, Salem, MA


July 6, 2013

Auto Scanner: 2000 Nissan Frontier misfires randomly


The flight recorder, which most of your better shops have, is always monitoring your engine system and keeping around 20 seconds or more, prior to the button being pressed in memory. Once the diagnostician gets his or her flight recorder back, they will be able to download and isolate the misfiring cylinder.

Now the fun begins. Sources of misfire can be fuel, spark, compression or timing. It is going to be a very interesting problem, but a very expensive problem to diagnose.

Q: I hope you can help me. On two different occasions, a couple of months apart, I tried to start my ā€™98 Camry, and nothing happened. It acted like my battery was dead, but I had the different lights on the bottom of the dash, plus my electric windows worked and the horn worked. Still, when I tried to start the car with the key, nothing happened. I called AAA and waited almost an hour still trying the key start, and it finally started on its own. The second time this happened, it was the same thing. Nothing happened when I turned the key. I called AAA again and after trying to start the car for about 20 minutes, road service came and I told him the problem, then I turned the key and it started right up. Nobody can seem to identify this problem, and Iā€™m open for suggestions as to what I can do to start the car myself instead of just waiting.

Thanks for anything you can say to help me out.

A: I took a look through the ALLDATA database. There is no one particular common problem to this car for a no-start condition. However, it has been my experience that the ā€™98 Camrys exhibiting this kind of problem are suspect for a starter replacement. An hour or so of testing should reveal the actual problem. Hopefully, the car has clean battery cables.

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