Last post on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:32 AM
You are in the Nissan Pathfinder
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Nissan Pathfinder, SUV
#5010 of 8191 New Pathfinder owner has a few questions
Apr 19, 2002 (6:55 pm)
Hi I just purchased a 2002 Pathfinder a couple of days ago and have a few questions that hopefully someone can answer.
1/ Air conditioning system doesn't seem to be as cold as my old "freon system" in my last vehicle. Is this because of the new environmental coolant now being used ?
2/ Need to install a class 111 hitch to pull my boat. The dealers price is the same for a Nissan tubular hitch as is the another shop who installs Hidden tubular hitches. Which would be my best bet ?
3/ It appears that my pathfinder does not have an automatic transmission cooler already installed. Do I need an after market kit to tow a 3000 lb boat a half a dozen times in the summer?
4/ My boat ( 3 years old) is on a custom factory built trailer (by the boat manufacturer) and due it's weight under 3000 lbs (boat and trailer) does not have factory installed brakes. This was not a problem when towed by my 1990 f150 but do I need to change this setup when using my new pathfinder ?
5/ Do you recommend having some kind of rust proofing applied over what the vehicle comes with ? I'm pretty meticulous with washing etc.. Many thanks !
#5011 of 8191 old vs new PF?
Apr 19, 2002 (9:00 pm)
I'm considering selling my '00 Solara and getting a Pathfinder. I'm sure there are plenty of just-off-lease Pathfinders out there that are pretty good deals, but I'm curious about the 3.5L engine in the '01s and '02s. Is it a big difference over the older 3.3L engine? Is the engine alone worth buying the PF new or nearly new?
I'm leaning towards an SE 5-speed, although I haven't taken any test drives yet. Is there a way I can tell from the VIN if the transmission is an automatic or manual?
Have there been any major problems with Pathfinders built since the '98 or '99 model years? I tried scanning this discussion, but going through nearly 5000 posts takes some time.
Thanks in advance,
#5012 of 8191 Norm - hitch
Apr 20, 2002 (7:02 am)
I will answer only question 1. I installed, myself, a Hidden Hitch Class III hitch. When I purchased it, it was somewhat less money than the Nissan version, where I was told that Hidden Hitch actually manufactured the hitches for Nissan. I am unsure if that rumour was true, but the source was a Nissan dealer.
I bought mine in Kelowna, at a canopy shop at the north end of the city (Canopy West, I believe). I paid about $200 for it.
You may read some posts about others have trouble with the hitch hitting part of the exhaust system - not so with the Hidden Hitch I installed.
I have a 1200 pound travel trailer, and have not added any additional transmission cooler.
Hope this helps.
Apr 21, 2002 (2:42 pm)
I have an 01 LE. I had a Class III Hidden Hitch installed to tow my boat which weighs about 3200lbs on the trailer, which has surge brakes. I haven't added an external trans cooler. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to add one, but the Pathfinder is rated for 5,000lbs as is and I have read that an external cooler is not necessary. I currently have 15k miles on my Pathfinder and have logged at least 3,000 towing miles and haven't had a problem.
As far as brakes are concerned they are never a bad idea, but you'll probably be OK. The brakes on the pathfinder seem to be pretty strong.
#5014 of 8191 Gas required for the Nissan Pathfinder
Apr 21, 2002 (3:17 pm)
I'm thinking about purchasing the Nissan Pathfinder SE. I read that it uses premium gas in some places(Car and Driver magazine) and that it uses regular unleaded gas in other places(edmund.com). Which is it?
Apr 21, 2002 (4:00 pm)
Use premium gas. My QX4 manual says to use premium and it is a mechanical twin as I have been convinced here.
#5016 of 8191 Hidden Hitch
Apr 21, 2002 (8:06 pm)
Just put a Hidden Hitch on my Canadian '01 SE last week. Installation was easy and only took an hour (in the dark). Got it (#70609) thru http://www.accessconnect.com/ for $145 delivered to my door. Smooth transaction. Hitch looks great and I think it has a better appearance than the Nissan OEM. No problems with muffler interference or noise. It does add 35lbs to your truck.
PS - Drove a friends Jeep Grand Cherokee for about 100 miles this weekend. I (silently) felt sad for him and wished the whole time I was in my rig.
Apr 22, 2002 (10:26 am)
hondga-- I don't think my PF has the LATCH system? I do use the seat anchors and it holds the seat very well. I wonder my Nissan didn't make LATCH standard in the PF? They don't even have shoulder belt for center rear passenger.
crete--The door handles were one of my pet peeves also. I got the bronzed gray so it would match a little better as did the roof racks and step bars. I don't think you can use QX4 handles. The colors are different for Nissan and Infiniti.
drbigz-- I would take it in as a soon as possible. I'm certain there is at least a 4-5 yrs corrosion warranty on the car.
normp1--My wife’s 93 Camry uses the old freon and it gets so cold that I have to turn the heat up a little to make it tolerable. So yep, there is a big difference in the freon now being used. Living in So. CA. , I'm biased but I'm not a big believer in after market rust-proofing. Cars today are being built much more corrosion proof than before. The hitch from Nissan is pretty nice. It has a step so it's easier to clean/load the top of car and it sticks out a little so if anyone rear-ends me, it may take the brunt of the damage.
evaddave-- I've driven an auto. 02 PF(mine) and an auto.99 QX4 (3.3L) and I think there is a big difference. The 5 sp might equalize that. PRO 3.5L: same gas mileage, obviously more power and smooooth with a nice roarty exhaust.PRO 3.3L no premium gas. I've read all the reviews from carreview.com, carpoint.com and this forum on the PF and haven't noticed any pattern of problems. The PF has gotten great reliability reviews from Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers.
canibus-- The car manual and the sticker by the gas cap RECOMMENDS premium gas. I'm as cheap as they come and I haven't notice a difference in power or gas mileage (I'm sure this cannot be true?) using regular but I've been using premium. Why you ask? It really doesn't cost that much more and I plan on keeping the car for a long time and I've heard on Click and Clack that on cars that REQUIRE premium running it on regular could damage the catalytic converter by making it run hotter. It's fun every once in a while to stir up and awaken the whole herd of 240 ponies.
#5018 of 8191 LATCH on PF
Apr 22, 2002 (11:22 am)
Some later released 2001s and all of 2002 models have the LATCH system. See LATCH on PF
If you look in the cargo area you should find 3 bolted-down anchors.
#5019 of 8191 To normp1 - Trailering
Apr 22, 2002 (11:35 am)
You may be taking a significant risk towing that much weight without trailer brakes. According to the owner's manual for my '01 PF, towing more than 1000 POUNDS requires trailer brakes. I tow a boat and trailer weighing about 4200 lbs., and one time I had a problem with the trailer brakes...I was barely able to stop the PF and trailer on a moderate hill...it was scary!
I don't have any trans cooler other than what came from the factory, and I regularly tow my boat on some very steep hills as well as well as up to Lake George, NY (about 200 miles) twice. There have been no problems, but manually shift to a lower gear to keep the trans from heating up! You may find that you will want to install an Airlift kit to keep the rear suspension from sagging...see numerous postings here over the last month or so on the topic.