BCI Malfunction (Here Is How To Fix It – Nissan Armada)

bci malfunction

If you own a Nissan Armada and have been experiencing a BCI malfunction, you’re not alone. Many Nissan Armada owners have reported issues with their Back-up Collision Intervention (BCI) system.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explain what a BCI malfunction is, why it’s important to address, and provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to fix it. So, let’s dive in and get your BCI system back in working order!

Understanding the BCI System

The BCI system, also known as the Back-up Collision Intervention system, is a safety feature designed to help drivers avoid accidents by detecting rear obstacles.

It uses sensors to monitor the area behind the vehicle and provides both visual and audible warnings if it detects a potential collision. In some cases, the system can even automatically apply the brakes to assist the driver in avoiding a collision.

Common Symptoms of BCI Malfunction

When a BCI malfunction occurs, you may experience a range of symptoms that indicate something is wrong with the system. Here are some common signs of BCI malfunction:

  1. Warning Messages: One of the most obvious signs of a BCI malfunction is the appearance of warning messages on your dashboard. These messages may indicate a BCI malfunction or other related issues.
  2. Erratic Dashboard Behavior: Another symptom of BCI malfunction is erratic behavior on the dashboard. This can include flickering lights, sudden fluctuations in readings, or unpredictable movements of indicators.
  3. Unexpected Braking: One of the most concerning symptoms of BCI malfunction is the sudden and unexpected activation of the brakes without any input from the driver. This can be a safety hazard and may lead to accidents or sudden stops.
  4. Specific Driving Actions: Some drivers have noticed that BCI malfunctions tend to occur when they attempt to change lanes or make turns without properly using the turn signal. This suggests a possible correlation between certain driving actions and the occurrence of BCI issues.
  5. Frequency of Malfunctions: BCI malfunctions can occur frequently, with some drivers experiencing these issues at least once per day. This high rate of occurrence adds to the frustration and potential risks associated with BCI malfunction.
  6. Complete Engine Failure: In more severe cases, the BCI malfunction has rendered the vehicle completely unresponsive, preventing drivers from starting their vehicles altogether. This complete failure to initiate the engine further emphasizes the urgent need to address these BCI malfunctions.

Possible Causes of BCI Malfunction

Determining the exact cause of a BCI malfunction can be challenging. However, there are a few potential reasons why this issue may occur:

  1. Sensor and Sonar Issues: The BCI system relies on sensors and sonars to detect obstacles and potential collisions. If these sensors or sonars are faulty or obstructed in any way (e.g., by dirt, mud, or road debris), it can lead to a BCI malfunction.
  2. Control System Problems: Another possible cause of BCI malfunction is a problem with the control system itself. This could be due to coding errors or assembly issues during manufacturing.

While these are the most common causes of BCI malfunction, it’s essential to note that each case may vary, and it’s best to consult with a qualified mechanic or Nissan dealership to diagnose the exact cause of the issue.

Steps to Fix a BCI Malfunction

Now that you understand the symptoms and possible causes of a BCI malfunction, let’s explore the steps you can take to fix it:

Step 1: Cleaning the Sonar Sensor Box

The first step in addressing a BCI malfunction is to clean the sonar sensor box. The sonar sensor box is typically located behind the front bumper and can become obstructed by dirt, mud, or road debris. Cleaning the sensor box can help ensure that the sensors operate correctly and reduce the chances of a BCI malfunction.

To clean the sonar sensor box, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the sonar sensor box behind the front bumper.
  2. Use a soft material, such as a microfiber cloth, to gently clean the sensor box, removing any dirt or debris.
  3. Ensure that the sensor box is completely clean and free from any obstructions.
  4. Test the BCI system to see if the malfunction persists.

Step 2: Consult with Your Dealership and/or Nissan

If cleaning the sonar sensor box does not resolve the BCI malfunction, the next step is to consult with your dealership or contact Nissan directly.

It’s essential to have a professional diagnose the issue and provide guidance on the best course of action.

When contacting your dealership or Nissan, be sure to provide clear documentation of the BCI malfunction, including any warning messages or abnormal behavior experienced. This documentation will help the technicians understand the problem and assist in finding a solution.

Step 3: Consider Contacting a Lemon Law Attorney

If you’ve taken your car for repairs multiple times and are still experiencing BCI malfunctions, you may want to consider contacting a lemon law attorney.

Lemon law attorneys specialize in helping consumers with legal situations involving faulty or poor products.

If you believe that your BCI malfunction has caused severe damage or poses a significant safety risk, a lemon law attorney can guide you through the process of seeking compensation or a replacement vehicle.

Step 4: Stay Informed and Document any Further Issues

Even if you’ve resolved the BCI malfunction, it’s important to stay informed about any further issues that may arise. Pay attention to your vehicle’s performance and document any abnormal behavior or warning messages.

This documentation can be useful if you need to revisit the issue with your dealership or lemon law attorney. It’s important to ensure that your vehicle is safe and free from any recurring BCI malfunctions.



Dealing with a BCI malfunction in your Nissan Armada can be frustrating and potentially dangerous. However, by following the steps outlined in this guide, you can take proactive measures to address the issue.

Remember to clean the sonar sensor box, consult with your dealership or Nissan, consider contacting a lemon law attorney if needed, and stay informed about any further issues that may arise.

Taking these steps will help ensure the safety and reliability of your Nissan Armada’s BCI system, providing you with peace of mind on the road.

Steve P.

Steve is an automotive technician, technical writer, and Managing Editor. He has held a lifelong passion for cars, with a particular interest in cars like the Buick Riviera. Steve is based in Boise, Idaho.

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