car wont start randomly - Nissan 350Z Forum : 350Z / 370Z Tech Forums

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default car wont start randomly

i have an 03 z with almost 70k miles. my problem started off almost 8 months ago and i was having battery draining issues. i had previously bought a new battery and it had a 3 year warranty. i took it back and got a replacement just before the 3 years was up. i had the generator, alternator, battery all tested and all were fine. but something continued to drain my battery if i didnt drive it for 3-5 days straight. as long as i'd go crank it up and drive it it seemed to be ok.

then this new problem started. i started having cranking issues. at first i wasnt sure what it was as the power and everything in the car would turn on but when i turn the key nothing happened. it was like trying to start the car with the clutch not pressed in. so i would shake the keys while turning it and pressing the clutch...it started cranking up again fine. so then i thought maybe it's the ignition switch going out. after doing that for a week i could no longer get the car to start by that method so then i thought maybe something with the clutch was jacked up as it seems to act like it's not knowing the clutch is engaged. anyways this is really annoying and to top it off i already took it to a nissan dealership, described the problem in detail, they kept it over the weekend, and charged me 100 bucks for tightening a loose battery cable.

1. does anyone know what this might be, or possibly be
2. anyone know any good mechanics in north dallas/lewisville area?

i think it's an electrical issue either with the ignition switch or possible clutch. if that's the case this could also possibly explain the draining of the battery as well? any thoughts?
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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also i went to spain for 10 days and removed the negative battery cable to see if the battery was losing drainage and when i got back put it back on it fired right up so i most definitely know it's not the battery.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your clutch has a switch that tells the car when its being stepped on. Have you tried cleaning the switch and connector. (starting with the simple)

Have you done any work under the dash?
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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+1

That was my guess. There is a switch on the clutch pedal assembly that, when pressed by the clutch pedal, allows the car to start. I'd start there.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i have added white neon lights under the dash, but that was just about 4 years ago. i have not done anything to the car since that time. i've thought about the possibility of the lights draining the battery but i dont think it is, they work like they should. i added a rocker switch in the console where the heated seats buttons go. this shouldnt have anything to do with why it randomly starts though. i'll try cleaning the switch on the clutch and see if that has any affect on it. thanks for the tips.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was asking about the work under the dash in case you knicked a wire or something.

Check that switch to make sure it isnt loose. If you live in a disgusting area like I do during winter, the connector may have gotten grimy and needs to be cleaned as well
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This is a long shot, but maybe there is something going on with the NATS anntena located in the ignition key switch. BL section of the service manual. This anntena reads, I think a transponder, in the key to make sure it's a registered key to start the car. No power..no start. Just guessing
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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^^
Ouch!

Good one - and possible - but ouch.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well just a quick update. i do believe the culprit is the little contact button the clutch presses in. i continue to have this starting problem but i can bend down and press that button in with my hand or toes and it fires right up without hesitation. i think the switch is going out. now i just need to order a new one and replace it or take this one off and see if i can fix it but its probably better to just get a new one since i've had my car for quite some time now, it is a 2003 model.

thanks for all your suggestions everyone.
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not sure if this would help but i had the same issue with my 03. When you turn it to on its fine but when you go to start it does it click then you lose power to everything , like the dash lights go out completely?

If so check to make sure you have a solid connect on your NEG side of the battery. Mine was sightly lose so i had to get a new clamp on my NEG side of the battery and haven't had an issue since.
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