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Nissan Pathfinder Owners Care & Maintenance



  • pat5000pat5000 Posts: 13
    I just did a drain & fill on tranny. Put in Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. Drained approximately 4 qts. Will do this about every 10k miles. I'm
    at ~10k now, will eventually be full syn.
  • Steve,
    I am not really looking to get messy here. Just wondering whether or not there is a "real" way of draining all the fluid out of the tranny. And it now seems that there isn't so I guess I will go the route of mixing in synth and dino and hope to approach full synth after a few drains.

  • lrobert and others ...

    Turtle Wax makes a product called Black Chrome (~$3 at the local Kragen's) that is a rub-on liquid compound for restoring luster to black trim. I originally used it because I got wax on the trim and it had left a white residue. It worked so well that I began using it on other pieces, such as the step on the rear bumper and the mudflaps, to restore that new car appearance. Hope this helps.
    Owner Notification Date: 9/11/2001
    Number of Units Potentially Affected: 31,000
    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).
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Last weekend I climbed under my truck (a 97 LE 4x4) to change the oil and look for any other abnormalities. I noticed grease on the right axleshaft and splats of grease on the fender and front suspension.

    "Hmmm, that doesn't look right." After the oil change, I investigated the source of the grease and found that the inner CV boot was torn- quite significantly.

    Fortunately, the tear appeared to be recent, as the grease splats seemed fresh and dust-free. The next business day I took the truck in to be repaired, and was quoted only $20 for parts and $120 for labor. They mentioned that if I had not noticed the problem, it's likely the axle would have needed to be replaced (at a cost of $300 parts/$140 labor).

    It definitely pays to be familiar with the underside of your truck, and inspect it often.
  • The front axle housing (psgr.side) on my 01-LE, has been leaking what it seems to be gear oil since day one. It's not pretty bad, maybe a drop on the floor every 3 or 4 days, but enough to get me worried. The dealer told me a couple of times that it was normal bleeding and that eventually will go away. Since it's still happening after 5000miles, I called the dealer today to schedule an appointment and also spoke w/the tech. He's saying now that many owners are having the same problem and mine is nothing compared w/other 01 PF's. Is any one having the same problem? I'm asking myself why if this problem is so common I do not see any postings?? He also told me that it's not gear oil but grease from the CV boot that somehow it's making it through the from axle housing ?? That's this make any sense?? Your advise is very much appreciated.
  • Mine has never leaked a drop. It's not even oily at the shaft. May have been overfilled, causing pressure to build up inside. Anyway, I don't think it's "common".
  • PathStar:
    That's what I thought too but I checked the front diff fluid level and it is OK. I don't know what to think, to me it's gear oil and the tech keep telling me that is grease from the CV boot?. I am going to wait to see if someone else is having the same problem here.
    Thanks for your reply!.-AW
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Where exactly is the oil leak coming from? If it's from the "pumpkin" it's diff oil. It shouldn't be possible for CV grease to leak, except from the CV boot itself. If it's from the CV axles where they bolt onto the diff housing (shown removed from vehicle below) , it could be diff oil, if the axle bolts or seals are malfunctioning.

    If the oil has a strong odor, however, it's likely diff oil. It's wise to have it fixed. Let us know what it was.


  • xplorx4:
    It's leaking from the CV axle where it bolts onto the diff housing (passenger's side). The mechanic told me that although it looks like gear oil (green/strong odor), it's actually grease from the CV boot and in order to fix it they will have to remove the CV boot and seal something in there using some kind of silicone adhesive? I know nothing about front differentials nor CV boots but this doesn't sound right to me.
    After Pathstar's reply, I removed the filler plug to make sure the oil level was OK, let it drain until no oil was coming out (it was about a measuring cup overfilled) I drove it abt 50 miles and the leak is 60% gone! Do you guys think a measuring cup overfill can cause a leak??
    Thanks so much for taking the time to help me!
    Regards, AW
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621

    Honestly, I don't know how the innards of the diff housing are arranged in order to cause overfilling to leak out the side, nor if the mechanic's diagnosis about the CV boots was accurate. It sounds like you may have fixed the problem, but if it persists, I would still take it to the dealer under warranty. I know it's an inconvenience, but in the long run, it's worth it take care of it before the warranty expires.
  • - I took my 01-LE this morning for service and the following is what the mechanic wrote on the work order:
    >>Oil residue from inner CV Joint seaping past retainer plate on inner CV Joint. R&I inner CV Joint and sealed retainer plates on both front CV axles<< So, the leaking was not gear oil but CV boot grease. I did not notice any leaks today so it seems that the problem has been corrected. Thanks for the input guys! -AW
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I recently did some work on the front axles on my truck. While I was in there, I took some photos of where the CV joint bolts up to the axle.

    Click here to see an image of the axle housing where the CV joint bolts up.

    Click here to see an image of the CV joint plate

  • XPLORx4:
    It all makes sense to me now after seeing your photos. If you ever think about moving to Colorado, let me know...I want to be your neighbor :) Thanks again for your time! BTW, your LE looks awesome! -AW
  • I have a 2001SE, the owners manual on page 10-2 says for the VQ35DE engine is to use minimum 91AKI so we use "plus "gasolines and always a major supplier like Shell, Exxon, etc. I rarely buy from the stop and robs. Good gas, new filters, and frequent oil changes with either synthetic or synthetic/mineral combos are cheaper then all the trouble you can have. I have an 85 Maxima with 207000 plus miles on it and it runs great with no major problems with the engine, clutches, well my kid goes through those soon enough!! I have tried the regular grade, but noticed a ping when I get on it real hard. These engines are a little higher compression the those that use regular. Just my thoughts.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Check out the new Maintenance Guide! Link is provided in the Additional Resource Box.

    Owner's Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Have reached about 6000KM on 2001 SE with AWD and plan to have car buff son change oil, tranny, differentials. My dumb question, do you need to replace filter and seal on transmission when changing? Does transfer case fluid need to be changed? (Where is it?)
    Bought Havoline auto tran fluid, Mercon Dexron III, Mobil lSAE 75W-90, GL 5 Synthetic gear lube for transfer case, Valvoline Synthetic Blend 80W-90 gear oil, GL 5 for front and rear differentials. Rear is Limited slip. Valvoline label says recommended for regular and limited slip. Does this mix xound OK? Thanks for comments. Bob
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    The trans has just a screen. Not a paper filter. I changed the filter but I would not do it again. The drain plug drains most of the oil out. I also changed the fluid in the transfer case if you use the AWD during the winter on icy and snowy roads alot it might be a good idea to change this fluid once per year. The transfer case has several clutches that engage and slip to transfer torque to the front axle and the fluid will need changing. Also there are two pumps in the transfer case that would last longer pumping clean oil. There is a drain and filler plug I think you use a 3/8 square
    extension to remove and replace the plugs. Should be easy to spot the plugs on the drivers side of the case.
    Very important!! Transfercase uses auto trans fluid!!
  • Thanks for heads up, not sure how I got wrong info on 75-W90. Got oil, filter, tranny, front differential changed last night, about 4000 miles.
    Polished and waxed with Meguiar's Showcar Glaze and Yellow wax # 23. Found a new (for me) product, Meguiar's Gold Class Trim Detailer ,that worked Super on black trim. It obliterated wax residue and left everything looking like new. Great stuff.
  • mazadimazadi Posts: 26
    I was recently the unlucky recipient of a rear ending. Some idiot wasn't paying attention and plowed into the car behind me at a stop light. She hit the car behind me so hard that it was forced into mine, and did a fair amount of damage. The woman who caused the accident blamed everything and everyone except the fact that she was on her cell phone and not paying attention! She even tried to blame a tire that was on the side of the road. Unfortunately, that tire was MY spare tire which was broken off when the car she hit was pushed underneath my car. Arrghhh!

    Unfortunately, there are no Nissan dealers near me. My insurance company has suggested taking my car to the body shop of a Honda dealer near my house. Does anyone know if it matters whether I take my car to a Nissan dealer, or is it just important to take it to a reputable shop?
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    I would suggest finding a body shop with a good reputation. Although a Nissan shop is more familiar with Nissan vehicles, most body shop and paint guys learn to work on all types of vehicles. I have had a few cars repaired and I can't tell you how important it is to find someone who will not rush the job and do it right. I have several friends that went to school and paint cars. It is pretty amazing what they can see that I can't. Find several shops and decide which one you feel most comfortable with.
    It really doesn't matter what she was doing, even though she was on the phone, she hit you guys from the rear which is automatically her fault in Alabama. Sorry to hear your troubles but I hope this info will help.

  • mazadimazadi Posts: 26
    Dano-thanks for the info. I've decided to go with the shop that my insurance suggested because my insurance will then warrantee the work as well as the shop.

    You're right that it should automatically be her fault. Unfortunately, her insurance is claiming that the other driver was too close to me so they are only partially responsible. I'm going to have to cover this on my own insurance, while my insurance company battles it out with the other two companies in arbitration. What a pain.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    Well let them say the driver was to close to you, just have your insurance company ask them did they hit you before being hit or after. I guess there could be some law stating how close you can be before being to close. It is a pain for all involved, at least you are safe.

  • Any advantages to using mid-grade fuel on a 2000 pathfinder that requires only 87AKI? Will engine run cleaner or it is a waste of money? If a waste, why is there 89 grade fuel? What is its purpose?
  • Kpt_Krunch,

    Short answer:

    Don't waste your money on 89 for an 87 octane engine.

    Long answer:

    The octane rating is a measurement of how easily a gasoline ignites (i.e. at what temperature/pressure it will combust). The higher the rating, the more resistant the gasoline is to combustion. In high-performance engines (i.e. high compression, variable valve timing, etc.), you "cook" the air-fuel mixture more in order to derive more power, and hence you need high-octane fuel so that it doesn't combust prematurely and cause the engine to "knock" or "ping."

    Old, dirty engines will develop carbon deposits in various nooks and crannies on the piston face which will create "hot spots" - areas which are significantly hotter than the rest of the cylinder - and prematurely ignite the air-fuel mixture. Instead of performing costly engine work, many people will simply feed a higher octane gasoline to these engines until the knocking goes away. It is simply a band-aid instead of a real cure.

    In normal engines, there is nothing to be gained from a higher octane gas than recommended, since all you are buying is a greater resistance to combustion that you don't need. Oil companies used to add better detergents to premium gas, but all the detergents in all brands and grades of gasoline are so good now that that rationale behind buying premium is moot. Going to a lower than recommended grade of gasoline should not be done. A modern engine probably won't knock because the electronic ignition will retard the timing of the spark, but that will lead to a loss of power, lower fuel economy, and possible long-term damage.

    Considering all of the above, my 3.3L engine only drinks 87 and so should yours. :)
  • Thanks for the info Brian, it's kind of what I thought. Nothing but 87 for now on (that's what is recommended).
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    It gets even more interesting. The second gen. non-turbo RX-7 (rotary engine) gets much poorer mileage with premium fuel compared to 87 octane. Turns out the premium burns to slow or ignites too late in the cycle and much of it is lost burning in the exhaust pipe. I haven't experienced this in a 4 cycle piston engine, but I've read of others having it happen to them. It's happened to me in 2 stroke motorcycles.

    Newer vehicles with computer controls should adapt, but the range they can adapt over may be limited (e.g. beware in Mexico if you need premium and try to run regular because it was all you could get).
  • I've noticed since recent big drop in gasoline prices that many stations are no longer charging the $.20 per gallon lug on 91 over 87 octane. I have found one that is only .09 higher. Makes you wonder doesn't in. Old timers will remember when they wanted more money for unleaded than leaded gas when both were readily available.
  • 01path01path Posts: 5
    I love these message boards! They have helped me out in the past and I am looking for some help again. I recently noticed some tiny reddish-orange "specks" on my 2001 Pathfinder SE (Sierra Silver). They look like "rust dust". I don't think there is a paint defect as the specks are on the molding as well as the doors, rear lift gate and bumper. It is extremely difficult to remove the spots. I have tried bug and tar remover but have found using my fingernail works better. However, I am not thrilled at doing this for what seems like 100 or more specks, and I don't want to risk damaging the paint. As a result, I have three primary questions:

    1) Does anyone know what caused this? I have owned the vehicle for 6 months (since new), but have never noticed this in the past. I live in Michigan where we have been getting a lot of snow, but I don't that snow (or the road salt) is the culprit. I also don't think any sort of acid rain fallout is responsible either as there are no spots on my hood or roof.

    2) Is there a product available that can remove these spots without harming the vehicle's finish? As I mentioned before, I have really only tried Bug & Tar remover so far.

    3) Is there a wax or polish available that can treat the painted surface to make it more difficult for the rust spots to adhere (or make it easier to remove them in the future)?

    Any comments/suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for the help!

  • I just purchased a used 98 Pathfinder with 32,000 miles on it. I have a few questions. I do not know who owned the car before so I assumed that the dealer did an overhaul on the car, but, it pulls to the right so I am assuming it needs an alignment, It is very loud in the back seat so I am assuming that the tires are not the right tires . My biggest concern is that the wheel bearings? have not been repacked. I have never owned a 4-wheel drive vehicle so I have no idea when to have it done or what to look for if they need to be done. I think the owners manual said to have it done at 30,000 miles but I have to assume it was not done. Does anyone have any suggestions for maintenance? I am coming from a 1992 Sundance. I was going to follow the owner's manual recommendations for maintenance but would appreciate any advice for things to look out for. Thanks in advance. This is the first time I have ever posted a question so bear with me.
This discussion has been closed.