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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    Had the same problem on my 01 PF when it was newer. It hasn't shown up in many months now. Never did decide why. It just went away.
  • ubrsfubrsf Posts: 51
    As i was coming back from a trip this weekend my 96 PF seemed to jerk or sputter a bit when i was coming down hill and i would let off the gas, or when traffic would come to a stop and i'd press on the brake, as soon as i would let off
    the brake to move slowly, it would sputter. Could this be that the idling needs adjustment?. any suggestions? it only does it now and
  • duperduper Posts: 127
    It could be the throttle body that needs cleaning. My old Prelude behaved the same way until I had it cleaned. Nissan is advertising a throttle body service for $85.
  • dny42dny42 Posts: 8
    Last week on my way back from San Antonio, I was following two cars doing 110 miles per hour and all of a sudden I felt this jerk, which scared me and almost a sound like the car stopped running. Has anyone else incurred this problem?
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    ...I'm guessing you probably hit the rev limiter or the speed limiter on the engine. They're there to prevent folks from over-revving their engines or driving too quickly for the light truck tires that are typically spec'd for SUVs (so they don't come apart like a cheap Firestone).
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    dny42: Do the state police have your e-mail address???
  • Hello, I have a new 2001 Pathfinder SE, with approx 2,000 miles. I notice a distinct engine pinging between 2-3K rpms, only while driving. I've tried lower octane fuel 87 instead of 91, and the problem persists (I live in Colorado.) Has anyone had this experience? What did you do to fix it? Any other suggestions? Thanks.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I believe it will make it worse. If this is happening all the time w/o you significantly loading the engine (heavy load carried uphill on hot day, etc.) then I would say you should have it checked out immediately by your dealer. Pinging is very harmful to the engine over time. The thin air at high altitude in Colorado can lead to pinging if the engine mgmt computer is not compensating for it, but that would mean something is wrong with the EMC, sensors, etc.
  • I forgot to mention that the dealer suggested I change octane. They couldn't find anything wrong with the vehicle when I brought it in for the 1500 mile checkup. If this persists, do I have a legitimate gripe for LEMON?
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394 reduce pinging? This is contrary to what I've been told. Anyone else heard one way or the other?
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    In response to Phil's post, I have never heard of lowering the octane number to reduce pinging. That just doesn't make any sense.

    With what is going on, I would suggest that the dealer check the timing of the ignition. I know that we have direct-ignition but something is screwing with the timing to have the truck detonate so prematurely (As someone said: Check the ECU).

    The only other problem that you could be having is that your gas is so dirty that it is causing detonation or extreme rapid build up of carbon (the second might just too out there for a motor with only 1500 miles on it).

    Good luck and please let us know that the dealer says.
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Always go to a higher octane if you have pinging! Try a tank of the 10% enthanol premium (Sonoco in the US?). I use it exclusively now (Mohawk in Canada) - great stuff and the vehicle smells like an alcohol burner ;-). Yes, the owners manual says not to use gasahol, but they're worried about methyl hydrate which is not good without extensive modifications to the fuel system. Ethyl alcohol is pretty much harmless and you get a bonus as it cleans out any water in the system. It also keeps the engine much cleaner (higher octane fuels often add tolulene to get higher octane ratings, but the tolulene usually carbons up the engine.
  • dny42dny42 Posts: 8
    In response to Meca2, I was following some other speed demons on my way back from Houston and they left me in the dirt when I was doing 110. And as far as I know, the state police DO NOT have my em-ail address. Since I've never driven that fast before, I didn't even know there was a rev limited on cars. Thanks for the info phil47.
  • faith318faith318 Posts: 1
    I am so disappointed in my Pathfinder and my dealer. I have a 2000 PF with only 24,000 miles on it. I have had routine dealer service on it (oil changes etc.). Recently I noticed that I was having VERY uneven tire wear and my steering wheel would vibrate severely around 60-65 mph. I took it to my dealer and they told me that with 4x4's that this was common and that I needed new tires and a 4 wheel alignment. New tires at 24,000 miles? Anyway, I purchased new tires and had the alignment performed last week. This weekend I noticed that my car still shimmys at 60-65mph AND now when I hit the brakes my car shakes pretty severely. So, tonight I took it to the dealer and they said they road tested it and the rotors are bad and needed to be grinded??? What is going on here?? I never took it off road. I do strictly local and highway driving. Again, I only have 24k miles on this vehicle. Any suggestions? Should I fight the dealer or call Nissan? Please help!!!
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    faith318: It might be a good idea to take your PF to an independent front end garage and get a second opinion. I had an Explorer that shook and pulled to the right. Took it to the dealer 7 times to get it fixed and finaly took it to a good front-end shop and he fixed it in 1 hour. I took the bill to the dealer where I bought the pile from and they paid me for the alignment. Good Luck Steve
  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167

    I would definitely ask a friend or co-worker to recommend a tire and brake shop that they like and then take your truck there to get a second opinion.

    However, it sounds like the dealer is correct in telling you what needs to be done. How they went about doing the other stuff is another story.

    The shakes from the brakes a probably due to a warped rotor or two. You don't have to go off-road to warp your rotors. It is simply a matter of your brakes heating the rotors up and then the rotors cooling down. If you drive aggresively or have to brake hard sometimes, that could be a small part of the cause. Another, more likely, cause is that maybe you were driving (using your brakes normally) and drove through some high water or in a sudden heavy down pour of rain. The sudden cooling of the rotors will cause them to warp. I'm just under 30,000 miles and starting to notice a little warping on my rotors. My Honda Accord has had slightly warped rotors since 22,000 miles. The dealer wants to do what is called "turning" the rotors. They will actually grind off part of the surface of the rotor where the brake pads touch the rotor to make it perfectly flat. Your other option would be to replace the rotors. No matter where you go, you will probably need to have this done.

    Now for the tires. The tires could have worn unevenly for a number of reasons. Poor alignment is a main cause and is probably at least partly to blame for your tire wear. The other issue is that the Pathfinder just eats tires, regardless of proper alignment. I had to have my tires replaced at about 28,000 miles. I kept them balanced and aligned. As far as the vibration is concerned, I have only found a couple of places that can balance the tires on my Pathfinder. The one thing that all of those places have in common is the balance machine they use: a Hunter GSP 9700. If you go to this website:

    click on "Locate a GSP 9700" to find a shop in your area that has one of these machines. Even the Nissan place couldn't balance my tires in several tries, so they sent my truck to one of these places because the Nissan Technical Service Bulletin told them to.

    Good luck with your truck. You will really enjoy it again when you get this taken care of.

  • winnyvwinnyv Posts: 30
    You must be one of the lucky ones dny42, I believe most Pathfinders have a 105mph limiter.
  • Well, I took pathfinder 2001 back to the dealer to have them witness the noise. Sure enough, Murphy's laws were at work for the first test drive. Finally, when I took the head mechanic out, he heard the noise. At first, he thought it was a rattle. After pulling over and checking the vehicle, it continued to ping when accelerating. Needless to say, they are looking into it and are checking with Nissan. Hopefully, they can identify a root cause, but I have my doubts. If they can't, can I start documenting a case for Lemon?
  • kmrqkmrq Posts: 50
    I have a 99.5 PF, and I hit 110mph also. I could've pushed it for more, it had no sign of limitation in PF, since the mph only shows 120. But, I believe PF doesnt contain a chip that limits the speed. I'm not really sure, does anyone know??
  • winnyvwinnyv Posts: 30
    I have a 2001 and it shuts down at 105. Also, just because
    the speedometer says 120 or 140 or whatever, this does not
    mean the vehicle can go this fast.
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    As with the Sentra, the Pathy does indeed have a speed limiter. However, I think the reason why people are seeing different speeds when they hit the speed limit can be as simple as either running different size tyres or just good ol' speedometer error.
  • brian60brian60 Posts: 76
    I have a 99.5 PF that's getting a 30k service and a new set of rotors due to warping. This is actually the second time I have had to have the rotors replaced due to warping, which surprised the service guy as well. I tend to drive somewhat aggressively and make many trips to the mountains, but I do not feel like I am abusing my brakes in any way. I intend to contact Nissan about this matter.

    nismofreak, i don't think i would worry too much about that surface rust as it is quite normal. most new cars at a dealer have some underbody rust that no one ever sees.
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    I think you might be a good candidate for cryo-treated rotors. I have used those on my track toy with great success. If there is a good speed shop near you, they may have the facilities for it. It basically hardens the rotors and they resist warping.
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    What do you suppose the threaded area is for? Didn't notice any on ours but if it serious I will check it out.
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    Those threaded holes are for the "brush bar" installation. The ones in the back are for the receiver hitch.
  • jhawkeyejhawkeye Posts: 3
    One of the most common causes for warped rotors is different torque to the individual wheel lugs. An air wrench can warp a rotor with little effort.
  • jecklesjeckles Posts: 87
    Well the vibration saga continues... I went to a second Nissan Dealer yesterday and gave them a detailed description of the vibration problem. I also asked them to check the run-out of the drive shaft. (as advised by service manual)

    After lunch they called me and said the vibration is normal for pathfinders. The service mgr. supposedly spoke with engineers at Nissan that said nothing could be done. Hence he did nothing. Expecting me to be disappointed, the service mgr. said to call 800-NISSAN1 if I was unhappy. I called and got a friendly denial to help.

    I drove another PF on the lot and it only vibrated about half as much. So I asked where they drew the line between normal and abnormal. The Service mgr was unable to answer and got quite angry.

    Sorry for the long post, but how many other 2001 PF 4x4 owners have noticed slight vibrations. This vibration is felt from the drive train, but goes away when coasting. Mine happens at ~40 mph.
  • sanandtonsanandton Posts: 342
    Where do you live. I would be willing to meet and do a swap drive. I don't think I have any vibration, but then I don't exactly know what you are describing. I have had my 01 PF over one year now and it is smooth as silk. I live in the upstate of SC in Greenville.
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    jeckles: Mine has a slight vibration a 20mph excellerating uphill. I think it's from
    the pinion gear in the rear differential. Does your PF stop the vibration when coasting?
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