Nissan Frontier Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 2006 XE with manual trans has 110K miles, bought in 2009.
Last week I replaced the 5 year old battery with a new battery which returned the vehicle to normal operation.

The first signs of the old battery failing was a slow cranking start up and then during the ride home, the truck suddenly lost power but didn’t stall and the dashboard warning lights came on erractic (ABS and one or more others).

The gas pedal had no response but I got to a safe spot using the idle RPM in first or second gear on the manual trans.

I turned the motor off and the battery didn’t have enough power to restart the motor. I phoned for a friend for a jumpstart and while he was on his way I inspected the battery and found the negative clamp to be hand loose on the post.

When I bought and installed that old battery 5 years ago, an Exide size 24F, the negative clamp on the Frontier would not tighten enough to lock onto the negative post even when fully squeezed closed. I made up some copper shims from scrap on hand and sandwiched that shim between the clamp and post until tight. This served over the 5 years even with occasional removal and re-installing for battery cleaning which is my habit.

While waiting for my jump start friend, I found I could not snug down the clamp using the shims I had made in the beginning (see attached photo of that old shim with layers of thin copper), so I bent a penny and got that to jam into the clamp which snugged the connection. My friend arrived, jumped the truck and I drove home with normal operation as I recall.
IMG_6801.JPG


The old battery was unable to hold a charge using a AC powered battery charger at home and with a cruddy looking cell and its 60 month life in the books, a new battery was an easy decision.

As stated, the new battery returned the truck to normal but AGAIN the negative post was too thin to allow the stock negative clamp to snug down on it. This time I took a piece of plumber’s water supply copper tubing, cut a length to match the height of the post and then cut a slit to open its diameter to fit the post, cleaned all contact surfaces, positioned the shim inside the clamp and snugged it home with dielectric grease.

Now, here’s where I need your input.
For a time I had to consider the charging system of the vehicle as suspect. The battery replacement was a no brainer as stated (I realize I may have contributed to a sooner than later battery failure since the negative post shim gave way to clamp movement) but I needed to determine if the charging system was working. I confirmed it is working with multiple readings vehicle on and off with a voltmeter.

I began reading about my vehicle according to this problem and the operator’s manual indicates I may OR MAY NOT have a dashboard battery warning light. Again, it’s a 2006 XE, base model.

For the 11 years I had the truck I don’t recall if the battery warning light would illuminate in the dashboard light up step along with all the other dash warning lights. I just don’t remember (I’m in my 60s) if I had that feature at all.

STRANGELY...after reading a bunch off the owner’s manual that I may or may not have that “idiot” light….during the evaluation of the battery and voltmeter….I saw the battery light on the dash illuminate at least once.
But now….with the truck running normal with the new battery….I do not see the battery warning light at all during the dashboard lights test when I start the motor.


So at this point if someone can comment on the possibilities of this issue, I would be very thankful.
Did I burn out the bulb? Is a contact loose? Was I seeing things illusional when the battery idiot light lit up that one time?
Is there anything else that I should consider?

If you made it this far in my post, thanks very much. I thought it best to recount everything that I could hoping to engage a real keen Frontier troubleshooter for an opinion.
Best to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,167 Posts
If you have a battery charging system warning light, it should come on during the bulb check (turn the key to "on," engine not running. With the engine running, check the charging system with a volt meter. It should be between 13.2-15.5 volts at idle and also at 3000 RPM, both with and without loads "on." Loads would be headlights, heater, radio, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
Why do you choose to keep your neg terminal in a half-*** condition with shims and pennies and such.Do yourself a favor and put a new clamp on there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Why do you choose to keep your neg terminal in a half-*** condition with shims and pennies and such.Do yourself a favor and put a new clamp on there.
You DO realize (or do you not?) that shims to thicken posts are PRODUCED AND SOLD for just such a situation and it's easier and less costly than replacing the clamp.

The shim in the photo lasted 5 years, the life of the battery before losing grip as a shim. The new shim....HOME MADE....is one piece copper and thick enough to keep the stock clamp tight.

Why do you puff yourself up with noise making that this is a "half-*** condition with shims and pennies".....when the battery is factually well maintained for all these years, the shim worked until this event and the PENNY was only a roadside emergency fix that got me home safe?

Thanks not a bit for your know-it-all snark. Your comment was like seeing a cigarette butt in the gutter while waiting for a red light, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
962 Posts
I'm guessing if you would have thrown on a new cable or clamp back when this ordeal started you would'nt have been wasting time with all these Rube Goldberg fixes and still had continuous problems.I know you only spent a penny on your fix, but your still having issues, maybe for ten bucks you could resolve the issue permanently
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
I think the charging system in your truck likely has a problem. When an engine is running, the battery light isn't an indicator of battery condition - it's detecting that the charging system can't keep up with the electrical requirements of the truck. That could be from slipping belt that goes around the alternator, bad wiring between the alternator and the battery terminal - or it could be an alternator that is failing. Modern vehicles are designed so that they can run even with the battery disconnected while the alternator supplies enough power for the truck plus more to keep the battery charged.
When I mentioned wiring between the alternator and the battery terminal, I didn't mean a loose connection to the battery, but instead I meant that the alternator's charging cable is normally connected to the positive side battery cable with a separate bolt or fastener and it could be loose. Is the positive battery cable terminal heavily corroded? If yes, then (wearing old clothes that can get stained) clean it with baking soda and an old toothbrush, then rinse with water - repeat until all battery corrosion is removed, then check to see if any of the wiring connected at the terminal it is loose or breaking off. If left untreated, battery terminal corrosion can actually creep inside the wiring at the battery terminal and ruin it. Also check at the alternator - find the largest diameter wire connected to it and make sure it's tightly connected to the back of the alternator. . That large wire from the alternator is the charge output from the alternator (connecting to the positive battery terminal).
There is one exception to what I wrote - if your truck has a high power audio amplifier driving a throbbing subwoofer, you could be using more power than your alternator can supply, and with a bad battery connection, your alternator light could come on.
I hope this helps - all other advice and opinions welcome :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top