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Starts but won’t stay running


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I have a 1978 B210 GX and have had some electrical problems recently. I’m at a point where I have a new alternator and starter and now am having trouble keeping the car running. The car will turn over and start, but when it starts there is a loud grinding sound and goes away when you let off the ignition. If you stop before you hear that sound for a second it will not start. Once it is started however it will only stay running for a few seconds, very poorly too. I’m having trouble diagnosing and trouble shooting and can’t afford to go replacing things that have the slightest connection to the ignition system. I appreciate any help on where I should start looking and what to look for.

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Old starter no grinding...

New starter, grinding.

Thus the change to the new starter is causing the grinding.


Never throw original Nissan parts away. The replacement is always of inferior quality. Often known as bad in the box.


a/ Put the old starter back on. If it was traded in...

b/ Return it for another.

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I still have the old starter and probably will throw it in but the grinding is less of the issue and more if a symptom of the issue. I’ve talked with some more experienced techs and they’ve mentioned it could be a wiring issue from the ignition so that the only signal being sent is to the starter causing it to disengage properly and the engine to not continue running. And the choke flap does close.

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Well did the original starter have problems? Put it in and try it. If it goes away then good and done, the new one is a spare. If you still have problems that are the weak signal from the ignition key then that can be fixed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A worn ignition switch could be the cause of your starter issue; it's a cheap and easy replacement that probably needs replacing regardless. Otherwise I'd drop your transmission and ensure the flywheel isn't damaged and also ensure your engine plate is there between the engine and transmission. 

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