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Nissan Repair/won't start


Hello I have a 1997 Nissan Altima. Last Saturday Morning I started my car and was attempting to do a u-turn when it shut off and would not start. I have had two guys look at it and they are saying they don't know may be the timing. I would like to know if I should attempt to have the timing changed or should I try to let someone else look at it?

Hi Tina -

You can do a couple tests:

Remove the timing cover and while you are trying to start the car observe if the timing sprocket is moving. If not, then the timing belt needs replacing.

If the sprocket is moving, pull off a spark plug wire and insert a screwdriver in it til it wedges against the terminal inside. Hold the shaft of the screwdriver 1/4" away from any metal surface of the engine and try starting the car. there should be a spark jumping between the metal surfaces.

If there is spark - check the fuel pump
If there is no spark - check the ignition module in the distributor.

Hope this helps -

Nissan Repair

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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