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Posted: 8/9/2005 1:15:31 PM EDT
A friend of mine has been having intermittant starter problems on his Altima. I have always been the "go-to" guy for mechanical stuff in our circle of friends, so I offered to work on his car last weekend.

The starter was not activating 90% of the time when the key was turned to start. All of the other electrical systems worked fine and the battery tested good. Soooooo, off with the starter. Ever removed a starter from a front-wheel drive Nissan? Your right arm goes up between the oil pan and the right half-shaft, and your left arm goes between the lower engine support and the left half-shaft. Lots of fun on a still warm engine. I get the &)*&)$%$) starter out of the car and take it to O'Reilly for testing.

It tests perfect. WTF?

We go back to the house, test the ignition switch, the wiring harness at the starter, everything we can think of. Finally, while I was looking at schematics, I noticed the ASCD switch. It's a safety cut-out that keeps the starter from turning unless the clutch is fully depressed.


I find the switch under the dash. The clutch pedal arm has a flange the projects out to the side WITH A FARKING HOLE WHERE IT SHOULD PRESS THE ASCD SWITCH! WTF?!?! Why is there a hole right there. So I look on the floorboard and what do I find?


Pieces of a plastic plug that had previously been in that hole. They used a damn 2 cent piece of plastic for a part that is pretty much mission-critical. After 10 years, the plastic had deteriorated and broken into little pieces. The pedal arms would fail to depress the switch and the car would not start. It would finally engage when my friend got pissed and pressed the clutch downward and outward, bringing the metal arm into contact with the switch. I wonder how many shops have charged unsuspecting saps for a starter replacement when the problem was a tiny piece of plastic.


Two washer, one bolt and one nut later, it was fixed. &)*&)%#%#@W Nissan.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:18:20 PM EDT
Funny, I had to do exactly the same thing on my 1990 300ZX.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:23:35 PM EDT
I thought this might be a bash the French thread...darn...
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:25:30 PM EDT
If that is the worst problem a 10 year old Nissan could have, I wouldn't bitch. It could be a lot worse, especially if it was a Ford.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:27:20 PM EDT
Front wheel drives suck too. What happened to the good 'ol days of rear-wheel drives?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:29:17 PM EDT
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:29:53 PM EDT
Other than trucks, I can't think of a lot of GM-Ford-Chrysler cars that make it that long.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:33:40 PM EDT
Sounds like their way of keeping mechanics in business. Why wouldn't they just make that piece without the hole in it? Does it serve some sort of purpose durin ght construction of the vehicle or something?

Wonder how many other sneaky little shit things they slip in to get put you and your family at serious risk. Sounds like a potential class action suit.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:34:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!



Yep. I'm on my second 10-year car. The first was a Toyota, this one is a Nissan.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:34:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!



I kept my 1985 Nissan pickup for over 17 years, 235K miles, and never had any problem with the engine or drive train other than maintenance. The most difficult job I ever had to do on that truck was replacing clutch parts at 165K.

I did have to replace the starter once. It was a 15-minute job (no front-wheel drive).
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:37:43 PM EDT
This why Nissan has been going down the tubes. They are trying to save money whereever they can, and since you can't see it, then why not. Nissan is taking lessons from the likes of GM and Ford on how to build a cheap car.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 1:40:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By psychotr:
Funny, I had to do exactly the same thing on my 1990 300ZX.



Now you tell me...
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:11:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By psychotr:
Funny, I had to do exactly the same thing on my 1990 300ZX.



Same thing on my '95... Fuckers !
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:14:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
This why Nissan has been going down the tubes. They are trying to save money whereever they can, and since you can't see it, then why not. Nissan is taking lessons from the likes of GM and Ford on how to build a cheap car.


Pretty much.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:16:37 PM EDT
Are you sure that bolt won't break the more epensive switch if the clutch pedal is depressed with too much force?

Maybe that plug is a safety to keep from breaking the switch?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:18:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!



Only if you have a car that can do it. Like a Nissan or Toyota or Honda
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:22:26 PM EDT
My old lady had that problem with her 2002 altima and Im experiencing the same problem with my 2005 corolla. It sometimes doesnt start on the first try but always on the second. Real weird and I dont know my @#$% from my &*^ about vehicles!
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:24:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:26:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!



Only if you have a car that can do it. Like a Nissan or Toyota or Honda


Yeah you're right about that, my GM '92 Olds Cutlas Cruiser station wagon croaked after 150,000 with a spun bearing and a slippig trans. I had to junk the car, not to mention all of the interior knobs and switches were falling apart.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:36:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By avengeusa:
that is nissan for you, i worked for a dealer for a while...funny things come up in the service bulletins, things that the public does not hear because it is never made out to be a recall



Things like the flooding problem on the 1.6l Sentras? I got stranded more times than I can count becuase of that. Rather than fix the design flaw, Nissan issued a TSB advising onwers to hold the pedal to the floor when starting and to keep cranking until the engine started. Great way to burn up a starter.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:42:27 PM EDT
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?

The older cars can swap engines and engines easily. The newer junk is such a hassle to do anything. They have those shitty sensors that have to be reset by a mechanic's computer or they fail inspection.

The older(American) cars are easy maintenance. And when you restore them they a re actually worth money. The older asian cars aren't worth a damn thing restored. And since when have you seen a hot rod or muscle car made out of one of those.

I like old American muscle and that's what I'm gonna stick with. They haven't failed me yet.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:44:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!



Only if you have a car that can do it. Like a Nissan or Toyota or Honda



Or my Ford T-bird (25+ years old now).

The thing I hate about Ford now is crappy paint and the lack of torque converter drain plugs. While I'm at it, the lack of tachometers in many of its cars, delaminating paint, gutless engines, and uncomfortable seats.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:45:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?...



My ex-wife drove her 1984 Subaru until the engine finally wore out in 2002.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:51:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 3:28:45 PM EDT by Enigma102083]

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?

The older cars can swap engines and engines easily. The newer junk is such a hassle to do anything. They have those shitty sensors that have to be reset by a mechanic's computer or they fail inspection.

The older(American) cars are easy maintenance. And when you restore them they a re actually worth money. The older asian cars aren't worth a damn thing restored. And since when have you seen a hot rod or muscle car made out of one of those.

I like old American muscle and that's what I'm gonna stick with. They haven't failed me yet.



*ahem*
my 1972 Datsun(aka Nissan) 240Z is pretty damn kick ass. If you can't find classic import sports cars, you're just not looking hard enough.

mine is the blue one.
ETA pics

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:52:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?

The older cars can swap engines and engines easily. The newer junk is such a hassle to do anything. They have those shitty sensors that have to be reset by a mechanic's computer or they fail inspection.

The older(American) cars are easy maintenance. And when you restore them they a re actually worth money. The older asian cars aren't worth a damn thing restored. And since when have you seen a hot rod or muscle car made out of one of those.

I like old American muscle and that's what I'm gonna stick with. They haven't failed me yet.



You don't see old asian cars on the road becasue they're still running in latin america where they're happy to have a car that runs. My 10 year old Camry will make it to 20 years easily, but I doubt any American would want to drive it at that point.

You see TONS of '70s datsuns and toyotas worldwide.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:59:20 PM EDT
We're getting my wife's 2000 Nissan Altima out of the shop tomorrow. It's in for its SECOND heater core replacement. Each one seems to last about 35,000 miles. And cost about $750 to replace. Plus it takes a week to get the job done, since they seem to have to ship heater cores by Chinese Junk from Japan and slow mule from the port of entry.

If it fails again, I'm selling the car and getting something else.

Other than that, it's been a good car.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:04:10 PM EDT
Sorry about your troubles...

I've had 4 Nissans and have put over 200k on each one, and all were still running great when I sold them (except my 2005 Maxima which I just just got last fall.)
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:20:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
Are you sure that bolt won't break the more epensive switch if the clutch pedal is depressed with too much force?

Maybe that plug is a safety to keep from breaking the switch?



The plastic insert is there to keep from wearing the switch. A Nissan mechanic would have checked that first.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:28:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 4:29:24 PM EDT by LARRYG]
I did the following on my RX7, my 929, and now my Nissan Frontier. I made up a jumper, unplugged the clutch switch, and bypassed the damn thing.

Not because any of them malfunctioned, but because I don't like to have to push the clutch to start the engine, especially if I just want to reach in and start it for warmup.

I ALWAYS park them in neutral and ALWAYS give the shifter a little side to side wiggle to make sure it is in neutral.

If this switch going bad constitutes a reason to get pissed (when it should have been the first thing checked) and bash Nissan, you guys lead sheltered lives.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:35:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:42:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy.



The problem with Asian cars is two hours after you drive one, you want to go for a drive again.

<­BR>
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 8:53:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tommytrauma:

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy.



The problem with Asian cars is two hours after you drive one, you want to go for a drive again.



The problem with Asian cars is the steering wheel is on the wrong side. My two Nissans were made in Detroit and Mexico. My next toyta will be made in California.

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:03:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
We're getting my wife's 2000 Nissan Altima out of the shop tomorrow. It's in for its SECOND heater core replacement. Each one seems to last about 35,000 miles. And cost about $750 to replace. Plus it takes a week to get the job done, since they seem to have to ship heater cores by Chinese Junk from Japan and slow mule from the port of entry.

If it fails again, I'm selling the car and getting something else.

Other than that, it's been a good car.



If you dont use the heater just block it off. My bros Pontiac kept busting heater cores and the second time he just had it blocked off.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:05:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 9:05:37 PM EDT by samsong]

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By tommytrauma:

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy.



The problem with Asian cars is two hours after you drive one, you want to go for a drive again.



The problem with Asian cars is the steering wheel is on the wrong side. My two Nissans were made in Detroit and Mexico. My next toyta will be made in California.




Oh, please. I've had the starter switch problem fail on an old Corvette I owned. It was really puzzling until I did the math after a starter replacement and had the same problem. I found it and fixed it. It seems all cars are plagued with bizzare problems that creep up in their electrical systems after 10 years of ownership; they're the worst areas for reliability on any car.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 11:44:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?

The older cars can swap engines and engines easily. The newer junk is such a hassle to do anything. They have those shitty sensors that have to be reset by a mechanic's computer or they fail inspection.

The older(American) cars are easy maintenance. And when you restore them they a re actually worth money. The older asian cars aren't worth a damn thing restored. And since when have you seen a hot rod or muscle car made out of one of those.

I like old American muscle and that's what I'm gonna stick with. They haven't failed me yet.



*ahem*
my 1972 Datsun(aka Nissan) 240Z is pretty damn kick ass. If you can't find classic import sports cars, you're just not looking hard enough.

mine is the blue one.
ETA pics

www.gaernin.net/~gaernin/pics/datsun3.jpg




Any rust under the battery on the rt. appron?
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:02:24 AM EDT
Teh 85mph governor on the 2000 Frontier Trucks is no selling point either. That's probably why the Salesman didn't mention it 4 years ago.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:05:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:
People actually keep cars for 10yr's...?!!


how else can we feed the gun and ammo addiction
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 1:01:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Silver_Surfer:

Originally Posted By Enigma102083:

Originally Posted By MachinegunManiac:
The problem with the old asain cars is they rot like crazy. Ever seen a '80s subaru on the road?

The older cars can swap engines and engines easily. The newer junk is such a hassle to do anything. They have those shitty sensors that have to be reset by a mechanic's computer or they fail inspection.

The older(American) cars are easy maintenance. And when you restore them they a re actually worth money. The older asian cars aren't worth a damn thing restored. And since when have you seen a hot rod or muscle car made out of one of those.

I like old American muscle and that's what I'm gonna stick with. They haven't failed me yet.



*ahem*
my 1972 Datsun(aka Nissan) 240Z is pretty damn kick ass. If you can't find classic import sports cars, you're just not looking hard enough.

mine is the blue one.
ETA pics

www.gaernin.net/~gaernin/pics/datsun3.jpg




Any rust under the battery on the rt. appron?



actually no, the guy I got it from had his son give it to him, he lived in CA and really took care of it. He'd bought it his senior year of highschool in 1980. I had a complete service history on the car, along with all original documentation and everything. Best god damn 1500 bucks I ever spent.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 1:09:44 AM EDT
That's why I drive a real man's car. A Honda Civic... It even makes me sad, but I drive it out of need more then choice, once I can afford it I'll buy something else.


Digital
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 1:28:15 AM EDT
Newsflash:

Every car company has little bugs that plague them, every car company has some dogs. Some are better than others.

My Nissans (4 trucks, 3 cars in 10 years) have been stellar performers, good values, and have required very little repair or maintenance. That cannot be said of my other car choices (GM & Dodge).
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 1:51:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sysop:
Teh 85mph governor on the 2000 Frontier Trucks is no selling point either. That's probably why the Salesman didn't mention it 4 years ago.



Every new vehicle on the road should be governed at whatever is the highest speed limit in the land, currently 75 mph.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:36:17 AM EDT
A month ago I retired a '94 Sentra with 274,700 miles on it. Timing finally went.

I have nothing bad to say about 90's Nissans. Consumer Reports rates Altimas & Maximas more highly than most domestic cars.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:47:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:
I thought this might be a bash the French thread...darn...




So did I
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:58:37 AM EDT
clever work around!

and fwiw, my 1985 Toyota truck is still on the road, going to drive it work today as matter of fact, it doesn't have a clutch cancel switch either, I can pop the clutch on it to start the truck if need be
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 3:58:58 AM EDT
Good job trouble shooting, though.

vmax84
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:26:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
Are you sure that bolt won't break the more epensive switch if the clutch pedal is depressed with too much force?

Maybe that plug is a safety to keep from breaking the switch?



No it shouldn't beak the switch as long as it's adjusted properly. Make it too long and you could possibly break it, but then you could eliminate it like I have on my Nissans.

It's basically an idiot switch, if you have your handbrake on -and depress the clutch to disengage the trans and/or put it in nuetral before you crank it- then it's no problem if removed. It should be started that way whether you have the switch connected or not.

Plus there's one less thing that could keep you from starting your vehicle when the switch is eliminated.

I put the switch in a category similar to trigger finger safety, keep your finger off the tigger until you are ready to fire, same thing with the switch- don't start your car if it's in gear
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:46:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:47:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pale_pony:
Sorry about your troubles...

I've had 4 Nissans and have put over 200k on each one, and all were still running great when I sold them (except my 2005 Maxima which I just just got last fall.)




My current Maxima has 215K on it. When I got it it two years ago it already had 175K. Oddly enough this is my fifth in a row -of basically the same car- and all of them went well over 150K. Nissan has known issues but I can say that about any mfg, my wifes Chevy S10 Blazer has the infamous CPI unit that I had to change twice already. Good thing she's married to a mechanic.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:48:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:52:40 AM EDT
my next car will likely be a Maxima
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 5:00:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LARRYG:
I did the following on my RX7, my 929, and now my Nissan Frontier. I made up a jumper, unplugged the clutch switch, and bypassed the damn thing.

Not because any of them malfunctioned, but because I don't like to have to push the clutch to start the engine, especially if I just want to reach in and start it for warmup.

I ALWAYS park them in neutral and ALWAYS give the shifter a little side to side wiggle to make sure it is in neutral.

If this switch going bad constitutes a reason to get pissed (when it should have been the first thing checked) and bash Nissan, you guys lead sheltered lives.



Didn't see your post, I suggested a similar thing in my post.

But honestly, some people really NEED that switch!
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