HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Forum for Infiniti M37, M56 M35h Hybrid and Q70 owners.
Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:17 pm

Hey guys and gals.

So I'm real sick and tired of my car eating batteries at two a year now. I'm sure it is taxing the crap out of my alternator and I don't want that expense to come up.

My question to you all is so any of you utilize a trickle charger for your vehicle on a daily basis.

Our alternators don't start to charge until we hit 8mi and that's exactly what my drive is to my commuter van to work. Singer is coming and I need to replace it again.

Let me know your thoughts on this subject.

My car needs the software update that is supposed to help with this but a member told me it didn't help their situation.

The battery was replaced about six months ago.

Thanks
Andy

My vehicle is a 2013 M56xS


User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Ilya » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:23 pm

They have different size tenders for different vehicles. I use them on my motorcycles. Just make sure the one you get is rated for a car and you should be fine.

JCesar
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:12 am

Re: Trickle charger

Postby JCesar » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:37 pm

I use one of this and it is great!

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Schumacher-Ele ... 1000575607

you can use the clamps or do the O-Ring connector hardwired "kind of"

You can to see the battery charge level before it starts charging. once fully charge it goes into maintainer mode so you can just plug it in at night and leave it on for as long as you want with no worries

Frog
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:59 pm
Car: 2011 M56s

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Frog » Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:13 pm

Heres why I don’t think u should waist your money. 16 miles a day Ads up to 4160 miles a year. If it’s true that your only putting 5k miles in your car a year. Then yes but a charger. How many miles on your car now ? I bet it’s way over 5k a year. Thus providing time to change your batt. Get the batt from Infiniti it warranted for a long time. I bought one 6 years ago and replaced it 4 times all for free

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:26 am

Well I do drive that amount of miles per day.
If I drive into work it'll be 100 miles per day.

When I first bought my car I used to drive my car to work due to health issues.
I haven't had to dine that often the last year and that's when my battery issues started.

I will do a trickle charger on a daily basis but I'm going to replace it first with the charger and install them together.

I hope that helps my charging system.

madmanpauly
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:12 am
Car: 2011 Infiniti M56S

Re: Trickle charger

Postby madmanpauly » Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 am

There's a fix for the alternator issue if you are interested. Since the problem is the ECM is controlling the alternator and it doesn't kick on until after 8 miles (as you mentioned), you can disconnect the wire to the alternator and it will always be on. I worked with Jay and was able to disconnect the wire on my 2011 M56 Sport. I did it 2 weeks ago and it is amazing the difference! It feels like it runs better but that may be a placebo effect on me because it is such a relief to confidently start the car each time. I work exactly 7.2 miles from my home so it was always an issue by Wednesday and I charged it over the weekend. Jay's contact source is below, he can help you out but I also put a link to a video that he made about it. I hope this helps!

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9C5-OkxrJU&t=4s

Jay's website:
http://www.justanswer.com/car/expert-jay1/?rpt=3800

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Yoda's Master » Sat May 04, 2019 3:50 pm

madmanpauly wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 am
There's a fix for the alternator issue if you are interested. Since the problem is the ECM is controlling the alternator and it doesn't kick on until after 8 miles (as you mentioned), you can disconnect the wire to the alternator and it will always be on. I worked with Jay and was able to disconnect the wire on my 2011 M56 Sport. I did it 2 weeks ago and it is amazing the difference! It feels like it runs better but that may be a placebo effect on me because it is such a relief to confidently start the car each time. I work exactly 7.2 miles from my home so it was always an issue by Wednesday and I charged it over the weekend. Jay's contact source is below, he can help you out but I also put a link to a video that he made about it. I hope this helps!

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9C5-OkxrJU&t=4s

Jay's website:
http://www.justanswer.com/car/expert-jay1/?rpt=3800
interesting. i have the same problem and thought it was a faulty alternator. replaced it and same thing, no charge.
I just did it to my car and I'll see if it works tomorrow. I have the battery disconnected for now since that stupid vline2 module screwed up my HU settings.

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Yoda's Master » Sun May 05, 2019 4:54 pm

I can confirm doing this little mod has bumped my alternator to charge at a constant 14.4V! Took about 10 -15 mins and half that time was getting that connector apart.

madmanpauly
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:12 am
Car: 2011 Infiniti M56S

Re: Trickle charger

Postby madmanpauly » Mon May 06, 2019 6:12 am

It worked for me. It's been a few weeks now and I am able to let my wife use my car to run errands on the weekends. Previously, I was worried it would leave her somewhere. I've been "stranded" a few times now. Just make sure it is the correct wire - the video is for a different car than the 2011 M56S. The M56S is a brown wire - #22.

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Mon May 06, 2019 10:44 am

I'm so glad it wasn't just me experiencing this issue
That is an awesome video, thanks so much for posting this on the site.

I purchased a trickle charger yesterday and it has been working great but this will need to be done on my car

Best
Andy

User avatar
ibc
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:17 pm
Car: Infiniti M56x

Re: Trickle charger

Postby ibc » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:38 pm

Thanks for posting this thread (with awesome video). I pulled out IPDM pin #22 to disable this design stupidity on my car.
It took a couple hours to open up the IPDM, remove connectors, and pull the pin. I had a hard time to unhook that tiny pin. Damn glasses.

Yup, my 3.5yo battery died (again), and I got it replaced under warranty. But I suspect the real reason was many short trips under 8 miles, so the alternator never charged the battery. Ugh. This clever mod seems to fix the problem. Yay!

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:14 pm

So did you just barely do the mod or had it been a while?
I would like to know if this is a true fox cuz I'm tired of always charging up the damn battery.

I just want to have it be a normal car.
Stupid, as if people who buy a 420hp car are worried that much about gas mileage.

Andy

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Yoda's Master » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:32 am

Malbec 56 Beast wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:14 pm
So did you just barely do the mod or had it been a while?
I would like to know if this is a true fox cuz I'm tired of always charging up the damn battery.

I just want to have it be a normal car.
Stupid, as if people who buy a 420hp car are worried that much about gas mileage.

Andy
My charger hasn't seen the light of day since I've done it.

madmanpauly
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:12 am
Car: 2011 Infiniti M56S

Re: Trickle charger

Postby madmanpauly » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:10 am

Ditto - I did this fix probably 8 months ago and have not had to charge the battery since. It was a hot summer in texas too! I recommend this fix for anyone who has a 2011 - 2012 M56.

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:14 pm

Mine is a 2013 but I'm sure it'll help my issue unless they changed something to make this not possible in that model.

I'll need to look into it again
It kills food batteries to.

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Ilya » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:14 am

Need to do this too...except its single digits right now lol. Even in the garage.

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Trickle charger

Postby Ilya » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:05 pm

Ilya wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:14 am
Need to do this too...except its single digits right now lol. Even in the garage.
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.

BTW, here are a couple of pics showing the wire and connector specific to the Y51 M/Q70s:

Image

Image

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:07 pm

I've re-named this thread as I want to add it to the FAQ list.

DoN_BLaZe34
Posts: 1686
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:40 pm
Car: 2007 M45 Sport - Sold
2006 FX45 - Traded
2014 Q70S 5.6 - Current
Location: Jersey

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby DoN_BLaZe34 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:14 pm

I wonder if my 14 suffers from this..

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:52 pm

DoN_BLaZe34 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:14 pm
I wonder if my 14 suffers from this..
I would say that any Infiniti with this stupid 'feature' (aka design flaw) could benefit from having it removed. Can someone explain to me why this is a 'thing' even? Why would you not want to charge the battery every time the car is started/running?

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:01 pm

The dealer told me that this was to save on gas mileage. That's one of the dumbest things I've heard in a very long time. Buy a car with 420hp and I'm worried about another mile or two per gallon.

Stupid

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:41 pm

Dealer told me the car is smarter than me.

EdBwoy
Moderator
Posts: 3451
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:47 am
Location: Indiana, USA
Contact:

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby EdBwoy » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:50 pm

I can't discount the experiences of more than one person, but I must say this problem has never affected me.
I even tried to exclusively do sub-7 mile trips for over a week and none of the M56s had any issues. The only time I had a slow-crank problem, it turned out to be due to an undersized OEM battery.

I'm not saying it's not real because it hasn't happened to me, but rather would like to know how a system designed to help, ends up having the opposite effect.
For those of you who are having these issues...as well as those who have had good results with cutting wires or pulling pins, do you have any aftermarket modifications to your car's electric system?
  • LED lights
  • Remote start
  • Power inverters & chargers plugged in
  • Perhaps run your headlights constantly, etc
I can't seem to find any technical document that mentions this 8-mile threshold either, just anecdotal info from forums like this.

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:05 pm

EdBwoy wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:50 pm
I can't discount the experiences of more than one person, but I must say this problem has never affected me.
I even tried to exclusively do sub-7 mile trips for over a week and none of the M56s had any issues. The only time I had a slow-crank problem, it turned out to be due to an undersized OEM battery.

I'm not saying it's not real because it hasn't happened to me, but rather would like to know how a system designed to help, ends up having the opposite effect.
For those of you who are having these issues...as well as those who have had good results with cutting wires or pulling pins, do you have any aftermarket modifications to your car's electric system?
  • LED lights
  • Remote start
  • Power inverters & chargers plugged in
  • Perhaps run your headlights constantly, etc
I can't seem to find any technical document that mentions this 8-mile threshold either, just anecdotal info from forums like this.
Here is my particular situation:
  • One year old battery (maybe 1.5yr old)...750 CCA Duralast
  • Lights are on whenever the car is on (fogs too)
  • Remote start (Fortin)
  • LED fog lights, LED front turn signals
Here are the various battery related symptoms I've had over the years:
  • When I lived in Selkirk, NY...I would consistently drive 15-25 miles to church, the mall, school, my gf/fiance's house, etc.
  • After getting married and moving to Troy, NY...my church drive became like 5 miles and the only times I did more than 8 was if I went to my alma mater for a ball game (once every other week or so) or the mall (once a month)...this is where my car started to have 'battery' issue (in my estimation). It would randomly trigger the alarm at random hours and temperatures, it would hard crank occasionally, etc.
  • When we bought our first house in Halfmoon, NY...my church drive stayed the same but grocery shopping, post office, etc. (things I do frequently) went down to like 2-3 miles. Only times my car gets to stretch its legs if ball games or mall visit, same as before. Car continued to have weird battery issues like random alarm firings, etc. but now it actually died on my 8-9 times over the first year we lived here to the point that I (for the first time in my life) invested in a jumper box.
Before removing the pin, I did fill up my battery with more distilled water was I was probably 3/4" to an inch low...but my alarm still went off twice after that (over a period of 2 months).

I've now had the pin removed for a couple of days and we'll see what happens. We're about to enter the dead of winter, so temps will be consistently low so we'll see if my alarm goes off, etc.

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:52 pm

EdBwoy wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:50 pm
I can't discount the experiences of more than one person, but I must say this problem has never affected me.
I even tried to exclusively do sub-7 mile trips for over a week and none of the M56s had any issues. The only time I had a slow-crank problem, it turned out to be due to an undersized OEM battery.

I'm not saying it's not real because it hasn't happened to me, but rather would like to know how a system designed to help, ends up having the opposite effect.
For those of you who are having these issues...as well as those who have had good results with cutting wires or pulling pins, do you have any aftermarket modifications to your car's electric system?
  • LED lights
  • Remote start
  • Power inverters & chargers plugged in
  • Perhaps run your headlights constantly, etc
I can't seem to find any technical document that mentions this 8-mile threshold either, just anecdotal info from forums like this.
I was bone stock. I work less than 7 miles away.
Infiniti battery died and was tested bad so I bought an optima redtop. Not long after that, it ran out of power. Threw it on the charger/tender every weekend so it wouldn't die after sitting over the weekend. Replaced the alternator thinking it was bad since it would only push 11.something volts when running, but that didn't help, then i found this thread and no issues since. I can leave the car alone for a week and it'll start just fine.

now i have vline, fortin, and led bulbs

Malbec 56 Beast
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:32 pm
Car: 2013 Infiniti M66xS Totaled 4/11/20
What's next???
2010 Subaru Legacy
1983 Porsche 928 S Euro (Sold) 2/17/20

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Malbec 56 Beast » Wed Dec 25, 2019 10:19 pm

Ed
If your battery is in great condition it takes more than a month to start seeing this issue show itself. Every day reduces the charge in the battery. It could take even longer, if memory serves me I recall when I installed a new interstate battery it ran for about six months before issues came about. It's not done in a weeks time. I thought I was the only one with the issue and others on this site discounted my issue thinking that I was way off and there was no way I could drive a consistent 9 miles every day well I do.

I need to do this but the weather needs to warm up.

The guys that did this keep us posted with info and if issues come up which I doubt.

Great find and thanks for sharing to whomever came up with this fix.

Oh MERRY CHRISTMAS, hope I didn't offend anyone lol.

Andy

Yoda's Master
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:26 pm
Car: 2012 M56
2009 370z
Location: Rock in the middle of nowhere

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Yoda's Master » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:05 am

only issue that's not an issue is that it throws an error code in the self diagnostics, but no check engine light

User avatar
CRV_33
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 11:42 am
Car: 2011 Infiniti M56x
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby CRV_33 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:48 pm

Instead of taking the multiple clips and harness apart to remove the lead wire. Are there any consequences of simply just cutting the wire?

User avatar
Ilya
Moderator
Posts: 9468
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:20 pm
Car: 2011 M56x but I spend a lot of time on my 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S. Former owner of a 2007 M35x. Also take care of my wife's 2016 QX60.
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby Ilya » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:00 pm

CRV_33 wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:48 pm
Instead of taking the multiple clips and harness apart to remove the lead wire. Are there any consequences of simply just cutting the wire?
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.

madmanpauly
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:12 am
Car: 2011 Infiniti M56S

Re: HowTo: Disable ECM Controlled Alternator

Postby madmanpauly » 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.


Return to “Infiniti M37, M56, M35h Hybrid and Q70 Forum”