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Jay
Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20091
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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I have a 2006 Nissan Altima. I had replaced a parking light.

Customer Question

I have a 2006 Nissan Altima. I had replaced a parking light. With the car running, I was testing for the hot wire to install a rear camera. When I touched the multimeter to what I thought to be ground and an touched one of the other wires in the light socket, I saw a little spark. When I turned the car off and tried to start the car it wouldn't, but I no longer have anything on the dash now. It starts sporadically but still with no dash. I had it towed to my mechanic who couldn't diagnose the problem. Do you have any idea?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

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

The car is not with you right now to do some checks?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I should have it tomorrow
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

With this type of issue, I would like to know what light you were trying to tap into, and the color wire so I can see what circuit that is affecting.

Do you recall that information?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was replacing the right rear parking light. I had my wife put the car in reverse so I could check the wires. I disconnected the wire harness and put the black prob of my multimeter on the male connection on the harness and my red one on the wire connection closest to the black one. I didn't get any real measurement so put the red prob on the next male connection. Both times I saw arcing when I touched the two non-black wires.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Do you know what color wire it was in the tail light connector? not the color meter leads?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think black, brown, white
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Hold on.. Let me see

Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

There is no Brown or White wire. The Black wire is the ground, that won't short anything

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I know I put the black prob on the black wire. I don't remember what color the other two were. I just put my red prob on the next male connection to the right of the black and when I don't see any real reading on that wire I moved to the connection farthest to the right.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Can we do this? Can we wait till the car returns so you can remove the tail light to refresh your memory so you can tell me exactly what color wire you probed, and take pictures and share images with me so I can help you determine what you may have done?

I can keep this question open till you can do this. Does that work for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Absolutely. I will try to get it back tomorrow.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Ok.. Talk to you tomorrow.

Just Return back to this question so we can continue. I will not be online after 3 pm EST. I will be out for the evening. Worst case if I don't connect with you tomorrow, I will be here all day on Thursday.

So you know my schedule.

Does that work for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Ok then. Talk to you tomorrow or Thursday

Just return back to this question. Do you know how to do that?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Perfect

Have a good evening and we will talk when you have the car back.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just a follow up. It longer than I expected to get the car back. Can we work on this tomorrow after 3?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Sure that will be fine

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are some photos
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My local shop didn't charge me since they couldn't find anything. They said it would start sparadically . They said something about the door having to be shut when you do it. When we did get it to run, I was told it wouldn't go above 5-10 MPH, like it was crippled. Now the battery is dead and it won't start.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

What color wire was it exactly now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put the black probe on the black wire and the red on the red then green on the right. I saw arcing when I touched the red and green.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Ok, The Red wire with the Green Stripe is for the Brake lights.

When you turn the key to the ON position, does the engine fans kick on?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for the delay. It rained the last couple of days. It's clear today. I'll let you know what happens.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

you got it. Let me know

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put it in on position and no go.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm "jumping" the battery. I got the car to click when trying to start it, but no fan in the on position.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Well if the fans are not on when the key is in the On position, then the issue is most likely not a Ecm. Since you are getting a signal click, that is a sign of a bad starter. Or were you getting rapid clicking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rapid clicking
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Rapid clicking is a sign of a weak battery. Try jumping the car again, but leave the car that is jump starting you running and hooked up to your car for around 10 mins before you try to start it and see if it starts.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm going to go it tested and charged. I'll be back after 3 tomorrow. Thanks for your help
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

ok.. I will be here in the Evening after 7 pm EST till 10 or 11 pm so you know when I will be online.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought a new battery since one was dead. I think it ran down while driving. We put the key in the on position and fans still don't come on.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Ok.. That is good. But your not getting any clicking now? or are you getting a single clicking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No clicking this time. It will turn, but won't start.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a scanner to monitor the Park Neutral switch position?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. I might be able to get one. How much do they run
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.
Those are not something you just run and pick up. They range from 500 to 2500 dollars for that type of scanner.You said you have a volt meter right?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

The gray connector at the starter. Lets unplug that and on the harness side of the connect, lets see if we have power when the key is turned to the Crank position.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sent you a picture of what we remove
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we tried with bothWe tried with both wires off. Then we tried was just a wire connected. Both times it will turn but not start
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

that is the Alternator, not the starter.. Then engine doesn't turn over right? We need to check power at the starter connector when the key is in the Crank position.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oops! Brain fart we'll Check tomorrow.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are the wires. Which is the Grey, and which goes to the harness?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll be able to get to the car today, remove the harness and let you know. How do I use the diagram?
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. Having technical issues on my end.

All i want you to do is unplug that gray connector and see if it's getting power when the key is turned to the Crank Position

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. We unplugged the starter from the harness end and it clicked but not start.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the Delay. Yesterday was my birthday and I was pulled out of the house to celebrate.

Did you unplug that gray plug and see if you have voltage when the key is turned to the Crank Position?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Without removing any wires from the starter, we cranked the car up and it started. We still have no dash: no tach or anything.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

So the car starts now? Just the instrument cluster is not working? Does any of the dash warning lights come on if you turn the key to the ON position?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wishful thinking. Now It's back to the sporadic start. I turned it off, a few minutes later, spins but won't start like it's not getting any fuel. I'll check the lights tomorrow.
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

ok

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In the on position, everything works, accept no dash. I get turn signals but no in-dash. And still no start
Expert:  Jay replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a scanner to monitor the and see if you can communicate with the unified meter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me check around and see if someone I know has one

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