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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • I am not a mechanic, but make sure whoever is putting them on is not making the belt too tight. That'll make the alternator wear out quickly.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The problem above is only one of many possibilities. I'll list those I can think of.

    1. The serpentine belt or "V" belt tension is important - too loose and the belt will slip and wear, too tight and the alternator bearings will fail (they usually fail before the water pump or A/C bearings). If your alt. failures were due to bearings, this is a possible cause.

    2. There may be a short in the system. It would probably be intermitant, because a continuous short would reveal itself with smoke and fire ;-).

    3. There may be a problem in the battery - does it go dead on you? There can be a short in the battery, intermittant or continuous. If you charge the battery and leave it disconnected and it goes dead overnight that would point to this problem.

    4. The rebuilder may have a production problem. It all depends on what is failing in the alternators. There is a regulator inside and six diodes (in a pack, usually), as well as the commutator brushes and rings. The rebuilder can even destroy the bearings while assembling the unit.

    This is why it's hard to answer your question. I hope this gives you enough information to know where to look.
  • Pathfinders get much better gasoline mileage (6 vs 8 cylinders). With gas prices going through the roof this might be a consideration. The Armada is a larger vehicle with more storage space. Also, the Armada costs more off the lot. The Pathfinder is basically the same car as in the past but with a 3rd row of fold down seats. The Pathfinder has a new 4.0 liter v-6 engine that has incredible power. There are more bells and whistles on the new Pathfinder especially the LE models than in the past. Other than that it appears to be the same car. This is our 2nd Pathfinder. We were happy with the 1st one and so far we're happy with this one.
  • We have a brand new 2005 Pathfinder, an LE model. This is our 2nd Pathfinder, the 1st being a 2002 LE. I have noticed this new car doesn't seem to track quite as well as our old one. It requires a lot of corrections and re-corrections as you're driving. Could this be tires, front end or what? Secondly is there anywhere a rear window deflector can be obtained on an after market basis. Nissan used to make one and it fit on our 2002 and worked wonderfully. They no longer make such a part. Help please.
  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8
    Hi, this is our first post. We have a brand new 2005 Pathfinder LE 4WD fully loaded. The build date is 12/2004 so it falls within the TSB engine noise problem. We love the vehicle so far with 1200 miles, but I have some initial questions:

    1. We haven't heard the "Engine Rattle" problem everyone has been talking about. The TSB states Pathfinders built before January have this problem. Are the dealers obligated to change out the part even though the problem hasn't hit us yet? Do ALL 05 Pathfinders with build date before Jan 2005 have this defective part?

    2. I have noticed something wierd about the A/C. We have the Dual Automatic climate control with rear control. Sometimes I want to turn off the A/C on cold days to save gas (here in San Diego, CA the prices average $2.32/gal, yikes!). However, when I press the 'AC' button to display 'A/C OFF' on the Nav Screen, the compressor still cycles on and off. I have tried all the combinations to turn off the AC, but no matter what, the AC compressor still cyacles on/off. The ONLY way to turn off the AC is to turn off the whole system by turning off the FAN to 'Off' (but then we get no air circulation). Oh, and I made sure the rear-air is off as well.
    Is this normal, and can someone please check out their system to see if they experience this?

  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8

    I too have a 2005 Pathfinder LE, but it is a 4WD model. For reference, I had a 1994 Pathfinder, and currently have a 1995 4-runner and a 2001 Mitsubishi Montero, and I drive a Lexus GX470 as a company car.
    I too noticed, initially, that the tracking was a bit off. I do have to over-correct quite a bit, and it was a tedious drive, but this was initially when brand new.
    At first, having driven the other vehicles I listed, I was getting 2nd thoughts on the vehicle. But now, after 1,200 miles the Pathy seems like it beginning to 'smooth itself out'. Now, driving it is not as tedious as it was when it was brand new. Also, for some odd reason, the 4wd Auto mode even makes it even more easier to drive and it tracks really well in that mode. Close to the AWD Lexus GX470, and that's saying a lot. I'm wanting to drive it in 4WD Auto all the time if gas was not too expensive here in San Diego.
    Oh, for the rear-window deflector, there is one on E-Bay for a 2005 Pathfinder, but I may be skeptical.

    Is your 05 Pathy a 4WD model?
  • kenb1kenb1 Posts: 2
    I just bought a 1998 4x4 SE and it is missing two of the center caps (alloy wheel) and the right front mud guard. Has anyone bought the aftermarket caps from ? They are much less expensive than the OEM ones. Have not found a source for the mud guard.
  • A TSB will not be done on all cars automatically. It's a bulletin with instructions on how to fix a problem that people may see. It's not a recall, where all cars within a certain VIN series will get parts checked and/or replaced, whether or not they see the problem.
  • jager32jager32 Posts: 15
    This is a good question (#2). I don't have a PF yet but I'm thinking about an LE, 4wd. I have a 02 VW Passat GLX, and it has an Auto climate system. It has a button called "ECON" which if I engage allows me to use the auto climate control system in AUTO or MANUAL mode without the A/C compressor coming on(Gas conscience Europeans demand these features). This is a great feature, but I can't tell from reading the 05 PF manual if the PF has something like this or not.

    If you put it in MANUAL mode and turn the A/C off does the compressor still come on?
  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8

    Yes. In manual mode, the compressor still cycles on/off. Actually, manual mode is the only way to turn off the A/C according to the manual, unless you turn the whole system off by turning the fan knob to 'Off', which is the only time the compressor does actually turn off.

    Edit: After carefully researching the manual I have noticed this:
    Sectiom 4-22 Display screen, heater, air conditioner and audio systems:
    When the DEFROST control is activated,
    the air conditioner will automatically be
    turned on at outside temperatures above
    36°F (2°C). If in defrost mode for more than
    one minute, the air conditioning system will
    continue to operate until the fan control is
    turned OFF or the vehicle is shut off, even if
    the air flow MODE control button is used to
    select a position other than the position.
    This dehumidifies the air which helps
    defog the windshield. The air recirculation
    mode automatically turns off, allowing outside
    air to be drawn into the passenger
    compartment to further improve the defogging

    Hmmm ... 'the air conditioning system will
    continue to operate until the fan control is
    turned OFF or the vehicle is shut off, even if
    the air flow MODE control button is used to
    select a position other than the position'

    Odd ...I have never put the system on DEFROST.
    Could be a bug in the Climate Control software?
  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8
    I have the 05 Pathfinder LE 4WD. I plan do some offroading since we are big outdoor hiking and mtn bike fanatics.
    I'm the type who always look underneath my vehicles to inspect the to see what's vulnerable.
    According to the specs on all the brochures and internet, the LE 4WD has skid plates for the lower radiator AND oil pan. Only the SE Off-Road has additional skid plates for the transfer case and gas tank.
    However, my oil pan is bare with no skid plate prtecting it. Only the lower radiator has a plate. Everything else is bare.
    Did the factory forget to put the oil pan skid plate on my vehicle? Anyone with a 4WD LE please check?
    Thank You.
  • I have a '98 PF with the 3.3 Engine (R50). I have a Problem that when it seems to get warm, and I shut the truck off, It wont start. And when it starts, it idles like on 3 Cylinders at 200 RPM and when I try to give it gas, it Dies. If I let it cool for 20 Minutes, Then it starts like nothing ever Happened. I went to the Dealer and he hooked it on to the Computer. The Computer said the Distributor had been reporting problems...Could make sense that the Coil is getting hot and breaking connection...Only thing is, when the car is running, It runs great !! Only when I shut it off and try to start it again. The Dealer told me 800 Dollars for a New Distributor assembly !! I almost Fainted and then he told me the internal parts were not replaceable...Can anyone give me a hand on this one ??? It could be as simple as the Condenser thats mounted Outside the Distributor...But Nissan dosen't sell the Condensor either...Only a Distributor assembly ....

    Thank You !!
  • cdgvw1cdgvw1 Posts: 1
    Hi, I am new too... I am working on my grandmothers 95 SE... Are your lights and dash gauges flickering and spiking too?? I have put 2 alternators on this thing... How about engine dying and not wanting ti restart for about 30 mins??? but will turn over..

    Any help you can send my way will be appreciated.

    Thanks, Chris
  • rs4rs4 Posts: 25
    I have the same model, let me know where I'm suppose to look exactly, and I will verify for you
  • rs4rs4 Posts: 25
    Ohh Boy what a relief, for the past 2 months this noise had driven me crazy. Finally the part arrived and the noise is gone. I got my first service done too at around 3250 miles a little early. Now I find the vehicle to run smoother too. I was averaging around 16.5 in the city will see if that goes up. Thanks to everyone for posting information regarding the fix. Hope this gets resolved for all the other 2005 owners
  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8
    Well, I verified that the LE 4WD does NOT come with oil pan skid plates as mentioned in the brochures, dealers and the internet. I went to my local dealer and looked unerneath 3 LE 4WD models and sure enough, no skid plates. Nissan should have at least protected the oil pan on the 4WD models.
    So, I inquired about skid plates at Parts and it would cost $252 for oil pan, transfer case, and gas tank skid plates including all bolts. I may order them soon since I do off-road on my Pathfinder and I would feel safer with them.

    Has anyone checked on the A/C cycling on and off even after you turn off the A/C?
  • There seems to be a problem with the RDS radio feature in my pathfinder. It skips every other word or call signal configuration sent out by the radio station. Sometimes it will get "stuck" on a particular word and when it catches back up it reads way out of sequence again skipping around the signal essentially reading like gibberish. Is this a known prob with the 2004 PF LE? Any help would greatly be appreciated.
  • ragpaoaragpaoa Posts: 8

    I have the same problem. It happens when your signal begins to weaken. When the signal regains its strength, the RDS will re-establish the information. If it happens all the time, there is a TSB for this problem here:

    When I bring in my Pathfinder in next week for my 3500 mile oil change, I plan to have mine checked, along with the rattling roof problem also listed as a TSB.

    Is your 2005 LE the 4WD model?
  • ragpaoa,

    Thanks for your reply. I have a 2004 PF LE 4WD. I have had problems with the RDS from the beginning. I've been everywhere from Portland to Boise, and Salt Lake City and it's never worked properly. It's a getting a little annoying. Will check the link you've provided. Thanks again, if you can think of anything else please let me know....
  • cml17cml17 Posts: 4
    HELP!!!! Bought a '01 Pathy 1 1/2 yrs ago. About 1 yr ago, the service engine soon light starting coming on intermittently. I'd start the car, it would be idling like crazy and the service engine soon light would come on (blinking). Then the idling would stop after about 5 minutes and sometimes the light would go off, usually it stayed on until I got it reset at the repair shop. Service guy says it gives the code o2 sensor, but doesn't see anything wrong. Last month it was running terribly, smoke coming out of exhaust pipe and smelled burning. Took it in, only running on 5 cylinders, so they fixed that and said the light shouldn't come on anymore. One week later, car starts idling like crazy when it is started and I'm back to where I started. Is this a common problem with "01 Pathys? Should I ignore it? Anyone else having this problem? Seems to start roughly and have the problem when my husband starts the car really 'quickly' instead of keeping the key turned for a second longer in the beginning.
  • theburdstheburds Posts: 5
    All, I have an 05 Pathfinder, LE, 4WD.

    1) Every time I start the engine and take off, I hear a metallic twang/click immediately prior to the shift from 1st to 2nd. The noise appears to be coming from the left rear of the vehicle. It only happens on the first shift from 1st to 2nd each and every time I start the engine. It does not happen on subsequent shifts on the same trip. Insights?

    2) I had the intake manifold repair done (part 14010-EA200). Though the rattling noise has gone, the engine still seems to splutter/chug a bit between 2k-3k RPM. It goes away after a few minutes of driving. It's always as smooth as silk between 1k-2k RPM. Is this normal?
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    It's possible that the sound you hear is the ABS system performing a self-diagnostic.
  • maiermaier Posts: 1
    Well, we know that two of the oxygen sensors on our '01 Pathfinder are bad, but we don't know which ones. I would love to avoid the cost of taking it in somewhere. If I could determine which is bad, I could replace it myself and save some money. Any thoughts?
  • shek3shek3 Posts: 72
    i just replaced the cam sensor and the REAR two oxygen sensors.....they cost be about $100 each for the part only! But you still need to re-set the engine light and flash the computer....Nissan has made some changes(so I am told) to help prolong the life of the sensors....Flashing the computer changes some settings
  • I hate wading through all the "old" PF posts.
  • lonestarlonestar Posts: 15
    Whenever I hit a hard bump/curb or deep dip in the road, I hear a "snap-like" sound that seems to emanate from the windshield on the passenger side...possibly near the dashboard. Local service dept hears the noise but is trying to pass it off as being within the realm of normalcy. Sorry, but I expect a newer SUV, especially a Nissan PF, to be tougher than that. Anyone ever heard of this? The service advisor thinks it may be coming from the plastic piece at the foot of the windshield (cover the air intake, etc.).

    This is very frustrating since the vehicle is otherwise rock-solid...
  • esharpesharp Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2005 PathFinder. Is it just me, or does that thing just suck up the gas? I don't know guys, please tell me I'm not the only one!
  • scpettitscpettit Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 2001 Pathfinder and I am having my first problem...granted a very small one. How do I replace the turn signal bulb?! I realize this is a lame question but for all my other cars it was a no brainer.

    I tried removing the light casing but I could only get the top loose so I still couldn't get at the bulb.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    If you have your owners manual, it should give instructions on replacing bulbs. Havn't had to replace any bulbs on my 2001 PF LE...due for new tires though!
  • keeferbkeeferb Posts: 81
    I can't complain yet. With only 500 miles I'm averaging 18.5 mpg according to the trip computer. This is about 80% hwy miles using 87 octane. I'm assuming that will only get better after a few thousand miles. I drive it pretty conservatively so I'm sure that helps quite a bit. I have yet to stomp on the pedal(as tempting as it is).
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