet, no miss-firing.

I'm suspecting electrical problem further upstream like ECU etc. My current mechanic hasn't got the kit to analyse further but I know another who is back from hols on Tuesday.
I'd be inclined to trust your friend over the dealers, especially on such an old car. There's a possibility either they haven't dealt with a micra for a long time or that they're trying to get you to waste money on diagnostics so they can sell you on a newer car

electrical problems as always are a nightmare to solve, you often need a really deep understanding of how the car actually works as far as the logic circuit and also need to know how things should be reading in a correctly working car. There are people who can understand the diagrams properly and know exactly where to stick the leads to rule things out but I'm not one of those people
Hi I have a running 2001 K11 1.0 if you require a ecu / key chip etc rgds
do you know anything about the serial numbers on those?

From what I can tell most of them have 23710 and then 74B05 and the part in bold can read 02 or 07, and sometimes something with U's and 1's in it?

The numbers in the top right all seem to be different and I can't make sense of any of those codes

And then top left of the lable has 0 261 204 243 (which I think is some sort of code for the part number based on the year/model of the car)

Do you know what's compatible with what, or what they mean? They don't advertise a NATS logo either on the label
Hi I can supply the ecu numbers no problem. ...I have swapped ecu,'s from one car to another with no issues....ie a customer losing keys and having to change locks/ecu etc to get the car running.....will also send the vin- number in case you want to cross ref with your vin- with a Nissan dealer rgds
My Micra's been at a diagnostics place they have just go round to looking at it. He thinks it's the ECU but will try to confirm tomorrow. Tokyo: What's the part number of the ECU you have? What's involved in fitting a replacement? Will it need reprogramming? Not sure how that's done?
Hi I will send the part number/'s photos... tomorrow. ..no need for reprogramming ....just fit the supplied ecu....and swap over the key chip and the chip pick up around the ignition switch....can you confirm your engine is the coil pack type thks
What model of k11 have you got , basically is it a 1ltr or 1.4 and has it got central locking
Not need for codes ect
For example a 2001 micra s 1ltr , just find another and take the ecu , if it on barrel , transmitter ring ,keys and door locks
The ecu it's just held.in with a few bolts behind the center counsel (next to the foot rest) and easily disconnects ,
The ignition basically you have to use a saw of sort and cut a notch in the bolt to unscrew .or chop in half
They are very easy
My Micra's been at a diagnostics place they have just go round to looking at it. He thinks it's the ECU but will try to confirm tomorrow. Tokyo: What's the part number of the ECU you have? What's involved in fitting a replacement? Will it need reprogramming? Not sure how that's done?
From what I can tell from my research the last couple weeks having been trying to rule out a similar issue with mine, there are three ways to go about it:

option 1: replace the ECU with one with the same codes from roughly the same year... then take it to a nissan dealer/do some wizardry with a soldering iron and your computer/contact a couple of the users who are ECU wizards... to reprogram the new ECU so that NATS that is inside the ECU can recognise your original car key and doesn't throw a fit and immobilise your attempt to start the car

option 2: Buy an ECU with the same codes, an ignition barrel, the keys for the car it came from, and all the locks. Swap the ECU and at the same time replace the ignition barrel and the door locks and the fuel filler cap door lock. That ECU will recognise that key that came with it, the key's physical metal part will now fit the ignition barrel as well as the doors and filler caps... and now everything will now work as it once did, except you will be using different keys than you were before. This option avoids having to reprogram anything and most people are willing to supply all the extras for a cost.

option 3: pretty much the same as option 2 with a few key differences. Order an ECU with a key and that's it. Swap just the ECU. Instead of replacing the ignition barrel you can tape the red chip in the key that came with the ECU to your current ignition barrel. To get into your car or put fuel in it use the original key, to start the car use a metal copy key of your original key (no chip at all, the chip that prevents it from being immobilised is taped). Using this method you won't have an immobiliser since the chip will always be with the car.
OK ..I have a running 2001 / 51 plate micra 1.0cc I can supply a ecu....key chip pick up coil ....key chip for £50 delivered....no need to change ignition lock/barrel just prize out your key chip and replace...into your original key.....see photo....the car I have has been use every day by a customer. ..it failed mot on welding...brakes...ect.....will forward photos tomorrow. ...rgds


HI if you split the casing as if changing the battery the chip will be located in a corner of the casing...ie bottom half that holds the key .....rgds
Thanks. I presume it is the blue block in the pic attached? Tokyo: So what would I need to do practically to get it all to work? Just change the ECU and swap the chip, or anything else?