10/30/16 10:17 p.m.

Looking for ideas getting my Nissan running again. The car was running fine until a few weeks ago I tried to start it: the engine raced then died. Then the same thing happened again, then it wouldn't fire any more. On starter fluid I can get it to fire but not run. I've only owned the car for a couple months, it was a gift from a friend of a friend going overseas, I know nothing of its history except it is generally well maintained and has 188,000 miles on it. The MAF looks like a replacement. My engine code reader says seven codes: one O2 sensor, one communication with auto transmission, one MAP sensor, and four that are only "0000," which I think means either a proprietary Nissan code that my cheap reader can't see, or "no error" according to the internet. I don't think these codes would stop the car from starting.

I have replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter. I have confirmed I'm getting power to the fuel pump and fuel injectors and checked all of the other fuses. Since it runs on starter fluid, I am presuming that the crank and cam position sensors and ignition system are OK. I haven't had much time to work on it with other things going on, but I'm thinking it's probably something simple if I knew where to look.

Any suggestions? Any other diagnostics I can do at home?

ssswitch Dork
10/30/16 11:31 p.m.

Does the check engine light come on and extinguish when you turn the key to ON?

jfryjfry Reader
10/31/16 11:39 a.m.

You tried to start it and it raced and died... does that mean you tried to start, it DID start, it idled really fast and then died? Or is it possible the starter motor did not engage and it was whirring away at warp speed?

How did it die? Suddenly like it seized up? Spuddering Like it was running out of fuel? Quickly like you lost spark?

Sounds like you've isolated it to fuel. Is fuel pump priming with key on but not running? Relay, fuse, wiring, pump all come to mind. A filter probably wouldn't cause sudden death.

RPWach New Reader
10/31/16 7:37 p.m.

The check engine light comes on and stays on.

It fired then stopped running immediately, like it lost spark or fuel; my first thought was a large vacuum leak, but I've confirmed there's no vacuum leak simply by putting a plastic bag over the MAF grill -- when I crank it the bag gets sucked against the grill and it stays there for some time after I stop cranking (that also confirms the cam shafts are still in sync).

The fuel pump is running. I can hear it, and I removed one injector and cranked the engine and got a puddle of fuel on top of the engine. The starter motor seems to be working fine.

I ran out of starter fluid so I wasn't able to run it more than a couple seconds on fluid, but it seems like everything works except getting fuel out of the injectors. Or maybe the MAF or something is bad and I'm getting the wrong amount of fuel, just enough lean that it won't fire? There's no smell of too much fuel.

Part of the problem is that I've been very busy so I only get an odd few minutes at different times during the week to look at it. I'm cogitating and asking this list in the hopes that someone will say something like "on those cars there's a connector for the fuel rail that breaks" and it will be a quick fix when I get back to it.....

RPWach New Reader
11/3/16 5:50 p.m.

Update: This evening I was able to confirm that the injectors are getting a signal because I could see that the voltage at the injector fluctuated when the engine was cranking. I think it's running too lean to run, so I'm trying to figure out what sensors to fix or replace. My code reader gets the same three codes (O2 sensor, MAP, and transmission), but I don't think any of them would be significant enough to prevent the engine from running.

irish44j UltimaDork
11/3/16 10:43 p.m.

Bad MAFs on Maximas usually still let you run in a safe mode with low redline, but shoudl still run.

Coil packs are known to go bad on the VQ30, but not all at once.

I'm stumped. And I was a moderator/admin on maxima.org for years lol.....

jfryjfry Reader
11/3/16 10:51 p.m.

It runs on startIng fluid yes? Check fuel pressure.

RPWach New Reader
11/4/16 6:58 a.m.

Thanks, FPR occurred to me during the night. I'll get a new one and install and let you know.

jfryjfry Reader
11/4/16 9:09 a.m.

Pump, filter or crushed lines could affect as well

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