That flashing amber light that looks like a UFO landing on the dashboard of your Nissan Altima might be puzzling and problematic.
Understanding what this indicator means and what causes it to malfunction can help you to understand. If there’s an underlying issue needing attention.
We’ll explore the collision avoidance system in the Altima, why you might see a flashing indicator, what sensor problems trigger it. And steps to troubleshoot the issue.
Table of Contents
Reason for the Cause
Typically, the collision avoidance system light will flash continuously instead of staying solid blue if it detects issues with its Radar Sensor or Front Camera Modules.
These two components provide the data feeds about vehicle velocity, object distance/trajectory analysis and pedestrian recognition that needs to determine. Whether the collision conditions exist and requires automatic braking.
Possible malfunctions that triggers the alert can include:
- Obscured radar sensor behind grille due to ice, mud, snow or other debris.
- Damage, misalignment or interference with the radar sensor.
- Windshield replacement or glass in front camera’s field of view not meeting specs.
- Camera failure or blockage due to windshield cracks, stickers, dirt, etc.
- The system enters standby mode when it can’t obtain adequate sensor data by signalling the driver via warning light flashes that automated collision prevention features are temporarily disabled until this data is restored.
- Since the system doesn’t record metrics or specific codes for the issue of illumination errors, only the visual flashing light clues the driver something may not be working until proper inputs resume or the repair is done.
Troubleshooting the Issue
Before paying for an expensive trip to the dealership, Nissan owners can perform some basic checks at home to troubleshoot what might be causing collision system issues:
- Clean the front grille and radar housing – remove debris and dirt that are obstructing the sensor.
- Clear any snow, ice, or mud that residues from the badge hiding unit.
- Check the windshield glass within the camera view for cracks and stickers that obstructs the vision.
- Verify that the camera and radar sensor electrical harnesses haven’t come loose or disconnected.
- Toggle the Collision Avoidance ON/OFF cycles key to reboot the electrical systems.
- Perform a gentle brake pedal pumping procedure to calibrate the vehicle’s computer.
- Suppose there are no obvious physical damage or obstructions that explains the Collision Avoidance flashing. In that case, a more in-depth diagnosis requires dealer repair that uses proprietary Consult diagnostic software to pull out the detailed trouble codes that pinpoints the issues.
- This allows technicians to determine which components might need replacement under warranty to restore the system functionality.
Preserving Safety With Compromised Sensors
The flashing light indicates that your Altima has entered fail-safe mode, which means that the automated emergency braking/collision prevention features are suspended until data inputs can be restored.
Faced with this warning, the safest approach depends greatly on the type of driving conditions:
Low Risk Situations: Continue to operate the vehicle under normal conditions.
High-Risk Situations: Pull over until the warning light stops, visibility hazards persist, or the technicians have the opportunity to diagnose the cause.
- Urban low-speed environments may pose minimal additional risk if collision detection remains offline temporarily.
- However, flashing warnings during high-speed highway travel, nighttime driving, or unsafe weather may warrant immediate troubleshooting before continuing to your destination.
- Dashboard collision sensor that alerts in your Nissan signals potentially unreliable systems.
- While still drivable, understand that the automatic emergency interventions like hard braking remains unavailable.
- This shifts collision avoidance responsibilities solely on driver attentiveness.
- Exercising additional vigilance is highly advised whenever these safety notifications illuminate to account for comprised automated features until repairs can be made.
FAQs About Nissan Altima Flashing Collision Light
Q: Is it safe to drive with the flashing collision light?
A: It depends. In low-risk situations like urban areas, normal driving may be fine. But flashing alerts during high speeds, nighttime, and bad weather pose added hazards with disabled automated braking.
Q: What if I ignore the flashing collision light?
A: It is not ideal to ignore it for a long time! The blinking indicator warns automatic emergency braking capabilities that are unavailable. While the vehicle remains drivable, this critical safety system is offline by putting drivers at higher risk in case of potential forward collisions.