I have a 1995 Altima with automatic transmission and ~170K miles on it. I don’t know whether it’s relevant to today’s bit of weirdness, but by way of background I’ve noticed for the last several months that the shift lever is a bit stiff, and sometimes in order to get the thing to turn over and start I have to take it out of park, and put it back in park. It’s not always that easy to get it out of park either. Sometimes it is stuck in park. It helps if I’m on an incline and can release the parking brake so that the car moves a bit, which seems to unlock the shifter somehow. Anyway, today, when I started the car I noticed that the radio wasn’t working, and neither was the fan for the heat/defrost/air conditioner. The car otherwise seemed OK and my daughter and I were going to a movie, and we were already late, so we went ahead. No problem getting to the theater. After coming out of the movie, it was pouring rain. When I turned the key in the ignition, the radio came on, but once the car started it went off again. However, the fan was working this time. But this time the windshield wipers weren’t working. I don’t know whether they were working or not earlier because I had no reason to turn them on. I thought for a minute about just driving home–we had the defrost fan at least–but it was raining so hard I thought the better of it, and decided to pull over in a parking lot, turn off the car, and try it all over again. Lo and behold, after turning off the car and restarting it, the radio, the fan, and the wipers all worked, and we got home without incident. So, automotive geniuses, what the heck is going on?
I would say that you have a bad/intermittent ignition switch. The trans getting out of park, could be the switch or solenoid or even the module. Switch would be my first guess.
Thanks! Would this also explain the fan, wipers, and radio behavior?
Power for almost all the accessories of the car has to pass through the ignition switch so it is very likely to be the cause of the trouble or in a connection to it.