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Nissan Altima Maintenance and Repair



  • amaoamao Posts: 38
    E.D., thank you very much for the funny but very educational post! I also come to believe that there is a short circuit somewhere that is draining the battery. I heard it would be really hard to find out that leaking spot. Is that right? If, for example, it turns out the electric cable within the engine compartment is bad, probably how much to have it replaced?
  • You need to find what is draining your battery by checking "PARASITIC CURRENT DRAW" from your battery. Your car has ELECTRONIC MODULES that draw current when they are first connected. After they "settle down", usually in about 2 to 5 minutes, the parasitic current drain on you battery should be down to about 25 ma (milliamps) (.025 Amp). Do the following test procedure, and if you find your draw is too high, pull fuses one at a time to see if you can isolate the source of the excessive current draw. If your Parasitic Current Draw is still high after pulling all fuses, try disconnecting the Alternator, and other electrical equipment until the source of the excessive current draw is found.
    Start with a fully charged Battery. Turn everything in the car OFF, close the door, remove the light bulb from under the hood so that NOTHING you know of is on. Remove the negative cable. Place a 5 amp fuse & a 1 ohm/10watt resistor in series with the negative cable and the negative battery terminal, then wait a few minutes to allow the modules to settle down, then proceed. Connect a Digital Volt/Ohm Meter across the resistor and do a simple voltage drop test. Results = for example, a .022v draw = a 22mA draw. When you have minimal computers/radios/etc a maximum of 25mA is optimal. If you have multiple computers/cell phones/alarms/etc expect a higher number to be normal, though the cell phones/alarms should be OFF for this test. Over 30ma should be investigated and over 50ma should be corrected. Check manufacturers specs to be sure of what it should be for your particular vehicle.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Why do you have the fuse and resistor in series with the negative cable? Can't you just measure draw directly?

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  • That's easy, but you have to understand some electrical therory, that's why I'm an electrical engineer.
    The fuse and resistor form a series cirucit that is in series with the battery and the load, so whatever current flows out of the battery goes through the fuse and the resistor.
    You COULD use a multimeter to read the current flow, but it could be very dangerous, or you would keep blowing the fuse in the mutimeter, because most times you are having larger currents flowing in the test until you find the problem. Most multimeters measure current in small ranges, usually no more than 10 amps, and smaller range scales. Larger currents cause them to blow a fuse inside the meter case. During the process of testing, it is easy to create a short when dealing with poking around in the wiring. The method I outlined is easy, safe and works well.
    The fuse is for overcuurent protection, which is very important during testing. Keep extra fuses handy. Without the fuse, if you should happen to short out a wire while testing the wiring or poking around in the wiring, a heavy current could be drawn through the resistor and burn it up or start a fire. One Ohms Law formula is Amps = Volts divided by Resistance, therefore a direct short will cause 12 Volts/1 Ohm = 12 Amps to flow through the resistor. This 12 amps will overheat the resistor very, fast. Another Ohms Law formula for Power is Power = Volts times Amps, therefore 12 Volts X 12 Amps = 144 Watts of power would flow through the above circuit. Since the resistor is only rated at 10 watts, it would overheat very, very fast. The 10 ohm resistor is a common resistor avaiable at most electronic stores. You could use a 150 watt or larger resistor and not use the fuse, but the large resistors are expensive and hard to find.
    The reason for the resistor is to create voltage drop while the load current flows through it. You read the voltage drop across the resistor and use Ohms Law to convert it to Amps. As an example, if you measured .5 Volts across the resistor on the meter, .5 Volts divided by 1 Ohm = .5 Amps or 500 Ma, way too heavy of a current with everything turned off. You usually want to read .025 Volts or less on the voltmeter, the .025 Volt number converts directly to .025 Amps because of using the 1 ohm resistor. Using the 1 ohm resistor makes the math much easier. .020 Volts would convert to .020 Amps or 20 Ma, 10 Volts would convert to 10 amps, etc. The resistor being rated at 10 Watts would mean that the most current that it would be rated to pass at 12 Volts is 10 Watts divided by 12 Volts = .83 Amps or 830 Ma.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    got it, thanks!

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  • This just started, I am losing transmission fluid but there are no leaks found, Car will not accelerate. If I put fluid in it it works fine, This happens about every two days,Sometimes I can shut it off and start it in N and it will work.
  • What engine do you have? No leak to be found anywhere? The fluid IS going someplace, maybe into the cooling system, maybe into the engine. How much fluid do you have to add every 2 days and how far do you drive in those 2 days? The fluid could be leaking into the cooling system through the fluid cooler. When the engine is cool, check the radiator for any trace of transmission fluid.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    If the ATF has sprung a leak into the cooling system through the in-radiator heat exchanger as electricdesign theorized, once repaired, be sure to thoroughly flush the cooling system, replace ALL rubber cooling system hoses, and refill with fresh antifreeze/coolant-water mix. Mineral oil is NDG (no damn good) on most rubber compounds. Confounding your possibly perilous situation further, you're going to need to address the issue whether coolant's found its way into the transmission, too. If so, that would be a very costly predicament from the standpoint of bushing/bearing wear and clutch-pack facing degradation. Draw off a sample of ATF and send it to an oil analysis lab with a notation to specifically check for the presence of antifreeze. Blackstone in Indiana will send a free shipping kit on request. (Google the name.) Their basic service and report (all you'll need in this case) is only $20.00. Good luck.
  • I just purchased a 2006 Altima 2.5 SE.
    The SE package has the Audio and Cruise controls on the steering wheel, the issue I have is that whenever I drive the car, something under the steering wheel controls rattle. It wasn't a big deal in the beginning, but you can't listen to the music as you always here that rattle. It doesn't matter if I drive 10 mph or 70 mph it still rattles. Whenever it’s cold outside (below 30 degrees ) it stops the rattling noise. I didn't care at first, but I drive 100 miles a day and it`s really startng to get on my nervous as well as I'm starting to get headaches from it. It`s gotten to the point where I would much rather take my other car to work and just let the Altima stay in the driveway and not drive it at all!

    I took the car to the dealer twice for that issue. The first time they tightened something up, but problem wasn't resolved. This time they said that they noticed the same problem in other Altimas and that no matter what they are going to do is not going to resolve the problem. They also said that IT`S NOT A DEFECT AND THAT THERE IS NOTHIGN TO FIX. The way I look at it, I bought this car so I could drive it and lately I’ve been taking my other car to and from work simply because I can't stand this rattling noise … I spend approximately 3 – 3.5 hours a day driving and it`s really very annoying. I told the dealer that if they can't fix it, they will wind up buying the car back... I heard some commercials on the radio for one of the law firms in Chicago. According to commercials, dealer has 3 attempts to resolve the issue within the first year of ownership of the car and if dealer can’t resolve the issue within 3 attempts by law in the state of Illinois they might have to buy the car back under the Lemon Law. Anybody has the same issue or has anybody had to deal with the lemon law lately? :lemon:
  • I own the same year and model of Altima. It currently has 7500 miles on it. It has been quiet from day one. There are no rattles or squeaks anywhere. I do get some engine tappet like noise on start up in cold weather, but it goes away. Try another dealership for the needed repairs. What you have is not normal.
  • Your problem sounds just plain crazy to me. There IS obviously something wrong with it, and I would demand that those incompetent #@!!#?*! FIX IT!!!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "I do get some engine tappet like noise on start up in cold weather, but it goes away." ((

    That's just the camshaft drive timing chain rattling around its plastic retaining guides on initial startup until the chain's autotensioner pumps up with full oil pressure - very common in chain equipped engines in cold weather since thick, cold oil takes longer to put into circulation. If you're using 10W-30 motor oil, consider 5W-30 to help with cold starting and its associated noises.
  • This should not be normal. Occasionally it may take a couple of trips to get a rattle fixed because they are so hard to find. Every manufacturer has one that gets away but your dealer or maybe another dealer with a better, more experienced tech can diagnose and repair the problem. We had a Sienna that Toyota tried to align the front end 6 times and to no avail. I was ready to scream and with replacement of the tires (Firestone to Michelin) the problem became more tolerable and I lived with it.

    Nissan, because they got slammed with the 2002 Altima launch squeaks and rattles issues, recently installed a new test track at both US assembly tracks to check cars/trucks prior to shipment. I heard they spent 7 figures on both tracks because they know it matters to customers. I think The Clarion in Canton Mississippi done a right up on the project at the Canton plant.

    Try the dealer or another one since you are travelling so far you are bound to run into another dealer along the way.
  • atma97atma97 Posts: 47
    Re. “battery keeps getting drained” issue, I experienced a couple times in the past nine years with my 97’ Altima. There are three things that might cause the symptom: 1) Bad battery 2) Bad alternator 3) Electrical circuit in the car still has a significant load even when the car is not driven. The first two are 99% common problems. You can bring the battery back to where it came, they should recharge and test the battery for you. If they are reluctance, tell them your mechanic said good alternator but bad battery. Auto parts store also does battery testing. Alternator can be tested by measuring its out put voltage. A good repair shop or a Nissan dealer can compare the voltage reading with the car specification in manufacture repair manual. Try the battery and alternator first before getting into the electrical circuit issue. The car circuit is well designed and isolated. Problem only happens after the car was submerged, involved in a bad accidence, or installed after-market accessories. A normal car circuit should always carry very tiny load to keep memory for radio, clock, and alarm system. Getting into this testing will require time, skill and knowledge of the car wiring diagram. Always be careful to avoid airbag and engine computer unit wiring.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,974
    I've got a 2003 2.5S with the original Bridgestone Turnenzas. At 40k, the tires still look pretty decent. I leased my last car so it's been quite a while since I replaced tires.

    How long have others gotten out of these tires? I started watching them around 30,000 and always rotated them as recommended. The tread still looks good.
  • I have a new 06 Altima and I have a question about the parking brake. I'm not sure if it's broken or not, but it seems to go up too easily and not really engage at all. Shouldn't it have some resistance when I raise the lever for the parking brake? Has anyone else had this issue with their Altima?
  • The LOOK good, but how DEEP is the THREAD? They sell an inexpensive small device to measure tread depth. It is measured in 32nds of an inch. Most new tires have 11/32" of tread depth. Tires are legally worn out when the tread depth is 2/32" or less. Check the tread depth at several places around the tire, and use the thinnnest number.
  • I don't think that having the parking break slide as freely as you describe is normal. I have a 2006 Altime 2.5 SE and my parking break is actually kinda stiff. You really need to have it looked at.
  • atma97atma97 Posts: 47
    Watch out for tire traction in wet or snow weather. If you feel the car slightly skid or loose, you should consider of replacing the tires. Turanza tire does not have good traction on wet and snow. I replaced Turanza front tires on my Infiniti I35 (a bigger cousin of Altima) at 45k miles since they skid while quick accelerating from a stop. The rear tires have just been replaced at 75k miles to avoid oversteering in winter. My new Michelin Energy MXV4 tires have amazing grip on wet and dry road. You can check out and for more information.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    You should feel preliminary tensioning as you pull the parking brake lever up after the first 3 or 4 clicks, so have your dealer check this out. It may just be a cable tension adjustment matter*, but assume nothing. The parking brake should be able hold the car against gravity on any reasonably anticipated incline with the transmission in neutral and your foot off the service brake pedal.

    *The parking brake in my '03 Sonata was sufficiently slack when I took delivery four years ago that it wouldn't hold the car against my inclined driveway. I readjusted the individual rear wheel parking brake cables at the equalizing yoke after I removed the center console.
  • Thank you all for your inputs.
    Computer read is out, it is a bad crankshaft position sensor.
    Will have it replaced at dealership tomorrow, quote is $195.
  • hello this is arron altima these two mess were not posted by me
  • Any on know what the largest tire on my 17 rims can be applied
  • atma97atma97 Posts: 47
    They have calculator for tire size conversion.
  • Just completing our first 30 day's with our New Nissan Altima 2.5 s.

    Ok now let's understand New Car with lot's of redesign so this post is not to slam Nissan because I think they have a good car here. But let's get these issues on the table so Nissan can address them.

    Our first sign of trouble was a rattle with the rear speakers.

    Our second is a nasty valve rattle when the vehicle first starts up.

    Our third is that we can't seem to get better than 29 MPG. (Our 05 and 06 got 30 on the HW) This one is rated for 34

    Today's problem occurred at 1730 miles. Check engine soon warning. Now this may be a simple gas cap issue. But I checked it as the manual suggested and we will try for another day. Before going to the dealer.

    The transmission takes some getting use too. Seems the tranny down shifts a bit too quickly on down hills. Puts unusual drag on the vehicle.

    But overall We like this car. It handles well, much more comfortable. A little sportier, but the woman is not happy with the shortage of storage over the 06.

    I like the fact that steering pull has been eliminated.

    Well that brings everyone up to date. Let me know your feelings. Ill let you know what the dealer does to fix these small issues.....
  • atma97atma97 Posts: 47
    Its TIMING was off. I overlooked the timing when I did a tune up on my car. Since timing chain on the car was not supposed to be replaced, I did not pay attention to it at all. My car had developed a noticeable rough idle this fall. I did some research on Google website and found that timing could be easily adjusted. There are to bolts located around distributor. Loosen bolts and turned distributor clockwise, the car was instantly smooth. I tested drive at various speed and adjusted distributor position a little back and ford to get to a compromise stage of smoothness and power. Now at idle, speed drops down to about 600 rpm and I hardly hear engine noise or vibration at all. The problem got fixed and I did not have to spend a penny.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Just quick FYI. You should at some point actually set your timing with a timing light. You do the same basic proceedure that you mentioned but use a timing light to set the timing to specs. The setting should be on the under hood decal usually it is about 4 to 8 degrees BTC. (I don't know specifically for your car.)
    There are 2 probs with setting it to "best run". First, you may not pass your next emision test, as your car will difinitely be producing more HC and CO. The second is you will probably notice a drop in gas mileage.
    Other possible probs include, knocking or pinging under hard accel, and loss of power at certain RPM ranges.
  • kwk1kwk1 Posts: 39
    I've done a lot of reading on the Maxima forum about the coil packs prematurely going faulty.
    I was wondering if anyone has had this problem with their Altima.
  • atma97atma97 Posts: 47
    Very good point, thank you for the info. With the need of using timing light, knowing where to point the light and watching timing mark in the strobe light, I got to be shown by an expert for the first time. Meanwhile, I rather wait for another 10k miles on the car when sentiment bell scheduled to be replaced then I will ask a mechanic to fix both bell and timing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    You should have it timed right away. Timing by ear can be off enough to harm the engine and if you are too far advanced, that could prove troublesome. Usually, however, it is retarded timing that smooths out an idle.

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