1997 nissan pathfinder alternator woes - Nissan Forum

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post #1 of 5 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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1997 nissan pathfinder alternator woes

hi guys, just wanted to wish you all a merry christmas hope everyone got what they wished for. here i go again with some automotive queries. for about a month now my panel lights, dashboard lights however you want to refer to them, and my headlights are dim. about 2 weeks ago, i took the the darn truck to autozone to get the battery and alternator tested. they were as they said, "charging fine". the alternator was at 13.98v and the battery was around 12. something. mind you they checked them while the engine was running. through the process of elimination, i figured hey "must be the the battery cables". i had my son checked the red and black cables and he said "they were bad". and i said "how do you know"? and he said, "well, there are some oxidation on the wires that are not insulated" the uninsulated part of the wires are the ones on the tip of the wires. you guys know what im talking about? anyways after installing the battery cables that costed me over $250 dollars for both, the problem was not solved. everytime i turned my headlights on, the dashboard lights get dim and also my headlights are dim. i went back to autozone not the same store and i ask the guy about my dilemma. he told me that the voltage regulatormight be working intermittently and since the car is almost 10 years old, more than likely it is my alternator. is there anyway you could check if the voltage reulator is the culprit? i search here and i found some helpful suggestions.
You gota watch the rebuilt alt/starters from parts stores. They send them to mexico (usually) and tend to just beadblast them & paint them & replace the brushes (sometime the regulator). Though after a few "rebuildings" the bearings wear/windings go, etc... The best way to go is buy a BRAND NEW one if you have the money. Or if you need to save a buck then take it to a local motor/electrical place and have them rebuild it. It supports you local commerce and have a face to deal with for warranty. Heck they can even change the winding for more amps if you want
. i checked the price for the alternator at everythingnissan.com and it costs $201 for a brand new one but before i do this i want to make sure that the alternator is the problem. so any input from you guys would be great. my truck is a 1997 nissan pathfinder 3.3L v6 4x4. thanks guys.

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post #2 of 5 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 08:49 PM
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You paid HOW much for $20 worth of cables? Damn, man. I could go to a shop and have them custom make a set out of 2 gauge for less than that. Ow.

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post #3 of 5 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 10:14 PM
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$250.00 for two cables ... and the boneheads can't even tell you if your charging system is weak
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post #4 of 5 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 11:57 PM
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is it the stock alternator? If so, did autozone tell you what the amperage was running when they tested it. or did they just run it for a a second and were like "yea its charging"... you gotta watchem

also, make sure its putting out its rated amperage when they test it, alternators die a slow death - they usually dont up and quit in a split second.

If the alternator is in fact dying out, i recommend posting so on here before paying the jerk that claimed he needed $250 for battery cables, it better have been 0awg. lol
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post #5 of 5 Old Dec 31st, 2006, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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hi guys, well i bought the cables from everythingnissan. since andrew mentioned that alternators die a slow death, then perhaps mine is doing that. until now my lights are kind of dim, and the lights on the dashboard dims when i turn on the headlights. now, i am shopping for either a new or rebuilt one. im not sure if i should buy a new alternator from everythingnissan and then my problem is still not solved. this is a pain in you know where specially since im a woman with limited knowledge about these things had too many bad experiences with so called "honest mechanics".
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