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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2006 Xterra


Two weeks ago upon starting my X, the ignition fired, but would not start. It did some serious vibrating and rattling instead idling. Luckily I was in the Auto Zone parking lot (I had just bought and put in a Lucas Fuel System cleaner). I went in to get a tech to come out and help me diagnose the issue. The computer was not reading any codes, so all we had was our combined knowledge of vehicle maint. and repair... I'm no dummy but my knowledge is limited. His initial thought was fuel injector, my initial thought was throttle body, because I still had ignition. I gave the throttle body a few hefty pounds and tried to start it up and it worked. The engined started up and I drove home. Ive since cleaned out the throttle body and its connectors. And just yesterday I changed the oil (switched to Royal Purple Synthetic) and, installed a new high performance air filter. Sadly it seems that the throttle body is not actually the problem because now I'm not even getting the clunky rattle that formerly replaced the idle.
I just really need help! Is it the fuel filter perhaps?

Any thoughts and/or advice would be very much appreciated.

-J
 

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2006 Xterra


Two weeks ago upon starting my X, the ignition fired, but would not start.

It did some serious vibrating and rattling instead idling.

Luckily I was in the Auto Zone parking lot (I had just bought and put in a Lucas Fuel System cleaner). I went in to get a tech to come out and help me diagnose the issue. The computer was not reading any codes, so all we had was our combined knowledge of vehicle maint. and repair... I'm no dummy but my knowledge is limited. His initial thought was fuel injector, my initial thought was throttle body, because I still had ignition.

I gave the throttle body a few hefty pounds and tried to start it up and it worked. The engined started up and I drove home. Ive since cleaned out the throttle body and its connectors. And just yesterday I changed the oil (switched to Royal Purple Synthetic) and, installed a new high performance air filter.

Sadly it seems that the throttle body is not actually the problem because now I'm not even getting the clunky rattle that formerly replaced the idle.
I just really need help! Is it the fuel filter perhaps?

Any thoughts and/or advice would be very much appreciated.

-J


It could have been a coincidence that it started when it did before.

The questions you need to answer now will help interpret your descriptions:

1) Most people mean that the spark plugs ignited gas when they say "The ignition fired". I can't tell if that happened or not, or, whether the rattling and vibration was the starter cranking the engine over, bu the ignition NOT catching and firing....or, if it did fire, but, not smoothly enough to idle.

So - Did gasoline explode, or, was the starter cranking but the ignition not exploding any gas?



2) Is "not getting the clunky rattle" the same as cranking and not catching, or, the same as turning the key and nothing moving, at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TJTJ,
Thanks for the response.

To answer your first question, 1) the starter is cranking. It sounds like the gas really wants to ignite but just isn't.

Second question 2) It is cranking, but not catching.

I wish I could describe this better. This issue is making me more and more aware of "limited knowledge".

-J
 

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TJTJ,
Thanks for the response.

To answer your first question, 1) the starter is cranking. It sounds like the gas really wants to ignite but just isn't.

Second question 2) It is cranking, but not catching.

I wish I could describe this better. This issue is making me more and more aware of "limited knowledge".

-J
OK, what's the difference between 1) and 2)?

:D



I'm sitting here, wondering what gas sounds like when it WANTS to ignite....

vs

What is sounds like when it DOESN'T ignite.

:D



I'm making a leap here, and, guessing it ignited a little (1) , so there were some brief pops of power, but, not enough to be "running"?

and for (2) the starter was turning it over, but there were no brief pops of power.


What do the spark plugs, wires, and inside of the distributor look like?

Do you know the mileage on those parts?



At this point, we usually start to isolate what's missing from the Holy Trinity of engine starting:

Fuel
Spark
Air

If one is missing, it won't start.

So, you need to see if when cranking, the spark plugs are making sparks (You can pull a plug, and crank it (In the dark) to see if a spark is being made (There's 6 plugs).

If there's no sparks (Or not for ALL SIX), well, that's diagnostic right there....and you'd pursue the electronic end of things. (Distributor might be wonky, or, OK, but wires are too old, or wires are OK, but plug is shot, and so forth.)

If its sparking (There's also a firing order, so, make sure the plugs are on the correct wires - an only pull/replace one at a time so you don't mix them up), then check for air...make sure the air filter is clean and the plenum is not cracked (Bottom) or clogged, etc.

If there's a K&N or other oiled filter, use MAF cleaner to GENTLY clean the MAF.

If there's air and spark, pull the injector and see if it squirts go go juice when its supposed to. If not, the fuel pump, injectors, etc, could be a problem, and so forth.

:D
 
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