Electrical problems?

Tiny
DANYDEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 NISSAN MURANO
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 208,500 MILES
Have a 2005 Nissan Murano.
Alternator went and was replaced. 1 week later alternator went again and replaced (thought was faulty alternator) new one in now and lights are flickering (not the icons) but alternator and battery are reading as charged. Dealership said transmission problems (and want to sell me a new car) but would that cause lights to flicker? Worried that it's going to die on me again and not fun with 2 young kids. Wondering if it's worth trying to figure out the problem. Have a video of lights flickering if that helps.
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016 AT 4:45 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
DANYDEE
  • MEMBER
Here are the lights flickering.
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Before you go any further, how old is the battery? GM has a real big problem with repeat generator failures caused by the huge voltage spikes they develop. As the battery ages and the lead flakes off the plates, it loses its ability to dampen and absorb those spikes. They can damage the generator's internal diodes and voltage regulator and interfere with computer sensor signals. It's not uncommon to go through four to six replacement generators in the life of the vehicle.

Most import cars such as yours use a similar generator design but with not quite so many repeat failures. Regardless, when you have multiple failures so close together, suspect the battery unless it is less than about two years old. Also check the battery cable connections. Without going into my really long-winded reply at this time, it is very easy to destroy multiple computers by trying to run the engine with the battery disconnected. That was a real poor trick uneducated mechanics did decades ago. That won't hurt older cars but you must never do that on cars with computers. A loose or dirty cable connection mimics that removed cable. The battery is needed to help the voltage regulator do its job. An old battery, a loose cable connection, or heaven-forbid, a disconnected battery removes it from the circuit and prevents the regulator from holding system voltage steady. Computers really hate unstable supply voltage. You see that as flickering lights.
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016 AT 5:06 PM
Tiny
DANYDEE
  • MEMBER
Battery is less than 5 years old. But was tested and shows at the 13v?
Transmission is slipping a bit but we've never done a transmission flush.
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016 AT 5:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You missed my point. A three-year-old battery can crank the engine just fine for starting but may no longer be able to dampen voltage spikes. It is REAL important on GM cars to replace even a two-year-old battery if the generator needs to be replaced. As I mentioned, other car brands don't have nearly as much trouble, but an older battery and / or loose or dirty cable connections can still cause the symptoms you described.

You need to measure battery voltage to the tenth of a volt. If you really find 13.0 volts with the engine not running, that suggests it is over-charged, and that is also a result of much of the lead being flaked off the plates. That leaves you with just a fraction of the battery it originally was. With little lead left on the plates, all the charging current has less place to go, so the plates and acid heat up and voltage goes up. That speeds up the eventual failure due to one of the cells becoming shorted when the fallen lead builds up in the bottom and shorts it.

My recommendation is to at least try a new battery to eliminate that as the culprit before you spend money on potentially unneeded service. If the problem is still there, THEN have your mechanic look further.
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Thursday, March 10th, 2016 AT 6:18 PM

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