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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • I went to wax my 1997 Pathfinder and found rust in a few places. Interface of body panel and rear mud guard around wheel well just below bottom rear corner of rear passenger door. Also, running mid-rear bumper at seam between upper and lower half of rear bumper on each side. I keep it reasonably clean and the last few winters have been pretty mild so not the usual salt bath from driving on upper midwest roads. Anyone else seeing rust in these areas? The corner under the door by the wheel well looks like it forms a little "lip" to hold water which will increase the risk of damage there.

    Fortunately I have the brownish looking paint with black bumpers which hides it pretty well.
  • hanksmomhanksmom Posts: 1
    Hi - I had my PF detailed this weekend and now the suspension control button will not turn off from Sport. The button moves the light stays on and no change in the stiffness. Can anybody suggest what might have happen. Fuses? Moisture?Thank you for any suggestions.
  • hazel4hazel4 Posts: 1
    Looking for any help/advice. I have a 2000 Pathfinder. In Aug of 2002, everything on the dashboard would stick or go down to zero and the mileage counter would disappear. The dealer replaced the circuit board. It was still under warranty so I didn't have to pay anything.

    In Feb of this year, it started doing it again. I brought it back to the dealer and was told I need a new speed sensor which I had them replace. Now two weeks later, it is doing it again. I brought it back to the dealer and was told I need a new circuit board. The dealer's comments and Nissan's 800 number's comments were that even though I had it replaced 18 months ago, these things happen and I don't have any choice.

    My question is - does this seem normal or right? Within a period of 18 months and 27,000 miles, the same problem has occurred - supposedly fixed the first time. Do I have any recourse or do I just have to belly up and pay the $520 for a new circuit board (on top of the $425 paid for the speed sensor)?

    Anyone fight Nissan on this and win?
  • roger619roger619 Posts: 4
    Hello, fellow Pathfinder owners. Two weeks ago I bought an '04 PF SE and immediately started using it on my daily 86-mile round-trip commute, respecting the break-in rules of varying speeds, gentle acceleration, keeping RPMs below 4000, etc. However, I noticed last night when the engine was cold that the coolant level in the overflow tank was barely at the MIN level, although I haven't had any problems, smelled anything unusual, or noticed any leaks. The outside temp. has been around 80 during the daytime; maybe after the vehicle's been driven the excess coolant just takes longer to seep into the overflow tank? Advice appreciated.
  • zzr12zzr12 Posts: 18
    I also purchased an 04 Pathfinder LE and found the coolant level low. I added about 1/2 quart of coolant and water.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    My 2001 was like that when I bought it new. See, they save $0.05 on each vehicle by giving you that much less coolant. It's called "profits".
  • i just recently bought an '03 pathfinder from a friend of mine who moved out of the country. he doesn't have the car manual when i bought the path. my question is how does the AC work when the temp range (to blow cold air) only goes down to 60 degrees? since i bought the path in the winter i've never really tried the AC until yesterday. do i even have AC installed in the pathfinder??? any help would be apprecaited. thanks!!!!!
  • blawsonblawson Posts: 19
    You work the automatic AC/Heater just like you work the AC/heating system in your home. You set the desired temperature and the system does the rest to maintain that temperature. If it is 40 degrees outside and you set AC/heating system to 74 degrees, the system will warm the inside of the car to that temperature. If it is 90 degrees outside and you set the AC/heating system to 74 degrees, the system will cool the inside of the car to that temperature.

    By the way, you can order a replacement manual from Nissan. If you have the automatic temperature controls, you have AC installed.
  • marconnmarconn Posts: 1
    I am test driving a 2000 SE pathfinder. I have never driven one before. I must say that I really enjoy this vehicle. The bad thing is that it has 123,000 miles on it. Now the dealer states this is a good vehicle and they often get 200-300,000 miles on them. Should I be wary of this SUV? From what I have read they are reliable vehicles, but not too many state they have over 100,000 miles. Price is 13,900. They are giving me a good deal on trade in as well.

    Also, is the fuel economy really bad? I currently drive a mini-van.

    Thanks for your input!
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    I just started using Synthetic fluids and oil in my 2001 AWD 4x4 LE Pathfinder. I am using Royal Purple Synthetics in the differentials, transfer case, transmission and engine. Has any one else tried full synthetics in their newer model Pathfinders? I have been using full synthetics in my Motor Home for seven years now. They worked so well, I decided to give it a try in my Pathfinder.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    Have you researched this vehicle thru Used Car TMV? You didn't list if it has any options, but without any add ons, the dealer price I'm getting results for is a bit over $11,000.

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  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I have a '97 LE, and it's got over 124,000 miles on it. It hasn't had any major problems, and I don't expect it to have any anytime soon. I am very meticulous about maintaining the truck, too.

    One thing you should be sure to ask is whether the timing belt, water pump, and seals have been replaced. The timing belt was due for replacement at 105.000.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    My 01 LE w/ 48k started displaying the dreaded MIL light last week. My neighbor has a scan tool, so we hooked it up and pulled the codes. I was expecting an o2 failure since their is a TSB on it and I had all of them replaced around 28k. Instead, a P1140 code came up, Intake Valve Timing control sensor. I went to the library and looked up the repair procedure for this code and found about 10 pages of diagnostic procedures. I decided this was out of my league and took it to my local shop. I was charged $150 for the diagnostic and another $150 for the sensor and labor. The sensor itself is looks very easy to change since it is at the front of the engine. Oh well, $300 isn't the end of the world. Knock on wood, I won't have any more issues for a while.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    OMG, a sensor for that too! So I have to worry about valve lash AND sensor failure ;-). These new vehicles are just too smart!

    Other items to fail -
    O2 sensors - I had two fail and replaced under warrenty (2001 LE).
    We may be lucky with the coilpacks on the Pathfinder. The Maxima coilpacks are failing with regularity (same basic engine) but I haven't heard anyone complaining of this on the Pathfinder.
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    I have a 2001 AWD 4x4 automatic LE. I purchased a set of Rancho RS9000x shocks for the rear suspension about a year and a half ago. They are starting to give me trouble. The problem is that they will not dampen minor pot holes or other small raised and lowered surfaces, instead I get loud jaring sound. I have tried changing the settings on the shock, but makes no difference, in fact when I break the rear end bounces two or three times, should not bounce more than one to one and a half times. Has any one who has installed these shocks on the their Pathfinder, had any problems like mine, if so what did you do? I called Rancho and they said the shocks may be defective, so did the place I bought them from.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Dieselone, the same part on my '01 PF failed last year at 59K miles. Sounds like Nissan may have a problem with this part...they should not be failing at such low mileage. Has anyone else here had this part fail? The good news is that my truck now has 74K miles and my MIL light has never come back on. I observed no other symptoms (other than the MIL light). I took the car to the local Nissan dealer and they charged $145 for the part and $112 for labor. It took just a few minutes to read the computer and tell me exactly what the problem was. I wonder why you were charged a $150 diagnostic charge, especially since you had already scanned the computer yourself. What really irks me is the $112 charge for labor given that I was at the dealer for no more than an hour in total.
  • I had the part fail on my 01 PF LE as well. It was about a year ago. I think I had something like 25K miles. (Sorry, too lazy to look up the paperwork at the moment.) It was covered under warranty. There were no other symptoms other than the MIL light. I just wanted to reply here just in case there is a trend of this part failing.

    On another somewhat related note, what are the symptoms (if any) of O2 sensor failure? Just curious as it seems to be somewhat common.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    just showed up as a MIL light as well. Dealer found two sensors were bad, and replaced under warrenty. They think the cause is high sulphur content in the fuel.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    The diagnostic procedure with the P1140 code is several pages long. Requiring you to check about every ground and every connection with other sensors that interact with the IVTC sensor. A Nissan dealer probably has more experience with this than my local shop and either could perform the complete procedure in a shorter time, or just went ahead and replaced the part. I took my PF to a local shop that I've used for my routine maintenance because they do give good service and they are close. The two Nissan dealers in the area are both about a 1/2 hour drive and it wasn't convenient to get someone to follow me all of the way out there and back.

    BTW, if you look on MSN auto section under vehicle reliability ratings. The PF does get hit for the IVTC sensor. So it must be a fairly common problem.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Dieselone, thanks for the referral to MSN...did not know that info was there. MSN states that the problematic part is the Intake Valve Timing Control Sensor, and they say it should cost about $66.14 plus $26.00 for labor. My receipt from the dealer says they replaced the Intake Timing Control Valve and solenoid, and they charged $144.95 for the part and $112.50 for labor. Are we talking about a different part, or did I get ripped off? Thanks.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I believe we are talking about the same part. I don't know where MSN gets their info from. I called Nissan prior to taking the PF to my local shop. Nissan told me the part was around $120. I was charged roughly $150 for the part and labor to install, with an addtional $150 to diagnose. MSN does state that their cost estimate doesn't include diagnostic fees. So I guess if you got ripped off, I did too.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    It's hard to take when you see it on the bill, but check out how much the diagnostic equipment costs the dealer from Nissan and you'll understand why they want to recover some of that money. Those who are not dealers but can get the codes can only get codes, not set things (some parts chains for example). Their equipment is much more reasonable. Nissan requires dealers to spend the big bucks on their equipment.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Pathstar, I don't expect the dealers or technicians to perform diagnostic work for free. But the dealers are certainly able to pay for the equipment based on the markup they are making on labor and parts. Not only do most dealers mark up their cost of parts 100%, the typical dealer in my area charges $75 per hour for labor, but the typical "A" techician at a dealer in this area is making only $25-$30 per flat rate hour, and any good technician can beat the flat rate book by a considerable percentage. So a good techician can easily put $500 in the dealer's pocket every day, plus the parts markup. But what really irks me is that on top of this most dealers now charge additional nonsense fees such as hazardous materials fees and shop supply fees, and they try to hide them. What's the logic to a $7.00 hazardous material fee and a $5.00 shop supply fee being added to the cost of an alignment? There are no hazardous materials nor shop supplies involved. Perhaps the charge is to pay for the soap and water the technician used to wash his hands after he finished the job? I recently brought my wife's car into the dealer for the advertised $19.95 oil change. The actual cost was $31.95 due to the fees above. They were not disclosed up front, but the smiling service writer was happy to point them out in the barely legible fine print in their ad after i questioned them. It will be a long time before I feel any compassion for car dealers and their expenses.
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    I just got back from the Rancho dealer in my area, swapped out the defective Rancho's for a new set under warranty. They are rs99116 Rancho adjustable shocks. I hope this set last longer than the last. Will let you know if they don't. Has any one else had problems with their rs9916 shocks? If so did you change to new brand or or get the same ones under warranty?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    dan- why did you select Rancho? Do you need the manual adjustability? If not, there are many other OEM-style shock alternatives. Also, the shocks may perform differently if they are installed valve-side up or valve-side down. How was your last set installed?
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    Xplorx4, I installed the shocks, valve side up, I can reach over the tire and adjust the valve. I installed the shocks for towing and off road use. Most of my off road use is pretty mild compared to serious off road use. When I installed the air bags and the Rancho shocks they made a good match. I had expected the shocks to last longer then 18 months. They worked fine until this last month, when they began to show signs of ware. I first thought that the valve was leaking. but the tech at Rancho said that would not affect the compression or rebound stroke. I changed them out for another set, will see how the new set holds up. Did you have any problems with yours?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I don't have any problems with my shocks not performing well, although they're the older 5-way adjustable shocks, not the newer 9-way adjustable RS9000X.

    Did your old shocks still fail to dampen even when fully adjusted to the firmest setting?
  • danpf1danpf1 Sunny CaliforniaPosts: 90
    They failed to dampen but they did stop the bounce when braking. At the firmest setting it felt more like the mid setting and at the mid setting there was little or no damping at all, just bounce. When I tried the new RS9000x by hand I could tell the difference right a away. I will install the new shocks this week end, right now the OEM or working fine for HWY driving. Also the Rancho dealer said that the RS9000X would be a better shock than the RSX17122's for my use. He said I still get a better ride for WHY at the mid setting. Also the dealer wasn't suprised that the shocks failed so soon, that suprised me.
  • My Pathy has 45000 and is a 2001. So far I have not had any problems. But last week I disconnected the negative cable to change the Micro in cabin filter (per their instructions).
    I reconnected the negative cable and a few days later I tried to open the sunroof without any luck. Has anyone experienced this problem? Can it be a fuse? If so does anyone know which fuse box to open? Under the hood or in the vehicle?

    Any response would be greatly appreciated...
  • morgan2morgan2 Posts: 1
    my non-power driver seat is stuck! after a garage attendant returned the vehicle it is stuck in its tracks (of course, the garage was no help). has anyone experienced anything like this? has a dealer been helpful?
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