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1998 Nissan Maxima

I have a 1998 Nissan Maxima that when I step on the brakes causes dimming of lights, reduction in heater / ac fan power, slows windshield wipers, etc. The alternator / voltage regulator has been replaced twice. Here’s the kicker, often when I atempt to start the car, it’s as though the battery is disconnected; no dummy lights, nothing. I pump the brakes a couple of times and the car starts. Any ideas what may be causing this?

Thank you for any and all advice.

Sounds like a short in your braking system or brake light bulb assembly. Your mechanic should be able to pinpoint the problem starting with the brake light switch and so on.

Thank you for replying. If I could add one more incident and it only happened once. I was traveling on the highway at about 65 - 70 mph during daylight hours, therefore the headlights / running lights were off, and I noticed the headlight bright / dimmer lever, which also controls directional lights, was in the bright position. I pulled back on the lever, and possibly hard enough to not only move it to the dim position, but might have pulled the lever hard enough to cause the headlights to come on momentarily, at least until I released the lever (and I’m not sure if tail lights come on as well), but the car died, and as though the battery was disconnected (no dummy lights, clock, etc.). I began to put the car in nuetral, but it might have still been in drive when I pressed on the brakes at which time the car started without turning the key. I suspect the car starting had something to do with the brakes, but any idea why the car died from adjusting the bright / dim lever, unless the tail lights came on with the headlights from pulling hard on the bright / dim lever, therefore maybe there’s a short in a tail light assembly… Any ideas?

No, but those additonal comments from you makes me recommend you go to a good auto-electric shop since you may have more than one problem. Years ago most British cars behaved that way after a while since they had the infamous Lucas electrical components. Modern cars seldom have these problems.

Good luck.

Anytime there’s interaction between normally independent systems I suspect ground connections, like the strap from the motor to the body/chassis.

+1 for checking all the ground straps you can find, and then look for some more. I’d bet there is a loose ground somewhere.