Nissan Pathfinder



  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    To answer your question, no.

    The problem with PT 4WD is that the front and rear axels are "locked" meaning that there is a 50/50 distribution NO MATTER WHAT. You seem to know that there is a problem with taking curves, meaning that the outer wheels are spinning at a different rate than the inner ones.

    LSD is only on the REAR axel, hence it won't help.

    Again, I can't help but mention that the AWD is a great system that requires no driver intervention. It will stay in 2WD drive under normal conditions and kick when it is really necessary (the action of the wheels provide the direct feedback) not when the driver "thinks" it's necessary. You still have the ability of "locking" the system into PT 4WD mode if conditions permit or warrant it. THere is both a PT 4WD lo- and hi-mode that is user selectable. But again, unless you at the beach, dirt road, continous snow, etc. there should be no reason for PT 4WD.

    Hope this helps.
  • jim225jim225 Member Posts: 11
    Hi Folks,
    Largely because of your great forum I just purchased a new Pathfinder LE and am really enjoying it. I do have a question about basic operation and would really appreciate your comments.

    Is it OK to downshift the auto transmission from drive to 2nd or even 1st to preserve brakes on hills? I've done this for years with manual transmissions but am not that familiar with automatic transmissions. Appreciate any thoughts you can provide!


  • maxzoeymaxzoey Member Posts: 32
    I have been told not to downshift the automatic transmission to slow the vechicle, thats what the brakes are for. Downshifting will put excessive wear on the automatic transmision. It is a lot cheaper to replace brakes, than it is to service the automatic transmission.
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    I wouldn't go as far as 2nd or 1st unless you're going really slow. 3rd gear with some brake use is okay, IMHO, for maintaining a constant speed downhill. I do it all of the time. Since the Pathfinder was designed for off-road use in mind, I'm pretty confident that the transmission is designed for this. When off-roading, one stays off the brakes as much as possible and uses the 4WD low range and engine compression (engine braking) in 1st or 2nd gear to slow the vehicle down/maintain a low downhill speed.

    Best of luck and happy new year!

    Host of Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • mbuntingmbunting Member Posts: 158
    Only 6 more days and I should be driving off in my 2001 LE!

    Hope 2001 is good to all of us here on the Town Hall boards!!!

    Best Wishes!
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    Where/how did you end up getting it? Price, options? You put us through enough, we have a right to know ;-)
  • phil47phil47 Member Posts: 394
    Just to add to Drew's comments, the PF has a small button on the transmission shift lever which disables O/D. This is for exactly the purpose Drew described. It allows you to go down longer, steeper hills w/o riding the brakes as hard. It keeps the vehicle in 3rd gear which is usually sufficient to slow the truck down and significantly reduce brake usage.
  • bigdeanerbigdeaner Member Posts: 2
    Well, after reading this forum for awhile and doing my research on edmunds and numerous other sites, I have decided to get the PF. I would like a SE, auto transmission, power option etc. NOW, at what price do you think I could get all this? I would REALLY like to stay around 25-26 but I will go higher, I have been seeing alot of PFs advertised for about 25, and I am wondering, is this too good to be true? What did you all pay for yours? There was even one brand new selling for something like 23,500.... Am I seeing things? This too good to be true?? This will be my first ever SUV and I am wanting to know if I made the right choice in picking the PF. If the price of the car is going to be anything over 30, I won't do it, I'll get a used or a demo model. Thanks a lot for you thoughts and input.
  • mbuntingmbunting Member Posts: 158
    I sure did put you all thru alot of questions!! Haha!

    Heres the details, nothing is set-in-stone just yet, but I have done the following:

    I put a $500 (refundable) deposit on my credit card to hold a 2001 Sierra Silver LE loaded with all options (minus the NAV & ENT Systems and no Tow Hitch) at Tischer Nissan in Laurel, MD.

    My price right now (out the door) is $31,000 for my purchase date of 6 January. I could have gotten this same vehicle for $30,500 if I would have done the paperwork this past week, but I wanted to make sure IN PERSON that this was the vehicle I really wanted. I would also like to see a Bronzed Gray PF to compare it to the Sierra Silver PF, which I already know I like.

    Hopefully things will go well at Tischer. If I remember correctly another member here on Town Hall purchased from this same dealership as well. (Scraff are you stil out there?) I'd like to get some feedback from you if I could!

    Thanks need to go out to everyone here! I feel like this is going to be the most informed purchase I have ever made!
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    Good Luck and Happy New Year!

    Let us know how it goes.

    Me, I should hopefully have my home equity credit line closed this week. Then it's probably off to buy either a JGCL or a PF LE or a Lexus RX300. Haven't decided yet.

  • sanandtonsanandton Member Posts: 342
    You may have seen my posts before re: the JGC. Brief summary: A partner (lifelong diehard Jeep Guy) bought a new 2000 JGCL. Has 10k painful miles thus far, multiple tranny probs, body leaks and other service calls. Informed me the other day he will trade it in soon and avoid any Jeeps until their act seems to improve. His experience mirrors most of those posted in the JGC Class action lawsuit site. If you buy the Jeep, consider doing what I did when I bought Our 2000 Expedition. Buy the extended warranty. Good luck.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    I hear you. I'm definitely not going into this with rose-colored glasses. And I hear you about the ext-warranty.

    I did a lot of research on the NHTSB site and it seems that the TSBs for the 2001 JGCL model are practically non-existent. It leads me to believe that the freshman and sophmore kinks have been worked out. I've learned my lesson and would never buy the first-year design/redesign of any car ever again (I did in the past).

    Like I said, I haven't made up my mind yet. The big thing on the PF for me (and we have a '97) is that there is not enough "luxury" for me. I'd like a trip/systems computer, more power seat adjustments, and other little things like better use of the cabin space/design.

    Spending $30,000+ on a car is a big decision.


    BTW, what is the link to the class-action site?
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    You're not the same TC that was in last week's Friday Freeways chat, are you?

    Before you make your decision about the JGC, you may want to check its IIHS 40 mph offset crash test results, as well as the NHTSA's 35 mph full width front crash test.

    I was extremely disappointed that such a new platform only managed to get 3 stars (reflected in its IIHS result). In addition, some of the injury figures were high in the (newer) MY1999-current JGC model than its predecessor!

    Best of luck and happy new year!

    Host of Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    Yup, that was me with too much time on my hands .

    I appreciate the links and safety is something I seriously consider for my family. It is dissapointing, the only good thing that it is actually an improvement over the '98 design.

    Like I said it's a tough decision. Certain things like auto-climate control are a must for me. Not many vehicles in the $30 - 35k price range have this, plus the AWD feature. For about $36K I could snag a Lexus RX, but it's not my perfect choice in terms of features, plus its hard to get it configured the way you want it, the dealer pretty much sets the features.

    Oh well, decisions, decisions....
  • goose1207goose1207 Member Posts: 113
    The one you saw advertised for approx. $23k was probably a 2WD model. $25k - $26k for an SE with the options you listed is definitely doable.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    An SE with Auto-tran will run you the following if you buy it by TOMORROW:

    MSRP: 30,869
    Inv: 28,112
    CD: 27,143

    THe above info is from The reason you can get almost $1000 less than invoice is because Nissan has cash-back until 01/02/01.

    So yes, $27k is doable, but you better hurry. Plus, the above price is for an SE/auto without any other options. Dealers sometimes don't have them "bare-bones" and hence the cost might be higher.

    Good Luck.
  • aspenwhiteaspenwhite Member Posts: 39
    For detailed info about All-mode 4WD vs. PT 4WD
    check the following site:
    Hope it helps.
  • mbuntingmbunting Member Posts: 158
    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the help with my PF shopping!!!

    I should have a Loaded Sierra Silver LE waiting for me in Maryland this Saturday. Hopefully all wil go well, but if it does not I do have some time to look elsewhere as well.

    Loboy (Jon)- Turns out I won't have the time needed to purchase in Canada. It would have been great to save the cash, but I won't be able to swing it on this purchase anyway. Maybe next time. Thanks for emailing me the information (twice!) that you put together, you really have saved alot of hassles/money for alot of the Town Hall PF owners, that's for sure!

    Tonychrys- Good luck on your upcoming purchase, no matter what vehicle you finally decide on! I'm hoping the PF I pick will be a good one, but I'm not too worried about getting a lemon with all the positive feedback here from actual PF owners. Again, best of luck to you!

    I'm sure I'll be back on here again after my purchase, but it may be a few weeks, as I'm also in the process of moving to Biloxi, MS.

    Happy New Year to all!
  • bigdeanerbigdeaner Member Posts: 2
    (Go there and look at how poorly it's rated)
    (Go there and see how well it's rated)
    Weren't you all a little disappointed with the rating the PF got in the crash test?(in the first web site) It rated BELOW the durangoo!?!? How could anything rate below that? Other sites I have seen rate the PF much higher (second site), what's up with this? Which one do you think is right?
  • drew_drew_ Member Posts: 3,382
    There is no right or wrong. Both are completely different crash tests. The NHTSA's 35 mph full width frontal in a non-deformable flat barrier test mainly tests the effectiveness of the restraint systems of the vehicles. The IIHS's 40mph offset crash test, OTOH, crashes 40% of the front of the vehicle into a deformable barrier. This simulates a severe head-on collision, and primarily demonstrates the effectiveness of the crumple zones, the strength of the safety cage, and to a lesser extent, the restraint systems.

    Personally, I take the 2nd (IIHS) test a lot more seriously since it closely reflects real world performance of an (albeit) serious collision. It is much less likely that one will crash into a non-deformable object (concrete wall), as the NHTSA does, in real life. FYI, the NHTSA's test standards haven't been updated since the 1970's. Most other countries now use the offset crash test, or a combination of the side impact/front offset/full width test in their new car assestment programmes. It is possible for a vehicle to do well in the NHTSA's test, but poorly in the IIHS test. However, all vehicles that do well in the IIHS's test also do well in the NHTSA's test.

    The Pathfinder's heavier (against most cars) curb weight, as well as the height of that the passengers sit at should help overall. But hopefully, the next generation Pathfinder/QX4 will do a lot better in both of these crash tests.

    Hope this clears things up!

    Host of Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • zamphirzamphir Member Posts: 12
    Just wanted to say that here in NY we got a bit of snow (16") and the PF did wonderful. The roads weren't too bad, but my driveway (I rent and the landlord "takes care of it") and the parking lots around here were a mess. Had no problems whatsoever. However, I have had to wash it twice this week because the salt and muck really stick to the my PF's green.

    TC- Had a Cheap Wrangler, Engine blew at 30,000 miles. Took a year for Chrysler to settle up with me. A friend of mine recently bought a 2000 JCG with 10,000 miles on it for a "steal". It's been in the shop constantly and he's trying to sell it. I'm not saying that all Jeeps are bad...just be careful.(It is a very comfortable car. Makes waiting for the tow truck almost enjoyable).

  • sanandtonsanandton Member Posts: 342
    Try this link regarding JGCs /direct/view/.ee95171/0It seems that the Class action posts have stopped with the conversion, but can be reviewed with the townhall search function.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    Thanks, I'll check it out!
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    ...for both the PF and JGC are pretty bad, near the bottom for both the Govt. and IIS tests.

    I"m starting to lean more towards the Lexus RX300, even if it does cost me a few thousand more. My family comes first.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Member Posts: 1,081
    Aspenwhite, thanks for that 4WD info at MSN...that was very informative. (btw, TIA means 'thanks in advance').

    I'm also waiting for my home equity credit line to close (maybe next week) so I couldn't get the 1K rebate. Does anyone have a guess as to whether there'll be another one anytime soon? I'll be looking to buy in 2 weeks or so. I heard Toyota is starting a new rebate program so I'm hoping Nissan will need to counter that.
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    I would not take a 4Runner over a PF... the best part about owning the new PF is blowing the doors off of the 4Runners on the highway .
  • li_sailorli_sailor Member Posts: 1,081
    I'm not seriously considering the 4Runner...altho it's a solid vehicle with great resale. But, as you say, it has less power and more importantly to me, to equip it like a PF LE you have to go to the Limited which has a BASE over 37k (!!).

    I'm just hoping their rebate makes Nissan extend theirs. I'm pretty set on getting the PF. Sometimes I think the only real competetion is the XTerra...which, as others have pointed out, is more 'bare' than the PF. But also, it has less power, less cargo space and you can't get side air bags(which is the only reason I'm getting leather/moonroof...4K...ouch!).
  • phil47phil47 Member Posts: 394
    One thing I noted from this test is that, although the structure/safety cage rated poor, the injuries sustained by the dummy were all GOOD with one ACCEPTABLE. In the end, isn't it the injuries I'm trying to avoid?

    It also seems that this test is only looking (objectively) at injuries sustained by the driver, which were low in this case. If I'm looking at the safety of my family, how do I rate the PF? The NHTSA results look at injury levels to front and rear passengers during full frontal and side impacts and have rated the PF highest (5 star) in both cases. So now I know that the driver of a PF is unlikely to be injured in an offset or full frontal collision, and my passengers are unlikely to be injured in a full frontal or side collision, how about my passengers in an offset frontal? I don't know...I suspect pretty low injury level but does anybody measure this? I ended up buying a 2001 Honda Odyssey to haul the kids around in partly because it rated so high on both tests (IIHS and NHTSA).
  • mcc32mcc32 Member Posts: 4
    I live in NE NJ and during the fall of 22 inches of snow on Saturday my pregnant
    wife decided I should go out into the storm and pick up a pizza in my
    '01 PF LE. To get the truck out of the driveway, I proceeded to slip it
    into 4 Low. I got out of the driveway no problem, but when I tried to get it back
    into 4 High or even Auto, I was refused. It just continued in 4 Low. I tried everything
    I could think of - nuetral, park, etc... - it wouldnt budge. After continuing fiddling
    around with it for a while, it suddenly jumped back into 4 high. I dont if it was something
    I did to "fix" it or it just warmed up enough - I dont know. Is there a certain proceedure
    for shifting out of 4 Low that I didn't see in the owners manual or do I have
    a problem??
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    The dummy Kinetics test (Your body getting banged around in a crash) was marginal in the PF, which is not good.

    One thing that really opened my eyes had nothing to do with saftey... the 5 mph bumper crash tests. Look how much money you'll sheel out to fix the PF compared to other vehicles in it's class. Sheesh. The more expensive Lexus actually costs less to fix.

    I've never smacked up my '97 PF so i can't prove if any of this is true. Maybe it's time for a science experiment....
  • looking25looking25 Member Posts: 19
    Just for grins I'm looking at a used 1999 Pathfinder 4x4 LE with 12,000 miles on it at a dodge dealer. What's the difference between the 1999 and 1999.5 models? Could I tell by looking at it? What were the changes if any?

  • looking25looking25 Member Posts: 19
    I just check the trade-in, private party, and retail prices posted by edmunds straight-up with the difference between the 1999 and 1999.5 LE 4X4 models and the 1999.5 model is price less by almost a grand ( doesn't make sense).

  • pathfindmepathfindme Member Posts: 1
    OK, so I've just put 1000 miles on my new Silver LE, so am I supposed to get any checkup or fluids changed or anything???

    mcc32 - I had the same problem. I think I ended up putting it in park and holding in the button on the shift with my right hand and switching it back to 4hi w/ my left hand.

    To all - I was coming up the access road at Stratton Mountain in VT on Saturday and saw several SUV's that had been coming down the mountain skidded off the side of the road. But my pathy had no problem!!! A foot of fresh, unplowed snow in the street and driveway, and again no problem!
  • phil47phil47 Member Posts: 394
    I refer to the objective measures of dummy injury. They were low. Isn't this what counts? This is what confused me about the results. As for passenger safety, can you say the Lexus is better for sure? It hasn't been rated by the NHTSA (and couldn't rate much better than the PF anyways), and the IIHS test doesn't seem to measure passenger injuries (that I can tell).

    As for the 5 MPH bumper test, ouch... I wonder if the 2001 PF would rate as bad. I noticed they only say for 1997 PF. I suspect any changes were only cosmetic.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Member Posts: 1,081
    The biggest difference in the new PF (99.5) is the bigger engine. From 170hp to 240 (manual trans is 250). There was also no $ increase for SE/LE. The 1K diff is prob the rebate.
  • pathstarpathstar Member Posts: 201
    Nothing needs to be done at 1000. Watch the oil level, as that "energy saving" light oil will dissappear on you fast. I had to add a litre at around 2500 km (1700 mi or so). You'll begin to really enjoy the vehicle after it starts to loosen up a bit around 3-5 k miles. It just keeps getting better. 4 Wheeler of the year according to 4 Wheeler mag. this month. They liked the power.
  • taf7417taf7417 Member Posts: 4
    Any of you with '01 pathfinders, what brand and type of oil are you using? I live in the south and usually it doesn't get too cold here. I know the book recommends 5W-30 for all conditions, but my dealer says they put in Castrol 10W-30. Any suggestions?
  • jack0565jack0565 Member Posts: 6
    Hello All,
    Thanks guys, I'd been following the posts here for about six months and it had made my decision a lot easier to by the PF. The only problem I have is that I've had it for a little over
    2 weeks and I have a hard time getting out of it( I already have 1200mi. on it). I love the power
    and smooth ride. My only question so far is I have the in-cabin microfilter and it's rec. to be replaced every 7500mi. Can anyone tell me where it's located.

  • peaches5peaches5 Member Posts: 91
    No, the 240 HP engine didn't show up until 2001. There was a change in the exterior between the 1999 and 1999.5 and maybe a couple of options here and there (I don't think the 1999 had side airbags), but no engine change. If you want to get the specifics between 1999 and 1999.5, Edmunds will show you what was new. From what I understand, there was basically zero change between 1999.5 and the 2000. The 2001 have the bigger engine, different leather seats, 6 CD changer, steering controls for the radio, etc.
  • macchi2macchi2 Member Posts: 4
    I am coming up to my 3000 mile mark for my '01 pathy and heard that people are using synthetic oil. Should I use synthetic oil or does regular oil suffice? Also, in using synthetic, when should you start using? Can you use it right away or do you have to wait a certain mileage?
  • kaczor1kaczor1 Member Posts: 14
    For the leather interior, I have been using Lexol, for those of you that have horses and saddles, this product is probably familiar to you. It does a great job with cleaning and conditioning without changing the color of the leather. Some leather cleaners/conditioners, like saddle soap, will darken the leather, if you have the beige, not a good thing.

    Also, have heard complaints here on this forum lately about mpg. Although the PA isn't the greatest, with a SUV, especially 4wd, I am not sure what is expected. I came from a Dodge 97 Ram pickup, that consistently got no better than 10mpg. I also had to use premium in the dodge, so there was no change for the PA, except it gets a lot better mpg. Although I too have heard the prediction that the market if dropping out for the SUV, for many of us, that live in snow areas and have to get work, etc. a 4wd of some sort is a necessity, not a luxury. Pickups are certainly no better on gas, and some are much worse. Most of the SUVS on the market are rated around 15mpg.
  • sjdnysjdny Member Posts: 2
    I am looking to lease a 2001 Pathfinder 4X4 LE with all the options except for the entertainment and naviagation package. The dealer gave me a price of 30,691. A monthly lease of $459 with 500 out of pocket for 39 months. The residual value is 21,608, the money factor is .00295. Does this sound like a good deal or can I do better.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Member Posts: 211
    I just made an appointment with my local dealer for the 15KMile service for my 99.5 LE 4x4. He quoted me a price of $265 for the service. The service includes: oil change, oil filter, air filter, tire rotation, front wheel balance, CO test timing ignition tuneup, brake check and miscellaneous visual checks (belts, lights etc.) and some lubrication. Given that the regular oil change costs 20-30 bucks, I am paying $200 plus for an engine tuneup and a brake inspection and adjustment. And the engine tuneup does not include spark plug replacements since the Platinium go for 60K miles!

    What are other folks paying? I am located in the Long Island area near SUNY StonyBrook. From what I remember the dealer service costs were much lower for my Honda Civic based in Palo Alto, CA (San Franscisco Bay Area)
  • tonychrystonychrys Member Posts: 1,310
    If there is something you don't understand, ask away. One of us will be very happy to clarify anything, we're really a friendly bunch that likes spirited debates about cars!

    PF = PathFinder
    AWD= all wheel drive
    LSD = limited slip differential
    NAV = navigation system
    ENT = Entertainment package

    More than happy to help.
  • li_sailorli_sailor Member Posts: 1,081
    2 bloop corrections...first, you're right, peaches5...I mixed up 99.5 with 2000.5. The 99.5 change was only cosmetic, as you say. But it was spring of 2000 (2000.5) that the new 240hp engine was introduced...AKA early 2001 model year. Also, in a previous post I said that the leather/moonroof options cost 4K more...that should have been 3K (actually, $3098 list/$2687 invoice). See, aspenwhite? An acronyms dictionary wouldn't keep me from looking like an idiot :-)
  • calsigcalsig Member Posts: 4
    Installed most of the accessories (in-cabin microfilter, grille guard, taillight guards, rear wind deflector) that I received for Christmas last Friday afternoon. All contained all mounting hardware and easy-to-follow directions.

    Jack0565, the micro-filter probably required the most work (25 mins), because I had to disassemble the glove box and cut a plastic slot in the a/c filter box for the filters. That shouldn't be an issue for you, since you're looking to replace an existing one at the maintenance interval. When you purchase the replacement, you'll find instructions and pictures to show you how to remove the glovebox and replace the filter.
  • meca2meca2 Member Posts: 284
    I have a 2001 PFLE and changed the oil at about 1300 and installed 5w/30 valvoline
    synthetic. I have used amsoil and it is probably the best but at 6$/qt.I chosed other. I also installed an amsoil
    foam air filter. Some people I know are using Mobile 1 but on one of their web sight
    Mobile 1 seems to have a sludge problem. It does not hold the sludge insuspention.
    Also it's up to the owner to decide how often to change the oil I don't drive my much
    except on the weekends so I will change it every 6 Mths. To keep the warrenty??
    Castrol syn is meneral base and not a true syn. I also use synthetic oil in the diff.
    and have good luck but not very many meet the spec on LSD . The only oil that met
    the latest MIL spec was meneral oil not synthetic even they say it's approved for LSD.
    Looking at other EDMONDS sights on oil people are mixed for both good reasons.
  • jbueckerjbuecker Member Posts: 3
    Following up my shimmy problem. The dealer fixed it right away. It was a tire rotate/balance issue. Now it rides like a dream on the highway. I am very pleased !
    *Kind of off the Subject* -- Are any of you computer games? I just installed the 4X4 Evolution Demo on my Macintosh. And the default vehicle was a BLUE 01 Path DE ... Just like mine..... Neat .. now I can pretend I am racing in the raja desert! Happy New Year from one happy PATH owner.
  • nismofreaknismofreak Member Posts: 120
    Pathstar: I just noticed that too over Christmas. I went 3500 miles and noticed that I need to add .5 quarts to the engine. This freaked me out. This is the first Nissan that I have owned that burnt oil. What colour was your oil when you checked?

    5w-30 vs. 10w-30: I am not suggesting that anyone used the heavier oil but I am curious if the oil consumption will go down.

    I will send out an oil sample at 5K miles to see what lab says. I will let the list know.

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