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Nissan Pathfinder



  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I think 03 PF is almost the same as 02-03 QX4. In 4WD QX4, there is a rotary switch on the lower left center console indicating 2WD, AUTO, 4H and 4L. If it's a 2WD, then this switch is replaced with a coin box. I don't think PF has outside labeling for this.
  • The 2003 Pathfinder LE has both AWD and 4WD.
  • Hello M99,

    I guess we were doomed both ways in our choice between the 2003 Pathfinder and the 2003 4Runner. Both vehicles have been subject to the Lemon Law (see the 4runner board for redfish story).

    Disappointing really.... Gee both vehicles were the leaders of the pack in terms of quality...

    On my side no Check Engine light problem but the front end of my truck was damaged by some sort of sandblasting that might have been done this winter (they put sand on our icy roads here during winter). I went to a couple of windshield and body shop who explained me that sandblasting here was somewht normal due to the conditions but it was not normal on a new vehicle like mine after only 1 winter.... They all agree that this is the results of poor quality parts....

    Quality is less present as car makers are trying to cut costs to stay competitive..

    Anyway, aside from this issue the truck is behaving flawlessly and MPG as sky rocketed with the summer temperatures (best MPG so far: 20.5 US MPG - 90% higway driving) and normal city/highway driving 16 US MPG.

    I finally pulled my boat over the last few weeks and while the PF was powerfull enough to easily handle the load I have to admit that I do not like the feeling of pulling with a unibody. You feel the trailer much more and it makes the backend sway a little. With the 4Runner I could not feel the boat/trailer at all except when braking. I guess that frame-based vehicle are more comfortable for pulling stuff.

    The brakes are powerful but since I braked a bit hard with the boat attached I feel a vibration now when I brake. Thye may have warped a little.... Unfortunate... that did not happen with the 4Runner after 4 years of pulling my boat brake hard once in a while....

    But the handling is great. The PF corners 10 times better (but I haven't tried the X-Reas suspension), almost like a car.

    Anyway it is fun to try different vehicles and develop a taste for particular technologies (frame, brakes, suspensions.)
  • pathfinder13pathfinder13 Posts: 110
    It doesn't have 4wd logo outside the vechile but you can just look at the center dash where you can see round nob like auto, 2wd, 4h and 4l.

    World Traveler: You said when you hit the brake you feel vibration, does that mean it has wraped rotars because I too am feeling some sort of vibration when I hit the break hard. I had no idea it was a wraped rotar. I just have 17000 miles. Will the warranty covered the wraped rotors?
  • twelsh140twelsh140 Posts: 7
    Don't forget when braking hard the anti-locking brake system will cause some feedback. Some people say vibration and some say it feels like a pulsation. In my experience of owning 4 different Pathfinders from 96 to current production I have never had the rotors warp in 45,000 miles of operation. Even when I towed a boat. Remember the LE models have standard anti-locking brakes.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    When the ABS activates, it feels like the brake pedal buzzes/hums. You feel a strong, fast vibration.

    Warped rotors is a much slower pulsation, and the steering wheel may even shake back and forth a little.

    (FYI; just so you can tell the difference.)
  • pathfinder13pathfinder13 Posts: 110
    since my steering wheel don't shake. In fact, it kinda feels like pulsation. Thanks guys for some advise. By the way, what causes it?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The ABS system causes the pulsation. The ABS rapidly modulates the brake pressure (from your foot stomping on the brake pedal) to keep the wheels from locking. In loose or slippery conditions, actual brake pressure needn't be very much to induce wheel lockup, which is where ABS truly shines. Basically, the system reacts in such a way that no matter what surface you're on, the wheels aren't supposed to lock up while the truck is moving above 6mph.
  • I can make the difference between ABS and warped rotor, I've had a couple of vehicles equipped with ABS, I know the ABS feeling.

    Since the steering wheel shakes a little I would say that the rotor is actually a little warped but not much. I can mainly feel it when I have to stop a bit harder to stop in time when I misjudged the braking distance for some reasons.

    No big deal really but I think I'll have to fix the brakes before my lease will be over.
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    The AWD/4x4/All-Mode model has a lit 4WD diagram within the tach guage. It shows you if the differential is locked (4HI & 4LO) and there is also a green indicator if it's in 4LO. When in All-Mode, all 4 wheels a lit in green. I believe the 2WD model does not have this but like the others said, it would definitely not have a 4WD mode knob just ahead of the shifter/below the radio.

    I would go with a MY2001+ instead of a 2000. The former has the latest 3.5l 240hp VQ motor. The old 3.3l is underpowered (~170hp) for a vehicle this size. I leased a 3.3l before I bought the '01 and it had trouble maintaining speed when going up steep inclines on the highway.
  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    The problem was a faulty alternator. Thank goodness for the warranty.
  • nne3jxcnne3jxc Posts: 134
    If you have warped rotors, the "pulsation" you feel will become slower (less frequent) as the vehicle slows down. (I.e., at 50 mph it will feel like a fast pulse/vibration, at 10 mph you will feel it only once or twice per second.)
    ABS will pulse at the same speed (frequency) no matter how fast the car is going.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    It's interesting to note that a faulty alternator causes the following lamps to glow:
    AT temp

    It makes me wonder... are those "idiot lights" only linked to the output voltage of the alternator? While this kind of makes sense (the alternator belt also turns the engine fan, which if not turning, can cause overheating of both the engine and the transmission) I certainly hope there are other sensors that measure the actual AT temp!

    Plus, why is the brake system dependent on the alternator???
  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    Good question about the brake light coming on. I will contact the service department and see what they say about it.
    Called the service department and they said that the AT oil temp, brake and battery lights are connected to the alternator...
  • I have a 2001 PF LE and am looking for a front license plate kit. The two brackets in the front where I screw in the plate just don't house a plate very well. Any suggestion?
  • mattman055mattman055 Posts: 57
    My state (PA) doesn't require front license plates. However, I believe our dealer gave us a bracket that mounts to the bracket there already for mounting the front plate.

    You might want to check with your dealer. I removed the little bracket that was there, it was held with 10mm bolts believed.
  • twelsh140twelsh140 Posts: 7
    This is the second time I took my new 2003 Pathfinder into the dealership with the complaint that the AC is not cold enough. The day in question was a bright sunny day with 85 degrees. The most the AC systems was capable of was 50 to 55 degrees. 50 when engine was at High idle . At 92 degrees outside air the max. temp output of the AC system is 55 degrees under high idle and 60 at normal idle.
    Dealer even measured the cabin temperature in the front seats at 74 with AC on max and re circulate, and 79 at the back seat.
      Local dealer contacted Nissan technical division only to find out that yes Nissan has received numerous complaints about their AC system. But as far as Nissan is concerned it falls with in the normal operation of Specs set by Nissan. Even the local dealer said he would not be happy with the AC if it was his SUV.
    Nissan Factory also confirmed that this system is only used in the 2003 Pathfinder. All other Nissan's have a different system.
    One additional fact is that the total refrigerant charge weight is less than 1 pound. Yes thats right less than 1 pound for R-134. All other Nissan products have a different system that has a charge of 1.25 pounds of R-134.
    Nissan Factory at this time has no cure and seems not to be interested in fixing the condition.
    Thus if you live in a sun belt area I would strongly suggest you stay clear of the 2003 Pathfinders unless you just like cool air, not ice cold air.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    In my son's 2002 SE diving thru Redding,CA last year at 119...Cool inside...
  • I'll check with a dealer and see what they might bracket set they have.
  • dnr01dnr01 Posts: 2
    I just bought a used 2000 Pathfinder SE and the we seem to have the front end shimmy and hard pull to the right going on. The dealer has put on all new tires and we thought being the old ones were a little worn on one side it needed to be aligned as well, they didn't think so. So we get the car back and it wasn't pulling but it was shimmying/shaking at high speeds...over 60. We brought it back again and they altered the air a little in the tires... Can anyone help? There are days when I don't drive as fast that it seems fine, just on the highways is where you really start to notice.
  • pathfinder13pathfinder13 Posts: 110
    This saturday I had to drop three of my friends+ their luggages, what I noticed was the vechile was bumping all the time(rear part). I guess this is the problem that everyone is talking about. I am wondering what did pathfinder owners did to solve the problem.
  • mahipalcmahipalc Posts: 20
    As I mentioned in my previous post, the two front windows kept rolling down automatically after 45 seconds of removing the key from ignition or opening either the front door, which ever occurs first. It didnt happen all the time but very randomly. Dealer detected a problem with the window regulator switch assembly and replaced the switch yesterday. The car has less than 1000 miles.
    It hasn't happened again so far but I'll get convinced that it is completely fixed only if doesn't happen again in the next two weeks.
    On a side note, I received my Zaino products on Friday and was able to wash+Z5+Z6 on Sunday. I couldn't find time to do multiple coats which I am going to this weekend. I am planning on two more coats of Z5 and one Z2. These products are awesome.
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190

    There is a TSB for the Bottoming out problem. The fix is the dealer will install larger rubber bump stops inside the rear springs. It is a free fix but, I am not sure if they will cover it outside your warranty. I had 27K on 2001 LE pathy when I took mine in. Of course, they are not aware of any TSBs on the bottoming out issue. Go to It is a well known problem. A trade off for comfort and softer ride. However, larger bump stops do not effect ride comfort. Never bottomed out again with the car fully loaded with passengers and cargo. Hope that helps, I know previous posts helped me on this subject.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I've seen the gauges and lights go nuts on other vehicles when the alternator is bad. Many gauges and warning lights read the ohm output of a sensor, if the alternator is not working correctly it will affect how all of gauges and warning lights respond. All this means is if your alternator isn't working, some of your gauges and warning lights may be inoperative as well...
  • pathfinder13pathfinder13 Posts: 110
    I am still in warranty since I have only 17000 miles in my odemeter.
  • bd70bd70 Posts: 30
    I recently had a blowout of one of my tires. I put the spare on, which incidentally was overinflated to almost 50 PSI. I had the flat on the spare tire chain for about 2 weeks when I finally got the chance to put a new tire on the rim. Bottom line is that the low tire pressure indicator has been on since the blowout. All of the tires are inflated to about 32 PSI. The gauge is still on. Can I reset the gauge or does the dealer need to do it with their computer? Also, any idea whether or not the spare being overinflated since being sent over from Japan might have any effect on the sensor in the tire? Thanks.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Assuming the Pathfinder's TPMS uses pressure sensors instead of the ABS sensors to detect low pressure, the pressure sensor is probably located in the wheel that blew out, not the spare. I sincerely doubt that your spare tire has a pressure sensor in it, so it's unlikely that the spare tire has anything to do with the indicator lamp. In fact, if the TPMS uses the ABS sensors, it should have reset when you put the spare on. If the "low pressure indicator" is still lit, it's possible that the pressure sensor (if so equipped) was damaged either when the tire blew out or when you had a new tire put on.

    First, check your owner's manual to see if it explains how to reset the indicator, then call up or visit the dealer if the owner's manual is no help.
  • austin_paustin_p Posts: 27
    Greetings all. I am finally tired of the POS duellers that are on my 02 LE and looking to replace them. Seems like a 265/65/17 is perfect but not that many good tires in that size. Has anyone had experience w/ a 265/70/17? i can get the Yok Geolander AT+II in that size, which is 1.5inches taller than stock.



  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    without rubbing issues.

    265/65R17 are 30.56" in diameter

    265/70R17 are 31.6" in diameter, give or take a few mm for manufacturer specifications.

    If you opt for this tire size, ask the tire dealer to test fit a tire on the front to check for rubbing issues on the fender lining and the strut tower before you get them all installed.
  • pathfinder13pathfinder13 Posts: 110
    I have been looking for wider tire that fits the 2002 rims but have had no lucks yet.
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