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HVAC control lights are off when remotely started. 2010 Altima 2.5SL

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The install went great, the car starts remotely with 3x locks on the OEM key fob. The parking lights turn on, the car starts and all seems great. However, the HVAC controls are dark, driver/pass temp settings on both dials and all button backlights, yet the HVAC is indeed running. Typically these are never off unless the car is off or the HVAC is off. They always display the set temp for driver/pass regardless of the headlight setting or dashboard brightness setting.
Once I enter and switch the headlights to "auto", "parking", or "on", the HVAC controls reappear, but if I turn the headlight switch back to "Off", the HVAC controls disappear again. The only way to see the HVAC controls while the headlights are "Off" is to press and hold the brake pedal for 4 seconds, or shut the car down and start it up normally.
While all else seems to be functioning correctly, I'm concerned as to why the HVAC lights are off. What is causing the display/backlights to go dark even though the HVAC is actually running?  I've been studying the nissan service manual but can't seem to figure out how that's even possible.
Hardware v6, FW 72.19, EVO-NIST1
I've provided a link to a photo showing backlight and temp displays are off, yet "Auto" LED is on (as are a few others), the HVAC is powered up and running: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hmfwnrwg7ewsimb/hvac.jpg
All of the button backlights are off as well, difficult to capture during the day. :)
asked Nov 8, 2015 in Nissan by Rob Cherry (130 points)
edited Nov 8, 2015 by Rob Cherry

2 Answers

0 votes
This normally happens when the dimmer connector on the lower dash panel is not connected, or not connected properly.
answered Nov 8, 2015 by Rob Cherry (85,070 points)
I don't think so, the dimmer is built into the instrument cluster on this model. And the dimming functions perfectly. The lower panel only contains the trunk, key slot and fog light switches.

After further study, the Nissan wiring diagram shows the positive and grounds are both switched to control center console backlights (dimming via ground). The Fortin is completing the positive circuit with the parking hardwire bypass (brown wire), which turns on the exterior lights, but the negative circuit isn't working until the Fortin releases control of the car to the computer by holding the brake for 3-4 seconds.

When I unlock the car, the computer attempts to flash the parking lights, which are already on, but the center console lights flash instead.

It appears the computer isn't completely fooled.
I think you mean VDC switch, fog light switch is on the turn signal stalk.
0 votes
I have this same problem with my altima also. I hope we get a solution to it
answered Dec 23, 2018 by Gary McPherson (310 points)