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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair

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  • I've got a 2001 PF (bronzed) which I bought in the spring. After driving through the summer, here in Phoenix, I've noticed that the A/C does not perform very well. The air blows pretty cool, but I can drive on the highway for an hour with the A/C on high/recirc, and I never want to turn it down. I know its hot here (100+), but every other vehicle I'm in at least eventually gets to the point where I get cold and turn down the air. And of course on short trips around town, the A/C doesn't even cool to a comfortable level. Anyone else having a similar experience? I'm thinking I'll have the dealer check it out at the next oil change, but it seems more likely the the PF just has an inadequate A/C system.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    Oh yea you nailed it right off! It is becasue of an inadequate A/C systems and the lack of vents in the rear area. We have a Black LE with Black leather seats and we are in the South. As hot and humid as it gets here you can tell the A/C needs some help from Nissan's engineers. We've had ours through 2 summers now and have figured a few tricks to help out.
    Before jumping in and turning on the A/C, open the rear hatch and allow the hot air to escape. It helps to open a few other doors as well. To help the rear passengers, if you have them, adjust the side vents partially closed. This allows more air to blow from the center vents. The right center vent is most of the problem since it isn't as large as the other vents because of styling.??
    We did have our compressor replaced because it was making some noise. It didn't help/hurt the situation except for the noises. Many others in this forum have at least mentioned this topic.
    Good luck,
    Dano
  • I live in St. George, UT where we also get 100+ temps daily for several months. Mine seems to cool off just fine. I was originally concerned about not having rear vents, but I've had no complaints from rear seat passengers. I've got an LE with climate control so maybe that makes a difference.
  • The PF a/c system seems comparable to other SUVs I have owned...

    During hot months I too have often been frustrated by the HUGE amount of hot are in that cavernous interior. It is the price we pay for driving an SUV instead of a car. Remember we are cooling at least twice as much space as a regular car.

    Even though I purposely bought a light colored PF, it can still take forever to get that large interior cooled down. The same was true for my Ford Exploder too. Dark colors would only make it worse.

    First I use every possible trick to minimize solar heat gain (shades, venting, etc). Then I usually drive for several minutes with all the windows open to flush the hot air out. Then it only takes about 15 minutes to reach normal 76F temps...
  • Through trail and error I have learned a few tricks to make the A/C work better on my LE on very hot days. First push the interior air recycle button. This allows only cooler cabin air to enter the A/C and the air from the vents is much colder as a result. Secondly, angle the center vents up as high as you can and point them straight ahead. Your rear seat passengers will really appreciate this. Thirdly, use the manual fan switch to increase fan speed. And forthly, control driver and front passenger comform with side vents (angle them away form you and decrease air flow with dial if too cold!. Hope this helps.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    It is the price we pay for driving an SUV instead of a car.
    True it is an SUV but a better system can be installed by Nissan to make this less of a problem for a $30+ vehicle. For reference, take a look at a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition. They are considerably larger and have rear vents that really make cooling better. Not something we wouldn't buy again though.

    Dano
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    danog said:

    For reference, take a look at a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition. They are considerably larger...

    That's why they have to have the rear vents. They're LARGER. The Pathfinder is not a full-size SUV. The main limitation of cooling on modern A/C systems, especially in SUVs, is the refrigerant used. Long ago, the use of R-12 refrigerant was outlawed because of CFC emissions. R-134 took its place, but R-134 is much less efficient at cooling.

    It's really tough for an A/C system to combat intense interior heat, especially when you consider interior volume, lots of windows to let sunlight heat up the surfaces, and dark exterior paint to absorb all that solar radiation.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    Never said the Pathy was a full size SUV! Only made the comparison because it CAN be improved and even accommodate rear vents. No problem, if I didn't like the vehicle I'd get rid of it. Everything can be improved upon.
  • Recall Alert: NISSAN PATHFINDER
    Owner Notification Date: 9/11/2001
    Number of Units Potentially Affected: 31,000
    Component Description: STRUCTURE:HATCHBACK HINGE AND ATTACHMENTS
    NHTSA Campaign Number: 01V282000
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Description of Recall Campaign:
    Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles. 2001 model year Nissan Pathfinder
    vehicles manufactured from December 20, 2000, through June 8, 2001, and 2001
    model year Infiniti QX4 vehicles manufacturer from January 8 to June 8, 2001.
    Some of the brackets used to attach the two gas struts to the rear door (hatch)
    may not have been made to specification. At high ambient temperature, the
    increase in gas pressure in the strut(s) may cause one or both brackets to bend,
    resulting in the struts detaching from the bracket(s) when opening or closing
    the rear door.

    If both struts detach from the brackets, the door will rapidly fall down and
    possibly strike someone, possibly causing serious injury.

    Dealers will replace the brackets for the struts free of charge.
    Owner notification is expected to begin during September 2001. Owners who
    take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and
    do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Nissan at
    1-800-647-7261. Hawaiian residents should call 1-808-836-0888. Also contact
    the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at
    1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
  • Can anyone tell me if the Service Manual CD for a 2001 PF. LE. can be read by a Mac. My only other option seems to be about $400 (Can) for the three volume book. Have always purchased the SM for my current vehicle and have never paid more the $60, guess it's the new world.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    Minimum requirements are windows 95,98,NT. 486 or pentium pc.
    Or e-mail: Nissan@tweddle.com and they might have a suggestion.
    This is the Pub. co. for the cd.
  • Mark I received the following from Nissan@ tweddle
    "I did a little research at our company and this is the answer I received:
    The short answer is "yes, sort of."
    The install program is a .exe file which will not install on a Mac.
    However, the ESM is actually Pdf-based, which will function on either
    platform. So, while you cannot "install" the ESM as designed, you can still
    access the ESM information without trouble ( I did this on the G4 located in
    DID)."
    Thanks for the help.
  • Purchased a '97 LE in March '01. Vehicle had new Bridgestone Dueller H/L tires. I was unable to find a tire dealer who would give me trade in value against a set of Michelins.... so I kept the Bridgestones. The tires ride smooth (30psi) and perform well in rain.

    I recently researched Tire Rack's customer surveys and was happy to see customer satisfaction with H/L tires was second only to Michelin LTX M/S. As I understand it, the H/L tires are a different breed of cat -- and really are a premium tire. They should be given their retail price !

    We'll see how they perform this winter in Missouri.

    Barry
  • Question...I've got an 01' SE and the dealer is setting tire pressure to 30 psi as the manual calls for. The tire side wall, Dunlop Grand Trek 255/65/16, indicates upto 51 psi. That's a hugh difference and I currently have about 45 psi and the truck seems to ride and handle much better. Anybody have any good insight?
  • Hey JMSSMITHBC1... the manual doesn't call for 30psi. It calls for 26 psi cold (when the tire is not heated by driving). You can also find this in the driver's side door jamb or glove box. The 51 psi you speak of is what the tire manufacturer calls for w/ MAX LOAD. The PF is nowhere near max load. If you read on the tire it should say max pressure "something" psi at max load "something" lbs. Every manufacturer has a recommended psi for their vehicle unless their vehicle is MAX LOAD for that tire. This is what the manufacturer has determined will give you the best handling for this specific vehicle. Most SUVs have a low recommended psi because it makes them more stable & less likely to roll over, among other reasons. The drawback to this is that they will wear out faster.
  • Smokey75 is absolutely correct. Also as further proof the NHTSA says to use the manufacturers recommended limits which are found on the door jamb of the vehicle. For Pathfinders it's 26psi. Those limits are determined by the vehicle weight and typical loads. Based on the conditions your using your vehicle for, it may require adjustments to the tire pressure (i.e. towing, 5 passengers with full cargo).

    As a personal preference i set mine to 30psi, since i rarely have a full load or tow anything. I was also noticing a "bouncy" quality at 26psi and had less road feel. At 30psi, i've found a happy medium and feel with normal rotation it should help to keep the tires from abnormal wear.

    S-66
  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    Here's my 2 cents:

    I run 35 in the fronts and 30 in the rears.
  • Smithmd,
    How often do you rotate your tires? Have you noticed any uneven wear on them since you run higher pressures in the front?

    Just wondering,
    S-66
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I think smithmd runs different pressures in front vs rear tires because more weight is on the front tires than on the rear. I have 31" BFG All-Terrains, which I have run between 33 and 38 psi on the road. At pressures below 30 psi, I noticed more noise during cornering and braking.
  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    xplorx4 is right. I run more pressure in the front because the front of the truck is heavier and because the front tires tend to wear on the outside edge due to all of the forces placed on the front tires when turning (ie. they roll onto the outside edge...moreso when the pressure is lower). I've found that if I run 35 in the front, they don't wear as poorly. On the other hand, the rear tires wear perfectly at about 28 to 30 psi. Just be sure to air them up to 35 (or more if your tires are rated as such) when hauling a load or pulling a heavy trailer.

    When I moved from Wisconsin to Texas, I had a full load plus my boat in tow. My current tires are rated for a max of 45 or 50 psi. I ran 40 in front and 43 in the rear. Now that I'm driving around town with nothing in or behind the truck, I'm running 35 in the front and 30 in the rear, again.

    Also, I rotate my tires at every oil change...3 to 4 thousand miles.
  • To everyone who responded to my question regarding tire pressure, thank you!
  • Has anyone tried Toyo tires? I'm hearing good things about them and have gotten an internet price of $91 w/shipping in a 255-65-16. Significant less compared to Michelin LTX's and reviews indicate 1/2 finishing order.
  • gkatz1gkatz1 Posts: 296
    Enough with tire pressures already! Can anyone tell me if they had the tranny on their Pathy repaired after experiencing flaring or slipping. There is a bulletin regarding this. The number is NTB00084. If you have had the problem corrected can you tell everyone how it was fixed. Thanks.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    YES the PF are having transmission problems. Mine started slipping last weekend. I took it to the dealer for "check engine light" and found both rear O2 sensors out witch they had to order. The Nissan Service Bulletin has to do with slipage a low oil and trans temp,under 140 deg F. Or when the engine has been off for over 3 hrs!! The leather seats are comming apart and they look like they are 100 years old!! This LE PF is less than 1 year old and just turned 10k. Nissan what a peice-o-junk. Might not ever purchase another
    Nissan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • sabre66sabre66 Posts: 45
    I've had my Pathfinder LE for 2 months now and grow to love the vehicle more each day. Of course every vehicle will spur a few minor gripes or grumbles, but i would never call the Pathfinder a piece-o-junk. I do truly feel for you, if yours is a lemon. I've had a few lemons and man it burns you up inside to have a new vehicle that's in worse shape than a 3 year old rental car.

    I agree that the leather could be a little nicer. But i've had several vehicles with leather and found that if you condition it regularly and don't abuse it (soak it with wet clothes, coffee, water...) it will stay nice. I'd take your Pathfinder into the dealer if the seats are coming apart. Take it back and insist they replace them. Noone should be experiencing leather seats unraveling on a $35K vehcile.

    The tranny on mine has been a little quirky, but as the miles are adding up it's becoming smoother and more predictable. I think it does a pretty good job at motivating a 4000 lb vehicle to 60 in under 9 sec. For the most part it's pretty smooth, too. There's the occasional hard shift, but i've noticed that with every auto tranny i've owned. There was another post of someone taking their's in for a similar problem and now it's working better than new. If mine acts up i'll pull up the TSB and take it to the dealer to be fixed. I'm sure it will take some discussing with the service manager, but they'll fix it.

    My only words of wisdom to the masses here is to find a good service department. I've had nothing but trouble with the service dept. at the dealership i bought mine at. Now i'm taking to one closer to my work and think it will be a much better experience. I think for minor work you could even take it to an Infinity dealership and get much better service.

    Anyway that's my thoughts on my Pathfinder experinces so far.

    S-66
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    Sorry to hear your experience turned sour. You seemed so pleased in the beginning. I have been in your shoes upside down on a PITA(pain in the ___) auto. It was 3 ford Explorers in my situation. While I feel for you, I'm glad that it seems isolated. I recall one other poster here since I started posting 4/00 that had any resemblence of your concerns, and I believe Hers is a 2000 PF.
    My 01 PF experience has been awesome. I haven't owned a tighter better built vehicle since my Honda Accord. My wife has a 2000 expy Eddie Bauer. We bought it 6 months after the PF. It already feels loose and has multiple rattles. The PF remains as tight as day one. Now at 17.5k miles.
  • pat5000pat5000 Posts: 13
    I just hit 10K and my service engine light came on also,I hope it's not the same problem you had. I've had many Toyota's and have never had any problems. My drivers seat is starting to look crappy also and I use Lexol on the leather. I sure wish Toyota would have had the power when I was in the market a year ago. I beginning to wonder if I made a mistake in my purchase.
  • After fussing with Nissan for over two months.I finally called Toyo about my excessively worn tires @20,000 miles. My local Toyo dealer said 35 psi. Toyo said definitely 26 psi. Toyo is giving me 60% adjustment because the toyo dealer told me otherwise. Also my Pathfinder would barely align to specs. Excessive negative camber. Evidently Nissan is setting them up this way for a more stable cornering at high speeds. But, boy is the owner sure paying for the short tire life.I had a good front end man add adjustment kits and set zero on camber and 3 degrees neg. on toe. This is suppose to do the trick.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    I have been driving Nissans for over 25 years and this PF has to be the worst as in initial quality and the most disappointing. Except a '94 Explorer,I had it 14 months. I have to return to the dealer for them to replace the o2 sensors and I will discuss the leather seats with the service manager. He was not there last Friday when I took it in for the "service engine soon" light and the trans problem. The Nissan service Bulletin issue is not for the problem I'm having. I took a copy of it with me last Friday. Steve
  • sabre66sabre66 Posts: 45
    You have me worried since you've been driving them for years and think this one's the worst. Do you think yours is just an anomaly?

    This is my first Nissan and SUV so i hope it doesn't turn out to be a bad experience. So far i'm pretty pleased. I only have 4000 miles on mine and haven't had any minor or major problems not created by the dealership. I don't have the terrible shimmy everyone talks about, my transmition doesn't slip and my seats are holding up. To date, i love mine and have heard alot of others say the same.

    Hoping for 100,000 miles of problem free driving.
    S-66
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