Car won't start when outside temps are hot

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  #1  
Old 07-15-09, 05:40 PM
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Angry Car won't start when outside temps are hot

1998 Nissan Sentra Automatic 155,000 miles

Car is kept under car port at night. In the morning it starts fine. Once I am at work it sits in the sun all day [temp's in 95-100ยบ+] Around 3pm when I get ready to leave my car will not start. The battery is fine, radio works, air works, lights, etc. When I turn the key nothing happens. After 2-3 hours it will finally start [outside temps have cooled slightly]. I replaced the relay switch but that has not solved the problem. Last time it took over 4 hours to get it to start. Starter is about 2 years old. HELP!!!
 
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Old 07-15-09, 07:12 PM
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Does the key feel like it is harder to turn? I wonder if something is heating up in the steering column. Do you use a sun shade in your windshield? If not maybe try one and see if it will crank after that has been in the window all day. Most all steering columns have some plastic components in them, maybe a combination of wear and heat is allowing something not to make contact. Just my 2 cents, maybe we have a Nissan guy that will chime in and help me.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 07:26 PM
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At first I wasn't using a sunscreen then I started using one & it kinda helped for a day or two. Now it's back to the same thing. I have noticed the column is hot to the touch when I get in. Tomorrow I will cover it with a towel & see if that helps.
There is no difference in the turning of the key. I even tried a spare key thinking the teeth may have worn down. Nope.
Will report back tomorrow PM
 
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Old 07-15-09, 07:33 PM
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Do your test lights come on on the instrument panel when you turn the key on - just the starter doesn't do anything?
 
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Old 07-15-09, 07:46 PM
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All the normal test lights come on on the panel when the key is turned. As I am holding the key in the on position the radio will play, I can turn the air on etc. There just isn't any sound at all. [I have had the battery checked & it's at full charge] The only sound I can hear is when the key is turned to the on position & held there arter a few seconds I can hear a very very faint "thud" That's really not a good example of the sound but the best I can think of to describe it. It's just a light click. You have to really know what you are listening for or you will miss it.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 08:02 PM
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I don't how you are with wrenches, but if you have the battery fully charged, standard procedure is to clean all cable ends - ground to battery and and to frame. The positive from battery to solenoid.

You could have a bad solenoid. If you're in a position to do so, when in a no start you could bypass the the solenoid with a jumper, or you can check those with an ohm meter or continuity tester.

Once your car starts and you shut it off will it start right back up or are you back to square one with the hot temperature thing? How long has it been doing this?
 
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Old 07-15-09, 08:15 PM
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Most time I drive it straight home [20 miles] & it will start up again. Today I got it started & drove it only 3-5 miles. Turned it off, it took me over an hour to get it started again. Now, all that time I am not trying & trying. I wait a few minutes inbetween trys. Too hot to sit in car too long [Texas] This has been going on since last of May but back then it would start in about 15 min. The longer this goes on the longer it takes it to start.
I'm pretty good with wrenches but "just in case" I will get someone to help me tomorrow & do the solenoid test.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 08:22 PM
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It could be in the ignition switch, but that's usually a lot farther down on the frequency list.

A good order of things is normally = cables, battery, solenoid, starter, ignition switch, then wiring. That's not to say something can't happen out of that order, but it's a pretty common order of failure.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 08:33 PM
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Ignition switch is allot easier to change out than a starter. LOL I'm really thinking it's the starter ever though this one is only 2 yrs old. Took son-in-law 3 hours to get it out. Not a job I can do.
 
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