Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start?

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It is impressive to see how much the Nissan Frontier is regarded as a high-quality vehicle. Especially, when there is a lot of competition in this particular market for pickup trucks.

Like many other competitor pickup trucks, this one also faces some issues with its starting up sometimes.

These problems can even appear completely suddenly, making the question pop into your mind “Why won’t my Nissan Frontier start?”.

The answer to this question can range anywhere from issues in the fuel system to the electrical system.

Common startup problems found in the Nissan Pickup can be from one of the following:

  1. Fuel/Fuel Pump Failure
  2. Dead Battery/Low Charge
  3. Alternator Issues
  4. Starter Problems
  5. Overheating

It can be relatively difficult to locate the source of the problem that may be causing your vehicle to be unable to start up.

I recommend reading this article to the end to get as much information as possible.

What Would Cause A Nissan Frontier To Not Start?

Find out what causes your Nissan Frontier not to run

Generally speaking, the main source of the Nissan Frontier not being able to start up can be traced back to the five problems above, which will be discussed in detail.

However, other factors may also be the cause, so if this does not help, getting a mechanic involved is a good idea.

1: Fuel/Fuel Pump Failure

First and foremost, you need to check whether your Nissan Frontier has fuel in its tank.

Due to any reason, it is quite possible that you may not have gotten your vehicle refueled and might have forgotten about it.

If that is not the case for you, you might want to check the truck’s fuel pump. For the engine to work properly, it needs to be provided with adequate fuel to start up.

If the fuel pump does not provide enough fuel to the engine, you may not be able to start your vehicle’s engine.

This is especially true if you can audibly hear the fuel pumps whine as the car starts, which indicates that something is wrong with the fuel pumps.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Make sure you can hear any clicking noises when you attempt to start the engine.
  • If the engine can sputter a little under acceleration when attempting a startup, the fuel pump does not provide enough pressure.
  • The sputtering could mean clogging in the fuel pipes, which is cheaper to fix.
  • However, if there is no response from the engine whatsoever, that means that the fuel pump is dead, and you need to get a replacement for it.
  • Replacing the fuel pumps is much more economical than getting them fixed and far more reliable.

2: Dead Battery/Low Charge

As is the case for any vehicle, the Nissan Frontier included, the battery is the most important component when it comes to being able to start up your vehicle’s engine.

This is because the battery is responsible for providing the spark, which acts as the initial ignition for the fuel.

Other than that, the battery is also responsible for the lights and computer components, etc.

So, if you face dim lights now and then, it is a sign that your vehicle’s battery is going out of charge.

What Should You Do About It?

  • A voltage test can help you identify whether or not the battery is the problem causing the engine to not start.
  • It is a good idea to have jumper cables in your vehicle at all times in case your battery is the reason you are unable to start your vehicle.
  • If your battery is not dead but simply out of charge, you might be able to just get it charged up by any automobile store. This is usually the case if you have not driven the car for a while.
  • If the battery is damaged, you may take it to the shop to see if it can be repaired. Most stores will usually exchange for a new battery at a heavy discount.
  • It is best to try and keep the terminals dry or oiled up, so there is no corrosion.

3: Alternator Issues

A faulty alternator can be quite difficult to spot as many people mistake the issue for being in the battery.

Since the alternator is the vehicle component responsible for the charging of the battery, a faulty one can mean that your battery slowly loses charge over time.

The alternator cannot provide enough power to the battery to charge it properly, leading to people assuming the battery is to blame and getting a jumpstart to replace it entirely.

The alternator works by converting the direct current, from mechanical energy gained by fuel combustion, to alternating current.

Other vehicle components, such as the battery and lights, use this.

If you frequently suffer from a low-powered battery, this may warrant a trip to the mechanic to check your Nissan Frontier’s alternator.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your battery is well charged and provides an adequate amount of power, then there is a high possibility that the issue is related to the alternator.
  • It is recommended to get your vehicle checked by professionals regarding alternator-related issues.
  • A professional can help you decide whether you should get your alternator repaired or replaced.
  • As it is a complicated component to deal with, it is almost always better and much more efficient to just get a replacement for the faulty alternator.
  • Make sure to regularly clean the alternator so any damage to it can be prevented in the future.

4: Starter Problems

The starter in the Nissan Frontier is located just behind the oil change gauge near the front of the engine block.

Connected right next to the intake manifold, the starter can be seen with an electrical wire connected to it which runs through some tubing.

This component is another major cause for your vehicle’s inability to start properly. If it is the cause, it is generally presented with a clicking noise whenever the key is turned.

Moreover, this noise is generally not a repeating one; it happens only once.

It can be either because of a damaged starter motor or some object that might be stuck in the armature or solenoid of the starter.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Unless you are a professional, trying and repairing this component yourself is not recommended.
  • Given its high complexity, there is a high chance that you might damage the starter or any other components it is connected to, like the intake manifold.
  • Again, as with the alternator, a professional can help you identify whether it is even worth it to get the starter repaired or not.
  • You should regularly check the starter motor after getting it repaired to ensure it is working properly.
  • Be sure your vehicle is not heating up, as that can be one of the main causes of a damaged starter motor.

5: Overheating

This is a problem that any vehicle can face. This is something that you will see in any machinery. Overuse it, and it will get overheated and lose its proper functioning.

The Nissan Frontier is no stranger to this problem either, as you can easily overwork a lot of the components, which can lead to the car overheating.

There are many ways that you can spot whether your vehicle is overheating or not.

Firstly, there is the much obvious engine temperature light. If that light is flashing, then it is a good idea for you to give your vehicle a break and see what is happening.

It can be a bad radiator or a blown gasket. Either way, if the truck overheats too much, there is a high chance that it might damage components that are used to help the engine startup.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Make sure that the radiator is in good condition. This is the component that is necessary for keeping the engine cool.
  • Check to see if the coolant is easily accessible to all parts of the engine that it is supposed to reach. If either component fails to cool adequately, your truck will overheat.
  • Coolant leakage could also be part of the problem, so inspect for any signs of coolant leaks and patch them up as soon as possible.
  • A major symptom of overheating is the engine dying immediately after startup, followed by white smoke.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start With New Battery?

Please make sure that the battery is properly installed as there is a chance that it might not be for some reason.

If you are certain that the battery is installed properly, then the battery might not be the source of your Nissan Frontier being unable to start up.

Q2. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start Even With A Jump?

Jump starting is a good fix for battery issues. However, if you are unable to do so, you might want to check if there is any sort of corrosion.

If there is not, then this usually points to there being a problem with the Nissan Frontier’s ignition system.

Q3. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start But Lights Work?

The short answer is that this is definitely the battery being on low charge. The lights do not require as much energy as the start-up.

This should be a clear indication that your battery is low on charge. Jumpstarting or replacing the battery should be viable solutions.

Q4. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start But Cranks?

Cranking is a clear indication that the electrical system of the vehicle is working as intended.

The electrical systems should be in order, but issues in the fuel or ignition systems could exist.

It is recommended that you get the mechanical components checked to figure out what the actual issue is.

Q5. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start Just Clicks?

If you hear the sound of clicking while failing to start your Nissan Frontier, the problem is most definitely related to the electrical system.

The problem can be in one or more components, such as in the alternator or the starter motor, and could even be in the ignition system.

Q6. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start In The Cold Weather?

There can be a variety of factors that result from the cold, which can prevent your Nissan Frontier from starting up.

The cold weather may cause there to be water in the fuel lines due to condensation. Freezing of components may also be the case which may result in them not being able to turn.

Q7. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start After I Get Gas?

As mentioned above in the article, this can be because of a faulty fuel pump being unable to provide adequate fuel pressure for your Nissan Frontier to be able to start up.

This lack of pressure can also be because of there being some sort of blockage in the fuel lines. It can also be bad quality fuel.

Q8. Why Won’t My Nissan Frontier Start But Radio Works?

Once again, it is safe to say that electrical components like the radio require much less power to work as compared to the ignition system.

If you are unable to start this one, but your radio works, you might need to get your battery charged or replaced.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Nissan Frontier?


In the end, despite being an excellent pickup truck, there are cases where users are left scratching their heads thinking, why won’t my Nissan Frontier start?

I have done my best to explain as many of the main problems that may be causing this startup issue in this article.

Hopefully, it can help you fix your Nissan Frontier, or at least provide you with the necessary information to give you critical insight on what could be the problem.

Moreover, I hope this article was able to help you save valuable time when it comes to checkup costs and repairs.