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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • tea60tea60 Posts: 1
    Radio will loose the preset stations-this happens three or four times a year-today when starting the Pathfinder-radio off-the CD player started to make sounds and the radio stations were lost!
    This is strange!
    Any problems like this?
  • mjohnr99: yeah, the effing techician at Autotech Nissan in Manhattan circled in my user manual all of the restrictions in the 4HI mode! Why? because the manual says nothing about restrictions in Auto. That's the original reason I called Nissan's customer support line, because I thought the dealership techs were b.s.-ing me. After reading all of your guys' doubts, I'm going to make a few more calls. To be honest, it didn't seem right what they were telling me. Sounded to me like the dealership technician just didn't want to deal with the problem since the "noise" didn't happen in 2wd. Thanks for commenting, all, I'll let you know.
  • I contacted Nissan's corporate headquarters (1800-647-7261) for Nissan's official stance on my over-60 auto-mode question. The customer service rep, Adam, at extension 3865, called a senior Nissan technician at their corporate hq to ask the question I posed: "Are there any speed restrictions in the Auto setting of the Pathfinder's LE 4x4 All-Mode 4WD® system?" The answer was yes, Nissan does not recommend operating the vehicle in the Auto setting over speeds of 60mph. I'm not a technical guy, so I can't explain why, but can somebody else call Adam ask the same question so I'm not the only one? The other thing to do is to call your Nissan dealership and ask them to look in their computer at file #3943024 (the file they created for me and my questions). Ask them to read you my complaints and my questions. There at the bottom it should say what the senior technician told the customer service rep. My sales guy at Autotech Nissan in Manhattan has the whole place worked up because what I have learned through both their dealership service dept. and corporate headquarters contradicts the training that the sales dept. received re: the LE 4x4 All-Mode 4WD®. Wouldn't you like to here for yourselves what Nissan is saying about this?
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    That's such BS. I've left my 2001 PF LE in Auto since the day I brought it home from the dealership & never had a problem or fluttering, including at speeds up to 106mph. If the techs felt it shouldn't be used over 60mph why wasn't it put anywhere in the manual. Oh well, I'll continue to leave mine in auto, as the manual doesn't tell me any different.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Has anyone had a problem with their steering wheel squeaking as they turn it. My 2001 PF LE just started doing it one day. The dealership replaced the clock spring & some type of spiral cable wire assembly & it still does it (despite the fact the acted like it was fixed). Just looking for some suggestions before I take it back in.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    All the talk about "don't exceed 60mph in auto-mode" sounds like hogwash. The auto-mode system has been used in Infiniti QX4's since 1998!! Nissan just took the exact same system and put it in the Pathfinder, and I've never heard of anyone complaining about the problems that have been discussed about using Auto-mode above 60mph until now.

    Don't let Nissan feed you any BS. Go check a local Infiniti dealer and pretend to be an interested customer. Ask the sales manager how long he's been selling Infinitis, ask the service manager how long he's been fixing Inifitinis, then find out if they know of any restrictions to using Auto-mode (such as don't use it above 60mph). Ask a service tech if there are any differences between the QX4 transfer case and the Pathfinder transfer case. If you want to really dig, get part numbers for the QX4 transfer case, front driveshaft, front differential and compare them with those for the Pathfinder LE...
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Does the PF get poorer fuel economy in auto mode? Yes. Is is very noticable? Yes. It was enough to make me only use auto when the roads are icy. The fuel economy and the lurching. I don't usually use auto mode on wet pavement, though I admit the PF will spin up the rear tires once in a while when accelerating from a stop. Auto mode does put a stop to that.
  • The steering wheel in my '01 SE started squeaking a few days ago. I might be imagining it, but I think my '98 had the same problem. I'll look through my old maintenance records to see if my memory serves me correct, and what they did to fix it.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I would have to disagree that the fuel economy difference in 2wd or Auto mode is noticable. I guess it depends on your version of noticable, but there just is not enough going on mechanically when the vehicle is in Auto mode to give you signifigantly worse fuel economy.
  • Hello all,

    I picked up my 03 LE a couple of week ago. Very satisfied so far.

    Only one minor annoyance: For some odd reasons when I start the car I have very bad radio reception for about 3-5 minutes (None of my other cars have any radio reception problems).

    And for some reasons the radio turns clear after a while. But every time the radio turns on after starting the car I get bad reception on all the stations I can get too.

    I read in the user manual that the radio automaically switches between the power antenna and the glass-mounted antenna. Maybe one of the two antenna is either not plugged on not functional.....

    Anybody out there with a similar problem ??

  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    WT, my new '03 is always set to the radio on and whenever I start up all is well with reception. I'll doublecheck tomorrow for ya. Could it be physics (e.g., location, humidity, etc.)? - have you compared to another vehicle started at same time/place? If no difference, then definitely check out because mine comes on like any normal radio . . . right at start-up. Good Luck. Keep us posted.
  • Thanks mjohnr99,

    I think it is a problem with my Pathfinder. I always had perfect radio reception with my 4Runner and my Mazda Protege around my house.

    It might be bad wiring maybe.

    I plan to gather a couple of little issues before paying a visit to the dealer. I don't like going to the dealer everytime I have a little glitch.

    So mjohnr99, are you still very satisfied with your purchase decision and your truck ???

    Here the Pathfinder is definitely growing on me everyday. It is very comfortable and I like the handling. I also like the heathed leather seats and the auto-climate feature.

    I had doubts about the color for a while. I sometime wish I would have chose a black one, black looks meaner, the Pewter looks more classy/soft. It is only when I wash the cars that I tend not to regret the black anymore ;-)
  • Hi,
    I need advise. I have a 1996 Pathfinder Le, with 110,000 miles. At 95,000 a new transmission was installed. When the car is cold, the shift change into 2nd and 3rd is very harsh. After driving for awhile the gear changes are much smoother.The transmission shop insists it is not a faulty part in the transmission;.Otherwise the suv runs real good. I have never had a car with this problem. I would like to keep this car, but find this very annoying, any suggestions?
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    WT, check the antenna to make sure not loose. It is removable for car washes. When I took delivery, it was loose. I hand tightened and it came loose again. Took a metric combination wrench and tightened 1/8th turn - no problem now. Just a thought I had. My radio reception is perfect upon turning key - have it checked out. Not a big deal. Look what the H2s are going through over on that board and the 4th Gen Run. will have its share of quirks as well.

    No regrets. I know you leased, but I went all out and purchased. Giving me everything I expected and glad I had this option to go to. It drives better than I expected and I know for certain that I would have been disappointed with anything less in HP. Without the supercharger, the 3rd Gen just wasn't enough for my drive style. Past the 1,000 mile mark now and I have gunned it from 0 standstill merging traffic into 60 MPH two-lane parkway and nothing but SMILES. Eats a lot of gas (first SUV) compared to that little CRX deathtrap I was in. As for Black, never really had the dust problems here that I did with black cars back in SoCal. I prefer all the door handles, weather stripping, racks, etc. to all match - hence black. Yes, very nice with black windows. Now, you know why I almost threw-up at the multicolored 4th Gen Sport: main body color, gray cladding, black running boards/tires/windows, and silver "accents" (i.e., "acc-idents") everywhere including that infamous "license plate garnish." BTW, my wife's car is black and I just had to wax it. With all the issues for black cars, researched waxes in a back issue of Consumer Reports and believe it or not, Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell LIQUID (yes, the inexpensive stuff that is everywhere) had the highest overall score for non-scratching/hazing and durability, my two prime concerns. Came out great with no swirl marks. Used electric orbital polisher. Shine was slightly less than other products, but that is less of a concern (just washing your car occasionally does more for the shine on a daily basis!). Like many waxes, do not get on trim. Very pleased. Almost used my old bottle of Meguire's cleaner wax . . . which actually got the worst overall score in all categories of the 30-50 waxes tested. Consumer Reports comes through again . . .
  • Mjohnr99, Thanks for checking !!!! I'll check the antenna.

    Talking about colors, Pewter is now growing on me. When it is clean it shine a lot and I like the look at night. But black has an edge !!!

    I love my truck more and more. I just tested it minutes ago in a semi-wrecked gravel road in 4WD (not Auto) and man.. with the HP and suspenstion it corners like crazy. I like it more and more.

    The MPG is much worst than my Runner... by a mile. I know that the truck has to break in but still.... This time of year I mostly do city driving... this does not help. I only have 400 miles on it... two full tanks were required.....

    I've seen some more Runners on the lot of my Toyota dealer. The look is growing on me a little. But I do not regret my decision. I'll wait for a couple of iterations before switching back, time enough for them to clean the lines, silver accents, offer color-keyed fenders and remove the stupid cladding.

    Thanks for the info on waxes !!! I have to wax the black Protege this weekend.

  • I bought my '02 PF LE in CT end of July and drove it home to Pensacola without incident- comfortable drive with full load. On several occasions when coming to full stop, usually from a slow speed such as in my garage, the edge of my foot overlapped the gas pedal slightly causing the engine to accelerate with some forward lurch of the vehicle. Examination reveals that with engine running and as little pressure as two fingers depressing the brake pedal, the pedal travels an inch below the gas pedal. Moderate foot pressure, with the power assist, will bottom the pedal on the floor stop. The dealer here adjusted the rear brakes at 2300 miles, which changed nothing. The svc. mgr. demonstrated that another new PF does the same, stating that the condition is normal. I sent photos illustrating the condition to Nissan, who finally stated that, "the vehicle's brake and gas pedal positions are within manufacture specifications."

    Review of the NHTSA website records for 2000-2002 PF's reveals several incidents of unintended acceration when the brakes were applied, some resulting in accidents. Only a couple identified the cause as unintentional pressure on the gas pedal. No NTSB/NHTSA investigation is indicated. Assuming that only a small portion of the public even knows of the NHTSA, or would report to same; there must be numerous incidents unreported.
    The space between the pedals is 2 1/2", which is appropriate, but it still unacceptably dangerous to have the brake travel below gas pedal level. My experience occurred with tennis and boat shoes. Pity the guy or gal with winter muclucs!
    I intend to pursue this with the NHTSA, and would appreciate hearing from other owners. Note, that with the engine off, no power brakeing, pedal travel is lessened.
  • Have a 95 PF, and at times the tachometer and speedometer do not respond. After some time of driving they will engage.
    Has anyone had this problem.
    Also my tach reads 1200 rpm on idle, does anyone know the correct idle?
    I've been reading several messages about PF's shaking at 60, have 90000 miles and no problem, yet anyway. But do hear a pinging noise in front while idle.
  • Attention message #468

    With only 150 miles on it, while pulling into a parking space - the vehicle suddenly lurched forward with motor roaring. Luckily I was not near a crowded crosswalk. The service dept. said the computor checked out fine. I asked him to adjust the gas pedal because it accelerates very quickly and without even touching the gas pedal the car starts moving forward as soon as you put it in gear....He said he couldn't adjust it because it is all on computor including the gas pedal. A salesman told me they started putting the gas pedals on computor on the late '02 and '03's PF - it is not on the Xterra.

    When I asked the dealer to take the car back - he said I would have to take a $4,000 loss
    in addition to the sales tax .

    Any suggestions???? I am now afraid to drive the car.
  • Check the brake pedal overtravel thread.You may have hit the gas at the same time.
  • This happened to me too last week.I pressed the gas pedal while pressing the brake pedal. I was about to change gears and was busy putting my cellular away.

    The truck was on park so nothing happened else than the motor reved up. I had the radio relatively loud so I didn't hear anything, I realized something was wrong because people were staring at me.... (The whole thing lasted a couple of seconds only).

    The brake pedal IS actually traveling past the gas pedal on my 03. The pedals are relatively close so it is possible to hit both at the same time, mainly with winter boots.

    It seems weird.... I don't recall that this ever happened to me before.

    Gee if I would have switched from Park to Rear without realizing I was revving up I could have hit something or someone....

  • mk74mk74 Posts: 7
    I have a '03 LE with approx 200 miles on it. It also accelerates rather unexpectedly fast. All it takes is a very slight pressure on the gas pedal, and this thing takes off as a bet out of hell. This is especially evident when the engine is cold but not necessary then. I also have a Toyota 4 Runner which accelerates and switches gears much smother.

    I can see how this type of acceleration can cause a dangerous condition. I suspect there might be a recall later or TSB later.
  • I don't seem to have the acceleration problem. Ok it is not as smooth as the 4Runner but it is not taking off that wildly...
  • I've only had my '03 for about 3 weeks. I'm still finding the gas pedal a bit "touchy" compared to the Grand Cherokee I had before but I'm getting used to it now .I do notice that when someone drives my PF for the first time they tend to jump it ahead on the first few starts. Several have commented on how sensitive the gas is.
  • mk74mk74 Posts: 7
    I agree, with sailor16 that for the most people "touchy" gas pedal is something to get used to.

    However, it also could be somewhat dangerous (especially, when you slam on the brakes and hit the gas pedal by an accident. I guess if you have winter/work boots it could not be that card to accomplish).

    Also, does anyone know if PFs have one of those "learning" computers that tune themselves to the driver's habits? Jeep GC have those, I think. Maybe that's the problem? It is too new and "uneducated"?

    Thanks for the responses.
  • To be honest I thought that was a feature more than a bug. While my 4Runner was smoother it was also less powerful.

    When I took delivery on my Pathfinder I noticed that it was more powerful and prompt but I thought this was because of the added HP and Torque.

    So I quickly adjusted my driving style a bit and I am more gentle on the accelerator.

    That's why I reported that I didn't seem to have the acceleration problem.

    So what do you guys think, problem or feature ???
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    From the very first day I didn't have a problem with the gas pedal or brake pedal, but I do think that the rear brakes might not be adjusting properly, causing a low brake pedal to develop after a period of time.

    I installed a left foot accelerator pedal shortly after taking delivery of my PF. I brake and accelerate with my left foot. I have plenty of room, about eight inches between my left foot and the gas pedal. I have no problems hinting the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time. I can also adjust the pedal up and down, and in and out.

    One thing to remember if you install a left foot gas pedal, remember to remove it when you take it in for servicing. I forgot to one day and the service manager almost ran it into a wall. They pop on and off real easy. You have to learn to drive and brake with your left foot, It takes about a week or two to get the right feel for it.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Ok, as you know, I was reading all these past posts even before I picked up my '03 LE a month or so ago. I had read all the back posts on all these concerns and I think Day 1, I was measuring everything. Yes, distance between acclerator and brake pedals is as reported; yes, brake pedal goes below height of accelerator; yes, the vehicle springs to life when you touch that gas. But to tell you the truth, I honestly haven't had in my mind a problem yet (doesn't mean I won't though). That Day 1, I even went to an empty lot and did all the things reported - yes, if I purposely jam my foot down in between the two I certainly can get the brake engaging and then feel the accelerator start to take hold and "want" to lurch forward. Have not compared to see if I can do this in other cars as well. But, I had forgotten all about this until now, and as I normally drive I haven't accidentally done what I purposely did that day. And I have had TWO emergency braking maneuvers where I had to slam the brakes on to avoid rear-ending bumper to bumper nightmare merging traffic in DC traffic circles. Normally, I just rock on my heal from gas to brake I guess, and so far so good. I have US 9.5 D width shoes. No problem in dress shoes or the weekedn Timberland saw mill boots. As for driving in snow boots, not as much an issue here, but I don't ever do it in anything thick like my Sorels when I go boardin' in the mountains. [I did once in a Lincoln Towncar no less and had all the double-pedal problems in the world - very unsafe in any vehicle.] As for the acceleration, maybe I just don't know enough of what SUVs on average are like. This is my first one and only test drives of other SUVs. So far, I never thought of it as touchy per se, but more as WOW, I love that feel of popping right out and ahead. [Maybe it's just me and my lead foot . . . ] Hard to compare to my previous car which was a manual. And my wife's automatic Civic EX definitely does not have the POP this LE has. To me, a feature. If all this has been around more-or-less unchanged since the '01s, I can't imagine a recall now in the last year. But if they did, I would certainly support any effort to fix and/or improve a design to make it more safer - no problem there at all.
  • mk74mk74 Posts: 7
    I bet Nissan considers it a feature. But if enough people get in the accidents because of this "feature", it will become a bug rather quickly.

    I've never driven other (older) PFs before, so I don't know if this is an inherited behavior or new to this year-model.

    For now, I'll try to adjust my driving accordingly. Other then this "feature", everything else seems to be great. I'll make sure to post my concerns to Nissan when the survey arrives.

    Also, I'll keep monitoring this board for similar complaints.
  • To be honest I thought that was a feature more than a bug. While my 4Runner was smoother it was also less powerful.

    When I took delivery on my Pathfinder I noticed that it was more powerful and prompt but I thought this was because of the added HP and Torque.

    So I quickly adjusted my driving style a bit and I am more gentle on the accelerator.

    That's why I reported that I didn't seem to have the acceleration problem.

    So what do you guys think, problem or feature ???
  • I'd have to say it's a feature.Most people who've driven my PF say something like "Wow! this thing sure has lots of snap!"
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