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Driving my 2014 Altima from Phoenix to Flagstaff last week on I-17. About 30 minutes into the trip, the audible ping warning signal chimed. On the dash display it says "Low Outside Temperature". It was 105 degrees outside, and the temp display showed -28F !! About a minute later, the A/C system shut down. Dead. No response to any of the buttons. Needless to say, it got pretty warm in the car pretty fast. We continued the drive to Flagstaff, knowing it was only 2 hours away. About 20 minutes later, the A/C system came back on. It ran for about 3 minutes, then shut down again. The rest of the trip, the A/C would restart about every 15-20 minutes, run for a few minutes, then shut down again. The outside temp still showed -28F. Got to Flagstaff, put the car in our garage. Next morning, everything worked just fine! Mystery. Took the car to the local Nissan dealer, left it all day. They could not find anything wrong. Told me, "let us know if it happens again." Sure. I just hope it doesn't happen in the desert on the 7 hour drive to San Diego. Any ideas on what's going on here???? I have 25,000 miles on the car, and this has never happened before. Many thanks for any ideas!!!
 

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I would think, regardless of outside temperature.. the AC should not turn on or off unless done so by driver.
Seems like the temperature sensor malfunctioned but that should not affect the AC imo.
 

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Possible A/C auto amp. signal circuit problem

Altima 2013 Service Manual dated June 2012

Sections:

VTL Ventilation System
HA Heater & Air Condition System
HAC Heater & Air Condition Control System


Following from Section HAC Page 96 & 97

INSUFFICIENT COOLING

Step 5 Follows:

5. CHECK AMBIENT TEMPERATURE DISPLAY

Check that there is NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE between ACTUAL ambient temperature AND INDICATED temperature on information display in combination meter. (Dash Meter & Gauge Display.)
Is the inspection result normal?
YES >> GO TO 6.
NO >> Perform diagnosis for the A/C auto amp. connection recognition signal circuit. Refer to HAC-60,
"Diagnosis Procedure".


If problem recurs, suggest you request a Nissan Dealer (under warranty) Perform diagnosis for the A/C auto amp. as noted above in Service Manual HAC page 60. (Note this is from manual dated June 2012 and page number may have changed slightly ---- but they should be able to figure it out ---you would hope.)
 

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I would think, regardless of outside temperature.. the AC should not turn on or off unless done so by driver.
Seems like the temperature sensor malfunctioned but that should not affect the AC imo.
In an old thread here about what the "Low Outside Temperature" message is supposed to be telling us, I said that I thought it meant that it was too cold for the AC to work, and that dehumidified heating/dehumidified defogging would not work (where the AC compressor runs to dehumidify, and the heater core is also turned on to warm the air). But I think everyone else disagreed with me and said that it was a warning to watch for icy roads.

While I still don't know for sure what that warning means, I think this is more evidence that it means it's too cold for the AC to run (or in OP's case, it thinks it's too cold for the AC to run).

Edit: just checked the 2014 service manual, and page HAC-16 says:
LOW TEMPERATURE PROTECTION CONTROL
  • When intake sensor detects that front evaporator fin temperature is 2.5°C (37°F) or less, A/C auto amp. requests ECM to turn compressor OFF, and stops the compressor.
  • When the front evaporator fin temperature returns to 5.0°C (41°F) or more, the compressor is activated.
So yeah, pretty sure that means the AC turned off because the sensor said it was -28 outside. I don't know why the sensor would say that though (bad sensor?)
 

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Somewhere - I don't know where - I read that the "LOW Outside Temperature" was a "Heads Up" WARNING to expect possible icy roads / bridges. You can set it on or off.

Other than the "LOW Outside Temperature" Warning/Alarm, many other systems on the car take actual Ambient temperature in account to perform their operations. The Ambient Temperature DISPLAY which uses a sensor provides/receives data to/from the IPDM E/R (Intelligent Power Distribution Module Engine Room). this data is then relayed/used for various functions - including the A/C system via the A/C auto amp.

Altima 2013 Service Manual dated June 2012

SECTION MWI (Meter, Warning Lamp & Indicator)
THE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE DISPLAY IS INCORRECT

DIAGNOSIS PROCEDURE MWI Page 79

Diagnosis Procedure (Items to check --- Manual gives checking detail)

1. Check Combination Meter input signal (With CONSULT)
2. Check Ambient Sensor Signal Circuit (See below HAC-60/61 or 65)
3. Check Ambient Sensor (See MWI-66, PCS-32, MWI-82)


HAC-60 and 61 (Ambient Sensor Circuit - for With Auto A/C -- Diagnosis Procedure)
Which among other items refers to A/C auto amp or harness or connector etc.

HAC-65 (Ambient Sensor Circuit - for Without Auto A/C -- Diagnosis Procedure)

RECAP

The OP's A/C problem could be with the A/C amp (If s/he has auto A/C) and or the Ambient Sensor / circuit --- hopefully not the expensive IPDM E/R (When later it is non-warranty work).

Whenever the problem is solved/corrected I hope the OP will post the solution so all can learn from it. When our cars are out of warranty it will help the DIYS'er's (Me).
 

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Ref Quantum_Mech Previous Post.

Thanks for info you added concerning "LOW TEMPERATURE PROTECTION CONTROL". My/your Manual Edition page numbers don't match of course. --- I keep saying the Nissan Service Manual's scatter's info around often not referencing info between the Sections or even within a Section.

You would think the Nissan Dealer the OP left the car with using a CONSULT would have ID' d the A/C on/off problem. I don't think they put much effort in to the problem. (Not his dealer?) :devil



Note that the mentioned INTAKE SENSOR uses a thermistor for change in temperature. (Apparently does not rely on the Ambient Sensor.)

Another potential problem. Also see COMPRESSOR CONTROL near bottom of this post. (Note it does not mention / reference Intake Sensor, Ambient Temp Sensor, A/C Amp etc. etc.)

Altima 2013 Service Manual dated June 2012

Section HAC-11

INTAKE SENSOR
The intake sensor measures the temperature of the front evaporator fins. The sensor uses a thermistor
which is sensitive to the change in temperature. The electrical resistance of the thermistor decreases
as temperature increases

Section HAC-119

LOW TEMPERATURE PROTECTION CONTROL
• When the intake sensor detects that the front evaporator fin temperature is 1.5°C (35°F) or less, the front air control requests the BCM to turn the compressor OFF, and stops the compressor.
• When the front evaporator fin temperature returns to 5.0°C (41°F) or more, the compressor is activated.

Section HAC-118

COMPRESSOR CONTROL

DESCRIPTION
In order for the IPDM E/R to complete a compressor ON request, the following conditions must be met:
1. The BCM detects a Fan ON signal from the front air control. The front air control grounds the fan ON signal monitored by the BCM when the blower speed dial is in any of the fan speed positions.

2. The BCM detects an A/C ON signal from the front air control. The front air control grounds the A/C ON signal monitored by the BCM when: --------
- The A/C switch is pressed. The A/C switch LED illuminates and the front air control grounds the A/C ON
signal monitored by the BCM. Any mode control button except D/F may be selected.
- The A/C switch is OFF, and the MAX A/C button is pressed. The A/C switch LED will
automatically illuminate and the front air control grounds the A/C ON signal monitored by the BCM.
- The A/C switch is OFF, and the mode button for either D/F or DEF is selected. The front air control
grounds the A/C ON signal monitored by the BCM, but it does not illuminate the A/C switch LED

NOTE:
If the compressor was engaged by pressing the D/F or DEF mode buttons, and the time spent in either mode exceeds 1 minute, then the compressor stays requested, even when modes other than D/F or DEF are selected, until either: ----------
1. The ignition switch is turned OFF.
2. The blower speed dial is turned completely counterclockwise to the OFF position.
3. The A/C switch is manually turned OFF
 

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Be sure to check your cabin filter and make sure its clean and that there is no debris such as leaves blocking air flow beneath the windshield. It sounds like the evaporator is freezing up and shutting down the A/C
 

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I've sold SBC's (single board computers) and semiconductors for 20 years...Couple of thoughts here. IC's (integrated circuits) get VERY wonky (to use a technical term) at extended temperatures. The highest ext. temp IC's go -40 to +85 C (185 F) operating temps. It's possible a component was getting over heated in the circuit causing improper readings and system results. Typically when they cool down they'll go back to normal, which could explain why it popped on and off. Continuously stressing the temp of an IC will drastically reduce it's life expectancy. 2nd thought is perhaps the heat and humidity was actually causing condensation and icing on the sensor so it was in fact reading accurately. Did you pop the hood and have a look?
 

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I would think, regardless of outside temperature.. the AC should not turn on or off unless done so by driver.
Seems like the temperature sensor malfunctioned but that should not affect the AC imo.
If the ecm sees the air coming into the ac as freezing air, it will definitely shut down the compressor. I am having to replace an intake air sensor on a 2012 Juke now for this reason. I have found that you can wire in a 1400 ohm resistor into that wire, which makes the ecm think that the air coming in is always 95 degrees and it will keep the ac going. To replace the sensor, the evaporator has to come out and it gets real expensive.
 

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what about that ambient sensor in the front by the radiator? if that went bad it might make the sytem think it was cold, i would try disconnecting it and putting a paperclip in the harness to see if it activates ac.
 
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