5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003)Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.
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It seems that our 2001 Maxima has a problem with the alternator or battery, however I'm not sure which.
For the last few...months we've had problems where it's hard to start. The starter runs fine, it tries to start but just doesn't get there until after a few tries. After that it'll run fine. It seemed to be worse in cold weather, however in warm\hot weather it happened as well.
Yesterday we went to the store, and when trying to leave the starter turned slowly a few times then just stopped. We let it sit for a while, tried again and it started up. After making another stop it did the same except we couldn't get it start up alone. We got jump started and it started no problems, first try.
At the moment we can't really go anywhere as it just turns for a second and stops. All the dash lights flicker as if the battery is dead and our trip odometer gets reset to 0.
I tested the battery with a multimeter, and it's reading 12.66V @ 2.5A. I seriously find 2.5A to be far too low for a car battery as I've used UPS batteries in the past that are 10A, plus a starter uses more power to start up than it takes to run a computer.
I have a feeling the problem is with the car battery. It's a Nissan OEM that was replaced under warranty about 5 years ago, and from what I understand is getting close to the life expectancy. We were told that it's probably the alternator, however I have my doubts as it stays running and all electronics work fine once the car is running, and the battery light never comes on. The check engine light isn't on either, and we've had the alternator fail in the past and the car had very little power, the engine light was on and the battery light was on.
To save sanity of dealing with repair shops, does this sound like a battery or alternator issue?
I don't understand what you did to the battery when you say it was 12.66V @ 2.5A. But you did measure 12.6 volts. Did you try measuring the voltage while the engine was cranking? With a good, fully charged battery, the voltage will not fall below 11 volts while cranking. When the engine is running, the alternator should have the voltage at about 14 volts, plus or minus a couple of tenths.
Have the battery tested. From what you have said, it does sound more like the battery is dying.
I would think that the battery is on its way since it is 5 years old, but you can test it to confirm. Like stated above measure the voltage at the battery when the car is running. If it is less than 14V, you need alternator.
Alright, I got two videos for measurement of the voltage. The first one is when we tried again today.
It started up here, however I did slow down the video so the measurements could be read easier. There is some power steering noise, that'll be fixed soon. The voltage dropped to 8.9V then went up to 14V.