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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • You are probably right about crappy tires. But at this point I just don't know any more. I just find this "tire manufacturer thing" to be the weirdest thing when you buy a vehicle. It's kind of like you have just bought a $2000 Brooks Brothers suit, and the sleeves fall off, and when you go back to store where you bought it to have it replaced or repaired, they tell you that it's not their problem and that you will have to deal with the thread manufacturer because they are the ones that are ultimately responsible for keeping the sleeves on the suit!

    I guess from a customer loyalty perspective and from an "If this were my business perspective", I bought a SUV from Nissan and their passing the buck so quickly has left a very bad impression with me - about Nissan. When you buy a $40K plus vehicle, including additional cost extended warranties, I think that should be sufficient for Nissan to fully support their product. If a car manufacturer makes a cost decision in the manufacturing process to save $5 dollars a tire (or whatever it is) to put on an inferior grade tire on new vehicles, they should then not pass the responsability back onto the tire manufacturer when their product fails prematurely. I bought the SUV from Nissan, I expect Nissan to fully support their product - crappy tires included!

    Then to really make it fun, and I guess this is how "car company enemy's for life" are then created, when the service advisor dismisses your concerns about your wheels being out of balance by 3.5 lbs all around only 10 days after Nissan's technicians aparently put them "in balance", well that kinda got to me. After having Nissan balance and align my wheels twice within a two week period, I went to a specialty alignment shop and had the wheel balancing checked 10 days later. I drove normally in those 10 days, actually I'm a pretty cautious driver, it drives my 16 year old crazy in fact. Sorry, I digress. I probably would never have found this problem with vibration in the first place a while back if I had not been running late for an appointment one day and had to step on it on the highway. I usually I drive the highway speed limit (boring I know) at around 65-70 mpg. Once I got it up to 85 mpg the vibration really kicked in.

    Anyway, bottom build sell take my support me, because I am your customer!
  • Check out reply #2081, a lot of my thoughts and answers to your questions are in there. The service advisor did use the term "cupping" as well, your description is bang on. I also have a 99 4Runner Limited that coincidentially had Bridgestones as OEM's as well. Those tires did not suffer from feathering - just to let you know.

    Interesting enough, there is a fellow/gal on this site who is experiencing the exact same problem as I. His/her post is only a few from this one, I'm sorry, I don't have the name. As well, their is someone in my neighborhood who bought a 2005 Pathfinder SE (exact to mine) about 6 months ago. I dropped by to see her on Friday and guess what? At 12,000 miles, her tires are starting to show the high/low spots on the treads.

    So what is it - crappy tires or suspension problems??
    Only the Nissan gods can really say - and their not talking.

    Frequency of rotation/balancing was on every oil change, which was about 4000 miles. I had the wheels aligned twice a year when I switched from winters to 4 seasons - I live in Montreal. I don't know if their was any other front end problems with the truck, as Nissan would always come back with "there is nothing wrong anywhere else", this in spite of a very noticable noise (loose metallic parts) coming from the front end anytime I drove over anything slightly uneven. I guess I can keep going to garage after garage and shelling out dollars to have this thing weeded out, but I just don't have that kind of free time - does anybody have the ability to do that?

    The mystery continues.
  • greenrachgreenrach Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,

    I own a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder and I need to replace the tailpipe and back muffler. As long as I need to get a new muffler, I would like one that may help get better gas milage and better overal performance. Plus, I would love to get one with a decent exterior sound. I need to purchase this ASAP, so any help would be really appreciated!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,378
    This is not something that just a back muffler can do for you. At best, you'll make more noise and maybe get 1-2HP but no MPG. That's about it unless you go to exhaust headers, free-flow catalytic and performance rear exhaust. So save your money if you are expecting any improvement in power or MPG from just replacing a rear muffler. The stock OEM is just fine.

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  • elpantherelpanther Posts: 3
    I have an 01 Pathfinder. All of a sudden my liftgate won't open. I can open the window but not the door. Seems like the latch is not catching when I try to unlock the door. I am trying to avoid going to the dealer. Anyone have any good ideas?
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Greenrach, one other piece of advice. You will be shocked at the dealer price for a muffler on this truck. There seems to be a huge premium for OEM versus aftermarket. I suggest you also get a price from Midas, although the Midas unit to fit this truck is not exactly the same as the OEM unit...the tailpipe comes out at an angle (like it did on the '99-'00 model years) versus straight out. May not be the look you want, but you may be surprised at the cost savings.
  • Thanks for your help!
  • I just had this problem myself. After $900.00 in service and no results. It was the actual distributer. Not a tune up - the distributer had to be replaced. I am confident that is the problem. I had a full tune up, replaced all the fuel injectors, air filter, exhaust was disconnected and then reconnected. That should solve your problem.
  • I also have a 95 pathfinder that has the very same issue. It dies and then a couple days later it is fine. I have taken it to the dealer and several mechanics and no one can find anything wrong.
  • coreydcoreyd Posts: 9
    umm i had the same problem. i gave up, left it alone, and later that day it worked again. just try unlocking it manually with the key a few times. its what i ended up doing.
  • robert52robert52 Posts: 27
    Getting ready to purchase a 2003 Pathfinder with 37,000 miles. Having looked through some of the posts here, I have to admit I am having second thoughts. The dealer did have to do a repair kit on the catalytic converter as the vehicle sounded like it had a hole in the muffler. They indicated this had been a problem with this year. My wife only drives about 1/2 mile to work and back each day so gas mileage is no issue. Would you 2003 owners purchase yours again? Thanks
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I have a 2001 - basically the same as the 2003. Have had no problems with the vehicle, other than O2 sensors early on. It's a large heavy SUV, but considering that, it gets pretty good mileage.
    I'm happy with the purchase, and given what I wanted when I purchased it, if those conditions existed now, I'd buy it again.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Like Pathstar, I have an '01 which is very similar to the '03 model year. Mine has 105K miles on it, and it drives like new. While it has not been perfect, if I had perfect foresight as to the repairs I would still buy it again. Problem areas are: 1) the O2 sensors as Pathstar mentioned, 2) the intake timing sensors (there are two) which seem to last 40-70K miles (cost $200-300 to replace, including labor), 3) tires/wheels are hard to balance, but it's no big deal, you just need to find a garage with a Hunter 9700 road force balance machine...see Hunter's website or numerous past posts here, 4) brake rotors are easy to warp if you overheat the brakes. I tend to be easy on the brakes and have not suffered this problem, but many others have. My sister also has an '02 with 60k miles, and has had no serious issues with her truck at all. It's odd that the catalytic converter rusted out at 37K miles, are you sure it's not a flood/hurricane car? One piece of advise, driving a car only 1 mile a day is rough on any car. Be sure to religiously change the engine oil every 3 months irrespective of the miles driven, and expect problems with the exhaust system rusting out as it will never get heated up enough to evaporate the moisture in it.
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    I just sold my 2001 PF LE in June of 2006. Although, I miss the Pathfinder and really liked it alot, I don't miss the poor gas mileage it received. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably purchase a more fuel efficient SUV/CUV. With these current gas prices that sadly are most likely here to stay, there are better choice IMO. Currently, I'm driving my other vehicle a 99 Accord, but thinking of purchasing a wagon type vehicle for the utility aspect... Home Depot is my second home.
  • I have filed lemon law on my 03 pathfinder. The most recent repair was the new engine, and the timing control valves (3rd time). I love the car, has a very nice ride, but way too many problems. Talk to a few more people before the purchase. Good Luck!
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Just a tip about your wife's daily commute-

    A 1/2-mile trip doesn't give the engine enough time to come up to operating temperature. There are very good chances that this type of use will lead to shorter engine life. Cold starts ("cold" = less than 150°F coolant temp) are actually when the most engine wear occurs. At the very least, try to drive the vehicle at least for 1/2-hour continuously, on the highway if possible, each week, and religiously change the oil every 3000 miles.

    My parents owned a Ford van with a big-block 460 V8, which was driven about 3/4-mile a day by my mom. This wasn't enough time to even get the engine fully warmed up, even if it was "warmed up" in the driveway. The engine developed burned valves, bad rings, and eventually threw a connecting rod at only 80,000 miles.

    Just FYI.
  • pdkesqpdkesq Posts: 14
    Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this. I've got a 2005 Pathfinder LE 4x4. Its got factory installed running boards on it. Anyway, I noticed yesterday that the part you would step on (the black plastic surface on top of the running board) is coming off. This is happening on both the passenger and driver sides of the vehicle. Has anyone had this happen to them?

    I need to call my dealer and figure out what the deal is, but I'm unsure whether this is going to be covered by the warranty. It seems like it should be, it has to be some kind of defect because its happening to both of them in the same way. Its not just one side where something might have knocked it off. Its almost like whatever they used to bond the black plastic to the running board has worn away or broken.
  • After several replacement of a air flow meter, o2 sensors and a computer. The mechanic pulled open the intake manifold and found the valve for the # 3 cylinder had fallen off the shaft attached to the power valve. The other valves were also loose. Three of the brass screws exited through the engine. He re-installed all of them with loctite. The car now runs better than I remember it. I had put over 10k miles on it while the first Nissan dealer tried to figure it out. The mechanic, Shilo, was at his last straw when he opened up the manifold and found the real problem.
  • I also have a 2001 PF and the carpet on the driver side gets wet. However, I noticed that it gets wet whenever I use the air conditioner.

    Its sunny and 90 degrees outside today. So I waited until the carpet was dry then ran the AC for 15 minutes and the carpet got quite wet.

    With the AC running I checked under the dash on the passenger and driver sides but found no obvious leak or drip.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    One of your AC drains is clogged so the condensation that normally drains to the pavement is draining to the floor.
  • Just bought a 06 Pathfinder SE ... love this thing! Noticed that there is a water drip after running the A/C near the right rear tire after turning it off. Ran it about 5 miles today with windows down and no A/C and there was no drip.
    I'm assuming it's the A/C but why the drip in the front and the rear? Is it because of the vents in the rear of the vehicle? It's definitely water and never drips too much -- just don't want anything wrong with this SUV! Thanks!
  • 74k miles, V6 engine, automatic. Had the truck for 3 years. Now suddenly having stalling problems. The engine simply stops, 5-7 mins later will restart as if nothing happened.
    During the last waiting period, I tried to start and found that the only way the engine would even think about firing was if the throttle was WIDE open. Waited the extra 5 mins and it started up.
    Some weeks ago, the problem happened once a week, now it happens once every 3-4 weeks. Weird.
  • I have 2001 LE with digital climate control.
    I have recently started having a big problem that the Fan speed is always stuck at high, even though it show at #1. Even if I switch OFF the climate control, the fan still blows air at full speed. It is very annoying with the noise all the time.

    Any ideas... Thanks
  • Going into the shop for the second time tomorrow. I am fed up with this. I believe I'm starting to smell... citrus?? Do I see a lemon? 3rd time I think I get a new car?
    Problem: the gas gauge and/or DTE monitor. 1st time ran out of gas, it was 1/8 tank, I was on my way to the gas station, LOW FUEL LIGHT did not come on. Manually checked the DTE (isn't it supposed to flash?) and it was...ZERO! Yup, stalled in a busy intersection. Got towed. Dealer replaced the fuel pump or something. All was going fine (except the yahoos in the svc. dept. still can't tell me "at what number is the DTE supposed to flash".
    Happened again yesterday... on the freeway! Going back to the dealer. anyone else going thru this?
    Another question: "how much must one spend on a brand new car for it to be perfect". Apparently this wasn't enough.
  • Hello,

    Ive been having the same problem with my 1995 Nissan Pathfinder. Did you ever find out what that problem was? If so, I would greatly appreciate if you could pass this info along to me.

    Best regards,

  • Hi all,

    I am new to this forum,
    I have a 19901 Nissan Pathfinder SE, I just completed the bodywork under the rear seats. When looking underneath the truck I noticed that my rear UPPER COIL spring mount was broken (passenger side). It looks like it is attached to the frame of the truck with two bolts. Does anyone know where I might get this coil spring mount? Aftermarket, dealer or scrapyard? Any help would be appreciated.
  • I own a 2002 Pathfinder that I just bought used and its been awesome so far. I have two quick problems that I need a little help with. The first one was on my own doing. I was backing up late at night and slowly hit a concrete pole... its not bad at all and you can't really tell very much, but the bumper is bent a little bit downwards. There are little pop caps that connect the bumper to gate...there is a little bracket that I can see where the bumper is supposed to sit on top of in order to be level... is it worth trying to fix this myself or should I just take it in for service? I don't know much about my truck so it may be best to take it in unless one of you all could give me advice if its fairly easy. Also, when I reach about 70 mph or so there is a little bit of vibration. Is this the tires that just need to be rotated? Has anyone noticed this? Thanks for your help.
  • Hi:

    I have a 2001 Pathfinder that I bought used. I have been very happy with it but it does not have a Jack Handle. Since this tools lowers my full sized spare, I am stuck with no ability to lower the spare. Any idea where I can get a replacement jack handle or is the mechanism to drop the spare such that some "standard" tool might work?

  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There are two parts to the jack handle. There is a rod with a loop in one end and a tapered square on the other. The loop goes into the hole to lower the spare. The second of the two parts is a "crank" tool with a square hole in it for the tapered end of the first part. It has a handle on it. The first part should be under the rear seat. The second part should be in the tool bag (usually kept in one of the rear bins). You can get by if you can find the first part by using a crescent wrench on the square end.

    If it's missing, order it from a Nissan dealer. I don't want to know what they will charge! ;)
  • I had the Nissan dealer unclog the drains. Then in order to verify that, I held a water hose at the grates below the wipers and water actually dripped down just behind the front tires on both the driver and passenger side.

    However, with the next heavy rain, once again the carpet on the driver side is dripping wet.

    It appears that there is another source for the leak
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