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Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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Jay, i have a 2002 Xterra 4WD. Several issues.. I had the

Customer Question

Hello Jay, i have a 2002 Xterra 4WD. Several issues.. I had the gear shifter replaced (the whole unit) The next day I was driving it and the ATP light came on and it lost power and stopped. I was told the alternator was the problem had that replaced along with a brand new battery. The next day a very dim battery light came on then the ATP light again and it died again. Today it recharged and started but the ATP light is on again. I did all the shifting from 2 to 4Lo etc ATP light still is on. I FORGOT TO MENTION: The dash is not working. Cant see the digital mileage and all the gauges are on zero and wont move no warning lights except ATP. Is there something else they are overlooking?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for your question.

Do you happen to have a volt meter? I would like to check something.

Let me know..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No i dont have one
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Do you happen to know of anyone that has one. This could be a easy thing to figure out if you knew someone with one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. I could try to go to one of the auto places like oreillys or autozone but im afraid i might not make it there
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

It's very possible you won't. This Alternator, did you install it or a repair shop?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A repair shop. Is it possible that it may have not been the alternator but the way the gear shifter was put it? The problem started the next day?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

The shifter assembly I can't see causing this issue and sounds simply like a coincidence. But I have seen after market Alternators not work right out of the box. I had one vehicle where I went through 4 Alternators from 3 different auto parts stores that did not work. It made me double guess something with the vehicle also. But every time I checked it, it checked out. So on the 5th Alternator I got it from the dealer and it has worked since. That was 10 years ago.

So when it comes to after market alternators, what I have found is the quality is no longer there. That they either don't work out of the box, or if it does work, it lasts a year or less.

So this is what I would suggest. Since a repair shop did the work, I would contact them and have it brought to them. This is most likely due to a defective alternator. But you should not have to pay if you just had it done. If the Alternator is not charging properly you can get warning lights and items will shut down and not operate cause power is being re-directed to try to keep the truck running.

Do you happen to have a battery charger?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I don't. I will call the shop and have them look at that alternator again. He said it was new so he should be able to exchange it I would think. What you said about the after market parts i find to be true. I will let him know of what you told me the problem may be and will go from there and will let you know. BTW what should he check for with the voltage meter? I'll can also let you know what he finds there.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

This is important. Repair shops have accounts with auto parts stores. So they mainly use after market parts. The only time they normally go to the dealer is if the part is not available after market.

So with that being said, when they take the alternator off to lets say send it back. The Auto Parts store may have a bench test machine. So they mount it on the machine to see what it produces as far as a charge. Most of the time it will bench test fine, but as soon as you put a load on it ( meaning installed ) it can't produce a strong enough charge. So I can't tell you how many times I have seen bad alternator bench test ok, cause there is no load on it.

When you have a good working alternator, if you have the truck running and a volt meter on the battery with lights off and AC off, you should see a charging voltage of around 14.3 volts. It should not be much higher than that. If it's over 14.5 volts, then it's over charging.

Now, when you want to load test it, with the volt meter still on the battery and truck still idling, turn the head lights on, AC on and rear defroster. The charging voltage should be around 13.8 volts. No lower.

That Is a simple test when using a volt meter.

Which you can explain to the repair shop to have them quickly check this alternator for you

Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Please return and let me know how you make out.

If you have any more questions on this, please feel free to ask.

If not, and you're satisfied with my help, please Rate me. That is how I get credit for my work.

I hope I have provided you with Excellent Service.

Thanks Jay!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will definitely do that hopefully no later than tomorrow. You have been very helpfu
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

You got it. Talk to you tomorrow.