Question about 2001 Nissan Maxima

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Battery and break lights come on and off

I have a 2001 Maxima. I recently replaced the battery, because I noticed that the break light and the battery light indicators were both coming on. The battery that my mechanic put in the car was probably big enough for a Vespa scooter. I tried turning on the car and disconnecting the plugs from the battery, but the indicators come on and off at will. Anything else wrong with the car??

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  • malvarado Nov 03, 2008

    Hi, jschoon77:



    I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly. Now, one more
    silly question. How does the alternator Load can be tested and
    where? I don't want the other guy who originally messed with the
    car do it, because I'm suspicious that he might be loosening components
    or breaking things just to have me take the car to him again and spend
    more money. And also, where do you have your shop? Anywhere
    near Philadelphia, PA???

  • alwash07 Nov 10, 2008

    I just noticed this evening my car is having the same problem....(battery & break light comes on) Please help

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  • 55 Answers

First, let me caution you to not disconnect the battery while the engine is running. This can lead to Electronic Control Unit damage (that's the engine computer, etc etc etc.)

Secondly, it sounds like you have an alternator issue. You will need to have the alternator LOAD tested to make sure that it is charging properly at all times.

You may want to have the battery checked for the correct application also if you think it may be too small (although physical size is not always indicative of the amperage output capacity of a battery).

Hope this is helpful.

Nissan Scope Certified Technician- 10 + years in Nissan dealership

Posted on Nov 03, 2008

  • Jason Schoonmaker
    Jason Schoonmaker Nov 04, 2008

    Alternators are load tested at most any reputable shop that does battery service. I know that dealers are usually the most expensive shops, but they are the technicians who know your vehicle the best and are trained to work on it by the people who designed and built the car.



    Having said that, there should be plenty of reputable independent shops around you in Philly that should be able to load test your alternator. This testing requires diagnostic equipment that can get pretty expensive.



    My recommendation is this. Take the car to your local dealer and let them load test the battery, starting system and charging system- they have advanced equipment that I feel is the best out there. If they find the issue, you are under no obligation to have them perform the repair. You can just pay them for the time they have in it (usually about 1/2 hour labor for this testing- so, about $45 or $50 in your area) and take it somewhere you trust that is a little cheaper with the diagnosis and have them perform the repair. Depending on your knowledge and experience, you may be able to perform the repair yourself.



    Unfortunately, I am about 3 hours away from the Philadelphia area, so I don't think I would be of much help to you in that regard.

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