Q: Car cranks but it won't start - 2003 Nissan Altima

asked by on

The problem is, I was driving one day and all of a sudden at the red light, my car started shaking and the oil light was flashing. After a few seconds later it stalled. I had to start it again, but it wouldn't start by itself, it would just crank. The only way for me to start was to put gas to the peddle and it would start right up, but rough. Every time it goes under or near 1,000 RPM it shuts down. Keep in mind that i had the check engine light on prior to this happening. I get the code P011, P0300, p0335. I thought it was the crank sensor and cam, but that didn't fix the problem. It would still keep cranking and not start. I've drained and changed the oil and filter and still no success. Spark plugs are new and everything. i don't know what else to do. I might just have to take it to the shop.

My car has 149000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your symptoms suggest a problem with both camshaft and ignition timing (driven off the cam). Given your mileage, I would suspect a worn timing chain, chain guides, and the chain tensioner. It is also possible the timing chain was loose enough (from wear of these components) that it "jumped a tooth" during the traffic light incident, which changes the cam and ignition timing relative to the crankshaft, and will cause rough running, and other potential engine damage.

Replacing the timing chain components is a normal maintenance task for engines with your mileage, and needs to be checked out before driving the vehicle further causes engine damage. I would recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to perform an inspection to determine why the engine is shaking and suggest repairs necessary to get your car back in proper working order.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car cranks but it won't start - 2003 Nissan Altima

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Does the car have to be driving down the road for the computer to sense a Fuel line EVAP leak?

In order for the EVAP system to complete the drive test you need to be at a cruise steady speed with engine warm and no check engine light on. The actual speed is needed will be in overdrive above 45...

Q: No Crank No Start, dashboard lightup with No Bus warning

Considering the problems at hand it may be best for an in person diagnosis of the situation. The problem could be as simple as a failed sensor or broken wire, or the power-train control module itself going faulty. Considering the...

Q: Q: Stalling in any gear

Quite a few faults can cause the vehicle to stall and not be able to run properly. The most common problems is a failure with the fuel pump, alternator, fuel filter, MAF sensor, vacuum leak, or exhaust leak. I'd suggest...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...