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Answered 2015-07-16 19:32:28

We have a 97 Nissan Sentra GXE that would not start for no apparent reason. We were told that if the oil was too low it had a built in safety that would make it not start or that it had lost compression.

WARNING THIS ADVICE IS HORRIBLE, IT WAS GOOD FOR NON-COMPUTER CONTROLLED VEHICLES 70's INTO THE 80's, IF YOU FOLLOW THIS ANSWER DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOU FRY YOUR ECM! If you want to check to see that your battery is good and you can't get the car started, you jump the car and get it running...while it's running you disconnect the POSITIVE wire off the battery (only the red one because neg. is your ground), if your car dies out it could be your alternater that is draining your battery charge.

It more than likely is a sticking starter. My 97 Sentra did the same thing last week. It ran fine and never gave me any problems whatsoever, then all of a sudden.....nothing. I had the battery tested and it tested out fine. I then gave the starter a good couple of taps and it started up. Needless to say, I replaced the starter and have had no other problems since.

The starter circuit in any car generally consists of the battery, the solenoid , the starter and the connecting wiring. Controlling the solenoid, which in turn controls the starter, is the key switch and associated wiring. First, using a voltmeter while cranking the engine, check the battery voltage on the battery terminals, then check the voltage on the battery connectors, then between ground and both sides of the solenoid (large) terminals, then at the starter terminal itself. Where you find a large drop in voltage is where the trouble is. If you try to crank the engine and you get little or no voltage beyond the solenoid, then it's time to check out the key circuit or the solenoid itself. As to a sticking starter, if you hear the starter spinning but hear no engine cranking, then the starter gear is not moving out to engage the flywheel and replacing the starter would be an option unless you are a do it yourselfer.

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