2003 Nissan Altima Driver Side Tire

Tiny
ANTOLIN1288
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 NISSAN ALTIMA
  • 2.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 131,000 MILES
Hello I have a 2003 Altima,

I recently fixed the passenger side axle due to a tear it had, I then took it for a drive but when I got down the street I live, I kept on hearing a noise so I headed back home and then once I had it mounted on the jack I noticed only the passenger side tire was turning when I had it on reverse or drive.


Can someone advise if this is normal? And if not what can be causing the driver side to not move at all?
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 9:00 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
WELL

THIS MIGHT BE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THE DIFFERENTIAL ACTON WORKS ON A VEHICLE

I'M BY NO MEANS TELLING YOU TO DO THIS!

THE OTHER DAY A FRIEND ASKED ME TO COME OVER AND LOOK AT HIS CAR. HE ASKED WHY HIS CAR WAS DOING THE SAME THING AS YOURS

I EXPLAINED HOW THE WHEEL WITH THE LEAST TRACTION WOULD SPIN (LIKE GETTING STUCK IN A MUD HOLE)

TO EMPHASIZE THIS, I SAID "WATCH THIS!"

I'M GONNA PRETEND THIS "FREE SPINNING WHEEL" IS GETTING SOME "ARTIFICIAL TRACTION" BY SLOWING IT DOWN WITH MY FOOT/ SHOE

"THE OTHER WHEEL SHOULD SPIN (SOME, ANYWAY)"

WELL, I STUCK MY FOOT ON THE TREAD (STUPIDLY, UP HIGH AND KINDA FULL SOLE)

MY FOOT GOT DRAGGED INTO THE FENDER WELL, LIKE INSTANTLY! NOT ALL THE WAY IN! BUT IT COULDA BEEN REALLY BAD IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR MY CAT-LIKE REFLEXES!

STILL NOT TELLING YOU TO DO THIS!

I RESTED MY HEEL ON THE GROUND, AND EASED MY TOE INTO THE OUTER SIDE WALL OF THE TIRE TO MAKE MY POINT

A TWO FOOT LONG 2 X 4, COULDA BEEN GENTLY PUSHED INTO THE SIDE WALL. NOT THE TREAD! TO HAVE THE SAME EFFECT

IN THIS (MY) SITUATION, ONE AXLE HAD A BIT MORE INTERNAL FRICTION THAN THE OTHER (NORMAL, EVERYTHING AIN'T EQUAL ALL OF THE TIME) BOTH WHEELS MOVED FREELY

AS FAR AS YOUR RACKET, CHECK YOUR WORK! INSURE THAT OTHER WHEEL WILL TURN FREELY WITH THE VEHICLE NOT RUNNING. WE SURELY DON'T WANT THAT AXLE TO COME LOOSE OR BE BINDING SOMEHOW!

YOU TUBE HAS SOME REALLY GOOD VIDEOS ON HOW DIFFERENTIALS WORK. I LIKE THE REALLY OLD ONES (FROM THE '40s, '50s, AND '60s) THE ANIMATED ONES ARE HELPFUL TOO!

THE MEDIC
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
A differential is rather difficult to explain unless you have a picture to look at. Doesn't matter if it's on the front or rear, each axle shaft has a small gear on the end of it inside the differential. Two more gears go between them to form the four sides of a square. When you rotate one shaft forward, the other one will spin backward.

Now you place that entire assembly inside a housing and support it on a pair of huge bearings. That housing has a large gear around it, (ring gear). A smaller gear turns the ring gear along with the housing. Normally both axle shafts will turn the same way as an assembly, however, one side will always have slightly more resistance to turning. Could be a tight axle seal, a dragging brake caliper, etc. The other side with the lower resistance will rotate. You found that to be the passenger side.

To prove everything is working normally, stop the right tire from spinning and you'll see the left one start to turn. Be careful how you stop the spinning tire. I use a piece of a 2x4, but you must hold the end up high so the tire is trying to push it into the ground. If you just slide the piece of lumber on the ground and under the tire, it can catch and get shot out like a projectile. At the least you'll look funny chasing after it. At worst you could take out something rather important.

To illustrate the first point about the axle shafts turning in opposite directions, put the transmission in "park" to lock the differential housing from turning, then rotate one tire forward by hand. You'll see the other tire turn backward. When the differential is allowed to turn, meaning it's out of "park", the entire assembly is free to turn one way, but those gears are what lets the outside wheel rotate slightly faster when going around a corner. It needs to do that because it's making a larger-diameter circle.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 9:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi CJ. Sorry for butting in. I started typing a long time ago, then got side-tracked.
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Saturday, July 18th, 2015 AT 10:09 PM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
ANYTIME DOC!

I LEARNED THAT HUNTING AND PECKING FOREVER "TIMES" ME "OUT" TOO, MY TECHNIQUE FOR RECOVERY (NOT LOSING MY ANSWER) NOW IS TO HAVE ANOTHER 2CAR TAB UP AND RUNNING. BEFORE I SUBMIT, I'LL REFRESH THE TAB AND INSURE IT IS STILL WORKING, OR IF I NEED TO RE-SIGN IN (ON THAT TAB). WHEN IT'S GOOD TO GO, I'LL HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON ON THE "TAB WITH MY ANSWER". I USED TO COPY THE ANSWER W/ THE MOUSE, THEN SORTA PLAY THE "DID IT GO, GAME?" WHEN I HIT SUBMIT

IF YOU HAVE GOOD INFO TO ADD - GO FOR IT!

MY INFO COULD BE "OFF" AT TIMES

I DON'T MIND CORRECTIONS, I ALSO DON'T MIND ANOTHER OPINION!

OR ANOTHER APPROACH THAT MIGHT BE UNDERSTOOD BETTER BY THE ASKER

BESIDES, THE MORE INFO PROVIDED, ONE MIGHT HAVE CHOICES ON WHICH WAY TO TURN. NOT BEING STUCK WITH JUST ONLY ONE OPINION (WHICH COULD BE DRASTICALLY WRONG!)

ANYTIME / ANYBODY / NOT JUST DOC!

WELCOME TO JUMP IN HERE, EVEN FOR DISCUSSIONS THAT MIGHT HELP SOMEONE!

STAY WHERE YOU ARE IF YOU WANNA JUST TURN THE POST INTO THE "JERRY SPRINGIER SHOW"! I CAN DISH IT OUT TOO!

MY GOAL IS TO GET 'EM GOING, GOING SAFELY, AND SAVING 'EM $$$ IF I CAN. IF POSSIBLE, WINNING SOMEONE OVER TO THE JEEP CJ SIDE!

DID YOU GET HIM ALL FIGURED OUT Antolin1288?

THE MEDIC
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Sunday, July 19th, 2015 AT 9:49 AM

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