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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I have an interesting problem with my 2013 Nissan Altima SV. I was involved in a front end collision several years ago and after the repairs were done, my AC was always very flaky.

This problem Only persists when my car detects the outside temperature to be below 32°. It is totally hit or miss, but seems to have the correct outside temp, all the way through winter. The problems arise during summer when all the sudden, the car thinks it’s -22° or -40° or even 12° ect.

To be clear my AC works very well when it detects that my temperature is above freezing, it’s like it won’t allow the ac to turn on if it thinks it’s too cold.

I have contacted the people who fixed my car, they switched out the external temp sensor and the problem is still persistent.

I did notice when I undid their splice to check the connection, that the copper wires had a light coating of what appeared to be black soot on them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. It’s damn near 100° and I can’t stand this any longer.

Thanks.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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7,024 Posts
You are on the right track...it's probably the ambient temp sensor located in the front grille area of the car. The 'soot' is just oxidized copper and will make a poor connection. Unfortunately the corrosion probably extends for some distance back in the wiring. My suggestion would be to unwrap the harness as far back as you can reasonably go and splice in new wiring at that point back to the sensor. If you cannot do that, you can try to clean the wires (strip and flatten out the strands) with very fine sandpaper...say 400grit until the copper colour starts to show, then squeeze back together and flatten in a different direction and clean again...the idea is to get as much shiny copper as you can. To make the splice use liberal application of electrical (rosin) paste flux and then solder the two halves together. Tape well after making the join.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply, Doug. So I could surmise that the soot is causing the intermittent temperature fluctuation and that the car just has a safety shut off for the AC when the temp sensor believes it’s too cold?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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7,024 Posts
corrodes wires will cause intermittent connections of the sensor which could result in 'wrong readings'. Yes, the AC compressor is likely disabled by the controller when the outside is thought to be -20! fix the sensor, fix the problem.
 
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