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Nissan Altima Starting Issues

ken75ken75 Posts: 52
This may be a one in a million occurance but I would not like to see anyone else go through it.
My wife and I went to see some friend at a campground and drove about 1 1/2 hours to arrive there. The car (2008 Altima 2.5 SL) operated very well and fuel economy was about 34.3 MPG. After we arrived, we unloaded the car and being a rather warm day, I used the key fob to lower the two front windows about half way from inside their fifth wheel. When we decided to go for a boat ride I set all windows at about 1 1/2 " open to dissipate and reduce some of the heat buildup. We were gone about three hours, came back to the fifth wheel, ate a great steak and by that time we were ready to turn in. Elapsed time was about five hours. I went to the car to close the windows and no chimes, no lights, no nothing. Start button blinked on and off about every thirty seconds and yes, this was indeed the start button. Brake pedal was hard and all lights were out. Door locks would not work nor would the auto opener on the trunk. This thing was dead. A small bit of panic set in and after being consoled by a cold one, I was convinced to wait until morning. Morning came and a call was made to 1-800 NISSAN-1and I must say, everything went well from then on. Arrangements were made for a tow and the car went to the nearest Nissan dealer who kept the car for about four hours. I was lucky he did the preliminary work as he was up to his eyeballs in other cars. We went out to eat, came back and was told the battery was dead and was presently being charged. Somehow, in some way the start button had been pushed and without a foot on the brake the car would not start. Nobody noticed this at the time as there is no audible or visual warning that something bad had occured. I was lucky in that I lost only a minimal of information. Even my garage door openers worked. It could have been worse.

The entire "fix" operation lasted a short time and I was happy with the outcome and happy with Nissan's procedures. I intend to be a lot more careful, if it was indeed me that perpetrated the deed, around that little button as it can cause one to head for the refreshments if things go south. This is just an FYI and I hope it may help others.

Comments

  • milkman1milkman1 Posts: 80
    This is good information. I actually look at the smart key as the one more thing that can break and it appears to be the case.
  • karpediemkarpediem Posts: 46
    So I'm guessing you didn't hit the starter button again after you rolled your windows up to the 1 1/2"? It should have been beeping the entire time. Basically it was like if you had a real key and put it in the ignition, turned it only to operate the power windows, or radio I guess, and left them in there without turning the key back to off.

    At first I thought your battery died just from rolling the windows down with the key fob.

    At least Nissan was cool about it. How much did it cost you if anything?
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    The tow from Waseca, Minnesota to Clements Nissan in Mankato, Minnesota (about 22 miles) was a little less than $100.00 and the service work was done at no charge. The tow was covered by the warranty so I paid zero for the experience plus giving up about 4 hours of my time and learning something about this particular method of starting a car.

    There was no audio or visual signal to alert me to an ignition "on" situation so I may have to go back to the dealer to determine if a problem exists. This is something I will always be cognizant of in the future as I do not want to waste more time with a problem of my own (?) making.

    There was a time when head lights could be left on for a full day and you would still be able to start your vehicle. Are batteries that poor or is the electrical load on the newer cars that much higher. I had a tough time believing that with only the ignition on, a battery could be sucked down in about 5 hours. Live and learn.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,445
    There was a time when head lights could be left on for a full day and you would still be able to start your vehicle. Are batteries that poor or is the electrical load on the newer cars that much higher. I had a tough time believing that with only the ignition on, a battery could be sucked down in about 5 hours. Live and learn.


    Sorry, but I have never seen any car able to start after the lights have been on for a full day. I would say that would definitely be an exception...
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    Sears used to advertise the earlier Diehard batteries being in cars in International Falls with the lights on for extended times in below zero weather and the car would start. This was about 20 or 25 years ago and of course they could have been pulling everyone's leg but it made for a good commercial. Present day batteries with newer technologies I would expect to operate for more than 5 hours unless the drain was extremely high. What I am saying is that with just the ignition on and the only draw is electronic components and no heavy starting draw, a battery charge should last a little longer than that. If you are aware of what constitutes the heavy draw, please enlighten me as to the source. I'm not being a smart [non-permissible content removed] but I sure would like to know what pulls this kind of current. Thank you.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,445
    As for the current draw, I can only guess...If you have the Bose stereo, it has a pretty big amp, which draws quite a bit of juice if the radio is on.

    In regard to batteries, remember that all a car needs to sell is a functioning battery. It isn't unusual for a battery to expire around the time the warranty ends...Obviously aftermarket batteries would be more durable, as they live and die on their lifetime reputation...
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    No Bose stereo in this car and no big amp. Stock radio that Nissan puts in it's Altimas and I use it very little. The car is a 2008 Altima 2.5 SL purchased in November of 2007 so unless the battery may have a shorted cell (questionable) I must assume it is functioning as it should. None the less, I think a trip to the dealer to check the ignition system may be in order just to satisfy my curiosity.

    Thanks for the input and if I should learn something useful, I will pass it on.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,445
    No Bose stereo in this car and no big amp. Stock radio that Nissan puts in it's Altimas and I use it very little. The car is a 2008 Altima 2.5 SL purchased in November of 2007 so unless the battery may have a shorted cell (questionable) I must assume it is functioning as it should. None the less, I think a trip to the dealer to check the ignition system may be in order just to satisfy my curiosity.

    Thanks for the input and if I should learn something useful, I will pass it on.


    I agree..weird.

    Even a decent battery, even discharged at the rate you would expect with the ignition "on", should regenerate enough power to start the car after the ignition was turned "off" for a while....
  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779

    There was no audio or visual signal to alert me to an ignition "on" situation so I may have to go back to the dealer to determine if a problem exists. This is something I will always be cognizant of in the future as I do not want to waste more time with a problem of my own (?) making.


    if the ignition were on, it should have said so. around the outside of the button it should say.........Lock.........AC.........ON.
    whichever of those positions it was in should have been illuminated. My guess would be just a bad battery. As someone else said, they only need the car to start for you to drive it off the lot. on top of that, there's no telling how long the battery sat before it was put in your car. And I'd be willing to bet that batteries are something a car manufacture would gtry to save money on to keep costs down.
  • ken75ken75 Posts: 52
    You have brought something up I had not considered or did not understand what it meant. The area around the "push "button" did have "lock" illuminated but this disappeared every time I pushed the button and depressed the brake. A cursory look in the owners manual showed nothing about this. Looks like I am still on the low side of the learning curve and should spend some time learning and talking to other owners about these problems. Next time I see this I will know what to do. Thank you for the reply.
  • earl15earl15 Posts: 1
    I have read several of these complaints and believe I know the underlying problem. I have checked all the way from my dealer to the national headquarters. Newer Nissan Altimas have a "safety" feature that if you park, turn off the engine and stay in your car the headlights will stay on (15 min, 30 min, longer depending on ambient light) if they are on the Auto setting. Supposedly, this is so that if someone is watching the car, they will think the engine is still on and you can escape easily. However, how safe is it if someone is watching, the car battery runs down and you can not even start the car to escape?

    I have been told by the service department and confirmed by the national headquarters that there is no adjustment or setting to prevent this from happening. Watch out if you drive with the lights on auto, park the car, turn off the engine and wait several minutes to pick up your child from school. Your new Nissan Altima might not start when you get ready to go. Their only fix: use the manual switch to turn the lights on and off or open and CLOSE the door after you turn off the engine. If you open the door BEFORE you turn the engine off, the lights will stay on until the battery is completely drained!

    I have another fix that I plan to use. I am trading my 2008 Nissan Altima and will NEVER by another Nissan product. If their engineers are this stupid, what else did they do that I have not found yet.
  • My mother has a 2008 Altima with the same starting problems. The car drains the battery when the engine is not running so if you let it sit for several days it is like having the interior lights on, the battery goes down and will not turn the engine over. Now this is a car with the i-key and I think this is part of the problem. There is a constant current draw on these cars to power the components that are searching for the i-key. I have had the car to the dealer and all they can say is the battery needs to be replaced. Don't replace the battery at the dealer. They want around $200 for a battery with a 1 year warrenty but you can get a DieHard from Sears with a three year full replacement warrenty fro a little over $100.00.

    I plan to do some of my own trouble shooting to find what is really draining the battery. Hope to have more info in the near future.

    I agree, don't buy another Nissan Altima, at least not one with the i-key. As for their service department I would give them an "F" for not being able to properly diagnose the problem.

    By the way the car also has a problem where the front power windows will go down by themselves after turning the car off. The dealer can't find the sourse of this problem either. The 2008 Altima has issues!
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