HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby ibc » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:53 pm

I just used heat-shrink tubing over the exposed metal part of the pulled pin. The intact pin can be replaced, if I ever want that. I did this fix 1.5 months ago, and no issues so far.


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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby MikeM35 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 pm

What models and years have the ECM controlled Alternator?

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:53 am

MikeM35 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 pm
What models and years have the ECM controlled Alternator?
I think, but don't quote me on that, it's the Y51 period. So anything 2011 or newer. Unless Infiniti was smart enough to remove this stupid design (honestly, I still can't wrap my head around the purpose of not charging the battery for x miles) after a year or two.

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Re: Trickle charger

Postby armybrat » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:27 pm

Ilya wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:05 pm
Got it done, we'll see if my battery/start performance also improves. I spent more time jostling around with the IPDM than I did with the actual removing of wire #22 from the harness.
Just wondering...looking at your pics, how did you remove the IPDM cover with the battery in place? I was studying the pic and was going to give this a try. Figured I'd ask first.

I have to say though, I'm like Ed in that I've never really had an issue with the delayed charging - my commutes are 25 miles a pop so no worries there.

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Re: Trickle charger

Postby Ilya » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:38 pm

armybrat wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:27 pm
Ilya wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:05 pm
Got it done, we'll see if my battery/start performance also improves. I spent more time jostling around with the IPDM than I did with the actual removing of wire #22 from the harness.
Just wondering...looking at your pics, how did you remove the IPDM cover with the battery in place? I was studying the pic and was going to give this a try. Figured I'd ask first.

I have to say though, I'm like Ed in that I've never really had an issue with the delayed charging - my commutes are 25 miles a pop so no worries there.
It was an absolute PITA lol.

There are two 'releases' at the of the IPDM where the large wire harness comes in. Push those two tabs and basically lift the cover towards the motor and then up and out. This would be 100000000% easier if you remove the battery so if you don't have any problems doing so (I didn't cause I get annoyed of having to reset my memory settings, radio, etc. lol). In hindsight, it was for more annoying trying to get the IPDM out and in.

That being said, I haven't had a false alarm or dead battery since and my car sat in the airport for a week while I was in Chicago after driving 11 miles to the airport. This looks to have completely solved my issue (along with topping up my battery acid level).

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:16 pm

Just an update. IDK if it has anything to do with this mod or not, but my 4 month old optima redtop died on new years eve and i couldn't start and I couldn't jump it. Thought it was the starter and searched to see if anyone has replaced that yet, but seems like no one here has posted about actually going through the steps to replace. I plugged into the battery tender and it tells me the battery is weak. I left it charging for a day and the car reluctantly started up afterwards. IDK why it died, but I bought this battery before doing the mod so the IPDM could have previously damaged the battery since it has died twice before the mod. It's been on the tender for 2 weeks now and it still says the battery is weak so I'm taking the battery back to the store since it's still under warranty.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:31 am

My 2010 G37xS seemed to have this issue. I don't think it's just the M. Started to have battery issues until my daughter for the car and drove it a lot more than I.

I'm not 100% sure of this but it seemed to.

Andy

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby CRV_33 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:53 pm

madmanpauly wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:22 am
Make sure that you "cap off" the wires once you cut them. E-tape or a twist cap would work fine. I have to say that removing the wire (as opposed to cutting it) is incredibly simple and doesn't take much time at all. Once you have everything apart, you will see how easy it is. Your choice, just seems sloppy - no offense.
Ilya wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:00 pm

It will be harder to reverse the work...as the wires are tight so you'll have less to work with to re-solder, etc. But no, it's effectively the same end result if you cut it.
Thank you both for your insights. I went ahead and took the harness and connectors apart to get at the pin and removed it like in the YouTube video. If you have the time, space, and more importantly tools it wasn’t too difficult. I would recommend removing the battery to easily remove the IPDM unit’s cover.

Just a follow up, since then I’ve had zero issues with the battery. If you have a battery tender I would recommend using that right after you perform the mod to rehab the battery back to health.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:46 am

Malbec 56 Beast wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:31 am
My 2010 G37xS seemed to have this issue. I don't think it's just the M. Started to have battery issues until my daughter for the car and drove it a lot more than I.

I'm not 100% sure of this but it seemed to.

Andy
What's funny is that my 2009 370z has this ipdm defect also, but no issues. Maybe nissan changed the way it works from 2010+

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby EdBwoy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 am

MikeM35 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 pm
What models and years have the ECM controlled Alternator?
In the Infiniti M, this feature has been present since the 2006 model year; at least that's when it was called out as an ECM-controlled feature. Otherwise, voltage regulation has been a feature of alternators for a very long time.

Maybe it's due to my driving & operating habits, but never have I had these issues. I've tried to consistently drive the M56s for short distances & letting them sit, but encountered no issues thus far.
I'm glad the "fix" is working for those attempting it, but I'll stop my experiments. At this point I see no sense in trying to break or fix what isn't broken on my car.

Any other models here with issues, or only the V8s so far?


***
I still haven't seen any documentation showing that the alternator totally prevents charging for the first 8 miles, since all the ECM does is prevent over- and undercharging the battery in response to the battery condition (current & temperature). If the ECM sees no reason to regulate the charging of the battery, then the alternator acts like a standard one with a voltage regulator <- assuming the car does exactly what the technical documentation says it should do.

Completely cutting off charging to such a heavily electronic laden system doesn't make sense to me.
I have a few theories, one of which is that cutting this wire helps borderline/unhealthy batteries not die as fast as the system would let them die (for safety reasons). It buys them a little more time, in exchange for safety...and sacrifices some fuel economy of course.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:18 am

EdBwoy wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 am
MikeM35 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 pm
What models and years have the ECM controlled Alternator?
In the Infiniti M, this feature has been present since the 2006 model year; at least that's when it was called out as an ECM-controlled feature. Otherwise, voltage regulation has been a feature of alternators for a very long time.

Maybe it's due to my driving & operating habits, but never have I had these issues. I've tried to consistently drive the M56s for short distances & letting them sit, but encountered no issues thus far.
I'm glad the "fix" is working for those attempting it, but I'll stop my experiments. At this point I see no sense in trying to break or fix what isn't broken on my car.

Any other models here with issues, or only the V8s so far?


***
I still haven't seen any documentation showing that the alternator totally prevents charging for the first 8 miles, since all the ECM does is prevent over- and undercharging the battery in response to the battery condition (current & temperature). If the ECM sees no reason to regulate the charging of the battery, then the alternator acts like a standard one with a voltage regulator <- assuming the car does exactly what the technical documentation says it should do.

Completely cutting off charging to such a heavily electronic laden system doesn't make sense to me.
I have a few theories, one of which is that cutting this wire helps borderline/unhealthy batteries not die as fast as the system would let them die (for safety reasons). It buys them a little more time, in exchange for safety...and sacrifices some fuel economy of course.
I installed a volt meter before doing the mod and it would read 14.4V at startup and then drop and stay below 12V, even with a new alternator. After the mod, I think the lowest I've seen it drop to is 13.5V. It mostly stays around 14V post mod and less than 12V pre mod.

But yea, if yours ain't broke, don't break it.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby EdBwoy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:37 am

Yoda's Master wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:18 am
...
I installed a volt meter before doing the mod and it would read 14.4V at startup and then drop and stay below 12V, even with a new alternator. After the mod, I think the lowest I've seen it drop to is 13.5V. It mostly stays around 14V post mod and less than 12V pre mod.

But yea, if yours ain't broke, don't break it.
Nice.

It would be interesting to see how the current readings have changed after the mod, along with the battery temperatures pre & post-drive.
Then there are factors like the age & specs of the battery itself.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:33 am

RE: Age of battery...I don't think that's a point of concern here IMO. Some of us have had issues with batteries that are pretty new. My battery was produced in 9/18 (and I purchased it on 9/22/18) and I had issues with it as soon as that winter where the alarm would randomly go off, it wouldn't start after sitting for 4-5 days in the cold NY outdoor night temps (teens). I had one incident where my wife got into an accident and the battery was dead and I couldn't get to her. Luckily I have a friend who lives nearby who hurried over to get me a jump (that incident is what prompted me to buy a booster pack - her 2001 Toyota Rav4 was totaled by someone who pulled out in front of her which is why we added the QX60 to the family).

Now, nearly 2.5 years later, after topping up the battery level (it's a maintenance type) and doing this mod, I've been rock solid for weeks.

It might be a small sample size, but this is a must do mod, IMO.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby armybrat » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:46 am

I found a pretty good article that explains this:

http://www.nissantechnicianinfo.mobi/ht ... ntrol.html

Folks who have aftermarket accessories grounded directly to the negative terminal may also be affected by this.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby armybrat » Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:41 pm

EdBwoy wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:55 am
***
I still haven't seen any documentation showing that the alternator totally prevents charging for the first 8 miles, since all the ECM does is prevent over- and undercharging the battery in response to the battery condition (current & temperature). If the ECM sees no reason to regulate the charging of the battery, then the alternator acts like a standard one with a voltage regulator <- assuming the car does exactly what the technical documentation says it should do.

Completely cutting off charging to such a heavily electronic laden system doesn't make sense to me.
I have a few theories, one of which is that cutting this wire helps borderline/unhealthy batteries not die as fast as the system would let them die (for safety reasons). It buys them a little more time, in exchange for safety...and sacrifices some fuel economy of course.
The charging system FSM (CHG) has details about how the variable voltage control system works, plus troubleshooting flowchart and tips. I didn't see anything in the document that suggests the IC voltage regulator supplying voltage after a given amount of mileage or drive time.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:27 am

armybrat wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:46 am
I found a pretty good article that explains this:

http://www.nissantechnicianinfo.mobi/ht ... ntrol.html

Folks who have aftermarket accessories grounded directly to the negative terminal may also be affected by this.
I don't and I was affected. My 2009 Nissan has stuff connected directly to the negative terminal and is not affected, nor does the regulator even work.

I think it's a 2010+ issue.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:52 pm

This has been an issue with my G37xS and my M56xS
It doesn't like short drives at all and requires a constant charge of the battery on a monthly basis. When the battery is new it'll last for a few months but it'll turn into a home soon after. I think the mod is a God send and will get done this spring.

I will replace the battery at the same time just so the battery hasn't been dead so many times.

Then I can think of finally adding a sub to the sound system.

Happy Days are here again. Soon

Andy

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:22 pm

So, I just got back from a 2 week business trip and when I got to my car in airport parking, it was dead as a door nail. It was somewhat cold here (20's and 30's) and I drove 10 miles from home to the airport...but it sucked to come back to a dead car. I thought this issue would help but I guess not.

When I got home, again 10 miles, the alarm randomly went off twice so I ended up leaving the car unlocked.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby armybrat » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:59 am

Ilya wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:22 pm
So, I just got back from a 2 week business trip and when I got to my car in airport parking, it was dead as a door nail. It was somewhat cold here (20's and 30's) and I drove 10 miles from home to the airport...but it sucked to come back to a dead car. I thought this issue would help but I guess not.

When I got home, again 10 miles, the alarm randomly went off twice so I ended up leaving the car unlocked.
Seems like you're drawing power from somewhere even when the car is turned off. I have to wonder if the Gromm unit is somehow responsible...does your unit somehow stay powered on (even if the car is off) to receive OTA updates, etc?

The only aftermarket electrical type mod I've done is the JDM angel eyes fog lamps. In addition to the plug in harness, it came with 2 additional wires that involved tapping into the parking light wiring so that the halo light around the fog lamp would come on with the parking lights or headlights. It hasn't affected my battery charging, to the best of my knowledge.

Since I bought my car in Sept 2015, I've replaced the battery twice; once in 2016 (a three year battery) to replace the original one. I bought another one a month ago. Never had to jump off or use a battery charger in between. I feel like this is a normal trend, so I will hold off on doing the disabling mod for now.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:11 am

The GROM will stay 'on' for like 10-15 minutes after use, as I've had it fire up instantly when running errands. Any longer than that though and it will do the full boot, so I don't think it's the GROM but it could be drawing a very small residual amount. It could also be the remote start since its alarm light is always blinking, etc.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:47 pm

I was told be the dealer that the car runs several diagnostic checks when it's turned off and with the short drives I do and the system checks out would be dead as a door mail when I went to leave. Purchased one of those small jump start packs and it wouldn't do crap. That's when I purchased the large battery charger that I use now.

Works great but I hate booking it up all the time

Mod getting done soon

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:51 pm

A friend of mine thought I was full of shizz about this issue till his commute reduced around the 8 mile mark.

It sucks when it happens and in the summer with the a/c and music going the car did very strange things but if you keep it charged up it'll work great to.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby EdBwoy » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:19 pm

Malbec 56 Beast wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:51 pm
A friend of mine thought I was full of shizz about this issue till his commute reduced around the 8 mile mark.

...
Could you share some detail about your friend's vehicle - year, make, model, mileage especially?

And scrutinizing your vehicle, have you confirmed it does not have any aftermarket parts? Do you ensure everything shuts down & turns off when you walk away - lights, screen, gauge cluster? No extra keys placed in or around the car as you leave it parked?

From your description, your car seems to be chewing through batteries at a crazy rate. No properly designed & operated electrical system should be that dependable on a battery tender; let alone for a flagship sedan produced for 2013!

I'm also curious. Say, if you started with a new battery, how long would this new battery start your car like normal before it starts acting up and refusing to power up? A week, a month?

Do you do the recommended shutdown process of letting the car idle for a few minutes before turning it off?

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby austin713 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:46 am

ive always noticed mine is a little sluggish to crank. something to note, after installing a sub and amp, my cold starts have been way more peppy. im wondering if the extra load on the battery is causing the ECM to actually start charging before it normally does.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Rameek7daGod » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:16 am

Just want to say thank you. I did this about 2 weeks ago. I'm on my 3rd battery in 3 years. I would come back from vacation and it would be dead.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby eclipse95blk » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:48 am

is this only an issue with the M56 V8 models. I checked voltage with the M37s and i drive to 2 miles a day and alternator get 14.3 Volt

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:25 pm

I'm still having sporadic battery failures requiring jumps. My car is barely moving these days thanks to COVID-19...to the point where every time I drive it the first few miles consists of me getting the rust off my brakes lol.

I think this affects all newer M's or Nissan/Infiniti products in general.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:20 pm

Has to be something after 2009. I think my failed to start issue the last time was actually a starter problem since the battery was still charged.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby EdBwoy » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:31 am

It seems like on this forum, this dead battery issue is more of a V8 issue; unless someone provides other evidence.

Do any of you ever encounter the click-no-start issue? The car still starts with a strong crank, but it takes a few button pushes for it to actually catch.

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Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby ibc » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:18 pm

Yup, sometimes I get the click-no-start too. But after few (1-3) presses, the starter eventually gets power and it always starts up strongly. Dunno why this happens. Is it related to the alternator ECM disable mod?


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