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Engine turns over but won't start

04 Nissan Sentra It's been cold, I mean really cold and my wife's car has been sitting outside for about 5 days without being driven. Went to start it and it cranks but won't start. It sounds really close but no go. I recently replaced the battery and it's been fine. Radio, etc work. I added heet and still no go. There's about 1/4 tank of gas. ANy suggestions? I have little to no knowledge about cars. Thanks! Mike

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A few suggestions...

If the battery terminals are clean (and they probably are, as you just replaced the battery), and the starter sounds like it's cranking, then there are usually two other things to check for. Gas and spark.
You need both to make the engine run. It's a little involved, though for most do-it-your-selfers, it's a-run- of-the-mill process. You have to see that fuel is getting to the cylinders by disconnecting a gas line and very briefly, repeat, very briefly, crank the engine. If any gas spurts out, you're getting gas to the cylinder. If not, there's a problem with the fuel system. Be sure there is no spark or open flame anywhere nearby. Take the car in to a shop.

The other most likely possibility is that your cylinders are getting no spark. You have to disconnect a spark plug wire and see if you are getting a spark. This is a little more involved. Get a fix-it manual for the in-depth procedure. When checking for a spark, make sure there is no open fuel lines around!

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

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