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Nissan Pathfinder



  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    On my 95 Pathfinder, I had Nissan running boards installed when it was new. They were black, extruded aluminum, with non-skid strip on the surface. They fastened to the frame rail by a bracket, and had two plates, which fastened to the wheel arches, the front one forming a mud flap. In the 6 years I had this truck, they worked great. I live in a winter climate, with gravel, snow and mud prevalent during the seasons. The running boards prevented chipping of the rocker panels, prevented my pants from getting soiled when getting in and out of the truck, as well as formed a step to the roof.

    The SE Pathfinder has a step rail, and the LE, running boards, but both lack the plates which fasten to the wheel arches. The cost of SE bars is Cdn $800, while the LE boards are $900. I can get aftermarket boards installed for about Cdn $300, similar to the ones I had on my 95 Pathfinder.

    Do any of you who have an SE or LE find the factory boards do an adequate job of keeping mud and road grime splatter off the rocker panels and side of the vehicle? Unless I find a substantive reason to stick with 'genuine' product, I will likely take the $300 route.

    Thanks in advance

  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    I chose the LE (over the SE) because the running boards appeared to provide better protection. They do, but it's not perfect. They will collect mud and gravel on top of the boards at the front and rear, because they don't have that tie-in to the "mud flaps" or wheel arches that you mention. I think they are stronger than the aftermarket boards, though (and probably heavier too). They look nicer than the aluminum "checker-plate" running boards to me (I think they look tacky). Anyway, so far no chips in the rockers or sides (11,000 km with only one 100 km trip on gravel roads).
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "It is not known what inspired Neil to want to begin racing cars, but what IS known… is about his love of cars. Neil Chirico, Road Test Editor for is ready to answer your questions about the many cars that he has test-driven. Neil also brings you a wealth of knowledge concerning the many questions that you will have about vehicle service, having been in the trenches as a service advisor at the dealership level for many years. Don't miss having your questions answered by one of Edmunds best.


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    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Oops, the editors chat is tonight at 5-6pm Pacific/8-9pm Eastern. Apologies for the typo.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • Well, after 13 years of outstanding service to me and my family, I have finally decided to sell the 1988 Pathfinder XE that me and my wife bought the first Christmas we were married. Two door and bare bones, it has lasted all these years without a complaint. My two boys are 12 and 9 and they are real sad to see it on the sellers block. We own a 98 SE and have just ordered a 2001 LE to replace "old blue". I am sad, very sad. On the other hand, I am real excited about the new engine in the 2001 and look forward to another 13 years without problems.
  • I have a 97 Pathfinder and am taking it in for the 60k service at the local dealer. The service manager said that they recommend changing the timing belt at 60k. I checked the owners manual and the recommended replacement interval is 105k Anybody had their timing belt replaced or have any info on this? Thanks in advance
  • hasanashasanas Posts: 19
    I own a 2001 PF LE with auto transmission. I wanted to know if it's better to apply the hand brake before shifting into Park. A friend of mine told me that this way it will put less wear and tear on the transmission. Anyone have any comments/suggestions on this?

    Has anyone replaced the factory antenna with a power antenna? Was it costly?

  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    hasanas: Yes,it is a very good idea to apply the parking brake first then
    put the trans in park. Also I'm in the habet to apply the parking brake
    then remove your foot from the brakes to make sure it hold and remove
    any pressure that might be on the transmission parking paw. If you do this
    you wiil never have any trouble getting it out of park and your trans
    will love you for it. Older Fords had big problems with their paws,they
    would brake off!! Cheers
  • meca2meca2 Posts: 284
    nismofreak: I have sent you the info you asked and some on knock sensors to update your info on how and what a knock senser realy does. The k-senser in our PF is a Piezoelectric Element and yes it has to here a knocking vibration one that you can here. Like a Ford Power Stroke. Also a fuel glossary so you can understand the difference between Octane and Volatility (Reid Vapor Pressure). If you have read page 10-5 in the owners manual it says if under very high throttle
    you will here a slight knock. This is called the "knock limit",this is where the engine gets the greatest fuel benefit.I have clearly stated that here in Oregon the fuel quality is not controlled by the state and we have the worst fuel in the country. During the winter the fuel is blended with alcohol and other compounds like zylene,benzene to make more volatile,make your car start better in cold weather. This "premium" fuel sets in the tank at the gas station these high ends of the fuel disapates and with it goes the octane. If cost of the fuel was the only concern I would have 3 Fords in my driveway instead of 3 Nissans. I try to get the "freshest" and cleanest fuel possable. Maybe the P-fuel might be better next summer? 25 years of Nissans/800,000+mi. Cheers
  • Hi all,

    Well, I picked up the Pathfinder from Port City Nissan in New Hampshire and put 1,500 miles on it in two days and will put 2,500 more miles on it in the next week returning to California. I checked mileage in the first 1,500 miles (5 tankfuls) and got the following: 18.92mpg, 19.1mpg, 19.34mpg, 18.7mpg and 17.25mpg. I was mostly on cruise control on I-95 at 70-82mph as speed limits/conditions allowed. The last tank was a night in Daytona Beach for Spring Break (worth the 2mpg hit!).

    I'm changing the oil and filter tomorrow morning with a Nissan filter and 5w-30 Mobil 1. I'll pay close attention to any potential differences Mobil might make and let you guys know.

    Captain Ron. . .
    2001 LE, 4X4, Burnt Cherry, black leather, navigation...
  • duperduper Posts: 127

    I think 96+ pathfinders have timing chains instead of belts. My 99 has chain and the recommended interval for changing is 105,000 miles, just like yours. Chains would last much longer then belt and I don't know why your dealer recommend you to change yours. I think the service manager either trying to make some fast bucks or doesn't know what the heck he's talking about.

    Take care
  • Heard your car wash story and felt compelled to share mine. Five years ago, my wife and I were 1 week from traveling to Hawaii to get married. She thought she was doing me a favor by going to a local car wash. Talk about touchless! Well the brushes were hiding an RV attenna. You know, the large ones with a big ball on the root. Well the rotational spin was fast enough to cause dents from bumper to bumper over the top and breaking 2 windows. Had to fight to get the proprietor to pay. Cost over $3000 to her 95 Altima and a lot of stress before the wedding. Lesson learned. We wash our own.
  • Left out info. Dents were about 6 inches apart.
  • I have a 2001 PF LE without the entertainment system. I can get a great deal on the factory one ($900) but I'm wondering how hard is it to install. Someone said that it may be prewired from the factory so it is a matter if mounting it and plugging it in. Anyone have any information on this?
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    Hey, thanks for conferring with what I had previously stated. So given what you wrote,
    If you have read page 10-5 in the owners manual it says if under very high throttle
    you will here a slight knock. This is called the "knock limit",this is where the engine gets the greatest fuel benefit.

    This still is quite in line with what I stated. Follow this reasoning: If you put a more volatile fuel in your engine, would the perpensity to knock increase? If you answer yes, then follow my next point: Would the knock limit be reached sooner? If you answer yes, another point: So if the limit is sooner and then the engine is under greater load past that limit and can no longer retard the timing what happens? Ah! No more light knocking but severing knocking. The easiest work around this is to lift the throttle so the engine is no longer under that load. But by that time it is possible that damage has occurred.

    Did I ever say or infer that the engine can magical sense the octane of the fuel? No, I did say that when a knock is sensed the timing is backed off. So the only way that an engine can know how far it can advance the timing (spark) is to advance and then wait for a knock (more than likely you will not hear this). Then using that same logic: An engine designed for premium fuel can start advancing the spark further (since it is designed for premium). All cars that >I< have come across that have been designed for premium fuel (sans European only models) can run on regular because of the range of timing retardation and advancement. But if these high compression motors don't need higher octane why should the manufacture request the higher octane? I guess if you are into conspiracies, then they are in cahoots with the oil companies.

    I know that my racecar (a Nissan) can go from a base timing of as little as 10 deg. BTDC to as much as 90 deg. BTDC. The most I have seen under HARD acceleration is >76 deg. BTDC.

    Octane vs. volitility: So you can add external fluids to gasoline to change its volitility. I guess I should have said gasolines without "volitility additives" added. For "summer" gasoline, the trend of higher octane yielding lower volitility still is true. (Although the dye in gasoline does change the volitility some what).

    Look, like I said in my private email to you, I just wanted people to really know what they are doing. If they choose to use the lower octane and something >does< happen, then I don't want them to blame the manufacture but to be responsible for their actions.

    I am done.

    ps. does anyone know what Nismo means anyway? :-)
  • bgritzbgritz Posts: 139
    Isn't it the racing/high performace portion of Nissan?

    Toyota has TRD
    Ford has SVT

    ps-that 400R is a wicked car
  • nismofreaknismofreak Posts: 120
    I had a JWT Stage III Z32... that was a blast! 13.2 @ 107 in the quarter. I do love the way Nissan engineers their vehicles. This is way I will probably always be a Nissan owner...

    nismofreak: Enjoying the ride...
  • htn123htn123 Posts: 15
    I am living in Hotlanta, and thinking about buying the Pathfinder. I have wife, 2kids and 2 dogs, so no leather needed. And since Atlanta rarely see any snow, I am opting for the 2WD. I am trying to decide between the LE and the SE, here is that I found so far as the diffs:

    LE: 10lbs heavier, the front AND rear head room is smaller than the SE, according to EDMUND's data!!!, I thought that they are the same vehicle?!!. LE has the Bose but I though SE also has the Bose. LE has the faked wood trim. LE has the fog light which is nice.

    So should or why do I want to get the LE vs the SE? and pay about $1000 diff?

    Thanks in advance.
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    If you prefer not to have leather, it might be easier to find an SE without leather. Most of the LEs (that I have seen) have leather. I, too, preferred the cloth seats but my wife wanted the LE because of the Auto Climate Control. This was not available on the SE when we were shopping back in July 2000, it may have changed now. And most, if not all, the LEs that we saw had leather. Early in the 2001 Model release -- around March/April, I did find some LEs without leather. It is becoming rare, though.

    The front and rear head room numbers may be different because the LE has sunroof standard while it is an option on the SE. It may be the same if the SE has the sunroof. I could be wrong, though.

    Both LE and SE have Bose sound systems and the SE also has the fog lights.

    I could have lived with the SE in our garage, but my wife preferred the LE. It's her ride, so she gets to choose.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    Almost two weeks ago, I traded my 95 Pathfinder XE in on a 2001 XE model. I bought the 95 in October 94, so it was in its 7th year of ownership. I was contemplating the purchase of a Toyota 4Runner, due its advanced traction and skid control etc., but on a recent test drive decided the Pathfinder was for me. I live in a mountainous area of British Columbia, and indeed 'power means everything'. The Runner was only 30 hp more than my old Pathfinder, and I found that trying to pass sometimes would cause anxiety, due to the slow acceleration above 100 kmh. This was not an issue with the 2001 Pathfinder.

    My 95 was perhaps the most reliable vehicle I had, as I spent about $150 on parts, except for replacing the tires. At 100,000 km, I had the original muffler and brakes (the 5 speed transmission enabled downshifting on hills). My old vehicle fetched a good trade in value, so hope that my 2001 will be as good. I miss the beige pearl paint, the complete steel skid plate package, the one-touch security system, the 8 speaker stereo (4 speakers in the headliner, above cargo area, gave good audio presence), but mostly, the ability to unlatch the rear window from the console! The 2001 has other features, which may surpass the pluses of the 95. In only 750 km of mileage, I have reached the best fuel economy of 14.4 litres over a short 124 km highway trip, at 100 km. This translates into 24.3 miles per imperial gallon, using 91 octane fuel. I will need to average fuel economy over various conditions and tankfuls to derive more accurate results, but so far am pleased with the performance.

    I empathise with you, but feel that our new units will serve us well. Good bye old beige
  • tofunricetofunrice Posts: 20
    Hey Mosher... I'm also interested in getting the Mobile Entertainment system installed! Let me know how your install goes if you do decide to go for it!

  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I will also be switching to Mobil 1 synthetic soon in my 2001 LE. The main reason is low temperature viscosity which is very important during our Cdn winters.

    However, I was cautioned by my Service Mgr (who got it first hand from a Nissan tech training session) to wait until around 20,000 km (12,000 miles) before switching. This ensures proper wear-in/seating of important engine components. These new Nissan engines have fairly tight tolerances and a "real" break-in period which is longer than the one stated in the manual. Just a thought...
  • li_sailorli_sailor Posts: 1,081
    Aside from differences in standard equipment, the LE has these extras: AWD, auto temp (climate) control and auto on/off headlights. Cosmetically, the LE differences are fake wood dash & rear interior door handle, body colored fender flare/bumpers/mirrors and 'different' front grill. The LE has rear seat heat/AC ducts that I believe the SE doesn't (not sure about that one).

    I concur with Crikey's comments.
  • karlamnkarlamn Posts: 10
    I am looking at a 2001 PF SE 4x4 w/leather and sunroof (in Mpls). The sales guy has offered invoice + $500 profit for the dealership - $500 current incentive. He has the exact truck that I want on the lot (just arrived yesterday), and said that Nissan has offered additional spring allocation of cars for every PF sold right now, which tells me that the dealership has additional profit potential which could result from this sale...

    Since they JUST got this truck, I know that they won't be paying to finance it while it sits on the lot. I am trying to figure out where to start my counteroffer. At invoice less $500 (give they have a 3% holdback)? I want this to be a decent experience, but I want to feel like I got a good deal, too!

    What do you suggest - anyone?? My current car is a 1994 Altima SE, and I leased with a national deal and then bought, so this is my first "real" car purchase negotiation!

  • lofquistlofquist Posts: 281
    I'm just down the road from you in Rochester. You should have a good chance of getting most of that extra $500. You might as well start at that point or just a little lower. Of course you really want that exact truck , but don't let that show to them. Negotiate hard and don't let them intimidate you. And most of all when you make the deal don't let them add on any bogus charges to try to make up the difference!

    But since you are so close here in MN, I have to ask if you have seen about all of us who have been going to Canada to save? For the Path you are looking at (SE, auto, leather, sunroof) I calculate list at $33,987 and dealer invoice at $30,819. In Canada you could get this same vehicle for about $26,900. And you get the All-Mode 4WD system and limited slip differential that you won't get here on the SE. If you have a couple days to go get it, you're looking at saving close to $4000. See the post at #2 above for some more info. I can get you much more for details and some good contacts if you are interested.

  • karlamnkarlamn Posts: 10
    I DID read about the Canada option - I even looked to see how far Thunder Bay was from Mpls - 7.5 hours! Could I really save $4K??!! BUT, then I don't get the 3.9% financing, so I would have to figure that cost in there as well...Hmmm, much math to do, but I am a CPA so I can hack it.

    I will take a look back at those postings, but if you have any specific advice - closest dealership for us, etc. please let me know!

    I did figure that I was getting a pretty decent deal - I don't want to haggle too hard for an extra $50, but I think that the $500 "dealership profit" is probably 100% negotiable!

    Thanks for your help!

  • crikeycrikey Posts: 1,041
    To gain more leverage, why don't you tell the dealership that you can get the PF in Canada for much less, but you are willing to buy from them if they agree at your desired price. This may tip the scales in your favor.
  • climber3climber3 Posts: 13
    It is my understanding that engines need to undergo a "break-in" period prior to switching to a synthetic engine oil. Most of the recommended mileages I have seen are in the 10000 to 12000 mile range prior to making the switch. Does anyone have any information as to whether a similar "break-in" period is needed for differential fluid or automatic transmission fluid if planning to go with synthetic? Thanks.
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142

    I used to live in Manitoba, your neighbouring Canadian province to the north. I bought my 95 Pathfinder in Steinbach, Manitoba and used to travel to Minneapolis on occasion. You may find that Manitoba dealers are closer than Thunder Bay, Ontario. You can get information on locations and phone numbers for Canadian dealers from Nissan Canada <>


  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Hey, I know the 3.9% financing is still in effect through 4/2/01 but does anyone who has recently purchased know if the $500 incentive is still in effect? Thanks...
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