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Please help-- Dealer refuses to fix my car

Hi everyone-- I'm not a car tecchie and I don't fix my own automobile; I'm just a girl with a $20,000 paperweight because the Nissan dealer told me they couldn't

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Old 04-29-2019, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please help-- Dealer refuses to fix my car

Hi everyone--

I'm not a car tecchie and I don't fix my own automobile; I'm just a girl with a $20,000 paperweight because the Nissan dealer told me they couldn't fix my 2014 370Z and gave it back to me and I don't know what to do. I'm dubious that they can't fix it because they will give me trade in value for it, so my guess is that my third party warranty company will not pay them what they want for diagnostic time, but they can actually fix it and make money off it on re-sale. I have called the Nissan customer care line and they are working on it.

Now, I don't ever repair cars but I do take copious and damn good notes, so if anyone is willing to help me, I would appreciate it.

Two and a half weeks ago, the Vehicle Immobilizer System disabled my car after driving about 200 yards into my morning commute. The Intelligent key sign was illuminated, but all other instruments on the panel, both digital and analog went dead.* I was able to drive extremely slowly (no power was getting to the engine when I pressed the accelerator.)* When I arrived at home, the car would not shut down using the ignition button. I had to release the clutch to stall the engine. The "On" mode remained illuminated in the ignition button, and the interior dome lights and the headlamps continued to work.* The key system registered when my key fob approached the vehicle.* There was a loud beep/buzz emanated from the engine compartment. I attempted to shut down the vehicle by inserting the physical key into the physical key slot, but it became stuck and I had to ask the dealership to remove the key.

Prior to this breakdown, I had a warning sign in that on March 20, while driving, my ABS and skid warning lamps illuminated spontaneously, but after shut down and start up, did not re-appear. I made note of this instance, because it resembled the breakdown I had a year earlier.

PROLOGUE-- ONE YEAR EARLIER

The first warning* signs of the problem were intermittent loss of some electrical components which, after the car was turned off, were fine. This occurred maybe 3 times over the course of a month.
*
First instance--ABS and skid warning lights came on, all other systems fine. (Similar to the incident on March 20, 2019)
Second instance--Radio and a/c died while driving, all other systems fine after re-start.
Third instance--All electrical in the cockpit died, except the vehicle kept running normally. Then, I pulled off to the side of the road and turned the car off. When I tried to turn it on, symptoms almost identical to what is happening now occurred.
a. Intelligent key lights came on
b. Car would start and not turn off unless clutch was let out
c. Electrical system was mostly not working (radio, a/c, instrument panel)
d. I drove the car after I finally was able to get it started, but no power was reaching the engine (limp mode); I was moving at 2 mph, and then the radiator hose burst.

I took car in for repair, and the dealership proceeded to replace/repair the following:
a. Radiator hose
b. ABS brake hydraulic unit
c. Computer
d. Engine Timing
After each repair (a-d above), the car would suffer the same symptoms as the third instance after driving a few days to a week: While driving, electrical system would fail-- mostly cockpit such as instrument panel (both digital and analog) and radio and a/c. Engine would run normally and car could be driven.


e) The final repair:

Relay fuse to the Velocity control Unit
*
This repair fixed the problem.

I know I have just written an epic saga and to anyone who read it, thank you! But does anyone have any ideas? I am desperate.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How many volts does the battery gauge show if you can start it? If you can, get an OBDC scanner, check for any codes and post them here
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Cant start it

Hi--

All the gauges, both analog and digital went dead when it went into limp mode. And it started right up and ran for a minute before it the vehicle immobilizer kicked in.

I have read this forum about the battery issue and that it should be at 14 V or so...I don't think the battery is the problem. When I drove the car the 200 yards back to my house, I was unable to get the engine to switch off by using the ignition button, I had to release the clutch. But even then, the head lamps and dome lights came on, and the were not dim at all, so that led me to believe that it wasn't the battery.

My car is still at the dealer while I figure out what to do next. They replaced the BCM and the dealer said that they couldn't get the car started with the new BCM. I have contacted Nissan to try to get a regional specialist involved. I just texted them for the error codes; I will post them as soon as I get the info.

Thanks for replying!
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Car codes from dealer

Hi--

I have attached the car codes the dealer sent me. I can't make any sense of it; there are a lot.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just from a quick look at those codes, seems to be just the BCM and the ABS taking a crap - Im assuming they lumped all the codes your car ever had into one report. I was just looking at the current codes.

With all the electrical problems your car has had, did it have water damage in the past?
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Car codes from dealer

Hi bunk--

No water damage that I know of and it's something I try to look out for because I live 20 feet from the water here in Florida. The car fax was clean, and the Nissan dealer mentioned that he hadn't seen anything on the VIN. The car worked fine for a year after the previous repair.

All signs point to BCM too, from what the dealer initially told me. Also confirmed by internet research to TSBs. Not that I repair cars; I just have Google.

The dealer just put in a BCM and they said that they still couldn't get the car to start though. So here's where it goes sideways. The service rep told me that my third party warranty company didn't want to pay for the Nissan price for the BCM, so they ordered a "used one." That's where I think my problems may lie. I had a Corvette once that didn't want to start because it I had to get new keys made for it, and the new computer wasn't talking to the keys and the anti-theft system wouldn't let it start. They had to put in an old computer from an older model, and that "re-booted" everything when the put the new computer back in. I just feel it's almost like this "used" BCM is not registering with the car . (In very technical parlance as you can tell.)

I've contacted Nissan because I really want a second set of very experienced eyes on it; I just feel that the dealership is dragging its feet.
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Old 04-30-2019, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zaisersoze View Post
Hi bunk--

No water damage that I know of and it's something I try to look out for because I live 20 feet from the water here in Florida. The car fax was clean, and the Nissan dealer mentioned that he hadn't seen anything on the VIN. The car worked fine for a year after the previous repair.

All signs point to BCM too, from what the dealer initially told me. Also confirmed by internet research to TSBs. Not that I repair cars; I just have Google.

The dealer just put in a BCM and they said that they still couldn't get the car to start though. So here's where it goes sideways. The service rep told me that my third party warranty company didn't want to pay for the Nissan price for the BCM, so they ordered a "used one." That's where I think my problems may lie. I had a Corvette once that didn't want to start because it I had to get new keys made for it, and the new computer wasn't talking to the keys and the anti-theft system wouldn't let it start. They had to put in an old computer from an older model, and that "re-booted" everything when the put the new computer back in. I just feel it's almost like this "used" BCM is not registering with the car . (In very technical parlance as you can tell.)

I've contacted Nissan because I really want a second set of very experienced eyes on it; I just feel that the dealership is dragging its feet.
Dumb question, did the dealer reprogram/reflash the BCM after they installed the replacement?
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dumb question, did the dealer reprogram/reflash the BCM after they installed the replacement?
I can ask. Are you asking if they reflashed the replacement or are you asking if they reflashed the BCM that they took out? Because I asked them to keep the old BCM...
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Old 04-30-2019, 12:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I can ask. Are you asking if they reflashed the replacement or are you asking if they reflashed the BCM that they took out? Because I asked them to keep the old BCM...
The replacement. It has to know your car.
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I experienced some of the same symptoms on my 2016 Nismo which were eventually traced to a defective ABS / Traction Control module (computer). This was an intermittent problem which dealer initially diagnosed as a battery problem due to the low voltage diagnosis codes on multiple modules. Further details are described in my earlier post; but I think the most important bit is that you have some electrical fault which is affecting the CAN bus creating all of the other symptoms you are reporting. The "CAN bus" is essentially the network which all of the various modules with computers use to communicate with each other.

Dealers troubleshoot vehicles strictly by following the diagnostic system codes and replacing whatever it tells them is reporting the fault. This usually works, but when the problem is on the CAN bus itself, they quickly get lost; and therefore they would rather just give up rather than do the real work to figure it out. My dealer was able to figure it out my intermittent problem only because I as able to drive it to them and leave it running when the symptoms were present, they used the approach of unplugging various modules connected to the CAN bus until they symptoms cleared.

You are in a very difficult position with an uncooperative service dept and need to get Nissan's help to apply pressure to the dealer or to refer you to a more competent one that can help you. Having complete written records of everything that has been done with all of the reported trouble codes is essential so you are certainly on the right track. If you do not get the help you need from Nissan, do not give up and keep asking for your case to be escalated until you get real help.

Finally, remember that your dealer's Service Dept manager has a boss which is probably the General Manager, and I would go in and ask for a face to face meeting with him. You should ask him why his Service Dept lacks competence to correctly diagnose and repair your car, and do not accept surface level answers. You can use this info to get Nissan's intervention; so take meticulous notes or even record the conversation on your phone to help you.

Good luck and here's the link to my previous post
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltullos View Post
I experienced some of the same symptoms on my 2016 Nismo which were eventually traced to a defective ABS / Traction Control module (computer). This was an intermittent problem which dealer initially diagnosed as a battery problem due to the low voltage diagnosis codes on multiple modules. Further details are described in my earlier post; but I think the most important bit is that you have some electrical fault which is affecting the CAN bus creating all of the other symptoms you are reporting. The "CAN bus" is essentially the network which all of the various modules with computers use to communicate with each other.

Dealers troubleshoot vehicles strictly by following the diagnostic system codes and replacing whatever it tells them is reporting the fault. This usually works, but when the problem is on the CAN bus itself, they quickly get lost; and therefore they would rather just give up rather than do the real work to figure it out. My dealer was able to figure it out my intermittent problem only because I as able to drive it to them and leave it running when the symptoms were present, they used the approach of unplugging various modules connected to the CAN bus until they symptoms cleared.

You are in a very difficult position with an uncooperative service dept and need to get Nissan's help to apply pressure to the dealer or to refer you to a more competent one that can help you. Having complete written records of everything that has been done with all of the reported trouble codes is essential so you are certainly on the right track. If you do not get the help you need from Nissan, do not give up and keep asking for your case to be escalated until you get real help.

Finally, remember that your dealer's Service Dept manager has a boss which is probably the General Manager, and I would go in and ask for a face to face meeting with him. You should ask him why his Service Dept lacks competence to correctly diagnose and repair your car, and do not accept surface level answers. You can use this info to get Nissan's intervention; so take meticulous notes or even record the conversation on your phone to help you.

Good luck and here's the link to my previous post
Thanks so much Itullos.

I will definitely request a meeting with the General Manager. I am definitely taking all the notes I can and exploring all options.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltullos View Post
I experienced some of the same symptoms on my 2016 Nismo which were eventually traced to a defective ABS / Traction Control module (computer). This was an intermittent problem which dealer initially diagnosed as a battery problem due to the low voltage diagnosis codes on multiple modules. Further details are described in my earlier post; but I think the most important bit is that you have some electrical fault which is affecting the CAN bus creating all of the other symptoms you are reporting. The "CAN bus" is essentially the network which all of the various modules with computers use to communicate with each other.

Dealers troubleshoot vehicles strictly by following the diagnostic system codes and replacing whatever it tells them is reporting the fault. This usually works, but when the problem is on the CAN bus itself, they quickly get lost; and therefore they would rather just give up rather than do the real work to figure it out. My dealer was able to figure it out my intermittent problem only because I as able to drive it to them and leave it running when the symptoms were present, they used the approach of unplugging various modules connected to the CAN bus until they symptoms cleared.

You are in a very difficult position with an uncooperative service dept and need to get Nissan's help to apply pressure to the dealer or to refer you to a more competent one that can help you. Having complete written records of everything that has been done with all of the reported trouble codes is essential so you are certainly on the right track. If you do not get the help you need from Nissan, do not give up and keep asking for your case to be escalated until you get real help.

Finally, remember that your dealer's Service Dept manager has a boss which is probably the General Manager, and I would go in and ask for a face to face meeting with him. You should ask him why his Service Dept lacks competence to correctly diagnose and repair your car, and do not accept surface level answers. You can use this info to get Nissan's intervention; so take meticulous notes or even record the conversation on your phone to help you.

Good luck and here's the link to my previous post
Also, my problem is very very similar to this post:
Car won't turn on or offCar won't turn on or off

I pm'ed him but haven't heard back as to what was the fix to his problem. I have the same photo in my notes that he displays in his post.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks so much Itullos.

I will definitely request a meeting with the General Manager. I am definitely taking all the notes I can and exploring all options.
So the dealership decided to make another pass at my car, and they admitted the problem was that the third party warranty company paying only a set amount for diagnostics and that the diagnostics required more time. The service advisor said that the Master Tech had been looking at my car for three days and that's why they gave up. I just don't think it should take a Master Tech 3 days and still not know what to do.

I also think they have been playing parts darts-- just replacing whatever the codes tell them to do and hoping it works. For example, they told me that last year "they replaced the ABS and they got lucky that that fixed the problem." I just think that you should be able to diagnose the problem, then fix it instead of having to go back and just replace expensive components until the car works.

I have asked for all the paperwork so I can review what they have done to my vehicle. On your advice, I asked if they looked at the CAN bus. We'll see how this plays out from here.
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