Nissan Altima Not Starting: Likely Causes & How to Fix It

One of the most frustrating situations you can face as a Nissan Altima owner is when your car fails to start, especially when you have an important appointment to catch.

Regardless of how strong or efficient you think your Altima is, this is likely to happen on, at least, a few occasions during its lifespan. And when this happens, the cause is sometimes obvious and sometimes hard to find.

In this post, we’ll be looking at the most likely reasons why your Nissan Altima won’t start as well as tips on how to fix the problem on your own.

Nissan Altima Not Starting: Common Causes & What You Should Do

nissan altima not starting

1. Weak or Dead Battery

The first thing that should come to your mind if your Altima is not starting or cranking is the battery. There are loads of things that could be wrong with the battery. The number one thing, and perhaps the easiest, is to check that the battery is not weak.

If the battery is dead or weak, then the car wouldn’t start. Before you take a further step, you need to be sure that the battery is not weak or dead. The easiest way to know this is probably the issue is if the car cranks slowly but wouldn’t start.

How to Fix

Jump Start – If you have figured that the main reason your car is not starting is that the battery is dead, then you might need to jumpstart the battery using jumpstart cables connected to a strong and healthy battery from another car.

You can also use a battery booster to boost up the Altima battery. All you need do is connect the red wire to the positive terminal of your car battery and then to the positive of the other car battery you are looking to use to boost the battery. Then connect the black cable to the negative terminal of the other vehicle, and then connect it to the metal by the engine bay of your car. Once this is done, you can then start the other vehicle and then start your car. Once it starts, remove the connecting cables.

Test the Battery – If you have a feeling that the car battery is not completely dead, you might want to test the voltage of the battery. You can get a multimeter or get a professional to help measure the voltage of the battery. Usually, a healthy battery should range between 12 volts – 13 volts. If you measure the voltage and it is less than 11 volts or greater than 14 volts, then you might need a professional to check the battery.

2. Battery Corrosion

Another thing that can lead to the Altima not starting is corrosion of the battery terminals. Usually, when there is corrosion in parts of the battery contact, it leads to a reduction in the flow of current to and fro the battery. This in turn leads to the car not starting.

The easiest way to identify if this is the problem of the car is to inspect the battery contact. Inspect the two battery terminals for corrosion. If you discover light cracks and white deposits all you might need to do is clean the contact.

How to Fix

All you need to do, if this is the case, is to clean the terminals of the battery. To do this effectively, you might need to remove the pole cable, taking out the black cable first, then unplug the red cable. Clean the terminals very and fix them back.

3. Fuel Pump Issues

If your Altima is not starting, it could also be a result of a bad fuel pump. Usually, if the fuel does not function as expected, the car might not start. The fuel pump makes sure fuel gets to the expected parts of the car. If this is not functioning as much, then the car might not start. This usually comes with a sign – generally, if your car has been stopping often while in motion, then it is a sign the fuel pump is bad.

If this is the case, you might need to get the car checked by a professional to help change or fic the fuel pump.

4. Failed Alternator

If there is a case of a failed alternator, the car wouldn’t start. This is a slightly more serious issue than the previously mentioned possibilities. If the alternator is not functioning well, the battery wouldn’t charge, which means the car would not start. Even if you change the battery, or jumpstart the battery, it does not proffer a long term solution as the battery will also run out in no time. If this is the case, there is a need for the alternator to be changed.

Some other factors that could lead to the Nissan Altima not starting include:

  • Issues with Starter Motor
  • Issues with Spark Plugs
  • Engine Failure


Some of the tips in this article can help you get your Nissan Altima back on the road. But it’s all down to the cause of the problem. If the problem is more complex or difficult than you can handle, or things just get confusing, your best bet is to hire a mechanic.