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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a used 2001 xterra se automatic and it has intermittent starting problems. When I turn the key to the start position all lights come on fine. When I turn the ignition, there is one click from under the hood but no crank. It starts every once in awhile and runs fine when it does. It could start in the morning but may not start in the afternoon. This has been asked many times before and there seems to be some similar scenarios and suggestions to fix the problem and I've tried the solutions that have been previously posted.

I'm searching for someone who has had the same exact problem and how they were able to fix it.

-when the car does start it runs fine
-when the car doesn't start, there is ONE click and no crank
-NOT multiple clicks
-NOT a battery problem
 

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It could be a bad starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It could be a bad starter.
Thanks for the quick response TJ. Sorry I'm not very good around cars and don't have a lot of money ( that's why I bought a 2001 ) so I'm trying to see if I can just buy a part and have a friend put it in.
So starter then? Gonna get the part and cross my fingers. Thanks
 

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just some thinking here. if you're trying to save a bit, what about a rebuild of your own starter? around here the starter shop rebuilds starters and alternators. costs are usually 1/2 or so of new. also might be a pain but when I had a starter going a few years ago on another rig, I used to crawl underneath and give it a tap with a hammer a couple of times to get it "unstuck" as it were. IF it clicks and you tap it and it then goes-definite culprit found. [But granted not much fun in the rain or snow]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok thanks for everyone's suggestions. I went ahead and had a friend install a new starter. The first time i started it up, it did the same thing. One click and no start. Second try it started no problem. It went well all day. Very next morning, one click no start. And hasn't started yet. I really don't know what's wrong and I feel like I just wasted a lot of money on buying and fixing it and I've only had it a week. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Well if the starter didn't fix it I would have to imagine its the ignition, also it couldn't hurt to check the spark plugs and pour some fuel confined in there.
 

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Have you checked to make sure your battery connections are clean and tight? Electrical connections at the starter itself secure? Since it seems to be intermittent, have you tried starting it each time while in neutral, assuming it's an automatic, possibly indicating a faulty park/neutral switch? Just some thoughts...... When you figure it out, and you will, please post the results. Good luck! Regards-

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Have you checked to make sure your battery connections are clean and tight? Electrical connections at the starter itself secure? Since it seems to be intermittent, have you tried starting it each time while in neutral, assuming it's an automatic, possibly indicating a faulty park/neutral switch? Just some thoughts...... When you figure it out, and you will, please post the results. Good luck! Regards-

Scott
Buddy checked the battery connections said was good. Tried starting in neutral. There's a single click but no start. When I thrived to start in any other gear I noticed the was no click at all. Don't think it's the parking/neutral thing. I'm sure someone else has had the same thing and solved it. Thanks again for the advise. I think we can narrow it down more with more input.
 

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You have a factory security system? They have a few relays in the start system. Quick test when it clicks have a friend smack the starter while you keep the key in the start postion. poor connections are my bet at the battery or the big ground wire to engine
 

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You have a factory security system? They have a few relays in the start system. Quick test when it clicks have a friend smack the starter while you keep the key in the start postion. poor connections are my bet at the battery or the big ground wire to engine
Where is the big ground wire to the engine? Any pictures? I have yet to locate such a ground.
 
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