The Nissan Altima is a famous midsize sedan that is familiar to people for its reliability and performance.
However, like all vehicles, it can occasionally experience issues that trigger the car’s computer to go into limp mode.
Limp mode essentially puts the vehicle into a safe operating mode with reduced engine power to help to prevent damage to the transmission or the engine.
If your Altima has entered limp mode, don’t panic – in most cases, it can be cleared relatively quickly by resetting the codes.
Table of Contents
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Reset the Limp Mode on a Nissan Altima
Determine Why the Limp Mode was Triggered
- Before resetting the limp mode, first try to diagnose and repair the underlying issue that caused it.
- Common triggers include low transmission fluid, faulty sensors, or problems with the transmission itself.
- Check the fluid levels, connectors, transmission filter, and hardware.
- Scan for any trouble codes by using an OBD-II scanner.
- Repair any issues as required.
- Resetting limp mode without addressing underlying problems will likely lead to it to turning back on.
Locate the Fuse Box
- Nissan Altimas have two fuse boxes – one under the hood and one under the dashboard on the driver’s side.
- Locate the fuse box under the hood – it will have a cover labeled “Fuse Block.” Open it up to access the fuses.
Locate and Remove the TCM Fuse
- The transmission control module (TCM) fuse for Nissan Altimas is typically the 7.5 amp fuse in position #23.
- However, confirm your vehicle-specific year make model by checking the fuse diagram on the fuse box lid or your owner’s manual.
- Once located, remove the TCM fuse from the underhood fuse box by pulling it straight out.
Disconnect the Battery
- After removing the TCM fuse, locate the battery and disconnect the negative terminal.
- This clears all stored trouble codes and resets the module, which is known as the powertrain control module (PCM), which controls the limp mode activation.
Wait 15 Minutes
- Keep the battery disconnected and TCM fuse out for at least 15 minutes.
- This allows some time for the vehicle’s computer to do a hard reset and discharge any stored residual power.
Reconnect and Replace
- Reconnect the disconnected battery cable back onto the negative battery terminal.
- Tighten it securely.
- Replace the 7.5 amp TCM fuse back into the position of #23 in the underhood fuse box.
- Turn on the engine and test drive the car.
- Accelerate hard a few times to test the transmission operations.
- If the limp mode does not turn back on after this process, the reset procedure is complete.
- Be sure to fully repair any underlying issues with the transmission if you still need to do so.
- If limp mode returns, further diagnosis of the transmission system is required by a professional technician.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nissan Altima Limp Mode Reset
Q: Will my Altima pass a smog check in limp mode?
A: No. Limp mode disables certain emissions functions, so an Altima throwing codes and stuck in limp mode cannot pass an emissions test. The underlying mechanical or electrical issues that are causing the limp mode activation must be repaired first.
Q: Should I drive my car if it’s in limp mode?
A: It’s not recommended to drive long distances while the car is in limp mode, but a few short trips to the repair shops are OK. This is because driving far could further damage a transmission issue and lead to total failure. Have the codes scanned and transmission inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible to overcome this issue.