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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,034
    I'd have the radiator pulled and cleaned or replaced I think. It definitely sounds like a coolant circulation issue, not an air circulation issue. You might also consider a transmission cooler.

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  • steve2002steve2002 Posts: 4
    the warranty ran out 500 miles ago. go figure. after I got it back from the shop I went up a hill at about 45 miles per hour with the boat so has not to overwork the engine and the temp. still rose very rapidly (it was just about to go into the red at the top of the hill)and once I started down the hill the temp started dropping back down to normal right away. the hill is only about a mile long. I tried this both with the overdrive on and again with the overdrive off and had the same result. I will suggest the hoses to the shop like you said. originally when this started I did notice when I rev the motor up to about 4000 rpm the lower hose started to collapse a bit. told the mechanic about it but he did not seem to concerned about it. should this hose be a reinvorsed hose?
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Steve, I don't know what a reinvorsed hose is, but if you were able to see the lower hose start to collapse, it definitely needs replacement. Of course that doesn't guarantee your problem will be solved, but I would not be surprised if that was the only thing ever wrong with your cooling system. If that turns out to be the case I would complain loudly to whoever you paid to replace the thermostat and fan clutch, and demand a refund, unless they told you (and you agreed) before they made the repair what they were going to do and that it might not solve the issue. If you are so inclined, I would even go to small claims court to recover your money. For them to have not picked up on a bad hose, assuming you explained the problem the same way as you posted here, is inexcusable for someone who holds themself out to be an automotive technician. You need to find a mechanic who knows how and is willing to take the time to diagnose problems, not just start blindly replacing parts. With all due respect, I tend to disagree with Mr. Shiftright...doubt you have a radiator issue. While a larger trans cooler would not be a bad thing, your truck already has one from the factory and your truck should have no issue towing 2900 lbs. What I would do is have your trans fluid completely flushed (not just a drain and refill, which does not replace the fluid in the toque converter) in the near future, and again at the fluid change intervals shown in your owner's manual. Please let us know what happens with you truck as we can all learn from your experience.
  • eclipse2eclipse2 Posts: 64
    We got this Pathfinder at the end of Dec new and in Feb we had to get the belts done because they snap! then 2 days ago they snap again! and guess what today it snap again! the dealer said that Nissan knows about this and is working on a fix for this well this is the 3 time and we have plans on going away on a 10 hour drive this week coming it only has 6000 miles on this Suv and all they did was change the belts each time it happen! is this a case for the lemon law? I hate this Suv we should have gotten the Acura MDX.....6000 miles and the belts changed 3 times :lemon:
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Seriously, this could be a really simple fix, and it would only take a few minutes of your time in the driveway. Spray the radiator with a garden hose. If the water comes out brown, then that means the radiator is clogged with mud. No matter what else you do to the cooling system, it won't help if your radiator isn't allowing air to flow.

    On the other hand, if the water runs clear, or if you've already done this, then I guess you have some more troubleshooting to do. :confuse:
  • steve2002steve2002 Posts: 4
    I'll let you know, I return it to the shop this wednesday, it will be interesting to see how they handle this after paying them so much not to fix the problem. and yes I told them about the hose starting to collaspe but they seemed to think that the hose was collasping as a result of whatever the problem is not that the problem was the hose.will see.
  • woody17woody17 Posts: 1
    I am looking at purchasing a '97 pathfinder with 114KM and I am concerned on the milage or life of the engine. What do you feel is the life of the engine before in needs to be rebuilt?
  • 01pf_se01pf_se Posts: 10
    if your engine was properly maintained than its just been broken in at 114,000 miles. you can go 200 -300,000 miles easy if taken care of.
  • Howdy everyone.
    I have got a manual 2002 pathfinder. The check engine light comes on (and stays) after I drive on highway with cruise on. After it happened the first time I went to a mechanic I know and he said it's oxygen sensor #2 and zeroed the thing. But after 600-700 miles in a similar situation it went on again. Do you guys have an idea why this is happening? Is the sensor really faulty or do you think it's because when a manual car goes on cruise uphill, since the gearbox cannot kickdown, the gas-air mixture becomes richer in gas (and poorer in oxygen), which triggers the sensor to send a signal?
    Many thanks for your responses.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I have replaced 2 of the 4 oxygen sensors on my 2001 PF. Both times I had an intermittent check engine light & the code indicated the sensors specifically. I replaced them myself & reset the codes & it hasn't returned either time. Not sure what the mechanic could have done to "zero the thing." Good luck if you have to pay the dealership to do it... expensive.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I agree with the previous poster. The engine has a lot more life left in it. However, at 114,000 miles, you should check that the timing belt has been changed. It's service interval is 105,000 miles. The engine won't last long at all if the timing belt breaks.
  • mowdddy2mowdddy2 Posts: 1
    i have a 95 pathfinder with 130000 miles on it and it has been dying at different times just out of the blue when it dies i have no spark but when it sets for a while could be 10 min or as long as 8 hrs it fires right back up and it seemed to die when u turned right had mach look at it replace the part that give coil spark it started then put back on old part and it started again just wandering what could be wrong
  • kornjakekornjake Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Pathfinder SE-V6 automatic transmission with 151000 miles on it. It will only start intermittently. I have replaced the starter, the fuse linkage(at the suggestion of my mechanic), and the battery checks out ok. I have been having this problem for a while and cannot figure out if it is in the wiring to the starter or the ignition. I have found that alot of people right in with this same problem but no one can come up with an actual solution. Any feedback or advice on what to do will be greatly appreciated.
  • mypfmypf Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem and my PF is at 60K. I have found plent of sights where people experience this. I think it is in the electrical harness, particularly in the ignition switch.
    When I put in the key and turn it, the fuel system pressures up and anything connected directly to the battery (radio and air blower) come on. Anything connected to the ignition switch is unresponsive (dash lights, ignition, windows, etc). The only thing I have found to do is leave the key in the ignition and walk away. After about ten minutes it usually begins to respond. I have left two messages with my local dealer to get a quote on parts and labor for a new harness.

    Good luck.
  • I have been dealing w/ this for 2 yrs now. 2003 PF bought new. In the end of '04 it started-the car would just lose power. Took to dealer & about 6 times(over 2 yrs)they were unable to duplicate the complaint. 2 x's the SES light came on & they replaced the VTC Solenoid(2x's). Among other things,I had an oil change on Jan 31 & apparently an oil leak repaired,& SES light came on May 9,took to dealer and was told there was no oil in my car!BONE DRY! They then supposedly repaired an oil leak again(& that pesky VTC thing)then last week the car lost power again! back to the dealership-the car has less than 2 quarts of oil-Now I am going through an oil consumption test. Any other complaints similiar???
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Steve, just curious...what happened when you took the truck to the shop on Wednesday?
  • ccr_79ccr_79 Posts: 1
    I own a 92 Pathfinder SE, auto, 4x4, 166,000 miles. I was driving along and went to accelerate through a traffic light,and the engine revved up, but I wasn't going any faster. I coasted to a stop and when I went to try all the gears, I had nothing. I checked the fluid and it was at a safe level, and it didn't smell burnt. There was no visible leakage underneath. No slipping to speak of either. The only thing, is that when I would first start it up, the shifter was a little stubborn, but after 20 seconds or so, I was able to shift in gear and take off. I took it to a tranny shop and the mechanic checked it over, but said it would cost $300 just to take it out and inspect it. I just put insurance on it earlier that day, and haven't had the chance to enjoy it. Can anyone help? :confuse:
  • pwlong19pwlong19 Posts: 3
    Intermittent problem. After several starts and stops during the day, I go to start the car and the car wont start. When I turn the key, all I hear is clicking of a relay, possibly two relays clicking. All other electrical working, ie radio, indicator lights, power windows, etc. If I let the car sit long enough, then it will start.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Try cleaning the battery terminals. A bad connection there will often cause the symptoms you've described.
  • jim243jim243 Posts: 7
    I just had a very similar problem with a 1998 Pathfinder that I first thought was fuel related. I topped off my tank with 6.5 gallons of gas on a Friday. Drove home without a problem, did not use it much over the weekend and left for Florida on Monday and returned on Saturday. Did not use it on the weekend and used it on Monday for the first time. It stalled backing out of my driveway, stalled again in the street and had numerious problens starting it. It even stalled while driving. My initial reaction was dirty gas or water in the gas. I replaced the fuel filter, added fuel injector cleaner and dry gas. I was forced to use starting fluid to get it going but sometimes even starting fluid did not work. It seemed starved for fuel because after the starting fluid burned off it was like the igition wires had been put on the wrong plugs. Sometimes it would start and run just fine but if you turned it off it would not restart. Sometimes you could crank it 20 times before it would start. This lead me to replace the fuel filter again but with no change in the performance. I then decided to replace the fuel pump (that was not too much fun). I tested the fuel pump after it was removed and it worked. I replaced it because I thought it might not be putting out the right pressure or not overcoming the starting resistance. Again there was no improvement in performance.

    I then did more research and began to suspect the fuel pump relay. It is located in the engine compartment next to the battery in the fuse/relay box. I checked the relay when starting and could feel it click. I then decided to check the power from the relay to the fuel pump. I disconnected the wiring harness at the fuel pump (under the rear seat, access plate removed). There are 2 connectors -- the smaller connector powers fuel pump -- the larger connector is for the fuel temperature and fuel level. I connected a test light to the 2 terminals on the wire harness. At first the test light did not come on when the ignition was turned on. I removed the relay and re-seated it. Finally the light came on but when I removed the test light and connected the harness to the fuel pump and turned on the ignition it did not start. After numerious times I re-seated the relay and then the engine started. I can only figure that the contacts on the relay or the wiring harness were corroded. I then used electrical contact cleaner on the terminals and it starts every time. To be on the safe side I replaced fuel pump relay and I also cleaned out the fuse/relay box by removing the bottom of the box. I did not notice any corrosion on any of the contacts. There was only normal dust from the engine compartment and 2 dead spiders at the bottom of the case. I took apart the old relay figuring it might have a spider web in it that prevented electrical contact but it was crystal clean. I gave you as much detail as possible so you could see some of the false leads I followed. My best advice is not to make assumptions but try to use some logic and test the components to be sure they are working or not.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    My sister has an '02 PF with 60K miles and a manual transmission. There is a scraping noise when accelerating in 2nd gear only, and the harder you accelerate the louder the noise is. I have an '01 with an automatic trans, and have never experienced anything like this. Anyone have any ideas what the noise might be?
  • I have a 2005 SE, with 25,000 miles on it (about 45,000 KM), I've had it for 20 months. When driving on the highway and I hit 75 mph (120 km/hr) it suddenly feels like the front end of the truck is driving on winter tires (studded tires). When I hit 85 mph (about 140 km/hr) it feels like I'm driving on loose gravel - the vibration is that bad. This is on dry, smooth, newly laid down highway asphalt.

    I have had the wheels aligned and balanced twice in the last 2 weeks by Nissan to correct the problem, but the vibration has not gone away. Nissan tells me that my OEM BF Goodrich tires are damaged and have become "notched" due to the condition of the roads, and that they will need to be replaced to eliminate the problem. These are 16" SUV tires with only 25,000 miles on them! Tires that have never been off pavement for more than 4 seconds...and...heck...this thing is an SUV, it can take a few potholes can't it?

    I haven't started to [non-permissible content removed] and moan yet to Nissan - but I'm aiming to soon. I wanted to get some of the 2005 owner feedback before if I could. You may want to get out on the highway and open up the throttle and see if you feel any difference once you get past 75 mpg. Nissan did have some big issues in 2003/04 with front end suspensions for a number of their models. Let me know what you come up with - this may effect your Pathfinder down the road.

    The long-term test Pathfinder that PBS's Motorweek had also had this exact trouble with vibration - check out their review at
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    The difference is that it sounds like Motorweek was able to correct the problem by re-balancing the tires and wheels, but your dealer was not successful. I have an '01 PF and there is a well documented problem with wheel/tire balance on that model year (as I recall the same issue afflicted '02 models also). The only way to properly balance the wheels and tires on my truck is to use a Hunter GSP9700 Road Force Balancing Machine, and the operator has to be patient, apparently the wheels/tires on my truck (stock, not aftermarket) are very difficult to correctly balance. Perhaps this might solve your issue, too. To find a garage or dealer with a GSP9700 machine, go to, and click on "locate a gsp9700". Please take the time to let us know how you are able to have the issue with your truck corrected.
  • Shark715 - Thanks for the quick reply. I am trying to get in touch with Motorweek to see if in fact if they have solved their problem. Reading their review, your are left to assume that it is solved because they don't mention it again after they balance the wheels. In fact, with me, the problem got worse after the first balancing and wheel alignment. Initially, the vibration only kicked in at 85 mph, now like clock work, it's there at 75 mph. I will search out for your recommended equipment, hopefully at dealer/warranty coverage. Thanks again.
  • Sorry, me again. What are your thoughts on original BF Goodrich's needing to be replaced after 25,000 miles? I know you can't see them, but honestly these things look brand new. They have 80% to 85% wear remaining and have no visable sign of any damage across the tread whatsoever. I know Goodrich is not the top of the line tire but is Nissan trying to pass the buck to this tire manufacturer?
  • pwlong19pwlong19 Posts: 3
    I talked to a mechanic at the local Nissan dealer and he said it might be the starter. He said a simple test was to whack the starter with something like a broom handle the next time it wont start. Ive tried it once and it worked! Im waiting for the next time it happens to be sure before I go out and buy another starter($150+). FYI
  • pwlong19pwlong19 Posts: 3
    Second time now that the car wouldn't start and I banged on the starter, took three times, but it started. I'll be installing a new starter soon and I'll repost if the problem doesn't go away. :)
  • jack0565jack0565 Posts: 6
    Hi all
    I'm having problems with controlling my rear windows from my drivers side control switch. I'm sure it's the switch becuase I could reach to the rear and move them. Can someone tell me the best way to remove the control switch. I've ordered a new unit ot replace it. Thanks in advance.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    I don't know the answer to you question, but if the problem was the the master switch would it not also affect your ability to operate the front passenger side window too?
  • jack0565jack0565 Posts: 6
    I don't think so. I think the whole unit consists of separate relays for different functions. I'm just changing the whole unit because I have one on hand.
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