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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok. i'm really pissed at my altima right now. i've searched this site for the last few days looking for help and have not found a thread discussing my problem.

i have a 2002 altima V6, Automatic, 70,000 miles, no mods whatsoever.

i had just got back to town from a 1300 mile round trip to kansas, i used premium fuel as i always do, and had no probs the entire trip. so i went to wal-mart and on my way home my car started hesitating. i coasted to a parking lot to see wtf?

had my car towed home and heres whats going on:

my car starts fine and drives fine...so long as the engine is cold. after the car heats up or after about a half-mile of driving i lose my ability to accelerate.

my car will run in idle for as long as i want it to, when i hit the accelerator i get about .5 seconds of acceleration followed by a cut-off and my car resumes idling, but it does not die out.

also, when i first start the car i get no engine lights. once the car has warmed up and starts cutting off the acceleration i still get no engine lights as long as the car is idling. when i hit the accelerator the battery (charging system) light and the parking brake light come on and then turn off once the accelerator cuts off. so if i keep my foot on the gas it accelerates and the two lights simultaneously come on and then it cuts off as do the lights. this pattern just repeats when i hit the gas. yet in idle, no lights. occasionally the SES light DIMLY comes on (kinda flickers) with the other lights, but thats it.

so here's whats strange: once the car is warmed up and giving my hell if the cooling fan comes on i can hammer on the accelerator all i want for about a two to three second window without any warning lights or cutoff...then it starts acting like a piece of sh*t again.

i had the alternator checked, the battery (which was new 4 months ago), the belts, all the fuses...and nothing.

i also followed the instructions from one of the posts to see if i could read any codes. the only code i got was the one about improper 1st gear ratio on my AT. whatever the hell that means, i havent had any tranny probs.

so i went to the library to read those tech-language service manuals that give you 13 steps to remove an entire engine...not much help! although, from what i read my ECM might be in fail-safe mode.

so,,,here's my prob, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: my battery is now dead. everything was turned off and my car was locked up last night. come out this afternoon and the battery is dead. so now it seems that whatever is causing this problem in my car is also draining my battery? i dunno.!!!!!!!!!
 

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I had a similar problem like this once. I was driving on the highway and all of a sudden the car started to decelerate and the accelerator pedal was basically uneffective. The car would idle ok but would not accelerate and eventually my battery died. The culprit happened to be the A/C belt tensioner completely came off the car... completely. Obviously the belt can off and the alternator did not charge the battery. After purchasing and installing the belt and tensioner the car worked. I'm thinking you probably already checked your belts, but something that obvious is easily overlooked.
 

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Be safe man and get it to the dealer, it's probably something minor seeins how your motor still runs and it's not making any metallic noises or knocks. But if I were you I would stay there while they diagnose the problem . Sometimes we can't fix all problems with these newer ECU computer controlled cars but keep posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
i agree, i want to get the car into a dealer...but my nissan dealer is full of a bunch of idiot jack-ass liars.

in the past they've ordered the wrong headlamp assy 4 times, each time i came in after the first goof up i asked them to make sure they had the correct side before i wasted my time driving down. each time it was the wrong damn side.

finally got the correct headlamp assy in and they installed it for me. i'm driving back home on the highway and the hose from my radiator blows off and i lose all my coolant. for some reason they had removed it to change the headlight housing, wtf!!

then, a while back i took my car in for an alignment. when i was looking at the specs i noticed there were no values for the rear. talked to the tech about it and he insisted that there was no adjustment for the rear alignment. after i stood my ground he changed his story and said that the rear was aligned and hand-wrote some values on my alignment sheet. i was sick of arguing with him. a few days later i took my car to firestone so they could check the alignment...and wouldnt you know it, the rear was way off.

in all of these situations my nissan dealer, Empire Lakewood Nissan of Colorado has never offered an apology or any type of compensation for their errs. this is why i hate dealing with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
AFDM02 said:
I had a similar problem like this once. I was driving on the highway and all of a sudden the car started to decelerate and the accelerator pedal was basically uneffective. The car would idle ok but would not accelerate and eventually my battery died. The culprit happened to be the A/C belt tensioner completely came off the car... completely. Obviously the belt can off and the alternator did not charge the battery. After purchasing and installing the belt and tensioner the car worked. I'm thinking you probably already checked your belts, but something that obvious is easily overlooked.

well, i do need new drive belt, its kinda cracking on the serpentine side but its not slipping...yet (the one that runs from the alternator to the A/C to the tensioner and finally to the engine); however, the alternator is putting out 14.0V at idle and it tested out ok when my uncle brought over a portable charging system tester from the auto parts store he works at.

i'm going to replace the belt as soon as i have time this upcoming weekend, i just really doubt its the problem because the alternator is putting out fine.

btw, thanks for the response guys, i'll keep you posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

my uncle, who is a great mechanic helped me figure out what was wrong. the voltage regulator in the alternator was shot!

at idle it was putting out almost 21 volts to the battery, since the regulator was out any acceleration caused the alternator to spin faster and thus put out more voltage, which was causing the electronics to shut down to avoid damage (this is why my car would accelerate for like half a second and then cut out).

this also explains why the car would work fine for about 3 seconds when the cooling fan kicked on---the fan was temporarily taking the excess voltage that the alternator was producing, thus bringing my system voltage down to an acceptable level and allowing me to accelerate. after several seconds tho, the alternator would "compensate" and produce even more voltage and the problems would return.


furthermore, when the car was off with the keys out and everything closed there was still a 3-4 amp draw on my system (usually there should be about .5 amps at most). once we disconnected the power wire from the alternator the draw immediately dropped down to where it should be at .4 amps.

also, with the alternator disconnected i can start my car and it runs fine. now i just have to get a new alternator and figure out how difficult an install will be.

that sucks that something so simple can cause such a big problem. i mean, its better than having the electronics fried, but come on.

last, does anyone know where the voltage regulator is located or if its part of the alternator? i'll look around here but figured i'd ask in advance in case i dont find anything out.
 

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Wanna hear something funny ? I had the same problem. That's not the funny part. The funny part is my car has only 11,000 miles on it and is 2004 model.

Now the car is seating in the dealer' s service lot and has been there for seven days now because replacement alternator isn't available.
Also, I've had to replace the front struts three times now do to the commonly known problem that the Altimas have with front struts.

Something is for sure, I'm gettin rid of this damm car, as soon as it gets out service shop.

I can't handle so many problems in a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well...i did some research and the alternator has an internal voltage regulator. i finally removed the alternator but had to remove the belt tensioner pulley and my radiator to provide clearance. i'm waiting for my new alternator as well. at least yours is under warranty! i've also had several pairs of front struts on my alti. talk about a car from hell. if i wanted a lemon, i would have went down to my local cheeseball public auto auction dealer and bought a $4,000 car. instead i bought a $30,000 lemon, WTF!!!!
 

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Yeah, it is under warranty, but, they NEVER HAVE THE PARTS ON STOCK. They always say the part is either not available or backordered. Over here Nissan Warranty sucks big time. And the worst thing is Nissan doesn't seem to care because even the newer 2005 models have the problems if not worse.

Without any sentimentalism on my mind, I really like the car: the looks the power, but honestly, it has too many bugs.

The way I say it, what Nissan is doing with their lineup of cars, is wrappin a powerful engine around a nice looking body and forgetting about everything else.
 

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Acceleration Problems

Did anyone who had the acceleration problem also have a problem with the gauges not working or the light in the dash? This just happened to me last night-now I have had my car towed to a shop.
 

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well...i did some research and the alternator has an internal voltage regulator. i finally removed the alternator but had to remove the belt tensioner pulley and my radiator to provide clearance. i'm waiting for my new alternator as well. at least yours is under warranty! i've also had several pairs of front struts on my alti. talk about a car from hell. if i wanted a lemon, i would have went down to my local cheeseball public auto auction dealer and bought a $4,000 car. instead i bought a $30,000 lemon, WTF!!!!
This was very helpful, as I have discovered the same problem with my 2004 2.5L Altima. Since the alternator has an internal voltage regulator, it seems that we could just open up the alternator and replace the regulator (for ~$30), since the alternator is otherwise operating well. BTW - my alternator tested OK at the auto parts store, but using my ODB2 device, I was able to monitor the voltage and witness the spikes which coincided with the flashing battery and brake lights in the dash and the loss of engine power. I'll update you once I've replaced the alternator (or just the regulator), and give a follow-up status. Thanks again for your diligent research on this one.
 

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This was very helpful, as I have discovered the same problem with my 2004 2.5L Altima. Since the alternator has an internal voltage regulator, it seems that we could just open up the alternator and replace the regulator (for ~$30), since the alternator is otherwise operating well. BTW - my alternator tested OK at the auto parts store, but using my ODB2 device, I was able to monitor the voltage and witness the spikes which coincided with the flashing battery and brake lights in the dash and the loss of engine power. I'll update you once I've replaced the alternator (or just the regulator), and give a follow-up status. Thanks again for your diligent research on this one.
UPDATE - Problem solved by replacing the alternator. Hooked up my ODB2 device and watched the voltage spike to around 17 volts, which coincided with the symptoms. Alternator testing by local parts store did not detect the problem, so I'm not 100% sure why - perhaps they didn't wait long enough? Anyway, its been about 2 weeks, and I have not seen the problem since replacing the alternator. Thank you!
 

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MissJeriBlue
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Ok. i'm really pissed at my altima right now. i've searched this site for the last few days looking for help and have not found a thread discussing my problem.

i have a 2002 altima V6, Automatic, 70,000 miles, no mods whatsoever.

i had just got back to town from a 1300 mile round trip to kansas, i used premium fuel as i always do, and had no probs the entire trip. so i went to wal-mart and on my way home my car started hesitating. i coasted to a parking lot to see wtf?

had my car towed home and heres whats going on:

my car starts fine and drives fine...so long as the engine is cold. after the car heats up or after about a half-mile of driving i lose my ability to accelerate.

my car will run in idle for as long as i want it to, when i hit the accelerator i get about .5 seconds of acceleration followed by a cut-off and my car resumes idling, but it does not die out.

also, when i first start the car i get no engine lights. once the car has warmed up and starts cutting off the acceleration i still get no engine lights as long as the car is idling. when i hit the accelerator the battery (charging system) light and the parking brake light come on and then turn off once the accelerator cuts off. so if i keep my foot on the gas it accelerates and the two lights simultaneously come on and then it cuts off as do the lights. this pattern just repeats when i hit the gas. yet in idle, no lights. occasionally the SES light DIMLY comes on (kinda flickers) with the other lights, but thats it.

so here's whats strange: once the car is warmed up and giving my hell if the cooling fan comes on i can hammer on the accelerator all i want for about a two to three second window without any warning lights or cutoff...then it starts acting like a piece of sh*t again.

i had the alternator checked, the battery (which was new 4 months ago), the belts, all the fuses...and nothing.

i also followed the instructions from one of the posts to see if i could read any codes. the only code i got was the one about improper 1st gear ratio on my AT. whatever the hell that means, i havent had any tranny probs.

so i went to the library to read those tech-language service manuals that give you 13 steps to remove an entire engine...not much help! although, from what i read my ECM might be in fail-safe mode.

so,,,here's my prob, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: my battery is now dead. everything was turned off and my car was locked up last night. come out this afternoon and the battery is dead. so now it seems that whatever is causing this problem in my car is also draining my battery? i dunno.!!!!!!!!!
i had the EXACT same problem. after reading thru the suggestions, im going to change out the alternator...again. good luck!
 

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I just started having same problem on my 04 Altima 2.5sl. Altinator is "fine" and brand new battery. At times battery is dead after being fully charged. At that point I have the issue with no throttle response and my battery and brake light is always on. coincidentally this all started happening right after I changed only one of my brake pads. I thought I just screwed something up when I did the brakes. But this seems to make much more sense I'm going to see if disconnecting the alternator on my trip home tonight well work better than having it hooked up and I'll post back here once I replace the alternator.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Check electrolyte level inside battery...overcharging boils out the water...you may need to top off with distilled water.
 

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MissJeriBlue
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Ok. i'm really pissed at my altima right now. i've searched this site for the last few days looking for help and have not found a thread discussing my problem.

i have a 2002 altima V6, Automatic, 70,000 miles, no mods whatsoever.

i had just got back to town from a 1300 mile round trip to kansas, i used premium fuel as i always do, and had no probs the entire trip. so i went to wal-mart and on my way home my car started hesitating. i coasted to a parking lot to see wtf?

had my car towed home and heres whats going on:

my car starts fine and drives fine...so long as the engine is cold. after the car heats up or after about a half-mile of driving i lose my ability to accelerate.

my car will run in idle for as long as i want it to, when i hit the accelerator i get about .5 seconds of acceleration followed by a cut-off and my car resumes idling, but it does not die out.

also, when i first start the car i get no engine lights. once the car has warmed up and starts cutting off the acceleration i still get no engine lights as long as the car is idling. when i hit the accelerator the battery (charging system) light and the parking brake light come on and then turn off once the accelerator cuts off. so if i keep my foot on the gas it accelerates and the two lights simultaneously come on and then it cuts off as do the lights. this pattern just repeats when i hit the gas. yet in idle, no lights. occasionally the SES light DIMLY comes on (kinda flickers) with the other lights, but thats it.

so here's whats strange: once the car is warmed up and giving my hell if the cooling fan comes on i can hammer on the accelerator all i want for about a two to three second window without any warning lights or cutoff...then it starts acting like a piece of sh*t again.

i had the alternator checked, the battery (which was new 4 months ago), the belts, all the fuses...and nothing.

i also followed the instructions from one of the posts to see if i could read any codes. the only code i got was the one about improper 1st gear ratio on my AT. whatever the hell that means, i havent had any tranny probs.

so i went to the library to read those tech-language service manuals that give you 13 steps to remove an entire engine...not much help! although, from what i read my ECM might be in fail-safe mode.

so,,,here's my prob, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: my battery is now dead. everything was turned off and my car was locked up last night. come out this afternoon and the battery is dead. so now it seems that whatever is causing this problem in my car is also draining my battery? i dunno.!!!!!!!!!
i literally just went thru the exact same problems with my 05 v6 se. check your voltage regulator. i ended up changing out my alternator because it was just easier. confused the hell out me for a long time though. symptoms just didnt add up.

when your car heats up it is the temperature that causes the overcharging. then, the thing literally doesnt know what else to do except shut down. it was very erratic. very frustrating as well.

its been a week since i changed out the alternator and everything is good to go.

good luck!
 

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That it is. When I left work I had charged the battery somewhat.... At least enough for it to start on its own. But I had the forethought to have my coworker (my dad) drive the company van behind me for our 32 mile commute. Because firstly when I disconnected the alternator knowing that it actually worked against me right now, that fixed the battery and brake lights but the abs lit up each time I step on the brakes. Not to mention it didn't do more than idle forward. So I reconnected the alternator and tried to go as far as I could. But the car shut off 5 miles later. And I wound up flat towing it for 15 miles before I ran over my toe strap and it started raining. Then I had to wait 3 hours for a tow truck.

I guess I once again learned my lesson about driving a car I knew had a problem with it. Lmao.

Still not a bad car though I've had it for about a year and I've put 30000 miles on it and it's now at 215000 miles. only other thing that I've ever had to fix that wasnt cheap was a cracked valve cover. Still rides like a dream.

On a different note though has anyone ever had the problem "idle RPMs higher than expected" code popping up?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Couple of things having lived through this myself...

You can drive with the duff alternator that's overcharging your battery and causing the failsafe mode...simply turn on as many electrical accessories as you can...fan on max, rear defog on, seat heat, headlights, foglights etc etc. This prevented mine from getting to the critical 17V point at which point the accelerator pedal goes dead.

Now for the idle rpms...most often the dead alternator was more often than not the direct result of a flaky/missing engine ground that had persisted over time. Usually this is the lower end of the battery negative cable that goes from the chassis to tranny bolting points. So if you replace the alternator..you should almost certainly replace your negative cable.

Where I was going with this is that a bad engine ground screws up all the sensors etc mounted on the engine and can result in incorrect or spurious readings.
 
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