MY 1995 NISSAN MAXIMA WAS WORKING JUST FINE TILL RECENTLY MY CAR ALL OF A SUDDEN STARTED LOSING POWER WITH THE HEADLIGHTS ON AND WHEN I TURNED THEM OFF MY CAR WOULD REGAIN POWER AGAIN BUT COME MORNING MY BATTERY WOULD BE DRAINED. SO I BOUGHT A NEW ALTERNATOR AND BATTERY AND IT STILL DOING THE SAME THING. IS THERE SOME SENSORS OR RELAYS OR FUSES I NEED TO REPLACE TO GET MY CAR RUNNING NORMAL AGAIN? OR IS THERE A SHORT SOMEWHERE DOWN MY FIRE LINE TO THE STARTER TOUCHING SOMETHING OR WHAT? HOPE YOU CAN ANSWER MY QUESTION AND HELP ME RESOLVE MY SITUATION WITH MY CAR?
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1995 Nissan Maxima Question: WHY DOES MY CAR POWER DOWN WHEN I USE MY HEADLIGHTS?
Answer #1patrick mannion from Greg Solow's Engine Room, February 06, 2010, 11:46Master
It could be a bad or unsecured battery ground cable between the battery and chassis or chassis and engine. Turn on the ignition switch to the on but not run position do you see an icon on the instrument panel representing a battery, if you do not see this battery icon the alternator is not seeing power to allow it to charge. Start the engine does the battery icon go out. A more complex but good diagnostic test is checking "voltage drop" on the battery ground and power cables. You can find a video on how to do a voltage drop test on youtube. Put a volt meter across the battery terminals with the engine off, at rest the battery voltage should be 12.6 volts if the battery is fully charged. Now get a friend to start the car while you watch the voltmeter, the voltage reading across the battery should read approximately 14.6 volts if the alternator is charging correctly.