Starting Problem 06 Micra Automatic

I thought that I had posted his, but obviously not. Very occasionally we have a problem starting our 06 Micra Automatic. When you turn the key, all the normal dashboard lights come on prior to starting, but nothing happens, i.e. starter motor does nothing (no clicking sounds, absolutely nothing). After turning the key to off, and then trying again, same thing, nothing happens. It can take, 5, 10, 15 attempts to get any response....it seems completely random. Then the vehicle will start first time for a day, a week, a month......again completely random before the same thing happens again. Does anyone know if there is a known problem with this vintage of ignition switch, and would changing the ignition switch solve the problem....I am assuming that the key barrel is fine since there seems to be no problem turning the key. Any other ideas where the problem might be ? Many thanks for any responses.
 
Had one come in with these exact symptoms, hot wire to the starter split in half. It had held on for a long time but intermittently not starting... there is also an ignition fuse in the fuse box in front of the battery and there are relays under the headlight which control the starter function... I always start there and then move on to ignition barrel...
 
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I might be clutching at straws here !!! I have had a look around at the various components, and cleaned anything where contacts looked anything but perfect, and all seemed to be fine again for the last few weeks until yesterday. Car started first time in the morning, by midday the issue had reappeared and would not start, tried several times throughout the afternoon. My wife said, it's strange but the problem seems to appear whenever it is a warm day...I hadn't really taken notice of this, but she may be right. (Last summer when it wouldn't start for me, it was a warm day also). So later in the evening yesterday, when it had cooled down outside, tried again, and the car started first time !!!! I did a search on line, and others had reported problems with the vehicle not cranking in warm weather, but I couldn't really find any answers. Does this ring any bells with anyone, any ideas ?
 
You could also try moving the gear selector about or leave in neutral in case the inhibitor switch is playing up.
 
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Thx, I did try that, but seems to make no difference. In between rain showers this afternoon, have removed the starter motor (after seeing how difficult it is going to be to change the ignition switch wanted to completely rule out starter motor !!!). I suspect that the solenoid is sticking sometimes so I cleaned it up, not much improvement, I think I am going to change the starter motor. Fingers crossed that's the issue !!!
 
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Fixed.....I hope, I didn't replace the starter motor in the end !!! I had already ordered a new ignition switch and it arrived today, so despite the info I read on line about how difficult it was to change, I decided to attempt it. It wasn't nearly as hard to change as comments on line made me believe. I have made some comments below for others. After removing the connector from the old switch I plugged it into the new switch (before installing it), and turned it with a screwdriver, and the car started every time. With the new switch fully fitted, the key is easier to turn, and so far (!!!) it's started every time.

If anyone else is looking to change this switch, getting as much access as possible is key.......
After removing the trim around the steering column (3 screws underneath) also remove the trim around the instrument panel (it just pulls off).
Move the steering wheel to its lowest position.
Remove the connector by pushing down on the locking tab with a screwdriver, then move the connector and harness to the side as far as you can.
To remove the 2 small screws, which hold the switch onto the lock mechanism, I would not have been able to do this as easily (if at all with my fat fingers) if I didn't have a long slim screwdriver (Phillips)... the one I had was 8 or 9 inches long with a slim handle also. The long screwdriver was passed up the side of the steering column from down in the footwell above the pedals. After feeding it on to the head of the screw and pressing it on from the handle end, I used a pair of long nosed pliers at the steering wheel end of the screwdriver to make the initial turn, and then it was easy to remove the screws and then the switch itself.
Installation was just a reversal of the removal process.

I just found a video, a similar process, although I didn't remove the bottom trim panel. !!!
 
Well DIY improvised, adapted & overcome at minimal cost a common problem on old Micras.

Sometimes a new key with unworn profiles will provide a little extra lock barrel turning movement to operate the rotary switch assembly correctly?
 
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I spoke too soon......I started the car 15-20 times yesterday without a problem. My wife works as a carer visiting people in their homes, and had no problems this morning, and started the car 6-8 times. After lunch..... wouldn't start. Since I wasn't home she called the RAC. The guy tested the starter motor, battery, circuits, etc. and couldn't find anything wrong, but said he felt that the ignition key was the problem, and it wasn't turning the switch far enough. When I got home, the car wouldn't start. I took the connector off the new switch and connected it to the old switch, and was able to start the car numerous times without problems using a screwdriver to turn it.

So thanks plmval ...... I think you have hit the nail on the head, and it's a worn key/barrel issue....... hadn't thought of this.

Is it possible to get a new key somehow without using the old key as a pattern, as wouldn't this simply transfer any dimension reduced by wear to the new key ???

I read somewhere that you shouldn't lubricate the lock barrel.....is this true ?
 
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I am thinking of putting a push button "momentary" switch in parallel with the starting contacts in the ignition switch, meaning the key is still used to unlock the steering and turn the car on, but the 3rd "spring return" position of the switch is replaced by the push button to start the car........any comments ? Has anyone done this ?
 
There is a chip in the key and the lock barrel that match up with the digits stored in the ECU, you have to be careful what you do or else you could trigger NATS and immobilise the car

You'll know this is happening if you get flashing on the dashboard during starting attempts, and it'll turn over endlessly but never start because the injectors are cut

If you don't mind bypassing NATS by taping the chip to the barrel you could definitely install a push to start button, with a kill-switch under the seat and do away with the key altogether. If you go on youtube Mightycarmods channel has videos on how to do both of those things, they're old videos so scroll most of the way down but I'm almost certain that the push to start they install was one of their first videos done on the nissan micra/march k11 they owned and they explain it well
 
You may get the key number identified by VIN number or by using the worn key profile & automotive key data bases, by master retail locksmiths who can then cut & program a new key to OEM dimensions & copy the code In your old key.

Referance; https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&ei=qLIMXYzjN_LixgOzq6eABg&q=car+key+replacement+by+vin+number&oq=car+key+repla

Lock barrel levers moving parts used to made with self-lubricating brass, thus oiling was not necessary & would attract dust & dirt. When the key barrel becomes tardy or stiff, I first try dry graphite aerosol spray lube.

Reference; https://cpc.farnell.com/ambersil/6150002500/graphite-lock-lube-15ml/dp/SA02606?mckv=saf9YBDtF_dc|pcrid|224653462065|kword||match||plid||slid||product|SA02606|pgrid|473

In your case it appears that the rotary switch actuating central female receptacle is excessively worn a loose fit to receive the lock barrel operating cam, or the switch contacts are intermittently operating. Possibly due to cumulative excess wear in all these moving parts, a new key with OEM profiles may help as would a new rotary switch.

Fitting an additional starter switch/push button in parallel is an unnecessary risk to far. The additional pushbutton & any of the worn components could fail unsafe, that is holding the starter engaged with the engine after start up? The engine driven pre-engaged starter would then act as an unregulated generator that may cook itself & the vehicle electronics.
 
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Thanks for the responses.

I have already installed a new rotary switch, but the problem reappeared, pointing to the key/barrel problem. The old switch appears to be fine, the T shaped opening in the end where the turning mechanism from the key engages appears to be unworn, in fact the switch body looks remarkably clean compared to some other components, so may have been replaced at some point in the past. I have started the car almost every hour for the last 2 days now using a screwdriver with the old switch loose, but attached to the wiring loom without any issues.

I don't think the NATS issue mentioned above should be a problem as the existing key would be used in the steering column and to turn on the vehicle through the ACC and IGN phases. However, looking at the wiring diagrams, turning the key to the first position, ACC, energises the accessories relay, turning to the second position, IGN, leaves the accessories relay energised, but also energises the blower motor relay, and the starter relay. Turning the key to the third, spring loaded return, START, position releases the blower motor relay and the accessories relay. These only get reenergized after the engine has started and the key returns to IGN position for running......a push button would not release these relays for starting, not sure why they release for starting, more research needed !!!!

Before I get to the push button phase, I will get a new key cut.....why would a new key need to be reprogrammed, I can take a new key blade and put it in the old plastic "electonics housing" ?
 
OEM ignition switch momentarily isolates accessories during start-up operation to avoid back EMF transient voltage spikes instantaneously appearing across the vehicles sensitive electronics. One of many reasons that it is inadvisable to randomly modify vehicle electrical systems without in depth detail technical knowledge.

Reprogram new key for functional Key & spare?
 
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