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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have been searching for a mpg increaser for my 97 2WD PF. There are several items on ebay that supposedly increase mileage by up to 31%. I would like to know if anyone has ever got one of these and if so, how much increase in mpg did you get? I am skeptical about a 31% increase, but I am wondering if its worth the 30$ for a more slight increase.

    Sam
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,963
    The usual answer is if these things worked, the car manufacturers would be installing them at the factory to help them meet their CAFE requirements.

    Gas Saving Gizmos & Gadgets

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The biggest MPG increaser is a lighter right foot. The best I've ever gotten on my 97 LE 4x4 is 21mpg, and that was using cruise control at 55mph following a U-Haul truck on the freeway for 400 miles without filling up. High speeds and quick acceleration are MPG killers.
  • I've recently purchased a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, XE V6, 4x4, when I first accelerate it will make a "clunking" noise only from take-off or slow acceleration around curves (under 10 mph)and in reverse. It almost sounds like the brakes are hanging up. Wondering if rear-axle may be locking in 4-wheel. i do not no if there are problems with the rear hubs on this also checked rear upper and lower sway arms and stablizer bars, all of which seem to be hooked up. Please help.

    Also looks like oil at one time, may have been over-filled on axle. What is the proper level?
  • I have a 2002 Pathfinder SE 4x4. In mid December, 2005, my Service Engine Soon light came on. The only accompanying sympton was a decrease in my fuel economy. They told me it was an O2 sensor and that it was not covered by my warranty They also told me at the time that it could just be a loose gas cap. However, I'm a bit anal about making sure that the gas cap is on tightly, and I always turn it until I hear 3 clicks whenever I'm putting the cap back on after refueling. In any case, I had them fix the sensor for about $280.

    On 1/21/06, the light came back on, and I took it back to the dealer. They said that a "rear O2 sensor" needed to be replaced, and that I should also replace the fuel filter and clean the throttle body. Upon further examination, they also replaced the "variable timing solenoids". At the same time, I had them do the 30,000 mile service. Total cost was $572, of which $160 was for cleaning the throttle body and injectors, $348 was for the 30k mile service, $64 for replacing the fuel filter; and the variable timeing solenoids were covered by warranty.

    Today, 2/26/06, the darn light came on again, and because it's a Sunday, I can't even do anything about it until tomorrow. So I have no idea what the cause might be.

    Has anybody else out there had a persistent problem with the Service Engine Soon light coming on one a month?

    Also, if you have had such a problem, has the dealer cooperated with you in making it right? I've spent a little over $500 in December and January trying to track this down, and who knows how much it is going to cost me this time? By the way, the dealer is Performance Nissan in Duarte, California. One of the reasons I bought a Nissan is that I had heard good things about their reliability. I'm beginning to have second thoughts.
  • Thanks for the replies, I'll be sure not to waste my money.
  • My service engine soon light also comes on.... and goes out and comes on again....
    It is totally at random but does seem to happen after I have gotten gas and have not tightened my gas cap to the 200th click. The manual says that it is caused by the gas cap not being tightened properly ( or being bad) and that after about 21 starts the light should go out. It always goes out. I haven't taken it to the dealer because I have read various messages about them not being able to fix the problem and that it returns. So I live with it. :)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The Nissan Pathfinder computer is set a little too sensitive. Ask the dealer about performing the TSB that reduces that sensitivity. You are probably going to have to pay for that service (should be around $50). A bad tank of fuel can trigger the light.

    There are four O2 sensors, one on each side before the cat. and one on each side after the cat. If one of the sensors failed and you only replaced it, there is a good liklyhood that others are in a similar state of wear by now, and will trigger the light soon. O2 sensors don't last forever. Yes, they are expensive.

    There are also two cam timing sensors, one on each side of the engine, that are known to wear and cause the light to come on. You can see them on the front of the heads (black plastic devices bolted to the front of the head on each side).

    If you read back in this forum you will find lots of posts on both. I don't think it's fair to say the vehicle is "unreliable" just because parts wear and need to be replaced from time to time. It's a complex machine that will need service.
  • I have a 2000 Pathfinder 4wd. There is a steady vibration that exists while driving. I have replaced the tires and the U-joints. The vibration changed a bit after doing the U-joints. The guy who is working on it is thinking the rear drive shaft. He said that the vibration cut down alot when he took the front drive shaft out and drove it. Any one else have a similar issue?
  • any ideas on a nissan pathfinder that the speedo does not work faults read speed sensor circuit changed sensor and checked wiring from trans to firewall ok could it be computor or speedo head
  • To Elbian. I need the SW Pennsylvania shop name. I assume near Pittsburgh, but wherever is ok. 93 PF needs experienced shop to do the same to pass inspection. Reinforcement in the frame arch over the rear axle is my guess. Thanks in advance.
  • kris2kris2 Posts: 22
    Thanks smokey75 much appreciated. I have scheduled an appointment for service and I will show it to them. I have 67K miles on it but I have an extended warranty till 95k miles and I am hoping it will be covered in that.
  • teamsterteamster Posts: 2
    Had front shocks replaced by independant mechanic (non-factory). In order to install shocks, they disconnected the sensors (located underneath front seat) that controls the comfort ride, and sport ride. Noticed immediately the ride was off... I was told no... no... every thing is fine. The ride was never the same.
    As time went on, a jerking sway (right to left, and left to right) became alarming noticeable. Scary, especially driving on the highway, and is happening more often.

    I was told, by an other mechanic, that by disconnecting those sensors a roll over could occur. A Major safety problem.

    Also, told that the shocks for the 1996 Pathfinder was the only year these particular parts were used.

    Anyone out there have this problem? Please help!!!
  • seacow1seacow1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 PF LE and the electronic heater will not turn off. You can adjust the settings to defrost, manual and automatic but the blower stays on full force. I don't think the temp control is responding either. As soon as you turn the car on the heater is full force. Anyone have any recommendations?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If the front defroster is turned on the vehicle will respond as you indicate. It remembers if it was on when you shut off the vehicle and comes on again when you restart. Touch the button to turn it off (when the vehicle is running). It will also remember this setting.

    If you select "ECON" or "AUTO" you do not control the fan. The fan should stay off (once the above defrost button is turned off) until there is heat in the heater core. Then the fan speed ramps up as the system tries to reach the temp. you have selected.

    Hope this solves your problem.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The swaying you describe is caused by rotted/worn bushings in the rear suspension's lower control arms. The problem has nothing to do with front suspension or shocks.
  • has anyone had to deal with hooking up the brake lock out solenoid on a late model pathfinder? how did you get power to the blue wire for the lock out? thanks. rr70
  • I have a 98 Pathy. About a month or so ago, I noticed that there seemed to a be a little hesitation or miss every now and then. At idle, the motor purred perfectly. Anyway, this condition seemed to get worse and worse over time, so I took it to my local mechanic. BTW, when I took it in, it was driveable, but it was missing consistently and repetitvely. He took the distributor cap off and started to look around. He said that there is a plate below the optical eye and after pulling this plate off, there were very small, fine metal shavings all around below the plate. He cleaned it up, put it back together, and ran flawlessly. Well, yesterday, my wife is driving it home from work and it started again, but much more worse. She had to pull off the side of the road. When I got there, it would barely idle. When I tried to drive it, it felt like and sounded like the drive shaft was trying to fly off. It was shaking like one of those bulls like you see those bull riders on on tv. Anyway, it would not pick up speed or power. So I had it towed to the same mechanic. He checked the same place again and said he used canned air to blow out a few metal sahvings from the same place. Now it runs great again. He said that he has never seen this before and he does not know where this metal flakes are coming from. He said that the only place he could think this was coming from was the distributor shaft and that somehow it was working it's way up the shaft. He said that normally when distributors need to be replaced, they will rock back and forth, but mine won't budge. Has anybody heard of this problem before and is my distributor going bad?
  • batch3batch3 Posts: 2
    Problem has been intermitting for 4 months, my daughter has been complaining the car would just stop or chug a long,with gas pedal to floor the car would not drive over 15mps. Every time I would go to rescue her the car would start for me. This past week she went to fuel up and the car would not start, not even for me. The car was towed to a local auto repair shop, he replaced the cold temp sensor
    however it did not work so he did not charge me for repair,
    I called the local Nissan dealer, he said they would not work on the car because it was to old. I have been told that it is fuel related that to much fuel was getting in engine . Any sugestions????
  • teamsterteamster Posts: 2
    xplorx4:
    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. In addition to the sway problem, I was also was told that the rear links were worn and needed to be replaced, the job would cost for about $1000.00. Who do you trust these days????
    Thanks again...
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Dude, $1000 is about $700 too much. The sway problem is CAUSED by the worn rear links, not IN ADDITION TO. Sheesh! Some mechanics! Get another quote from a reputable suspension/alignment shop.

    The lower links cost about $68 each, and you can even purchase them online (click here). Labor to R&R should be no more than an hour per side, unless you live in the snow belt and rust/corrosion is a factor.

    The upper links don't need to be replaced to cure the swaying problem, so if you want to stage the repair so it's not such a hit to the pocketbook, do the lowers first, see how the truck rides, then do the uppers.
  • docuksaedocuksae Posts: 1
    I've noticed lately when my swinging tailgate slams shut it sticks for a while and I can't seem to get it back open. Does anyone know what is happening? I was moving some furniture and now I can't get it out of the back of my Pathfinder. HELP!
  • Anybody know if you need special tools or tech info to replace the one of the rear 02 sensors on the 01 Pathfinder yourself or is it better to save time and trouble and have the dealer do it? I've been working on my cars myself over the years and have quite an assortment of auto tools to use. The dreaded SES light is on on mine and I paid $110 to my dealer to have it diagnosed. Now they want around $350 to replace one of the sensors and reset the computer. I called my local Precision Tune and they said they can do it for less but am not sure if they have the right diagnostic equipment to interface with the Nissan computer. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
  • I found that Nissan sells the factory Pathfinder service manual (complete set of 4 manuals) for $295 new. On Ebay I found several members supposedly selling factory service manuals on CD for under $10.00 Anybody ever use the factory service manual and if so how detailed is it? How does it compare to a chilton or haynes manual? Any input would be great fully appreciated! Thanks
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Go visit www.nissan-techinfo.com. There, you can get subscriptions to view the online FSMs (in PDF format) for various lengths of time. For example, a one-day subscription costs just $20. If you know how versatile a PDF is, and you know how to right-click, well...

    Granted, this doesn't give you the FSM in printed format, but you can have the whole thing in electronic format at your fingertips.

    The FSM is very useful, as it describes in detail each and every system, and complements a Haynes manual well.
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    FYI: I had one of my 02 sensors (01 PF) replaced after the SES light came on. I payed for the labor and part, but the reprograming the computer falls under the 8 year or 80,000 miles emissions warranty and you shouldn't have to pay for it. The Nissan dealer tried to charge me for the reseting...had to contact Nissan Corp and my local dealer reversed the charge.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I replaced the left rear myself and it wasn't that bad. The service manual says to apply anti-seize with a thread chaser before you install the new one. I found a "spark plug thread chaser" at Autozone & it was the correct size & pitch. I'm not at home right now so I can't say what size it is. If it's the right check it out & see if you can get an open end wrench on it. If not, they make an O2 sensor socket that's open on the side to allow the wires to slip in. I used the Bosch sensor, which is the OEM, & it has plastic things spaced along the wires that pop into the existing holes on the vehicle to hold the wires in place. Some of these are a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to get to. Expect scraped up arms. Bimmer4me is right on about the ECM reprogram being under the emission warranty. My dealer had me bring in proof I had changed the sensor & they did the reprogram no charge. www.bosch4less.com was the cheapest I found the sensor but it's not working right now for some reason... hopefully temporary.
  • batch3batch3 Posts: 2
    Problem has been intermitting for 4 months, my daughter has been complaining the car would just stop or chug a long,with gas pedal to floor the car would not drive over 15mps. Every time I would go to rescue her the car would start for me. This past week she went to fuel up and the car would not start, not even for me. The car was towed to a local auto repair shop, he replaced the cold temp sensor
    however it did not work so he did not charge me for repair,
    I called the local Nissan dealer, he said they would not work on the car because it was to old. I have been told that it is fuel related that to much fuel was getting in engine . Any sugestions????
  • sitanositano Posts: 5
    Personally... I would never go too a dealer for repair work. Unless it was warranty work... I believe that consumer reports also advise you find a reputable repair shop rather than use the dealers. They have way too many overhead cost to make the work reasonable & reliable. Now too address your problem...

    I had a similar problem where the car would run fine, then stop, over too the mechanic & it would run fine... we did this dance maybe 5 or 6 times... finally he said just leave the *&^% thing with him. Several weeks later he called to say that they finally figured out the problem. He had attached a seperate fuel pressure gauge and for several weeks drove the car to & from work, runs for the shop & started to track the fuel pressure. The problem was garbage in the tank, clogged fuel filter but the main problem was a intermittant fuel pump.He installed a new fuel pump & it hasn't done it again. But it took him a while to find it.
  • hey! I have an 04' Pathfinder LE Platinum Edition that is extremely loud in the engine. My engine makes a constant rapid cluck cluck cluck noise. Each cluck in 1 second intervals so it is constant. Like others have described on here, it has a diesel engine sound to it, but not as deep and throaty a sound. I baby this vehicle. I service it faithfully and treat it better than my wife! So, this is why I can't figure out why it sounds this way. Took it to 3 Nissan dealers. All say it is normal and nothing is wrong. However, the PF did not make this noise when I bought it. It only has 18k on it too, so it's still somewhat new. I'm running out of dealers to take it to. I feel like I'm getting the shaft here, because noise does not sound right at all, but I don't know what else to do!
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