Strange starting issue - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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2004 armada, battery should be under 2 years old. Randomly, and not very often , the car will take a few seconds to start...key is turned, dash lights as normal, relays click, but no crank..then all of a sudden it starts.
Worse is i turn the key, dash lights as normal , I hear relays clicking, and it doesnt crank. I repeat maybe once or twice turning the key and it starts right up.
This morning it was 30 degrees out. I turned the key, dash lights, dinging sounds..., relays clicking (passenger side)no crank. Tried multiple times. Made a phone call to work that I'm not coming in...hung up and tried again. Nothing.
So out of frustration I turned the key and kept it all the way, the dings stopped and there was one long beep then the car started. Started nice like it always does.
Any clue what could be causing this?

After tons of searching the web, I'm going to hope it is the ecu relay in the ipdm. I watched a video and the guy pointed to four black relays at the top of the panel. He swapped the hard left relay with the hard right relay. Someone wrote those are the wrong ones and he agreed.
I looked at the diagram inside the cover and it doesnt match what is plugged into the ipdm. The little fuses match but not the diagram.
Can someone point me to the correct relay position?

Last edited by marctronixx; 12-06-2018 at 08:08 PM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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So I changed that relay and the car didnt start. I had to keep trying and holding the key all the way for a few seconds...not even sure if that helps.
So what I've noticed...the relay panel lid diagram doesnt match what is there. Nothing says ecm or ecu.
No relay has a number on it that matches what was on the internet. My relay had a 5,,the new one has a w.
I ordered nissan part 284B7 CW29E.

It looks like no one reads this area of the forum.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 08:04 PM
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Have you tried installing a different battery? Or even the connection? I would look at that too if you haven't. You might try installing a grounding kit as well. I installed one on my 2004 and it seems to helped everything overall. Even got .3 volts increase out of my alternator at idle.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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The battery should be good it's only 2 years or so but I guess I can have them test it. I think in will look at the ground and see what condition it's in. Too bad this happens when it's cold out.
Thanks for replying
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ny04armada View Post
The battery should be good it's only 2 years or so but I guess I can have them test it. I think in will look at the ground and see what condition it's in. Too bad this happens when it's cold out.
Thanks for replying
I've read other members having one bad cell in a battery that caused similar issues like you are experiencing. The fact you are bringing up temp relation to the issue could also be pointing to the battery too. Although if it's new, it may not be the problem. I would start there though. The thread I am referring to I believe the person had very similar symptoms that you do. Their battery tested out "ok" at a few shops on a battery load test too. Our trucks are sensitive and need the proper amount of cca and volts. This is a fact, but may not be what is causing your problem. In regards to the grounding: The additional grounding/earth surely cannot hurt. There's many points of grounding Nissan put on these trucks. I am referring to adding more and replacing some with heavier guage copper wire. I used 4ga copper battery cable with 5/16" copper tinned lugs on the ends. I grounded from the following points-

-Neg Battery terminal to block, Neg Battery Terminal to Passenger Fender, Neg Battery to Alternator, block to Driver Fender, , and Transmission to frame.

Those additional grounding points are what were recommend on this forum and the Titan Talk. There used to be a company offering an exact kit. I just had some battery cables made and did it on my own since that company making the kit went under. Stillen still makes one, but the wire gauge is too small and they want far too much for the wires ($100+). I bought some off the internet with a thicker gauge and better fittings for $25 shipped to my front door. Mod takes maybe 30 mins to an hour tops.

As I mentioned above, it's likely a battery or connection issue... The system is sensitive in getting enough current to make everything work properly. You need to have great continuity and the proper amount of amps/volts.


Keep us informed on what you find the problem to be. Also, you might do a search and see if you can find the thread where the others have had a similar issue and found out it was a battery (also a newer battery for that person too).
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I appreciate the help. Yesterday I saw the positive battery post was slightly loose. I tightened that up very firm. The car started but who knows if it would have anyway. Feeling optimistic, this morning I tried and it did not start. Usually if I hear a long solid beep as I hold the key it might start on the next turn. Anyway after a few tries it turned right over. It was 26 degrees and I am also wo daring now if it is the battery. As I turned the key, the volt gauge was 1 notch past 8 (which should equal 10.5) when running its past the middle mark.
I have some heavy wiring at work I will use as grounds.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 07:11 PM
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I'll chime in here to add that I have had this problem also which is not replicable on demand but rather is random and seems to be related to low cold cranking amperage available within the battery. I went so far as to buy a trickle charger and I put it on the battery every other week or so just to make sure I've got a fully charged battery but I had it tested at a shop yesterday and they told me the battery is about dead from a CCA perspective despite being full on the voltage side.

Battery is less down 36 months old so I need to go back to Costco where I bought it see if they'll replace it under the manufacturer's warranty.

This is my number one pet peeve with this vehicle! I have heard some guys say that they have replaced the alternator with an aftermarket unit but I have not heard consistent updates from them about whether or not the starting issue was solved by doing so.

08 Armada SE 4x4
Front: Bilstein 5100s, Rear: 2" PRG spacers, Bilstein 24-187077, Firestone Coil-Rite Air Springs (W237604150)
Volant (Gen 1) CAI, Nitto Terra Grapplers (275/70/R18), Bully Dog GT (10/2017), Hayden 678 Trans Cooler (12/2017)
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 02:46 AM
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This is my thread:
https://www.clubarmada.com/forums/18...2006-qx56.html

That video is wrong. Not even close. The relay to replace is in the IPDM. There is a pdf in the link indicating what relay to replace. You have to pull the IPDM and open it up. However in the past I have had odd electrical problems such as the ECU and cruse control failing. I ended up with a $2k+ repair bill. I suggest replacing the IPDM if the 2004 model year replacement part is NOT the original but an upgraded part. This is also in my thread. Basically the new IPDM is black and comes from a different manufacturer than the white one in your truck. The 2006 model year was when they changed suppliers.

Replacement is easy. Disconnect the battery cables. (I can't imagine why they suggest both cables, but this is a good opportunity to clear the terminals,) Wait 5 minutes, presumably to let some capacitor(s) discharge.

You disconnect all the cables to the IPDM, pull old IPDM, drop in the new IPDM, then plug in all the cables you disconnected. Every connector is unique so you can't make a mistake.

You have the usual issue to figure out what trick the connector manufacturer uses to release the cable. Push this or squeeze that. My dominant hand has nerve damage, so this is really annoying, but still it was a 15 minute job for me. The cover has to be replace because fuse locations have changed. For the 2006 model year, I listed the part numbers.

That said, it turned out I needed a new starter, and on the 2006 model year, that is three hours work due to crap in the way. I would buy the starter online and take it to a garage you trust.

Check out this page for the insanity involved to replace the starter:
https://www.titantalk.com/forums/tit...san-titan.html

For a 2004 model year, figure that IPDM served you well (or maybe not), but you got your mony's worth, so put in the upgrade. Note that the parts department will know about the new replacement part, but of course the part is at least $100 cheaper on line.

I got all my parts (IPDM and starter) from
https://www.coulterpartscenter.com/

The advantage to Coulter is they didn't require shipping back the old starter. The thing is heavy! Who knows, I might have to replace the starter again since the last one barely made 130k miles. It was flaky for at least a year. The problem is there are so many things in the truck that can cause odd starting problems AND the problem was intermittent, making it hard to diagnose.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Bulkhead.....does your starter click, or engage and slowly crank,,like with a dead battery?
Mine doesnt do anything. I only hear chimes, dinging and a relay(?) under passenger footwell area making a noise. Then out if no where, another random turn of the key and it fires up like normal. This is why i dont think its the battery but maybe something isnt getting the message that the key is turned. Very confusing.

I use the car for work and when I get home it's about dark and I park down the block. I have to wait for the weekend to play with things...now it's cold out.

Gariac....I saw that video too and in the responses people say you never fixed the video and he said he did... but he didnt. More confusion.
Another thread spoke about the relay and replacing it and the ipdm panel. Someone said the panel doesnt need to be replaced, nissan does it that way because they didnt sell the relay seperate....but this guy did. So I ordered a Nissan relay from him. He looked up my vin and said I never had the recall done. So I can ask them. Either way, the new relay didnt work assuming it is the bottom row second from left.

Maybe i will take the battery somewhere to be tested but i dont trust the knowledge of half the people in the franchise stores
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 09:37 PM
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Not much to add - but here is a decent YouTube video on the starter replacement if you need it.

https://youtu.be/tG712y9wpM8

Also, don't overlook basic electrical testing. Bad grounds, battery condition, parasitic draw, voltage drop, loose harnesses or connections, rubbed / shorted wiring, mouse damage, current flow, relays etc. And the key/ignition.
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