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Another Car Won't Start Thread

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While driving home from work, my R32 died.  Dash lights lit up and it stalled.  It fired back up and then died again a few seconds later.  No crazy sounds.  The weird thing is that the dash lights and radio lights turn on when you head light knob, but nothing else turns on.  If you try and start it, nothing happens.  No clicking, no fuel pump priming, nothing.  

This happened once about 6 months ago and I took it to a mate in town to check it out.  It fired right up for him and the problem couldn't be duplicated.  Couldn't make it stall again.  I feel like it's an electrical issue somewhere, but unsure where to start other than fuses.  The clock has always been intermittent since I have owned the car.  It comes on when first started, but eventually just turns off.  This morning, it came on and off 4 or 5 times which lead me to believe something was up.  This evening is when the issues started.  The car also has a "flicker" issue that I have always noticed.  The headlights will flicker every 5-30 seconds, but there is no consistency to it.  My wife doesn't see it, but it's obvious to me.  

Has anyone had a similar issues?  I've searched and found issues w/fuel pumps, alternators, batteries, etc.  The big thing that seems different is that with all these issues, the car at least tries to turn over.  Wondering if it's some random ground wire somewhere.

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For not attempting to start: Firstly, check the fuses on driver's side. There are some unhelpfully named ones like "Electronics" that actually supply power to modules like the ECU.

Over near the ECU will be 1 (or 2...) blue relays.  One of them is the "ECCS" relay which turns the ECU on. Depending on how comfortable you are with electronics you can use a multimeter to confirm the power and trigger wire have 12v when the ignition is on (and from memory the other just goes to earth so you can test that for continuity too). If not a word of that made sense, just touch the relay when someone turns on the ignition for you and you should feel a physical click.  If not either the relay or it's wiring is a problem and the ECU will not turn on, which means it will not signal the fuel pump to prime. Easiest way to check that is swap that blue relay with something from the engine bay relay box that you don't need to start the car, eg Air Con 

For: "The weird thing is that the dash lights and radio lights turn on when you head light knob, but nothing else turns on."

I don't really understand that. If the key is OFF and you turn on the headlights, all the dash (and tail) lights also turn on, and nothing else in the car should.

2nd possibility, it could just be a loose major connection. Check both battery terminals are tight and clean, and that the little distribution block at the positive terminal has all it's wires seated properly. On my GTR this connection was very loose and caused some intermittent problems, after all these connections have been bumping along for 30 years now. The only thing against this theory is that the car should run fine with a battery or battery connection issue once it starts because the alternator provides all the power and the battery is just getting charged. Also if it was a battery terminal issue the headlights should not work when the car does not start. But still....easy to check.

Last idea from me, it could be a faulty key barrel. Is it nice and tight when you turn it or is there a little play in the key. It is one of the largest switches in the car and can also be tested with a multimeter if necessary. With OFF there should be no 12v at ACC, IGN or Start. At ACC there should be power at ACC. At IGN there should be power at ACC and IGN. At Start there should be power at both Start wires and IGN but not at ACC.

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All the above is valid.  Easiest 1st step is to simply rotate all the fuses in their clips in the fuse box, in case there's some corrrosion causing a poor connection.  I have had to do that more than once to clear weird intermittent elec gremlins.

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Looks like it was that block on the positive terminal.  Everything looks secure but it fired right up after I checked it over.  Weird.  Thanks for the assist!

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