Why Won’t My Nissan Sentra Start?

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Is your Nissan Sentra giving you a great deal of trouble while starting? It could be extremely problematic, especially for your regular commute.

Although Nissan is among the most well-known and well-liked car companies on the market, you should remember that some cars can still have problems.

Just like that, Nissan Sentra has some challenging issues that make driving hard for people.

So if you are wondering why won’t my Nissan Sentra start, then here are some of the most common ones you should be aware of:

  1. Poor Battery
  2. Broken Starter Motor
  3. Fuel System Problems
  4. Worn Spark Plugs
  5. Alternator Issues

To understand all these problems, you must read this article, as I will also explain how you can get rid of them.

What Would Cause A Nissan Sentra To Not Start?

Why is my Nissan Sentra not starting? Find out why

Here are some of the most common issues of the Nissan Sentra that might make your vehicle stop working completely.

So let’s dive into them in full detail!

1: Poor Battery

The most common cause of your Nissan Sentra’s engine not starting as well as starting incredibly slowly is a defective and dead 12v battery.

If the starting issue is related to the battery, further investigation and a battery charge analysis will reveal this.

If a new vehicle battery was installed, it might be possible it hasn’t operated to its maximum potential.

There is nothing to be concerned about. A brand-new battery can only reach its maximum capacity with time.

Or maybe it wasn’t fully charged before the installation. So I’d say make sure you get your new battery fully charged for at least 12 hours.

Furthermore, alternator dysfunction could also be related when it comes to batteries.

Lastly, the battery may be self-discharging dangerously quickly. If the latter is the case, your battery may have reached the end of its useful life and should be replaced.

What Should You Do About It?

  • When the battery is the problem, you first need to check and test the battery voltage by using a multimeter, which is ideal for Nissan Sentra.
  • Use jumper cables and try to jump-start the battery.
  • Some even use batteries from other vehicles that are healthy and working perfectly fine, or you can even try a booster battery to help the vehicle started again.
  • In case of corrosion on the battery, just make sure to clean all the parts.
  • Take your battery to a reputable dealer. If the issue is serious, they will let you know if you should replace the battery or not.

2: Broken Starter Motor

Your Nissan Sentra’s inability to start may clearly indicate that the starter is defective. The fact is that it might also be a sign of other issues.

You might not want to put yourself through the hassle of repairing your starter only to find that it wasn’t even that problematic.

A starter seems to be a motor used to start the Nissan Sentra’s engine that has an average lifespan of between 100,000 miles and 150,000 miles.

After operating the car for a while, the starter motor will eventually fail due to its limited lifespan.

A defective starter frequently clicks but fails to contact the flywheel and the flex plate. A high-pitched whirring noise could signal that the starter on your Nissan Sentra is broken.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Keep an eye on the cable directly connecting the starter to the battery. A burn or other damage preventing it from carrying electricity efficiently should be considered.
  • Try shifting into neutral while starting your Nissan Sentra. If it starts, that might point to a faulty neutral safety switch rather than a defective starter.
  • If the neutral safety switch technique does not work, check the battery to ensure it doesn’t appear damaged.
  • Before removing and replacing the starter, it might be worthwhile to take it to your neighborhood auto parts store and have it tested. This is typically a free service.
  • If the starter is the problem, the engine can start if you crank the key while striking the starter motor with a stick or other metal objects.

3: Fuel System Problems

Your Nissan Sentra’s gasoline filter doesn’t break down mechanically as other parts do.

However, it becomes clogged over time from dirt and other airborne debris. The fuel pressure decreases as the filter’s permeability rises.

To a certain degree, this is unimportant. However, if the fuel filter is way too dirty, the engine would no longer operate at its maximum potential and, in some cases, may not operate.

A broken large fuel filter could be mistaken for a leaky fuel pump. As opposed to a bad fuel filter, recommending a bad pump is a significant issue.

In the clogged fuel filter, there will likely be high pressure on the inside and low pressure on the outside.

Plus, everywhere around, an engine that doesn’t have enough fuel will have low pressure.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you are going to start your car with a poor fuel filtration then make sure your engine is cool. When your car’s engine is cooling down naturally, the fuel pump offers easy dumping.
  • If you press the gas pedal to accelerate, but nothing happens, your fuel filter is probably clogged. Make sure to routinely wash your filters.
  • Replacing the fuel filter every 50,000 miles or five years is how most manufacturers advise doing it.
  • However, many mechanics believe this figure is too high and advise cleaning and upgrading it every 10,000 miles.
  • The frequent replacement of this minor component has to be the main priority because it bears significant responsibility.

4: Worn Spark Plugs

Poor acceleration or hesitancy, harsh idle, engine malfunctions, poor fuel efficiency, illuminated check engine light, banging noise from the engine, and most importantly, hard starting are the most typical symptoms of faulty spark plugs in a Nissan Sentra.

If the spark plugs are seriously damaged, the worst that can happen is that the engine will refuse to start, and your car will not function.

An insufficient spark plug that wears out or contaminates from incorrect combustion could also prevent your Nissan Sentra from starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To start your vehicle, you should check the spark plugs to see how well they are performing so you can also learn about the health of your engine system.
  • The main action you should take is to replace them immediately, as they won’t be able to spark anymore.
  • If your spark plugs aren’t functioning properly, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual and the maintenance schedule to learn what to do.

5: Alternator Issues

In the Nissan Sentra, the engine’s mechanical energy is converted to electricity by the alternator.

While the engine is operating, it charges the battery and powers all of the car’s electrical parts.

Your Sentra’s alternator failing is a serious problem that puts you at risk because the car will have starting problems when it malfunctions, especially on the highway.

The red battery warning light on the dashboard, electrical problems, dim lights, slow cranking, a dead battery, and an engine that stalls are the most typical signs of a broken alternator in a Nissan Sentra.

If you notice these issues in your vehicle and ignore them, you will likely put your car in danger because these issues can create severe problems.

What Should You Do About It?

  • When the engine is running, checking the voltage of the battery terminals is the simplest way to inspect if the alternator is working smoothly or not.
  • If you drive a Nissan Sentra with a damaged alternator, you should know that the battery is necessary for all equipment to operate. If the battery charge drops too low, the engine will shut off, leaving you stranded. So, start by changing the alternator.
  • Use sandpaper or a wire brush to inspect and clean the ground connections because they are prone to corrosion.
  • You can also check the battery terminals, and if you see any corrosion building up, then make sure to clean that before it is too late, and you have no other option but to replace most of the parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The problem could be related to the starter if the battery health is found to be in good condition.

Some of the potential issues are starter motor issue or an issue with the engine’s free rotation.

It may also prevent the car from starting in specific circumstances if the connections to the new battery are not made correctly or tightly so make sure to check them as well.

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

It is possible that the Nissan Sentra might not start even when you try to jump-start it or just simply hear a click sound.

Make sure to check that the jump-starting clamps keep solid contact if all you notice is a click. Moreover, ensure the jump box is completely charged.

The car’s battery may be fully dead. After at least 15 minutes, reconnect the jumper cables and make another attempt.

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

This is typically brought on by a dead battery, faulty connections, broken battery terminals, or perhaps a battery that has failed.

Sometimes the battery does not have enough juice to start the car but it can easily manage the lights. So make sure you check your battery if it’s fully charged before going into more details.

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

The fuel supply is typically to blame for a car that cranks but doesn’t start. Look at your engine’s fuel supply. Possible fuel supply issues for your engine.

Ensure that everything is in order. In addition, your spark plugs might not be getting an electrical spark, which could be why your Nissan Sentra is just cranking.

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

The clicking noise could be because of the weak battery.

No need to panic as most of these issues may be resolved quickly. Make sure to check your battery is fully charged before starting.

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

There are various things that could cause this, but often your Nissan Sentra’s battery would not be able to start the engine when it’s cold.

Deteriorating battery capacity, using improper batteries, or water in the fuel line are some of the causes why you are unable to start your vehicle in cold weather.

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

A jammed EVAP purge control valve is the most typical cause of a car not starting after filling up with gas.

Fuel vapor will enter the intake manifold as a result of this. Poor fuel pumps blocked fuel filters, and bad batteries are some additional prevalent culprits.

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

If you’re unable to start your Nissan Sentra but the radio is working then I personally believe you might have a low battery that doesn’t have enough charge to start your car.

Fixing your battery will resolve the matter.

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


The Nissan Sentra has a unique collection of starting issues, just like every other vehicle on the road.

As usual, the Nissan Sentra owner’s manual contains answers to most of these issues.

This article should have given you some insight into “Why won’t my Nissan Sentra start?”, so I am sure you can get your car fix in no time.

If you are still unable to work out your car then consulting a professional would be a wise decision.