You think it would be safe to assume that replacing the conventional ignition switch with a push button start, you would avoid issues with the switch failing and the starter motor remaining engaged due to continuous power supplied to the solenoid.
Well that is not the case when it comes to the K13 Nissan Micra 1.2 2010 onwards. There has been a rising number of starter motors failing prematurely on this vehicle. Initially we noticed that 95% of the old core we were receiving was burnt out and over a period of time we began to see a rise in premature warranty failures.
Obviously it was safe to say that the failure of these starter motors was not a manufacturing defect, but the failure was being caused due to an external fault.
We have now found that there has been recalls issued against over 12000 models including those of the Nissan Juke, Leaf and Note.
Recall 1 - affecting the Micra, Juke, Leaf and Note – The push start switch has a known fault which remains in the pressed position and not returning after the engine has been started. This has the same result as a worn ignition switch base where constant power is distributed via the exciter/energiser wire, causing the starter motor to run in mesh and result in it burning out.
Recall 2 - Affecting the Micra K13 and Note E12 – There is an advised fault with the ignition coil which can cause a short circuit to occur. This can result in the vehicle being unable to restart again and result in excessive cranking of the starter motor. This vehicle fault causes the starter motor to burn out.
When replacing the starter motor please inspect the starter motor for the following signs which will indicate it is burnt out and the above faults need investigating and rectifying;
Blue colour on the gear shaft and pinion area
Rattling inside the starter motor when shaken indicating components have exploded
Burnt smell from starter motor/Varnish or insulation leak
Damaged pinion teeth/Broken nose cone
Burnt/discoloured/melted broken wire from solenoid to starter body
Starter motors fitted to the above vehicles will not be accepted under warranty if returned burnt out.
Nissan Micra photo courtesy of HonestJohn.co.uk.