Question about 2008 Nissan Altima

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My 2008 Nissan altima will not start sometimes usually it happens when you put your foot on brake before you start it and the brake pedal won't release back does anyone know what the problem is

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Do the brake lights come on when you press the brake? If not the brake switch is bad. If they do, check your brake fluid. Ive heard of these Altimas having bad master brake cylinders. If your brakes(pads) are good and your fluid is really low, this may be your culprit. Should be covered under warranty.Let me know how you make out.

Posted on May 24, 2011

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Question for wdreeves-I believe I have the same issue. I've actually had the brake signal replaced as it was bad. My altima experiences the same problem. I read your post. I know where the brake switch is located but was wondering if you could explain how u took the brake switch out. Does it just pop off thank yiu

Posted on Aug 06, 2014

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  • wdreeves
    wdreeves Aug 06, 2014

    Joe, the switch should just be a twist lock. Turn it about 90 degrees and you should feel it disengage and you should just be able to pull it out.

  • Joe Andrews Aug 06, 2014

    Hi wdreeves, thank you but I feel like I'm not doing something right am

  • Joe Andrews Aug 06, 2014

    Sorry wdreeves. I'm still not sure that I'm doing this right. Am I twisting the actual fuse or the black 'piece' that it's inserted in. It looks like u need something to pop the sides out. Am I doing something wrong Thanks for ur patience dreeves


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My daughter's 2008 Altima had intermittent problems of not starting. Although she pushed the brake pedal, the brake light appeared on the instrument panel as though the brake pedal was not pushed. I took the car to the shop and although they couldn't replicate the problem, wanted $500 to replace the brake start switch activated by the brake pedal.
I decided to troubleshoot the problem myself and this is what I found to be the problem without spending an additional dime.
I took the brake switch out of its bracket and let it dangle freely. Since this is a "normally on" switch, you could then start the car without pushing the break.
The switch end that engages the bracket has a number of ridges that allow you to adjust the depth to which the switch is engaged by inserting the switch into the bracket and turning it 90 degrees to lock it in place. I engaged it to its fully engaged position and then backed it off about an eighth of an inch and tried to started the car. The car started without even pushing the brake so this indicated I had withdrawn the switch to far. I then inserted the switch about a sixteenth of an inch from bring fully engaged and it has worked perfectly ever since. Apparently the switch failed intermittently because the position of the switch was on the edge of working/not working and was probably affected by the amount the brake pedal could be pushed and was variable based on the buildup of hydraulic pressure on the brake system.

Posted on Jul 03, 2013

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  • DSkyman Aug 13, 2013

    I have the same problem! Intermittent for the past year. Can you tell us where the switch is located and maybe shoot a picture of it?

  • DSkyman Aug 06, 2014

    I fixed my Altima following the advice of wdreeves above. The brake switch is just a little push button switch located behind the brake pedal lever. Just go under there with a flashlight and pump the brake by hand and you will see the brake lever push the switch. This switch tells the car the brake pedal is pushed so the car will start. If it is not pushed, the car will not start and the brake gets progressively harder to pump, since the hydraulic pump won't let off the pressure until the engine starts. Ridiculously easy, but fallable design. Easy fixed by hand by adjusting the play on the switch, but I could see a dishonest shop taking you for a $400+ dollar ride on this one.

  • wdreeves
    wdreeves Jan 22, 2015

    Glad it worked out for you, DSkyman. Since I made this adjustment on my daughter's Altima a year and a half ago, she has not had a problem starting the car since.


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