Nissan Pathfinder blows cold air while idling

wildbill4wildbill4 Member Posts: 2
We have found on the internet that many 2005 owners have a problem with the heater blowing cold air while idling. Once we get going again it blows hot air. But we are unable to find a solution. Can anyone help?


  • joe05joe05 Member Posts: 11
    I had the same problem in my 06 Pathfinder, only it was occurring when the temps didn't get above -10 fahrenheit. I took the vehicle to a Nissan dealer and they diagnosed as the heater hose was seeping, and all it needed was a repositioning of the clamp, and then air bled from the system.
  • kalekale Member Posts: 15
    Interesting! I have a 2005 LE and have the EXACT same issue! I just called up the dealer (he has the Pathy for some other issues :( ; and had him look into it :mad:
  • adjudic8radjudic8r Member Posts: 1
    So . . . . what did the dealer say was the problem?

    I have the same issue with my 2005 Pathfinder LE, even after replacing the radiator last year due to leakage. It also seems to take around 15 minutes for the heat to kick in whie driving, even though the blower seems to kick in with 5 minuts just blowing cold air.
  • dbussell78dbussell78 Member Posts: 4
    My problem was the heater core went bad. All good now. :)
  • bert2xbert2x Member Posts: 2
    On my 2001 LE, the heated air blows out the upper vents and windshield defroster but only cold air comes out of the floor vents. I can see the control arm moving to change the air paths. Everything else seems to work fine. Any ideas?
  • mcribbmcribb Member Posts: 20
    I had this same problem. Take the radiator cap off when the path. is cold and see if it is low with water. If the radiator is 2 or more inchs low with coolent , the car will not heat when idle. Fill it up and everything SHOULD be fine. There may be other problems if this does not work. This fixed my 2006 path.
  • bert2xbert2x Member Posts: 2
    I did what you instructed, but the fluid in the radiator looked full. I put fluid in the reservoir anyway and went out for a little drive and amazingly I now have heat top to bottom.

    Thank you much!!
  • mlaniermlanier Member Posts: 23
    Not sure if you have solved this problem yet, but I had my 05 Pathfinder for a recall and asked the mech and service manager, What causes this problem? Their reply was the system is a vac system not like older systems, which means the system is air bound, it needs to be bled to get the air out. There are a couple of ways to do this, 1 Is to find the bleeder valve in the coolant system which is near the firewall, and bleed it there while engine is running at temp.
    2 Is to take the radiator cap off while vehicle front end is jacked up off ground or parked on a slope so while it is heating up the air will be forced out of system.
    Hope this helps you out.
  • smimonsmimon Member Posts: 1

    We are having the same problem with our 2012 Pathfinder. I thought my husband was exaggerating the lack of heat, it has been in the single digits her for about a week. I used the Pathfinder last night to pick up my daughter at a friends, of course she wasn't ready when I got there so I sat and waited. I am accustomed to the heated seats in my VW so I was really cold. I tried switching to inside air, thinking maybe the heating system simply could not compensate for the very cold outside air. Nothing worked. When she finally came out and we started moving, we had heat. My husband has it at the dealership right now for a scheduled oil change so he will ask them to assess the problem. I am hoping it is something simple like a loose hose or that the system just needs to be bled. We had a problem with air pockets in the heating system of our Porsche. My husband made a tool to bleed even the smallest bubbles from the system. When you use the bleed screw you lose a bit of coolant every time you do it, the way he does it you don't lose coolant.

  • epuckett1epuckett1 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2015
    First thing,  don't remove the radiator cap and run the pathfinder, it will create more of a mess than its worth. It was a simple fix in my case: with cool engine remove radiator cap and fill to just below where the overflow tube connects to the radiator neck, place the radiator cap back on.  Next remove reservoir cap, fill half way and drive with cap still off for 15-20 minutes to allow the system to purge all air from coolant lines. Be sure roads are fairly smooth,  bumps won't cause an issue but you wouldn't want to do anything that would slosh coolant out.  Prior to doing this my heat would only work in the front and that would only work when accelerating. Now front and rear heat works great at all times. 
  • jcigmanjcigman Member Posts: 1
    I was having the same problem with my 2012 Pathfinder, 68k miles. It has not been running hot or having any issues, but noticed this winter when idle it would blow cold air when set to hot. Then hot again once moving. I successfully fixed it using the advice above - I added a coolant mix to the radiator (when cold) to bring it just up to overflow pipe level. This was actually about 2 cups of fluid - so it must have been a little low even though the reservoir was right at correct level. I capped the radiator, but left the cap off the overflow reservoir. I started the vehicle and waited while it came up to temperature. I then capped the reservoir and noticed perfect hot air coming out at idle. Strange fix I must admit, but did the job! I intended to perform the first coolant fluid change anyway later this year.
  • nissanfixernissanfixer Member Posts: 1
    I had same heating problem with 2011 Nissan Pathfinder. I was checking all sorts of things like the heater control valve, hoses going into heater core to check for clog, and even did a fluid change. I was even looking at the price of parts.

    The suggestion by Epuckett101 worked and fixed my heating problem!! Thanks.

    I've been working on cars since I was 16 years old. I've always had a motto "never take your car to the dealer, once you buy it." All they do is run up a $500 bill on you and sometimes you get more problems. This has worked for me. I'm 53 now, and I still do all the work. However, I had a high pitch sound coming from the engine at times when accelerating from a stop. Since I couldn't figure it out I took it to Nissan (I know, I broke my own code). They convinced me it was the intake manifold, the nice mechanic was about my age and certified. He even showed me where the sound would come from. So, I coughed up the $600 dollars to have it replaced. They even tried to bilk me for more money with a "tune up special"another $400 that would include plug change. I declined.

    Here's what happened. They had my car 3 days and called to say it was done. I picked up and drove it and about 3 hours after I pick up I hear the same intermittent high pitch sound. I contact the service manager and explain the issue. He agrees to credit me the money next time I bring the car in for service to apply to fix whateer is needed and have a look at the noise. Needless to say, I don't go back to get drained for more money.

    The noise comes and goes all summer, but does not indicate any problem driving and sometimes for weeks I don't hear it. Well then winter comes and guess what? My heater is not working at idle. The only time I get heat is when driving and going about 2500 - 3000 rpms. So, as a I said before I do the coolent change, but that doesn't help. I know from previous car work to "burp the cooling system," but as I find out there's a special way to do it on these "vacuum" type cooling systems.

    So, I figured out how my heater problem started... The Nissan dealer installed the problem when they replaced the manifold. They did not get the air out of the system once they put it back together and refilled the anti freeze. Of course, I didn't notice in the summer because I don't use heat then. So, I run into a problem they created in the winter first time I go to use the heat.

    Thanks Epuckett101, I did exactly as you said and my heating is working now.
  • Tom75TomTom75Tom Member Posts: 1
    Dealing with a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder borrowed from a friend. The interior air blows cool when in full heat at idle, but blows hot once driving. Stop sign, cool air again. Figured it was a bad thermostat. Pulled it out, it had gouges on the side, but worked in boiling water. Installed a cheap Advanced Auto parts one. Now it blows hot at idle, but the lower radiator hose is staying cold to the touch at idle. When driving it, the electric fan kicks on and stays on but the temp gauge stays in the middle. I fear the thermostat is now staying closed?? Thoughts?
  • Jay52729Jay52729 Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem few months back, guess before this whole RONA thing.
    Anyways I replaced thermostat in my 06 Pathfinder with that of one of the local auto parts store and truck ran ok, however, same symptoms your experiencing.
    I know in previous experience, that my pathfinder prefers NISSAN parts at least when it comes to cam sensor.
    With that in mind I bought a NISSAN thermostat from dealer and swapped out thermostat again and problem was fixed. I’ll see if I could attach a pic I took of both thermostats.
    There was a slight difference. I guess enough to make a change
  • LovemyPathfinderLovemyPathfinder Member Posts: 1
    I was having the same problem with my 2012 Pathfinder blowing cold air while idling. I followed the advice from this Forum to add coolant to the radiator and problem solved. Thank you so much! It's nice to have heat again while idling.
Sign In or Register to comment.