2012 Nissan Frontier: Fun Facts

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This page is just a collection of things I've learned about my 2012 Nissan Frontier that surprised me or I didn't know before. Hopefully this will be useful to those of you modding your Frontier or troubleshooting it. If you are having problems troubleshooting, check out my Fixes to Common Nissan Frontier Problems page and my Nissan Frontier Resources page.

Cargo Lamp Switch Info

  • This information may apply to other switches in the Frontier, but I haven't tested any others yet.

Most items in most vehicles that I've encountered switch VCC. That is to say, when you flip a switch, it allows 12V to go to the device you wish to turn on. The Cargo Lamp Switch is a bit different. It switches GND. In otherwords, it appears as though 12V is always on the Cargo Lamp relay and that the bottom of the Relay Coil is floating when you want the light off. When you want the light on, & you close the Cargo Lamp Switch the bottom of the Relay Coil is connected to GND and you have a complete circuit. I suspect this was done because the Cargo Lamp turns on both when you push the Cargo Lamp Switch AND when you put the vehicle into reverse. This means you have 2 sources that want to be able to turn the Cargo Lamp on independently and/or simultaneously. You would not want to have them each switch in 12V. If they both switched in 12V at once and you have a slight voltage drop, due to wire length lets say, you'd have the system trying to drive current the wrong way through one of the switches. This way if one, or both, of the sources (Cargo Lamp Switch & Reverse Circuit) ground the connection, the light comes on. This scheme is called an Open Collector circuit.

Switch Pinout
  • BROWN: 12V Dash Power (has 12V on it when the dash lights are on)
  • WHITE: Signal (connect this to GND to activate the Cargo Light)

Draft Vent

  • There is a opening at the back of the cab (at least on a 2012 Crew Cab) known as the Draft Vent. It is about 4"x6" and gives easy access for cables running from the bed to inside the cab.
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