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Nissan Pathfinder



  • Hello all.

    Been lurking on this board for some time now. I find the discussions concerning PF maintenance and servicing terrific. Learning a lot.

    I own a '97 QX4. Have had it for about 3 weeks now and wanted to know more about servicing issues, however the Infiniti board only seems to talk about vehicle pricing and dealer negoications. When I post a service related question there is no response. I not complaining, its just outside of the discussion topics that the Infiniti board seems to have an interest in. So I hope everyone doesn't feel I'm intruding in on your PF board. It's just more interesting here!

    I response to npathfinder, the slight lurch you are experiencing when shutting off the engine while in Auto or 4WD is "normal". According to my Nissan/Infiniti dealer anyway. I had the same experience and inquired, with reassurances that all is well. However, I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation as to why this happens. Perhaps someone else here knows?
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    about the fuel consumption
    the prev. pathfinders had gas milage as its not just the new pathfinders.

    but now you get way more power and torque out of it for the same amount of consumption (nissan claims at least). and i think its about right.

    i read somewhere that the Jeep GC V8 has the gas consumption as the pathies. but the VQ (in pathfinders and QX4s) is one of the best engines you can buy. so its sort of worth it.
  • qx4qx4 Posts: 99
    first sentence in last message should read

    about the fuel consumption
    the prev. pathfinders had BAD gas milage as its not just the new pathfinders.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You have 30 minutes to make any changes or fixes after you post a message. Just click on the Edit button that follows your message after you post it.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • danogdanog Posts: 318
    Thanks for the information. I thought it was either a 6mm or an 8mm. What I was going to attempt to do was simply clean up the thread pattern and us new 6mm bolts. I am not sure if I will need to go up in size and hope I don't. Since the thread on the bolts themselves were pretty bad I am hoping the threads in the holes are OK.
  • markinctmarkinct Posts: 11
    Hi all:

    I am a new buyer starting to look for a 4WD for winters in New England. I HAVE STICKER SHOCK at the prices of medium sized SUVs. All I am looking for is something good in winter weather in Connecticut, something that has good cargo space (do not need a lot ... just enough to move the occasional piece of furniture, etc).

    TheHyundai Santa Fe seems like a terrific deal and has a terrific warranty. Looked at a 97 QX4 w/35000 miles on it for the same price as a top of line Hyundai w/ leather,heated seats, etc.

    I am really torn here .... did any posters here compare the Nissan PF to the Santa Fe? How cheap can you get a PF ... I guess I would be willing to pay $2K more for it ... but not $10K vs. the Santa Fe.

    What's a reasonable deal for two PF (my twin brother will be buying one concurrently). No trade-ins. Clean deal.

    Thanks all....Now I am off to shovel!
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    I've posted on this before. Mine has done this from day one, in any mode. Try this: put the vehicle in drive or reverse and move it say 10 ft., apply parking brake, put vehicle in park. Let it idle, and about 5-10 secs. later the vehicle will "lurch" in the direction of the last gear you were in. Without the parking brake applied it will move about 2-3 cm (an inch or so). At least, this is what mine does! As usual, the dealer just shrugs sholders and says they'll watch for a TSB.

    The undertray is fibreglass. I'm building a skidplate of 1/8" aluminum (I'd prefer thicker but it's what I have), this spring to replace it, held on by the four large bolts that hold the "belt protector" (the one made with tubing and designed to crimple in a collision - see the scores on the flattened ends). Then I'll only have four bolts to remove to get at the filter.
  • johnskevjohnskev Posts: 98
    what i recall from previous posts as an explanation of the lurching: the 4wd is disengaging. i don't know the specifics of it though.

  • Hello Gang,

    Would like to know if anyone out there has experienced a "roaring" noise from their side window(s) at highway (above 70mph) speeds? My 01 pathfinder has been producing this noise from day 1 of ownership. It is only a problem with the drivers side window. The noise can be stopped by applying significant pressure with hand or elbow to the window.

    My dealership has informed me that a search they performed on the service bulletin data base turned up a similar problem with a fix being new weatherstripping that is on backorder. Anybody out there shariing a simialr experience and if so was it fixed?, with new weatherstripping?


    p.s. I will be happy to share my documented chronic problems (alignment, dash rattles, side mirrors, etc) experienced in less than a one year of ownership if anyone needs to discuss/vent....Somehow I still like the damn thing, I guess it's all the power.
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    If considering the Santa Fe you should look at last month's Car and Driver. They did an 8-way comparison of all the "small" (their term) SUVs out there including the Santa Fe. I believe it came out mid-pack, but the comments are always more helpful than the overall rating. Note here or email me if you need a copy or want comments from it - mine's at home. Also I'm spending the evening at the Minneapolis Auto Show and will again take at look at it.

    The Pathfinder is considered to be "mid-size". I happen to like the little bit bigger size for hauling stuff (but it's not too big). And especially the 240hp power.

    You asked about price. If you are considering the Path and live in Conn, you should be looking at buying in Canada, probably Toronto. A Path SE with auto trans, AWD, sunroof pkg will run about $25,500. Puts it down much closer to the Santa Fe price. A couple dozen of us have gone to Canada to save. See post #2 above for some info. Email me and I can give you more info and contacts.
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    I found a light green/green-yellow spot in the snow where my '01 LE was parked since Monday night. Do I have an anti-freeze/coolant leak? And no, it's not cat pee or anything like that

    This is the first time I left it outside of the garage overnight, and through the nor'easter out here (don't ask, long story). It was covered in ice with an ice packed layer of snow on top. I was able to remove most of it, except the stuff on the roof.

    When I got onto the highway to go to work, the PF was shaking/shuddering very noticeably. Not the engine but the body of the car. The shudder then went to the steering wheel as well. It eventually stopped and drove as normal after about 15 minutes of driving. Also, the car was warming up for an hour prior to me driving off (another long story). Any thoughts guys?

    Thanks in advance. By the way, it has only 6000 miles on it so I was a little worried since this is a brand new car.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    The greenish spot is likely related to a coolant leak. Hopefully the temperature didn't drop so low that it exceeded the freezing point of the antifreeze, and cause parts of the cooling system to crack! If you continue to see spots under your truck, have it checked out.

    Plus, the shuddering you felt was probably related to ice or snow caught in the inside of the rims, causing the wheels to be out-of-balance. Driving for 15minutes probably caused the ice to melt and fling off the wheels.

    Sometimes after driving through thick mud when off-roading, I have the same problem until I wash off the mud.
  • smithmdsmithmd Posts: 167
    This winter I had the same shuddering problem. It was so bad that I pulled over on the way to work to look at my truck. Sure enough, packed snow in the wheels. I kicked out what I could and the shudder was markedly improved. 30 minutes of highway driving later, the problem was gone.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    To add to the discussion, you really have to priortize what you are looking for.

    Performance wise, there's no contest. The SF has only a 181hp engine with a near matching torque figure, and this vehicle (the AWD version) is quite hefty. The PF has 240hp for around the same weight. That's a 33% power advantage! So if you expect to haul anything, travel uphill, or blow the doors off of a 4runner, the PF is the obvious choice!
  • payorkpayork Posts: 5
    >I'm looking at used Pathfinders, and found a '97 >LE 2wd, 70k for $14000. This sounds like a >decent deal to me, but I'll be moving to Colorado

    I just got a '96 and I would not recommend 2wd in snow/ice if you can hold out for a 4*4 model. I'm in Minnesota and have used mine in 4wd a few times already in the past couple weeks. Peter
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    I'll bet you just overheated it a bit (front packed with ice/snow while it idled for an extended time). Just keep an eye on it to see if it drips again. If it was really serious it would have steamed/produced a huge puddle.

    The vibration as per previous messages.

    I'm sure you're ok on both counts.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    The lurch when turning off the engine (with automode 4wd models) is quite normal and is actually referred to in the manual. QX4 owners have been talking about it for 4 years now (as they have had the automode 4WD system longer). If I remember correctly, it is related to the clutch pack disengaging within the transfer case when you turn off the motor. In my case the lurch only occurs around 25% of the times the automode is engaged. It may be related to whether or not torque was being applied to the front wheels or not when the engine was turned off (like when I'm climbing my slippery, steep driveway into my garage!!).
  • lrichardslrichards Posts: 18
    Hi lofquist,
    You mention buying in Canada. Is it possible to lease in Canada through Nissan? If so what about taxes, duties, etc.? I'm interested in SE auto with moonroof, no leather.
    Thanks for info.
  • jambazijambazi Posts: 51
    I've updated the FAQ with the very interesting info about the PF lurching when shut off in 4WD.
    I'm waiting to for someone to post a side-by-side comparison between the PF and the Santa Fe, so I can update it with that as well. I like the way the Santa Fe's look. Not as good as our Pathys, but still pretty sharp. A little too bulgy in the rear quarter panels, but otherwise a neat looking car.


  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    The Canadian dealers can't do a lease to the US. But I have corresponded with a few people who have done other options. First of all though, figure that an SE auto with AWD (yes, the real All-Mode not available in the US on the SE), and sunroof is now selling in Canada for about $25,400. US dealer invoice on this is about $29,400.

    One option is just to do a regular loan. You are saving in the range of $4000 so your payments will be significantly less than if you bought here. Yes, more than a lease, but you are gaining some equity each month and will actually own it sometime (or just trade it when you want too).

    Another option is a baloon payment. My CU offers this. It works out to be just about the same payments as a lease. Then there is a one-time payment at the end of the term (like 36 months). Benefit is low payments, but you don't have to use the mfg lease.

    At delivery in Canada you always end up paying some sales taxes, but the Canadian govt sends them all back to you. At the border, you pay 2.5% duty to the US (I included that cost in the price I mentioned above).

    I have both lease and loan payment calculators in my Palm Pilot (can you tell that helping friends on car purchases is a "hobby" of mine?). Let me know if you want me to run some general numbers. Or just email me and I can give you some contacts and more info on Canada.

  • Majorwoody, Loboy, Joeliar or anyother canadian buyer from washington,
    What is the scoop on the "State Use Tax" in Washington? A buddy of mine is certain that I would have to pay it in addition to the Washington state sales tax. That effectively would reduce the incentive to purchase a Pathy SE in Vancouver.
  • Bought mine at a local dealer in Washington (Performance Nissan in Everett) so I wouldn't know. However my Boss bought one in Canada and I remembered he mentioned the word State Use Tax. It's still cheaper in Canada for sure...Sorry couldn't help you much here :]
  • Hi Everybody!

    I'm out here in the bluegrass state, KY! I'm very
    impressed with the 01 SE PF and am seriously
    considering purchasing one with leather.
    Have you any advice or tips on how I can lower
    the sticker price. Are there any places near
    hear that have a good reputation for selling
    honestly and with modest markups?

    Out of all the SUV's in it's class, the PF comes
    up winning. Thank You!
  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    Here's the scoop on taxes when buying from Canada.... At delivery you will have to pay the Canadian GST and maybe the provincial tax (depends on province, but not in BC). This gets fully refunded by mail. When you register in your state you pay the sales tax just like normal (but they call it a "use tax" since you bought out of state).

    So you end up even. Does not reduce the incentive to buy in Canada.

  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142

    I just purchased a 2001 XE Pathfinder, and note the blue chip on the ignition key. I was advised by the dealer that insertion of the incorrect key in the ignition will result in the vehicle not being able to start, by virtue of the 'immobilizer' feature. (Should I get a key cut to work the door lock and accidently insert that key in the ignition, it would not start, and would need to be towed to the dealer for re-programming of the ignition key!)

    My old Pathfinder had a double-cut iginition key, meaning that the teeth on the key could be inserted in the ignition one of two ways. The ignition key on the 2001 only has the blue chip on one part of the key, and I have always inserted the key with the blue chip towards the dashboard, but wonder if it would work with the chip away from the dashboard. I could not find an answer in the owners manual, so am appealing to the forum.


    By the way, enjoying the major increase in performance over my 95 Pathfinder!
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I've never looked which way I inserted it, which likely means it doesn't matter.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    The way immobilizer/chip key systems work is this:

    You put the key in the ignition and when you turn it, there is a module in your dash area that sends out a strong electronic field that temporarily powers the chip. The chip then sends back a code to the module which then lets the ignition start, etc.

    It doesn't matter which way you put the key in, the chip is being powered through induction. For example, on my Lexus, you get an emergency "wallet" key. It is a thick credit card that holds a simple metal key. You take the key out of the credit card and insert it into the ignition (the key also obviously unlocks the doors). You then place the credit card near the dash while you turn the key. It definitely keeps you from being embarassed and calling the spouse.

    " would not start, and would need to be towed to the dealer for re-programming of the ignition key!"

    I find this statement highly suspect. The only thing that should happen if you insert a correct metal key without the chip is that the engine will not start. I'm not 100% sure (since every system is different), but I find it highly unlikely this would happen.

    Hope this helps,
  • poswaldposwald Posts: 38

    I did exactly what you described in #1616. I seem to always need something out of the locked glove compartment while the car is running. So I had a key cut without the blue chip to be used to unlock the glove compartment during this time. Right after I got it i figured i would test it to see if it would start the car or not. I put it in the ignition and it did nothing as per teh immobilizer feature design. HOWEVER, when I put the normal key with the blue chip in to start the vehicle it also did not work!! Slightly panicked as to what I may have just done, I waited about 1 minute and it then tried again. It worked with no problem. I repeated this process again to be sure I understood what just happened and why. (i am an engineer). I leave this key in the cockpit since it cannot be used to start the vehicle. It does unlock the doors.
  • Check the previous postings for pricing information. Message# 1610 has a FAQ link that discusses "how much to pay" very well.
    Your posting is refreshing. A lot of people make the purchase and post a question to others asking how well they did.
    If you do not enjoy the haggling process, check into They are a non profit service that will contact dealers in your area and set up a competitive bid scenario. Can not speak for them as I have never used their service.
    You mentioned that you are looking at an SE with leather. You might want to upgrade to an LE. The pricing of the SE with the leather/sunroof options is just a few hundred below an LE that has leather/sunroof as standard. In addition, the LE has the AWD.
    Nissan's factory incentives expired in 2/01. However, with this economy you should be able to find a dealer that will sell at a few hundred above dealer invoice.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Thanks for your input, guys. I am sometimes suspicious what dealers tell me, including the service dept! A service advisor did tell me that were I to get a key cut to facilitate unlocking the vehicle, glove box etc, and were I to accidently insert this key into the ignition, it would not start the vehicle, and would require that the vehicle be towed to the nearest dealership for a technician to re-program the key! In my case, the nearest dealer is 240 km (150 miles).

    Based on your comments, it would appear that the cut key would not start the vehicle, but after waiting a minute or so, my original coded key would work. I think I have more faith in this forum than the word of the dealer.

    Thanks again

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