Question about 1998 Nissan Maxima

3 Answers

I recently had a belt break on my car.Its hard to explain because the guys working on my car didn't speak English. They set out to replace a broken belt , while doing that they show me a part and told me it wouldn't turn . from what I gathered this part goes into a major part ( perhaps the alternator?) then connects to a wheel that turns the belt. So, they replaced that and the belt. The car starts and runs for about 400 miles. Now each time I crank it I hear a clunk then a metallic whistle. Eventually the whistle stopped and there was only the clunk when I cranked it, today there was no clunk instead the smell of burning rubber and smoke coming from the belts. Then my brake and battery lights on the dash came on, then the air started blowing hot , then the windows stopped working , then the car stalled. Now when I try to crank it there is a fast clicking sound and it won't turn over. jumping it off doesn't help and the battery tests good , but dead. What is actually broke that needs replacing? What did they replace at first? Thanks in advance . Oh, when replying please keep in mind I'm a girl who doesn't speak car.Thanks again!!

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  • trixy48_2 Sep 06, 2009

    I didn't get a new alternator , they replaced a piece that I now know goes to the belt tensioner. Upon inspecting the situation I can see that the belt they replaced is still in one piece however the belt doesn't look lined up with the tensioner and the belt looks like it is coming off of the alternator and the crankshaft pulley looks like it is trying to come off and the thinner belt behind it is twisted. So, now I'm trying to figure out why the crankshaft pulley is coming off and why the thinner belt that is also connected to the crankshaft is twisted up. What kinds of things make a crankshaft pulley come off? How can I fix this now?

  • trixy48_2 Sep 06, 2009

    THANK YOU!! You explained that exactly the way I had hoped someone would. This is what I know now. Upon inspecting the situation I now see that the part they replaced went to the tensioning pulley. Now looking at it the belt that was replaced is in one piece however it is not lined up right with the tensioning pulley and looks like it is coming off the alternator, look back a bit and I see the crankshaft pulley and it looks like it is about to come off and behind that I see a thinner belt that is connected to the crankshaft and something else. This belt is twisted up. So now I'm trying to figure out why that belt is twisted , why the crankshaft pulley is loose and coming off and what can I do to get back on the road ASAP. Thanks so much and keep in mind to be as literal as possible cause I'm no good with car speak !! Thanks again!

  • trixy48_2 Sep 06, 2009

    I just spoke with a mechanic at Advance Auto and he said that the crankshaft pulley may be coming off because someone tightened it too tight and the threads are stripped. If that is the case how do I get that fixed and is it exspensive?

  • trixy48_2 Sep 06, 2009

    I liked the explanation received from the second person , however Ive been waiting for 3 hours and have not heard back if anyone else thinks they can help , please do. I just spoke with someone at Advance auto parts and he said the clunking was my crankshaft being loose and that it may be that the threads are stripped from it being put on to tight. I still need to know about the twisted belt and my previous question . If the threads are stripped how is that fixed and is it exspensive?

  • trixy48_2 Sep 07, 2009

    Thanks so much for everyone who helped me with this . My dad has started working on the car , hehas also subscribed to FixYA so I'm gonna let him handle it he explains the car stuff so much better than me. Just to let everyone know this is what we know is going on now. The crankshaft pulley rim is broken . It was on tight so the previous idea that the threads were stripped isn't it. We do know that the reason the air and windows and such quit working was because the belt was coming off and stopping the alternator pulley from spinning. Now the question is why has this happened to the crankshaft ? Thanks everyone !

  • trixy48_2 Sep 07, 2009

    All of the answers were very helpful I appreciate everyone. See my last comment to see what the root of the problem was. Now we are trying to figure out what caused that. Thanks again.

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Sounds like the belt tensioner has failed (again) or was improperly installed. the tensioner has a large spring that forces it out to keep the belt tight while it spins. the wheel the belt spins on may have failed.

the reason all those items are failing is that the belt is not turning the alternator and from the sounds of your air conditioner.

your best bet is to have the belt replaced again (unfortunately) and while they have the belt off you can determine exactly what failed. you can usually tell what has failed by trying to turn the wheel the belt rests on.

one other option is the tensioner was installed incorrectly and isn't doing what it was intended to do

robert

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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The clicking sound is the starter solenoid not recieving enough power from your battery to start. (dead battery)

The Alternator may have failed - or your battery.

Have them both LOAD TESTED to ensure proper operation.

The whistling was your belt slipping - which could mean a damaged pulley/bearing on anything the belt touches...
A/C compressor, Alternator, FlyWheel, idler pulley, tensioner, water pump, etc.

To best narrow it down, you may have to open up your checkbook and pay a knowledgeable shop to determine the source of the problem, and be able to explain it to you so you understand.

When the vehicle is running - the power comes from the alternator. The fact that your car died while running indicates a power failure - however it could be the belt slipping.

Load test the alternator and check the belt(s) for proper tension. Look fo obvious signs of pulley damage (in and out or lateral movement indicates damage)

Keep me informed, and if you need additional help, or clarification of suggested repairs, use the "continue with this expert" option so we are
connected directly in the future.

Thanks for using FixYa!!

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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  • Nissan Master
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Okay, to begin with the alternator that was replaced is faulty. I don't know if you were charged for a new used or rebuilt alternator but I can tell you from here that it is not charging. If you know how, back the belt tensioner off just enough to allow you to slip the belt off the alternator pulley. Then just bunjy cord it to one side. Check all the pulleys on the engine except the crankshaft of course. Make sure that they all turn freely and quietly. If the altenator turns hard and noisily it is no good and you have a refund coming. It may very well be that you were told they have given you a rebuilt alternator when in actuality you got a salvage yard special.I hope they speak enough english to reimburse you for your troubles and to repair it correctly this time for free. Don't let them bully you into any more $$ payment. I have been a completely honest buisiness man for 45 years and that's why I'm now retired at 55. Good luck my friend, I hope not to offend anyone in the process of resolving your situation however it sounds pretty shady to me.

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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