Limp mode diagnosis….

Thread starter #1

Geffellz18

Senior Member
Seeking some insight from any pros on here:
2003 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 w/ 3.5L V6.
Issue is I parked the truck and it sat for a couple of months after taking it down to S. GA for a kayak trip in the Okefenokee.
It’s my off road toy so it doesn’t get driven often at all.
Went to crank it about 6-8 weeks ago and battery was dead-Ends up there is apparently a short somewhere because now if I don’t crank it within 3-4 days the battery dies. It’s a brand new battery.
The primary issue however is that the truck is now in limp mode, but isn’t throwing a code to engage the check engine light. Last time it was the crank position sensor so I changed it and was back in business.
I did run a live scan and there is one issue that continues even though there’s no CEL and it comes back even when I clear it.
P0550-power steering pressure sensor.
My question is will this cause the vehicle go into limp mode?
Also, any best practices for trying to diagnose the apparent short that keeps killing the battery. I have it on a trickle charger now to keep it charged.
 
Not a pro….but I would disconnect the battery wire when it is gonna be parked for a spell until you get it figured out. They make some quick dis connects now that make it a breeze.
 

Donal

Senior Member
Un plug the sensor and see if that eliminates the short. The ecm uses the output from the sensor to control engine rpms sufficient to maintain steering system pressure. replacement switch is sort of expensive, about 120 wholesale
 
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DAVE

Senior Member
Often a new battery will be no good from the start. First thing to do is have battery checked. If battery is weak and the voltage drops below 10v when cranking this can make vehicle go into limp mode even without setting code. I guessing that other issue is the knock sensor which on a Nissan will not turn on the MIL and will not set limp mode or other running problem. That knock sensor is under the intake and is a major job to replace. The power steering switch is to stabilize idle when putting load on system, I don't know if it will set limp mode but probably not.
 

transfixer

Senior Member
Seeking some insight from any pros on here:
2003 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 w/ 3.5L V6.
Issue is I parked the truck and it sat for a couple of months after taking it down to S. GA for a kayak trip in the Okefenokee.
It’s my off road toy so it doesn’t get driven often at all.
Went to crank it about 6-8 weeks ago and battery was dead-Ends up there is apparently a short somewhere because now if I don’t crank it within 3-4 days the battery dies. It’s a brand new battery.
The primary issue however is that the truck is now in limp mode, but isn’t throwing a code to engage the check engine light. Last time it was the crank position sensor so I changed it and was back in business.
I did run a live scan and there is one issue that continues even though there’s no CEL and it comes back even when I clear it.
P0550-power steering pressure sensor.
My question is will this cause the vehicle go into limp mode?
Also, any best practices for trying to diagnose the apparent short that keeps killing the battery. I have it on a trickle charger now to keep it charged.
try another scanner, if you're using one of the small plug in code readers they don't always pull all the codes in the system, since you mentioned the vehicle sat for a couple months, do a visual inspection of the wiring, under the hood and at the back of the engine where the harness goes down to the transmission, look for exposed wiring or wiring chewed into, I've seen squirrels, chipmunks or other rodents chew into wiring when a vehicle sits a while, and Nissan is one of the manufacturers that use wiring with insulation they like, Ford also uses wiring like that, or used to at least up through the early 2000's,

to my knowledge that code would not cause any limp mode issues, I'm betting its a wiring problem, I had a Nissan pickup around the same year come into the shop a few months back with a no shifting issue as well as a couple other symptoms, that ended up being a couple wires chewed in two and three or four others almost chewed in two .
 
Thread starter #6

Geffellz18

Senior Member
Thanks all for the replies.
Was able to get underneath the truck for a little bit today before I burned to death!

So, yeah I’d say that the Power steering pressure sensor is faulty, 😂.
Basically hanging together just by a small piece of the circuit!
3E013E8A-4241-4FDC-8E20-391FAAD90916.jpeg

So, cranked up the truck and the CEL was actually on. Same code but had additional details that wasn’t populating initially.
This time, it referenced shorting-so I’m crossing my fingers that it’s what is causing the short.
0DD7A994-61E7-4F6F-BF33-41F1EF6329A0.jpeg C8BB6EFA-FEBE-4FC6-9361-B35F22E35F78.jpeg 864ACB59-B2DB-42D1-929E-EA4211F70EEC.jpeg 1D6B77D1-AE63-4002-A7EB-FB2A3A130C56.jpeg

I did try to look for potential issues with rodent sabotage but I did not see any evidence of this although there could be an issue I cannot see. We do have a good number of chipmunks and squirrels around the house and I had it parked near the ivy where them rascals like to reside!
I have unplugged the sensor and have taken the trickle charger off to see how the battery does over the next few days with holding a charge.

I’m hoping this is the simple fix I’m hoping for. Like I said, I drove it nearly 700 miles round trip in February with no issues before parking it.
Will know for sure when the replacement comes in.
 
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transfixer

Senior Member
If that circuit happens to get power from the same place the transmission range sensor or the transmission itself does, it may well be the cause of the limp mode ? I'd have to study a wiring diagram to see if that is the case, at this point you're heading in the right direction, change the sensor and see what happens,
 
Thread starter #9
So, a somewhat possible promising update. Let the truck sit for a week off the trickle charger with the sensor unplugged and it cranked right up! Hopefully that was the cause of the short.
OEM Replacement sensor ordered…Contacted the dealer and they were outrageous compared to online for same part.
Hopefully the replacement corrects the limp mode issue! Will know for sure by the end of the week.
 
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