Electrical problems with 1987 Nissan Pathfinder

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  #1  
Old 12-14-04, 11:24 AM
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Electrical problems with 1987 Nissan Pathfinder

About 2 weeks ago, the headlights on my 1987 4x4 Nissan Pathfinder started getting brighter and then dimmer. This kept occurring until I got to my gate (I live in the country on a very rough road) where I switched to high beams to get a better look at the deer that were grazing in my field. As soon as I did this both lights went out at the same time. When I switched back to low beams, they both worked OK. One other time I had to use the headlights, and the same bright/dim situation occurred. I presume this is caused by voltage surges, but I haven't any idea what is causing it. I checked fuses and couldn't find any burned out. Has anyone experienced this sort of problem before? Any ideas what is causing it? Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 12-14-04, 03:43 PM
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It sounds like it's the alternator or voltage regulator, if the interior dash lights also went dim at the same time. Did the dash lights get dim or did you notice anything else out of the ordinary when the lights went dim? How often do you have this problem?
 
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Old 12-15-04, 05:17 PM
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Jeff,
Thanks for responding. I didn't really notice whether or not the dash lights went dim when the headlights did. I have driven the vehicle only once at night after the first occurrence, and it did happen again at that time. I don't plan to do any more night driving, if I can avoid it, until I get something done about the problem.
 
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Old 12-15-04, 09:21 PM
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I recently had a simlilar problem with dimming headlights but the high beams never went out and the problem was the alternator.
 
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Old 12-16-04, 05:45 AM
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try this...

...with the headlamps flickering, disconnect the alternator and see if the problem dissapates...if so, then make sure the belt is tight on the alternator. if that's ok then check the charge rate with a DVOM...at least .5 volts higher than battery voltage (test this with the engine off and no accessories on)...if this is ok, the flickering may be ignored since at low speeds and high load, alternator output is prone to fluctuation.

i'm concerned about that high beams going out completely...this sounds like a dimmer switch problem, which is part of the headlamp switch assembly, this could also account for your intensity fluctuation at idle with the low beams. what happens if you jiggle the lever a little with the low beams on...does that affect the intensity thing? if so, i'd replace the switch.
 
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Old 01-17-05, 05:53 PM
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Jeff67 and carguyinva,

Just thought I'd let you guys know the outcome of my headlight problem on the Nissan Pathfinder. The problem turned out to be a bad alternator, as you all suspected. Both high beams going out at the same time apparently was just coincidental. Things are working OK now. Thanks again for taking time to give advice.

Don
 
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