Hey all! I am not as active here as I am on myG37.com but I'm really struggling to figure out what's wrong with my car and I need all the help and input I can get. If I am not posting in the right section, please let me know! I will link to the forum thread I have on this over at MyG37 but will also sorta get this thread started with the same info over there... any input, advice, or comments are appreciated! EDIT/UPDATES: Obviously it's been a week since I started that post and started asking questions and scouring the internet for collective wisdom. The latest update I have as of today (11/9) is that I found one of these Question/Answer type forums/sites... had to pay a little $ but was able to have a lengthy phone conversation with an Infiniti dealer tech for about 30min. To summarize, he said he does NOT believe the story I'm being told, and to quote him, "I disagree completely with what they're saying is wrong". That's yet again just another "knowledgeable" person who has all the same information everyone does and "isn't buying it". The ONLY ones who seem to believe this crap is plausible are the guys at the Infiniti dealer where the car still currently sits. Sigh...
I need some input on this strange, out of nowhere electrical / sensor issue...
Quick synopsis: have only had the car for a few weeks. 2010 G37x sedan, 120k miles. I took it to the dealer two days ago to have them install a new steering wheel clock spring. Don't even get me started lol (I installed a new carbon fiber steering wheel and in the process messed up the clockspring wire/cable deal. I got frustrated trying to get the steering wheel straight too. I gave up and had the "pros" do it. They called me this AM to let me know all was good, the car was done and ready for pickup. I'm almost out the door when they call me back and say, "OOPS, we have a bigger problem on our hand's sir..."
They claim that after they ran the car through their little dealership car wash, it completely died on them. Mind you, I didn't ask for a car wash. I guess that's just customary for an Infiniti dealer. Idk. But they started diagnosing it and are telling me that due to the fact that some of the engine bay bolts were replaced/swapped out with these engine bay "dress up" bolts of sorts (see pic below), that caused all sorts of electrical issues i.e. camshaft position sensor fried, ignition coil packs fried, possible ECM fried, possible entire engine wiring harness might need to be replaced, etc. Currently sitting at the stealership looking at a $2500 bill thus far... and that's NOT including if they need to replace the "$1700 ECM" and "they don't even make that engine bay wiring harness anymore so we'd have to find something used if we needed to replace it too".
Now, I am not a mechanic. However, I have been working on my own project cars on and off for 15+yrs now. I've run into all kinds of mystery issues on various cars before. Never heard of this kind of thing happening before though. Some awesome fellow members here on my other thread started questioning the dealer's diagnosis, which made me want to question it more as well. The more I hear from other experienced, knowledgeable guys saying it's lame makes me really question things. I even called another Infiniti dealer in town to see what they thought (didn't tell him another Infiniti dealer was the one telling me this) about the issues and that service advisor said something to the effect of, "Yeah something doesn't sound right with that story" and "I mean, a bolt is a bolt, what's the problem?" When I pressed the stealership back on how I'm questioning how all of this was truly caused by engine dress up bolts.... their response was something like, "Well yeah you see those bolts have some kind of like coating or plastic on them and it's not conducting electricity because the factory OEM bolt is supposed to complete the circuit, therefore, those bolts are the culprit...."
I thought that was what fuses were for, to prevent all kinds of electrical system shortages or "being fried". I mean, how did my ignition coil packs, CPS, ECM, etc all just get destroyed because I put a few stupid cute-looking dress-up bolts in place of the factory bolts on the chassis/engine ground?
I am also not an electrician, but I used to be a commercial electrician apprentice way back when I was in college. I did get some basic electrical concepts training and experience out of that. I just don't understand how the bolts "complete the circuit" vs simply serving to ground the little ring terminals to the chassis or engine or other components. I mean, even if these dress-up bolts have some kind of paint or coating on them (?), as long as the wires with the ring terminals are secured (not loose) to where they're supposed to be secured, you shouldn't have all these faults.
And how the hell did it drive just fine to get TO the dealer and only started having all these issues after they ran it through their car wash? Did water exacerbate the issues with the bolts?
I just don't know who to believe and I certainly don't have $$$$ just laying around for random electrical component repairs and sensors replacements etc IF it's not necessary. I'm wary of the dealer. Especially since another Infiniti dealer told me he thought something was off about that diagnosis.
And here's my YouTube video I made testing the Ohms/resistance of the bolts: Engine Bay Dress-up Bolt Ohm Resistance Testing (Infiniti G37x)
I am able to show that these bolts being the issue is highly unlikely. Does anyone agree what's more likely is that since these issues happened IMMEDIATELY after the dealer took my car through their car wash that it has SOMETHING maybe to do with high winds/water pressure getting in through either the sunroof drain (pillar) and/or through the passenger wheel-well fender liner absence and therefore affecting the electrical system?
Another thing the tech on the phone told me today was he doesn't believe nor understand why the current dealer is telling me they "can't even fully diagnose" if I need new cam sensors or an ECM/BCM or engine wiring harness UNTIL we replace the ignition coil packs "because we can't turn the car over and risk misfiring and ruining the engine". Sounds like BS. Sigh. Tech on the phone said the only way you ruin your engine with this is by driving for a long time with coil packs misfiring, NOT from a simple "crank 'er over and diagnose the issues" scenario.
I'm so, so frustrated right now.
PS: copied from my MyG37 thread, here are some random pictures I found online of any variety of "aftermarket engine bay dress-up decorative colored bolts" used in engine bays (TO INCLUDE GROUND TERMINALS!). Just to show I am not the only person in this car world who's done something like this to their vehicle. I would venture to guess if the issues my car is having that the dealership is claiming to have come entirely from these bolts, there would be a LOT more people commenting or posting about things like this all over the car world. AND/OR manufacturers would either A) stop selling these engine bay bolt kits or B) at least put like a legal disclaimer somewhere like "use of this product may result in catastrophic electrical system component failure". Yet, we find neither of these things to be the case. Soooo........ yeah.......
Sounds like total BS. The only thing those dress-ups could have caused is a ground issue, and the ECM has multiple grounds for just that reason. My guess is the whole CANbus went down because they either got something wet that shouldn't be, or broke something under the car on the wash rack. In both cases, the most likely culprit is the TCM. In-tranny TCM's on Nissan products are infamous for trashing the CANbus when they malfunction, sometimes preventing all other modules on the car from communicating. We see at least several Frontiers, Xterras and R51 Pathies with this problem every year. Usually it's from the tranny running hot, but harness issues or flooded connectors can cause it too.
Techs who don't know about it often presume something catastrophic has happened to the bus, because most or all of the other hardware "won't talk" to the scanner. In fact, unplugging the tranny's umbilical connector will suddenly permit everything to wake up. My guess is this dealership either flooded the connector with a pressure-wash or caught the harness on something and tore it up.
Whew... Lots of words for what should be a fairly simple issue.
My immediate knee-jerk reaction is, they saw the CF steering wheel (and associated repair) and the cutesy dress-up bolts and thought, "clueless owner that we can soak for money."
I'm not a fan of the bolt kits or any of the other generally nonfunctional "mods" I see, but that's beside the point. Often, they're more hassle than they're worth.
The only thing I can think of is that if the cam sensor seals were compromised (removing the factory bolts) and water intruded, that *might* be an explanation, but it's a stretch. Did you replace all the bolts to the correct torque with a torque wrench?
Regardless of what I (or others) think of the small mods, their diagnosis sounds highly suspect. Then again, I trust dealer techs about as far as I can throw them. Most can't diagnose beyond what the OBD2 tells them. My honest opinion is there's a ground somewhere that's not connected and therefore everything is acting haywire. Anodizing (the coating on the bolts) CAN absolutely impact resistance and thereby continuity, but again, I think you're getting snowed.
Exactly , the bolts give the force holding ground rings positively to there locations. The connection is mostly bottom of ring to top of surface - that's why you wire brush Both sides of the wire 'star' rings AND especially wire brush the surface they're supposed to contact . Also , nothing wrong with adding additional grounds (like an educated guess LOL) to troubleshoot / correct electrical problems , like you don't necessarily need to purchase an expensive Freak'n aftermarket " Ground Kit " !!!!!
And a little N0-Alox , de-oxit , whatever, blasted on that connection , AFTER you've secured that Lug well , helps keep it that way for like decades
12 years ago I once had all sorts of issues on a 350Z ( aftermarket supercharged) every time after it rained or a automatic carwash.
Had the dealer try to find it.
Was actually a dealership I liked.
TCS, ABS etc warning lights on. car drove in limp home mode.
Would magically clear itself after sitting for a couple days..
And then only do it after a heavy rain or carwash.
Dealership threw some parts at it ( $1000) didnt fix.
The blamed "the modifications".
Ultimately a small independent determined that water had gotten past the orignnal MAF seals ( Car was 6 or 7 yrs old at the time)
Replacement of the old factory MAF with a new factory MAF fixed the issue that the dealer stated was "due to the modifications".
PS: Welcome to Nico THE Nissan Infiniti forum on the net!
Feel free to have the dealer service advisor pop in.
There's 50 years of collective Nissan experience speaking (so far) above, so I'd be eager to hear his/her rationale for pulling the ripcord so early without considering alternative causes.
BTW, if you're going to rely on the dealership in the future, maybe the "dress-up" stuff can be foregone.... it's not visible with the engine covers in place, and contributes no useful benefit. A clean bay is attractive on its own, and might encourage the techs to take their jobs a little more seriously.
Yeah, I'm starting to get exhausted trying to fight them. It's draining. I haven't had a single person on any forum post about this say the dealer is right, or even "more than likely the dealer is right". I hear none of that, not even close. The collective wisdom is that sure, something electrical happened, but it wasn't from the bolts... ugh
Just a friendly update to put a bow on this thread: Got my car back from the dealer today! She runs great, all the problems fixed. The dealership Manager and head foreman mechanic both sat down with me and showed me everything. They were very polite, calm, respectful, and professional. They showed me the wiring diagram for the ignition coils etc and where the ground symbols on the diagram were. They explained everything about how the ground faulted and started blowing things, starting with the #3 ignition coil and on from there. The #3 coil pack was bubbling and blistered and the others were on their way there... The dealership went about and beyond what I thought was going to happen. They even put a brand new ECU in after a few failed attempts at locating a used one. They earned my admiration and respect after this whole ordeal. I feel bad that we butted heads initially, but now it's all gravy! I think if I would have dealt with the top dog Manager(s) from the start maybe things would have been different. Alas, there's really not much else to say now except I owe them a huge thank you for everything they did for me. New coil packs, plugs, and an ECU... should be good to go for a while now! #lessonlearned #don'tchangeenginegroundbolts
I owe everyone who chimed in to try and help a thank you as well. In the end, the dealer was right and they had the car in their physical care so probably had the best "eyes/hands-on" diagnosis. I was just so afraid of getting taken to the cleaners for thousands upon thousands after owning the car for less than 1 month. Big thanks to the dealership management and their top shop tech/mechanic for going out of their way to make things right and smooth over a bad service experience. So thank you to everyone!
That still doesn't make sense in the timeframe you gave us. Warty coils from bad grounds are common, but they don't happen in a week or in a car wash. Glad you got it running, but something still smells and it isn't car-wash soap.
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