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Q: My car has trouble starting - 2001 Nissan Maxima

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i replaced my starter about a month ago and my car now has a hard time starting, the transmission was rebuilt in feburary, when i go to crank i can hear it attempting to turn start but it doesnt

My car has 97000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If you installed a "rebuilt" star...

If you installed a "rebuilt" starter, among my first suspicions would be that the starter is no good. Basically, you want to first determine if the battery is in acceptable condition. To do that, perform a standard "load test."

If the battery is good, you want to make sure that there is no voltage drop in the circuit from the battery to the starter. That is, you want to make sure that power is available to the starter so that it can perform adequately. If the battery is good, and there is no problem with the wiring, including the ground connection, and yet the starter motor cannot turn the engine over at the required starting RPM, then the starter motor is no good.

Please note that "unloaded" bench testing of starters means if you bring your starter back to the store, it can often be essentially worthless if the starter has a failed or defective Bendix drive. Such starters will ONLY appear bad (non functional) if tested under load. You can test for voltage drop while the starter is on your car - excessive voltage drop once the starter is loaded is a sign of a bad starter.

If the starter you have is bad, the best thing by far is to buy a rebuilt starter from Nissan's remanufacturing program (if available - this would be a dealer-only item) or simply buy a brand new starter from a Nissan dealer. If you determine you have a bad starter, do not waste your time with another aftermarket rebuilt one.

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