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Dash lights w/o key

1237 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  thom_x
Last Sunday I went out to start our 2004 manual X to no avail. Normal clicking and such for a dead battery so I pulled it and took it to Napa and they tested it (14 out of 800 amps??) and said it was bad and probably wouldn't take a charge (now that I think about it maybe he just wanted to sell me a battery, oh well). The one weird thing was that it would sometimes keep clicking even when I turned the key back to off.

So on Monday I took it to a shop and they load tested the starter, alternator, and battery and everything was fine to them.

But then again on Sunday (maybe my car is taking a sabbath day?) I went out to start it and a bunch of the dash lights were on (Check engine, Brake, etc.) but there wasn't a key in it and it and then started funny and just barely started. Took a lot more cranking to fire up than usual and blew a bunch of smoke. So I called my pops and he said it might be something big since something is pulling on the battery and lighting the dash lights even when the ignition is off.

Anybody had anything like this? Is it just an ignition? Solenoid?

And no I'm not a DIY mechanic since this is our only car. So once it gets beyond oil and filter I normally take it to someone else. So if you've got a Nissan mechanic suggestion in the Denver/Boulder area I would love to hear about that too.

Thanks for any help.
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If things are happening when the key isn't in there/being turned, you might want to start by replacing that ignition switch. calls the ignition switch the "Starter Switch" and it's $23. Next guess if that doesn't help, maybe the starter relay, which is $9.

The barely started thing sounds more like a bad starter. $77.

I just grabbed the cheapest one available on rockauto for a price estimate... You might find them cheaper elsewhere. I found an ebay store a while ago called "crank and charge", or something like that, that had better alternator and starter prices.
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