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Nissan Repair/Cambelt / Timing belt sqeaking and lights surging


Hello again Calvin.

In my 1998 sentra, I have noticed the all lights (headlights, cabin light and dash lights) all surge along with the timing and/or cam belt squeaking While Idling, It all disappears when I rev the engine. From what I read on a forum It may be alternator or battery related. Can you advise a remedy?



Hi Josh -

I believe it is the alternator belt squeaking. Try tightening that and see if it helps. If not, you can test the alternator and battery the following way, you will need a volt meter.

Without the car running test the battery voltage. It should be no less than 12.3 volts. If it is lower than that, you should replace the battery. Turn on the headlights. Voltage should drop slowly and steadily. If it plummets down to below 12 volts right away then the battery needs replacement.

To check the alternator, with the car running check battery voltage. Should be no less than 14V. Turn on the headlights and observe the voltage again. It should remain at 14V or higher. If both of these conditions are not met, then  replace the alternator.

Hope this helps -

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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