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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    I have a 2003 and it doesn't run "rough" by any definition. How is the performance? Does it seem peppy enough? It isn't a slow truck and has a pretty aggressive initial throttle tip-in. The exhaust can be a little throaty, and letting off the gas abruptly may give you a little "burble" from back pressure, but nothing significant.

    Overall though, the engine management computer will tell the whole story. If your mechanic isn't pulling the error codes from the computer, then find another mechanic. Remember, a good independant mechanic can pull the codes too, you don't just have to rely on the dealer's assessment.
  • wiseone2wiseone2 Posts: 15
    Has anyone else had this? Right after startup, shift vehicle into gear, and allow
    the vehicle to roll, after approx. 5-7 yards, I hear two quick knocks or pangs from the engine, only happens right after startup it is best heard without acceleration, but does occur with or without. I can repeat it
    over and over just stop shut off and repeat.
    At night I can see a very faint flicker of
    my headlights at the exact time of the knock. First noticed @ 1000 miles, now have
    16500 mi on my 02 SE. Recently drove a new
    03 LE with 200 miles on it, got the same noise. Anybody else ever notice this??
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    What you're hearing isn't knocking from the engine, it's the ABS system performing a self-diagnostic. It's normal. My 97 LE does it, my new Acura TSX does it, and so does my 93 Accord.

    The fact that your headlights dim when this happens provides further evidence, since the ABS system is electrically activated.
  • brisoupbrisoup Posts: 44
    Hi, I have a 2002 LE with automatic climate control.I was wondering if anyone knows how to switch the temperature reading from farinheite to celcius.I'm assuming there is a way to do this since Pathfinder's are also sold in Canada and other countries where the metric system is used.It doesn't say anything about this in the owners manual.Any info would be appreciated.
  • wiseone2wiseone2 Posts: 15
    Thanx for the info., dealer said noise was
    normal, but didn't explain what it was. It
    has really bothered me since I first heard
    the noise. I was somewhat distrustful of
    the dealer. I was really convinced that it
    was detonation and the headlight flicker was
    indicating a power loss. I appreciate the
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Brisoup, I have the factory service manual for model year '01 (I assume '02 is identical) and it appears that there is no way to change it from Farenheit to Celsius. The service manual repeatedly refers to a different model temperature control for Canadian models that is Celsius calibrated. However, I used to own a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and when you changed the outside thermometer from Farenheit to Celsius the heating/AC system would change with it. Looks like Nissans are different.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    My '01 PF with 71K miles has a pulsating whistling noise at idle when the engine is cold. The noise goes away as the engine warms up. Sounds like the noise is coming from the area of the engine cooling fan...perhaps the water pump? Anyone have any ideas what this might be? Thanks in advance for your help.
  • brisoupbrisoup Posts: 44
    Shark,Thanks for the info.There really is no need to switch the display to celcius since I live in the good ole' USA. I was on a really long drive a few weeks ago and wondered if I could switch it over(I tried everything I could think of.) It just bugged me because I couldn't switch it over.Again,Thanks for the info!!!!
  • brisoupbrisoup Posts: 44
    Hey Shark. The whistling noise can come from a number of things.First, did you ever replace both drive belts?If you didn't, Thats the first thing I would do.Also I would check the fan clutch .You can check this by trying to spin the fan with your hand.You should have a great deal of resistance when you try to spin it.If the fan spins freely the clutch is probably shot.Usually if it is your water pump making the noise it will also be leaking and/or over heating. Hope this helps...
  • rctltrctlt Posts: 2
    the speedometer and tach stick on my 94 pathfinder, sometimes even while at idle the speedo will show 40 or 50 mph and the tach will be pegged at 8 grand other times they do not work at all,, anyone else have this problem or know the fix for it?
  • drk43drk43 Posts: 1
    Has anyone had a similar problem with the a/c system generating a sour/musty smell in the cabin? I have a 2001 PF and ever since 30K miles the problem has been there. The dealer says it's because I run the a/c on recirc too much and bacteria forms and doesn't get cleared out...on recirc mode. For $90 they flushed out the a/c components, as a "maintenance" item not under warranty, but 3 months later the smell was back. On a tip I tried using Lysol sprayed directly in the return air compartment but the results were not great. Need remedy or advise.
  • bd70bd70 Posts: 30
    I just noticed a low grinding noise/feel coming from the front brakes of my '03 LE. It is really only noticeable when I brake harder. Not quite as hard as an emergency stop, but enough to make the distance shorter than a normal stop. The thing is that I only have about 11K on the car. I know the rotors are very prone to warping problems, but has anyone else had problems with their brakes wearing down this early? I need to bring it in for an oil change very soon so I'd like to bring some additional knowledge about any brake problems when I go. Thanks.
  • I've heard horror stories about the Pathfinder's exhaust manifold bolts breaking from the heating/cooling and how it gets expensive to replace them. Has Nissan found a permanent "fix" for the problem yet?
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    Could be just dirty brakes. Do you drive off road? If you feel the pedal pulsate then it could be the ABS. Have them inspect your brakes. It should be free and/or covered under warranty. Good luck!!
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    I posted about this problem about a month ago, but received no responses...trying again hoping that someone has an idea because I'm stumped. I own an '01 PF, and everytime it rains the carpet under the driver's floor mat gets wet. I first noticed it one day after washing the car and then taking the floor mats out to clean them. The floor mat that protects the carpet does not get wet. Seems like the water is somehow getting under the carpet from somewhere. The same thing happens whether the truck is sitting in the driveway in the rain or if I'm driving in the rain. I've checked around the door seals, around the windshield, and under the hood around the firewall...nothing seems to be amiss. I've even checked the sunroof drains by pouring water down them...they seem to be draining properly. I've gone under the dashboard with a flashlight looking for evidence of water or moisture, and can't find anything. I want to get it fixed because i'm afraid the floor will eventually rust. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
  • langodlangod Posts: 33
    Only thing I can think of would be a leak under the carpet -- like a missing rubber grommet or something.
    I've had similar problems on other cars -- but always related to something boneheaded that I did.
    (I once found 4 inches of water in the footwell of my Datsun 210. I had run a wire for my "new" foglights through the doorjamb and the rain trickled down the wire into the car....)

    If you haven't done so, I would try seeing if you can tell where it starts. Spray the car a little bit and check the carpet, spray a little more, check the carpet, etc, etc. Until you can find exactly where the leak starts under the carpet. Maybe it'll give you a clue as to where to look.
  • sivisivi Posts: 20
    my battery went bad after 2 years. i took to nissan dealer in another state. it took dealer one half hour to change batt. it took another 1.5 hours to figure prorate charge. it cost me 35$,AND I FINALLY got batt with nissan written on it.
  • timstims Posts: 1
    We have about 6,000 miles on our 2003 LE. Last weekend the "Service Engine Soon" light came on after the engine started running rough on a trip back from Atlanta. The local dealer replaced a "VTC Sensor". Ran fine for most of the next day. Then it started running rough again. The light has not come back on. Seems to happen after the engine has been shut off for a while and when started runs smooth until shifting into 2nd gear (automatic). After the engine has been shut off for a while, it will start up and run fine again (for a while)The local dealer is still trying to get the problem to occur. Anyone else had this problem?
  • Thanks for your support- already heading that direction. Too bad for the PF, though.
  • uopjeepuopjeep Posts: 2
    a friend of mine has a 2003 pathfinder. she was having problems with the vehicle overheating. the dealership claims to have replaced two thermostats to correct the situation. do pathfinders have a dual thermostat system?
  • Hi All -

    I had a trailer hitch installed (Eaz-Lift) on my 2001 Pathfinder and now the muffler hits the hitch whenever I hit a bump, especially when turning.

    I recall seeing this problem brought up in these forums before. I did a search but was unable to find any solutions.

    So, does anyone have a solution to this? It's starting to get really annoying to hear it banging away while I drive.

  • Hate to bring up the topic of my screwed up clutch repair again, BUT...
    There's this thing hanging underneath the truck. It's a metal fitting of some sort, with 2 curved "tubes" that are open on one end, and attached to 2 rubber hoses, each perhaps 1/4" in diameter. This is attached to the top of the transmission, I can't see it but can feel it. I'm guessing this is a vent of some sort for the manual trans, and it does appear to be leaking a light-colored oil. I don't think it's supposed to be just hanging loosely under the trans. Anyone know for sure what this thing is and where it's supposed to go?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I resolved my problem by sliding the rubber exhaust holders and adding another one to keep them in a position such that the exhaust can't hit the hitch. There is a flex joint in the exhaust so this fix was possible.
  • ooh! good idea, pathstar1!

    I was looking through various search results from the forums here and found one that mentioned a support "hanger" on the inlet side of the muffler. I didn't know that was even there. So I pushed that one as far as it would go and that seems to have alleviated the problem. If they slide back, I may go buy a couple of extra rubber exhaust holders and do as you suggested.

    Are they hard to remove and put on? (They're sort of difficult to slide around.) Or do you just install the 2nd one on w/o removing the first one?

  • robbmedrobbmed Posts: 2
    My '01 PF has gone through three replacements of these sensors since I got it back in Sep'00. First time was when the mileage was more than 15k. The other was when it was over 35k and the most recent was about 8k after that. No problems with how engine behaved/ran though. It was just that damn "service engine soon" light that bothered me. Dealer replaced sensors for free so that was ok. Strangely, they had no explanation for it. Hope your truck will be fine.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Lub the rubber so it slides easily and just add it. No need to remove the stock one. I used silicone dielectric grease for lub. but dish detergent etc. will also work.
  • brisoupbrisoup Posts: 44
    My 2002 Pathfinder seems to be making a chirping noise from it's drive belt when I first start it up when the engines cold.It seems worse when it is cold and or damp outside.The noise sounds like a bird is chirping under the hood.It seems to mostly go away after several minites of the engine running.The truck has 19000 miles on it and the drive belts are tight and do not show any signs of wear.The dealer looked at the belts and said everything is normal and some noise can be expected.Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You're talking of the fan/alt./water pump/A/C/power steering belts, I presume? If so, you can buy belt lube in spray cans. Use sparingly. You may want to clean the belt "teeth" and pulley grooves with a brush first to make sure there is no dirt in the grooves. I use an old toothbrush.

    Contrary to first thoughts, belt lube does not make belts slip. What it does is make it easier for the belt to seat into the grooves on the pulleys. This allows the belt to operate at a lower temp. (less friction entering and leaving the grooves) and usually makes them quieter.

    Belts get their "grip" on the "V" groove sides, not on the "bottom" of the grooves, so the better they seat into the grooves, the better the grip.
  • joe233joe233 Posts: 43
    Does the auto power seat need to be lubricated? At 50K mi, it doesn't sound as smooth as it used to.
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