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05 Frontier Nismo cranks but won't start intermittently

12232 Views 27 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  smj999smj
Hi all,

It started few months ago with my 05 Frontier. Sometimes when I go to start the truck it will turn over but not fire but once it starts, it runs perfect. It happened again this morning, the car started up no problem the first thing in the morning and I drove it for about 10 miles then turn off the engine. Five minute later I tried to start the truck, it cranked but wouldn't start and I even tried the trick that turn the key to On position and wait for few seconds. I tried a couple times to no avail then I decided to let it sit for couple minutes and tried again and this time it just fired up like nothing happened. The battery is good and I replaced the fuel pump, both camshaft position sensors and crankshaft position sensor last year. I did quite a bit of research on this problem and it looks to me that it happens to different across all Nissan models and not limited to Frontier alone. But so far no concrete answer to the cause of the problem and how to fix it. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

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The service manual does not, to my knowledge, list diagnostic codes that are only detectable by the dealer with CONSULT II and not detectable with other scan tools (called Generic Scan Tool or GST in the service manual). In fact, the heading at the top of the listing of Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) in the Engine Control chapter in the service manual (EC), is titled both "CONSULT-II" and "GST". It may be that the dealer has the ability to retrieve code history, including the history of pending codes that never set off a CEL, that can't be read with other diagnostic readers.

All that said, you may be able to see a pending code if you connect a reader immediately after the truck cranks but fails to start and see a pending code that hasn't yet met, and apparently won't meet, in your case, the conditions required to to trigger a CEL.

Failing that, other possible causes (in no particular order):

1. Intermittently bad ground that's causing camshaft or crankshaft position sensor signal dropout. Remove, clean, and reinstall all ground connections to engine and chassis.

2. Bad connection in a connector camshaft or crankshaft position sensor. Remove, clean, and reinstall all cam and crank position sensor connectors.

3. Dirty or damaged camshaft or crankshaft position sensor. Remove, clean, and reinstall all cam and crank position sensors. Can also check the resistance between the three terminals on these sensors (1 to 2, 1 to 3, and 2 to 3); should not be 0 or infinite resistance.

4. Dirty or damaged camshaft signal plate. You may be able to inspect with a boiler mirror or borescope or may have to remove the valve covers.

5. Broken tooth or teeth on flywheel. Manually rotate engine and inspect flywheel through starter or crankshaft position sensor opening.
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Not off the top of my head, but I’ll look at the FSM tomorrow and see if I can tell you. Do you have an FSM?
Look in the "Power Supply, Ground & Circuit Elements Section" (called PG) of the FSM. Look at the "Ground Circuit" entry that starts on page 34.
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