Question about 1990 Nissan 300ZX

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Car mont start. does not turn over

Car will not turn over sounds like there is no spark.

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You need to find out if the problem is related to spark, fuel, or air. First thing - when you turn the key to full electrical power (right before you crank the engine), do you hear the fuel pump kick on? It's a slight whirring sound behind you, and lasts about two seconds. If not, check the fuel pump relay (blue relay in the driver's kickpanel), and check the fusebox to be sure the fuse isn't blown.

If you hear the pump come on, chances are the rest of your fuel system is probably OK (the Z isn't known for common failures of the fuel pressure regulator or leaking injector O-rings). Time to turn to the spark side of the equation.

Unbolt a coilpack (look between the runners of the intake manifold and remove the two 12mm bolts you see, which secure a bracket - that's the coil pack bracket). Pull the coil pack out and remove the spark plug. Put the plug into the coil pack, make sure the coil pack connector is plugged in, and have someone crank the key for just a second, while you hold the coil pack with the spark plug ground touching the manifold. If you have spark, you'll see it flash. If you don't see a spark, there's a very good chance that the power transistor unit (PTU) is dead. This was the one and only recall on the Z32. It's a small black box on the front of the engine, passenger side, bolted to the upper timing cover. It has a 6-7 wire harness coming into one side, and going out the other side. If it dies, your car won't start until it's replaced.

If neither spark nor fuel is the problem, then clean or replace the mass airflow sensor. Also, have the cam position sensor checked (this is the round metal device on the driver's side timing belt cover) - that thing is the root of all Z evil and can cause many different problems with these cars.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

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