2018 Nissan Frontier Always having to jump

Hey all… I am at my wits end trying to figure out this issue.So any help is greatly appreciated.

I have a 2018 Nissan Frontier with 62000 miles. Over the past few months I have had to constantly jump start my truck in the morning after leaving it over night.

I checked the battery (new), alternator, and starter(new). The battery reads 12.6v. When I turn my key to the position 2, the voltage drops to around 12.1, when I then turned on the lights the voltage dropped to 11.85.

So my thinking it’s something that is getting power whenever the key is in position 2.

At first I thought it was the battery. I had the battery tested and it was good, just incase I bought a second battery last weekend. Still the same issue.

I was told that the starter was pulling to many amps and draining the battery when trying to start. I bought a new starter over the weekend and installed it on Saturday night. No change, issue is still there.

I am not sure where to go from here.

I think you have a parasitic drain. Doesn’t take much. Do a search fir lots of ideas. The wife left the trunk open enough at the airport fir the light to stay on and the battery was shot.


Time for a new battery, my thought.

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Mustangman posted this a while back, others have posted similar, videos also I just finally decided to bookmark it that time… lol

From what I tell it’s not dying overnight. The voltage only drops when in the key is in the second position and then when I try to start it.

Plus a new starter?? You could have taken it to a pro shop and had it properly diagnosed for less than you have already spent… Not being mean, just honest…


Replaced the original 4 months ago. Just to be sure it wasn’t the battery I bought a new battery last weekend.

You are saying 2 different things, why would you leave the key in the 2 position overnight, that will drain it every time…

I never said I left the key in overnight? I have had to jump it every morning this week. And sometimes once I leave work. Sometimes it starts without having to jump it at work. But every morning I have had to jump it.

All I know is that in the morning the voltage is fluctuating between. 12.3 and 12.5 based off of my large charger/jumper. Not a mechanic but can get by a little bit parasitic draw I don’t know anything about.

To me it seems like it has enough power through the morning to lunch to start and then once I get home and let it sit about 10 to 12 hours it needs a jump the next morning.

They make tools to check batteries to determine if it is bad. Most places that sell car batteries will test yours for free.

Then you’d know if it is a battery problem or not.

They also make inexpensive chargers to recharge your battery when drained. Just hook them to the battery and plug them into a wall socket overnight.

Where are you measuring the voltage? Does the engine then crank too slow to start the engine or not crank at all? What reaction to you get when you turn the ignition to the start position?

True and I know. I thought about that, but I can always chalk it up to preventative maintenance.

Yep and the first time I tested it at advanced they said everything was fine when the volts showed 12.3v.

I took it a few days later and Napa said it was bad. So I bought another one.

I bought a large charger/jumper at Lowes hardware. It also shows the voltage and some other things you can do with it.

So I have measured the voltage from the battery terminals with a voltmeter, the large charger/jumper I have that reads voltage digitally, and then from my OBD2.

When you need to jumpstart the vehicle, the battery is severely depleted. Just driving to work is not enough to fully recharge it. It needs to be trickle charged back to full. You’re getting just enough recharge to start it after work but the drain is enough to run it back down again overnight. These battery chemistries do not like that repeated severe discharge condition and so that is also affecting the battery capacity.

The reason the voltage drops so much in the morning when turning the key to RUN position is the ignition draws a lot of power and the battery is barely charged.

My suspicions- you have a parasitic draw that is depleting the battery. It’s not being driven far enough to fully replace the lost charge overnight. It gradually gets down to a point where it cannot start the engine. Consistently jumping it without a full recharge is making the condition worse.

Did you watch the 3 videos I posted the link to in my 1st reply (#4)…

I agree with this. I’ll also point out that asking the alternator to repeatedly charge a low battery can wear it out sooner. You really want to check for a parasitic draw here as the next step.

12.6 v is correct for a fully charged battery. With the headlights on bright, engine not running, 11.85 v seems a little less than I’d expect. But I don’t remember ever doing that experiment, so maybe it is normal. All batteries have an internal resistance which causes a voltage drop proportional to current flow, so the higher the current output, the lower the voltage. A faulty battery has a higher internal resistance, so the voltage output will be lower than a good battery when current is flowing, even if the voltage is the same with no current. That’s my guess, even though it is relatively new, you have a faulty battery. The same resistance effect occurs however if the connections to the battery are oxidized, so first step, make sure those are clean and reasonably tight. You can confirm that cause by probing at the battery posts themselves vs at the connectors when the headlights are on, engine not running. The voltages should be very close to the same if there’s a good connection. The connection of the battery negative to the chassis can be assessed using this same method.

If a new battery, fully charged, good connections, and new starter motor don’t do the trick, you’ll have to ask your shop to measure the voltages directly at the starter motor termnals, probing from the terminal to the starter case. Both should measure at least 10.5 volts with key in “start”. You are welcome to post the results of that test here for more ideas.

Try this, put the positive lead of your voltmeter on the engine block or head and the negative lead on the lead (terminal part and not the connector part) of the battery and have someone turn the key to start. If you read a voltage, you have a bad ground connection.

The way today’s battery leads are made, there are plenty of opportunities for a bad connection. I’m assuming you cleaned the battery terminals when you put in the new battery. But did you check where the wire to the starter motor is bolted to the battery terminal to see if it is loose or corroded?

Also, is there anything that is electrical that is not working? I.e. a power window or door lock? Often when a component fails, it will have a parasitic draw. And one more thing, have you upgraded your audio system in any way? That can be another source for a loss.

Anything plugged into the power port in the center console?

Somebody already suggested that the issue is with parasitic drain. Maybe you can use a hint how to find it: buy a clamp meter (a decent one that measures down to 10 mAmp) and pull fuses/relays one by one until amperage drops. Alternatively, you may try a cheap amp meter and connect it in series - disconnect negative cable from the battery and connect the meter between the cable and terminal. Finally - as the last resort - you may try disconnecting both battery cables and use an ohm meter. You can buy one for $5 but it may not be entirely accurate if some electronic component drains battery only when it has power but it’s a good starting point.
I have the same - not that drastic though - issue with my 4Runner - after 2-3 weeks (I don’t drive much), the battery dies. I do have a good clamp meter so I know it drains 50 mAmps, and I suspect it’s the brake controller. I’m just too lazy to deal with it in the winter so I have a trickle charger plugged in. Will get into it in the summer.