Car Cranks but Immediately Shuts Off...No Idle...What's Going On?!?!?
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Thread: Car Cranks but Immediately Shuts Off...No Idle...What's Going On?!?!?

  1. #1
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    Car Cranks but Immediately Shuts Off...No Idle...What's Going On?!?!?

    I know this is probably sheer coincedence, but I had my plugs and wires replaced a couple of weeks ago at 90k miles. About two hours later after picking it up, I threw two codes...an oxygen sensor and the knock sensor. I cleared them to see if they would come back. Neither has come back.

    Last Monday our Tuesday (about two weeks ago) I was approaching a turning lane red light and coasting down to a stop. The car shut off and the SES, oil, brake, and battery lights came on simultaneously. However, this time it cranked right back up and went on about my business and was going to monitor it.

    On Thursday, I was on the way to eat with some co-workers and the same thing happened only this time it would not start back up and hold idle long enough for me to get it into gear. I also noticed a faint burning smell. It would start, I could rev the RPMs, but as soon as I took my foot off the gas, the car would stall. No idling whatsoever. I had it towed to a local Firestone service center (screw the Stealership) and they diagnosed it as a mass air flow sensor since this time there was a code for the MAF. They tried cleaning it and no luck, so we replaced it. Never got to the root cause of the burning smell.

    Well, I picked it up today and the mechanic told me that it will run, but there is still something wrong with it and he doesn't know what (That makes one feel good huh!). Sure enough, when I went to crank it, the car did the same thing. However now if I rev the gas enough and "warm things up" (for lack of a better term) it will eventually idle and I can shift into drive or reverse.

    For some reason when the engine sits and gets cold, it is not wanting to start and hold an idle. I have no idea what is going on, the Service Center doesn't either, and I have no codes to point me in the right direction.

    I bought this car to commute 110 miles roundtrip to work each day and have only had it for 20k miles. This is not a good sign for the vehicles' reliability. I've owned 5 Toyotas (currently a Tundra and Sequoia) and have never had a problem with my Toyotas. I don't know what to do but I count on this car for my work commute. Luckily I've got a couple days to get it worked out next week since I'm on vacation, but I don't want to throw hundreds of dollars at a car that I only spent $7k on to try and diagnose the problem. At this point, no one knows whats going on.

    Someone with any mechanic or similar experience please help. Thanks!!!

    Matt

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  3. #2
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    And to top off the lovely morning, I leave Firestone and take the car through an automatic car wash. Firestone turned the volume on the radio down instead of turning it off and of course I didn't think to look to see the antenna was down because they always turn the stereo off right....nope.

    The car wash breaks the stupid automatic antenna mast AND rips my sunroof wind deflector in half.

    Not a good morning guys.

    Matt

  4. #3
    G20 Senior Member biomimetic's Avatar
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    An MAF could do this... but this one is truly weird, following your description. But that's my guess - that your car is in autoprotect. And it's about time for your MAF to go kaput.

    Two things other things are also a possibility - sounds a little clutchy (but probably not) - are you auto or stick? Maybe a broken spring in the clutch plate in a stick with the smell and going into gear eventually.

    Or something bizarre like the car actually managing to start itself up with the wire on the distributor cap reversed. But this would be truly bad. It's also easy to diagnose - go to the distrib cap and look for the numbers on the cap. Then follow the wires to the sparks. Count from the passenger side starting over there at one, and count across to four. Are they in order?

  5. #4
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    There's an air bypass valve that allows the engine to fast idle during warmup. It sounds as though this could be either unplugged or malfunctioning. If it'll rev over 2400rpm, it isn't in limp home mode. Your IAC could also be sticking closed.

  6. #5
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    It's an automatic. Don't know WHAT is going on with this thing. It now has a brand new OEM MAF sensor and still stalls out when I try to crank it. I bet I tried to start it 10 times a few minutes ago (reving the hell out of it to somewhat warm it up) before it would hold idle long enough for me to get it into gear...it then idled like crap.

    I did not change the distributor when I did the plugs and wires, but will definitely go check the order.

    Firestone mentioned that on all other V6 Infinitis (mine is a 4 cylinder of course) the computer has to be reprogrammed after the installation of a new MAF sensor and that this could be causing it. They also said I may have issues with my ECU for god's sake!!! No way!!! I was going to the stealership in the morning, but I fully expect them to rip me off as much as they can since there are no codes and nothing to point to as a definitive problem.

    I have no idea what is going on!!!!

  7. #6
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    What in the world is an IAC?!?!?!?!?

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    Plug wires are in order.

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    Maybe somehow your idle speed got turned down. It may sound stupid, but it sometimes is stupid. Have you checked that?

  10. #9
    G20 Guru masterlink's Avatar
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    IACV/AAC
    Idle Air Control Valve and Auxilliary Air Control. Air Regulator (under the intake) is also part of the plumbing. This would throw it's own code# but should not stop it from running
    They work with crank sensor and temp sensor to control fast idle at start up. Idle screw is in the same housing.

    I'm guessing it's something else

    GL

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSUMatt1514 View Post
    What in the world is an IAC?!?!?!?!?
    Idle air control motor.

    Your PCM does not need to be reprogrammed after replacing the stock MAF sensor, nor would I suspect it to be the cause of your problems. Look into the AIV and IAC first, then go from there.

  12. #11
    North Star Fighter KwikyMAN's Avatar
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    make sure your throttle body isn't dirty. the IACV is an idle control valve that can be found on the passenger side of the engine on the intake manifold. it's in the area behind the oil filter. it's kinda hard to see if you don't know what you're looking for...unfortunately i don't have my car here, so i can't take a pic, but maybe someone can post up. if that's dirty or mis-adjusted, the same thing can occur. this is a pretty classic case of a failing idle control circuit.

  13. #12
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    I tried to move the car a few minutes ago and same problem. I DO now have three codes in the computer...

    P0100 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Malfunction
    P0140 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
    P0325 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Malfunction Bank 1 or Single Sensor

    This after attempting to crank the car 5-6 times, finally getting it to idle (all be it very rough) and putting it into reverse and then drive simply to move it in the driveway.

    I've seen these codes before so obviously I just replaced a perfectly good MAF sensor and spent about $300 in doing so and did not solve the problem.

    Any ideas guys?

  14. #13
    North Star Fighter KwikyMAN's Avatar
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    check the wiring between the MAF and the PCM. make sure there aren't any breaks or connector issues.

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    Throttle body has been cleaned.....

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    Took it back to Firestone this morning. They have been looking at it since 7:00 this morning. The manager has had an ex-Nissan tech on it all morning.

    The service manager just told me that he is getting ready to punt. Not good...not good at all!!! The stealership is going to rake me over the coals and try to gouge me for every penny they can. I have no idea what's wrong and if Firestone can't figure it out...I don't expect my local Infiniti stealership to be able to either.

    This is a good Firestone service center...that's what scares me. If they can't get it then who can. The bad part is that it will crank right back up when the engine is warm. It just won't hold idle after it gets cold!!! Making it even harder to troubleshoot.

  17. #16
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    Car has now been dropped off at a local Nissan dealership (screw Crown Infiniti!) and it will be a $100 diagnostic fee. Firestone didn't charge me ANYTHING and spent hours troubleshooting it today.

    Nissan assured me that if they find the problem, the $100 would be applied to the repairs. If they can't find the problem, then I'll only be out $100. Problem is...they are open all day tomorrow and a half day on Xmas Eve so I've got a day and a half to get this fixed. I pray they can find the problem between now and then.

    I will keep everyone posted.

    Matt

  18. #17
    stock rocks! Robj80's Avatar
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    I just experienced this same problem on my 99 this morning . Funny it always seems to work that way. Someone posts something and then another person has same issue at the same time.

    Anyway I'm leaning toward IACV. I might just replace it and cross my fingers. BTW I believe info in this thread is incorrect. Someone mentioned your IACV being on the passenger side. This is untrue for 00+ cars. Yours is under your throttle body. I also need to do a coolant flush and replace my tstat. My engine coolant temp sensor might need replacing too. It's covered in sludge from years of oil changes and spilling oil on it from the filter.

    Reason I mention the coolant and sensor is because these too can screw up your car.

    Goodluck and keep us posted. You can potentionally save me a few hundred bux here.
    How do you know if LSD or not? Like you would check any tranny. Get down there and look for a bulge.

  19. #18
    G20 Senior Member biomimetic's Avatar
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    I wonder if it never got out of limp mode - the IACV and idle are good guesses as well. The knock sensor/O2 sensor has me wondering if someone pulled part of the harness loose and didn't put it back together when they did the distributor cap. Or blew a fuse on start up.

  20. #19
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    Today the Nissan dealership told me there was a code for the Idle Air Control Valve, as well as the knock sensor code and O2 sensor code. They are going to try a calibration of the IACV and cal the ECU and see if that works. I did not hear from them this afternoon so I'm taking that as a positive that it started cold with no problems and they are going to verify in the morning...Wishful thinking I know. Anyway...I will know something in the morning. BTW...the distributor cap was never changed, just the plugs and wires.

    Matt

  21. #20
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    Dealership called this morning. The calibration did not work. It sat for a while yesterday afternoon and it did crank, but it must not have gotten cold enough. When they went to start it this morning, same song and dance.

    They are now recommending a new throttle body (pardon my ignorance but apparently you have to replace the entire throttle body to replace the IACV) be put on the car. This portion, if I even decide to do it, will cost another $500+ and they will not guarantee that it will fix the problem.

    I don't know what to do guys. Between the 90k service (Plugs, plug wires, coolant flush, etc.), a new MAF, and ECU/IACV position calibration I am now in this thing almost $1,000 deep. This is absurd...ON A CAR I PAID $7,000 FOR!!!

    I bought this thing because it was recommended by Consumer Reports. Had I known the MAF always dies at 90k-100k and known this thing would be a maintenance nightmare...I would have NEVER bought it.

    What would you do guys...Drive it like this (Knowing your going to have to rev the crap out of it everytime you start it cold and be really, really embarrassed) or pony up and spend another $400-$500 on a car that only cost $7,000 on a fix that might now actually fix the problem? I know now why I always have bought Toyota and this just reaffirms it going forward. I've had Chevy (Blazer), Jeep/Chrysler (Grand Cherokee), and now Nissan (Infiniti G20). Problems. 4Runner, Lexus GS300, Sequoia, Tundra....No Problems!!! A couple minor hiccups here and there but never ever anything major and none of these Toyotas left me stranded like the Chevy, Jeep, and Infiniti have all done.

    Not a very nice Christmas present guys...

    Thanks for all of your help. Please keep it coming.

    Matt

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