Alternator again? High voltage and Battery & brake lights - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator again? High voltage and Battery & brake lights

I just got stranded on the side of the road by what I think is an alternator problem. The car went into limp mode and the battery and brake lights were illuminated, and according to the volt meter on my radar detector the alt. was putting out ~17 volts. Had the car towed home and now it seems to be fine.

I just replaced the alternator about 5 months and maybe 3K miles ago. Also replaced the battery last week unrelated to this problem. The vehicle is a 2005, and was not affected by the original alternator recall.


What do you all think? am I in for another alternator replacement?
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 12:43 AM
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First, I suggest you put a battery charger on it and get a FULL charge into the battery. That gives you a known starting point.

I then suggest you put a digital voltmeter across the battery terminals while it's running. Check to see if you're getting 14V right after startup. After you've driven the car to work and back, check voltage of the battery at rest and after startup. Should be slightly above 12V with the car off, and 14V right after startup.

I don't trust the meter on your radar detector.

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 08:21 AM
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Sure sounds like a bad voltage regulator on the alternator. Where did you get the alternator from? At 5 months it should still be in warranty.

17 volts is basically what an unregulated automotive alternator will put out. Between the other symptoms I'm willing to bet your radar detector was right.

Curious to see what the voltage reading using a meter is at the battery with the car at idle and while revving the engine to 3000-3500 rpm. It shouldn't go over 14.2 but I bet yours hits at least 15.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down

Thanks for the input, looks like it is dead.

Well, I had it on the charger for a bit this morning. Only took 10 min to get to full charge, so it wasn't the battery. Took it out for a spin around the neighborhood (made sure to have my running shoes on in case I was jogging home) Ran 14.1 volts at first, dropping to 13.7 after about 5 minutes. I turned on all the accessories and it dropped further to 12.6, so it looks like it is alternator replacement time again.

The alternator was replaced in December with a duralast (yeah right) from autozone with a lifetime replacement warranty. I will be returning it and buying a bosch unit from NAPA. Upon looking at my records this alternator only has 1,653 miles on it. Not a good run.

Oh and Pilgrim, the readout on the radar detector was correct, verified with a fluke multimeter.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 10:52 AM
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Yeah, I've joked before that Autozone's lifetime warranty parts mean you're going to be replacing them every 6 months for a lifetime.

I've had good luck with NAPA parts. They're usually a little more expensive but you shouldn't have to swap them out a year later. That and picking good name brands from rockauto.com when waiting a couple days for shipping isn't an issue.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I usually always buy NAPA or rockauto, but time was of the essence when I forst replaced it, and autozone was the only place that had it in stock. Well, old one is out, time for lunch and then to go get a new one and return the duracrap.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 02:59 PM
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Sure sux having to replace the alternator so soon. Dam AutoZone parts. I'm curious, are you replacing the alternator yourself or paying a shop to do it? I ask because from what I've read and seen videos of, replacing the alternator on our Muranos is no easy task.

I've haven't had any issues with the alternator on my Murano. Thank god. I've replaced the battery twice since owning the vehicle. Bought it used with 44k miles back in 2007. No idea if my Murano was affected by the alternator recall and previous owner had it replaced through Nissan.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2005_Murano_S View Post
Sure sux having to replace the alternator so soon. Dam AutoZone parts. I'm curious, are you replacing the alternator yourself or paying a shop to do it? I ask because from what I've read and seen videos of, replacing the alternator on our Muranos is no easy task.
Replacing it myself, first time took about 4 hrs to R&R but only took me ~45 min to pull it out this time. Nothing inherently hard about the procedure it is just that all the bolts are in inconvenient locations and require creative use of extensions and universal joints.
Now it is raining and I have no garage so I guess the install of the new one will have to wait until morning. And I will never shop at autozone again!! In addition to the defective part, the customer service leaves much to be desired.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 05:07 PM
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Take it they refused a refund? I was worried about that when you said you were going to return it.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 05:24 PM
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Replacing it myself, first time took about 4 hrs to R&R but only took me ~45 min to pull it out this time. Nothing inherently hard about the procedure it is just that all the bolts are in inconvenient locations and require creative use of extensions and universal joints.
Now it is raining and I have no garage so I guess the install of the new one will have to wait until morning. And I will never shop at autozone again!! In addition to the defective part, the customer service leaves much to be desired.
Did you have to actually remove the radiator in order to get the alternator out? I guess this is what seems as most challenging to me if I have to ever replace the alternator.

When replacing the front motor mount I had to remove the radiator fan, which wasn't too bad. So maybe removing the radiator is just a couple more steps after that.
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Take it they refused a refund? I was worried about that when you said you were going to return it.
No, but they had a hard time understanding that I wanted to return it instead of exchange, and as I was walking out I realized that I hadn't grabbed the receipt, and it turns out they never finalized the transaction. They insisted that it had gone though but could not provide me with a receipt. After about 10 minutes (no joke) they just gave me cash. Poor guy kept insisting that I had the receipt, but I had the one from when I had purchased it not the one for my refund.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Did you have to actually remove the radiator in order to get the alternator out? I guess this is what seems as most challenging to me if I have to ever replace the alternator.

When replacing the front motor mount I had to remove the radiator fan, which wasn't too bad. So maybe removing the radiator is just a couple more steps after that.
No you can wiggle out the alternator with just the fans out. Probably much easier with the whole radiator out, but ain't nobody got time for that. Just make sure to protect the radiator fins with a piece of cardboard becasue you will end up hitting it. many times.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-23-2014, 06:21 PM
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Good to know. Thanks for the input. I hope that I never have to replace the alternator on my MO but if I ever do it's good to have some knowledge of how to go about with the repair.

I've replaced the struts, power steering hose, brakes, motor mounts, belts, outer tie rod ends, lower oil pan, and lower control arms on my MO. Soon will be replacing the spark plugs once it hits 105k miles. So I don't mind getting my hands dirty and saving a bunch of money while doing it myself.
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