Last post on Nov 19, 2013 at 5:38 AM
You are in the Nissan Pathfinder
What is this discussion about?
Nissan Pathfinder, SUV
#372 of 2771 Help me fix my Pathfinder 2002!
Jul 29, 2002 (2:46 pm)
Hi. Iím this message in hope of getting some help with issues/annoyances I am having with my new 2002 Pathfinder SE. I just reached 2000 miles today, yet there have been many things that have annoyed me with the car. I took it to the dealer once a few weeks after I got it and they claimed nothing was wrong with it.
I will try to list and describe all of the things, but I am bound to forget a few.
The list is in no particular order, just how it comes to my head.
1) Steering Ė I have driven other cars and suvís, and the steering on almost every other vehicle I drive has a tendency to want to go back to the center, not the case in my Pathfinder. It almost seems lazy, and if you want to bring it back you have to do it. This is most apparent when making turns, whereas most people just lightly guide the wheels straight, whereas I have to do a little more work than that.
Also going around corners and turns it seems as though I might be turning the wheel slightly yet it still wants to go straight a little bit. The alignment is fine on the car.
When I hit bumps in the road, especially when going around a corner and turning it seems as though my steering wheel loses its Ďtrackí. It just doesnít feel right.
2) Ride Ė I had a previous 99 Pathfinder, and I donít remember the ride this bad. Every single bump / line / paint / crevasse Ė anything in the road I feel on this car This happens when its slightly loaded as I havenít had a heavy load on it yet.
On the highway I can feel almost everything in the road, even when itís smooth as silk. Itís frustrating. I have to make many many many adjustments while driving on the highway, especially on highways that have lots of curves; I really travel from side to side in the lane.
3) Brakes Ė when I brake, such as making a turn or going around a corner, the steering seems to pick up even more resistance. It gets tight had much harder to maneuver around corners and turns.
Also when coming to a stop at stop signs and traffic lights about half of the time the brakes making a squeaking noise. Also there seems to be lots of fade, and it doesnít seem smooth at all when coming to stops.
4) The carpet in the interior. It does not seem flush at all with the floor of the car. When I touch it with my hand, I can push it down a bit. Also in the drivers foot well where the foot rest is for the left foot the carpet does not seem to fit right around there.
5) Automatic transmission Ė When switching from Park to drive, and reverse it is such a harsh transition. IT doesnít seem to want to switch from each mode smoothly. Also I usually have to wait a second or two for it to engage whichever mode I Selected, and I can Ďfeelí it happen
6) Iím not sure if this is related to the car, but it easily spins in the rain. Even coming out of the car wash once on a flat service making a turn I spun out the rear wheels. It might just be a combination of the light rear end with a high torque engine, but I have a very very light foot.
There is probably more, but the major things that tick me off are the steering / ride and braking that I have discussed above. Like I said I have a little bit more than 2000 miles on the car. I donít know what could cause all of these problems on my car, but they have basically been there since I took delivery on it.
I brought the car to the dealer a few weeks after getting it, told them about the ride, etc. I was at work that day, but the service manager and a technician drove the car around and said they did not see anything that I found wrong with it.
So then I thought, ok maybe itís me. But its not, these problems still exist and I can see them a month later.
Hopefully someone here has an idea as to why I am having these problems. If I am lucky maybe its one thing thatís not right hat is causing all of these problems, and I can just take it to the dealer, tell him what it is and they will fix it.
I do really like the pathfinder, and I immensely enjoyed my previous 99 pathfinder. The new engine is really nice, but if only the rest of the car was as nice I would enjoy it much more and not pay attention to these problems.
Thanks guys if you can help me out,
2002 Nissan Pathfinder SE 3.5
#373 of 2771 reply to #355 re: Yakima rack
Jul 30, 2002 (12:04 pm)
You get the Yakima rail riders. Go to their
site www.yakima.com and follow the steps to get
the right ones. Take off the crossbars from the
PF rack, they unscrew and slip over as I recall.
Store them. Put the rail riders on, the yakima
bars go thru them (48"bars) I have them on a 99.5
SE Limited. Weight on these type racks is usually
somewhere around 150 lbs but ALWAYS use a tiedown
to the frame front and back in addition to straps.
BTW, you can always remove the rail riders and
put the stock bars back if you sell. Good luck
#374 of 2771 Air Circulation
Jul 30, 2002 (12:33 pm)
Does anyone know of something to help better circulate air to the back of the PF? My dog rides behind the rear seats and seems like it doesn't cool down too well back there.
#375 of 2771 keeping your dog happy back there...
Jul 30, 2002 (1:57 pm)
If your dog seems too hot in the cargo area, you could try getting one of those 12v DC fans (like the ones you see on busses or RVs) and clip it or mount it to the C-pillar... ?????
#376 of 2771 Curious brake noise, and A/C drip
Jul 31, 2002 (7:10 am)
I have two things occuring with my 95 Pathfinder XE that concern me. First off, when my AC is on it makes a little squeaking noise, which I am told is probably the fan. However, when I make sharper turns, I hear a rumbling and fluid leaks into the vehicle on the passenger side floorboard. The higher up the AC is, the more dripping there is. It is also acompanied bya grumbling. whooshing noise with an even louder squeak. The internal dripping really concerns me. Anybody else have this in an older Pathfiner. It has just under 82K on it.
Secondly, there is a curious noise when I depress the brake, but it only happens when the vehicle is in park. When I press down on the brake in park I hear a little, yet distinct click that appears to be coming from where the shifter is (it's an automatic 2WD). The brakes operate fine and sound fine in drive or reverse. I was wondering if anyone else has ever heard this click.
Aug 01, 2002 (11:10 am)
My old Pathfinder did the same thing. There is a pan (black plastic) that collects condensate from the AC unit it is located above the foot well of the front passenger seat ( kinda behind glove box) from that pan there is a rubber drain hose which goes through the firewall to the exterior. When the drain gets clogged the condensate drips down onto the carpet. It happened more than once to me, each time I found the rubber hose clogged with black stuff, which I think was some kind of lining to the pan or something in the AC system. Once the drain is cleared your problem should go away. The drain hose can removed easily from inside. And yes the AC did make some strange noises when this happened, I guess from the condensate backing up into the system
#378 of 2771 Re to 362 (Help me fix my Pathfinder 2002)
Aug 01, 2002 (11:53 am)
From top of my head (also see my post about shimmy #356), the dealership or Nissan may have torque(d) your steering mechanism to prevent any future complaints about shimmy.
If you read the service bulletin that deals with steering shimmy, it mentions that by excessive torque on steering rack, it would make the steering hard & would not return to normal -- the problem you are facing. I would suggest that you get acquainted with the bulletin & call Nissan, open a file/case & all the best. (Shawn - Seattle).
PS: After having to spend 30-Gs, one would not anticipate bad engineering!?
#379 of 2771 reply to #355 re: Yakima
Aug 04, 2002 (7:20 pm)
If you're interested in buying used Rail Riders and kayak mounts, try looking in the bike rack category of the classifieds found at MTBR.com or you can always look on e-Bay.
The Railriders come with square nuts that fit into the tracks in your factory rack after you remove the factory cross-bars. The Rail Rider towers then bolt into the square nuts and the towers can be slid along the factory tracks.
#380 of 2771 Re: Help me Fix my Pathfinder
Aug 05, 2002 (1:08 pm)
Here are a few observations:
Steering - One of the weak points of an otherwise great machine. It is overboosted and over stabilized. There is no on-center feel because of the steering geometry. They could have done a better job here. You can't "fix" it.
Ride - It is a little bit stiff. Not as bad as a 4-Runner but worse than a Grand Cherokee or Explorer (especially the new one). If you load it up it is a little worse because the rear springs have a low rate to make the unloaded ride better. Some people are putting air springs in there. You can affect ride slightly by changing tires, depending on what you have. You can also change shocks but I would not change springs.
Brakes - I disagree that somehow it is more difficult to steer when you apply the brakes. In any case, I hate the idea of rear drums in the year 2002. They need to get with the program. Not that rear discs would do much, as most of the braking is up front. But it would help. The rotors are small-ish and they have been known to warp. Brakes is the biggest engineering weakness, IMO, but they do stop the car. As for squeaks, I guarantee you they are no worse than any other SUV (or car) and squeaks come and go in any car. If you don't believe that visit any other forum where "average" people complain. Everyone talks about this, as if they have never driven a car before. You can mitigate the squeaking with the right compounds behind the pads, the right brake pad material, and uncontaminated rotors. But it may still come and go.
"Spinning" - The Pathy has as good a traction as any car with its weight distribution and tires. Period. You can't somehow defy the laws of physics just because you have a 4WD car. One thing that you probably could have gotten was a limited-slip diff and you'd be happy. I can take any SUV in 2WD (rear wheels) mode and spin it in rain all day long. My Grand Cherokee was terrible. With the limited slip on the Pathy it spins maybe 10% as much.
#381 of 2771 dburr1 - thanks for response
Aug 07, 2002 (10:57 am)
okay, so the steering isn't just me. mine is usually pretty light. I was in an expedition the other day driving in the city on rough roads, it didn't seem as bad.
also, I took a nice clear night, went on the highway for about 30 miles, going around 60mph the whole way. it still didn't seem right. maybe its me, maybe its not, but I swear I was bouncing and feeling bumps that did not exist on the road...
you disagree with my statement on the brakes, which means I have a problem. the moment I apply the breaks, no matter how light or had the steering changes right away.
I don't have a problem with squeaking per say, except when it starts after only 1,000 miles on a new car...
I should have gotten a limited slip diff. thats something I have learned for the next time, no big deal, I just have to be a bit more careful with this, (Even though I'm careful and light footed) because of all the torque...