All of the lights that show up when starting the car are coming on when I am driving. After about 5 minutes of driving, it is hard to accelerate and the car seems to stall (like I am trying to change gears - it is automatic). The first time it happened, I took the car to a repair shop and they told me I had a leaking hose and needed a new alternator. I had them change the hose and took the car to my usual mechanic. After two days of driving my car, he could not reproduce the problem and said he didn’t think the alternator needed to be changed. I started driving the car today and it happened again. When I got home and turned the car off, it would not restart.
Can you fill in the blanks for us regarding some important missing information?
Please tell us:
How long the Check Engine Light had been lit up, prior to the situation that you described above
Maintenance history (in detail) over the past 3 years. Please do not give us a meaningless statement such as “it has been well-maintained”.
“All of the lights” surely includes the Check Engine Light (CEL). On some vehicles, the presence of an illuminated CEL will also lead to other (seemingly unrelated) warning lights going on. Or to put it another way, it is likely that there has been a problem detected by the car’s Onboard Diagnostic System (OBD), and this caused your CEL to light up.
Also a result of the problem detected by the OBD system, systems such as traction control, stability control, and cruise control will not function. When those systems are disabled, their warning lights will come on.
When the CEL lights up, a trouble code (or 2, or 3, or…) will be stored by the car’s OBD system, and this can help to lead a competent mechanic to the source(s) of the problem. Some problems, if not corrected promptly, will lead to your transmission going into “limp home” mode, or can result in sharply reduced engine power. It sounds like one or both of those situations have taken place, and since the underlying problem was not resolved, now some damage has taken place and the engine won’t even start.
Since your mechanic apparently did not share the stored OBD codes with you, you need to have the system checked for trouble codes. After gettting those codes, you can come back to this thread to share them with us for more detailed advice.
However, your immediate problem at this point is to get the vehicle started. Truthfully, unless you have a fairly good skill set and the proper diagnostic equipment, I don’t see any alternative to having the vehicle towed (or–since it is an AWD vehicle–placed on a flat-bed auto carrier) to a competent mechanic at this point.
My suspicion is that this vehicle has not had a whole lot of attention paid to its maintenance for some time, and that this is the overall cause of the situation. Maintenance and repairs that are deferred frequently cascade into a series of other issues that cost more in the long run in order to resolve. If I am wrong about the vehicle’s maintenance history, I apologize in advance.
Model year - 2006
Odometer mileage -114000
How long the Check Engine Light had been lit up, prior to the situation that you described above - It just started - the first time I took it to the shop that said I need an alternator. Then I parked it for a while and took it to my mechanic
Maintenance history (in detail) over the past 3 years. - regular oil changes at 3000 miles, changed all four tires
I accept your apology because you are wrong about the maintenace history. The only OBD code the mechanic got was 1000-“communication error”. The car restarted after sitting for about 5 hours but the Check Engine Light (CEL) is on.
The warning lights are tied into the alternator circuit so it is possible that there may be an alternator problem.
If the CEL light is on there should be some error codes to check but if there is a problem with the communications bus then that will need to be fixed first before you can retieve any code errors from the ECU.
“I accept your apology because you are wrong about the maintenace history”
Are you SURE that I am wrong?
If the total maintenance history of this vehicle over the past 3 years is merely oil changes and replacing the tires, then I think that you owe the vehicle an apology.
Do yourself a favor, and open the Nissan/Infiniti Maintenance Schedule that should be sitting in the glove compartment. Take a thorough look at what should be done at…let’s say…90k miles. I can guarantee that there are many more maintenance procedures listed in addition to changing the oil. When are the spark plugs supposed to be replaced? Has that been done?
Bear in mind also that most maintenance procedures have an elapsed time value, as well as an odometer mileage value, so the age of the vehicle is also a factor in terms of what maintenance needs to be done.
Unfortunately, I am going to have to repeat what I said previously, namely that this vehicle has likely not had a whole lot of attention paid to its maintenance for some time, and that this is the overall cause of the situation.
Thanks for your help. I appreciate it but I really do accept your apology. I take my car to the dealer per the maintenance schedule and I comply with the full schedule. I did not realize you wanted all that information.