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I had the battery changed out 20 months ago. The vehicle only has 32k on it. The other day the car wouldn’t start, i tried 3 times and then it started. But before that like 2 months or so before, one time I tried to start it and was very sluggish and it barely wanted to start and run, until a few seconds and the rpm got to running range.
I place the battery on a charger and it’s been ok for 3 weeks or so. I don’t use the car much at all and 90% of the driving is 15 minutes or less.

Here my question
While I’m driving the voltage gauge on the dash read 13-14.. but when I back off the accelerator it jump up to 16 or so... is that normal?
Is my alternator bad or going bad and that is causing my battery to fail?
 

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this thread will give you some idea on what the issue is.

if your alternator were going bad you would have a battery lamp pop up. if you DO suspect the alternator and/or battery, stop by an autozone or similar store and have them do a quick battery test.
 

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long story but answers a few questions that nissan can't.
I spent hours on the phone with nissan local and nissan north America with their answers to questions limited to -we can't- they can't-it won't-uh huh- and so sorry- then I got into the books and tools.

As we all know, the Armadas leak voltage like water through a sieve. I have been attempting to train the local stealership about the charging system. First problem identified is that Nissan has not updated their maintenance computer system for the Armada since 2006. Their current maintenance, parts, and service computers show a revision date of 2012 but contain all the 2006 images. So if you are looking for a current electrical system diagram for the Armada, don't bother looking for it, it's not there. However, the Titan crowd has found a way to apply leverage and most of the updated diagrams, to include the IPDM for the 2007-2010 Armada are on the Titan service system.

That being said, I went to replace the ECM relay on my 07's IPDM. Checked with Nissan Parts, Service, and Mechanics computer systems, got the diagram and the relay, per their instruction- only problem is the 2007-2010 has no ECM relay on the IPDM... It's included in the IPDM. The voltage regulator that we old farts all knew and loved, because it was easy to understand, manipulate, repair, adjust, is now included in the IPDM of 2010-2010. It's results go to the ECU which then controls the alternator output.

Reason this is interesting. The charging system is based on some really odd really old designs with modern adaptations. The ECU, which controls the charging rate, voltage, and amps, receives it's information from the IC regulator/electrical feedback sensor (the circular thing on the negative battery cable located about 6" down the line from the battery terminal.) it's the size of a 5 peso coin. Basically, it's a magnetic field sensor the exact same as what you run over at a stop light. The signal generated tells the ECU to tell the alternator how much and how hard to charge, ostensibly so that the alternator doesn't constantly charge, in order to save gas. But the field sensor/ic regulator/ feedback sensor routes through the IPDM. So here's what we start with.

You have basic battery voltage that isn't measured, but is indicated. You have basic battery amperage available, which isn't measured. Then you have running car voltage which is measured and compared to a reference voltage programmed into the IPDM and the ECU which sounds normal. But the reference voltage is programmed in as 12.1 volts (read from the OBDII port) So first problem is, the battery is fully charged anywhere from 12.4 volts for a factory new nissan overpriced lead acid battery to 13.2 volts for a top of the line AGM battery. So your charging system will never fully charge your battery. Next, with a battery of 13.2 volts, and OBDII port voltage indicated as 12.2 volts, and a dash gauge indication of 11.2 volts, you have three different inputs going to the IPDM and the ECU. Computers can't handle conflict. Now remember the voltage leaks we all have?

Well they come into play after the battery reference voltage of 12.1 comes into play. So the gauge may say you have 12.2 volts available, which is one needles width below center/half scale on the dash gauge, but you may only have 11.2 at the battery. 11.2 will generate all sorts of flashing dash lights, anti lock problems, transmission shifting problems, 4whl drive selector problems, traction control problems, etc.

If you have low voltage but have a system that doesn't leak voltage too badly or have an alternator that starts charging immediately, you should see a dash voltage needle position 1/8" to the right of center instantly after start up. If the charge catches up with the system before the system reacts to the low voltage, you may not know you have a problem.

The center line position on the dash voltage gauge is 13 volts. You should always see a voltage indication to the right of the center line. When you turn the car on, but don't start it, you should see a voltage indication with the needle on the dash gauge no more than one needle width to the left of center. If you have a super AGM battery, resting voltage will be with the needle touching the centerline on the gauge. So, we have an ECU and IDPM with all slots that can be programmed, programmed in with a 100% charge/voltage reference of 12.1. Nissan has no way of measuring or determining any of these parameters at the dealership level maintenance facilities. Of course, you also have to remember that Nissan has no maintenance facilities anywhere in the U.S. the maintenance facilities at the dealership are sub sub contracted companies who supply nissan with trained mechanics. Therein lies another problem. None of the nissan trained mechanics anywhere are taught how to repair the vehicle. They are simply taught how to swap parts. They have no diagnostic capability for anything. They have trouble shooting checklists that say if the car does X check Y, if Y isn't at X level, replace part Z. So if you have CV joints that are all clunking and can be moved by hand, nissan considers them to be OK and will not replace them until they physically break apart. If you have bad universals, they won't replace the universals, they replace the whole driveshaft unit. If your charging system is faulty or the factory programming in the IPDM or ECU is bad, they only know to swap parts and not fix anything.

So if your charging system needles swings correctly but doesn't charge your battery to the correct level. If your OBDII port shows a voltage one or two volts down from what the battery actually has. And everything appears to work correctly but not produce the desired results (fully charged battery) (no flashing dash lights) (correctly working antilock and traction control systems) then you have to figure a way to lie to the charging system to make it think it needs to do more, in order to get the correct results.

The IC regulator is temperature sensitive as cold makes wire flow voltage better, hot slows voltage down/decreases it. The connector into the sensor has three wires which are crimped and not soldered, then plugged together. Soldered or solid continuous wire is impervious to water, vibration, dust, temperature, etc. Crimps are not. Nissan has no way of diagnosing or checking the IC regulator/voltage feedback sensor. If you say it's bad, nissan can only replace the whole negative battery cable instead of replacing the 5 cent sensor loop. So- how do we get around this?

Fool the sensor! Take the tie wrap off the sensor, slide the sensor (black plastic circular thing with a plug on the bottom/side/back containing three wires that runs into a wire tube, then back to the IPDM) out of the way, take a piece of tin foil 4" x 5"wide and wrap it around the negative battery cable, centered where you will move the sensor back to when finished. Once you have the tin foil wrapped, cover it with a layer of electrical tape, one piece thick. Slide the sensor back to center over the tin foil and re-tie wrap it in place. It will now shield the negative battery cable and make the sensor think that it's reading less voltage than actual and tell the system to raise the minimal acceptable charge level to - in my case 13.4 volts- up from 12.1. More tin foil, higher charge levels, higher battery voltage. So far, 28 degrees up to 80 degrees no longer affects the output. Hours on the freeway at 80 degrees or hours on the freeway at 29 degrees make no difference. The click and return to zero charge is gone. And if I let the car sit a week, when it starts, it immediately charges at 14.2 volts, dropping as the battery re-energizes stopping at a charge level of 13.9 when cold or 13.4 when hot.

On my AGM 13.2 volt battery, resting voltage has gone from 12.2 volts (11.1 volts on a new nissan battery) before the fix up to 12.9-13.2 volts after the fix.-where it's supposed to be- It's cheap, easy, and allows you to manipulate the voltage as you watch so you can check the rest of the systems performance as well.
long story but answers a few questions that nissan can't.
I spent hours on the phone with nissan local and nissan north America with their answers to questions limited to -we can't- they can't-it won't-uh huh- and so sorry- then I got into the books and tools.

As we all know, the Armadas leak voltage like water through a sieve. I have been attempting to train the local stealership about the charging system. First problem identified is that Nissan has not updated their maintenance computer system for the Armada since 2006. Their current maintenance, parts, and service computers show a revision date of 2012 but contain all the 2006 images. So if you are looking for a current electrical system diagram for the Armada, don't bother looking for it, it's not there. However, the Titan crowd has found a way to apply leverage and most of the updated diagrams, to include the IPDM for the 2007-2010 Armada are on the Titan service system.

That being said, I went to replace the ECM relay on my 07's IPDM. Checked with Nissan Parts, Service, and Mechanics computer systems, got the diagram and the relay, per their instruction- only problem is the 2007-2010 has no ECM relay on the IPDM... It's included in the IPDM. The voltage regulator that we old farts all knew and loved, because it was easy to understand, manipulate, repair, adjust, is now included in the IPDM of 2010-2010. It's results go to the ECU which then controls the alternator output.

Reason this is interesting. The charging system is based on some really odd really old designs with modern adaptations. The ECU, which controls the charging rate, voltage, and amps, receives it's information from the IC regulator/electrical feedback sensor (the circular thing on the negative battery cable located about 6" down the line from the battery terminal.) it's the size of a 5 peso coin. Basically, it's a magnetic field sensor the exact same as what you run over at a stop light. The signal generated tells the ECU to tell the alternator how much and how hard to charge, ostensibly so that the alternator doesn't constantly charge, in order to save gas. But the field sensor/ic regulator/ feedback sensor routes through the IPDM. So here's what we start with.

You have basic battery voltage that isn't measured, but is indicated. You have basic battery amperage available, which isn't measured. Then you have running car voltage which is measured and compared to a reference voltage programmed into the IPDM and the ECU which sounds normal. But the reference voltage is programmed in as 12.1 volts (read from the OBDII port) So first problem is, the battery is fully charged anywhere from 12.4 volts for a factory new nissan overpriced lead acid battery to 13.2 volts for a top of the line AGM battery. So your charging system will never fully charge your battery. Next, with a battery of 13.2 volts, and OBDII port voltage indicated as 12.2 volts, and a dash gauge indication of 11.2 volts, you have three different inputs going to the IPDM and the ECU. Computers can't handle conflict. Now remember the voltage leaks we all have?

Well they come into play after the battery reference voltage of 12.1 comes into play. So the gauge may say you have 12.2 volts available, which is one needles width below center/half scale on the dash gauge, but you may only have 11.2 at the battery. 11.2 will generate all sorts of flashing dash lights, anti lock problems, transmission shifting problems, 4whl drive selector problems, traction control problems, etc.

If you have low voltage but have a system that doesn't leak voltage too badly or have an alternator that starts charging immediately, you should see a dash voltage needle position 1/8" to the right of center instantly after start up. If the charge catches up with the system before the system reacts to the low voltage, you may not know you have a problem.

The center line position on the dash voltage gauge is 13 volts. You should always see a voltage indication to the right of the center line. When you turn the car on, but don't start it, you should see a voltage indication with the needle on the dash gauge no more than one needle width to the left of center. If you have a super AGM battery, resting voltage will be with the needle touching the centerline on the gauge. So, we have an ECU and IDPM with all slots that can be programmed, programmed in with a 100% charge/voltage reference of 12.1. Nissan has no way of measuring or determining any of these parameters at the dealership level maintenance facilities. Of course, you also have to remember that Nissan has no maintenance facilities anywhere in the U.S. the maintenance facilities at the dealership are sub sub contracted companies who supply nissan with trained mechanics. Therein lies another problem. None of the nissan trained mechanics anywhere are taught how to repair the vehicle. They are simply taught how to swap parts. They have no diagnostic capability for anything. They have trouble shooting checklists that say if the car does X check Y, if Y isn't at X level, replace part Z. So if you have CV joints that are all clunking and can be moved by hand, nissan considers them to be OK and will not replace them until they physically break apart. If you have bad universals, they won't replace the universals, they replace the whole driveshaft unit. If your charging system is faulty or the factory programming in the IPDM or ECU is bad, they only know to swap parts and not fix anything.

So if your charging system needles swings correctly but doesn't charge your battery to the correct level. If your OBDII port shows a voltage one or two volts down from what the battery actually has. And everything appears to work correctly but not produce the desired results (fully charged battery) (no flashing dash lights) (correctly working antilock and traction control systems) then you have to figure a way to lie to the charging system to make it think it needs to do more, in order to get the correct results.

The IC regulator is temperature sensitive as cold makes wire flow voltage better, hot slows voltage down/decreases it. The connector into the sensor has three wires which are crimped and not soldered, then plugged together. Soldered or solid continuous wire is impervious to water, vibration, dust, temperature, etc. Crimps are not. Nissan has no way of diagnosing or checking the IC regulator/voltage feedback sensor. If you say it's bad, nissan can only replace the whole negative battery cable instead of replacing the 5 cent sensor loop. So- how do we get around this?

Fool the sensor! Take the tie wrap off the sensor, slide the sensor (black plastic circular thing with a plug on the bottom/side/back containing three wires that runs into a wire tube, then back to the IPDM) out of the way, take a piece of tin foil 4" x 5"wide and wrap it around the negative battery cable, centered where you will move the sensor back to when finished. Once you have the tin foil wrapped, cover it with a layer of electrical tape, one piece thick. Slide the sensor back to center over the tin foil and re-tie wrap it in place. It will now shield the negative battery cable and make the sensor think that it's reading less voltage than actual and tell the system to raise the minimal acceptable charge level to - in my case 13.4 volts- up from 12.1. More tin foil, higher charge levels, higher battery voltage. So far, 28 degrees up to 80 degrees no longer affects the output. Hours on the freeway at 80 degrees or hours on the freeway at 29 degrees make no difference. The click and return to zero charge is gone. And if I let the car sit a week, when it starts, it immediately charges at 14.2 volts, dropping as the battery re-energizes stopping at a charge level of 13.9 when cold or 13.4 when hot.

On my AGM 13.2 volt battery, resting voltage has gone from 12.2 volts (11.1 volts on a new nissan battery) before the fix up to 12.9-13.2 volts after the fix.-where it's supposed to be- It's cheap, easy, and allows you to manipulate the voltage as you watch so you can check the rest of the systems performance as well.
I have a 2014 Armada that I did this exact trick to...however, I noticed a few things now that I don't like. 1) speakers are popping intermittently.
2) volt meter in cluster bottoms out while driving, but nothing shuts down (thank God!)
3) starter struggling to crank, but it does crank.
I'm thinking that I have an issue with the ipdm directly but I can't seem to get my hands on the wiring diagram for anything newer than what you pointed out (2006-2009/2010).
 

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Hey all.
I was having trouble removing the sensor wire harness so I removed the whole thing from the terminal (see picture). However, this had no effect on the voltage. Any theories why. I am going to mess with the wire harness some more and hopefully that yields results but I thought it was weird that if the sensor was getting no voltage reading it still resulted in the same voltage.

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@bryan9915 That is a good healthy voltage. Now the vehicle will charge to that voltage all of the time, regardless of engine load.

Under normal driving with the sensor hooked up, the ECM would control the charging. You would not notice this unless you looked at the battery voltage gauge while you were driving and took notice of the needles position.

Your will now charge to 14.5ish all of the time.
 

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@bryan9915 That is a good healthy voltage. Now the vehicle will charge to that voltage all of the time, regardless of engine load.

Under normal driving with the sensor hooked up, the ECM would control the charging. You would not notice this unless you looked at the battery voltage gauge while you were driving and took notice of the needles position.

Your will now charge to 14.5ish all of the time.
But why was I getting that voltage before I took it off? Should it have been lower?
 

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But why was I getting that voltage before I took it off? Should it have been lower?
It's only lower under certain driving conditions and parameters set by the ECM. I would guess that in park with accessories on the ECM wouldn't drop voltage.

Plug it back in and go for a long drive, watch your voltmeter on the dash, it will move. Now unplug it, it will never move.
 

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OBX, thanks for your input. It appears they pulled the proper wire as the voltage gauge is acting quite differently than it did previously. Prior to the service the voltage would fluctuate; normally going down when I accelerated and going up when I would coast. The gauge is now showing a consistent 14-15V, (a little north of the halfway point) only showing slightly lower immediately after start-up (and then only momentarily). No more fluctuations while driving.

The last time the vehicle wouldn't start (after the battery replacement and depinning) I don't believe it was because of a low battery. After attempting to start the truck several times, I opened the driver's door to better hear what was going on under the hood, and the truck started with a very health crank of the starter motor. It sounded absolutely normal.

Having read in other threads that a bad brake switch can be an issue (remember, you have to hold the brake pedal down to start the vehicle), the dealer agreed to replace the switch given that they had on better ideas as to what could be causing the no-starts. So far I have had a software update, new battery, depinning and a new brake switch. Lets see how it goes.
Hey Rusty,

I've been reading this thread and find your posts to be interesting as I'm experiencing a similar problem. I have a 2017 Armada that has intermittent no start issues. It will be fine and then, one time I'll go to start and when I push the button the entire electrical system seems to go dead and the vehicle won't start. My battery is fine. What's strange is that the "fix" is to hook up a booster battery for just a second. I don't need to leave the jumper cables on while I restart. Somehow by just energizing the system, something resets and it starts to work fine again. Other than it being a hassle, everything seems fine afterwards. The only lasting issue is that my trip odometer resets and my seat position programming is lost. It's really weird.

I've read all the comments I can find. Yours is closest to what I've experienced. All the solutions focus on a) the battery, b) the brake switch, c) a software update. You've had all three so I'm curious to know if you're still having issues or if it seems like the brake switch (your latest fix) seemed to solve the issue?
 

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OK all, there are a lot of threads about battery on here however I couldn’t find one that addresses the issues or questions i have. So here it goes.

My battery had low voltage and amperage last year, i took it to the dealer and they were able to warranty out the battery for me.

My wife drives the vehicle frequently, it is our family carriage, we do not have any aftermarket hookups that could be draining the battery, and we are very good about not leaving any lights on when we exit the vehicle, however that shouldn’t matter with these newer vehicles.

So my wife went to drive the Armada the other day after it being in the garage for a few days. It would not start, we used our other vehicle to jump it, a couple days after that i had to run some errands, my wife had to leave shortly after me, and the Armada would not start. She asked the neighbor for a jump.

Today i decided to take it to auto one for them to test the battery for me before going to the dealer. The battery voltage was very low, so low that the auto zone tech could not get a read on the alternator to test it.

Is there some electronics in the armada that could be drawing phantom power from the battery even when the vehicle is not on? 2 batteries in 3.5 years is a bit especially when it was replaced just about a year ago.
 

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There is a TSB on some 2nd gens for the ECM, it does have a parasitic drain and I believe it was something pertaining to the fuel injection system. I remember it being only '19 and newer though.

Otherwise....have you pulled the sensor off the negative battery terminal?
Once a battery is run at too low of a voltage for an extended period of time, there is no saving it. The way the charging system is configured from the factory, batteries don't stand a chance in the Armada. Plenty of threads and feedback on here pertaining to the absurd charging parameters that the ECM try's to control.

-If you haven't already, disconnect the sensor from the negative battery post.
-Try to save that battery on a smart charger.
 

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There is a TSB on some 2nd gens for the ECM, it does have a parasitic drain and I believe it was something pertaining to the fuel injection system. I remember it being only '19 and newer though.

Otherwise....have you pulled the sensor off the negative battery terminal?
Once a battery is run at too low of a voltage for an extended period of time, there is no saving it. The way the charging system is configured from the factory, batteries don't stand a chance in the Armada. Plenty of threads and feedback on here pertaining to the absurd charging parameters that the ECM try's to control.

-If you haven't already, disconnect the sensor from the negative battery post.
-Try to save that battery on a smart charger.
Thank you for your response, I did go back and search and was able to find an old thread based on the info you provided. Since the battery is OEM, and under warranty I am going to bring it in to see it they will replace it before I attempt to do what you suggested.

the thread I found did mention people having issue with the 18 model. However there seems to be a bit of confusion of which wire is the sensor wire based on color and voltage. Some suggest the blue wire, but not all have a blue wire, there is also a suggestion about engine off, igniting on, then check which wire has 5V, however one person stated that they had 2 wires recording 5V. Thank you again for your response, I will do some troubleshooting once I take to the dealership.
 

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I disconnected the entire harness from the sensor, wrapped the end in electrical tape and never looked back. I did not snip any wires and it's easily reversible for sale or warranty.
Simply disconnect the harness from the senor, watch your voltmeter settle in right around 14, and never fluctuate again.
 

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I disconnected the entire harness from the sensor, wrapped the end in electrical tape and never looked back. I did not snip any wires and it's easily reversible for sale or warranty.
Simply disconnect the harness from the senor, watch your voltmeter settle in right around 14, and never fluctuate again.
So just to make sure, you say you unplug the connector that is on the negative side of the battery terminal, Correct? Do you know what other functions the sensor performs beside regulating the battery charge?
 

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So just to make sure, you say you unplug the connector that is on the negative side of the battery terminal, Correct? Do you know what other functions the sensor performs beside regulating the battery charge?
That is what I did. It works for me.
If you choose to do it, that's on you and you accept the responsibility or working on your own vehicle.

Mine has been entirely unplugged for over 18 months. My battery also remains at a healthy 13.3 when the vehicle is turned off and 14.2-14.5 running.
 

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Hi OBX. Just checking to see if you're still running ok with the sensor disconnected. I have a 2019 w/starting issues and disconnected my sensor this morning. Took a run to the store and it's charging solid without the needle moving.

One weird thing I noticed is that when it refuses to start with the pushbutton, I can sometimes (but not always) start with my Viper remote start which immediately kills the engine when I try to put it in gear (designed that way) but then it'll usually start with the button. It's a real head scratcher.

I also have been using Nissan batteries since I bought the vehicle new, and have a Odyssey batter on order as a replacement. I don't trust the Nissan batteries and they have replaced 2 of them when I took it in for charging/starting problems.

Here's my latest reading after disconnecting the sensor. The charge was 12.1v before I pulled the plug on the sensor.

Would appreciate your comments..thanks!
 

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Hi OBX. Just checking to see if you're still running ok with the sensor disconnected. I have a 2019 w/starting issues and disconnected my sensor this morning. Took a run to the store and it's charging solid without the needle moving.

One weird thing I noticed is that when it refuses to start with the pushbutton, I can sometimes (but not always) start with my Viper remote start which immediately kills the engine when I try to put it in gear (designed that way) but then it'll usually start with the button. It's a real head scratcher.

I also have been using Nissan batteries since I bought the vehicle new, and have a Odyssey batter on order as a replacement. I don't trust the Nissan batteries and they have replaced 2 of them when I took it in for charging/starting problems.

Here's my latest reading after disconnecting the sensor. The charge was 12.1v before I pulled the plug on the sensor.

Would appreciate your comments..thanks!
I fixed my occasional no start by replacing the brake light switch. What I found was went out to dinner with my wife and another couple who has the same vehicle is when both of our cars would not start when leaving the restaurant they only started when the brake lights illuminated. I had them hit the brake pedal several times while holding the button and as soon as the lights illuminated the car started.
 

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That's a new one! My dealership said my bake switch is ok when I had it in the shop a year or so ago. Is that the same switch as the "brake light switch"?
So you keep the button depressed and pump the brake until it starts? Am I reading this correctly?

Thanks for your reply!
 
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