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Nissan Pathfinder Maintenance and Repair



  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Hey bd,

    Sorry to hear that you think you have another reason not to like that new vehicle. The body tilt hopefully was a fluke from a bad spring (status?) and this sounds like some minor liftgate adjustment, hopefully. Keep the faith; overall, I think most owners have not had any "major" problems with these vis-a-vis the competition. This board is not necessarily a microcosm of the Pathfinder universe - I like to think that the vast majority are happily out there driving away and that it is only us diehards comparing notes on every bump, noise, and feeling! ;>

    Anyway, just checked out my '03 LE for you. At first I thought you were experiencing the same sort of thing as with my passenger/driver's doors: the last door to shut has to be done with a strong push because the vehicle is sealed so tight. [If you have a door or window open, the doors close effortlessly.] But, unfortunately, that was not the case just now when I tested your problem. With ignition off, I used fob to unlock liftgate, opened it, and closed it normally using mainly the weight of the door - no problem like you describe. It is as tight/secure as ever. No difference if I did this with the driver's door partially open or not; also, no difference if ignition on.

    Sorry, I wish I had some insight for you; can't understand why the ignition would make a difference. Your story, however, makes me recall one occasion where I started up and noticed the rear dome light was on for some reason - but red liftgate light on dash was NOT on. Liftgate was also closed completely. I opened and closed liftgate, dome light went out, and have forgotten all about it because never happened since. Hmmmmm?

    Anyway, good luck. Again, the only manufacturer where I have consistently driven away with new vehicles and NEVER had one minor little question/issue is Honda. But, this Nissan is pretty damn close; so far, not an issue for me except I think I need a new style rear cargo mat (Husky maybe?) that doesn't slide around so much when the pooch is on board - but that's my fault! :) (N.B.: I may have to reconsider my Black Armor post). Besides, I would take a Pathfinder anyday over that first-year, People-moving Pilot . . . :>
  • alwaysfordsalwaysfords Posts: 210
    Back to the issue of the car being sealed so tightly - when the ignition is on is there some level of automatic recirculation that comes on? If so, it would relieve the pressure that is preventing that last door (or liftgate) from closing tighly. I would suggest doing the same test with a window open. If it closes OK with the window open and ignition off then it is in fact a sealing issue.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
  • bd70bd70 Posts: 30
    Thanks for the responses, but I am sure at this point that the problem must have something to do with the latch tension which might be a function of the electrical system, at least maybe by defect in my case. I actually discovered the problem when I had the sunroof open, so its not an internal pressure deal. I guess I'm off to the dealer again.

    Which leads me to the body tilt problem I had. I forgot to update you, but they ordered a new spring and it seems to have corrected the problem. The service rep, who incidentally, I intend to return a proper survey about (tear him a new one) finally agreed to do the job after refusing to take responsibility for the problem as a dealer of Nissan vehicles. Just totally unprofessional, but I digress. Next, I will have to address the power seat memory issue (on occasion doesn't return to the last position after putting the key back in the ignition). Otherwise, great vehicle. Did better than I had expected in the snow. I still love driving it.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    I have this same problem on a VERY intermittant basis...maybe one time in 50. I don't have a clue what causes it, but since it is next to impossible to get it to happen when with the dealer, I have had no luck in getting it addressed. Luckily, it is easily fixed by pressing the memory button again for my seat position. I know others had the same problem...anyone had it fixed by the dealer?
  • bd70bd70 Posts: 30
    Yup, that is my situation exactly. I know it is no big deal, but I'd be happy if I didn't have to press the memory recall button every so often to make the seat do what it is supposed to do itself. I also couldn't recreate the problem at the dealer, and the rep, who also drives a PF, puts his seat all the way to the rear so I am certain he never experienced this problem. Any fixes for this?
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    Mine was doing this from day 1. I turned the darn thing off. I felt it was not necessary, put lots of extra wear on the power seat, and it annoyed me. Just another expensive useless gizmo to fail at the most inopertune time.
  • djjaydeedjjaydee Posts: 1
    every time it rains I blow a fuse for my rear tail lights, front running lights, and dash board lights which for some unforsaken reason are on the same circuit. I have been to the Nissan repair shop 3 times and they can not find the problem. they say it is something intermittent and that I must leave the vehicle for a few days so they can check it. I have already spent $400.00 with them to evaluate the problem by running diagnostic but I still have the problem and suggestions?
  • bimmer4mebimmer4me Posts: 266
    it doesn't move forward or backwards. I've turned off the engine and restarted, but still in same position...all the way back. Will take to dealer in next week for a fix. This has happened before, but after restarting the engine and driving, the seat would adjust to the memory set.
  • phil47phil47 Posts: 394
    wow, please post back on the fix. Also, try to ask the dealer if they are aware of problems with the memory function. Thanks.
  • mpg5mpg5 Posts: 68
  • pathstarpathstar Posts: 201
    These guys look pretty good -
    I haven't tried them personally, though. Perhaps someone else can comment on product quality.
  • xplorx4xplorx4 Posts: 621
    I've met with the owner of the company, Calmini Manufacturing.

    Their stuff is well-built but there's not a whole lot out there right now for Nissan. They're in the process of growing their Nissan product line.

    Automotive Customizers ( is another source you can try for aftermarket parts.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Ok, did my advanced searches but here it is to confirm:

    Yes, the dreaded "check engine light" suddenly appeared this am on the way to work. Only 5,200 miles on this new '03 LE. :< Oh well, first problem to date; can't complain. Again, I like Nissan so far, just a hair short of my Hondas which never had anything. I got my fingers crossed that it's just the O2 sensors . . .

    Anyway, it's not the gas cap - based on all the old posts here, I have religiously put the cap back every time. I checked this morning; it was on as usual, tight, no interference. After reinstalling and starting back up in garage, light came back on again.

    Fortunately, I have an oil change appointment already for this Monday and just added this to the list for them. So, that I am fully informed with these service guys, let me make sure there is nothing else you guys want to add from what I read here. No way will they attempt to charge me on this! ;>

    Pathstar a while back posted: "Both oxygen sensors were bad. Was told it was a common fault - too much sulpher in the fuel. There is a TSB on it. I was worried they would charge me as when I first checked with them, they said it would cost me $37.50 to connect it to the "Consult II" system to read the code, and that I should make sure it wasn't the gas cap. It ended up no charge."

    Does anyone know the TSB # that I can point these guys to? After the 02 sensors, what is the next likely culprit on a brand new vehicle? Anything else that some have experienced caused this on their '01 or later PFs?

    Thanks once again guys!
  • woodyr1woodyr1 Posts: 142
    I have much trouble with the O2 sensors on my 95 Pathfinder. I had at least 4 replaced the 6 years I had it. I never did pay for diagnosis or replacement parts and labour.

    For your information, I have had no trouble with the O2 sensors on my 2001 Pathfinder.

    Ask the dealer for a free diagnosis.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Hey, I just returned home and inspected the gas tank fill-up hole with a flashlight - isn't there supposed to be a small circular spring-like diaphragm that slides sidewise when you insert the nozzle into the hole? If so, mine isn't there any more! You have a straight view down into the tank! Remind me that you guys all can see one there and if so, I'll alert the service guys to see if mine's stuck. How bizarre.
  • I have no flashlight handy but I can't see any diaphragm around where I insert the nozzle.... It seems to be opened straight through..... Never paid attention to that since I got the truck but I remember having such a diaphragm on other vehicles.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Shoot! I thought for sure that would be the culprit, but (based on your vehicle and mine) apparently the 2001 and later models have no diaphragm/flap. Oh well, maybe it is the O2 sensors afterall . . .

    I guess I'll go back to my Post #625 now and ask others if they have experienced any other issues (other than O2 sensors) when the "service engine soon" light comes on on a brand new vehicle? Thanks all.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Well, good news I guess: they claim their diagnostic indicated a &#147;crooked&#148; gas cap (not sure how you test for that!?), and they simply reset the system (disconnected the battery). Can&#146;t believe that is what caused it, as I swear I would ALWAYS turn that cap for 5-6 clicks every time given the discussion of the issue here. They said there was no problem with the cap and that I just needed to make sure to hear 3 clicks each time. Anyway, no reason to doubt it for now as it&#146;s a new vehicle that hasn&#146;t had a problem yet. I will be even more religious about that darn cap now and see if I get the warning light again.

    If I didn&#146;t have the oil change already scheduled, I may have checked gas cap and simply reset the system myself and waited to see if light came back on &#150; this seems to be a common enough occurrence that it may be a good idea to first check out before the hassle of hauling a new vehicle in for an appointment.
  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    I have a 01 PF LE. I switched to 4 high one day while it was raining, and also to lubricate the bearings. Driving straight is fine but when I turn. The SUV studders. Does this mean the 4H has not engaged correctly? Has anyone come across this?
  • alwaysfordsalwaysfords Posts: 210
    It actually means your 4wd is working just fine. It also means the roads were not slick enough to allow slippage between the wheels on opposite sides of the car. The stuttering is the driveshafts binding up. This isn't a good thing - don't keep doing it. If you want to keep things lubricated do it in a straight line.
  • mchinmchin Posts: 22
    Thanks for the info alwaysford. I hope I did not damage anything.
  • punky97punky97 Posts: 4
    Can anyone help me here? Just bought a 2001 Pathfinder a few weeks ago. Everything was great with the vehicle until yesterday when it began making a clicking noise when the vehicle was in park and my foot is on the brake pedal. Called the local dealership and the guy said it was the solenoid(?). My wife brought it down for them to look at and they again said that was the problem and that Pathfinders just do that. What???? Pathfinders just do that?? He said they had one on the lot right now that did it as well. Can anyone help me here? Thanks.
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    That is completely normal on all new cars (some you can just hear it more). That's the solenoid clicking, like they said. There is an interlock that keeps you from shifting out of park unless your foot is on the brake.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Follow-up on this problem, as it now seems NOT to be the gas cap:

    2003 4WD LE with only 6,000 miles

    Week 1) Light came on steady, brought into Nissan service, ran diagnostic, failure code came up for the vehicle system in which a loose gas cap is often the culprit, so they reset codes and sent me away with doing nothing of course (I of course told them impossible - I give it 6 clicks every time I turn the cap!) . . . light came back on 2 days later.

    Week 2) Brought back into Nissan service, ran diagnostic, same failure code came up for same vehicle system, so they now said bad gas cap, replaced, and reset codes and sent me away (I of course told them impossible - a new gas cap doesn't suddenly go bad; if it were a bad cap, it would have happened right away when I bought it!) . . . light came back on 2 days later.

    Week 3) Brought back into Nissan service, ran diagnostic, same failure code came up for same vehicle system, so they called Nissan Technical who said it "could be" a bad switch that is related to the charcoal canister located underneath the rear driver side of the car (by the hitch mount area); they replaced a "purge control valve" (whatever that is) in the engine compartment that they said was reading "low" and reset codes . . . light came back on 2 days later, TODAY!!

    I call the service manager just now who agreed to give me a loaner vehicle UNTIL they fix this darn thing. But, because I have little confidence in their diagnostics to date, I am looking for ideas on what could be causing this on my new vehicle. It seems clear that whatever is causing this failure code is on the same vehicle system as the gas cap; thus it must have something to do with the vacuum seal that the gas cap usually makes. If it's not the cap, what could it be that would cause the same sort of problem as a loose gas cap? Do you think a loose hose or connection in or around the charcoal canister (i.e., the black box by the hitch mount) could cause this? As you know, I disconnected and re-connected a couple hoses down there when I installed my hitch (see Options & Accessories). Or, could it be all the playing around in the deep snow this winter somehow contaminated that charcoal canister system under there? I am not even sure what/how the canister works.

    I can tell you this: the re-triggering of the light after re-setting codes seems to be more dependent on a certain amount of time passing, rather than miles. In each instance, the light seemed to come back on a couple days later regardless of whether I had driven 30 miles or 80 miles in between. Also, whether I filled up the tank or not after the codes were reset does not seem to change things (one time I did, other two times I did not).

    Should I try another dealer? Any TSBs that seem related? Could I have broken a seal in one of those canister filter hoses, or are those in no way related to the symptoms caused by a loose gas cap? Any and all ideas appreciated!
  • smokey75smokey75 Posts: 434
    My service engine soon light came on around 30,000 miles. I always tighten the gas cap because I know this can cause that. I took it in to the dealership, told them it was not the gas cap. When I picked it up later they had reset the code & told me it was a loose gas cap. Before I got home the light came back on. Before I could take it back to them I did the 30,000 mile maintenance. While checking the EVAP lines I found one completely off under the hood. I put it back on & a few days later the light reset itself. So, you may want to check all of these.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Sounds like a familiar routine, huh, sending 'em home without any follow-up beyond the gas cap . . . even though we all know to be anal about the thing given the PF's penchant for problems if not clicked enough times.

    I'll let them know to check the EVAP lines (I hope they already considered this . . . but who knows), but I am still curious about how the charcoal canister may affect things . . . I'm concerned if my removing of those rubber hoses to it (to install the hitch's mount bolts) and then re-installing could somehow have caused this . . . I think I only undid one hose and let the canister dangle while doing install . . .
  • punky97punky97 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the help smokey75. I guess what I still do not understand, though, is why it didn't do it for two weeks and now does. But thanks again for responding.
  • goose1207goose1207 Posts: 113
    See if you can find out what the OBD-II code is. Then go to the following website to look it up:
    This may help you pinpoint the problem since the nimrods at the stealer can't usually figure it out.
  • mjohnr99mjohnr99 Posts: 193
    Thanks! I had looked for something like that, but had no luck. That link is a great resource and should be bookmarked. Unfortunately, there was no match for my internal failure code P1456. From the "anatomy" chart link, it is clear that code means there is something wrong in the auxiliary emission controls. Ahhh, so I wish it were only the gas cap afterall.

    Well, it is in the shop for the 4th time as of this am and I am driving around in a "wonderful" 1998 240SX loaner . . . I'm trying to give Pat Goss his due and be patient on these service engine light problems, realizing it is often a slow process of elimination . . . but if they don't fix it this time, and I have to bring it back yet again for a 5th attempt, I'd be curious to hear what sort of dispensation others have asked for (and received) when they have been in such a situation.

    Come on Nissan - this thing has less than 6K miles and has otherwise been great . . . again, I think back to my three 100% Hondas which never went in ONCE for this sort of thing in all the years I owned them. But taking my own advice, I am keeping the faith as this is really not a big deal . . . other than the hassle of bringing it in every week! What I wouldn't give for this to have come up as a simple faulty O2 sensor . . .
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