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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • I have a 97 Pathfinder, and the little light bulb in my ashtray has stopped working. Does anyone know how to fix it or replace it??

    I opened up the center console, and got to the bulb. But it's not exactly just a bulb ... it's some kind of small gizmo with the bulb (permanently?) attached. Can this gizmo be replaced? What do I even ask for at the auto parts store?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
  • Hi all -- I have a couple of lighted switches on the dash, and the lights have stopped working. These are the lighted switches that control the AC.

    Are these easy to replace or fix?...

    1. The light bulb that sits behind the Air Conditioning on/off button on the dash. This one lights the AC button BLUE when it is pressed on.
    2. The light bulb that sits behind the 'recirculate inside air' button on the dash. This button sits right next to the AC button, and lights up GREEN when pressed on

    How hard is it to replace these bulbs? I took apart the dash and pulled out the climate control unit a little, but then it started to look a little more complicated than I originally thought.

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  • I replaced my headlights switch on the stearing column and that fixed this problem, as someone suggested on another part of this website...thanks.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    First Thanks to Shark, Bud, and Dmurr. I've decided to keep the Pathy. The engine and ride is very good. Getting the General Grabberw HTS (a new 2008 tire, highly rated as the "best" by Consumer reports), a tune up [change the plugs & filters] and chnage the 4WD fluids - (that I'm still debating only b/c "if it ain't broke don't fix it" ideaology). Taking into account the loan payments vs. No loan Payments (on the Pathy), in this Economy, has corrected my thinking. The only thing that worries me is that I've done this New $$$$ into an older 1994 Jeep Cherokee B 4, and it "backfired". The money pit spicket opened - the repair bills kept coming, & then I traded the vehicle for this 2001 Pathy [bought it used] and I would've received the same $$$$ if I didn't spend the extra bucks...
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Once again, my comments assume your PF has been properly maintained. If not, you could be headed toward major engine, transmission, cooling system, etc. bills. And of course there are no guarantees. Keep in mind that there's a huge difference between your Cherokee and the PF...just look a the frequency of repair records published by Consumer Reports. One other thing...if you plan to keep the PF long term it could be a worthwile investment to have the A/C refrigerant fully evacuated and refilled. Over time the refrigerant absorbs moisture which causes the parts in the system to rust and then leak. should cost under $100 to have done.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    Yes, the PF has been maintained : Oil & Filter changes every 3-4k miles, coolant flushes, Tranny fluid changes, belts, hoses, battery and brakes - brake fluid flush & refill. Now I'm pricing a Tune up. Contacted my local Nissan Dealer, in Port Chester, NY. I ask for a price on a "tune up" : plugs & filters - the basic, classic tune up. No....... They don't just do that, he says. I need to go for the 105k service, which includes, spark plugs, filters, oil chnage, tranny fluid change, and some other small Check ups"....for $650. Oh the best is yet to come: "Oh Yeah.....the PF has platinum spark plus, that's an extra charge". I told him that was outlandish.
    I'll be sure to look into the A/C purge and refill. I'll have it checked, but again: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It. That's like the old carpenter's rule: Measure Twice, cut Once....
  • The drivers side high beam will not work? I have replaced both right and left bulbs and checked the wiring harness the best I could for damaged wires. I have also checked the fuses with no issues there. I was wondering if anyone else has had this similar problem and what it could be? Both low beam lights work fine but when you turn on the high beams, the right one works and the left does not? Any Ideas?
  • hi there mine is in the shop for the same reason the torsion bar in the back the bushing wore out when shifting thru gears or letting off the gas it swerved in the back like a rear end dance check out the torsion bar in the back it runs front and back one on each side the one that is bad on mine is the drivers rear side one the bushings are out making the bolt swerve front and back hope this helps
  • i am in need of help i have a 95 nissan pathfinder and i bought it knowing that the spedometer and odemeter didn't work but the other gauges does like tach gas etc, does the 95 have a cable or sensor or does it have both
  • I brought my car in for a tune up 60,000 miles. The car has had no problems at all so far. The day I picked up my car after the tune up my Check engine light came on. I brought it back to the mechanic and he said it was an o2 sensor issue and that it had nothing to do with the tune up!!! I really don't believe him and think he should fix the problem that he created. Can basic tune up with spark plug and fuel filter replacement, if replaced incorrectly, cause the check engine light to come on?
  • Go back to the place you had the tune up and talk to the Service Manager and explain to him or her the repairs you had done and what has happened. Ask them if they would see if anything was pulled loose while working on the vehicle as this can give a false code. It is worth a try because it can happen and as you said nothing was wrong when you took it in.
  • My 06 Pathfinder is at 66k. My check engine light was on a few months back , for 30 days. It went off ON MY WAY to the appt! so didn't think more about it. Came on again on Dec 25 so after 6 weeks I decided to go back to Nissan. Good thing I did! They ended up replacing the CATALYTIC CONVERTER... under warranty.
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    On virtually all modern cars there is no longer a service procedure called a "tune up". You just replace the spark plugs at the mileage intervals specified in the owners manual (typically far less often than the air filter) and there's nothing else to do...all other ignition functions are computer controlled and don't need to be checked unless a problem is indicated. You might want to go to a local Autozone where they will "read" the check engine light for you for free, so you can verify that the check engine light is in fact turned due to an O2 sensor issue, and that it's not something else. The reason I suggest that is because a faulty spark plug or loose spark plug wire could also be turning on the light, and those are two examples of a problem that could have been created by the work they did (although one would think they would have just fixed it...spark plugs are cheap, and verifying that the spark plug wires are on tight would take just a few minutes.) It's also possible that they accidentally loosened or damaged the wire going to one of the O2 sensors. But it's also possible it's just pure coincidence and that one of the O2 sensors is shot. It's not unusual at all for them to last only 50 to 100k miles. But there's good news...I'm fairly certain that the O2 sensors are covered under warranty on your truck for 8 years or 80k miles. Check your warranty booklet. I'm fairly certain that the warranty is a EPA requirement.
  • Strange question wondering if anyone has come across this.

    I have a 2006 Pathfinder. My check engine and gas gauge have been intermittently working. Problem occurs when i fill up. For the first couple of miles, my gas gauge does not work (registers empty) and the check engine light lights up. After a couple of miles the gas gauge begins to work but the ck engine light remains on until the tank gets below a ~1/2.

    Can anyone explain? Have you seen heard this before.
  • yes! the non=working gas gauge was the first thing I posted about. got my 06 brand new in March 06. it was in the shop 3 times from then til July for this problem (related problem). It would, as I recall, stay on 1/8 tank (I was on my way to get gas both times, honest!) then RUN OUT. Engine stop. -0- gas. they tried to tell me it was my fault for letting it get too low and the sensor dried out, or something. Anyway it got fixed under warranty.
    Also have had CHECK ENGINE light problems more recently. I am at 68k now. DON'T WAIT, have them check it. Don't let them tell you that you don't screw the gas tank stopper thing on tightly enough. Mine was the catalytic converter... $1000 bill... but covered! under warranty til 80k.
    sometimes I think -if only I'd bought the Honda. but I do love the features on this car.
  • appreciate the advice.. i'm going to take in tomorrow.. I did, however go to local autozone. the gal there did a diagnostic test for me and gave me the error code causing the problem.. it was "fuel gauge sensor" or loose wires to the sensor.. curiously i ck'd the fuses in my fuse box and wires to the fuel pump.. i did find a loose fuse for electronic controls.. once i replaced, the ck engine light went off and all gauges are working... We'll see if the dealership comes up with the same thing or if they dream up something thats not covered under warranty to bang me for a couple C notes...
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,019
    All, I read up on the death sway issue discussed way back on here and want to replace the bushings for the rear links on my 97 Pathfinder. Can anyone recommend a good 4WD supply house? Per my mechanic, the dealer only sells the complete links, not just a bushing kit.

    Can anyone tell me where to get the bushings and hardware?
  • I have been reading about people having problems with the gas gauge as soon as they hit the 40,000 miles. It starts working on and off. The indicator of the DTE sometimes give you a reading and sometimes shows "__ __ __ __". Today I called Nissan USA to complain because the warranty is over at 36,000 miles and this problems starts at 40,000. They say that the fuel gauge is not covered under the 60,000 powertrain warranty.
    If enough people contact Nissan USA directly by phone and then again in writing we might create enough of a force to make them recall the feul gauge. It will not happen by us complaining to ourselves, we need to get proactive and start calling Nissan USA and sending them certified letter. It might not be a bad idea to also send a copy certified to the CEO of Nissan USA together with a small mention of the Lemon Law.
  • On my 2006 -- I did look into the Lemon law a bit. It only appllied up to XX months you owned the car, and/or up to XX miles. I think I was over it. I also wrote about my problems to Nissan North America; also gave the local dealership manager a chance (first) to respond. he did not. Nissan NA didn't care either. I actually opened a 'case' with them, and it was fruitless. They did nothing.
    My problem with that ended up being fixed but not without alot of stress and headaches. (at the time, my problem involved the gas gauge indicator getting stuck at 1/8 tank when in fact it was empty, and I got the ol' - - - - reading while ON THE FREEWAY, on my way to Costco to get gas. Twice. )
    Mine happened at prob. 6k miles or so.
    But - notice to all whose Check Engine ('service engine soon') lights are coming on. Mine was on for 2 months (the 2nd time around), and I just got a new catylitic converter. I'm at 68k. (under warranty - whoo hoo). If your light is on, don't let it go too long.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    I have 113k miles on the clock. Just started - a vibration in the gas pedal at 45 MPH, worsening as the speed increases! Anybody have a clue? Had the spark plugs replaced about a month ago. Wait, my son just emailed me: says the RPMs seem out of wack.... Uh Oh: Could this be Tranny issues. My PF is an LE with 4WD.
  • dmurr3dmurr3 Posts: 11
    Hi. Has anyone else had problems with receiving service engine codes 420 and 430 in their 2001 SE? About 2 yrs ago my truck popped a code 420. I simply reset it and it didn't happen again until last week. This time it was a 420 and 430. I reset the codes on Tuesday and they haven't returned (yet). Anyone had a similar experience? Those codes indicate 1 of about 10 possible problems, and I'm not going to dig the engine around until it because a consistent problem. Thanks.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    To this Forum memebers: The vibration mentioned in this thread is clarified as follows: It is felt in the pedal and in the seat. It starts at 45mph, continues when accelerating up to about 60 mph, then is smoother at 65-70 mph. When decelerating, it starts to increase at 60 - 45 mph, then smooths out. It's NOT the tranny, it shifts fine, no clunking shifting into various gears. Could it be the wheel balancing, CV joints, wheel bearings?? New tires 6 weeks ago, fully balanced wheels that were smooth. I inspected the tires for bulges, inflation, flats - all OK. Any Ideas??
  • dmurr3dmurr3 Posts: 11
    The 2001 Pathfinder's tires are a pain to balance and require the proper tools. Some places that do tire changes don't have the tools for it or have the tools but don't know to use them. Sears, for example, botched my balance 3 times in a row before they figured out they weren't using the correct tools for balancing the kind of rim the Pathfinder uses. And my regular mechanic can't even do a balance on my Pathfinder. That would be the first thing I'd check.

    If that isn't the problem and the tires themselves are good, then it sounds like a CV joint to me. When the CV joint wears down you often get that vibration at certain speeds.

    Just in case, you may want to put the car in park, rev the engine, and see if you get any vibration while sitting in park. This might tell you if it's an engine problem instead of a wheel/joint problem (although I'd be pretty surprised if you had an engine issue given your description of the problem).
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    Dmurr, P0420 indicates a problem with the left catalytic converter, and P0430 indicates a problem with the right one. You mentioned that the codes indicate 1 of about 10 problems, but that's not correct. The codes are very specific. Nissan issued a service bulletin related to these codes many years ago. The bulletin number is NTB02-087a. The computer software originally installed in your truck was faulty in that it thinks your converters are worn out before they really are, and causes your "check engine light" to be turned on. Nissan has a software upgrade that fixes this, and your dealer will "re-flash" the computer so that the software is upgraded. Irrespective of the mileage on your vehicle this should be done for free, as the defective software was in your vehicle the date it rolled out of the factory. I hope you will take the time to let us know if this resolves the problem.
  • dmurr3dmurr3 Posts: 11
    shark715, this is great information. Thanks for letting me know. As soon as I have a chance I will contact a Nissan dealership to have this addressed and will add a post letting you know what the result is. Thanks again!
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    dmurr3: Had tires rotated today. That's NOT the problem. mechanic looked at the entire drive train. On another forum, a member indicated that the driveshaft "U" joint was probably the issue. The mechanic today told me he detect a slight wiggle in that unit and showed me. That shaft is supposed to be absolutely solid. And he was not able to inspect the transfer case oil b/c he couldn't get the plug out ....Uh OH !! He recommended to take it to the Nissan Dealer. Sounds like big $$$. I knew I should've traded this PF in a few months ago without buying new tires, & replacing the spark plugs in past 2 months. Japanese car or Not, they all have some planned Obsolescence. With 8 years and 113k under the belt [although, everyone you speak to says that's is only 1/2 of this vehicle's useful life], it may be at the end of it's economic life. I don't think I'll be getting any more Trucks...
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 2,019
    My 97 PF has an intermittent starting problem. It only happens now and then. When it happens, the car is completely unresponsive when I turn the key. It has plenty of juice but the starter just does nothing, not even a click. If I give it a while, it will always start. Something it takes a few more tries, sometimes it's a few hours.
  • hi,

    my '02 se pathfinder recently turned the service engine soon light on. The manual says that it has something to do with an emission problem and I want to now if this is a serious problem, can I keep using it like this or shoul I run to the mechanic?

    In order to fix it is it an expensive repair?
  • shark715shark715 Posts: 382
    It's impossible to answer your question without more information as the light could be turned on by several dozen different issues, but if you light is on (or has been on) a fault code should be stored in your engine's computer. If you happen to have an Autozone nearby, they will tell you the code(s) for free (or perhaps you have a friend with an OBDII scan tool that can read out the code(s) for you). Once you have the code(s), if you repost here one of us will likely be able to give you a good idea what the issue is with your truck. It could very well be a serious problem that could cause other issues long term, plus your truck will not pass state inspection unless it's repaired.
  • I posted a few times about this recently. I have an 06. Light came on, stayed on couple months, turned off. Nissan said 'nothing to worry about unless it starts flashing'. I did not leave it there for a diagnostic. Couple months later, came on again and stayed on.
    TURNS OUT - they needed to replace the CATALYTIC CONVERTER! $1000 + work. BUT it was covered under warranty - he said up to 80 K.
    so get in there and see if that is it!!
    (the first time I brought it in, they were instructing me in tightening the gas cap... and said it sometimes needs several cycles to 'right itself' if you haven't tightened it). good luck
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