Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When I turn the key, the engine jumps and shakes the whole car but it won't start.

asked by on

I just had my valve cover and starter replaced because my car only clicked when i turned the key and there was oil on my spark plugs. I finally got it to start and it started just fine repeatly at the mechanic. It has always had trouble starting and I have replaced the alternator as well. It only ever clicked or didn't start when it was cold. The day after the starter and valve cover was replaced when I started the car there was white smoke coming from the exhaust. It quickly faded. The car drove fine and it only did it a couple times. Then tonight I turned the car off and then decided to leave so I cranked the car, or attempted to. The engine jumps really bad but the car won't start. What could cause the engine to shake the car?

My car has 220000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello there. You have several different iss...

Hello there. You have several different issues going on with your 2003 Nissan Sentra. If the white smoke was seen immediately after the valve cover replacement, it is likely the oil burning off of the plugs. If the car is not starting, the most common cause is the battery. A load test of the battery should be done to see its current condition.

If the battery tests okay, other common faults are the fuel pump, battery cables, fuel filter, ignition switch, or a wiring harness fault. A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, will be able to perform an inspection to determine why the car is not starting and make any repairs required to resolve the issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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: Car maintainence

Hi, thanks for writing in. You will need to have a mechanic scan the computer to see what codes are stored and pressure test the oil pressure to see if it is a sensor or internal engine problem. The tire...

Q: The car won't start

Hi there. From your explanation it sounds like the battery has died, as the alternator is not charging it. If either of these parts were replaced prior to this then they may be defective. If you have changed these parts...

Q: The car has no power.

I would recommend checking the ground to your chassis from the battery. A bad ground can cause a lack of power in any circuit. Make sure that the battery is securely grounded to a paint free metal surface and is...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.