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I've got a SL AWD with everything but navigation. It's got about 11,000 miles on it. At around 7,000 miles, the engine/starter? started making an undesirable noise everytime I turned the engine over. Conditions have been hot and humid -- summer in the DC area.

Unlike other ignition/starter complaints on this site, the vehicle does turnover. I've never had problems starting it; it just makes this wierd noise (NOT the kind of sound a starter makes if you've ever tried to start a car that's already running; this is more like a high-pitched but soft "whine" mixed with a "chatter" -- it's a weak but noticeable sound).

I've listed this in the knowledge base on this site as well and will report back any findings my next trip to the dealer yields. Stay tuned ...

Anyone else having this problem?
 

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On my 97 Maxima, my starter started making noise too. It happened on cold mornings and the sound would occur after the engine turns over, sort of like the starter never disengaged, and the engine was actually overspinning the starter. The fix is to either regrease the internal gears of the starter or to replace it. The underhood space in the Murano is very tight, I imagine it would be a chore to get at the starter.

I actually regreased my starter on the Maxima, but while reinstalling it, I overtorqued a bolt and it snapped. Ended up having to buy a new starter.
 

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When I took apart my starter on the Maxima, there was no grease in it - the grease pretty much turned into dust over the 5 years I owned the car, and resembled printer toner.

Not to contradict our gearhead friend Enforcer here, but I'm betting on dried up or inadequate grease in the starter rather than a bad bendix or starter gear. On the Maxima boards, there have been many starter failures but no reports of damage to the flywheel. I would imagine the same applies to the Murano which has a similar engine.

There is a good Maxima site with step by step instructions for regreasing the starter:

www.motorvate.ca
 

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I've got my MO since May with 8,500 Km on it. Very happy with so far...except that it has recently (1 week ago) developed the same problem that you'd experience, alaskajen2.

I was just wondering if your problem has been corrected, and what was it exactly?

Thanks.
 

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If you have the same problem I think I'm having, mine only does it when the engine is cold, and not warmed up. It sounds like a loud chattering sound...
 

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starter noise

Hey check this one out my mo has only 300 miles on it and I've noticed a noise in the starter,IT's not your average starter noise either! This just to let you know your not alone!
 

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Sorry EricL. But I am with Enforcer on this one. A 5 5 5 5 year old maxima and a 10,000 mile Murano are 2 different beats.
10-1 its a bad bendix not disengaging.
100-1 its covered under warrantee and we could guess all day and they will still fix it. :p

Just having a little fun. I know what you mean wanting to know what it could be. But really, with such a new vehicle and design and all, who knows. The most likely is the bendix IMHO.

Good luck. Sorry to hear you are having problems.

ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE MAKING ME SICK. I ALMOST WISH I COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB OF TALKING THE WIFE INTO THE NEW 4RUNNER. But both of us loved the old model so much it was a shock to see they changed models and design so much. It was hard to get used to. Either way they would be 1st year designs. I would bet money, the new Toyota has LESS THAN HALF the issues we are having though. /end of rant

Chez
 

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The bendix is the gear that shoots out to connect with the flywheel. Sometimes it gets stuck and doesn't disengage from the flywheel which ins't good.

Chez
 

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Chezman29 said:
Sorry EricL. But I am with Enforcer on this one. A 5 5 5 5 year old maxima and a 10,000 mile Murano are 2 different beats.
10-1 its a bad bendix not disengaging.
100-1 its covered under warrantee and we could guess all day and they will still fix it. :p

Just having a little fun. I know what you mean wanting to know what it could be. But really, with such a new vehicle and design and all, who knows. The most likely is the bendix IMHO.

Good luck. Sorry to hear you are having problems.

ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE MAKING ME SICK. I ALMOST WISH I COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB OF TALKING THE WIFE INTO THE NEW 4RUNNER. But both of us loved the old model so much it was a shock to see they changed models and design so much. It was hard to get used to. Either way they would be 1st year designs. I would bet money, the new Toyota has LESS THAN HALF the issues we are having though. /end of rant

Chez
Actually as I understand it, it was the dried up grease which was preventing the bendix from disengaging from the flywheel. I might be wrong, but I am just reporting what my experience and the experience of dozens of other Nissan owners have found with the Hitachi starters used by Nissan on 4th gen Maximas.
 

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Dried up grease on a FIVE YEAR OLD VEHICLE is what I was saying, compared to one with 10,000 miles on it.
Big difference. I can see dried up grease after 5 years, not 10,000 miles.

Chez
 

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Chezman29 said:
Dried up grease on a FIVE YEAR OLD VEHICLE is what I was saying, compared to one with 10,000 miles on it.
Big difference. I can see dried up grease after 5 years, not 10,000 miles.

Chez
Unfortunately whatever the problem, provided it can be reproduced at the dealership, it will probably be replaced under warranty and the part labeled defective due to an "internal failure." And we will never know why it made the noise to begin with!

When Nissan did a recall for 4th gen Maxima alternators some years ago, mine was on the list. However, my alternator already died a year earlier and was replaced under warranty with a non defective unit. When I had my alternator replaced, the tech just said it was "an internal failure of the alternator." I asked which part was defective? He just replied, "its hard to tell, they do go bad, its man made you know..." I just rolled my eyes and was happy they did the work for free. A year later, the recall was issued, and specifically pointed out a defective diode in the alternator.
 

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Since the mechanic wasn't so nice as to explaining what it was for and what was happening. That diode is part of what they call the diode trio, which helps turns A/C into D/C. Diodes only let electricity go one way, if one goes bad it allows electricty to go the other way. In this case, it allows the electricity to go to ground. At the same time this drains your battery, cause it is connected to this "diode trio" which is part of the voltage regulator.
So in other words your power was being drained due to this bad diode. Sucks when it happens and quite costly since you usually need a new alternator, and a new battery to boot, if it won't hold a charge afterwards.

Chez
 

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Chezman29 said:
Since the mechanic wasn't so nice as to explaining what it was for and what was happening. That diode is part of what they call the diode trio, which helps turns A/C into D/C. Diodes only let electricity go one way, if one goes bad it allows electricty to go the other way. In this case, it allows the electricity to go to ground. At the same time this drains your battery, cause it is connected to this "diode trio" which is part of the voltage regulator.
So in other words your power was being drained due to this bad diode. Sucks when it happens and quite costly since you usually need a new alternator, and a new battery to boot, if it won't hold a charge afterwards.

Chez
That is very interesting. Glad to have your technical knowledge added to this board.
 

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I haven't turned a wrench in a longggggg time since I went to the "other side" and got into a white collar job. But Being a Master Mechanic I did have to learn a lot, so I like to think I retained some of it!!!!

Chez
 

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alaskajen2:

Has the problem been fixed by the dealer yet? If so, what was it? Mine only does it very rarely and only when the engine is cold.
 
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