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Nissan Repair/2002 nissan xterra trouble starting


I have a 2002 Nissan Xterra that once in a great while won't start, it will make a ticking sound, that sounds like a battery problem, but it has a new battery, we took it back to the dealer where we purchased it from and he said we weren't pushing the clutch in all the way but I've been driving a manual for a long time and know that I pushed the clutch in all the way.  He wants us to bring it back and they want to start it over and over till it happens but I think that will harm the starter.  Any suggestions?

Hi Lori -

Assuming that the battery is not defective, and the connections to the battery are tight, there are 2 more components that could need replacing. The starter and the ignition switch, the latter is less probable, and there is really no way to check the switch.

To save you some money and keep your car out of the shop, try these tests you can do at home:

To ensure that the battery is OK:

Turn the headlights on and start the car. If the car starts easily, then the battery is OK. This is a home "load" test for the battery. The headlights and starter take the most energy to operate and if the battery can handle both, you are good to go.

Test the starter

Get a hammer or similar object and locate the starter. Give it a few firm taps. This will dislodge carbon deposits that build on the brushes. It is these deposits that sometimes cause the starter just to click.

Now, after you do this to the starter, and there is no more clicking, then you will know it was the starter. I would still replace the starter at the earliest convenience, as the clicking means it is on its way to failing.

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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