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Nissan Pathfinder



  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Below is what I copied from 01 Pathfinder owner's manual, page 10-3:

    Limited-slip differential (LSD) gear oil:
    Only LSD gear oil:
    API GL-5 and SAE 80W-90*2 approved for Nissan LSD*3
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I didn't read carefully that you already know this info.
  • One Toyo Tire disintegrated while driving my 2000 pathfinder & caused $3,000 damage to the vehicle.Company accepts no responsibility for their product.My tires had just been checked & rotated by the dealer when I got new brakes. Just replaced my Toyo Tires with Bridgestones & I will never buy Toyo or accept a new vehicle with Toyo Tires.There is no one at the Company to talk to.What a company!I can't do very much but I hope it is not the beginning of a Firestone fiasco. I contacted agencies & alerted them.I only hope no one gets injured from one of these tires. I was lucky, I was only going 35-40 mph on a quiet street. I shutter to think what might have happened if I were on a busy highway. NO, Toyo is out for me, forever.
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    Glad no one got hurt. What were the road conditions when this happened? Thanks for the heads up.

    Let us know your Bridgestone experience. Price, model, comfort, wear....etc.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    My '01 PF came with Bridgestone Duelers (HT 689). I replaced them last week at 62K miles (I generally don't drive aggressively) and could have kept them longer but was concerned about deep snow traction this winter. There are other tires that have a more aggressive tread pattern and therefore would be better offroad and in deep snow, but these seem to be a decent compromise...reasonably smooth and quiet highway ride, and I've been in 3 feet of snow and never got stuck. Despite many negative comments about these tires on this website, I replaced them with the same tires. Costco was $30 less expensive per tire than anywhere else I could find, including Unfortunately Costco does not have the Hunter 9700 "road force" balancing machine needed to properly balance the tires on this truck to avoid the dreaded steering wheel shimmy so often mentioned on this thread. My local Ford dealer has the Hunter machine, and mounted and balanced all four for $59. Other places that have Hunter 9700's quoted $25 to $40 PER TIRE! (You can find local garages with this equipment at I spoke to the tech who did the work, and he said he had to re-mount each tire twice in the position indicated by the balance machine before the tire and wheel combination would properly balance. He could not explain to me why the tires on late model Pathfinders are so hard to balance, but he said the problem is well known. For the first time since I owed the truck (I bought it new) there is no steering wheel shimmy at all!
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    An update on my post #7042 above. I sent Mobil an email asking for their advice, and they say that the Pathfinder owner's manual specifies the addition of a friction modifier. I suggested to them that the instructions on their product could be a little clearer. The bottle says that their product is limited slip compatable (I interpreted this to mean that no friction modifier is needed). If my limited slip unit is ruined, I'm not going to be happy! I think I'm going to try Red Line's ( synthetic product that comes with the friction modifier already mixed in. Anyone have any experience with that product? Thanks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    What model Toyo? I have some new Ultras on my minivan.

    Steve, Host
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    I got a 2001 LE with 37K and my OEM Dueller HTs look pretty worn. May get another 10-15K miles if I push it to the wear bars. I found the OEM tires to have poor wet/dry traction and very noisy when worn. I did like them for comfort and smoothness.

    I guess I am lucky in the fact that I do not have vibrations at all in the duellers. I bought it used at 26K though. Don't know if previous owner corrected the problem or not. I am lookin to get New Bridgestone Dueller A/T Revo tires next year. Heard they were quiet, smooth, good traction, and have great treadwear. Maybe even the Yokohama Geolanders.

    Good job in solving your problem. Sounds like you got a great deal from Costco.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    I saw a 2004 Chinook and confirm that the sunroof and fender flares have been added as standard equipment. The dealer indicated it is more like an SE, than the base model.

    Hope this helps!
  • I am looking to buy a used Pathfinder and I have no idea what kind of things to watch out for. I currently have found a 1997 LE and a 2000 SE that I am seriously considering. Does anyone have any suggestions, things to watch out for or tips of how to make sure I am getting what I am paying for?? Thanks!
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    If you can swing it...Get a 2001..It has the larger engine, and for that alone is worth the extra $...BIG difference...
  • joe233joe233 Posts: 43
    Is there an aftermarkd analog clock available to replace the digital clock? I like the QX4's analog clock, but since it has Infinity stamped all over, that wouldn't make a good swap.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    If the mileage is over 105,000 miles, confirm that the timing belt has been replaced.

    The 97 LE rear suspension lower control arm bushings have a tendency to wear out, which can cause the vehicle to sway disturbingly side-to-side at freeway speeds. If the bushings or control arms have not been recently replaced, it's a good idea to do it. Each lower arm costs about $90 and labor to replace both lower arms will probably be around 1.5 hours.

    Also look for leaking struts (front suspension) or shocks (rear suspension). Do the "bounce test" at all four corners to see if new shocks/struts are needed.

    The 3.3L engines on both model years have a tendency to develop exhaust manifold leaks. If you hear a tapping noise when starting a cold engine (which goes away after it warms up) there may be an exhaust leak. The warranty for exhaust manifold issues was extended to 100,000 miles.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    Just had a set of Yokohama Geolanders installed on my 01 LE. I haven't driven it very far on these tires, but my initial impressions are it was a good choice. They are much quieter than the oem Bridgestones. Ride seems more firm, but I haven't checked to see how much air pressure the shop put in the tires. Steering response is much improved.

    As for the vibration many talk about, I haven't had any problems a simple tire balancing hasn't taken care of.
  • Hi, all. New to board so forgive my double post. I'm looking at a 1997 fully-loaded Pathy with 4 WD and 76,000 miles for $6900. It is very clean. Checks out on Carfax. Runs well. Pep Boys visual inspection shows nothing major BUT the check engine light is on! And Pep Boys says that could mean ANYTHING and that diagnosis could cost several hundred dollars.

    Thing is, according to Edmunds and other sites, this truck is way below retail market by about $1500-3000. And it's being sold by a Ford dealer.

    I am SO tempted to take the risk but what I really want to know is is what do you think the odds are that it is something serious? I know nothing about its history at all.

    One more thing. The driver's side passenger door is really stiff. The vin on the door matches the vin on the dash. And I can't see anything to suggest that the door was repaired or replaced. There is no paint overspray, mismatch, etc. And the door doesn't creak or grown, it's just stiff. Any idea why?

    I am salivating over this truck, but I'm going to have to buy it as is. Want to decide in the next day or so. After 3 weeks of looking, this is the first nice one I've seen.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    In my experience with Nissan's the check engine light coming on usually indicates the o2 sensors need replaced. Not a big deal. I had mine replaced on my 01 around 25k and a friend of mine that has a 93 and has had the same common problem.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Ask the Ford dealer to pay for the CEL dianosis before you buy it. The light could be on for something as simple as a loose gas cap or much more serious. A simple reading of the code will give you (or any shop) an idea of the seriousness of the issue.
  • Thanks, guys. They are supposed to send the truck down teh street today for a $90 diagnostic at the Nissan dealer. We'll see. After I posted this, I read a couple of horror stories about trying to figure out what's wrong. Glad I didn't buy until I know.

    Still wonder about the door, though...
  • I just had my first service done(3500 miles). Just before dropping the car at the dealer I noticed a small hole below the exhaust tail pipe and a black liquid leaking from it. I mentioned this to them and they checked it and said everything is ok. Is this a normal thing? Has anybody seen this before??

    Any inputs highly appreciated.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    If the hole is in the exhaust, it's a condensate drain hole. To let the water out. The water in the exhaust, BTW, is an acid, and can make short work of the exhaust system. This is why the vehicle should be warmed up fully before shutting it off to vaporize the water, ie: short trips - a few blocks - each day will put excessive wear on it.
  • I think that's what the service technician told me. I work about a mile away from my home. So, there is a lot of short trips that I drive. Is there any special care that I should be taking considering most of my trips are a mile or less than that??

    Thanks again!
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190

    I am very interested in the Yoko Geolanders so keep us up to date. What size are your tires and do they rub at any point? How worn were you OEM tires and how noisy were they? My pathfinder is very noisy at 50 MPH and up. I am starting to think Pathfinders are noisy cars but can't tell if it is all wind noise, road noise, or just tire noise. I know it is not the smooth engine.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I have 02 QX4 and 00 RX300, and also like to join the noise discussion. The QX4 is noticeably noisier than RX300. If I accelerate QX4 at highway speed, I can clearly hear its "power" noise, but I can hear very little in RX300.

    I call it "power" noise because I'm not sure if it's engine noise or exhaust system noise. My guess is mostly it's exhaust which can be reduced by using quieter pipe, muffler or the like, but also with some loss of HP/torque.

    Yes I also want the quietest tires maybe with a little sacrifice of performance.
  • lbinhlbinh Posts: 190
    I also have an ES300 with very little noise. I think Toyota/Lexus beats Nissan/Infinity in the noise reduction department. I know Nissan is on the rebound financially/economically and hope to see vast future quality improvements across the board.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Short trips are one of the worst things for an engine and for a car. An engine barely even reaches operating temperature in a mile. Engine oil is cold, transmission fluid is cold, and acidic condensation formed by the combustion process doesn't fully burn off, and instead makes its way into your oil.

    My parents owned an old Ford van with a 460ci engine, and my mom drove it daily to her workplace, just under a mile from our house. By the time she reached work, the engine had barely warmed up! Needless to say, it developed severe problems after only 60,000 miles. It burned a quart of oil every 200 miles (burnt valve and bad rings) and at just over 90,000 miles a connecting rod broke loose and punched a few holes in the block, effectively ending its life.

    The best thing you can do for your vehicle to counteract your repeated short trips is to give your car/engine a workout at least once a week: drive it at least 30 minutes continously, more if possible. You should also consider changing your engine oil at no greater than 3000-mile intervals.

    Alternatively, consider walking or biking to work.

    If you've no choice but to put this kind of wear on your vehicle, don't expect it to last that long.
  • Jack44Jack44 Posts: 221
    The Lexus is NOT a real SUV...It's a funny looking car...

    The Pathfiners and QX4's are SUV trucks...That can do things that cars can't do...

    Cars are quieter, mostly, than trucks...
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Another thing you can do to counteract the damage done by short trips is to use synthetic fluids. Synthetics flow freely down to a very low temperature, before they have had a chance to warm up. I use Mobil 1 oil in the engine, Mobil 1 ATF in the transmission & transfer-case, & Mobil 1 Gear Lube in the front & rear limited-slip differential.

    Which brings me to another point... somebody mentioned they didn't think their LSD was working anymore & that they had used Mobil 1 gear lube in it. They also said that Mobil 1 had told them it is not compatible & that it should be used with an additive. Well, I spoke to Mobil 1 today & they said it is compatible with no additives. The manual calls for API GL-5, and he said Mobil 1 exceeds the performance requirements of API GL-5, as the bottle also states. It also calls for 80W-90, which he said Mobil 1, at 75W-90 also exceeds. I don't know why someone at Mobil 1 told you differently, but it seems to be ok to use. If you're still wondering if your LSD is working, you can check it by raising both rear wheels off the ground. With the engine off, car in neutral, & parking brake off, turn one of the rear wheels by hand. A good LSD will turn the opposite rear wheel the same direction. If the opposite wheel turns the opposite direction your LSD is toast.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Yes it's a fact that most cars are quieter than most SUVs. How about Lexus LX470? Never test drive it but according to some expert test report, it's one of the quietest SUVs (noise level never reachs 68 dB...), and it's true off-road capable.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721

    The Geolander's I replaced my OEM Bridestones with are the same size 255/65/16. Do not rub under any circumstances. They look wider than the bridgestones for some reason, but clearance is fine. Handling is much much improved. Steering response is very crisp. Road noise is basically nonexistent, big improvement. The Yoko's don't seem to have as much sidewall flex, vehicle stays more stable in turns and inspires confidence. Ride quality has definitely taken a hit though. I'm still dialing in tire pressures, for some reason the shop filled the tires @ 40psi and it road like a buck board wagon. I lowered the pressure down to 32 psi today and it has improved some, but I will probably go ahead and reduce the pressure down to the recommended 26psi to see what happens.

    I ran the oem's to 39k. I don't know what the exact tread depth was when replaced, but the were not down to the wear bars. I probably could have gotten another 5-10k out of them but wanted fresh rubber for winter. As far as noise is concerned, the oem's seemed to always have an annoying humming sound and it is basically completely quiet with the Yokos. At 50+ all I hear is wind noise that you'll get with a vehicle that has aerodynamics similar to a brick. I'll post again when I get more seat time with the air pressure further reduced. As it is I'm a little disappointed with the ride, it is pretty choppy. That just may be the trade off for the improved handling.
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