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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • Hello All,

    I am new at this website. I think it's great that everyone sharing their ideas regarding vehical.

    I just got a new 2003 LE. It's much nicer than my old 95 PF. For Nissan Pathfinder, it has come a longways.

    One Problem I am experiencing is a noise coming from engine JUST AROUND 2,900 RMP to 3,100. Have not had a chance to bring it to the service department yet. It sounds like crakling noice as you are in too high of a gear in stickshif. Has Anyone experienced this problem? If you did what was the problem and the solution?


  • He should be able to provide you with the correct part number for your oxigen sensors (the ones before and after the catalytic converter) then you could search here for your part or some other web site. for the part.
  • Has anyone had any luck with Nissan in getting their "satellite-ready" radio correctly modified? I was on the message board several months ago about this. I had bought an '03 Pathfinder LE and purchased the "satellite-ready" radio option. The radio was to have had a satellite tuner installed when the dealer got them. After many months of zip response or help from Nissan, they finally said they weren't going to install them (they said quality control problems) and I was out of luck unless I wanted to get an FM modulator, which I don't. I would like to hold out for true digital satellite sound. Has anyone else with this problem had it resolved? Thanks in advance for your response.
  • I have a 99 3.3 lit. pathfinder. I am having problems with the 02 sensors like a lot of people do with these models. I was wondering whick set of sensors go bad is it the ones before the catalylic converter or the ones after it.
  • i just bought a 95 SE sport, It is exactly what I was looking for except that the spare tire is mounted inside the cargo area. It kills the cargo space. Last week I had to take out the spare tire mount completely to fit something in. Its a terrible design, it definitely has the room to haul, but not with the tire mount in place. Has anyone tried to attach a pathfinder swing away from the junk yard? Any problems with that? Is there an after market solution? I've spent the last week trying to find a solution and have seen nothing relating to my car. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    There may be aftermarket solutions for your model year. Try If you don't see the part listed anywhere on their site, give them a call and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    The steering lock of my 99.5 LE 4x4 decided not to budge forcing me to get a wheel lift tow to the nearest dealer today afternoon. Since the truck was with the dealer, I have also asked the shop to read the engine computer to tell me the reason for the persistent but intermittent Check Engine Light problem I have been having.

    What do you think should be the cost (diagnostic time) for the Check Engine Light issue? My gut feeling is that it should not be more than 30 minutes of work to plug into the computer, download the records and then look up the appropriate books. Any thoughts on this?

    BTW, this was the third time in the past six months that the steering lock got stuck. On the two earlier occasions, I was able to solve the problem without taking it to the shop (use shift release to release tranny from P, rocking the steering wheel while turning the key etc.). However, this time it would not budge though I tried multiple times, including an overnight rest.

    The dealer has given me an estimate of 3 hours of diagnostic for both the problems which to me looks on the steeper side!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Local dealer charges $25 Can - about $19 US to read the codes.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    I thought what the dealer was asking was a rip-off. I have asked them not do the diagnosis.
    Let me see how much they charge for fixing the lock.
  • daqmandaqman Posts: 27
    Totalled my QX4 had new tires yoko geolander tires where's the best place to get rid of them? I paid $379 for them a week before the accident.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 203
    The dealer has given me a quote of $500 for changing the ignition lock (the part alone lists at around $150, though can be had for 25% less). I am stuck with them since the car is not drivable right now. They will also rekey the new lock so that I can use my current key. I guess I could have saved some money taking it to an independent shop :(.

    I am glad I did not ask them to run the diagnosis for the check engine light!

    daqman: Try Ebay. Also if the car is totalled and insured, the insurance company will deduct the salvage value of the vehicle from your claim if you keep the vehicle.
  • Have a 2001 PF GLE with 27,000 miles. Been a great vehicle except for something terribly annoying...the belt keeps slipping. Have been to the dealer numerous times and have had the belt changed TWICE...thats 3 belts in 27,000 Miles!!! Sometimes it squeals when the wheel is turned hard, sometimes for not apparent reason at all. Dealer cannot reproduce the problem. Could the pulleys be glazed? Could something be seizing?? HELP!!! Next closest dealer is 150 miles away.
  • I have a 2002 Pathfinder LE with one nagging problem.When i accelerate on a hill,hit a bump,or make a sharp turn,the interior lights will flicker along with the door ajar light.It only seems to do this when the temperature goes below 40 degrees.It is more annoying than anything else.Does anyone have any idea what can be causing this?
  • beaulier,It is possible your idler pulley is bent,misaligned,or the bolt that tightens and loosens your drive belt on the idler pulley is stripped.Your idler pulley is what tightens and loosens your drive belt.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Also check that the groves in the pulleys are clean right down to the sharp inside. Any gunk in there will hold the belt a little out and it will have a lot less grip. "V" Belts are designed to get most of their grip on the sides of the "V"s, and this includes the multi v type. You can try a "belt dressing" (available from auto parts places), which lubricates the belt so it sinks into the "V" easier and further. It runs cooler and lasts longer as well.

    It sounds like the door ajar problem is caused by one of the door switches. Try wiggling each one in turn. Either one is broken or has a connection problem. They are on the door posts (you will see a rubber boot). They should just pop out for inspection.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Just washed mine and had a closer look. To get the door light switch out you have to remove a screw. No big deal, just correcting what I thought was a "pop out" switch.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    After checking on pathstar1's alternative, consider that the door is not aligned properly. I've had this problem on other vehicles where the door needed to be adjusted on the hinges. It was making poor contact with the switch, so body flexing (turns, bumps, etc.) caused the switch to open briefly.

    If this is the case, you can sometimes find the offending door by determining if a sharp left or right turn causes problems (if it only happens on sharp left turns, it is likely a right door, etc.). Either that, or alternately tape closed all switches but one and drive around until you discover which one sure to consider the hatch.
  • can someone please clarify. how do i get into 4x4 mode from a standstill and as well as straight driving. manual seems a little confusing. if neccessary please post all details including using reverse. so far heard different things from everyone under the sun. oh i have a 2000 se.thanks in advance.
  • I've checked the four passenger door switches and they do not seem to be the culprit.I've opened each door and pressed my finger over each door switch and wiggled the switch while pressing it and the interior light would not come on.I suspect the rear hatch switch has something to do with this since it does it most when I accelerate going up hill. This problem has "Cannot duplicate" written all over it since it only does this in cold weather.It is a major hassle leaving the truck at the dealer since I work alot alot of hours.But I definetly want to get this taken care of before the the warrenty expires.BTW I owened a 2001 Ford explorer sport before the Pathfinder so you can imagin my dread going back to the dealer.But I still love my Pathfinder a million times over the Explorer!!!!
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    See if you can return them. Some decent tire places allow 30 day returns as long as the tires aren't beat.

    Otherwise put them on Ebay or in your local paper.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Most recent Pathfinders and other SUVs are "shift-on-the-fly" style 4 wheel drive systems. (That means you don't have to get out and manually "lock" the hubs of the front wheels.) They have a short "lever" next to the automatic transmission selector or manual gear shift. This short lever is used for the 4 wheel drive control. In normal 2 wheel drive, it is pushed all the way forward. To shift into 4x4 mode, pull it back one position ("click"). This is 4x4 "Hi" mode. You can shift into 4x4 Hi at any speed <50mph. 90% of people never have to use any other mode.
    The next position back is neutral. Used only when the truck is being towed.
    The furthest back position is 4x4 "Lo". The vehicle MUST BE STOPPED to shift into 4x4Lo. It should only be used for severe traction conditions -- i.e., "off-road" -- I can't think of too many conditions where the average driver wold ever have to use 4x4Lo. If conditions are bad enough where you would have to use it on the street, stay home!

    If you have an SUV other than a Pathfinder, or have a "pushbutton" 4x4 selector, obviously these instructions may be incorrect -- Check your manual!

    Note to Golgo31: If you really aren't sure how to use the 4x4 system, I'm sure the dealer or your mechanic would be happy to give you a short lesson. And I'd recommend it.
  • Hi all,

    My 01 Pathy has been running through way too much gas lately and the idle between 1500-1800 makes the car shudder and hickup. Also, check engine light came on twice in the last month. I've got 69K on it so the first time I brought it in for the light they said it was an 8 trip ago light for the ignition coils, but they rarely do them in a Pathfinder, so they reset it and charged me $72 and sent me on my way. Well it went off again over the weekend, then turned itself off but I had it checked yesterday just in case and was told this time it really was the coils...not one ...all 6 bad. The estimate for this repair was $720. I told them to order parts as they had nothing there so I've got a 1-2 week window before I have to pony up the dough. Has anyone else had this issue? This seems excessive...all 6 bad at once?

  • I own a 2003 SE 4WD with about 1800 miles on it. For the past 300 miles the top of the steering wheel cowling has been rattling persistently on all road surfaces except the smoothest surfaces. This is very annoying, especially in a nearly new vehicle, and makes the structure feel cheap - don't want to think this way because I love everything else about the vehicle so far.

    If I push on the top of the steering wheel the rattling stops, so it seems that if it is possible to put adhesive on the bottom aspect of cowling and affix it to the underlying structure this would solve the problem...not sure if this is possible or wise to attempt however.

    Has anybody had luck getting rattles removed by the dealers under warranty? Especially similar steering wheel rattles??

    Any thoughts on how to attack this thing?
  • Did you try to tighten the screws around the steering wheel cowling?Sometimes the noise can be something as simple as a loose screw.When I bought my Pathfinder I had a rattle at highway speeds around the front passenger side fender.It turned out to be a loose screw that connected the front mud flap to the wheel well.To make a long story short I tightened the screw,the noise stopped,and it saved me a trip to the dealer.
  • I too am having the same problem with the interior light. the dealer put in a new switch last night, but on the way home, during turns, the thing went on. I took it right back.
    I am going to call them this morning and have them check the alignment on the rear hatch door. My truck also makes a lot of noise around 3K. It sounds like the motor is going to seize up. The loaner maxima I am driving is buttery smooth and quiet all the way to redline :-)
  • I haven't gotten a chance to get my truck back to the dealer yet.The interior/door ajar light comes on very sporaticly.Seems to be at it's worse when the temps go below 35 degrees. Please let me know if the dealer corrects the problem.When I get around to leaving the truck at the dealer I'm going to wait for a serious cold snap.
  • dmcmddmcmd Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2003 pathfinder se 4x4 that's the same problem described by bd70. The rear liftgate tends to bounce back when I attempt to close it. While the liftgate appears to be secure when you push on it you can feel some play and the interior light stays lit. This is extremely annoying and I'll it back to the dealership for servicing.
  • bd70bd70 Posts: 30
    When I returned to the dealer for service after I posted that message, I complained about the liftgate not closing, thinking that it was a problem with the latch. The service rep explained to me that the seals on the doors are very tight and it was his experience that sometimes this would cause either the doors or rear hatch to fail to close securely if you didn't slam them shut and all of the other doors/hatch were closed. I guess, having a brand-new Pathy, I was afraid to hurt it by slamming the rear hatch. Since then, I don't hold back when I close it, and I haven't had the same problems since. I know its a bit unnerving to manhandle your brand-new Pathy that you probably already love, but trust me, you won't hurt it and it works. If not, maybe your problem is a real one which you should take up with the service department while its still under warranty. If however, you are taking it easy closing the rear hatch, just give it a bit more of a slam. I hope this helps. It got me down a little to see that my new truck was having these sorts of problems. Now I'm at ease with it. Good luck.
  • I was working on a friends 92 PF 3.0 tonight.
    All the symptoms pointed to a slipped timing belt, but when I removed the covers and checked, the marks lined up.
    What didn't look right was the crank gear key way was about 30 degrees counter clockwise from the balancer key way.
    After removing the crank gear I found that the half moon key had indeed sheared and in doing so took out a piece of the crank almost the size of the key.

    Does anyone PLEASE have any suggestions on how to repair this, short of replacing the crank or engine?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    That's a pretty technical question for the folks around here, most of whom own 2001 and newer Pathfinders. Check out my profile for some links to helpful sites for your Pathfinder.
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