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Latest Car Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

2009 Nissan Altima SL - Brake Light

Showing 7 out of 11 Posts | Show 4 Hidden Posts
Question From AJB2011 on 2009 Nissan Altima SL - Brake Light

2009 Nissan Altima SL
29,700 miles
2.5 liter engine

Purchased the car brand new in 2009. Recenty, upon exceleration the brake light is coming on. Stays on for a few seconds and then goes back out. Took car to dealership and was told my brake pads were fine but the fluid was low.

Question: Why would brake fluid be low at 29,700?

Response From Hammer Time

The usual reason is either worn brake pads or a leak in the system somewhere.

Response From Blulakr

As the brake pads wear the caliper pistons extend out. The brake fluid from the master cylinder fills in the void behind the caliper pistons at each wheel. This causes a normal drop in master cylinder fluid level.

My guess is that while your brake pads are probably still ok, they are more than 50% worn.

Response From Hammer Time

With that amount of brake pad wear, I wouldn't expect enough fluid transfer to light the warning light.

Response From Old 396

Question: Why would brake fluid be low at 29,700?

Have you ruled out a system leak (or leaks)?

Stands to reason that if any fluid in any motor vehicle suddenly becomes low that there must be a leak.

Response From Hammer Time

I just said that. there is no reason to repeat the same advice and conclusion

Response From Old 396

Sorry hammertime. I have only one eye as a result of a war injury and I missed your post.

Response From Hammer Time

Oh really, Sorry to hear that. Which war?

Response From Old 396

Thank you Hammertime Vietnam.

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

What year? Where were you stationed? Where were you hurt?

Response From Old 396

Shadow Warriors
Death in the Dark
3rd Battalion 9th Marines
Wounded March 3rd 1969
Operation Dewey Canyon
A Shau Valley

Just curious why you deleted the instrument cluster question I asked you?

Braking noise

Showing 5 out of 20 Posts | Show 15 Hidden Posts
Question From welsh12 on Braking noise

I need some advice...my car a nissan micra had new discs and pads put on way back in December by my local garage. I did'nt go for Nissan parts as it was a costly time of year and I was on a budget. Within a few weeks the steering wheel started juddering when braking so I took it back to the garage. They replaced the discs and said they were warped. Within another couple of months the same problem occurred so I took it back to the garage. Again the discs had warped, by this time I was fed up and told the garage I did'nt want to use the same brand of discs so they advised to use Nissan discs which I did.
However since having them put on I have had clunking noises from the brakes each time I brake. I took the car to a Nissan garage as I had lost faith in the original garage. Nissan looked over the car told me it was to do with the brake pads, however they had sorted the problem out and that they may make the noise in certain conditions (such as when raining). The noise has come back(I don't think it ever went!) and there has started to be a slight shudder on the wheel when braking! Now I don't know what to do....do i go back to the original garage or do I have to go somewhere like Nissan and get new discs and pads AGAIN? The original garage said they wouldnt guarantee the Nissan discs but I know Nissan does guarantee them.
I feel like this problem is driving me crazy ! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

Response From Hammer Time

Don't be so quick to blame the shop. You have a driver issue, not a repair quality issue. You need to change your driving habits.

Response From welsh12

Thanks for the helpful reply! For your information we do not drive erratically or brake unnecessarily! We give plenty of time for the brakes to bed in and do not drive through low water. I also drive another car and have never had this problem before and have been driving for over 20 years!

Response From Hammer Time

The cause or rotor warpage is heat and only heat. Heat comes from HEAVY braking. The only other thing to look into is if the rear brake are working properly and not putting all the load on the front. It's not an installation issue for sure.

Response From Discretesignals

Warped front rotors can also come from over torqued lug nuts and binding calipers/slide pins.

Response From Hammer Time

The over torqued lug nuts may apply to a hub type rotor but I seriously doubt that you can warp a "slide on" rotor that doesn't even have lugnuts in it. The caliper issues go back the the HEAT cause which has been addressed. There are no other complaints to indicate a caliper or slide problem.

Response From way2old

I was always taught the "slide on" rotors were more critical to the proper torque of the lug nuts. I guess all the instructors were wrong. hmmmmmm.

Response From Hammer Time

Can you explain how the act of squeezing the rotor mounting surface between 2 flat surfaces will distort it?

I would just love to hear the theory behind that.

For the past 40 years i have watched people that should never have touched an impact gun, abuse lug nuts in every way possible, yet i have never seen a hubless rotor distorted from that.

Response From Discretesignals

I don't know the scientific reason for that, but I've been torquing lugs nuts for a long time. We have a big poster that shows the lug nut torques on different makes and models hanging on the wall at work. I'm sure there are other factors like sequence and making sure the hub surface is free of rust before mounting all that stuff up. The manufactures and engineers must have a reason for putting out TSBs concerning lug nut torque and warped rotors. Besides it saves the lug stud threads from getting pulled and crossing nuts.

Response From Hammer Time

I believe it will certainly make a difference in a hubbed rotor and one of the major reasons techs are requested to do that is to prevent wheels from passing them on the highway but it's not a factor here.

Response From nickwarner

For what it's worth, while possible to damage a rotor by overtorque on a lugnut I also reread closely to see that multiple times and at multiple shops this has had the wheels off. One of the shops is a dealership and also if there is more than one tech at the independant the likelihood of the same guy doing the same thing every time to the same car seems a big out there. The brand of parts and the people changing said parts hasn't remained the same but the resulting failure has remained constant. The only thing that has stayed the same in this is the driver.

Response From Hammer Time

That's my feeling on this. It's either driver abuse or inoperative rear brakes.

Response From nickwarner

Something is certainly overstressing them. Maybe even a partially plugged compensating port in the master cylinder dragging the fronts. But what I see is either A: something isn't being looked at closely enough B: this guy has gotten dud parts from two different vendors every single time C: everyone in his town with a shop is incompetent to do a brake job or D: he's riding this car harder than he lets on. I'd like to know which one it is for sure.

Response From Hammer Time

Nobody has ever mentioned any smoke off a wheel or unusual heat. We are dealing with just heavily used brakes that aren't overheating.

Response From Discretesignals Top Rated Answer

It would be nice to know what the thickness variation and lateral run out of those rotors are. If you have a lateral run out problem, it will cause a thickness variation problem which is the main cause of pulsating brake pedals.

Maybe they aren't checking the lateral run out of the rotors after machining or installing new ones. Nissans are sensitive to tolerances and horrible about brake noises. Don't have the Mica here in the states, so can give you any LRO specs.

Response From Hammer Time

The rotors were replaced twice, the second time with OEM rotors.

Response From Discretesignals

That doesn't mean anything. You can be out on your lateral runout with a new rotor. Seen that happen several times. Which usually ended up with clocking the rotor or sending them back. A lateral run out problem in a hub can cause a pulsation too. May not show up for a few thousand miles, but will if the tolerance is out. If they were machined with an on the car lathe, that would correct any LRO.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

It's not even a full moon but the crazy problems are abundant. Has anyone verified wheel bearings are good? Once in a while they can fail and not make typical bearing noise. This should have sealed bearings and zero freeplay. Just a thought,


Response From nickwarner

An excellent idea. I wondered about that but since multiple shops have looked at it figured that would be caught. Still, Murphy's Law still rules the world. I think I dodged it today myself. The throttle cable on my bike snapped right as I pulled into the driveway. Pushed the bike a whopping 40 feet to its normal spot and ordered a $20 cable on Ebay. Maybe I should get a lotto ticket while I'm at it?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

You are lucky with the bike to be so close. With the car there have been two tries at parts and same symptoms so somehow the wrong tree is being barked at. This state is hard on brake parts by law. Can find cheap crap but illegal to sell non OE exact spec stuff or better OK. Better is fully balanced with fine cross hatch cut and baked on paint everywhere but the friction area of course. No rust outs with those!

If this car needed the sledge to remove old rotors it might have hurt a bearing right then? Who knows? Something stupid probably is just being missed as this problem shouldn't be rocket science,