Electrical problems ?
Consumer Reports Magazine gives the Altima Coupe a "GOOD BET" rating, but a negative rating to the car
for "Electrical". Is this a problem that can be overcome with a repair, or is it one of those electrical
problems that can leave your car lifeless on the side of the road anytime anywhere? Thanks for your advice
I currently have an issue with a 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5S sedan and saw your note while researching it. You can be left by the side of the road - or in my case in a parking garage. You'll easily find what I'm about to describe on different sites. After almost four years of regular maintenance, low mileage, and no issues, the car would not start and displayed the warning light indicators for the Intelligent Key and the security system/anti-theft light. I couldn't get the Start button out of Lock mode. I went home and changed batteries in both my key fobs and tried both in the key port. I finally had AAA come to check the battery, which was fine. The AAA guy disconnected and reconnected the battery and checked the brakes. The electronic locks, headlights, and brake lights all worked. The issue seems to be a steering lock device, which can cost close to $1000 for parts and label. My Nissan service rep is contacting Nissan about covering the cost and says that there is nothing I could have done to prevent this. There is a limited supply of the needed part, which the rep himself said probably indicates a problem although there is no recall so far.
Sorry I'm late to the party, but one of the big problems with Nissan cars is that they put the hub of their electrical harnesses next to your brake pedal, meaning that if you track snow into your car or get moisture on your floor mats, you're at risk of racking up HUGE bills to replace electrical harnesses that snake all the way through the car. The construction is practically criminal... Nissan puts virtually no effort into waterproofing the carriage holding as many as five harness plug- ins. Rather than paying the dealership $4000+ to tear your entire car apart replacing the harnesses, there are two simple steps you can take, one preventative and one if you're already having a problem. Pull up the plastic floor panels directly inside your driver side door. There's a long straight one and then one that reaches up toward the dash. This will expose the harness hub, where the three main harnesses in your car's electrical system meet. If you haven't had any problems, do this anyway and take the time to wrap the connectors in plastic or electrical tape to avoid water intrusion. If you're already having problems with sensors and dash lights appearing, look at the connectors for green corrosion and do your best to clean this off with an acid bath, soap and water, alcohol and an air compressor. Take a needlenose and tug gently at the individual wires in the plug-in... any that pull out freely need to be jumped so simply use wires and connectors to bypass the plug-in. When you think you've identified all of the problem wires, disconnect your battery to reset the warning lights and start your car to see that all of your dash indicators are dark. Wrap up the electrical wiring with plastic bags (I like cryovac bags because they're thick and easy to work with) and tape, tape, tape until you're sure water can't get at the plug-ins. There you go... an hour or two worth of work can save you $4000 at the Nissan dealership.
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