HELP '05 Frontier Gauges/Engine Dies After New Transmission Installed

I have a 2005 Nissan Frontier that recently had a new transmission and radiator installed due to a defect where coolant leaks into the transmission and destroys Nissan transmissions. After I got my truck back it ran fine for about 2 days, then on the third day I started it and the gauges all started going up and down at a speed of about 72 bpm. I shut it off let sit for a few minutes started it and it did this again. I repeated that about 4 times. I let it sit for about 4 hours started it and it was fine for a very short drive (1/2 mile). After about another 2 hours of sitting I tried to start and the battery was dead, my friend jumped it and it drove fine. So it sat for a few days until I had my brother jump it so I could drive to get a new battery. Once it was jumped the moving of the gauges started again. As I was driving, the gauges kept coming on the going off. I got it to advanced auto and they replaced the battery, it started up drove it for a matter of minutes, then the gauges died and it wouldn’t drive faster than 1 MPH, then engine would rev when I hit the gas. I got it to a parking lot shut it off tried starting it the gauges would come on but as soon as I hit the gas pedal it would rev up but instantly the gauges would shut off and the engine would rev anymore. So I was stuck, got it towed to where the transmission was put in. They couldn’t fix it but had to jump it to start it, so the new battery was dead. They towed it to a Nissan dealer and the mechanics are now saying it’s just a bad battery, but this just doesn’t make any sense to me. Please HELP!!! because I have a feeling this will be right back in the shop.

“up and down at a speed of about 72 bpm” ?? what does this mean?
bpm, bits per minute, doesn’t apply to an analog gage.

perhaps you mean beats per minute. That is over one per second. do you mean the needles of the gages are swinging up and down at the rate of more than 1 per second?

I think your battery was bad as well. Modern computerized vehicles need a strong 12VDC+ to operate correctly. When my battery was dying last fall…I must have had a hundred different check engine faults. The engine ran poorly and quit constantly. Getting it started again was a real PITA. When the new battery was installed…all the faults went away and have stayed away.

BTW…my battery was reading a little over 11VDC when I pulled it out of it’s hiding place on my 2008 HHR. Why Chevy decided to install it with the spare tire under the rear hatch is a mystery to me. There is plenty of room under the hood.

Make sure ALL the ground straps, wires and cables got re-connected when the tranny was installed…Just one forgotten or misplaced ground lead can and will lead to all sorts of problems…Charging and then checking the battery and the vehicles charging system is of course step one…

I agree w/the OP, this doesn’t sound like the battery is the problem. The battery is probably discharged, true, but the problem is most likely associated with whatever is causing it to discharge. Caddyman is spot on, suggesting first to check the battery and alternator wiring, including the grounding point to the chassis.

If that all looks ok, and the transmission place can’t see anything they forgot to reconnect, or connected to the wrong place, you’ll have to get a shop to find out what’s causing the battery to discharge. This usually involves hooking up a current meter at the battery (with everything off, the key out of the ignition) and unplugging fuses until you find the circuit which is creating the load.

The gauges going up and down might be a clue. Have you put a volt meter on the battery and/or the alternator to see if the voltage is going up and down at the same rate? That could happen if the battery somehow wasn’t correctly connected to the alternator output. The alternator, on its own, puts out a sort of choppy power voltage, spiking up and down, and the capacity of the battery is what levels it out, making it measure a constant voltage.