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Nissan Altima Battery/Acceleration Problems


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dreamtv
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May 15, 2012, 2:03 PM

Post #1 of 13 (4578 views)
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My Nissan is having some weird problems. I'm wondering if it all relates to the same cause.

Nissan Altima SE 3.5L
2002
114000 Miles

Temperature gauge always shows as normal, but on a hot day after a bit of driving, my car will just stop accelerating and slow down. I'll have to pull over, sit for awhile, then start up again. I would assume overheating, but here's the weird thing - if I flip my heater on to full blast, the accelerator IMMEDIATELY picks back up and as long as I keep the heater on I can drive it as long as I need. This sucks because I live in southern california. I had to drive home in 104 degree heat with my heater running full blast.
If I was truly overheating, wouldn't the heater need to run for a bit to make a difference in the engine's temperature? My accelerator surges the moment I flip the switch.

Also, my car often turns off while driving. I have to get out, hit the battery a few times, and it starts again.

Starting two days ago, my car needs a jump start every time I want to drive it. The battery is only six months old.

Also, my left driver's window rolls itself down whenever I try to roll it up. I have to 'lock' it when it rolls up to keep it from rolling down.

And lastly, often when my battery dies, I don't lose my radio stations.

Help! I need to have a good idea before I go in so I can keep the repair as low-cost as possible since I'm on a very limited income. I drive 60 miles a day for work.


(This post was edited by dreamtv on May 15, 2012, 2:46 PM)


Hammer Time
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May 15, 2012, 2:34 PM

Post #2 of 13 (4550 views)
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Quote
I need to have a good idea before I go in so I don't ripped off.


Not a good thing to say to another mechanic. We really don't like being looked at that way.




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dreamtv
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May 15, 2012, 2:43 PM

Post #3 of 13 (4546 views)
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I'm sorry I truly didn't mean to offend anyone. I've worked for many, many honest mechanics as a appointment booker and warranty coordinator when I was a teenager, but the last two mechanics I went to in this city didn't fix the problem, left screws out, and overcharged me. That's all I was inferring, that I need to be able to have an idea of what I'm talking about. I'm a young woman on a limited income and I have been hosed 2 times now.

I'm really sorry, I wasn't generalizing all mechanics, just the 2 I've been to in my neighborhood.


Hammer Time
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May 15, 2012, 3:07 PM

Post #4 of 13 (4534 views)
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No problem......... We get lumped into a category with the thieves all the time and it just rubs us the wrong way, at least me, anyway.

This whole situation isn't making a lot of sense at all. If you were really overheating you would have boiled over by now so i see no relationship with the heater at all. The first thing that needs to be done is get a real temp on the engine using a laser thermometer. There's also a possibility of a plugged Catalytic Converter too. We really need to here what he has to say after inspecting it and we can tell you if he sounds legit or not.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
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May 15, 2012, 4:26 PM

Post #5 of 13 (4512 views)
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If you have to jump this all the time or even often that needs to be addressed and charging system working within norms. The window is a separate problem to address later when it runs right and bring it up later.

Just a wild guess is running heater is consuming amps from alternator that may be able to overcharge and if so any significant draw like a RWD or just the fan for heat would bring it down some. If other high usage electrical items don't give you the same result then it just might really be overheating so it needs checking out. When overheating a lot and boiling you wouldn't have heat believe it or not as vapor in heater won't throw off heat.

Not much is making sense with the heat and the power INSTANTLY making it change?

Back, if alternator/regulator is putting out too much voltage it would kill a battery and all the electronic engine controls could be confused. My guess or at least easy to check. Battery should be under full warranty if only 6 Months old and all that jump starting if battery is really that low it has strained the alternator enough already. There is more than one gremlin lurking IMO,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Discretesignals
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May 15, 2012, 8:58 PM

Post #6 of 13 (4486 views)
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I'd have to look at the data stream when all this stuff is happening to even begin where to go with something like that.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


nickwarner
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May 15, 2012, 9:04 PM

Post #7 of 13 (4479 views)
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Me too. I'd want my scanner on this right away to give any intelligent guess.


dreamtv
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Jun 11, 2012, 4:50 PM

Post #8 of 13 (4366 views)
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So, my worst fear happened - took it in, got totally ripped off. Mechanic had my car for 10 days and charged me $300. He said he replaced parts, something called the 'air flow meter' and he also said he tightened the timing chain.
Car died the day I got it back.
I called the Nissan dealer, and they said it's impossible to "tighten" the timing chain.
Called the mechanic who worked on my car and he finally just admitted that all he did was a coolant flush and he charged me $300. He is giving me a full refund, but I have been taking the bus to work for 10 days - which is an extra 5 hours commuting time on top of my 8-hour workday.

I am so bummed.


dreamtv
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Jun 11, 2012, 4:52 PM

Post #9 of 13 (4361 views)
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I was referred to this mechanic by the tow truck company that towed my car.
I hate to bring this up but I really feel like I got taken advantage of due to my age and gender & lack of knowledge about cars. So bummed!


Discretesignals
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Jun 11, 2012, 5:05 PM

Post #10 of 13 (4359 views)
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I suggest taking it to a shop that is recommended by people in your area or the dealer. Before they do any work on it, have them give you a written estimate and have them explain what the problem is and how to correct it. If you have to take someone with you that is familiar with repairing vehicles when they explain what is going on, that is a plus for you. You can even submit the information on the estimate here and get our opinions on it.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


nickwarner
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Jun 11, 2012, 7:54 PM

Post #11 of 13 (4351 views)
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No wonder a tow company recomended him. He's good for business. I'd like to tour the country with a baseball bat and find the guys who do that. We get a lot of these stories here, and when we go to work have people who have been taken for a ride treat us like we are the same way.

I've heard good things about angie'slist. Its a subscription site I think but you search in your local area and find reviews from other members about all sorts of services. Car repair, plumbers, roofers, you name it. I think you could find a good shop that way.


Tom Greenleaf
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Jun 12, 2012, 4:03 AM

Post #12 of 13 (4341 views)
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dreamtv: I'm with Nick and will supply the bat!

You said -">>I was referred to this mechanic by the tow truck company that towed my car.
I hate to bring this up but I really feel like I got taken advantage of due to my age and gender & lack of knowledge about cars. So bummed!<<"

Never mind lawyers - that needs Nick's bat! Mad No good damn reason to treat anyone in any trade or profession like that. With mechanical anything don't be so fast to underestimate females ability. Didn't know them personally but a whole shop in my area was owned + operated by all felmales, all ASE certified!

Find a better shop. If you get bullsh*tted like mentioned don't walk - run away from that place,

Tom
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Hammer Time
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Jun 12, 2012, 6:27 AM

Post #13 of 13 (4333 views)
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Let's step back here a minute and look at this. ..............They charged her $300 for a MAF and so called "tighten tiiming chain" We know the timing chain was probably bullSh!t but the MAF would probably be around $300 anyway so that was probably what the charge was for. It's since been determined that the MAF was misdiagnosed which is a mistake that anyone can make but from what I understand, he is refunding because of that. The big issue here seems to be the statement about adjusting a timing chain which if real, would have been a lot more labor to even access the chain so it's obvious that it wasn't more than a statement that we don't know how that was explained or if it was understood correctly.

Remember, this is a VVT engine so technically, it is possible to adjust the timing chain but likely wasn't done since it would still have been a major job, not indicated in the price.




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