I'm curious, is it still okay to roll-start/push-start these cars? - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-17-2018, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'm curious, is it still okay to roll-start/push-start these cars?

So I did a search and all the posts referred to the previous gen of Versa. Could not find anything on the 2012-current models.

One of the things I have always liked about the manual transmission is the option of a roll-start. I tried one a while back and it didn't seem to want to "catch". I was letting it roll and popping the clutch briefly in 2nd or 3rd, I don't remember, as this was a while ago. I used to do this with my Ford Rangers all the time and just letting the clutch up briefly would spin the motor enough to "catch" and I'd push it back in to let the engine idle for a second.

Anyways, I tried that once or twice rolling down a sloping parking lot and didn't get the desired effect (yes, the key was "on"). I then just hit the starter and started it normally. Did I give up too soon? Or did Nissan take the ability away? I seem to recall reading somewhere that some modern cars don't/won't roll start anymore. I do know that it states NOT to roll start a 5-speed model in my owners manual....as "it may harm the engine"... really?

2016 Versa S sedan 5M
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-17-2018, 08:25 PM
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If your clutch is slipping it won't work. Beyond that it should still work on standard transmissions. If the clutch is centrifugal assisted it may not, the engine rotational speed not enough to activate the clutch rollers that add lock up.

The engine damage thing is due to those not smart enough to clutch the engine as soon as it begins to pop like firing, the ECM can range the timing enough at that slow a speed to possibly knock a rod bearing out. Comes from doing it enough instead of using the starter which is designed to immediately let the engine race away from that super slow speed. Or, lesson to those who like to start that way. Beware. You can crack a crankshaft with single long spaced power hits like that, the engine is trapped by the drivetrain and cannot race away if you are not fast enough on the clutch, it has to be able to do that or the individual power impulses then hammer the crank to break it. The car makers in search of mileage are making parts lighter and cranks fit in there bigtime, they are not as big and strong as they used to be and can break easier stressed like that.

The 'modern cars' thing is simply because more and more of them percentage wise are automatics which cannot start like that.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-18-2018, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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No worn clutch here. I gave it 2 brief hits of the clutch in 2nd or 3rd, guess I should have given it another... LOL.
I've pop-started lots of manuals. I'm not one to keep the clutch engaged. I just "blip" the clutch and usually the motor catches.
I guess I'll not worry about it, and probably not bother with it unless I actually need to roll start it (read dead battery).
Thanks for the info.

2016 Versa S sedan 5M
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-19-2018, 02:23 AM
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I too used to do the same but in reverse, I let out the clutch on street race cars to kill the engine, it stopped it from running backwards from dieseling. But then I had a twin disc clutch in those cars. You could drag race all year long and still see the original part number stamped into the disc fibrous material....weird. It had a 4000 lb. PP on top of it too. That car simply yanked the wheels when you let go of clutch at 7500 rpm. In fact wheelies were the biggest issue against getting car to run fast.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-28-2018, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Happy to say I tried it out again and success. It was even at the same sloped parking lot I tried before. It took two tries of a quick blipping of the clutch in 3rd gear, and she started and I went on my merry way. I'm sure this seems trivial, but I really wanted this option, as I work nights, and am often the last car in the parking lot I use when I get out....and there is a down hill slope at one end of it I could use if I had to.
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2016 Versa S sedan 5M
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