Most Common Nissan Pathfinder Problems

The Nissan Pathfinder used to be thought of as a off-road vehicle but is now more known as a midsize family SUV. The Pathfinder might not be the first make and model you think of when considering an SUV, but it is known as being a dependable vehicle that offers comfort, handles well on different terrains, and is equipped with several active safety features. Like most modern midsize SUVs, the Pathfinder also tends to have a strong resale value – which is always a plus. However, If you are shopping for a new or used Nissan Pathfinder, there are some common problems you will want to be aware of and consider before you make a purchase. In this article we will be going over some of the most common Nissan Pathfinder problems according to

    1. Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems
      According to CarComplaints, one of the most common Pathfinder issues is transmission failure. This issue is said to be caused by coolant leaking into the transmission – which is also a huge issue. On average, the cost to repair this transmission failure issue is $3,900, and you are likely to see this issue arise around 100,000 miles into the vehicle’s life. 
    2. Coolant Leaking into Transmission
      As mentioned above as a likely cause to the Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems, another widespread Pathfinder defect is coolant leaking into the transmission causing transmission failure anywhere from around 90,000 to 102,000 miles. has rated the severity of the problem a 9.2 out of 10 with 10 being the worst possible score. You would hope that all you have to do to fix the issues is fix the leak, but given this coolant leaking issue often leads to more serious problems, repairs are often very costly. The most common solution is to simply replace the entire transmission and radiator – which in most cases can be well over $4,000.
    3. Worn Timing Chain
      Another issue that emerged in some models of the Nissan Pathfinder was a worn timing chain. This problem was most often caused by premature wear on timing chain guides – which affected some 2006 and 2013-2016 models of the Pathfinder. According to driver reports, drivers would begin hearing rattling and tapping noises from the front of the engine during cold starts. To fix this issue you will need to have the timing chains replaced, which can run you about $1,800.
    4. A/C and Heating Problems
      When looking at the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder, the A/C and heating issues have been a common pain point among owners. In many reports, the A/C and heating system was unable to blow hot or cold air. Some drivers also reported that they were hearing unusual noises from their A/C while their vehicle was running – which have been linked to faulty cooling fan blades and/or bearings.
    5. Faulty Fuel Level Sensor
      Several models of the Nissan Pathfinders commonly experience having a faulty fuel level sensor. As a result, the fuel gauge would stop working properly and would provide inaccurate readings. In most cases, the issue is diagnosed after the common check engine light was activated and the diagnostic code for sensor failure is retrieved. Nissan did identify that affected vehicles may have a deformed fuel tank shell, which may come in contact with the sensor and cause it to read that the tank is one quarter full despite being empty. Nissan did issue a recall and the faulty fuel level sensor was replaced free of charge.

When shopping for a new or used vehicle, it is important that you know the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the vehicle you are interested in. The Nissan Pathfinder is no different. That said, be sure to do your own research and not just read what’s good about the vehicle, but also what the potential issues may be. This will help you avoid costly repairs, understand what maintenance will be required – which overtime will save you money and help prolong the life of your new vehicle.