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Nissan Primera P12 2.2 Di starter motor wont turn

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covjek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote covjek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Nissan Primera P12 2.2 Di starter motor wont turn
    Posted: 04 Mar 2019 at 8:18pm
Hello lads! i have a problem with my 2.2 Di which i hope you men of wisdom can remedy. Last week i went out and parked my car, and when i got back the blo**y thing wouldn't start! Everything seems normal but the starter motor fails to turn over.  Luckily it came to senses after an hour or so and i was on my way. But today the story turned grim. After waiting half a day for it to awake i decided it was time for the spanner. So i took down the starter motor, cleaned everything and bench tested it. Turns out it spins nicely and the problem lies elsewhere. I also discovered i can start the car no problem by bringing power directly from the battery to the tab terminal on the starter solenoid. Once started it drives and handles normally (no warning lights, cutting out or stalling). NATS light is off, and earth contacts (the big ones at least) are clean and free of corrosion. Could anyone suggest what could cause the wire on the starter solenoid (the yellow/black one) to not get power after the ignition is turned to START? Where in the cabin does that wire go so i can check for continuity? Is there a relay that it connects into? Thank you in advance! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote imckay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 7:20am
Have you got the Service Manual ?

You want PrimeraP12.zip
See Chapter K Electrical, SC Starting and Charging, Page SC 22 and 24 for wiring diagram.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote covjek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 8:49am
Thank you for your reply! I see from the schematics that the start wire goes into something called Smart Entry Control Unit. From what i understand, this controls central locking and recieves signal from door-ajar switches. Could this unit disable starting the car? I fail to see any practical use of it doing so if the NATS recognizes the key. Oh well, back to the drawing board i guess. I'm resolute to get to the bottom of this, will keep digging and report on the progress as i get along.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imckay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 11:33am
You will get a NATS Light (Key Symbol I think) if the SECU is stopping the Car from Starting.

You may have a faulty Ignition Switch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote covjek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 12:39pm
That would make sense. It seemed a bit odd for something to block the ignition and have no indicator tell you about it. Good idea about the ignition switch, haven't thought about that. Better test the basics first. Thanks a ton mate, will get back with the progress.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote covjek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 6:28pm
So as it turns out, it was the SECU that was buggered after all. After thorough examination of the loom leaving the starter switch (which is ok btw), i found out the wire coming out of the SECU (#59 on the wiring schematic) and going to the starter motor solenoid wasn't energized when the key was turned to START position. Wire #58 feeding that circuit from the starter switch normally delivered power to the SECU but for some reason the relay on the circuit board refused to kick in. Therefore, i devised a simple solution. I took the power coming from the #58 wire and diverted it to my new outside relay which switches on the #59 circuit effectively bypassing the SECU altogether without it even knowing it. Car now starts and drives like nothing happened. As to what is the real reason for the unit being knackered in the first place, i'll get back to it when i have the time. Oh yes, one could avoid putting a relay on the #58&#59 circuits and just solder a piece of bridging wire, but that way it's putting unnecessary strain on the starter switch. Will get back with more info and/or photos if anyone is interested.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imckay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 8:45pm
Nice fix Thumbs Up

Yes. Please post some Photos and Info.

I presume it is one of the Relays on the Left of this Pic?
Are you planning on replacing the faulty Relay?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote covjek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2019 at 6:34am
I'll post pictures as soon as i get around to, Primera is my daily driver so it'll have to wait for the weekend. In the meantime I'll draw up a scheme of what i did and post it here. As for tinkering with the SECU, i will certainly get back to it just to figure out what is going on. To tell you the truth, even if i figure it out in the end, i much more prefer it to stay the way i have it now, independent of some 20p worth of whimsy electronics. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timeshock! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2019 at 6:47pm
That whimsy electronics prevent you car being stolen, it is part of the anti theft system
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petterg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2019 at 11:39pm
If the SECU blocking starter from turning is a anti theft feature, then it shouldn't be possible to push start the engine in this condition. As push starting works, it don't see any issue with having the starter circuit bypassing the SECU unit.

Strange thing: My P12 did the same thing on (nearly?) the same date as Covjek!

The story of my starter:
All winter starter has been slow turning, but always starting. It's cold and battery is 8 years old, so I blamed the battery without actually checking anything.
One evening i january I parked outside a shop and vent in for 5 minutes. When I got back starter was dead, no sound of it trying to turn over at all. I figured I would try to push start the car. Well, it was snowing heavily and even with help we could not even push the car out of the parking. So I put it in 6th gear and jiggled the car a bit forward and backward. Then tried the starter, and it started.

On February 26th the same thing happened again, 2000km from home, barely any tools in the trunk, in a country where noone speaks english. But this time pushing in 6th gear did not help. With the help of random people we push started the car. I typed "battery" in google maps and found a place that only sell car batteries. One guy there happened to speak English. He put a voltmeter and a 0,3ohm resistor over the battery. Pretty simple way to test battery starting capacity. He concluded that the battery was not a problem. Then he called a friend in a company named "Starter". Well, you guessed it - that company is highly specialized they only replace starter motors! They had a refurbished starter in stock that would fit, so the guys at the batteryshop pushed me out of their parking lot and I drove to "Starter".

At Starter the guy came out to look at the problem, but here the car started every time we tried. I was told via google translate to come back the next morning.

That evening I was smart enough to park on the top of the only hill for miles, cause the next morning the car didn't start. And trust me, pushstarting a cold diesel engine in winter takes a lot more than a hot engine. I pushran the car, jumped in, failed to start, jumped out, running, pushing, jumping in, jumping out.... finally, 5m before the bottom of hill, it started and I could drive to Starter.

They took the starter out and disassembled it. The brushes were almost not existing. The contact plate in the magnetic switch on the starter was nearly broken in half. Surely the problem was located, I though. New (refurbished) starter in, and car started perfectly. It was no longer slow turning over either.

10 days later, starter did not turn over. Not even the sound of the magnetic switch. I'm sure I had the sound of the magnetic switch when testing at the batteryshop.

The car was push started, and has be working ever since. But I try to park front down anywhere I see a hill.

I've been thinking in the same path as Covjek - either bypass the SECU, or bypass the starter switch. But what I'll end up doing (when/if I get home) is to put a switch under the hood that connects the starter terminal directly to the battery. This will bypass everything. So if the problem occurs again, I have a workaround that will work even if the source of the problem is not truly identified.

If/when the problem becomes more frequent, I'll be able to do a better debug than now where it can be weeks between its occurrences.
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