So Im excited to have my vehicle back. It has been sitting in my in laws yard for about four months due to my tardy behavior in getting it registered in my new state. After getting the tags yesterday I was anxious to drive my car to work today for the first time in months. My husband had very nicely started the car so it would be warm for my arrival. Upon entering the vehicle I slowly steer the car around our circular driveway. I pause less than a tenth of a mile down to close my door that did not shut correctly in my rush. As I attempt to drive the last few feet out onto the highway I realize that my gas pedal is NOT making the car move. Instead it is acting like a toy car with the batteries quickly expiring. Everything else is working great. The heat is still running, all the lights are on. After realizing the danger of having the gas pedal to the floor while facing a heavily traveled road I quickly try reverse with the same response. Needless to say I had to change everything back over to my husbands truck in order to continue my commute to work.
MY first thought is a through underhood inspection, paying very close attention to the possibility of rodent damage to wiring. I would really like to examine if this is "drive by wire’ and what happens at the throttle when the pedal is pushed, someone has to look.
You are correct, an alternator that is not putting out will not inhibit acceleration until the battery level gets so low the fuel pump and then ignition do not have supply voltage. Since the car cranks at nominal speed (enough to start) I am not fond of the battery/alternator direction in figuring this one out. Perhaps some animals have made a nest in the air intake or chewed up some wires.
Why would you think this issue is related to a neutral safety switch? the car cranks and starts,after the car starts that switch is out of the process.
I was not able to conclude that the problem is intermittent based upon your inital post, this type of information is critical to include in order for us to help you.
My husband attempted a go at it this evening upon return from work. We did a test spin down the road. Car cranked fine again and we proceeded down the road with him giving me dirty looks. We did not get far (he turned the heat on high) and it did it again. The car was not responding to the gas pedal being pressed down. We sat in our driveway trying various things. He shifted it into different gears. It recognizes park and nuetral in that the rpm will go up as the gas pedal is pressed but no response when in gear. Tonight however it did something different than this morning. As we sat there, the lights in the car eventually shut off and the air bag light came on and eventually the car died. It would not start for about five minutes. We sat there for a while (about five minutes) and then he tried it again and once again it started as nothing had ever happened, but the gas pedal would still not work. My husband is thinking either the computer system or possibly a park/neutral safety switch. I was thinking alternator… but then again, obviously, neither of us are mechanics…
I’m with you. It sounds like an alternator/battery problem.
Has anyone checked the OBD codes?
Not yet. My father in law is a service director so I’m sure he will be checking that out for us. This just occurred today so he hasn’t had a chance to look at it. Last year an alternator was put in and a new battery, so thats why it confuses me as to whether it could be a problem there. And why would the alternator effect gas power?
The fuel pump, ignition, fuel injectors, and the computer that fires them, are all powered by the electrical system. If they can’t get enough power, then the engine isn’t going to operate correctly.
I assume the vehicle sat for the extended period of time and needed a replacement battery or even a jump start. Old School is on the right track when describing drive by wire. Even if the vehicle starts working or seems to work correctly take it to the Nissan dealer and have the system re-learned. This cannot be accomplished at the local Firestone or Goodyear. While it is there have a new battery installed if you did not put one in already. Sounds like you husband is good but this one catches alot of guys.