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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair

crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
So far, this is the most annoying problem on the Pathy. There is a TSB on it. Can one of the members post it here for everyone's sake. Thanks.

Oh yeah, I'm first here.


  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    #538 of 975 
    NTB/TSB for shimmy by smithmd  Jan 05, 2001 (03:20 pm)

    Here is everything about the shimmy. I found my old post. I'd actually saved it in a text file on my PC just-in-case. I'm still shimmy free. Now the other old post:
    I just got the Nissan Service Bulletin I had
    mentioned. It's 11 pages and includes and lot of
    stuff, so I won't attempt to reproduce it on this
    page. I will say that on the flow chart, the first
    question is, "Is this vehicle equipped with Nissan
    OEM wheels and tires?" If the answer is no, such
    as if you have already replaced the tires, the flow
    chart states, "This Technical Service Bulletin and
    Nissan Warranty Coverage do not address vibration
    that can be caused by after market products or
    modifications." Even though you've replaced your
    tires already, you might ask your tech to print you
    off a copy of this NTB.
    I remember some folks talking about having their
    wheels chromed. The next question in the flow
    chart is, "Are the Nissan OEM wheels aftermarket
    chrome plated?" If the answer to this question is
    yes, you get the same response as the guy that has
    already replaced his tires.
    Nissan Service Bulletin
    Classification: ST99-001
    Reference: NTB00-061
    Date: July 18, 2000
    1999.5-2001 Pathfinder steering and/or body
    Applied Vehicles: 1999.5-2001 Pathfinder (R50)
    Service Information
    If a 1999.5-2001 Pathfinder exhibits steering
    and/or body vibration while driven (without
    braking) at speeds between 60 and 70 MPH, the
    cause(s) may be:
    - Road input (road surface imperfections)
    - Out-of-balance front or rear tires/wheels
    - Insufficient steering rack sliding force
    - Tire flat spotting
    - Excessive tire Radial Force Variations (RFV)
    The last part (RFV) is where they look to index or
    match balance your tires and if that still doesn't
    work, they replace your tires.
    Hope this helps.

    Copied without permision - I hope no one is offended.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I figured I would post this here also. In the last 1000 or so starts in my 2001 PF LE, I once had a situation where it didn't fire up in 2 tries (didn't even cough). I finally depressed the gas pedal a bit and cranked and she fired up like there was no problem. No problems since...but kind of weird for a truck that usually starts and runs so well.

    I'm at 3400 ft in Calgary, but the truck was in my heated garage. It also hadn't been used for a few days and the weather had warmed up considerably. I'm wondering if maybe it was just condensation in the tank? Anybody else have this problem?
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    While I'm at it, I've noticed this truck can give you quite a kick when downshifting from 2nd to 1st, even with moderate acceleration. I think I also get a good kick from 3rd to 2nd. Anybody else notice this or think it's an issue?
  • So far (7500 miles) I have only one issue with hard starting. My Pathy was outside in the cold with the nose pointing down in the driveway (10-15 deg incline). It so happened that I didn't have my gas cap on as well. It did start after the second try though.

    If you are indeed worried about condensation, then try dry gas. I had that same issue with my 300ZX TT and dry gas worked beautifully!

  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Mine was like that too. After I passed 7000 km it kind of smoothed out. Just for the record, jerky shifts on an auto are actually a good thing. The trans. actually lasts longer when it does this (less slipping of the clutch packs). At least that's what a transmission engineer told me a few years ago. To be on the safe side, check your trans. oil level.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I've heard that too. Crisper tranny shifts (less clutchpack slippage) is one of the first upgrades that's recommended if you boost engine HP by supercharging, etc. Maybe this is one of the mods made to the new drivetrain with the increased HP of the VQ engine. Anyway, it's nice to hear it smooths out eventually (and I will check my fluid level). Thanks.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I've started using an injector cleaner that also works as a gas dryer (kill 2 birds...blah, blah). Probably the best thing I could do is not let the tank run below 1/2 when it's cold outside (hard to do when this truck only lets you go 200 km on a half tank!!). I hope this prevents that problem again. Your situation sounded like it could be condensation related also.
  • I posted this in the main area too, but it's more of a problem that needs a solution, so I'm posting it here.

    Anybody with the shop manual:
    What does it say about the adjuster for the rear drum brakes? In post #503 in the main area, meca2 talks about turning this star-shaped wheel inside an access hole to tighten the brakes. I did that, but now it seems like my parking brakes are too tight, and don't disengage all the way! Is there any way to undo this? Please say yes, and tell me how!

  • I was right, the parking brakes were too tight. That star wheel tightens the brake pads against the drum as you rotate the wheel inwards. I had tightened them too much, so then the pads were dragging against the drum! (Yikes!)

    So I brought it to the dealer, and the mechanic simply loosened it by pushing in on the retaining lever by using a thin, bent screwdriver. As he released the lever, he was able to ratchet the star wheel back notch by notch.

    It worked, and when he was done my wheels spun freely once again. Of course, now the pads are a lot closer to the drum than they were before, and that translates into less travel before the brakes engage (feels better).

    Moral of the story: if you do adjust the brakes manually, do not overtighten the self-adjuster wheel! If you do, you'll have to do the thing with the small screwdrivers.

    Or, see meca2's post in the main area. There's a way to adjust the brake under the lever.

    BTW, the mechanic told me that the self-adjuster mechanism works by pulling the parking brake lever. It doesn't work on the back-up principle like other cars.

    I can't wait until my manual gets here.

  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    aspenwhite: The PL14620 oil filter is used in the later Altima (2.4L) and I'm
    sure other cars. The Purolater book says to use L14612 and does not show
    a Pureone filter for the PF engine. I compared the two at the auto parts store
    the L14612 has a spring and what looks like a extra bypass valve or something
    that the PL14620 does not have. I have disassemble filters from my other
    Nissan cars I've had over the years and have never found any metal or anything else
    in them. I would be concerned about oil flow through the filters?? Bigger is some-
    times not better!!.........Just a thought.....Steve
  • meca2,
    Both the Pathfinder & Maxima use the same oil filter (OEM: 15208-9e000, AC-Delco: PF2057, Motorcraft: FL-821, Mobil 1: M1-110, Deutsch: D370, Bosch: 3323, Fram: PH7317, K&N: HP-1010, Luberfinder: PH-2867, etc) ONLY Purolator is listing two different filters, the L14612 for the PF and L14620 for the Maxima. The L14620 (and PureOne PL14620) is actually the same size as the genuine Nissan 15208-9e000. I have no idea why they list the L14612 for the PF. Any thoughts? TIA
  • I've just had my 2001 EL WAD for a couple of days and noticed the transfer case leaking fairly profusely. I'm taking it back to the dealer tomorrow. Anyone else have this happen?
  • Hi guys!
    I'm changing out the water pump on an '86 6 cyl pathfinder in a day or two and while I'm at it I'm going to change out the timing belt as well, since it has to be removed to reach the pump . I can't find a repair manual anywhere so I don't know what to align the valve gear timing marks up with. Does anyone have an answer. Thanks ------------ Jeff
  • I believe you are the first to post such a problem. I have been following this and other various PF postboards since 3/00. Good luck with the fix.
  • Turns out that my transfer case leakage was an improperly sealed threaded plug on the top. No problem.

    The only problem that I have now is that the gas gage goes down at the same rate that the tachometer goes up. They must be linked.
  • Yes. I think there is a string tied between the two. Wonder if I cut the string if I could get better mileage?
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    Some have commented about the auto seat doesn't move after the key was turned. I noticed that if the seat is moved manualy first then the key is turned the seat does not move automatically forward or backward until the key is removed and inserted again. For what it's worth...... Steve
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I love my PF, but the factory alarm is a PITA. I never set it because it will invariably go off when I enter the truck or else trigger if I leave the truck unlocked. Well, today the #$% alarm went off at work and it was NOT turned on. The Nissan service manual is silent on the alarm system so I am at a loss. Does anyone know how to disable the alarm without killing the interior lights and/or the keyless entry? TIA.
  • kraigpkraigp Posts: 2
    Hello, I recently began hearing a faint whistling noise coming from the back end of my 98 Pathfinder SE. It has an automatic transmission and is 4 wheel drive. I start to hear the noise above 35 mph; it becomes more noticeable as the speed increases. The noise is only present when I have power applied. If I let off or coast, I do not hear it. As I mentioned before, it is a very faint whistle. This may have nothing to do with the problem, but I hadn't noticed the noise until after I had new tires installed. One other thing, I have noticed a rotten egg smell as I exit the car after parking it in my garage. I do not smell it when outside, only in the garage. The car has 59,000 miles. Other than the problems I have just noted, it runs and drives excellent. Any Ideas on these issues would be greatly appreciated.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    kraigp: What brand of tires did you install? Some have noisy tred. Check the tire pressure?? And tire size, all have to be the same? Some winter fuels are blended different for the area you live in and do smell like rotton eggs. Try a different gas station next time you fill up. Just a thought. Steve
  • kraigpkraigp Posts: 2
    Meca2, I had Dunlop Grantec TG 35's put on. They are what came on it originally. The tires came to my mind first as well, however since the noise is present only when I have power applied and not while I am coasting I discounted the tire theory. It is odd that it didn't show up till after the tires were changed. I was hoping that someone else may have had the same problem. I am afraid that the Nissan Mechanic will blame it on the tires as well. I only have 1k miles left on the drive train warranty. If something is wrong in there I would like to get it fixed on their dime. Thank you for the input.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    kraigp: could be the differential. I have the Donlop tires and they are quiet. It might be a good idea to have the differential checked at the dealer. They can check the back-lash in the gears, ect. Have you ever change the gear lube? My PF makes a slight noise and vibration excelerating up hill from 10 to 30 mph. Steve
  • bloggs1bloggs1 Posts: 1
    The brake pedal is spongy and sinks to the floor. It has new master cylinder, vacuum booster, disc pads. Re-machined discs. It has been repeatedly bled thoroughly. The calipers have been taken off and checked for leaks and smoothness of function (not sticking or binding). There is no fluid loss and no leaks. The master cylinder has had the 3 lines disconnected and the ports plugged. The problem disappears (therefore no master cylinder bypassing). The brake hoses are OK. The only peculiar thing seems to be some flexing of the calipers themselves when the pressure is applied to the brake pedal. Whats wrong?, anybody.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    bloggs1: Did you do anything the the drums brakes?? Does your PF have ABS?
    If you "pump: does the peddle furm-up? Try adjusting the rear brakes. The procedure
    might not be in the manual.
  • azsazs Posts: 3
    I'm Wondering where the sensor for the odometer is located on my truck. I now its similar to the pathfinder. That is why I'm asking here. Is it located near the transmission. Or is it located some place else.
  • iveydudeiveydude Posts: 4
    I just bought a new PF 2001. I love it. One problem though. There is a strong chemical odor after you get where you are going and get out. Smells like it may be coming from under the vehicle. Any ideas ?
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    azs: The PF speedo operates off the ABS speed sensors. I dought if
    the Frontier uses the same.
    iveydude: The New Car Smell several have commented about it. Will
    go away 1k or a month or so. Cheers
  • bobformanbobforman Posts: 13
    Is it possible to remove the cross members on the roof rack? Loosening the knob fully doesn't seem to release it.

  • Hi, I'm new to this club. Got my pathfinder LE 4x4 with LSD with bridgestone tires dwellers. When the dial is on auto mode and speed at 60mph the wheels are heard with a "woo-woo" noise. Is this normal or not. However when put on 2wd the noise is not there. Is there a break in period or not. I am trying not to go over 60 mph for the first 1000 miles. These tires are for mud and snow rated tires. p255/65r-16. Hopefully someone can give me an answer
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Make sure the 4 tires are inflated to the same pressure. If so, there may be a problem with one of the tires (those Bridgestones have a bad reputation).
  • sirus32sirus32 Posts: 55
    Has anyone replaced their headlight lens cover? Mine had a chip from a rock which has now turned into a hole. Water and condensation is beginning to discolor the inside housing.

    The dealer wanted $130 for the lens and $200 for labor.

    I figured I could do it myself, it looks rather easy. Is it? Any suggestions or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.
  • jambazijambazi Posts: 51
    Just yesterday I noticed a growing spot of oil under my PF, which wasn't there before I got the car. This leak must have been happening since I first got it (2 months, 4600 miles ago), because it's very slow. It appears to be coming from the rear seal (where the driveshaft exits the transmission). Service Manual says that the first step is to check the oil level to make sure it's not too high. After that, it's replacing seals and stuff. Anybody else notice this? Is it normal for them to overfill tranny oil at the factory, or do I have a bad seal?

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I also noticed a very small amount of oil? was leaking for a while under my 2001 PF LE. It was very early on and is no longer evident (I now have 6 months and 6000 km on this truck). I never figured out what it was...
  • iveydudeiveydude Posts: 4
    My 2001 PF SE is 10 days old and I just found out that my rear main gasket has something wrong with it. I noticed there was a problem when there were fresh oil spots on my carport where my PF was parked. 10 days old and leaking oil. I bought this sucker because of the RELIABILITY rating. They said they have to take down all kinds of stuff to get to it. Any input would be helpful.

    I guess now I know why I got this vehicle for invoice.
  • iveydudeiveydude Posts: 4
    I just read your message. I have the same problem.(mine is 10 days old). So I checked my oil level. It is just above the high mark. Since I have been leaking oil for ten days and the oil level is still high, the level must have been even higher when it was first driven. I will check with the dealer on monday to see what they say.

    Will keep you posted.
  • jambazijambazi Posts: 51
    What was the high mark that you were using to check your tranny oil? I'm curious. I still haven't checked it yet, but I'd like to compare notes if possible.


    P.S. You can e-mail me back directly if you wish. [email protected]
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    Are some having transmission or engine oil leaks? Or both? For the
    engine this summer could try 10W/30 instead of 5W/30. 10W/30 can
    be used from -18C ( 0 F ) and higher. jambazi: is this in your FAQ's?
    Is anyone with engine oil leaks using syn oil? Steve
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
    the side step rail on left side rusted through from inside. i have a hole the size of a dime. how do i patch this, or do i just let them go and replace eventually. is there an anti corrosive foam i could fill the pipes with to maybe slow down the rust process?
  • Meca2,

    Is it OK to switch back to 5w-30 after using 10w-30 during summer? Does the service manual says anything about this? Thanks in advance for your time.-AW
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    In your owner's manual, you should see the allowed temperature range for the use of various weight oils. The reason why Nissan recommends 5w-30 is because of the "effiency" it brings to the use of the engine. Most "energy saving" oils are either 5w-30, 0w-30 or 0w-20 oils. You can switch back and forth between 10w-30 and 5w-30 to your hearts content without detriment.

  • nismofreak,

    Thanks for your reply. I have another Q for you, would you use 10w-30 conventional oil during summer on a 01'PF w/only 3,500k? Thanks in advance. -AW
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    Are you thinking synthetic?? I asked a friend at the dealer about when could you start using synthetic oil. He said it could be used at any time,not an issue. Cheers
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    I have always used 5w-30 oil in the Nissan engines that have recommend it. I have never had an issue when using 5w-30 in hot summers (never exceeding 100 deg F). Switching to 10w-30 >may< give you added protection in the hotter weather but I am not certain (given the technology in conventional lubricants). Either way, I am sure you will be fine.
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    I use Penziol 10W30 winter and summer. I don't like the 5W30 oils, they thin too easily (and disappear from the engine too quickly - before the change mileage is reached). The 10W30 works fine for me (and I'm in fridgid Edmonton Alberta ;-).
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    it is my understanding that one could use straight 30 weight oil in mild to hot climates with greater engine protection over multiweight oils. the additives that allow a multiweight oil to change viscosity also cause it to break down faster. changing weights depending on season was in fact common practice before the advent of multiweights. manufacturers recommend multiweights in order to cover all their bases and avoid potential litigation.

    it is generally recommended that one break an engine in on conventional oil before switching over to synthetics, whose only major attraction is increased cold weather performance.
  • nismofreak, meca2, pathstar,
    Thanks for your replies! We get only a few 90+ deg F days here in Denver, CO during the summer months so I was thinking Syn 10w-30 (May-Sep approx.) and then switching back to Syn 5w-30 (Oct-Apr) OR because Nissan's recommendation, 5w-30 (Syn) all year around. I guess I have a decision to make on the next oil change... Another decision I have to make is whether to switch to Syn on the next oil change at approx. 3,750m or wait 10,000m as it was recommended by the dealer's tech. Any input to help me make the right decision is always welcome.-cheers, AW
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    I have always believed that with new "tight" engines like what the Japanese manufactures build, waiting until the engine has entered the mid teens was a good time to switch to synth. It is obvious that others have differing views. The point can be made that the 'vette and a few other sports cars come with synth in the pan when it leaves the production lines (Mobile 1). When you switch is up to you. Either way, I don't think you are doing your engine a disservice if you switch later than sooner. Hell, there are people who have only used dino-lube and seen well over 100,000 miles.

    I know for me, I will switch shortly because I will be towing in hot weather. (and I will be taking other precautions beyond just synth oil)

  • nismofreak,
    Thanks for your input. Your opinion makes a lot sense. I think I better wait at least 10,000 miles like it was suggested by the dealer.-AW
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    i believe the cars that come with factory synth oil (vette, porsche, etc.) have blueprinted engines and therefore can "get away" with synthetics. normal production engines still require a break in period with conventional oil before they can be switched to synthetic.
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    Thanks for the clarification. I figured it was so.
    Do you know if Porsches, Vettes, etc still require a break-in period even though their engines are "blue printed"?
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