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Hi ClubFrontier,

I have an 2003 frontier 3.3 L V6, crewcab long box. The engine was fine until it sat in my garage for two months while travelling. Now, the truck will start and run fine, 95% of the time, but occasionally will not start. The "starter" is working and trying to "turn over", but the engine will not "catch", or the engine will "half start" where the truck is running somewhat, but is sputtering and about to backfire. I have fresh spark plugs, fresh gas, and the engine has been tuned up. It's been a hassle because after it doesn't start after several attempts, I will wait a few hours/or days and it will start again. My mechanic needs it to not be starting while at the shop so they can plug in the diagnostics computer software. So, my truck doesn't start, I get it towed to the mechanic, and then the truck starts and my problem is not solved. Generally, the truck will start 100% of the time if I drive it every day, but is most likely to not start after it has been driven for 60 miles and then is not driven for 4+ days. On the 5th day, it is most likely to not start (but some times it does)

I am not overly mechanically sophisticated but believe all combustion problems are either spark or fuel related. Any ideas?
 

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Might be the fuel filter. You may want to climb underneath and look at it; if it looks like it hasn't ever been touched and/or has 'Nissan' stamped on it, it's very likely original.

At that age (mine's a 2002) it's due, and an easy thing to change and rule out.
 

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I am not overly mechanically sophisticated but believe all combustion problems are either spark or fuel related. Any ideas?
That's correct if the engine spins at correct speed trying to start.

Next time it doesn't start, spray some aerosol starting fluid into the air cleaner intake, then see if it starts. If so, then a fuel delivery issue likely fuel pump, fuel pump relay, or filter. My 1998 Frontier when purchased with 100K miles still had the original Nissan fuel filter on it, the hose clamps were only accessible from the top before the bed was installed.
 

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I've had similar problems with other vehicles and didn't think to check the health of the battery. Even though it starts sometimes you still could have a weak battery. If you don't have a good battery load tester take your truck to Advance Auto or Auto zone and they can check your battery for free. Luck.
 
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