Nissan Primera problem - Ppaul
I'm hoping that someone can tell me what's wrong with my trusty 113k 1.6 1995 P10 Primera.

When the engine is running and I have my lights on the alternator makes a whining noise whilst idling. If I am driving it or give it more revs the whining stops. The battery light does not come on when driving

Does this mean my alternator is on the way out? or is it the drivebelt?

Thanks in advance
Nissan Primera problem - piston power
probably the belt is dry squirt it with wd40 or similar see if it stops if so replace the belt with a new one. they do this with cold dry weather..
Nissan Primera problem - buzbee
Since when has it been good advice to squirt WD40 on a drive belt? ! ! ! !
Nissan Primera problem - Aprilia
Just flick a bit of water onto the belt. If the whining stops then its probably time to replace the belt. If it doesn't make any difference then it could be alternator or tensioner wheel bearing.
Note that modern belts run under realtively high tension and sometimes they do make a little noise when the car is first started on a cold morning.
Nissan Primera problem - 659FBE
Some alternators produce quite a lot of magnetic noise when operating at high field current. This would be the case at engine idle with headlights on because the alternator needs a high field flux to balance the load at these low speeds. Belt noise is more usually a rustle if the belt is in poor shape or misaligned, or a shriek on acceleration if its too slack.

The important question to ask is whether this problem has always been with this vehicle, or have you noticed it recently because of increased headlamp usage due to shorter daylight hours.

It would in any event be worth putting a voltmeter across the battery and checking that the regulator is operating correctly (about 14.2V at idle, light load). If the regulator were short circuit, the system voltage would be high and the alternator would howl because it would be permanently fully energised. Another thing to check would be for a shorted or open diode, causing the (3 phase) machine to operate out of balance. This problem will usually, but not always show a red light.

If all is well, you'll either have to change the rotor iron - the "problem" is due to magnetostriction and some iron is more noise prone than others, or live with it.


Nissan Primera problem - GregSwain
When my Sunny's alternator started making whining noises it was time for a new alternator. Turn all your electrics on while the engine's running (lights, heater, rear window etc), and see if the ignition light glows dimly (you might only see it in the dark) - that's what i've experienced with Nissan alternators on their last legs.
Nissan Primera problem - The Gingerous One
>and see if the ignition light glows dimly (you might only see it in the dark) - that's what i've experienced with Nissan alternators on their last legs.

Ditto, that's exactly what happened on my 1995 P10 Primmy after 160k. got in the car to drive back from Nuneaton -> Chorley (in the dark) and the alternator light came on dimly. Then the headlamps started dimming and the car eventually spluttered to a halt 70 miles later.
Alternator diagnosed as dead by AA.
Nissan Primera problem - Aprilia
There's not really any such thing as a 'Nissan Alternator'. On the Primera they have used Lucas, Bosch and Hitachi alternators. Other Nissans use Mitsubishi alternators.

A real whine from the alternator usually indicates its lost one of the phases - the charge voltage will be about 8-9V and the light will come on. It will make quite a noise.
The OP suggests its just a whine at idle - which makes me think its more likely to do with the drive belt.
Nissan Primera problem - Ppaul
Hello again

Thanks for your answers, unfortunately my problem hasn't gone away and the whining persists

Have taken car to garage and mechanic took alternator to be repaired. Had car back for a weekend and battery is flat!

Took car back, mechanic took alternator back & they replaced something else - regulator maybe. Anyway, had car back and battery flat again!!

Should I ask for my money back (less labour) seeing as it hasn't been fixed?

Incidentally, the car drives fine, the battery light has never illuminated. If the alternator was dead wouldn't there be some other symptoms?

Does anyone have an idea as to what is going on?

Nissan Primera problem - Sprice
No offence, but does the battery light work, i.e., comes on with ignition, then goes out when car fires up? Sounded like all you needed was a new belt from first couple of posts, where you said the only problem was a squeal/whine?
Nissan Primera problem - Ppaul
None taken,

Yes the battery light does work when ignition is switched on, and goes out after starting.

Initially I thought it was the belt too but on testing, the charge was less than 13v when under load (this I checked myself after the mech diagnosed the alternator as faulty.

Any other ideas?
Nissan Primera problem - Sprice
Well, if the battery is going flat after the alternator has been repaired/replaced, maybe the battery needs renewing? I'm not sure obviously, for all I know the battery is relatively new! Earth straps all good 'n' secure?
Nissan Primera problem - bell boy
ask for your money back yes
take it to someone that knows what hes doing.......yes
its not rocket science OP it just needs a systematic checking and the 13 volts under load says to me the alternator is not firing on all cylinders

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