Fusible Link Blew
I know my signature shows an Altima but my wife has a 2007 Maxima SL with ~94k miles on it. We bought it with around 38k miles on and we have had quite a few issues with this thing. First was the AC compressor replacement, timing chain guide replacement (youtube VQ timing chain whine), CVT seal leak (replaced under 120k mile warranty), alternator died (twice, we bought a Autozone rebuilt for $179 vs. the $400 OEM), and now what this thread is for...the fusible link.
My wife was leaving work, the car started with no problems, drove with no problems until about 5 miles from work she said the car just died and she had to drift it to the side of the road. She described it as if somebody had just pulled the plug on the car. Nothing worked. No lights (exterior or interior), she couldn't even put it back into Park, locks, windows, everything dead. Only thing that was blinking was the security LED on the dash and she put on the emergency flashers that worked on the dash, but no lights were on outside the car (must be a backup battery or something). This is about 4 weeks after the last alternator replacement. We towed it to the shop. They were diagnosing it, I started looking at the wiring schematic and noticed the 120A, 80A, 60A fuses right after the battery and figured that had to be the problem with the car. Talking to a coworker he thought it was the same thing but also questioned why it would pop the fuse.
That bunch of fuses described above are part of a ~$35 assembly called the Fusible Link. The 120A fuse popped on ours and caused the entire car to shut down. The garage called and confirmed that it was the fusible link and also found what caused it to pop. One of the wires from the alternator to the battery had vibrated and chafed the casing, it contacted metal. This short caused the fuse to pop. They replaced the link, and rerouted and rewrapped the alternator wire. The care is driving with no problems.
I searched on here and other sites for some idea on what the issue was, but found nothing. Figured I would share my experience for somebody else that may encounter this.
Last edited by jdublup; 11-26-2012 at 10:14 PM.