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Nissan Pathfinder Owners Care & Maintenance



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Actually Steve, it's the "VQ" engine (3.5 L), and there is no timing belt requirement for it from 2001 and up. These engines use a steel belt, which is supposed to last "the life of the engine" (whatever that means).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Right, mine's the 3.3l VG33E - I thought there was an E in there somewhere. Supposedly the VG33E was used in earlier Pathfinders. The VQ is sometimes called the world's benchmark engine, but because it doesn't roll off the tongue like "Hemi" it doesn't get enough respect, unless you follow Ward's annual list of the 10 best engines.

    I'm afraid to ask if the VQ is an interference engine in the Pathfinders from 2001 onward. ;)

    I'll reply to the CSR email. :shades:
  • I have an '01 PF with 106K miles and have never changed the fuel filter. The factory service manual does not recommend the replacement of this filter at any specific mileage nor time. It just states "when the filter becomes clogged, the vehicle speed cannot be increased as the driver wishes, in such an event replace the filter". It looks like replacing this filter is fairly straight forward, except the manual says you need to pull the fuse for the fuel pump and then crank the engine 2 or 3 times to release all the fuel pressure. Has anyone here replaced their own fuel filter on a Pathfinder? Is the job as easy as it seems to be? What keeps the fuel from draining out of the tank while you have the filter disconnected from the fuel line (looks like the filter is lower than the tank itself). Thanks in advance for your help.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I like to use a small clamp to pinch the fuel hose on the tank side. Haven't had to do it on my Pathfinder yet, but I have on a few other vehicles.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I have a 2001 PF with 83,000 miles. I've always greased the one and only fitting on the front driveshaft but it has never seemed like it took any grease. It almost seems like it just squirts out around the fitting.
    1) Are there different types of fittings and could my grease gun have the wrong one?
    2) If I haven't been greasing it what damage could this do & what symptoms might it cause?
    3) How much grease should you give it on a regular basis and if I haven't been getting any grease in how much should I give it now.
    4) Is it typical for grease in a grease gun to seperate and a yellow liquid to leak out of the grease gun? Thanks...
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Smokey, I have the same truck with 107K miles. The fitting could be defective and not opening up to allow grease in. The reason it needs grease is that the splines on both portions of the driveshaft slide against each other because the driveshaft needs to lengthen and shorten as the rear suspension moves up and down. I'm just guessing, but it seems to me that you need not worry about over-lubricating it...any excess grease will merely drop off. So far as potential damage goes, once again I'm just guessing, but I would say that without lubrication the drive shaft would not lengthen and shorten as smoothly as designed. I would also guess that this could damage the u-joints and/or the transfer case output bearing as well as the differential pinion bearing if it got bad enough. I would also guess that unless you've driven your truck in shallow water at some point, there is probably enough lube still on the splines to prevent this from happening...but I take no responsibility if I'm wrong :-)
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    There are metric and SAE "zerk" fittings (grease nipples). You will have more luck with a metric fitting on the grease gun. I bought mine at an auto parts supplier.

    Grease is oil held in a jelly. It will separate over a period of time. That is how it lubricates. It's really oil lubrication held in jelly for "timed release". Nothing to worry about - it's normal. My guns leave little puddles of oil where I store them. I say "guns" because one has molybdenum grease, one has teflon grease, and the third has a special waterproof grease for my motorcyle swing arm.

    If you can't get any grease in the fitting, just smear some where the spline shaft goes into the rest of the driveshaft. It doesn't need a lot. If you ford streams a lot you want to be greasing it a lot, but for most of us, these are "main street" 4WD vehicles and don't require a lot of greasing.

    I grease mine successfully per the maint. schedule and have a nice coating of grease on the underside of the body in line with the part of the shaft where the spline goes into the rest of it.

    If you get a grease gun end that will work, pump it until you see a little come out at the spline junction, or three or four full pumps, whichever is less. There is no seal involved that you can damage with too much grease.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Pathstar, thanks for the insight on how grease works...never knew that, makes sense!
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    Thanks for the help... both of you. I only have one gun with moly that only gets used for this. Do you think after five years of seperation it's still good? Ever need to replace it in the gun just from aging?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Well, if the grease is no good after five years mine is really no good as it's over 15 years old! ;) Squirt some on your finger and see if it still contains oil. If not, it's no good. I suspect it's still good for many years to come.

    BTW, molybdenum grease contains molybdenum disuphide (fine powder). It's there in case the grease dries out, in which case the powder gets forced onto the metal surfaces when they rub together under force. This is also a good lubricant. It actually bonds to the iron, giving it permanant emergency lubrication (until it sees forces high enough to melt the steel that is).
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I have a 2001 PF & have been using Amsoil 5w-30 synthetic for two years now with 1 year oil change intervals. I have also used Amsoil oil & air filters. Prior to this I used Mobil 1 with 3 month change intervals. I'm not happy with the oil analysis I just received from Blackstone Labs after one year and 15,772 miles. Here are their comments:

    This oil was in use for too long a distance for this engine to handle as can be seen by the higher than average amount of wear metals (Iron 35ppm). The TBN was 0.0, showing no active additive in the oil. Silicon at 44 ppm is either from a silicone-based lube/sealer/gasket or it is dirt getting past the air filter, so check that out. Oil viscosity was higher than normal due to extended use. We suggest a 7500-mile oil change to help improve wear and check back to see the results.

    Anyone know of a silicon-based lube/sealer/gasket on the PF that could be causing the high silicon reading, or is it likely from dirt. What do you guys think about all this? Anyone else used extened drain intervals?
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I've had good luck getting grease into mine. I just have to keep telling myself not to fill the driveshaft - one or two squirts is all it needs. I seem to recall getting a metric end for my grease gun years ago.

    Ok... I realize this is a really old message to be replying to but I was looking at some of my old bookmarked stuff. Pathstar1, you still alive? ;) So what would happen if you filled the front driveshaft with grease... errr.... hypothetically? :confuse:
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    My 2001 Pathfinder is approaching 105,000 miles and new spark plugs. Anyone changed theirs on a 2001? Is it pretty straightforward or anything different on this vehicle?
  • elder4elder4 Posts: 1
    My wife got a 1995 nissan pathfinder v6.I have crawled every where and cant find the oil filter.Can someone tell me exacly where it is.
  • Just leased an '08 Pathfinder. In reading the fine print of my lease agreement it does not appear that it requires the maintenance to be performed by a Nissan dealer. Has anyone had any experience at lease-end with this issue ? Will I be in violation of my lease if I use a mechanic that I trust versus a local Nissan dealer that I don't trust ?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You may also want to try Nissan Pathfinder Lease Questions.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • You must keep all receipts for service work. You can even do the work yourself, as long as you have the receipts for oil & filters etc.
    Reg. Frank R.
  • sallen462sallen462 Posts: 4
    I have an 2001 PF with 93K miles. Bought it new, always maintained at Nissan dealership per owners manual guidelines. Since it was new have replaced various oxygen sensors multiple times. I know there are four on the vehicle. In total I've replaced various front and back sensors seven times. This was fine when vehicle was under original warranty and extended warranty. But now that it's out of warranty the Nissan dealership wants $400 to replace just one sensor. (Check engine light is on now and since I've had this problem occur many times in the past I know exactly what is the root cause.)
    I've also taken the vehicle to independent mechanics and they really aren't much cheaper. Lowest bid I've gotten to replace each oxygen sensor is $300 for the independents.
    QUESTION: Is it possible for me to change out the oxygen sensors myself? Can someone tell me if I need to be a trained mechanic , aka, how big a job would this be? I am a fairly handy person and am ready to do it myself to save the $400 bucks the dealer wants to replace each sensor. How do I find the exact position of both the front and rear oxygen sensors? Any information someone can provide me will be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
  • I've run into the same exact thing. I don't know how to change the sensors, but I had a conversation with a mechanic because I found I had to repace a few of them in a 3 month period. He asked what kind of gas I was using - I was using regular and he said change to super. Granted gas prices are high, but after I changed to super, I no longer see that service engine light go on (which usually implies a sensor problem.

    What kind of gas are you using? If not super, change to it. Granted the cost over the long haul may not make sense, but at $400 a pop for the sensors - that's a lot!
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    I've changed both of my rear sensors. It's pretty easy, but there is a TSB on this. The early failure of the sensors is caused by moisture in the exhaust. The sensors turn on too soon before the condensation is dried up in the exhaust. The TSB says to replace the sensors & reprogram the ECM. The reprogram delays the sensors turning on.
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    i have an 87 pathfinder which now idles very low. when i bought it (2 months ago) i did a full tune up, and it idled smoothly, just like new, didnt even know it was running at idle. exactly at 700rpm in drive. now, starting a week ago, sometimes it will idle perfect, but most of the time it will idle very low, around 400rpm and you can really feel it vibrating through the floor.

    before the tuneup it would chug and idle, the plugs were shot, etc.

    any ideas why it would do this?
    vacuum, sensor, something? :confuse:
  • sallen462sallen462 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your reply. What is a TSB? Hate to be dumb here but I am not familiar with that term. Can you tell me how you figured out the part number for the sensors? I have checked on the web on various automotive sights and when I search for a 2001 PF oxygen sensor all the websites pull up several different ones. I know the car has four sensors on it. But the parts websites pull up six to ten different part numbers/sensors. Any advice? Also in my case, the car has been running for a period of time and any condensation has long ago dried up when each sensor went out. The latest sensor malfunctioned on the highway with me driving 70 mph and I had been driving for two hours. I was not driving 70 the entire two hours granted but I had been driving for two hours so there was no condensation. $400 a pop gets expensive very quickly! Since I've had the car, the various front and back sensors have gone out. SIX DIFFERENT TIMES! I got a suggestion from another member on here that I should switch to premium unleaded. I have always used premium from the very first tank. One time about three years into ownership of the vehicle I accidentally pumped "regular" unleaded into it....but other than that one single time always used premium.
  • lsfdlqlsfdlq Posts: 3
    Hi I am trying to remove the floor console on my 95 pathfinder. I have removed all the screw( at least ones i have found) the consle is very loose except I CAN'T LIFT IT. any secrets i need to know?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Just a guess but you may have some wires holding it back such as those needed for heated seats, sensors and so on.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • lsfdlqlsfdlq Posts: 3
    Thanks for your reply,Don't think it is wiring though, i can move console side to side but it seems like a clip or something is holding it and I can't raise it. can't see or feel anything.. Any suggestions?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The Auto Repair Reference Center (an online resource that many public libraries have) just says this about console removal:


    Remove the shifter knobs and pull out the dust boot(s).

    Remove the mounting screws and carefully lift the console out over the shift lever and brake handle.

    From the graphic there, there's 2 or 3 bolts, depending whether it's a Type I or Type II, and a Pawl (6 places), whatever that means - looks like just a cover hiding some of the bolts.

    Maybe this will help:

  • wondering if anyone knows the make and model harmonic balancer holder that would fit my Pathfinder. 1995 6cyl/4wd/AC. I'm not interested in the manual's method of removing the starter and wedging something in the flywheel teeth. I've seen holders advertised for other model vehicles, I figure someone here might know what fits this model.
  • Hi. It is just under the exhaust manifold on the left side of the motor (battery side). Just over the starter. I always burn my arm trying to loosen it.
  • lsfdlqlsfdlq Posts: 3
    I have a 95 PF 6cl. with auto. transmission. All of a sudden without warning I could not go into reverse. All the other gears are fine, shifting is fine. I have been told it is probably a solenoid switch, BUT I can not locate the solenoid. Raised center console but I see nothing there.Anyone got a good description or location of the solenoid I might be looking for, or any other suggestion? All help will be appreciated
  • Hayes manual at bumper to bumper or napa run $12 and has most of what you need. Or go to They have free online manuals
This discussion has been closed.