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Jay, Nissan Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 20484
Experience:  20+yrs experience with Nissan & Infiniti Trained & Certified.Currently still working for Dealer
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ABS light comes on, car slows down to about 1000 rpm max

Customer Question

ABS light comes on, car slows down to about 1000 rpm max speed. No other lights on dash are lit. Is it brake fluid issue? I just got a cam shaft sensor replaced on Friday and this car was supposedly in good shape again. 2003 Nissan Altima.
JA: Have you checked the fuses? The dashboard bulbs?
Customer: Nope. The fuses are under the hood? It's been a while and I'm on the side of the road at the moment.
JA: Are you fixing your Altima yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Nothing. I was driving when this started about ten minutes ago. The cam shaft sensor fix was done at a garage. I'm barely competent with cars. And this one has been a real lemon. Lol
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope. Thanks.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

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

Where did you have the Cam Sensor replaced? Dealer or repair shop?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Repair garage near my home that I have used in the past. I should point out that the symptoms leading up to that garage visit were entirely different (car dying, refusing to turn over, service engine light) and have not resurfaced.FYI, I checked the brake fluid and it was completely full. Couldn't reach the fuse at the time, as I was on the road without tools. Car continues to intermittently lose acceleration (to about 30-35 mph at best) as ABS light comes on.
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Brake fluid if low would put on the brake light and ABS light. For the ABS light only to be on, would require a scanner to see what code you have. Now when it comes to Cam Sensors, after market ones never work right. The CAM sensor can set a Engine Speed signal code since it measures the speed of the engine ( rpms ). The Engine Speed signal code would be in the ABS system. Since you just had the CAM sensor done Friday, I would have the shop recheck their work. If you have a Engine Speed Sensor code, that would mean the CAM sensor they installed is not working properly.

After Market Cam Sensors are known to continue to cause hard start or stalling, it may or may not cause warning lights and in some cases throw a intake timing code which would make you think that there is something wrong with the timing chains when there really isn't. So I would focus on getting the ABS system scanned to really determine the action required.

Did the shop do any other repairs? Does the ABS light stay on when you start the car or does it come on when you start to drive?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
ABS light is off when I start the car. Shortly after, once I'm on the road, the power drop is the first indication. The ABS light comes on half a second later. The light comes and goes, especially if I'm braking. Soon as I let my foot off the brake, it pops back on. Power resumes shortly afterward. The last time it let me get back home without additional trouble. Here is the itemized repair list. Let me me know if the scan is too poor. Note that I did not opt to replace the window motors for now (though, strangely, they're working much better). Thanks for your time!
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Did you have this same issue before you had the cam sensor done?

Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Oh wow, ok. They did the Cam and Crank Sensor..

Why 2 window motors? Normally it's just the window runs that need to be lubricated for the windows..

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The window motors were really slow going up in back. Those windows have been in heavy use since 2012, when I found a dog. :)As I said, I opted to replace those another time, as the bill was already huge. I have no idea why they seem to have more energy than they once did.I've never had this problem before, no. The previous trouble that led to the garage visit was the engine stalled on me a couple of times and a check engine light appeared. But, I didn't even know this antiquated lemon even had an ABS light until yesterday.Sorry for the delays, by the way. Busy running around (without a car) and making alternate arrangements. Thanks!
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Now I am sorry for the delays.

Since you just had work done, I would see if you can have the shop scan the car for you and see what codes you have. Then return back here and I will continue to help you.

Does that sound good?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No worries. I realized that, whatever the problem might be, it's clearly not something I can solve myself. Took it back to garage this afternoon. On my way there, the ever-timely "Service Engine Soon" light finally appeared. (For the record, that light has NEVER warned me in advance of a problem, and I firmly believe was placed there to taunt me.)Anyway, they said the problem is unrelated. I didn't understand any of what she said, but it's the alternator. Which means I'm out another $450. I'm about to walk over and pick it up, so I can give you a better explanation then if you're still keen to solve the mystery. Otherwise, thanks so much for all the assistance AND patience!
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Interesting. I am just curious what codes you may have if the Service Engine Soon light came on.

A bad alternator would cause a Brake light, Battery light and ABS light normally. Checking the alternator is easy if you have a volt meter.

Let me know.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've blown through alternators before, and I agree the warning signs were completely different. Honestly, I've stopped trying to figure this vehicle out. Years ago it started burning through batteries every two weeks. No one could figure out why. Then a mechanic discovered it was related to a recent break-in. The thieves cored the lock and, somehow, the replacement lock lacked some component of the original that caused a short in the entire electrical system. A cored lock causing rapid battery depletes, and the whole error code computer system didn't notice a thing. I realize electronic ignition systems were a swell first step in computerizing cars, but I long for the simplicity and durability of something made before 1980.Anyway, enough grumbling about the modern cars like a cantankerous Luddite. I'll be yelling at kids to get off my lawn next. Here's the receipt. Hope it solves the mystery so you can explain it to me. I'm off to bed. Talk to ya soon!
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

If your getting alternators from a auto parts store, they never work right. So that would explain why you go through alternators. Just get it from the dealer and that should resolve that.

The P0507 code is a Idle Speed control code. That just requires a idle relearn to be performed which is a calibration to the electronic throttle chamber. If it doesn't accept the idle relearn, then you would need a new electronic throttle chamber. Which, once again.. When it comes to electrical parts, get it from the dealer. After market electrical parts don't work.

I will have to check the data base on the two transmission codes when I get home. I know I have seen some solenoid issues on valve bodies. But I want to be able to give you the information you need on those last two codes.

Can you wait till later this evening for me to go over those last two codes?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sure, that's fine. In future, I will take the car directly to a Nissan dealer, assuming it's in a position to make it that far.
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Sorry I missing you last night. Did you want to work with me later this evening?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Unfortunately, I'll be taking my nephews to a Halloween event this evening. We could postpone until tomorrow, if you prefer. Honestly, I've learned my lesson and the car (for now) is functional. I'm content to consider the matter closed, but am always interested in learning more. The choice is yours.
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Tomorrow evening would be fine, I will talk to you then,

Thanks Jay!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well, my weekend was busier than I expected. Apologies for that. If you're able to give me the information on those two codes tonight, that's fine. It's Halloween, so really any night this week is fine to pass along that info if you'd prefer. Talk to you soon.
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Tomorrow would be better, I am crazy busy answering the door every 5

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Not a problem (obviously). I've been up half the night solving a computer dilemma. Talk to you soon!
Expert:  Jay replied 11 months ago.

Sorry, I had computer problems tonight. I just got it working. I will be online from 7:40 pm EST till 2am tomorrow. Will you be available then?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No worries, and boy do I know how you feel. Computer woes have doubled my to-do list workload for this week. So, yeah, I'll be here. Talk to you later!