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

6 Answers


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 out of 1 people think this is 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

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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


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.

Crystal Steffens

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

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Maxima in your area?

CarGurus has 24,220 nationwide Maxima listings starting at $1,500.


Search Nissan Maxima Questions

Nissan Maxima Experts

#1 rtriel
Reputation 510
#2 FordNut
Reputation 490
#3 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 470
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Nissan Altima"
1,351 Great Deals out of 87,430 listings starting at $1,095
Used Honda Accord"
1,262 Great Deals out of 78,683 listings starting at $1,400
Used Toyota Camry"
1,601 Great Deals out of 98,436 listings starting at $895
Used Acura TL"
300 Great Deals out of 7,017 listings starting at $2,395
Used Chevrolet Impala"
928 Great Deals out of 35,693 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Civic"
1,139 Great Deals out of 59,064 listings starting at $995
Used Chevrolet Malibu"
1,151 Great Deals out of 73,017 listings starting at $695
Used Nissan Murano"
424 Great Deals out of 21,724 listings starting at $1,295
Used BMW 3 Series"
1,596 Great Deals out of 39,604 listings starting at $888
Used Ford Mustang"
736 Great Deals out of 41,064 listings starting at $900
Used Kia Optima"
608 Great Deals out of 31,702 listings starting at $1,700
Used Chevrolet Camaro"
798 Great Deals out of 38,849 listings starting at $2,650
Used Infiniti G35"
118 Great Deals out of 3,949 listings starting at $2,499

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Nissan Maxima For Sale
8,579 listings starting at $25,376
2016 Nissan Maxima For Sale
54 Great Deals out of 4,403 listings starting at $17,996
2014 Nissan Maxima For Sale
107 Great Deals out of 2,065 listings starting at $11,700
2013 Nissan Maxima For Sale
100 Great Deals out of 2,028 listings starting at $9,700
2012 Nissan Maxima For Sale
64 Great Deals out of 1,244 listings starting at $9,500