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1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank

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New User

Oct 26, 2012, 9:58 AM

Post #1 of 6 (5990 views)
1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In


I'm having a major issue with my 99 Altima and I was hoping that someone may be able to help me out here.

Let me give you some background information

A few months ago my car broke down. I tried to turn the key and got absolutely nothing, my dashboard lights would not come on and the engine would not crank at all. So I had AAA tow my car to a mechanic. Before they towed it they tested my battery and said that it was fine. So the mechanic tells me that it's an electric issue and replaced some wiring.

A few weeks after that.......breaks down a second time. Bring it back to the mechanic and he tells me that it was just a blown fuse but if the fuse kept blowing that I would have to replace my starter.

That night took the car home........breaks down a 3rd time. I bring it to another mechanic to get a second opinion. He tells me that it's not the starter but thinks it's the ignition switch. He wasn't sure tho so he didn't want to do anything to the car. He didn't want to tell me to get a new ignition switch and have that not be the problem

So I took it to the dealership. They tell me its the starter and replace the starter for me. I take it home and a couple weeks later........dies a 4th time.

So needless to say I've been going crazy about this. I'm wondering if anyone could give me information on what possibily be wrong with it and why mechanics are having such a hard time fixing this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 26, 2012, 10:24 AM

Post #2 of 6 (5969 views)
Re: 1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In

Are you finding the same blown fuse and come to the car and absolutely nothing electrical is working? Just asking as if so there one hard short somewhere to be found,


New User

Oct 26, 2012, 10:31 AM

Post #3 of 6 (5962 views)
Re: 1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In

To be honest, I'm not even sure what fuse was blown. The mechanic replaced it for me.

My outside lights are going on, but other then that I'm getting nothing.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 26, 2012, 11:11 AM

Post #4 of 6 (5953 views)
Re: 1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In

This is disappointing that mechanics have had this in front of them and now you are out searching for help which by nature is more difficult than being there.

I understand the difficulty in that it works for some time when it's been worked on making finding the source problem difficult when everything is plain working fine.

Just ideas + guesses for now: This probably has a few items right at battery + cables hooked up into/onto some marginal corrosion resistant metals right there that need to be good and look good. Next is a likely underhood fuse box that might get some wiring problems right where it is placed. Now I/we don't know if the first mechanic who fixed/replaced some wiring blew a fuse while doing that or the fuse was blown first? Do you? Can you see any wiring splices or what happened that time?

Two different starters are unlikely to both draw way too much current to blow a fuse or fusible link if used if that was the issue. The mechanics may or should have done a voltage drop test or even just look at a voltmeter reading while it cranked to see if it was drawing a lot would be telling. I don't think that's it.

See if you can find out which fuse it was and if OK now if you can. Owner's manual should state where they are and what amp rating to use. You've taken it to professionals (I hope) so dunno if you want to chase down things or just record the failures and what has been done already that DIDN'T work and try yet again probably with the place that concluded somehow that the starter was THE problem that didn't fix it.

If YOU can plain see any odd corrosion or wires that look a bit burned or chaffing we could assist you in the fix or point out what you see. Do you want to take this on and have some test equipment yourself? Either way will be nice to know what fuse blows and what its job is,


New User

Oct 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

Post #5 of 6 (5938 views)
Re: 1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In

The first time he supposedly fixed the wiring.

The second time I took it to him, he said blown fuse.

That's why I'm so confused. First it was wiring, then it was a blown fuse. Next I have them telling me if it keeps blowing out, you need a new starter. Then I take it to another guy who says he thinks it's the ignition switch. Lastly we take it to the dealership since we figured they would know best what the cause is. They conclude its the starter but a few weeks later it breaks down again.

I'm not very good with cars but when I get home, I'll take a look at that underhood fuse box and look and see if I can find any wiring problems. When he said it was a blown fuse, I just assumed they meant the fuses that's in the box underneath my steering wheel. But I do have a black box underneath the hood. I should give them a call and see if they can tell me exactly what fuse they replaced.

I don't have any testing equipment unforunately. I'm just trying to get ideas on what could be the issue. I don't want to keep taking it in and spending money on all sorts of parts and not have it work again.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 26, 2012, 3:32 PM

Post #6 of 6 (5926 views)
Re: 1999 Nissan Altima wont start, won't even crank Sign In

It would be nice to know which one (more??) blew and check it as taking them all out to look may reset stuff you shouldn't do but probably not as it would have acted up already I would think. Things that don't like CONSTANT power are....... anti-theft stuff, radio and clock settings or lock you out of it, or other assorted things. Car's computer(s) may default to a base setting and so forth.

They should look like this...........

Color and size should match. If exactly like these you can just test continuity up top where the "Amp # is" or if taken out that "S" metal inside would burn out as they are designed to do so you don't burn the car up!

If you can find out please do find which one and go ahead and look at it. They just pull out - may need small pliers or some come with a plastic tool to remove them under covers for them. Some have spares already there.

It's early right now but if that fuse is blown I would think it would blow right when you went to actually start it not just by surprise getting in the car but if nothing is working before you even put a key in it that would be info worth noting.

If, If, If, the starter was drawing so much current it would probably try to go first then blow the fuse. If your engine was so tight for another reason that it was that hard for starter to turn it/crank it that you would or should have noticed something very wrong along the way.

THIS IS WHAT YOU EXPECT WHEN A MECHANIC OR FOUR are working on it for you! I don't expect you to drop everything for a few years and mega thousands in tools to learn this crap - we do.

It does help when you own anything car or not to have some clue about things. Cars == you should know how to check fluids, change a tire, check tire pressure, what warning lights/gauges mean and some more just as a responsible driver/owner of one.

Let me/us know what you can find out. IMO - somewhere the shop that blamed the starter that didn't fix the problem AND replaced it should have something to say or help you with this if this is exactly the same bull from the beginning. Good luck. Let me/us/the world know how you are making out,


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