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Car Talk (and Truck Talk too)


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Alright, in these odd COVID-19 times I'm having some wacky car issues, with a shout out to the old click and clack Car Talk show, thought it'd be good to have a car talk thread up.

Here's my latest issue. Son's car, 2018 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo, push button start, but when you push the button the lights go and, nothing.

First thought it was the battery. Replaced it ($160). Nothing. The guys at O'Reilly's then checked all fuses, including the ignition fuse at the positive terminal. Nothing -- all fuses good. They then suggested maybe there was some kind of short between the fuse box and battery.

I took it to my usually reliable auto mechanic. He first deducted that it was the key fob. Put a new battery in the fob and the car started. 

Drove it away. Next day, same issues, lights go on, car doesn't start, engine doesn't turn over. Have already tested/ruled out the alternator.

Read up on some Nissan forums, other 2018 Nissans having the same issues. For some of those people, the key fob fixed it, for others they replaced the brake switch (have to press the break to start the car), and that worked, but for some others, it didn't. The forums say their dealerships were unhelpful. Classic. It's a freaking 2018 but, no, no longer under warranty (36K miles). Of course this didn't happen while under warranty.

Any ideas guys? 

And post your own car issues / questions -- should be fun for discussion and just maybe, helpful

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Don’t know about your vehicle, but I know a friend with a much older vehicle was having similar start issues. When I got there he was convinced it was the aftermarket security system. After bypassing some stuff and checking it ought to work I suggested he get new battery cables or at least new ends. Problem fixed! 

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Neighbor had the same problem with his Escape. Took it back to dealer (or rather dealer came and hauled it away) 5 times before they fixed it. It was a sensor to the key fob that was located in the trunk. Not sure where Nissan hides theirs, but you might want to research that.

Good luck!

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55 minutes ago, Hoosierhoopster said:

Alright, in these odd COVID-19 times I'm having some wacky car issues, with a shout out to the old click and clack Car Talk show, thought it'd be good to have a car talk thread up.

Here's my latest issue. Son's car, 2018 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo, push button start, but when you push the button the lights go and, nothing.

First thought it was the battery. Replaced it ($160). Nothing. The guys at O'Reilly's then checked all fuses, including the ignition fuse at the positive terminal. Nothing -- all fuses good. They then suggested maybe there was some kind of short between the fuse box and battery.

I took it to my usually reliable auto mechanic. He first deducted that it was the key fob. Put a new battery in the fob and the car started. 

Drove it away. Next day, same issues, lights go on, car doesn't start, engine doesn't turn over. Have already tested/ruled out the alternator.

Read up on some Nissan forums, other 2018 Nissans having the same issues. For some of those people, the key fob fixed it, for others they replaced the brake switch (have to press the break to start the car), and that worked, but for some others, it didn't. The forums say their dealerships were unhelpful. Classic. It's a freaking 2018 but, no, no longer under warranty (36K miles). Of course this didn't happen while under warranty.

Any ideas guys? 

And post your own car issues / questions -- should be fun for discussion and just maybe, helpful

Probably not your issue but. I had the exact same condition with a vehicle 2 months ago. Followed the exact same steps you mention here. I personally tested the Alternator 3 times andf it worked perfectly. Come to find out, it actually was an intermittent short in the alternator. There was a single spot that if it stopped at that spot, it dead shorted the entire system, drained everything but not fast enough to let the smoke leak out of everything. I just post as it's "my" story and after 35 years of working on everything car/ truck/ tractor/boat/ motorcylce... had never saw it before.

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34 minutes ago, Joe_Hoopsier said:

Probably not your issue but. I had the exact same condition with a vehicle 2 months ago. Followed the exact same steps you mention here. I personally tested the Alternator 3 times andf it worked perfectly. Come to find out, it actually was an intermittent short in the alternator. There was a single spot that if it stopped at that spot, it dead shorted the entire system, drained everything but not fast enough to let the smoke leak out of everything. I just post as it's "my" story and after 35 years of working on everything car/ truck/ tractor/boat/ motorcylce... had never saw it before.

Best alternator story I ever had! Had about a 50 mile drive to work, half way all of a sudden the voltage started dropping then all the electronics started going haywire. Called my wife to come get me. Took awhile getting the kids around and driving the 25 miles. I said let me just try it and see if it will start and you can follow me home. Fired right up and ran great until just before I got home same issues! Pulled the alternator and checked everything good, started thinking about what could possibly have occurred I thought temperatures! Put the alternator in the oven at about 150 let it heat soak pulled it out and the field winding was open?

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35 minutes ago, Drroogh said:

Best alternator story I ever had! Had about a 50 mile drive to work, half way all of a sudden the voltage started dropping then all the electronics started going haywire. Called my wife to come get me. Took awhile getting the kids around and driving the 25 miles. I said let me just try it and see if it will start and you can follow me home. Fired right up and ran great until just before I got home same issues! Pulled the alternator and checked everything good, started thinking about what could possibly have occurred I thought temperatures! Put the alternator in the oven at about 150 let it heat soak pulled it out and the field winding was open?

Brilliant about the oven! Chasing intermittent problems.... Always try to replicate the same conditions.   If that wouldn't have worked, I would have thought a can of gas and a match. :)

 

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3 hours ago, mrflynn03 said:

@Hoosierhoopster

Have you tried holding the key fob as close to the start button as you can then trying to start?  If it starts, since it has a new battery, the key fob could be bad. 

Yes — and it sometimes works but I have 2 key fobs with new batteries in each, same result. I’m wondering if it’s more a systemic issue like bad Bluetooth signal from key fob but don’t know 

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3 hours ago, DWB said:

Neighbor had the same problem with his Escape. Took it back to dealer (or rather dealer came and hauled it away) 5 times before they fixed it. It was a sensor to the key fob that was located in the trunk. Not sure where Nissan hides theirs, but you might want to research that.

Good luck!

That’s interesting and worth checking thx 

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1 hour ago, Reacher said:

Thanks for starting a car thread @Hoosierhoopster. Think you should label it Car / Truck talk though :)

I just had my truck (GMC Canyon) hand waxed today. Figure we are finally done with the snow and salt here. Now I can put a coat of the Car Guys Hybrid Wax on one of these next weekends when the weather is nice. 

Done!

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6 minutes ago, Hoosierhoopster said:

Yes — and it sometimes works but I have 2 key fobs with new batteries in each, same result. I’m wondering if it’s more a systemic issue like bad Bluetooth signal from key fob but don’t know 

Something else I thought of. Are there other devices nearby with bluetooth turned on?  I wonder if a more powerful bluetooth signal would create interference.

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Getting the itch for a new F150. Ford recently introduced a turbo charged 3.0 diesel for the F150. Gonna go drive one in the next week if the dealers are open here. Not sure they are.

I figure with everything being shut down for the last month, and probably another 2-3 weeks, they should be willing to "give them away" when "we can go outside and play".

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@Hoosierhoopster 

Disclaimer: I’m not a mechanic but I am cheap help if your providing drinks

It does sound like a Bluetooth signal problem from the fob but if both fobs have same result it could be a sensor problem I guess.

For SnG, put car in neutral then back to park and see if it will start. While holding brake of course.

Also since it’s nearly dark outside at the moment, it should be easy to see if your brake lights come on which might indicate if the brake switch is actually working. 

Just guessing. I really have no idea

 

 

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Totally unrelated to the subject but totally related to the topic of peer help. I'm a member of several DIY groups. The latest project that has my attention is one of a beginner wanting to set a hot tub, and he is asking for the appropriate way to create the footings for this hot tub. ... I've built everything from janky 10 x 10 sheds to 10,000 sq/ft building from designs in my head, so the responses were fascinating, in several different directions and all of them are correct, yet different levels of over kill to janky. But they are all extremely confident in their suggestions. 

Project: "10'x10' hot tub, how should I build the footings?"

The peer review help, ranged from (all being EXTREMELY confident) lay some level stone pavers over a couple inches of crushed stone, too 6" of poured concrete with reinforced rebar and using fiberglass strand reinforced concrete.  (FYI, 6" of crete will hold 1100 pounds per square inch. .. yes INCH. ) 

Anyway, all of these type conversations are great and I love them (and have learned A LOT!). Never forget though that everyone wants to be an expert while few are, but several experts can bring laughs to many while they exhibit their subject matter excellence.   

 

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3 hours ago, DWB said:

Getting the itch for a new F150. Ford recently introduced a turbo charged 3.0 diesel for the F150. Gonna go drive one in the next week if the dealers are open here. Not sure they are.

I figure with everything being shut down for the last month, and probably another 2-3 weeks, they should be willing to "give them away" when "we can go outside and play".

Dealers around me are open. Agree that you will get the best deals in a decade in the next 2 weeks. Pick out what you want from their online inventory. Negotiate via phone and email and have them deliver it. Let us know how it goes and post a pic of your new truck! 

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So my Silverado is leaking gas from the top of the tank. To figure out what it is I have to either drop the tank or somehow try to move or get the bed off by myself. Why the heck cant they just have an access door on the floor of the bed to get to the top of the tank?😡

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49 minutes ago, mrflynn03 said:

 Why the heck cant they just have an access door on the floor of the bed to get to the top of the tank?😡

Then the dealer couldn't charge you for 4 hours of labor @ $150/hour to remove the bed, and probably another 4 hours to put it back on again. But they would probably drop the tank and make you buy another tank (OSHA/EPA regs) for the price of a new pickup...:snack:

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51 minutes ago, mrflynn03 said:

So my Silverado is leaking gas from the top of the tank. To figure out what it is I have to either drop the tank or somehow try to move or get the bed off by myself. Why the heck cant they just have an access door on the floor of the bed to get to the top of the tank?😡

Can't you just not fill it up above 3/4 of a tank? See, I'm a fixer! lol

 

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13 hours ago, Reacher said:

Dealers around me are open. Agree that you will get the best deals in a decade in the next 2 weeks. Pick out what you want from their online inventory. Negotiate via phone and email and have them deliver it. Let us know how it goes and post a pic of your new truck! 

I've bought my wife a 2020 Toyota Tacoma the week before Christmas this year. Got what I considered a good deal (7k off the sticker...which, if you've ever dealt with Toyota or Honda dealerships, is a miracle)...They accepted the first offer I made, which is rare. I kicked myself and told my wife maybe I could have gotten even more off...

I just emailed the salesman who handled our last deal, asking if I could get close to that deal again (not serious...I prefer driving a car) and his reply was "Oh yeah...maybe even better."

 

 

 

IMG_20191225_151534.jpg

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5 minutes ago, IUFLA said:

I've bought my wife a 2020 Toyota Tacoma the week before Christmas this year. Got what I considered a good deal (7k off the sticker...which, if you've ever dealt with Toyota or Honda dealerships, is a miracle)...They accepted the first offer I made, which is rare. I kicked myself and told my wife maybe I could have gotten even more off...

I just emailed the salesman who handled our last deal, asking if I could get close to that deal again (not serious...I prefer driving a car) and his reply was "Oh yeah...maybe even better."

The Tacoma is probably the only other midsize I'd consider when I buy my next truck. Not impressed with the Ranger or Ridgeline, The Gladiator has a cool factor to it but probably not for me. Maybe the Tesla Cybertruck will be ready by then?

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2 minutes ago, Reacher said:

The Tacoma is probably the only other midsize I'd consider when I buy my next truck. Not impressed with the Ranger or Ridgeline, The Gladiator has a cool factor to it but probably not for me. Maybe the Tesla Cybertruck will be ready by then?

My wife is a very methodical person...

We drove all of those you mentioned along with a Chevy Colorado and a Nissan Frontier...When she decided on the Tacoma, we went to the dealership I had already bought 4 vehicles from. In Texas, they carry many more trucks on the lot than cars. The day we went, the dealership had 161 Tacomas on the lot...

And she looked at every one of the damned things...it was like triple the NCAA tournament in a day...but, she got what she wanted...

Word of caution though...you said you were 6'5"...the entry and exit head space for me is close, and I'm 5'11"

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