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Nissan Pathfinder



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    CarMax makes it easy, but you almost always get more money if you sell your used car yourself. Especially if you price it near the TMV Private Party number. It can be a hassle though.

    Check our Tips page for 10 Steps to Selling Your Car and other hints.

    Steve, Host
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    That seems to be a pretty good trade-in price. I would definitely consider taking this deal. Like the host, I also am a believer in selling the cars without the dealer involvement, but in this case, the the money you are getting from Carmax is more than fair .. in my opinion and confirmed on this site' used car pricing section.
  • scantyscanty Posts: 171
    Post your description over in the "Real-World Trade-In Values" board and Terry will let you know what it's worth on a trade-in and for private party sale. Be sure to include color, options, condition, and location in your post.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You can find it here: Real-World Trade-In Values

    tidester, host
  • katetxkatetx Posts: 5
    Thank you all for responding. I have really thought about it and quite frankly after the research I am just going to sell to CarMax. I really do not think it would be worth the headache of having to sort out serious buyers from the ones that just want to haggle etc...
    I really thank you for taking the time to respond. By the way for those who have been pondering about purchasing a Pathfinder I would like to say that owning ours was hassle free of any mechanical issues. It was a good practical car to own. I would definitely recommend to anyone to seriously look at the Pathfinder. If not the Pathfinder look at the Toyota 4 Runner.
    Again thanks for responding.
  • Hi I am new to this forum but did some research and did not find anything to answer my question.

    I bought a 2001 Pathfinder SE (auto) last week with 50,000 miles. I am very pleased with it's car like feel so far. When I engage 4x4 under normal conditions (no snow or mud) the car makes a lot of noise especially while turning in slow speeds. The dealer says it is normal for 4x4 since the wheels are spinning at different speeds for traction when it is not needed so it will be rough and noisy. is this true?

  • It's true, and you shouldn't be in 4wd on dry surfaces - the noise you hear is the drive shafts binding up because the wheels cannot slip like they need to (or as they would on slippery surfaces)
  • Thank you very much for the reply, I feel much better now. I had a 98 Grand Cherokee Laredo for 2 years and did not recollect this 4x4 noise on dry surface so was worried a little bit!
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    Just in case you missed what alwaysfords2 recommended .. DO NOT drive in 4LO on dry surface. You will bind your drive shaft ( big $$). If you wish to test your 4 wheel drive, take your rig off-road where you will really see it shine.
  • Did not know that! I would have tried the 4LO just to confirm that it works too now I definitely won't on a dry surface. Thanks a lot for the advice.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    Another tip- don't use 4WD (Hi or Lo) even on wet pavement. The same drivetrain binding can result. Surprisingly, even wet pavement is a high-traction surface, compared to dirt, sand, or snow.

    Finally, when engaging 4LO, be sure to move the lever from 4H to 4L smoothly, quickly, and without pause. Pull back on lever from 2H to 4H. Push downward while pulling back on the lever all the way to engage 4L. Do not stop in N. Any hesitation or pause will cause a disconcerting grinding sound, in which case you'll simply need to shut off the engine to complete the shift, then restart the engine.
  • Will follow!
    Thanks a lot.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    ok now it is my turn for a question : why not engage 4Hi on wet pavement ? Wouldn;t that defeat the whole purpose of owning a four wheel drive if you can't use it during rains etc ? I understand that 4Lo is primarily for extra extra traction esp in deep mud/snow but didn't know about 4Hi restriction as well. could you comment ?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The problem is caused by separation of the wheels, believe it or not. When you put the vehicle into 4WD you lock the wheels together via the transfer case, drive shafts and differentials. If there is any differential rotation (hows that for a term!), binding will result.

    What I mean is if a wheel rotates faster or slower than the others. Because the mechanics of the vehicle have them locked together, when one tries to turn more or less than the others torque will build up in the drivetrain. It usually just causes eccessive wear when it happens but, if the drivetrain is carrying high torque loads (high powers) it can actually break parts! e.g. high speed on a paved highway, or in 4LO, sharp turn on rock with climbing. It can also cause you to loose control because it doesn't want to turn. Try it in a parking lot at low speed (crawling). Lock in 4Hi and try a sharp turn. You will see the vehicle doesn't want to turn! The drivetrain is binding up.

    Turning means the outside wheels have to turn more than the inside ones. The fronts turn more than the rear. If you don't have the tire air pressures the same, the tire diameter can be different, so they turn at different rates. If you have different size tires on (not recommended!!) they will turn at different rates - even the same size from different manufacturers, or different models of tire from the same manufacturer.

    4WD can be very picky! What it's intended for is "offroad" use. Loose surface roads, such as gravel, sand, or dirt as well as ice and snow allow the wheels to slip to prevent the binding torques from rising very high. You will still notice poorer handling, if you're sensitive enough. If you use it enough, you learn to use power to make it turn easier.

    Wet pavement is actually not very slippery, unless it's covered with grease/oil.

    Proper shifting as per most vehicle manuf.: -

    From 2WD to 4WD Hi range - slow to under 50 MPH and with the throttle off (coasting) gently pull the lever into 4WD. Let it go at it's own speed, don't force it.

    From 4WD Hi to 2WD - same thing. If you are on pavement or "hard surface" it may not want to go - just put pressure on the lever and turn the wheel slightly one way then the other (to take out the binding).

    From 4WD Hi to Lo - Stop the vehicle, hold the clutch in, and gently push on the lever. Be advised, most low range 4WD cases give about 2X gear ratios, so the engine will rev. very high in first gear. You will also have better luck shifting gears (once in 4WD Lo) slowly. The syncros can have a lot of work to do spinning up those gears twice as much as in Hi.

    From 4WD Lo to Hi - Same as going into low range. Stop the vehicle, and take your time shifting. You may have to release any binding the same as above.

    If you have "manual locking hubs", you should lock them before shifting into 4WD and unlock them after shifting out of 4WD. You should also lock them for a day at least every few months, even if you are not using 4WD. Most drive train parts lubricate better when rotated.

    If you have an "auto" 4WD system (Pathfinder LE and some SEs) the above applies if you switch to 4WD, though the shifting gently part is automatic. In "auto" mode you don't have to worry about most of it.

    The "auto" 4WD system is my choice for wet pavement and partial snow conditions. Too bad it's only available as part of an automatic transmission.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,039
    has to do with whether your vehicle has an inter-axle differential or not. If it does (as with full-time AWD vehicles) you can forget about when the 4WD is on. I think the LE's have a center differential, but I'm not sure (I have an SE).

    However, if either the front or rear axles lose traction with a center differential, all the power will go to the spinning axle/wheel, unless it's possible to lock it or it's limited slip. Many of the high-dollar AWD vehicles (Audi, et al) use the traction control system to apply braking to the spinning wheel to send power to the wheels with traction.

    At lower speeds (in the ice or snow) or off-road, vehicles without a center (or inter-axle) differential do just fine. But on dry roads and/or at high speeds, where the wheels can't slip a little bit on corners, any vehicle without a center differential needs to be using 2WD. Besides the added strain & wear on the drive line, the unexpected/unpredictable wheel slippage really affects handling.

    The tradeoff for the simplicity and lower cost (which I prefer) is that one has to have the presence of mind to use 4WD (especially low range) only when needed. Both axles are always fed power without regard to whether one has lost traction which, combined with LSD on the axle differentials, makes for a serious off-road machine (as opposed to a suburban utility vehicle).
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    No, Pathfinders don't have one. In "auto" mode, to attain "full time 4WD" the transmission senses rear wheel slip, and applies hydraulic pressure to a multiplate clutch, which applies drive power to the front driveshaft. Once slip is stopped, that hydraulic pressure is reduced, and no drive is applied to the front driveshaft.

    The new Toyota 4Runner has a torsen centre diff. - the best kind.

    Which system is best? A good question, but best for what? It seems to me for on-road use (the most common use for SUVs) the system we have in the Pathfinder is most suitable. For off-road use full lock (no diff action) seems to be best.

    For serious off-road 4 wheeling a short wheelbase vehicle is much prefered - such as a Jeep CJ7, a (out of production) Toyota Landcruiser FJ40, or a Suzuki. Long wheelbase 4WD vehicles such as SUVs and pickups work best on slippery roads, as they don't try to swap ends too quickly, but they are a real handful in severe 4 wheeling. Their length then works against them (high centering, difficult to guide through rocks, etc.). The extra weight doesn't help either.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    any one care to comment which 4 wheel drive has been used in the pathfinders ? i was under the impression all pathfinders up until 2002 were using part time four wheel drive with a manual lever shifter to go from 2wd to 4hi and then 4lo but then someone mentioned a different system in the LE and SE models threw me off a little.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    uses a shift-on-the-fly system, including an auto setting.
  • rabi504rabi504 Posts: 15
    Hello,I just want to know what kind of gas you guys are useing in PF.
    I have bought mine last may,and very happy with the truck.I have been useing premium,but wandering do I really need it.Please let me know.Mine is 2wD,SE. tHANKS.
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    Your best bet is to check your owner's manual. without knowing what year your truck is (bought new or used), it is hard for us to tell. My '02 Maxima with the same motor as the newer pathfinders runs on premium but your pathfinder could be different. Just befriend your owner's manual and you'll do fine.
  • I have been thinking to use premium, (1 fill premium so far as I bought the truck recently). 2001 SE with 50,100 miles. Read somewhere in the mannual to use premium not sure if I need to, dealer said to use 87 grade regularly and once in a while premium!!
  • omegapomegap Posts: 7
    I'm looking to purchase a service manual for my 2001 SE pathy. Anyone got any suggestions of which publisher prints the best one?
  • blawsonblawson Posts: 19
    For my other cars, I have used Haynes manuals. I think they do have a manual for the 2001 Pathfinder. Most auto parts stores in the Maryland area carry them. I believe you can also order one directly from their website (

    Unfortunately, the last time I checked the Haynes website, there wasn't a manual available for my 2002 SE. I checked with Haynes and at the time there was no plan to produce one for the 2002. I'd be curious to see what service manuals are available for 2002 and newer models.

    In addition, dealers used to provide a service manual you can order, but the last time I checked with Nissan, it was VERY expensive. I haven't checked recently though.
  • rabi504rabi504 Posts: 15
    hi everybody,I have been a proud woner of a PF SE for last 1 year.I am very happy with the purchase.
    I want to know what grade gas you guys are useing,I have been putting in suprime,since it recomanded suprime,please let me know
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    If your Pathfinder has a 3.3L V6 engine, it needs only 87 octane. If it has a 3.5L V6 engine, it prefers 89 or 91 octane, but will run at reduced fuel economy and performance on 87.

    If you don't know what size engine you've got, check the owner's manual. Another way to tell is that if you've got a 3.3L, the tailpipe exits the rear right corner at a 45-degree angle, whereas the 3.5L engine exits the rear right side, nearly straight out under the bumper.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    As other members have commented, part-time systems lock the front and rear axles together, and are therefore not recommended for use except off the pavement (even when it's just wet from rain). Only full-time 4WD (or "All-Wheel-Drive") systems can be operated on any type of terrain without any problems. Shift-on-the-fly part-time systems are used on all Pathfinders except 2001+ LE models and all Infiniti QX4's.
  • langodlangod Posts: 33
    'Course the 3.5L also says "V6 3500" right on the engine..... (grin)
  • rabi504rabi504 Posts: 15
    Thanks to all who responded to my question. I have 3.5 l engine,and I have bought it new 2003. Here what manual says,It will run on regular,but it recomands to use premium for better performance. Now I don't know what they ment by better performance. have also read in this column some where that a lot of people have problem with o2 sensor. what I am afried of, that reglur may mass with o2 sensor or other stuff!!!That is why I have been useing premum even in time when gas price is very high.I also want to appologyge to every body for posting same question twice by accident.
  • rabi504rabi504 Posts: 15
    Nissan sells service manual,in cd version only and costs can call nissan customer service to get the number to order service manual
  • coupedncalcoupedncal Posts: 252
    my recommendation is to stick to nissan specs and use premium gas. I recently fed my '02 maxima with same 3.5 liter engine 87 octane gas and i really felt a difference in engine response and acceleration. The engine seemed to work a lot harder and even pinged a few times. I realize this engine will adjust and retard the timing to run on low octane gas but in my opinion, it is just not worth the risk.
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