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Nissan Repair/2000 Maxima won't start

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QUESTION: I have a 2000 Maxima handsome problems with the car starting a few months ago & replaced the starter. It started working fine.  About a week or so ago, drove up in driveway & car stalled and now it won't start at all.  When I try to start it, it acts like it wants to but never starts. it got new sensors, I think cam& crank, a couple of months ago.
We replaced the fuel pump because we didn't hear it kicking on.  Now we hear it but still no start.
All of the fuses look good & battery is reading 12V. It does have a power steering leak that fairly bad. That started about 2-3 weeks ago.  
Can you please suggest what else it could be???
I'm new at all of this so please be specific as to what & how to do?
Thank you so much!!!

ANSWER: Hi Alicia -

Can you tell me if your check engine light is on? If so, I will need the OBD code. Any auto shop can get it for you. I think Autozone has a good price.

If the light is not on, then there are a couple tests that you can do. There are 2 reasons why engines won't start, assuming the battery is cranking the engine fine. Either could be fuel or spark. To check the latter, remove a spark plug wire at the plug, insert a screwdriver into the boot until it wedges against the metal terminal inside. Hold the screwdriver shaft about 1/4" away from any metal surface of the car and have someone try to start it. There should be a spark jumping between surfaces. If there is no spark, then it could be the ignition module in the distributor.

If there is spark, then fuel is not reaching the intake manifold. Remove one of the hoses that is attached to the intake manifold boot. Spray some starting fluid (or fuel) inside, quickly replace the hose and start the engine. If the engine starts and quickly dies off, then (assuming that the fuel pump is working) you have blockage or malfunctioning relay for the fuel pump.

Hope this helps -
aloha
Calvin

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There was no check engine lights.  It threw a code P1302 I believe.  
We sprayed starting fluid & the car started but then died.
We found a fuel pump relay fuse & replaced it. The car started up and ran for about 30-45 seconds then died.  
I'm so frustrated with it!!
I appreciate your help!

Answer
Hi Alicia -

OK. At least we know that there is spark. I know you just replaced the fuel pump, but we should work from back to front. First step is to ensure the fuel pump is putting out enough fuel and pressure. Even though it is new, it could be defective.

You need to intercept the fuel line right out of the tank and before the fuel filter. Remove the hose and insert it into a container. Have someone crank the car over for 3 seconds, and there should be at least a cup of gasoline pumped out. Second test is a pressure test. Should have at least 35 - 40 PSI. You will need a pressure gauge for this though.

Was the fuel filter replaced along with the pump?

Aloha
Calvin

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Calvin Iwashita

Expertise

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

Experience

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

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TV

Education/Credentials
High School and college graduate

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