Nissan Sentra Cranks But Won’t Start


Why does my Nissan Sentra engine crank but not turn on? The Sentra engine is turning over but won’t fire up. In other words the starter activates and engages the flywheel, and the crankshaft rotates but will not turn on.

What are the main causes of no-start conditions, particularly when the engine cracks but wont start. My Nissan is a 2014 Sentra SR 4-Cylinder.

Update: Got my car working again. I changed this part and it started running again. 

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Clark 3 years 2021-01-15T20:12:35+00:00 2 Answers 3999 views Beginner 3

Answers ( 2 )


    Nissan Sentra Cranks But Won’t Start

    When a Nissan Sentra cranks but won’t start, it means that when you try to engage the ignition to start the motor, it does not fire up completely, but you can hear a clicking sound of the starter attempting to crank the engine.

    In addition to electricity-creating components, your car needs sufficient fuel, spark, compression, and a proper power supply to start up. If any of these components fail, the Nissan Sentra engine won’t engage, and your car won’t start.

    1.Weak or no spark

    A spark is an essential component of the ignition process. When there is no spark, or the spark is weak, there will be no explosion to create the downward push of the piston required to turn the crankshaft. A weak spark or lack of a spark often results from a bad sensor, cracked rotor or distributor cap, damaged coil, faulty wires, or faulty spark plugs.

    2.Insufficient fuel

    Fuel helps create an explosion with the spark. Without sufficient fuel your Nissan Sentra can’t start. To avoid this, ensure that you use the correct fuel and that the gas tank has sufficient fuel. Make sure that the fuel is not more than six months old or contaminated with water. If everything with the fuel seems to be in order, the problem could be a faulty sensor, clogged filter, bad fuel pressure regulator, blown fuel pump fuse, a defective fuel pump, or the fuel pressure.

    3. Low compression

    Compression helps create enough pressure during the explosion for the crankshaft to turn and power the wheels. Therefore, your car might fail to start due to low compression. Low compression is often due to a faulty timing belt, damaged lifters or camshaft, or bad piston rings. Check the camshaft to ensure that it hasn’t snapped, and the timing belt to make sure that it is not off the rack, broken, or loose.

    4. Power supply problems

    A weak starter that cranks the engine using many amps then does not have enough juice remaining to switch on the ignition system and fuel injectors may also cause a crank but no start. In such a scenario, you might notice an unusual noise coming from the starter when you try to crank the Nissan engine, or it fails to turn over.

    A dying battery or corroded or weak battery cables could be an issue as well. Ensure that the voltage of the Nissan Sentra battery is more than 12.6 volts. You can check this using a multimeter while cranking the engine.

    Inspect your car for damaged fuses by visually removing and checking the wiring of each fuse when the engine is off. If everything seems to be in order, put them back and attempt to ignite the engine. Check the electrical current flow of each fuse using a test light. If there are any damaged fuses, replace them with new ones.


    If a Nissan Sentra cranks but will not turn on make sure the battery is fully charged. Make sure battery cable connections are tight and there is fuel in the tank. Establish if there is spark and electrical power is reaching the fuel pump and the pump activates and operates correctly. You could also check fuel pressure. Let me know what you find and then I can give you more info.

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