Why Won’t My Nissan Maxima Start?

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The Nissan Maxima is your best bet if you are in the market for a four-door sports car.

It checks all the right boxes, making it a sedan that is family-friendly and packs a lot of power under the hood.

It has been in production since 1981 and has been loved by people since its inception. It might be a great car, but the Maxima is far from perfect.

There have been complaints here and there, with one being related to the engine refusing to start.

Many owners of the sedan have been left wondering, “Why won’t my Nissan Maxima start?”. The good news is that I have the answer. The bad news is it is divided into parts.

Let’s take a look at all the possible reasons:

  1. Weak Battery
  2. Corrosion On The Terminals
  3. Faulty Spark Plugs
  4. Clogged Fuel Filter
  5. Failing Fuel Pump

These are the most common reasons leading to the sedan not starting.

This article will be going through the details of all of these reasons, so you can finally narrow down the source of the issue.

What Would Cause A Nissan Maxima To Not Start?

Let's troubleshoot the Nissan Maxima turning over issues

You may be frustrated, getting late, or just wanted to reach home for a good night’s sleep. But your Nissan Maxima is not letting you do that.

After you finish this article, you will surely be on your merry way.

1: Weak Battery

If your Nissan Maxima refuses to start, you may need to check the battery. The battery is located under the hood and is made of several cells.

The battery is connected to the starter motor, turning the engine to get it started. If one cell in the battery has been damaged, it will not be able to provide enough power for your car to start.

Damage is not the only reason that can cause a battery to fail. Maybe it just reached the end of its lifespan, usually 4 to 5 years. Or it could simply be that it is drained.

When it comes to your Maxima’s battery, there could be many reasons for what could have gone wrong. So, it is better not to assume anything and take things one step at a time.

What Should You Do About It?

  • There are many ways you can try to fix the issue. The first thing you should do is connect a charger to the battery.
  • Leave the car overnight, which will hopefully charge the battery enough that it will be able to turn over the engine.
  • If that is not possible, you need a set of jumper cables and a car with a good battery. Hook it up with your battery and start the engine.
  • If you’ve tried everything else, and your battery is still dead and won’t take charge, you should probably replace it.

2: Corrosion On The Terminals

Corrosion on the terminals of your battery can cause it to not hold a charge.

This is a common problem with older batteries and is caused by chemicals in the battery working their way into the terminals, causing them to rust over time.

The issue grows slowly, and at first, you may notice odd behavior, such as the infotainment system glitching or the lights flickering.

This is because the corrosion prevents the proper flow of electricity, which leads to the car’s electrical system not working as intended.

If not addressed promptly, the corrosion can increase because the battery cannot send enough current to start the engine, which may very well be the issue with your Nissan Maxima.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Fortunately, corrosion is something that can be fixed in most cases. It is just a layer of hardened chemicals that can be broken through.
  • You may be wondering how. The answer is vinegar and baking soda. You must create a solution for the two and apply it to the battery’s terminals.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then use a wire brush to scrape away the corrosion.
  • You will see a lot of residues, which means the process worked. Try turning the key to the car after that, and hopefully, it will start right up.
  • In some cases, the corrosion is too intense and cannot be scraped away. As terminals cannot be replaced, it is better to replace the battery altogether.
  • Opting for an AGM battery is smart as the risk of corrosion with it is zero, thanks to the completely sealed design.

3: Faulty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are tiny metal devices inside the cylinder head of your car. They are part of a series of spark plugs that work together to ignite your engine’s air/fuel mixture so it can burn.

If a spark plug wears out or breaks down, it won’t fire properly and won’t produce enough energy to ignite fuel entering its combustion chamber.

This could cause several issues with your car. Your Nissan Maxima may stall in the middle of the road, or it may not start up because fuel cannot be ignited.

This issue does arise after spark plugs have been used for their recommended lifespan. The number varies according to the quality of plugs you have installed in your vehicle.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace your spark plugs with new ones.
  • If you don’t have any on hand and are near an auto parts store, you can buy some cheap ones and install them yourself.
  • If not, you can order replacements online or through your local dealership.
  • It is recommended to buy only platinum or iridium spark plugs.
  • These are the best qualities available, and you will certainly benefit from their long lifespan.
  • Iridium plugs have an estimated lifespan of 100,000 miles or even more, which is truly excellent.
  • Make sure to replace all plugs simultaneously, as others may be nearing the end of their lifespan too.

4: Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter in your Nissan Maxima is a relatively simple component, but it’s still important. It’s where the fuel gets filtered before leaving the fuel tank and getting to the engine.

The filter ensures that these contaminants don’t enter the engine, as they can wreak havoc on it.

There is no estimated lifespan of these filters because it solely depends on the quality of fuel that is being put into your Maxima.

The filter will get clogged up quickly if it is too contaminated. Regardless, this issue is low and usually happens to pretty old vehicles or those driven a lot.

A clogged filter can result in the car not starting and stalling too. This is particularly dangerous as you can be in a serious accident if this happens at high speeds.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If there is a clogged fuel filter, what should you do about it? Well, if possible, clean the filter yourself before calling someone else in for help.
  • This can save time and money, especially if you are in a hurry.
  • However, if you don’t know how to do this, then you need to make sure that you contact a mechanic for help. He will replace the filter.
  • The good news is that a new filter does not cost much, and the process is not too tricky. So, you don’t have to worry about high labor costs.
  • It should not be considered a permanent solution, even if you resort to cleaning the filter.
  • You should find time to replace the filter as soon as possible, so you don’t have issues starting your Nissan Maxima.

5: Faulty Fuel Pump

If your Nissan Maxima having starting issues, it could be because of a faulty fuel pump. The fuel pump is responsible for sending gas to your engine and getting it running.

If this part stops working, you may experience a lack of power when trying to start your vehicle.

This issue can be caused by one of two things: an electrical or mechanical problem with the pump itself.

If you suspect that your fuel pump is the culprit, I recommend having it checked by a professional mechanic or auto parts store to determine what is the best course of action.

I put the fuel pump on this list because it has a very low chance of failure. It usually happens on older vehicles.

Yes, the fuel pump has a limited lifespan, and most people don’t keep their cars long enough to reach that end, which is why it is reported about less.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you’ve determined that your fuel pump is faulty and needs to be replaced, have a professional do it.
  • Certain things can cause problems with your car and make it more difficult for you to fix yourself, including the fuel pump.
  • You must ensure that it is installed correctly, or not starting up will be the least of your Nissan Maxima’s issues.
  • Another thing to note is that fuel pumps are not cheap. As they are a critical part of all vehicles, except for electric ones, they are pretty pricy.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The new battery may be low on charge.

If you’ve recently replaced the battery, it’s possible that it hasn’t had enough time to fully charge.

To remedy this, try charging the battery by hooking it up to a charger for a few hours.

If that does not work, something else, such as the starter motor, prevents your Nissan Maxima from starting.

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

The reason your Nissan Maxima cannot start even with a jump is due to corrosion on the terminals.

The problem is that this can create a barrier preventing current from passing through the terminal and into your car’s battery.

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

If the lights in your Nissan Maxima are working, but the car is not staring, the problem may not be with the battery.

The starting system of a car is made up of many parts that work together to start the engine.

If one part of this system fails, it can prevent your Maxima from starting. It could be the starter motor or the ignition system.

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

There are a few different things that could be causing your Nissan Maxima to not start but just crank. The first is worn-out spark plugs. Another possibility is a clogged fuel filter.

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

If your Nissan Maxima refuses to start, it could be due to a dead battery or an issue with the electrical system. A dead battery is usually easy to troubleshoot and fix.

If the problem is not related to a dead battery, it could be due to blown fuses or a worn-out starter motor. They can also result in the clicking sound.

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

Your current battery may have fewer cranking amperes (CA) than batteries designed for cold temperatures. CA is the amount of power a battery can deliver at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Batteries designed for cold temperatures have higher CA ratings because they need more power to start your car in a cold climate.

You need to get one that has at least 800 CA for a reliable startup.

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

The fuel filter might have finally clogged and is not letting any fuel through.

Or the fuel pump could have failed, which is not likely. If any of these cause issues, you may need to replace them.

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

The first thing to check is your battery. If it’s low on charge, you may have left the lights on overnight.

If that doesn’t seem to be the issue, you may have a problem with your alternator not charging the battery properly.

The battery charge may have gotten to the point that the radio works, but it does not have enough power to start the engine.

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


If you’re having these starting problems, don’t worry! You can fix these.

The most common reason for your question, “Why won’t my Nissan Maxima start?” is a bad battery. But that is not always the case.

You need to check every single thing, so you can narrow down the issue.

You will then finally be able to use the correct solution without wasting time and money on replacing parts that were just fine.

I hope that this article gave you all the information you need.