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Hey guys, I've looked all around the internet and can't find anything that replicates my issue so I hope that you guys can help me.

I currently have a 2008 Nissan Frontier with the 4L V6, and I've had the truck for 2 years. When I bought the truck it had a brand new NAPA battery in it. 6 months went by and the battery was dead, my brother said sometimes dealers buy rebuilt units to save money so I bought a brand new gold top from Autozone, which I ran in my old GMC. Everything was good until a couple weeks ago when my truck started to hesitate when starting, it would slowly start the engine as if it was super cold out, but I live in California so I don't get that cold and would do this regardless of temp. I had the battery tested and it came out to be bad. I just got a replacement since it was covered under warranty. Knowing that I've gone through 2 batteries its possible that I've gotten 2 bad batteries, but this made me look at the alternator.

Before my battery issue, my dad bought a new fancy scan tool and wanted to check my truck for any codes for fun since it can scan all the Nissan dealer codes. The truck has been great so no codes

He did a battery and alternator test and the alternator test came back with a warning saying that my alternator isn't charging at what it should. Remembering this after replacing the battery I then started to look at the alternator.

At initial start, the truck puts out 14.1 volts. That is a good charging rate, So no problems. Even bringing up the RPM's to 2k again no issues.
Startup
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9FzigdUhxNtUFZrTl8wY19OcFk

After driving
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9FzigdUhxNtOURmM0EwSHFCbjQ

Once you drive the truck around the block, and get it through the gears, the voltage then drops to 13.2 volts and with my dads scan tool, I monitored the alternator and it would move between 13.05v and 13.35 volts. My initial thought was Okay this isn't normal, normal range would be 13.7-14.2 volts to properly charge the battery. If its been doing a slow charge for the past year and a half it makes sense that it would kill the battery.

I then pulled the alternator to have it tested at Autozone, and it came back good.

My brother used to work at Autozone and said that its possible for the machine to say an alternator is good when it really is bad.

I've done tons and tons of research and spoken to many mechanics and they either say that 13.3 is way too low, or that 13 is fine. I can't find a solid answer. I just want to know so that I don't waste 300 bucks buying a new one, if that wasn't the issue.

So to my question,

What do your trucks show voltage wise, after starting up the truck and driving it around. If you're able to check the voltage while driving that would be a huge help and very appreciated. I only have one buddy who has a 2014 Frontier, but he has the 130 amp alt and mine is the 110. Do you think my alt is dying, or is there another common issue with these trucks I have over looked. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd just like to get this issue squared away before I start my new job in LA in a few weeks

Thanks guys!
 

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Dont always trust autozone the reason it drops is the alternator is failing the wiring is opening when hot which is why it shows normal when you first start it up. My old gen 1 frontier did the same thing. So did my 240. Rockauto unless you need your truck for a daily. Recharge your battery prior to replacing the alternator
 

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I've done tons and tons of research and spoken to many mechanics and they either say that 13.3 is way too low, or that 13 is fine.
20 years ago, most charging systems were set to maintain the battery at around 13.5 - 13.8 volts, with just some compensation for temperature. This was sort of guesstimate that did an adequate job under most situations.

However, charging systems have gotten a lot smarter in recent years - The current-generation Frontiers use a system that constantly measures the amount of current being withdrawn or replaced in the battery, which means that it "knows" exactly how much voltage is really needed to keep the battery charged. This helps maximize battery life (by reducing water loss from excessive voltage), and also increases fuel mileage a tiny bit (by reducing the alternator's horsepower demands on the engine).

FWIW, mine typically settles down in the low 13's (after the engine has been running for a while).

BOTTOM LINE: 13.3 isn't too low, particularly after the battery has reached a full state of charge.
 
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Nissan also adjusts charge rate depending on load - if you notice your ground return goes through a ring that detects current drain and adj alternator.
 

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are your battery cables good? (no corrosion in the braid of the cable)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah the cables are perfect, I also check all electrical connections. If it is as you guys say, I'm in the clear, which is good. Appreciate the replies guys, I can now sleep easy
 
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