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TOXXIC

2002 Ininity QX4 (Like Pathfinder)

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I acquired a 2002 Infinity QX4 from my neighbor Gary as it was too cheap to pass up.190K miles, V6, 3.5L.  He got tired of trying to fix it. When Gary first hopped in it after it sitting for a while he thought the battery was dead. No lights on the dash, no chime nothing.

 

When I walked up on him he was pulling the battery, and I stopped him. We put a volt meter on it and it read 12V. The battery is some no name, with a tag stating made 10/18, 700 cranking amps.

 

I started wondering if it was a neutral safety switch, but the car would not start in neutral. Fast forward to last week. Gary called me and said he didn't want to deal with it and I acquired it. He and his wife are trying to move to the free State of Texas and the Infinity was blocking his driveway. I towed it across the street with a tow strap.

 

 When I got to start it the starter does not "jump to life", but drags and then the car starts. If I turn the AC or defrost on everything flickers, and sometimes the car dies. 

 

When running the alternator puts out 13.3V. Kind of low, but still making juice.

 

I ordered a new grounding harness which runs from the negative battery terminal, has a 'Y' and an attachment point on the passenger's side fender. The strap continues then grounds to the right side of the engine.  I cleaned on the points of contact and installed the grounding wire.  Charged the battery overnight and installed it this afternoon.  Car will start, hard cranking and then has all the same symptoms.

 

Thinking of buying a new battery, but the fact it is only two years old and takes a charge gives me pause. Posting here as Furbird used to work in a Nissan shop, Oscar is an accomplished mechanic, and well this place is often a wealth of knowledge. 😃  I suspect it is some silly ground. I see evidence some critter chewed on the insulation under the hood, curious if it grabbed onto some grounding strap I may not be familiar with.

 

Oh, Gary said the radio quit working a few years ago. Bose. Shame. Today during the test drive it worked. When I got home it quit working?

 

A few years back our Murano was acting weird and a new battery cured it.

 

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Forgot to add during first test drive after putting in charged battery and grounding strap It died within 200 feet of my house. I turned off the AC and it started. As I was driving it started to die so I turned off the radio and AC. Then the ABS came on and all the dash lights began to flicker. 
 

This was my first “test drive” as I acquired it without a test drive. Tranny sounded like it was whining and there was a vibration that felt like “U” joints, felt it in my ass as I drove.

 

Here is some Infinity porn. 
 

My middle son graduates HS this year and he isn’t a douche bag between now and then I thought about giving the Infinity to him. However, he has a 1993 Cherokee XJ with a straight six, and though ugly it runs like a top. 

858A24B7-F804-46D2-9AFD-4E0769110807.jpeg

803D6A6B-C83B-48BA-BABC-F453B99E4593.jpeg

28A33665-A829-4771-BB4B-D33FA5BA88B1.jpeg

CE4273F8-A63D-4CDD-A60B-88C34807340F.jpeg

28F845BE-2961-43EC-BDBF-405502D06A3B.jpeg

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Everything you mentioned screams alternator or battery.  Instead of trying to find ground straps that are OE just add new ones with 10 gauge or 8 gauge.  Battery to block, battery to body, body to block.  But the gauges going batshit while the car is operating is tell-tale alternator failure.  Suck it up and buy the Nissan one.  I know of no aftermarket LOCAL source that makes an alternator worth a crap unless you can find someone to rebuild the OE one for you.  We replaced multiple aftermarket ones with OE ones and all the problems went away.

You kill that motor you've done something.  Change the oil, it will run forever.  The Maxima/Altima version of that engine had some cam chain tensioner issues but never recall the Pathfinder/QX series having it when equipped with the 3.5 (4.0 completely different story.)  Do NOT put a Fram filter on it.  Any filter without an anti-drain back valve WILL cause valve rattle on startup.  I prefer Purolator myself (BTW, the Nissan one is a Purolator) but WIX or other quality filters are fine.  Check the in cabin/AC filter.  Should have one, probably has never been changed if the previous owner didn't RTFM.  Might be pricey OE as somewhere in those years they had a charcoal filter which is vastly superior but astronomical compared to the straight paper style.

It might need U-joints, but more than likely it's rear control arms.  The bushings go bad on those and cause a knock that a lot of people believe to be U-joints, but it usually coincides with an unstable rear end/slight sway.

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As I started reading my first thought was a bad connection, or maybe a fucked up battery.  Make sure the positive is clean, looks a bit questionable, and make sure the other end is also clean & tight.  Make sure that not only the terminal to battery post is clean, but also the cable where it's clamped to the terminal.  It looks like there's the bare cable and another terminal both clamped to the battery terminal, make sure both are clean.  The cable probably goes straight to the starter and if there is another connection there as it appears, that one feeds all the other stuff as well as probably feeding the charge current from the alternator to the battery.

 

A battery can take and hold a charge, but if you're only checking voltage it can be deceiving.  I've had plenty of batteries that held 12.5V+, but had little amperage capacity.  I've also had a few where the post had a broken connection and would give intermittent power, sometimes perfect and sometimes little to no amperage ability.

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8 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

As I started reading my first thought was a bad connection, or maybe a fucked up battery.  Make sure the positive is clean, looks a bit questionable, and make sure the other end is also clean & tight.  Make sure that not only the terminal to battery post is clean, but also the cable where it's clamped to the terminal.  It looks like there's the bare cable and another terminal both clamped to the battery terminal, make sure both are clean.  The cable probably goes straight to the starter and if there is another connection there as it appears, that one feeds all the other stuff as well as probably feeding the charge current from the alternator to the battery.

 

A battery can take and hold a charge, but if you're only checking voltage it can be deceiving.  I've had plenty of batteries that held 12.5V+, but had little amperage capacity.  I've also had a few where the post had a broken connection and would give intermittent power, sometimes perfect and sometimes little to no amperage ability.

 

45 minutes ago, Furbird said:

Everything you mentioned screams alternator or battery.  Instead of trying to find ground straps that are OE just add new ones with 10 gauge or 8 gauge.  Battery to block, battery to body, body to block.  But the gauges going batshit while the car is operating is tell-tale alternator failure.  Suck it up and buy the Nissan one.  I know of no aftermarket LOCAL source that makes an alternator worth a crap unless you can find someone to rebuild the OE one for you.  We replaced multiple aftermarket ones with OE ones and all the problems went away.

You kill that motor you've done something.  Change the oil, it will run forever.  The Maxima/Altima version of that engine had some cam chain tensioner issues but never recall the Pathfinder/QX series having it when equipped with the 3.5 (4.0 completely different story.)  Do NOT put a Fram filter on it.  Any filter without an anti-drain back valve WILL cause valve rattle on startup.  I prefer Purolator myself (BTW, the Nissan one is a Purolator) but WIX or other quality filters are fine.  Check the in cabin/AC filter.  Should have one, probably has never been changed if the previous owner didn't RTFM.  Might be pricey OE as somewhere in those years they had a charcoal filter which is vastly superior but astronomical compared to the straight paper style.

It might need U-joints, but more than likely it's rear control arms.  The bushings go bad on those and cause a knock that a lot of people believe to be U-joints, but it usually coincides with an unstable rear end/slight sway.

Thanks for the insights, I will try a battery I have in my shop tomorrow.

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And I have no specific knowledge on that vehicle, just my general knowledge.  While it could be the alternator as Fur said, I'd say it's unlikely.  Or it has a bad alternator and a bad starter and some other shit....or just a bad battery or connection causing it all which is more likely.

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9 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

As I started reading my first thought was a bad connection, or maybe a fucked up battery.  Make sure the positive is clean, looks a bit questionable, and make sure the other end is also clean & tight.  Make sure that not only the terminal to battery post is clean, but also the cable where it's clamped to the terminal.  It looks like there's the bare cable and another terminal both clamped to the battery terminal, make sure both are clean.  The cable probably goes straight to the starter and if there is another connection there as it appears, that one feeds all the other stuff as well as probably feeding the charge current from the alternator to the battery.

 

A battery can take and hold a charge, but if you're only checking voltage it can be deceiving.  I've had plenty of batteries that held 12.5V+, but had little amperage capacity.  I've also had a few where the post had a broken connection and would give intermittent power, sometimes perfect and sometimes little to no amperage ability.

The negative terminal is brand new and clamped onto wire brush cleaned off poles. Feels like you didn’t read my whole OP.  😁 I cleaning the positive pole and inside of positive clamp. I will take apart and clean the other parts upstream up from the positive pole. Great call out.

 

Thanks guys!

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2 minutes ago, superhawk996 said:

And I have no specific knowledge on that vehicle, just my general knowledge.  While it could be the alternator as Fur said, I'd say it's unlikely.  Or it has a bad alternator and a bad starter and some other shit....or just a bad battery or connection causing it all which is more likely.

Starter sounds unhappy, but choosing to start with the easy stuff!

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1 minute ago, TOXXIC said:

The negative terminal is brand new and clamped onto wire brush cleaned off poles. Feels like you didn’t read my whole OP.  😁

I did read, hence said nothing about the negative 🤪  

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Haha, true. You only focused on the positive. Guess I must be focused on the negative.🤣

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Posted (edited)

I would have suggested replacing or at least load testing the battery.  I’ve had them show good voltage but die under load.  That battery can be opened, and I’d not be surprised if the cells were less than 50% full of acid.

Edited by Zero Knievel

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Posted (edited)

That is one minty looking vehicle dude - I bet it rides like a caddy!

Edited by DBLXX

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6 hours ago, Zero Knievel said:

I would have suggested replacing or at least load testing the battery

This reminds me: most places that sell batteries will test yours for free.  Only issue is that many use a handheld electronic tester that doesn't put a load on the battery.  While they're generally accurate, they can miss some faults.  The larger machines do the basic electronic diagnosis, then if they pass that it goes on to test while applying a load then a charge.  My handheld Midtronics tester has lied to me four times that I know of but the big $3000 Midtronics unit caught them.  Clearly the message here is that you should buy a $3000 machine so you can avoid potentially wasting $100 on a battery.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, DBLXX said:

How much did you steal it for?

EDIT I am wondering the same. (If you don't mind)

 

190K miles and lack of complete history, I'd consider swapping the starter as a preventative measure and diagnostic all-in-one.

Edited by XXitanium

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Just now, XXitanium said:

I am wondering the same.

 

190K miles and lack of complete history, I'd consider swapping the starter as a preventative measure and diagnostic all-in-one.

 

I changed my post...I gave it some thought and figured he would have said in his OP.

 

All good.

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Some people don't want to say at all, some just don't want to look like they're bragging or a swindler.  Similar happens when someone overpays for something.  I give no fucks telling what I paid for stuff and don't quite understand not wanting to say, but many people are like that so I understand that it's quite common.

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My vote is the battery, we had a similar problem with a VW, the battery tested ok but ok was not what was needed.

And another thing to consider, which one will involve more females. And which one will attract more desirable ones.

I'd say jeep.

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Another vote for the battery or a poor connection sucking power. My wife's car acted like it was possessed when battery voltage dropped a little low. Battery was still technically "good" but when it dropped a few tenths of a volt below optimal, shit started getting weird real quick.

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I think Swampy will agree that computers are sensitive to power supply.

 

Still, If he were mine I'd have him stick with the jeep and trade the Q for something you have wanted.

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18 hours ago, OMG said:

and trade the Q for something you have wanted.

Yes, like a SCAR 16!!  😄

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