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Brad, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 2366
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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97 pathfinder: having intermittent charging problems

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I just replaced the alternator on my 97 pathfinder but it is still having intermittent charging problems. Is there anything between the alternator and the battery that should be checked?
Hello and welcome to!

There can certainly be wiring problems between the battery and the alternator. Also a bad battery can cause charging system issues.

There is also a high defective rate in some brands of alternators.

Can you go into more details as to exactly what charging problems you're having?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If I start and drive my car without anything on it will go for about 20 minutes before I see the battery and brake turn on at the same time. If i turn on the radio and a/c fan the fault lights will come on faster but i can continue to drive. In this condition I will see 12.3 volts at the battery. If I run with the lights on it will bring the battery voltage to a critical level and the battery is not getting enough of a charge to keep up. It seems to happen faster at higher ambient temperatures.
I would have the battery fully charged and then load tested. A bad battery can cause this.

OK there are 4 wires at the alternator:

1>A large White/Blue wire that bolts on should have battery power all the time (if not check the 100 amp fuse "a" in the underhood fuse box)

2>Small Blue/Yellow wire that plugs in should have battery power all the time (if not check the 7.5 amp fuse "65" in the underhood fuse box)

3>Small Yellow/Black wire that plugs in should have battery power when the key is ON (if not check the 10 amp fuse "7" in the interior fuse box)

4> Black wire that bolts on should have a good ground connection (if not try wiring a redundant ground wire).

If this is all good then you have a bad battery or a defective alternator, OR you have corrosion or a bad connection somewhere. You can use a multimeter to check the resistance of 1 and 2 to battery power, 3 to battery power with the key on and 4 to battery ground. None of these should have more than 5 ohms of resistance and if any do then you've got a bad wire or connection somewhere.
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