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Nissan Pathfinder Owners Care & Maintenance



  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    I did not try that yet. I will let you know. Thanks bd70.
  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    I tried the economy mode but still hear the noise.
  • rc2001rc2001 Posts: 4
    I just drained and refilled the auto trans of my wife's 01PF (25K miles). 3 1/2 qts drained out and I put the same amount in, using Nissan's Dyna-matic D fluid. I thought about using Mobil 1's ATF but I don't have a lot of info on synthetic ATF so I took the safe route. Next project: drain and refill coolant.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey RC2001... nice timing on your post. I just had the coolant flushed & filled & I'm about to drain & refill the transmission. I'm going to use Mobil 1 ATF so we'll see if it makes a difference. It's amazing how little transmission fluid drains out. Total capacity on the 2001 PF is 9 qts. So when you drained 5 1/2 qts remained in the torque converter. Kinda makes you wonder if it's really doing any good... & makes those transmission fluid exchange services look good. I'll also be draining & re-filling the front & rear differential & transfer case & re-packing the front wheel bearing grease. Fun, fun, fun...
  • rc2001rc2001 Posts: 4
    You probably know it already but don't forget to buy the copper crush washer for your ATF drain plug. When I went to the dealer to buy the ATF, I asked the technician if I need a new washer for the plug and he said he doesn't know and he turned around and asked an older technician if a washer is required and he responded that I don't need a washer. Guess what, when I pulled the drain plug, it comes with a crush washer. Lucky for me, I bought extras for my oil drain plug. I'm still doing my research on coolant replacement. I found one of the air valve (by the firewall) and I think I found both engine block drain plugs (not sure yet). The one on the left is hard to get at. I agree with, fun,
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey RC2001, actually I didn't know there would be a crush washer on the ATF drain... thanks. So can I use the same crush washer as the oil drain takes? Also, has anyone re-packed the front wheel bearing grease? It calls for it at 30,000 miles & looking at the service manual it looks like disassembly is required. Can anyone give me some help?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    This procedure is somewhat time-consuming and quite messy. It does involve complete disassembly of the front hubs, but it's not difficult if you're somewhat mechanically inclined.

    Remove the 4WD hub according to the instructions shown at the link below (which details how to replace the full-time hubs with manual hubs). Mind only the details discussing removal of the outer hub.

    Then, continue to remove the bearings as shown here:
    Ignore anything discussing the automatic hub.

    You'll still probably need to buy new grease seals.
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    I found the left side block drain plug deep in a recess on the front of the engine. Look for a "hole" about 1 1/2" in size and about the same depth on the left front of the engine, about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down. It's actually hinted at in the owners manual. If you remove it watch out, because it will be very hard to put it back. I had to put a tiny powerful magnet inside the socket to hold it as I carefully inserted it into the hole (I first tryed without the magnet, but it fell off and it took me 30 min. to find it in the convolutions of the engine). I never found the right side one. I want to find a replacement for the left side plug that is about 1" long, so you can more easilly see it to remove, and so you can practically put it back (without fear of loosing it).

    If you find the right side one, please let us know where it is. I suspect it is under the engine mount.

    This is where Japaneze auto. companies fall flat (had the same problem with my former 1990 4Runner and never found the plugs in 11 years of searching). They need to make them easier to find, or run a tube to a place where it is accessable and put the plug there in the end of the tube!
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey XPLORX4, thanks a lot for the detailed instructions. Should be a big help. Just want to make sure it would be the same for a 2001 PF LE w/ AWD. I'm not sure what your's is or what the pics came from. Again, thanks a lot...
  • rc2001rc2001 Posts: 4
    Smokey75 - Yes, you can use the same washer as the oil drain plug. The ATF drain plug has the same size in diameter as the oil plug.

    Xplorx4 - After viewing the links, I don't think I'll be doing bearing re-packing any time soon. I can do basic maintenance but I'm not that mechanically inclined. So far, I've changed the oil (per scheduled maintenance/65F00 filter/5W-30), air filter, in-cabin filters, rotated the tires twice, installed rear wind deflector and greased the shaft assy. Basic maintenance stuff. I dreaded the day I have to change the spark plugs.

    Pathstar - Thanks for confirming the location of the left engine drain plug. I have to use a mirror to locate it and yes, I only have the owner's manual figures to guide me. As for the other engine drain plug, it's on the right side underneath the exhaust manifold toward the front of the engine. This is even harder to get at. I'm not 100% sure though but I'll let you know when I get to it and actually loosen it.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    smokey- the front hubs on the 01 AWD are practically the same as on every other 4x4 Pathfinder, 96 and up. After the hubs ("drive flanges" actually) are removed, the bearings and spindle are virtually identical to those on the Xterra. The only differences would be in the actual part numbers for the grease seals or the size of the bearings themselves. Other than that, the procedure is the same.

    If you want to be sure, you can pick up a Haynes repair manual at your local auto parts store, or purchase one from
  • jeg72jeg72 Posts: 18
    I had new tires but on my '01 4x4 yesterday and had a 4 wheel allignment done at the same time. Driving to work today it seems that my steering wheel is slightly offset to the right. (With the steering well pointed dead center the PF goes to the left. With it slightly right of dead center it goes straight.) Is this something that could be messed up when they do the allignment.


  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Centering of the steering is the last step in a wheel alignment. The vehicle has to be road tested to ensure the steering wheel is centred. It's easy to correct. Take it back and have them set it. Note that most roads have "camber" built into them (high centre so water runs off), and that this can also affect the steering wheel position. If you're sure it's the steering that's off, just tell them how much and in what direction. They can adjust and send you out for another road test.
  • I just brought my '02 Pathy LE in for the 7500mi. check and when I got it back the rims were scarred by the lug-gun they used when they rotated the wheels. Has anyone else had this problem or did I recieve a bad job and perhaps am entitled to something in return. My biggest gripe is that the truck was virtually brand new when I brought it in and now I have to keep eyeballing these nasty scars on my wheels...on all four! I'm not one for complaining but when someone brings in their brand new 350Z do they have to leave with blemished rims? I'm a fanatic about my vehicles and now I can't bear to look at my rims.I haven't gone back yet but I wanted to check with some owners before I stampeded into the dealership...thanks guys!
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Markipki: I have a 2001 XE, with spoked alloy rims like they have on the SE model. A tire shop put deep scratches on one of the rims, and I discovered it, took it to the manager, and had them sent it out to a wheel specialist shop which has a CNC lathe. I got it back weeks later, and looked brand new, even clear coated the rim after the machining. I did not pay for the repair, but it was estimated to cost me about CDN $150 each. If I were you, I would take it back.
  • I was just about to change the oil on our 03 PF LE when I read the posts about the crush washers. Not wanting to sound ignorant, I went and bought one, but still have to plead ignorance after purchase. Would someone please tell me which side to place against the oil pan and which side faces the drain plug head? Also, why is this better than a plain, flat copper washer?

    Thanks for your help.
  • mbuntingmbunting Posts: 158
    My 2001 LE just hit 30,000 miles

    My local Nissan dealer quoted me (about a 6 months ago) a price of $500.00 ~ 600.00 for everything that is required at 30k stage.

    That seems like alot to me (too much actually!) but I'm not sure.

    I'm no good with working/servicing on cars - and even if I was I really don't have the time these days with my current work schedule (Military @ 12 hr shifts!)

    Can anyone out there tell me what they paid at the 30k interval? Thanks for any and all info!
  • jeg72jeg72 Posts: 18
    I was going down the highway headed to the beach and looked down at my odomoter in my '01 4x4 PF LE. I had just passed 36K miles. I drove about another 90 miles before my CHECK ENGINE SOON light came on. Just took the car into the dealer today (37K miles) and it has been diagnosed as a bad O2 sensor. Since it was just out of warranty they are doing the following for me.

    Gave me a free rental/loaner
    Not going to charge me the diagnostic fee
    Not going to charge me for the part
    Going to give me ~30 off the labor.

    They told me that this takes about 4 hours and that once they replace the sensor they have to hook the car up to "the computer" and my PF's computer has to be completely reprogrammed. A process that takes quite some time to my amazement. In all I think that I am going to have to pay about $300. How much does this normally cost? Just wondering what kind of deal they are giving me.

  • I would say you are paying $300 too much. There is a longer than 36K mile warranty on emissions...look in your warranty manual. I don't have it in front of me, but I know that there are 3 emission warranties... one is up to 80K miles and CA has one up past that (if memory serves me correctly).

    I would press the dealer to cover the full cost... if the O2 sensor is NOT covered past the 36K miles, surely they could get reimbursed by Nissan for the full cost (as a good will and customer satisfaction repair). I know my dealer has made many exceptions AFTER the warranty on my previous and current Maximas and Quest (Pathy is just flawless so far). That is why we have kept coming back as a repeat customer.

    They ALL have leeway.

    Call Nissan if you have to (# on They can tell you all about the Nissan Emission warranties. But do it before you pay for the repair, otherwise you'll have less leverage.

    It all depends on how much $300 is to you.
  • jeg72jeg72 Posts: 18
    Thanks for the oxygen sensor information. I did call Nissan and in fact my emmissions warranty is the same as the the bumper to bumper (3yr / 36K). If I bought the car in CA that would be different. I'll talk more with the service manager at the dealership.

  • ced1ced1 Posts: 8
    They may no longer be officially covered by the 3/36, but because there is a Technical Service Bulletin on this exact repair, I think you should be able to have the repair covered. I had a Blazer with a $600 emissions problem that was covered long out of warranty, because there had been a TSB. My dealer never charged me. Nissan needs to step up to the plate on this.
    I feel strongly because my '01 LE had the same problem (fully covered) at 16,000 miles. Now I feel lucky...
  • I purchased a 2001 PATHFINDER LE in March 2001. I currently have 30,000 miles. By this August I am going to have 36000 miles thereby exhausting my warranty before March 2004. I was wondering if it is worth purchasing the extended warranty through Nissan before I reach 36000 mile. Nissan has not performed any of my regular maintenance so I do not know if they will hassle me if I brought the vehicle back to the dealer with an extended warranty. Has anyone purchased an extended warranty and if so what has been your experience and is it worth spending the 800-900 dollars for the extended warranty?
  • jeg72jeg72 Posts: 18
    Where did you see the TSB? I looked on the NHTSA website and I found nothing specific to the Pathfinder.
  • ced1ced1 Posts: 8
    The link to the nhtsa PDF file is:

    If you have trouble, or even if you don't, go here too it will be helpful:

    and search: vehicles/year/nissan truck/etc./etc... until you find it under exhaust manifold and oxygen sensors. Good luck! You should not have to pay!!!!
  • svier1svier1 Posts: 6
    I have a 1991 Se with the right rear window stop working. How do I remove the door panel to get to the window motor? I just can't seem to be able to remove the entire panel, keeps handing near the door pull. Any thoughts?
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142

    I just purchased a Nissan oil filter,and think I may change over to full synthetic motor oil. I have not changed the oil myself on this vehicle, but have access to ramps etc.

    As I need to check my metric wrench inventory, does anyone know the size of wrench to remove the drain plug and the engine protective shield?
    (2001 3.5 VQ engine)

  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Working from memory here woody, but as I recall the undercover bolts are 12 mm and the oil drain plug is either 14 mm or 17 mm - I think it was 17 mm. You just use a slot screwdriver for the center plastic holder (I threw mine away - it's not easy to remove and I don't think it does anything with all those bolts).

    Got to do my 30,000 km service in the next few weeks too.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Thanks for your help. I am recovering from a back injury and don't want to have to climb underneath too many times! Did you purchase a special oil filter wrench, or how do you remove the filter?

    I bought 5 litres of Castrol Syntec 5W/30, which is on sale at Canadian Tire for one more week ($6.49 litre). Is 5 litres sufficient?

    Thanks again, can hardly wait to get greasy again!

  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    5 litres is just perfect. I was wondering about whether you might have trouble with the filter last night. If the dealer monkey ;-) put the thing on you may need a wrench to get it off. I do mine "bare handed", as I don't over tighten them when I install them. The original one was too tight, and I used an expanding wrench (not a recommended procedure). The filter is smaller than most filter wrenches can handle. You can remove the "belt protector" (four bolts) if you have trouble. That will give you more room to apply necessary force. Canadian Tire has a fancy filter wrench that looks like it will work (take a filter to their store to check the fit). I don't think you want to order the Nissan part ($$$$$ as I recall).
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Thanks again. Last evening I looked at the filter wrenches at Canadian Tire, and saw they have one that fits over the end of the filter. I did not have the Nissan filter with me, and could not see a listing from their selection which would fit the Pathfinder. I will be prepared to have a wrench when I undertake the process. I think I should be good to go now.
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