Mechanics

I NEED A SOLUTION TO WHAT APPEARS TO BE INTERMITTENTLY TRIGGERED POWER SURGES...

1997 Nissan Maxima • 160,100 miles

I have searched for a similar problem in other posts, but I haven't found a problem quite like mine.

I recently purchased this Maxima feeling like I got a decent deal. The vehicle is very nice, but I had a strange experience the other night. During a rainy night, I started the car as normal, turned on the headlights and the radio. As I pulled away everything was normal, but when I pressed the brake when approaching the stoplight, my headlights and dash lights dimmed and the radio went of. This only happened momentarily and everything came back up to normal levels within 2 seconds even with my foot still on the brake.

This continued to happen, and I noticed it was triggered when I pressed the brake or when I activated my signal lights. As long as I didn't have to signal or press the brake, everything functioned as normal.

The next day, I decided to test if it was due to water interfering with the electrical system. Since it was dry, I took the car out for a drive, and I didn't have these symptoms. So I thought I may have been on to something.

However, when I drove the car today, a clear, dry Texas day, the problems returned, but only intermittently during my drive. One episode even made the car stall with indicator lights showing up, but even before that, I had not seen any abnormal fluctuation in RPMs or a Battery/Alternator warning light.

The battery is brand new, installed by the dealer where I bought the car.

Would anyone be able to tell me potentially what the problem might be, or where I can start looking?

I appreciate any help that can be given. I really like my car and I am hoping I made a sound decision with this purchase.

Thanks!
Avatar
Lron37
March 13, 2012.



Ty for the info. First check all the bulbs turn brake make sure you have the right bulbs installed and all the same number.

Next remove the bulbs from the turn signals in the rear and then again in the front. If no change remove the brake light bulbs if no change the prob is not in the bulbs.

Next unplug the brake light switch if no change plug back in. Be sure and perform all these test with the lights on.

One item is causing the problem it just has to be isolated by unplugging one suspected circuit at a time. This is time consumeing and tedious however with the issue you have if we were repairing it we would have to do the same thing. Good luck we are here if you need us.

Billymac
Mar 13, 2012.
Thanks so much for your quick response!

I will try this. However, I am nervous doing this because, the symptoms only happen while driving, so doing so without signal lights or brake lights can be quite unnerving. I will give these tests a try.

Is this something that would show up on a Multi-meter test?

Tiny
Lron37
Mar 14, 2012.
Well if this only happens while driveing then you will have to use a little caution while testing. However driveing or sitting still should not be a factor. Unless you possibly have a control module not mounted securely and moving with the car. This is going to be a very hard problem to find. A multimeter would certainly find the problem if you are an electrician or a seasoned tecnician. Good luck

Billymac
Mar 15, 2012.
Hi,
I have a similar problem to what you've described. Made a several trips to the shop, but the problem never appeared while I was at the shop, so no one could help me.
Lron37-were you able to figure our what causes these electrical issues?
In my situation it gets so bad, that all electricity shuts off for a second, and I feel that it's being hard on transmission. If you were able to find a solution, could you please leave a reply.
Thanks.

Tiny
Nissandenver80
Oct 28, 2012.
Hi Nissan Denver 80: I actually attributed my issues to ground wiring in the engine compartment.

After driving with the issue for a while, I found out my radiator had a crack and the antifreeze would only enter the engine compartment during periods driving. Because of the air flow during driving, the antifreeze would pool around the ground wiring near the washer fluid container. Each time there was a significant pool, I would have weird, unexplained power surges.

Once I noticed this, I had the radiator repaired, and thoroughly dried the area around those wires. I haven't had a problem since.

I'm not sure if this is the same issue for you, but it may be worth a try. Make sure those ground wires are clean and dry (as this area also gathers a lot of road dirt over time). Make sure these wires have a solid connection to the car chassis.

I hope it is this simple for you.

Thanks!

Tiny
Lron37
Nov 27, 2012.
Lron37,

Thank you for your reply. I'm still struggling with that issue, Have had wire harness replaced at the ignition switch, few circuits replaced, but the problem is coming back. Actually, I've had antifreeze leak as well, couldn't find where the leak was from, but the pool was developed under the oil pan, right there you replace your oil and filter. I just stopped adding more antifreeze to the container, since radiator is full. I will need to take it to my mechanic and explain your situation, maybe it's a similar problem. Thanks for your time to reply, I hope I will be able to find and fix that problem.

Cheers!

Tiny
Nissandenver80
Nov 27, 2012.