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Nissan Pathfinder



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, actually a grill guard can affect when the airbag deploys, and even if it deploys. If the added (or removed) components change the rate of deceleration (which is what East Coast Bullbars are worried about), the bags could deploy in a collision that doesn't require them, or it could cut the wires or destroy the sensor if mounted in the wrong place, before the sensor detects the deceleration. If the grill guard projects in front of the vehicle it could decelerate the vehicle more gradually, causing the bags to not deploy. The products the above company make actually replace the front bumper totally, so it is more of a modification than a simple grill guard, but without proper collision research, who knows what will happen? If you wonder how I could be correct, check out all the little details in the construction of the front components Nissan had to make (e.g. stamped cuts in the belt protector so it will deform a certain way as well as certain "directing" pieces of metal to force controlled deformation). You find these techniques used in most cars now.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I still don't buy it. First, you said "If the added (or removed) components change the rate of deceleration (which is what East Coast Bullbars are worried about), the bags could deploy in a collision that doesn't require them..." How could the fact that a grill guard is mounted on the front make the entire vehicle decelerate faster in an impact. The vehicle will decelerate at the same rate regardless of what is mounted on the front. It is one solid mass & reacts as such. Then, you said "or it could cut the wires or destroy the sensor if mounted in the wrong place, before the sensor detects the deceleration." Huh? The sensor is mounted inside the vehicle so that no impact will damage it immediately. Unless the guard is mounted inside the vehicle I don't see any way it could "cut the wires" to the sensor. Then you said "If the grill guard projects in front of the vehicle it could decelerate the vehicle more gradually, causing the bags to not deploy." I think you're confusing two different concepts. The vehicle, acting as one mass, will decelerate at the same rate regardless of what is mounted outside. The rate it decelerates is controlled by the weight of the vehicle and the force that opposes it. You also refer to the energy absorbing crumple zones that most vehicles now have. Basically everything, other than the passenger compartment, is designed to deform, absorbing the energy of the impact before that energy is transferred to the occupant. A grill guard would actually help in this respect, absorbing some of the impact energy as it deforms. I'm not trying to get into an argument or anything, just don't see any reason to start some kind of fear campaign against grill guards. Reminds me of the whole Firestone/Explorer thing, the way everyone panicked about these tires, yet never mentioned that those who were killed had a lack of driving skill and didn't wear their seatbelt.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The Australians seem to be the best versed in bull bars:

    Bull Bars/Roo Bars

    Four Wheel Drive Safety

    It seems clear that bull bars can interfer with crumple zones and air bag triggering, and many are excessively dangerous to pedestrians.

    Steve, Host
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Front-mounted accessories do affect the way a vehicle absorbs impact energy and transmits it to the passenger compartment. Grill guards and bull bars are good examples of accessories which can affect collision damage as well as airbag deployment.

    For example, in certain minor front-end collisions, nearly all grille guards will add to the amount of damage your vehicle sustains, because the top and sides of the guard will bang into the hood and fenders. Without the device, it's likely that the bumper alone would sustain more of the damage.

    In more severe frontal collisions, bull bars, which replace the entire front bumper assembly, will greatly affect occupant deceleration dynamics, primarily because the vehicle's crumple zones have been significantly altered. If you replace a deformable plastic/steel/foam bumper with a rigid steel bumper, then impact energy will get transmitted directly to the frame instead of getting aborbed. In some cases, depending on the way the bull bar mounts to the vehicle's frame, crumple zones can even be partially bypassed.

    My Pathfinder is equipped with a steel bull bar, primarily for off-road protection and winch mounting. It's several times stronger and over 100 lbs heavier than the factory bumper it replaced. I already know that the factory bumper can deform and absorb a 15mph collision with another vehicle without transmitting the impact to the airbag sensor, but while I have no desire to determine whether my bull bar will affect airbag deployment, I acknowledge that there is likely some risk that airbags may not deploy the same way under the exact circumstances as a stock vehicle.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I've read the links that STEVE_HOST posted and it's hardly "clear that bull bars can interfer with crumple zones and air bag triggering." There just simply is not enough evidence to confirm this. It is nothing more than the typical "the sky is falling" speculation that in certain laboratory controlled conditions, which occur in the real world about .000000001% of the time, there is a possibility something could be unsafe. I would agree that grill guards could cause more signifigant damage to the vehicle. Because most are mounted directly to the frame, under the bumper, the crash energy would be transferred directly to the frame, bypassing the crumple zones that are designed to absorb that energy, and potentially bending the frame. As for grill guards being more dangerous to pedestrians, how many SUVs have the low to the ground bumper that is pictured in your link? There is a reason they show a picture of a car & not a SUV. When a car strikes a pedestrian I can attest to the fact that it usually results in major tib-fib (lower leg) damage. But most SUVs have a much higher & flat front compared to cars. Usually the grill guard is not any higher than the front of the car already is. Maybe we should just ban SUVs because their front end is not designed to be safer when it meets a pedestrian. While we're at it, how about semis? They make a really big mess of pedestrians. Also, I still see no way, according to the laws of physics, that a grill guard will cause the entire vehicle to decelerate faster or slower than it would without a grill guard. It is this deceleration that causes the vehicle to deploy the airbags, not the amount of energy that is transferred into the vehicle.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I don't have links handy but I've seen some that agree with you that SUVs are more dangerous to pedestrians generally since their hoods are higher off the ground and thus not as "soft" as car hoods. Grill guards don't help that situation any.

    At this point, I'll side with the Aussies and leave the physics for Tidester ....

    Steve, Host
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    It is this deceleration that causes the vehicle to deploy the airbags, not the amount of energy that is transferred into the vehicle.

    Definitely! But that alone doesn't answer whether bullbars affect the deployment of airbags. Given that the bars are attached to the frame, then whether deceleration rates are increased or decreased depends on the relative rigidity of the bars compared with the crumple zone. If the bars are more rigid then, being attached to the frame, they will increase the rate of deceleration causing deployment when it would otherwise not occur.

    If they are less rigid (which I doubt) then the opposite would occur - deployment will be retarded.

    As to pedestrians being struck by vehicles, SUVs are generally more harmful to them because their higher and flatter frontends cause momentum to be transferred to the pedestrian all at once. In the case of passenger cars, the momentum transfer is spread out in time reducing the likelihood of fatality. (This involves both translational and rotations components of momentum transfer with a large portion of the exchange occuring with the body being slapped onto the less rigid hood.)

    Whether attached to a car or an SUV it would seem to me that the bullbar would increase injury (not necessarily fatality) to a pedestrian because momentum is transferred over a smaller area. This is like the difference between being punched with a boxing glove and receiving a karate punch.

    tidester, host
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Before the Pathfinder board turns into an airbag & bullbar board I think I'll just agree to disagree & leave it at that. Good arguments from both sides though. At least the Pathfinder board can have a civilized debate without things getting ugly like some of the other boards. How about something we can probably all agree on... I love my Pathfinder with or without a bullbar...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ...something we can probably all agree on ... I love my Pathfinder with or without a bullbar...

    We all agree - you love your PF with or without the bullbar! ;-)

    (sorry - couldn't resist!)

    tidester, host
  • I guess I didn't put all the details in the original post. The grill guard was an official NISSAN accessory, not a Aussie product. I'm not now, nor was I in my original post, suggesting that grill guards are unsafe. I was asking if anyone had experienced a accident with the Nissan guards attached.

    However, the design of the Nissan guard, in my opinion, contributed to my PF leaving the ground. When you hit the brakes quickly the nose of the vehicle dives down. The guard has two curved vertical pieces in the front. The combination of the the two, along with a utility trailer with weight in it, moved the vehicles momentum from going forward to the rear end going upwards.

    This maybe difficult to believe, but this happened in a real world crash. A 5000 lb. vehicle with a loaded utility trailer flipped end over end, landing on it's roof.

    Just a side note the guard was attached to the frame of the PF and each bolt was torqued to 30 foot pounds, per Nissan specs. (that was for fleetwoodsimca)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    There just seem to be more links and studies from Australia in the English speaking parts of the net, although bull bars are a hot topic in Great Britain (apparently they will be banned there in '04) and in Germany and other EU countries. I guess some people think they're unsafe. Most of the concern centers around pedestrian saftey.

    Steve, Host
  • spinbearspinbear Posts: 9
    to fleetwoodsimca for the answer to my oil change question #6697. Can't find anywhere in the warranty mandating it's whatever you hit first, so will go with the 3000 miles, not the 3 mos.
  • brisoupbrisoup Posts: 44
    Has anyone with a 2001 or newer Pathfinder with the 3.5 liter engine put on a K&N airfilter? Did you notice any improvement in acceleration or fuel milage? Any input would help. Thanx!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I put one on mine early in its' life (6 month - less than breakin time - 8-10k km), but I think the fuel economy improved about 5% or so. I thought I could feel more power too, but that is very subjective. I also put one on my previous vehicle (90 4Runner) and thought it made about the same difference. The Pathfinder filter is not designed as well as the 4Runner one was (small for the engine size and I was suspicious of the fit re sealing - but I see no evidence of leaking (no dirt past the filter).
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    I haven't noticed any improvement. I am concerned that it is letting more dirt go through though. I am gonna check it with an oil analysis. I may go back to paper long term. I will not buy another K&N though.
  • socal_pfsocal_pf Posts: 3
    I went to my local dealer today to get my 33750 mile service on a 2001 PF. Told them about probable warped brake rotors which they confirmed. They said that the rotor's replacement wouldn't be covered under warranty because it was normal wear and tear, but that I could have them turned or replaced at my cost. Is that right or are they feeding me some B.S.?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Per their website, K&N currently makes no claims for improved mpg from the use of their stock replacement air filters.

    Steve, Host
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    About a year ago, you provided a link to a photo as well as details on a Nissan transfer case skid plate (only for part-time transfer cases). Please provide a part number so that I can order.

  • pumpdudepumpdude Posts: 4
    Sounds like the typical dealer B. S.

    I just bought an '02 SE with 24K over the net sight unseen from "a national leasing company". Could not be happier. It did come with "excessive high speed shudder" when braking. I should have known from all the postings!

    Called three local (KC) dealers and they ALL told me it was NOT covered under warranty. Life's hard, get over it.

    Made an appointment for Saturday service. When I dropped it off all I did was tell them what the "symptoms" where. Went back less than 2 hours later and to my surprise... there was NO CHARGE!
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I use Zaino on my 2001 LE (Sahara beige).
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142

    Thanks for the information. I am placing an order from my Canadian dealer.

    I'll let you know if I have any install issues.
  • tivmiketivmike Posts: 7
    So back in 2001, I, along with many others on this board, bought a Pathfinder in Canada and crossed it back into the US. No problems at all. I have been very happy with the vehicle so far and only recently has a problem turned up, vibration of the brakes. I had the drums cleaned of brake dust and checked the front rotors and they look fine. So I am going to take it into the dealership and let them sorted out. I called in and explained that I boguth the vehicle in Canada but that it meets US specs and is registered here. They are telling me that the warranty is not valid in the US. I called Nissan Headquarters and got a similar response. They put me in touch with someone named Bill who is in charge of "gray market". I left him a voicemail and I'm waiting to hear back. I was wondering if anyone else who did the Canadian purchase ran into issues with the warranty being honored. Anything special you had to do? Any suggestions for me?
    I was assured by the dealership in Canada that the warranty would be honored down here. I would have maybe reconsidered the purchase if I knew it would not be covered down here.
    Please help!

  • nytesjnytesj Posts: 2
    I have a 1995 XE with 90,000 miles. I have only owned it for 5,000 miles. Just recently the check engine light comes on about once every five starts and then goes out again after 30 seconds. While the light is on, the engine seems to sputter a little. Any ideas/suggestions or should I bring it in to the dealer?
  • nytesjnytesj Posts: 2
    My front driver's side wheel gets a red dust all over the rim and tire. THe stuff is hard to get off and only occurs on the one wheel. Any ideas/suggestions?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    First, next time you take it in, don't volunteer that it's a gray market car :-)

    Try telling these guys that Nissan did cover Canadian cars in the US when you purchased it and you expect to be covered under the policy in place when you purchased the Pathy.

    Dropping a hint that your next call will be to the Consumer Protection office of the local AG's office may help grease the skids a bit too.

    Please keep us posted!

    Steve, Host
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The red dust is from your brake pads. I'm not sure why only one wheel is dusting. The pad may be wearing more than the other (manufacturing defect?). Cheaper pads tend to produce more dust than more expensive ones.

    Check your brakes, and replace the pads with new (higher quality) ones if the dust is that annoying.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    When bunches of us bought Pathfinders in Canada in 2001 the last step in the process (besides figuring out how to spend $4k that you saved) was to call Nissan and get the warranty transferred over to the US. They sent you a form, or you could even go over to the local Nissan dealer to change it. I hope you did this, and if so, Nissan should have sent you a confirmation of the warranty transfer.

    I had no problem getting some warranty work done here at home on my Canada purchased Path. My VIN is in the US system and they just look it up there. I know others who have had the same experience.

    But in March 2002 Nissan stopped allowing the warranty to transfer. So if you did not do it by then you can no longer get it done. However the warranty would still be good in Canada.

  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    Another opinion -- I'm not disagreeing with fleetwoodsimca, just have a different take on the issue.
    Regardless of whether you drive 3000 miles or not, I would recommend changing the oil at 3-4 month intervals. Just because the manual says it'll go 3000 miles (7 months in your case) doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea. Multiple short trips (which sound like your driving habits) are much worse for your oil than long trips. You build up contaminants in the oil much faster.
    Think of it this way -- more than likely you just spent something in excess of $30,000 on your nice shiny new Pathfinder. It only costs $25 to have your oil changed. (even less if you do it yourself.) If you change your oil every three months you're only looking at $100 a year. If you keep the PF for 10 years, it adds up to $1000 in oil changes -- but how much is a new engine? $3000? More?

    Oil changes are one place (imho) that you don't want to skimp.
  • texamau1texamau1 Posts: 42
    Does anyone know what's the pathfinder governor speed limited is?9(if there is any) on the Murano is 116mph, I was wondering what it will be on the pathfinder..
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