Can low battery cause a P0301?

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Wife texted me this morning that our ‘06 had trouble starting, ran like crap, and threw a CEL, so she parked it and took another car.

When I got home and checked it out, the Scangauge said the battery was 11.5V and CEL was P0301, which is cylinder 1 misfire. I put a charger on it for a couple hours, cleared the code, and after starting it and letting it idle a bit, took it for a 10 mile drive with a mix of stop and go and then some freeway at 70mph. It drove flawlessly and ran great during that test drive.

It’s got 125k miles, plugs were changed about 15k miles ago, and I don’t recall ever getting this code before.

We have not been driving it much lately, and the AGM battery is now nearly eight years old. I have been waiting for Costco to get 24F AGMs back in stock for what seems like forever… I know the battery is older but when it’s charged back up it keeps going.

Back to my question: Is the low voltage when she tried to drive it today the most likely culprit for the P0301? Anything else to look for… other than perhaps a new battery?
 

meisanerd

First Fill-Up (of many)
Yah, I've had tonnes of issues in vehicles when the battery gets low. My Altima used to throw the slip light on, then disabled the entire ABS system and threw a bunch of random codes until I replaced the battery.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Could very well be. My wife's car got hard to start and stated throwing random codes.

Give the battery a good maintenance charge and see if that helps.

Thanks Terry. I'm thinking about just pulling the battery and bench charging it in the garage. We're supposed to be getting rain / snow the rest of the week so I don't want either of my chargers sitting out in that.

As for chargers I have a Noco G3500 and a >25 year old one that's probably closest to this more modern version.

I'm honestly not sure which one is better. The Noco is kind of weak in the amps department but is higher tech, and claims to have AGM modes. The old school one is definitely more powerful. But neither one really seems to *fully* charge either of the AGM batteries we have.

Yah, I've had tonnes of issues in vehicles when the battery gets low. My Altima used to throw the slip light on, then disabled the entire ABS system and threw a bunch of random codes until I replaced the battery.

Thanks. I have seen it do some wacky stuff before, like the fluttering gauges thing when the battery was weak. That was probably a year or two ago, and as long as we drive it consistently and keep the battery charged, no problems since.

This was a case of a) we both had several days off and didn't drive that much, b) we had inlaws visiting and the Xterra was blocked in and c) it's been pretty cold and snowy, so we've been driving the Subarus which are IMO better winter cars. The Xterras are mostly three season fun vehicles.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
Supporting Member
Location
Covington, Va
Don't worry about the power. Run the repair mode then an AGM charge cycle to top off and condition the battery.

I have the Genius 10 and it's been great for battery life around here.
 

XterraRising

Sliders
Supporting Member
Location
Utah
Eight years is really pushing it for a battery. Regardless, you should replace it asap. It could be possible that low battery voltage may have caused the #1 low side of the coil to not receive any power to fire the spark plug, but it shouldn’t have run like crap if the battery was being charged by a running engine.

If the fault doesn’t return, then drive it like ya stole it. But should it return, the best place to start is the spark plug, and work your way back.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
if the code comes back after the battery is charged back up, it might be the coil pack.

Thank you, yeah I have considered that and I believe they're original. But aside from when the battery voltage was low it runs smoothly and was great on my test drive after charging.

Eight years is really pushing it for a battery. Regardless, you should replace it asap. It could be possible that low battery voltage may have caused the #1 low side of the coil to not receive any power to fire the spark plug, but it shouldn’t have run like crap if the battery was being charged by a running engine.

If the fault doesn’t return, then drive it like ya stole it. But should it return, the best place to start is the spark plug, and work your way back.

Thanks, it's definitely something I'll have to replace. I have been putting it off waiting for Costco to get the AGM's in since I've been happily buying batteries exclusively from them for our other cars. I like their warranty policy. But I'll probably just have to get one from somewhere else the way things have been going.

As of now I have charged up the battery and am letting the thing sit for a few days to see how it does next time we drive it, probably this weekend.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Per the Scangauge, the battery was at 11.7V last night, after turning the headlights on for about 30 seconds to try to reduce the surface charge. It started and ran OK, but I think a new battery may be on the to-do list this weekend.
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
Per the Scangauge, the battery was at 11.7V last night, after turning the headlights on for about 30 seconds to try to reduce the surface charge. It started and ran OK, but I think a new battery may be on the to-do list this weekend.
Hopefully they’re easier to find than last year when I was trying to find one. AGM in either size were unavailable most of the mid-Atlantic region.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Hopefully they’re easier to find than last year when I was trying to find one. AGM in either size were unavailable most of the mid-Atlantic region.

I remember that discussion, over a year later Costco still doesn't have them. But, my nearest Advance Auto Parts has a Diehard 24F AGM in stock according to the guy I spoke with over there, and their website shows it as in stock as well.

There are a couple Pep Boys locations around town that list Champion 24F AGM's as in stock. I like that the Champion has a four year warranty, but don't like that Pep Boys around here are just a shadow of what they once were... they closed all the retail parts stores and just do tires and batteries now. Not sure if they'll even be around in four years!
 

ffxcores

[fully disclosed]
Supporting Member
Location
Virginia
I remember that discussion, over a year later Costco still doesn't have them. But, my nearest Advance Auto Parts has a Diehard 24F AGM in stock according to the guy I spoke with over there, and their website shows it as in stock as well.

There are a couple Pep Boys locations around town that list Champion 24F AGM's as in stock. I like that the Champion has a four year warranty, but don't like that Pep Boys around here are just a shadow of what they once were... they closed all the retail parts stores and just do tires and batteries now. Not sure if they'll even be around in four years!
My Pep Boys here did the same. The shop still exists, but the retail side is now another name I can’t recall at the moment. It’s literally a dump inside and there’s stuff all over the place. They still sell stuff but the people in there really don’t care about much.

Glad I went with the X2 Power.
 

TheCrabby1

Lockers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
W
I remember that discussion, over a year later Costco still doesn't have them. But, my nearest Advance Auto Parts has a Diehard 24F AGM in stock according to the guy I spoke with over there, and their website shows it as in stock as well.

There are a couple Pep Boys locations around town that list Champion 24F AGM's as in stock. I like that the Champion has a four year warranty, but don't like that Pep Boys around here are just a shadow of what they once were... they closed all the retail parts stores and just do tires and batteries now. Not sure if they'll even be around in four years!
Not to thread steal ,but since we're talking Pep Boy's..................
I took the X over there to get 4 tire's taken of the steel rim's [ the 18 hole spare's ] and put back on the stock rim's . I explained to them when I switched them to the new X that I made sure I rotated them like I do every oil change so please put the tire's back in place . The manager told me since they were 33" tire's and kind of big for there machine [ ? ] that there was a chance they might only get 2 switched around since they were short-handed [ WHAT T F ?? ] I had called and set up an appointment and explained what I needed [ DUHH] so I told him if that's the case make sure you do the two front's . The 18-20 yo tech working in the back proceeded to walk around asking suspension question's to me while talking on the phone to his friend and steadily toking on his little vape thingy . this was 20 minute's of my time slot. He then proceeded to undo all the tire's even the one tire/rim that I had switched week's earlier because it was the one that caught the tree behind it. Long story short - the tire's didnt go back where there supposed too - they didn't do both front's , they did one side and of the two they did one had NO wheel weight's and the other rim had weight's added but they never peeled off the old weight's before balancing. I took them over to Jeff's as soon as he got back from vacation. I should have waited for him but I didn't like the vibration coming from the steel rim's.
When I paid my bill I had a rather loud conversation with the manager so everyone in there could hear about there incompetence !!
If anyone here brake's down near Laurel,Md do not go anywhere near Pep Boy's !!!!!!!
 
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outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Tried one last time to run the repair setting on my Noco charger, and while it did seem to help, it's not a time machine, and once I pulled the battery I realized it was actually nearly 9 years old... born on date of March 2013, ship date of January 2014. Yes I could have gotten by for a while longer but rather than prolonging the inevitable I bought a new Die Hard from Advance.

My wife semi-daily drives this Xterra, and we do take it out for day trips off the beaten path, so having a fresh battery is worth it to me. Starts and runs great with the new one, hoping for many years of service out of this new one.

As to my original question, I'm fairly sure that the CEL and poor running was just the battery being weak.

Oh and if your battery has been disconnected for a bit, be sure to unplug your horns or wear ear protection when you hook up the new one! FFS that was loud when the alarm started honking :oops:
 
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outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
Doh. Maybe I spoke too soon. Wife texted me today to report that, while it cranked and started up today, it ran like shiat. So she took the other car again. I'll have to take a look at it again tonight.

Guess our Xterra hates Mondays?
 

Zack.

Has been dubbed Arnold
Supporting Member
Location
Livermore, CA
Double check all the tune up point (spark plugs, coils, etc:) as well as battery connectors, grounds… also, make sure all the coils are fully plugged in, I’ve found that the clippy part can wear out and the vibration from driving can disconnect it.
 

outback97

First Fill-Up (of many)
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, Utah
I don't like unresolved threads, so I will update this with good news. Everything seems to be running fine. I drove it to work and back yesterday, and we ran some errands last night, and as far as I can tell it's starting and running great. There was a little vibration on cold start yesterday morning, but nothing that seemed out of the ordinary to me.

My working theory is this: Due to power being disconnected and having a new battery the truck was still figuring out idle and fuel ratios and upon cold start my wife thought it was running rougher than it should have been, so she opted to not drive it out of concern for doing any damage. Thankful to have a wife that pays attention to how the cars are running!
 
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