Q: Car won't start - 2004 Nissan Xterra

asked by on November 04, 2016

Car will not start. When key is turned, I get one click but no cranking. Battery appears to be fine; was purchased last year and all lights works and don't dim when trying to start. Has not yet been tested. Found small oil leak around gasket cover; looks like it's both above and below leaks. Starter was covered in oil and was taken in for testing. Passed two tests so brought back home and cleaned all the connections and the starter itself. Put the starter back in and connected everything and tried to start again. same one click, but with very minimal cranking. Went out to give the unit a tap and noticed smoke emitting from the starter with an electrical smell to it. Looks like the starter is the original factory starter so it's probably about time to change it anyway. Was going to get the battery tested next just to cover bases. To me it sounds like an electrical issue, possibly starter solenoid?

My car has 115000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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This sounds like a potentially failing starter solenoid. As you may know, the starter solenoid is located on the starter and has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not allow the starter to engage the flywheel when you turn the key. When this works intermittently, you may notice a slight crank followed by clicking.

I would suggest having a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your home to determine why the car will not start and replace the starter if needed.

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