I have a 1994 'L' Nissan Micra 998cc (Micra Dot) that will only start intermittently. When it doesn't work you get a 'clicking' noise from the solenoid and vibrating sound from the internal fuse box (relays I think)and the engine doesn't turn over. With the lights on they dim when you turn the key. I've put in a new battery and I've tried 2 new starter motors/solenoids (solenoid comes attached) to no avail. I tried taking all the fuses out the various fuse boxes except the ignition switch fuse (in the fuse box in front of battery)when it wasn't working and same result (this fuse has no corrosion). It doesn't seem to matter whether the engine is warm or cold.
The car has had the modified cold start wiring loom and two new prev. distributers. I've got it booked in at Nissan on Wednesday but wondered if anyone had any ideas.
I'm thinking you should be looking at the why the relay in the fusebox is buzzing. Relays should not buzz, except for there being a fault present. It could be caused by either a bad contact inside the relay, or a bad feed to it.
If you know which relay does what, or can locate the buzzing one, check to see if it can be swopped with another sharing the same part no. in the fusebox and try again. If the problem still exsists, then it seems like a feed fault.
The relays may be buzzing because the system voltage is going down when you try to start;try all your battery cable connections,measure volts at each end of every part of the battery cables and run an earth cable between battery and engine if there isn't one there.I used to have a Cortina that cranked slowly but started reliably-it turned out in the end to be the starter cable not making a good connection in one of the terminals on the end of it.
In the interior fuse box I think they are relays but there isn't much room to look at them (they are kind of half shielded by the dash, about a cm square), I'll take all the fuses out to get better access. There are 3 and when you put your fingers on all 3 and turn the ignition all 3 rapidly vibrate.
When I put the second new starter motor/solenoid in I cleaned the terminations with wire wool and made sure they were tight.
Apart from the battery connector the main thick earth lead has a chassis connection under the battery base plate and actually
uses one of the starter motor bolts for the engine connection. The positive + thick battery cable appears to go from the
battery straight to the back of the starter motor and this was cleaned/tight. There is also a thinner cable from the positive
that appears to go to the small fuse box in front of the battery (and maybe the small fuse box at the side of the battery)
and then (I think) ends up connecting to the solenoid (it's difficult to tell with all the flexible black piping covering the cables). It's a good connection at the solenoid because I had to re-terminate/crimp because the 2nd starter motor was from an auto factor and had a spade connection rather than screw (like the original and 3rd one (which I got from Nissan)). Anyway I'll check the positive cabling tommorrow. When it's not working I'll check the voltage starting at the battery and working along the positive line, will it drop from +12V as soon as it gets passed the problem (short cct. ?)? Does it sound like the solenoid is only getting a partial voltage ?
Today I checked cable from battery + terminal which went under the fuse box to the left of the battery and ended up at the ignition 30A fuse at the fuse box at the front of the battery the wire had no bare copper or stretches etc. and no corrosion. From the fuse the wire disappears into the loom/black tubing and into the inner wing plate somewhere. Considering there only seems to be the battery, fuse, switch, solenoid and starter motor in the cct I thought I'd swap out ignition switch which made no difference. I put my voltmeter between the negative terminal and the solenoid and got someone to turn the starter key, it was only reading 2v, so do you reckon the other 10v is getting lost due to the feeder cable partially earthing somewhere ? The currents certainly getting drawn somewhere as any lights go out completely and it wouldn't take long for the battery to go flat. It's weird that some times it works and sometimes it doesn't.
Well, got the car back from Nissan today and guess what the (new) battery I had put on in the first place was a dud !! I had found it difficult to believe when Nissan said it was the battery but I took it back to the supplier who confirmed it was dud.