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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just acquired a 2004 Altima S with right side steering wheel switches only. My wifes and daughters Altimas both have the radio and MPG, outside temp readings, etc. on the left side. I'd like them too! In my experience, car manufacturers these days don't like to make many versions of wiring harnesses etc. My hope is that since the steering wheel has a lot of unused pins in the connector, if I were to add a left side control to the air bag, maybe an outside ambient temp sensor behind the bumper....what else would it take to have the features that the others have? A body control computer? Any words of wisdom?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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If you have same computer then you can absolutely add in the second panel of steering wheel switches. They all go through the so called 'clockspring' harness, so you are correct that manufacturers use the same part for many models.

The question is whether or not you already have those features, and are just looking to add a second set of switches. If you can get to MPG, outside temp etc from other buttons or controls then I'd say you're good to go.

Have a look at your FSM just to be sure but as long as the combi gauge in your vehicle is the same part number in your other Altimas, then yes, 100% full speed ahead. (use your VINs at the dealer to be sure on the part numbers of the combi gauges).

Then check eBay and wreckers for that second set of switches...you should get a good deal on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did a little more experimenting. Daughters 03...took her airbag with left side controls and plugged it into my 04. No change in options on my dash readout. Only trip A and B still. According to interchange books, BCM is the same for left side controls and non-left side controls. Starting to believe its just a matter of how things are programmed with the Consult. Even if I have no left side controls, that stem sticking out of the cluster should change to MPG, air temp, etc...IF...the BCM is programmed for those options. My next inclination is to take it to Nissan, have them see if they can program it to read out the options I would like. If so....THEN add the left side controls.
Thanks for the feedback. If you have any other thoughts, let me know. I will post results of future experiments.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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BCM isn't the computer...that's in the instrument cluster (combi). BCM is more about lights, windows, doorlocks. From what we've seen in the past it is usually only different between auto and manual tranny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ahhhh...I learned something. I see the instrument clusters on salvage yard sites are split out with or without trip and temp in speedo. So if I get one with trip and temp, I just may get lucky. Hopefully adding the left steering controls would make it work from there.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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I'm pretty sure you'll need some dealer programming to switch out the gauges though...the odometer reading is stored in there amongst other things. You'll need to budget that in unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That wouldn't surprise me one bit. But...it sounds like it would be worth it in the long run. I will discuss this with my dealer and get his input.

Thank you for your thoughts!!! I will definitely keep you posted as to the progress!
 
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