Last post on Dec 28, 2011 at 9:02 PM
You are in the Nissan Pathfinder
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Nissan Pathfinder, SUV
#1 of 24 Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption
Jan 04, 2009 (10:05 am)
My 2002 well maintained Pathfinder w/77,000 miles on it is burning oil like crazy. It has always used oil but recently has started to use a lot more. I have put 4 qts. in since the last oil change about 2,400 miles ago. I have changed the oil on this vehicle every 3,000 miles. It has never been abused.
I have discovered that the baffles in the right valve cover has been known to clog resulting in oil being sucked into the PCV valve to be burned by the engine. The only fix is to replace the valve cover with a newly designed one from Nissan. I am currently having this done.
I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and does this fix work?
#2 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [kzrider]
Apr 01, 2009 (6:11 am)
I am having the same problem with my 2002 Pathfinder with 84000 miles. I have seen other blogs recommending this fix. Has it corrected the issue for you? Please let me know as I dont want to make a blind investment in fixing this.
#3 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [thelogix]
May 17, 2009 (7:39 am)
I just discovered the same oil problem on my 2002 pathfinder with 65,000.
I was going to get the valve cover replaced this week.
Did you ever get an answer to your question? (if the valve cover fixes the problem)
Did you have it replaced? I assume you have seen this site:
Based on that, it looks like the cover will fix the problem, but not permanently. Looks like we'll all be doing it again someday, if that's another 70,000 mile away that might not be too bad (vs. buying another car)
#4 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [kzrider]
Oct 31, 2009 (9:05 am)
Is the newly designed valve cover now available at Nissan? Do you know the part number? I want to get the new valve cover to replace the existing one because I am having the same problem on my 2003 Nissan Pathfinder with 107,000 miles on it.
#5 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [turbino]
Oct 31, 2009 (10:42 am)
FYI, my 2002 pathfinder with 70,000 miles is eating around a quart of oil every 1,000 miles. It eats less oil on long highway trips. WIth daily city driving with short trips its consuming about (a little less than) 1 quart per 1,000 mi.
I had the valve cover replaced at the dealer at 65,000 miles, that cost about $900.
I unfortunately just bought the truck since my car was totaled. I bought it a few months ago with 60,000 miles on it. I noticed the oil light came on an the dipstick was dry, that is how I discovered this thing burns oil and I bought a lemmon. So I dont know the history on this truck and how long and how much oil is was burning before I was a sucker to buy it.
**** FOR ME, REPLACEMENT OF THE VALVE COVER DID NOT SEEM TO MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IN OIL CONSUMPTION. IT DOESNT SEEM ANY BETTER OR WORSE. I LOOKED AT THE OLD COVER, THE DRAIN WAS NOT CLOGGED. SO MY PROBLEM IS EITHER RINGS OR VALVES.
The truck does not smoke and seems to run ok. The gas mileage is also OK. I'm getting about 17-18 MPG in city driving, that is normal per the EPA estimate on the sticker. My truck is a manual tranny.
I now just keep a couple quarts of oil and a funnel in the back. I check the oil and top it off about every other gas fill up. It sucks but its not too big of a deal for me as long as it doesnt get worse.
#6 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [nightmonkey1]
Nov 01, 2009 (6:32 am)
With your experience on the new valve cover I am thinking of not having the existing one replaced or at least postpone its replacement until I am sure its the culprit for the problem.
My problem is similar to yours: my truck is consuming that much of oil although it does not smoke (no oil leaking from the valve cover nor trace of oily deposit on tail pipe) and it seems to run good, and this makes me wonder where the oil is going. Granting that either the rings or valves are bad oily deposit should at least show on the tail pipe.
I am stumped and do not know what to do at this point to fix the problem so I will keep a couple of quarts of oil and funnel in the truck just like you and top it off to normal oil level when necessary.
#7 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [turbino]
Nov 01, 2009 (7:56 am)
(A little long but worth the read)In the past few months I've tried to chase this down but canít get a straight up answer from anyone. I called the Nissan Consumer department and filed a case, however, never received a return phone call. I have gone to four different dealerships and gotten four totally different answers. The last one I went to (Mall of Georgia Nissan) was the one that gave me the most convincing answer. The shop manager told me that he had heard of this problem in the past with that engine but with Nissan Maxima's. To get a monster sized engine that big under the hood of a Maxima, they have to turn it and tilt it back towards the driver. This causes the badly designed valve cover to trap oil, get clogged over time, and burn it excessively...in these circumstances.
He added that the problem I have with this engine is "normal" and not due to the engine valve cover design. This engine, by spec, is supposed to burn through ".75 liters of oil every 1,000 miles." Those were his exact words. His recommendations were the following:
1. I check the oil periodically and top it off when necessary. At around 1500 miles use a supplement that will cut and eliminate any sludge in the engine to keep it running as clean as possible.
2. Use a Nissan branded oil filter at every oil change.
3. Donít waste money on synthetic oil as the engine was not designed to take advantage of it.
If this problem does not exceed the specs above, the car should pass emissions with no problems at all. If it does not pass emissions because of excessive oil burnout then you have another problem.
Because I depend so much on this car, I have chosen to take the safest route possible.
1. I use synthetic oil. Valvoline 10w30. I know he recommended against it, however, I want the additional protection synthetic has to offer. If Iím on a long trip and I get low on oil, I need to be sure I can get home with that synthetic protection before permanent damage is done.
2. I keep a case of oil and funnel in my garage. Itís a pain but necessary.
3. At 1500 miles I use a ďLucasĒ brand add in to the oil to keep the engine clean.
4. I have the Nissan filters but have yet to use one. Will do on the next change and will report back if I see any change at all.
By the wayÖthis problem can give your cars emission system several false positives on problems. Let me explain why. Several of the engine sensors are driven hydraulically. The hydraulic fluid is the engine oil. If it gets too low, your check engine light may come on before you low oil lamp. If you take it to a shop to get tested, the test will conclude that one or two of your sensors are shot and must be replaced. I got talked into replacing two sensors by a Mineke mechanic with a price tag of just over $500.00 after parts and labor. Close to my next oil change and before I knew about the oil consumption issue my check engine light came on again. This time I took it to express oil change and they actually tried to work the problem instead of throw parts at it. The tech reset my computer after the oil change (after noticing I only had 2 quarts of oil left in my pan) and told my about the hydraulic sensors. He said if I kept the oil level as close to normal as possible, it should not happen again. To this date, I have not had a repeat of this problem.
I hope this helps someone out there. Let me know if you all come up with something else. Thanks.
#8 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [thelogix]
Nov 01, 2009 (11:07 pm)
Yes, your posted message was worth reading and just happened to be long. The valve cover incompatibility with respect to the engine makes sense for the Maxima for the reason stated but not for the Pathfinder which has more room under the hood for the same engine unless its engine was installed the same way as the Maximaís for whatever reason.
Itís worth noting that the engine oil hydraulically operates several engine sensors. This makes the engine performance dependent on the oil level then. In this regard it is therefore absolutely necessary to have proper engine oil level before you operate the vehicle.
Meanwhile we donít exactly know whatís causing excessive oil consumption on Pathfinder itís just logical to do something like the safest route possible youíre taking to avert low engine oil level occurrence that could result to other engine problems on the vehicle.
#9 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [turbino]
Nov 07, 2009 (6:11 pm)
My 2004 Path, 50000 miles, well maintained. Found out it burns oil when I heard a knock and discovered I was about 2 qts low and no warning light, no leak, no smoke. Nissan says... normal. Yeah, right. Anyway, the knock went away, but about 6 months later developed again...with a full crankcase of oil and right after an oil change (10w30 Mobil1). Then that too went away after I parked it for 30 minutes before I was gioing to tow it in to the dealer. Well, since then, the warranty is up and I am NERVOUS. Probably going to trade it in...and not on another Nissan.
#10 of 24 Re: Nissan Pathfinder Oil Consumption [lousynissan]
Nov 08, 2009 (10:26 am)
For as long as there is no visible leak or smoke on our vehicles Nissan can always say oil consumption is normal. Unless excessive oil consumption on Nissan vehicles is accounted for I will never ever buy another Nissan.