Before any troubles occurred I noticed while driving at night the lights would dim and the volt meter (digital on ham radio) would drop significantly. I thought this was the air conditioner compressor kicking in. The lights dim (very dim) for a second or so and I hear the motor lug then it's back to normal. This seems to only happen when braking which is odd.
3 weeks ago Friday I got of work and went to start the truck. It clicked several times. Dead battery right. Jumped it and I was off. I had my PA equipment in my truck and went to the Elks club about an 8 minute drive. Shut the truck off and played music until midnight. Went outside and the truck started up fine. Then we decided to have a pizza so I shut the truck down for 20 minutes. When I left it started up fine again.
The next week I drove the car. Saturday (8 days later) there was a blizzard. So why not go driving in it! My nephew and I decided to go and get bacon cheeseburgers for supper. So we drove 15 miles at 40 mph and left the truck running while the food was cooking. Got the food and back home same distance and speed. The truck ran for well over an hour. The lights were off while it was idling.
Monday (2 days later) I was going to go to work and it wouldn't start. This time when I turned the key there was one click (like a relay) and then all the lights in the dash were dead. It didn't even attempt to turn over. When I turned the key back to the off position the blinker and hi beam indicator lights were on. Turning the key forward didn't change a thing, just the indicator lights.
I put the charger on the battery and went to work. When I got home the charger said the battery was full. So I tried to start it. It did the same thing as before with the indicator lights.
I called the dealership and set a date for the following Monday as I had to use it Friday.
Friday came and it started just fine all day. The trip computer had everything reset to zero and the radio clock also reset.
I did notice now when driving it that the voltage bounced all over the place whether driving or at idle. It would go as low as 11.5 up to 15. But generally will bounce around 13.5 to 14.7. Normally before this it would either read 13.8 or 14.2 steady. I also noticed that it is putting off a lot of rf noise now. When my radio is tuned to the 70cm band I randomly cannot receive signals due to the noise. It will stop for a while and all is well and then comes back. Really annoying.
So then this Monday I went outside and it wouldn't start again. I jumpstarted it and went to the dealer for the appointment. They ran all their tests and told me that there is nothing wrong with it. The guy said the battery, charging system and starting system were all tested and passed.
Tuesday night when I was leaving work it didn't start. It just clicked again but this time when I turned the key off all the lights were still out. I turned the key forward and the lights came on as usual then it started. My trip meters reset to zero but the radio clock was still set. I took it home.
This morning it wouldn't start. When the key was turned off the blinker and hi beam indicator lights came on again. I pulled the key out and the indicator lights remained on. Put the key back in and turned it forward and nothing but indicator lights.
So I went inside and got my volt meter and hooked it to the battery. It read 12.24 volts.
I opened the door and the chime went off! Turned the key forward click then indicator lights. GRRRRRR. Check the battery 12.24v. I did this 5 or 6 times and then bam it fired right off. It made a squealing noise that it hasn't made before or since. The noise lasted for about 5 seconds or so and was coming from what sounded as the front center of the engine (I would have expected the passenger side). The rest of the day it worked fine.
I called the dealership and the service guy said he would talk to a tech. I never heard back from them.
My thoughts: The battery appears to be fine. I really think the alternator is having some problem because of the rf, bouncy voltage and squealing (maybe) but don't believe this to be causing the starting problem. It's definitely an electrical problem though. The indicator lights are really messing with my head. It could be so many things. Could the starter be jamming and causing a surge tripping something? Could it be the IPDM?
I apologize for the long winded story but I am trying not to leave anything out. The service department seems as clueless as me at this point so any help ya'll can give me will be passed along to them.
did anyone actually check to make sure the battery terminals were clean and tight on the post? my truck does that every once and a while and its the pos terminal. give it a good cleaning, tighten it up and GTG.
if that doesn't work, i'd have the dealership check the battery if possible. honestly, though, as random as this sounds to be... i'm almost thinking ECU might be the problem :\ that's usually the last thing the dealership would want to replace so they may replace the battery for free if you take it in to see if that fixes it first. nissan OEM batteries are pretty crap honestly and your cold weather may just barely be enough to keep it from functioning correctly
__________________ Patrick // 06 KC Nismosis 6 spd Storm Gray
Mods: lots... Uprev tuned: 244whp & 273 ft lbs http://jpmcgphotography.smugmug.com <-- My Photography
Member of the Canon 5DMkII & 7D Crew, Canon L-glass wh0re
"I prefer to drive manuals because I prefer to drive, not be driven."
You need to drop the truck off at the dealer and let them sit on it for a few days, demand a loaner in the meantime. Their stupid battery tests will never show anything positive because the battery is charging as you drive it to the dealer, and then they immediately pop the hood and find the battery fine.
I sort of had the same issue as you when my truck was new. One day i just tried to start it up and got the dash clicks and gauge needles to flip out but it wouldn't start. Got it jumped, it was fine. Next day it would have issues starting again. Turns out the OEM battery had bad cells, but the dealer wouldnt believe me until i told them to keep it overnight.
2010 Frontier SE 4x4 (auto) CC - Night Armor
It is your alternator. Test the alternator and check your ground wire and connections.
Although still under warranty, I'd pull the alternator and have it bench tested. I'll never darken the doorway of an AutoZone for anything other than dropping off old oil or a battery, starter, alternator test as most of their stores have good equipment for that. Their duratester spins the alternator & checks the output voltage & the regulator.
Aside from that, from past experience, I'd install a beefy ground strap from a suitable location on the frame to the engine block. Bad grounds cause all sorts of bugaboos like this. We had a shop car that had a ton of electric stuff added to it and until we attached a 1 gauge strap from the frame to the transmission we'd get errant readings and erratic function of several items.
2012 Frontier CC SV 4x2
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