Brake and battery lights on, New alternator, loose serpentine belt.

Asked by Jan 11, 2015 at 04:46 PM about the 2002 Nissan Maxima GXE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just got a new alternator put on my 02
Nissan Maxima in October. The mechanic
told me that I need a new belt so I put one
on it. I tightened it but it kept squeaking. It
is now January and I tightened it more. It
worked when I drove to the store and when
I drove home. I noticed when I went to work
the next day that the brake and battery
lights were on, but I kept driving in hopes
that they would go off. I'm a delivery driver
and it work for my first 3 or 4 deliveries. I
took a break and was on my way home and
it started to slow down. It quit then I got a
boost and tried to get home, but I didn't
make it. So I had to get it towed home. I
went out to try to loosen the belt because I
heard if it's too tight it wouldn't allow the
alternator to charge the battery. Now
getting a boost doesn't even help. It works
while the jumper cables are attached, but
when they come off it sputters then shuts
off. PLEASE HELP!!

7 Answers

29,025

There is a belt tensioner that should handle keeping the belt, well, in tension. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by you "tightened it." You release the tension on the tensioner, slip on or off the belt, then release the tensioner to it's normal position. If the tensioner is bad then it can't maintain adequate tension on the belt and it will slip, which is what yours seems to be doing, enough so that it can't properly drive the alternator. Anytime I change a serpentine belt I tend to replace the belt tensioner as well, it doesn't hurt to look at the idler pulley as well (if yours has one). Good luck.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Ak ok, I was thinking the same thing KenF, but this car it's not spring loaded, uses a bolt on the idler and has a separate belt for power steering this will go full screen

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

FordNut I tightened the adjusting nut, but the belt is still loose. Could I have tightened it too much?

29,025

Possibly, or the tensioner is stripped, but if the belt is loose clearly that is the cause for your other problems, I'd replace the tensioner as that is the easiest and cheapest part to start with. (thanks Fordnut for the graphics)

I finally went to someone who knows more that I do and he told me that the auto parts store gave me a belt that was too big. I also found out that I locked my idler pulley because I kept trying to tighten the belt. He fixed it for a good price. Thanks for the help guys.

10

I am having that same exact problem with this car i just bought today. Im hoping its nothing major i need advice i have no idea what to do and have a one year old to tote around with me. Right now its at an apartment complex down the street from my house because just like she said it wont stay cranked. It just dies out. The battery and brake light are both on as well. Its a 2002 nissan maxima

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

When the Brake lite and Batt. lite are on it means the alternator is not working. Internal problem and needs to be replaced. A loose belt would do this too but if belt is tight and connections good it is usually the alternator.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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