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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • The following is a description of a problem with a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder with a total of 125,000 miles with Michelin LTX M/S, 31.0x10.5 tires, running at 40 PSI (hard).

    The original front struts lasted for 71,000 miles and had to be replaced because they were leaking. Heavy duty KYB struts were installed and currently have 54,000 miles on them. They have worked great up until now.

    The original rear shocks lasted for 51,000 miles and were replaced with heavy duty Gabriel shocks. In June 2005, we started a trip to Ohio and experienced a "waddle" type of instability. (As opposed to the usual "porpoising" caused by a pair of weak shocks.) The Gabriel's had 61,000 miles on them and I replaced them with a pair of heavy duty Monroe shocks. It significantly reduced the problem , but didn't completely eliminate it. By October, the Monroe's had 11,000 miles on them and the problem of "waddling" was worse than ever. It is triggered by any road unevenness and I have to apply the brakes to keep the car from oscillating (from side to side) out of control. In October I replaced the Monroe rear shocks with a heavy duty pair of KYB's and it again helped but did not eliminate the problem. The rear KYB shocks currently have 11,000 miles on them. The problem is now significant enough to be unsafe.

    A "hands on" check of the front and rear stabilizer bars and their connecting rods cannot detect any looseness. The same check on the rear panhard bar feels tight also. However, this is within the context that my attempted wiggling of the bars are probably a small percentage of the tension that is normally on these bars. All the rubber connectors appear to be whole and undamaged.

    The key question: Is this a strut/shock problem or a stabilizer system problem? (Or is it something else entirely?)

    The "waddle" can be best described as rocking from side to side and not front to rear. It seems to be about equally severe in both the front and back. The whole car "waddles" and not just a front or rear event.

    I've read other posts here that suggest this might be caused by worn rear links or lower control arms. What do you think?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Definitely worn bushings in the rear suspension lower control arms. This is a known issue on 96-99 Pathfinders. The mounting position of the shocks causes the bushings to wear faster than normal, since every up/down movement of the axle translates to a forward/back force induced by the shocks.

    The reason why the whole truck "waddles" is because the worn bushings allow each side of the axle to move forward or backward independently, effectively letting the rear axle "steer" the vehicle.

    Don't even attempt to troubleshoot anything else until after you've replaced the lower control arms, or it'll just be a waste of time and $$.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    Xplorx, I may be starting to experience the same "waddling" problem on my '01 PF. It has 103K miles. I heard on the Car Doctor radio show this morning that Nissan issued a TSB on this in 1998. Is it likely I have the same problem, or was the rear suspension design changed after the '99 model year? Thanks.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The rear suspension design was changed on 99.5+ models to reduce the premature bushing wear. This is the first time I've ever heard of an '01+ with this problem.
    However, with 103K miles on your Pathy, it's possible that some of your suspension parts may need replacing.

    One way to tell if your rear lower link bushings are worn is to park the vehicle on a level surface, chock the front wheels, release the parking brake and put the tranny in N. Then, grasp one of the rear wheels at 9 and 3-oclock and try to rotate it forward and back. As you do this, keep a very close eye on the stiffness/movement of the lower link relative to a fixed part on the frame, such as the gas tank skid plate, etc. Worn bushings will allow the lower link to move back and forth, instead of staying firmly positioned. You can also try to twist the link by hand. If it twists easily, the bushings could be worn.

    If you've never replaced the shocks or struts, I would first have that work done before doing the rear links.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 380
    Thanks for the tip, Explorx. It's very possible I have a different, but related problem. My truck doesn't seem to "waddle" as noticeably as some others have reported with the older model years, but the handling in my truck is not nearly as stable as it used to be. How does one check struts and shocks these days? Thirty years ago we would bounce each corner of the car, and if it bounced more than once, it was indication that the shock absorber needed to be replaced. My truck is not more bouncy than it used to be, the handling is just not as stable. BTW, I do have an Airlift kit, but I've had it for 5 years. I normally keep it at 6-8 pounds of pressure (the manual says to always keep at least 5 lbs.) except when I'm towing my boat or carrying a heavier than normal load. Thanks again for your help.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Shocks and struts- same method as 30 years ago. Also check for oil leaking around the strut and shock body.
  • sndpsndp Posts: 1
    Hi, I had bought a 2002 pathfinder LE a few months back and I notice there is vibration in seat at around 60(in 2WD mode). Is this normal? If not, what can be the cause? Goes away at higher/lower speeds.
    I had steering vibration before this and got balancing done with a shop with hunter gsp machine and that part seems very much improved.
  • kris2kris2 Posts: 22
    I left my Pathfinder overnight at the dealer but they were not able to replicate the transmission slip/engine flare. The mechanic at the dealer (Woodfield Nissan) went through the TSB and said my car has the parts mentioned in the TSB. I come back home and start to work the next day and the engine flare is still there and it has been cold in Chicago the past few days and I get the problem everytime I start my pathy after resting it a few hours. The dealer did not charge me for checking it out but I had to pay for the rental car which was otherwise cover in my extended warranty.
  • 1992 Pathfinder. It started to run rough about 10 miles from home, then proceded to run more rough and noticed smell of exaust (like a flooded engine) and high levels of smoke/exasut from the tailpipe. Now it won't start- it tries but won't catch. Before it stopped running I had to keep up the RPM's to prevent it from stalling. I replaced the fuel filter with no change.

    Any suggestions
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