As a licensed auto mechanic with over twenty years of experience, I’ve seen my fair share of Nissan Altimas that refuse to start. And let me tell you, I understand how frustrating it can be when you’ve got places to go, you hop in, turn the key, and … drum roll please … absolutely nothing!
But fear not, you’ve come to the right place. My name’s Robby and in this article, I’m going to walk you through the most frequent explanations why your Nissan Altima won’t start. I’ll cover all the most common causes and you’ll understand how to identify each potential cause, as well as what to do in each case. I’ll provide practical troubleshooting tips and repair solutions based on my 20 years’ of first-hand experience, so you can get your Nissan Altima starting and moving as rapidly as possible.
Understanding Why a Nissan Won’t Start
When you hop into your vehicle and realize “My Nissan Altima won’t start”, this could be because of different things being wrong with your vehicle. Perhaps the engine is not turning over at all, perhaps it is cranking partially however then not starting, or possibly it’s making a clicking noise when you try to start the engine, but in the end nothing happens. Each of these scenarios can point to various problems with your car.
Common Reasons Why Your Nissan Altima Won’t Start
There are numerous reasons that an Altima won’t start. These issues usually include a weak or dead Car battery, a broken alternator, starter motor issues, fuel system issues, as well as electrical or wiring concerns. Every one of these problems can manifest as an array of symptoms and require different solutions to identify and resolve, so we can get your car back on the road as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Nissan Altima That Won’t Start
Being able to identify and diagnose these symptoms, will assist you in discovering the underlying cause of the problem. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking sound but your Car still fails to start, it can be a sign that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system.
Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Nissan Altima Won’t Start
The first step to discovering a solution to the issue is understanding the underlying cause of that problem, so let’s dive into the most common factors why your Altima will not start.
Nissan Altima Battery Issues
In the majority of instances, the most common reason why your Nissan Altima fails to start is often due to a bad battery, it’s either dead or weak, and you have to either charge your car’s battery or change it. The Car’s battery supplies the electricity required to start the engine, and power all the electrical components in your Nissan Altima. Symptoms of a weak or dead battery problem in a Altima, are things like the Car being slow to crank the engine, dim or weak headlights, or a lit-up battery alert light on the dash. A portable jump starter allows you to jump start your Car’s if the battery is dead without needing another vehicle. And a battery charger can help recharge a dead battery and diagnose battery issues.
Nissan Altima Alternator Problems
The alternator is tasked with charging the battery from the engine while the vehicle is running. A damaged alternator can certainly prevent your Nissan Altima from starting as it wont be able to charge up the battery, from the engine, so it will drain fairly quickly until it’s completely drained and you don’t realize it until you can’t get your Nissan to fire up. Symptoms that your vehicle’s alternator is faulty can be a lit-up battery or alternator warning light on the dashboard, dim headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding sound from the engine while it’s running.
Nissan Altima Starter Motor Failures
The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over (cranking) when you start your Nissan. If the starter motor is failing in some way then the engine won’t crank, and your Altima can’t start. You can find out if your starter motor has an issue or not often by listening for a clicking noise when you turn the key or a grinding noise during the start-up, or your vehicle only starts intermittently then the starter motor may very well be the problem.
Nissan Altima Fuel System Complications
We’re not talking about when you just run out of gas here, but your vehicle’s fuel system itself having issues. Your Nissan Altima uses a combustion engine, and, therefore, to start and run, it requires a combination of both fuel and air. If your Altima issues are because of a faulty fuel system, this can sometimes be a clogged fuel filter or a faulty fuel pump relay, which could mean the engine might not be getting the fuel it requires to get the vehicle started. Over time fuel injectors can also get clogged, so using a fuel injector cleaner like Red Line can help clean them and improve starting.
Nissan Altima Electrical System or Wiring Problems
Today’s modern Nissan Altimas rely greatly on electronic components, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially break. Even in an older model, you can still have regular problems such as blown fuses, spark plug problems, a broken ignition switch, or a broken sensor, and more. These can be some of the many electrical reasons your Nissan Altima will not start up. Signs of a wiring or electrical issue can vary widely but can typically include the engine not cranking, or your Altima can start however just intermittently or some warning lights come on the dash. To effectively diagnose and repair these kinds of issues, you will require the abilities of a skilled Nissan mechanic in your area or online.
Solutions & Repair Tips
Once you have figured out what the cause of your Car being unable to start is. The next step is naturally to try and repair it. Here are some pointers for the common problems we’ve covered previously.
How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Nissan Altima
If you think it’s possibl a battery problem is the reason your Altima has difficulty starting, then the first thing you need to do is examine the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded, and tightly connected. If you discover that the terminals are indeed corroded you can try to clean them up with a mix of baking soda and water.
Once you have checked the battery terminals, you can check to see if the battery is just out of charge, or worse, it’s old and weak, or dead and needs to be replaced. For this, you can charge the battery in a few different ways:
- With the help of another vehicle and jumper cables to jump-start your Altima’s battery.
- Use a car battery charger that you can plug into a socket to charge it up.
- Use a portable car battery charger you can take with you on the go, so you are never left stranded when on the move.
If the battery charges up and works fine, great, problem solved! However, if the battery is old or weak, you will have to replace it. Otherwise, even if you charge it up enough to start the Nissan Altima, it will probably die again in the near future. You can make use of a multimeter or OB2 scanner as a way to test the life of the battery to find out if it’s worth saving or if it needs swapped out for a new one. You can get a replacement car battery for your exact Nissan model by visiting Amazon here, and selecting “enter a new vehicle” to filter the results for your Nissan Altima, and choose a suitable one, from a seller with great reviews.
If charging your Altima’s battery does not resolve your issues, and problems like frequent draining and needing frequent charges persist even after replacing the battery, there is likely a more complex underlying issue causing excessive battery drain. In that case, you will need a professional mechanic to inspect and diagnose the root cause. You can also ask the advice of a mechanic online through us, or get an instant free quote on a Mobile diagnostic services near me.
How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Nissan Altima
Ok, so the image above I found online and is a joke, DON’T DO THIS. I’ll explain in more detail, but in short, to diagnose and fix alternator problems you will need the help of a qualified and experienced auto mechanic. If the alternator is what you suspect is the offender, you can test it to see for yourself. If you can get the vehicle to start up temporarily (you may need to jump-start the vehicle for that), but when it’s going, let the Car run, and while the engine is running, disconnect the positive terminal of the battery. It’s likely because of an issue with the alternator if you find your Nissan Altima dies immediately when you disconnect the positive terminal. You should be aware however that this method can be dangerous, and might damage the delicate electronic parts in your Nissan Altima, so it’s necessary to seek advice from an expert auto mechanic in your area or online, before ever trying this. If you think it might be the alternator, it’s best to ask a mechanic online or near you.
How to Identify and Solve Starter Motor Failures in a Nissan Altima
If you suspect the starter motor is the cause of your Nissan Altima failing to start, listen for a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key. In this case, the solution is to have the starter motor changed for a new one by a professional mechanic.
How to Solve Fuel System Issues in a Nissan Altima
If you think the issue to be due to a fuel system problem, listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting up the vehicle. You should hear a humming sound for a few seconds. If you are not able to hear this sound, then it may be there is an issue with the fuel pump. If you notice your Nissan is hard to start, it stalls, or it has bad acceleration, it could possibly be because of a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely require a professional auto mechanic in order to effectively repair. This is because may require a fuel pressure test kit and mechanic’s tool set to fully diagnose and repair fuel system problems.
How to Repair Electrical or Wiring Issues in a Nissan Altima
If you think it’s a wiring or electrical system issue, first check the fuses related to the ignition system, and change any that have blown. If your Altima starts after this, then it was an effective, low-cost and simple fix! However, if the vehicle does not start, even intermittently it could be an issue with the ignition switch itself. It could be a faulty sensing unit if different warning lights are visible on your dashboard. These problems can be very complex and a reliable Nissan mechanic is likely needed to diagnose and have it properly repaired.
As my dad always stated “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are the best ways to ensure you hopefully avoid any Nissan Altima starting difficulties ever again!
Routine Upkeep of Your Nissan Altima:
Regular maintenance of your Nissan Altima is of the utmost importance to prevent future problems. This includes things like routine oil changes, inspecting the battery, cleaning the terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/needed, and of course having your vehicle inspected by a professional auto mechanic regularly. If you are uncertain about regular maintenance tasks needed for your particular vehicle, you can consult a mechanic locally or online.
Drive Your Nissan Altima Regularly:
If you happen to leave your Nissan Altima in your garage for long durations of time without driving it, the battery can waste out of charge as it’s not receiving any electrical charge from the engine running being in use. Try to drive your Altima regularly to keep the battery from draining. Take it for a quick spin to make sure there is still charge in the battery if you remember you have not driven your Nissan in a while. Worth noting: letting the battery fully drain, is also damaging to the longevity of the battery, try not to do this.
Take Notice Of Warning Signs:
If you notice anything odd like unusual sounds, a difference in how it drives and the performance, or alert lights lit up on your Nissan Altimas dashboard, do not disregard them and get on with your day. These are usually early signs of a problem and it’s best to be dealt with ASAP before they become larger issues down the line. Chat with a mechanic in your area or online about these problems and get advice on if they need to be attended to.
When to Ask a Nissan Mechanic Online
If you want to save time, would like an expert Nissan mechanic on hand assisting and advising you, or you’ve attempted to fix it yourself, however despite your best efforts your Altima won’t start, then talking with a Nissan mechanic online can be an excellent option. It certainly beats googling things like “Nissan wont start but lights come on no clicking noise” all day and still getting nowhere.
Advantages of an Online Nissan Mechanic
Online mechanic services provides a number of benefits. You can get skilled Nissan mechanic guidance 24×7 and without leaving your home, which is particularly beneficial if your Car won’t start and is stuck in the driveway. You can also save money as online mechanic consultations are more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get responses quickly, which is great if you’re in a hurry, require a 2nd opinion, or you just prefer having an expert Nissan mechanic on hand.
How Solutions Like MechanicAnswer.com Can Benefit You
Our Nissan repair help online free service connects you with licensed specialist mechanics who can supply instantaneous assistance, guidance and suggestions with all issues and all Nissan models. It doesn’t matter if your Altima is having trouble or your Nissan Almera Tino won’t start, we’ve got the Nissan mechanics online that with a little bit of information over a chat box, can solve anything for you.
You have the ability to describe the issues you are having with your vehicle, ask Nissan mechanics limitless questions, and even submit images and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can speak to them through online chat or by call, whichever you choose. The Nissan mechanic online will help you identify the issue, advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation and even guide you through easy maintenance and repairs step by step.
In conclusion, when your Nissan Altima won’t start, it can be a major bummer and a massive inconvenience. However, having an understanding of what might be triggering the issues, having the ability to troubleshoot them, and knowing what steps are required in each case, when and where to get help if required, will be a big benefit. Bear in mind that regular upkeep is key to preventing all vehicle problems.
I hope this guide helps you get your Nissan started again, and have a great day!
Frequently Asked Questions When a Nissan Altima Won’t Start (FAQs)
What should I do if my Nissan Altima won’t start?
Firstly, do not panic. Try to identify any signs that could suggest an issue, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the problem is most likely one of the most common causes gone over in this guide. You will need the aid of a mechanic in your area or online if you can’t find the issue yourself.
How to tell if my Nissan Altima won’t start because of the battery?
Indications of a battery issue in a Altima consist of the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on the dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and tightly connected. If the battery is weak or old, it may be best to simply change it.
How can I prevent my Nissan Altima not starting issues?
In order to make sure this annoyance never happens again, regular upkeep is key. This consists of things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning its terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended/needed, and having your Nissan Altima inspected by a mechanic regularly. It’s also a great idea to drive the vehicle routinely so the battery remains charged.
Can I ask a mechanic online if my Nissan Altima will not start?
Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can supply immediate professional Nissan mechanic assistance and guidance, without you having to leave your house. This is specifically beneficial if your vehicle won’t start and is stuck in the driveway.
How can services like MechanicAnswer.com help if my Nissan Altima will not start?
We link you with accredited expert Nissan mechanics who can provide recommendations on your specific scenario. You can tell them about your Car issues, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can effectively show the issue and explain it. The mechanic will have the ability to assist, troubleshoot, identify the issue, suggest the very best course of action and guide you along the way.