2001 Pathfinder odd oil leak (pics) - Nissan Forum

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#1 Old Feb 17th, 2008, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 22
2001 Pathfinder odd oil leak (pics)

Oil was changed 1700 miles ago and it's been leaking since. Not very fast, but enough to warrant kitty litter in the garage to soak it up.

Went underneath to take a look and remove the guard and it doesn't look like it's just a loose oil filter like I hoped. Looks like it's coming from some round brass colored unit near the oil filter... anyway, just wanted to see if anyone here had any ideas.

#P1000918 is from the back looking forward

#919 is the same, only zoomed in

#920 is from the back looking forward but wider shot, guard still on the truck

#921 is zoomed in on what's above that round brass looking thing - I don't see any oil coming from above it

#922 is from the front looking back after I took the guard off

#923 is the same, only zoomed in

#924 is the oil filter obviously - pretty clean looking

#925 is from the front looking back but wider shot with flash

#926 is the same as #925 only without flash

If ignorance is bliss, going to Clemson must be orgasmic...
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#2 Old Feb 17th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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I don't have a 2nd gen Pathfinder but the only thing I can think of power steering fluid?

You didn't mention checking all your fluids, maybe you should or you may end up on the side of the road. Give all the fluids a check and you'll know what's leaking.


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#3 Old Feb 18th, 2008, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 22
Yeah, didn't think about power steering fluid until I talked to my brother. He pointed out
that in the pictures it could be spraying up onto that round, brass-colored deal (oil cooler?)
and not dripping from it.

Anyway, I'll check that and update the thread later.

If ignorance is bliss, going to Clemson must be orgasmic...
#4 Old Feb 18th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 28
oil leak


I Had the same problem. It's the gasket for the oil cooler, search the forums for more info, but the gasket is <$10 and you can install it without unhooking the oil cooler. It only take 15 mins to do.

#5 Old Feb 19th, 2008, 01:18 PM
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Posts: 31
Ohhh no! I’ve seen this. Upper cam seal/possible oil pump. I have a 98, but those pictures remind of my drama. I hope it's something easy, but.... good luck and keep us posted

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#6 Old Feb 21st, 2008, 08:38 PM
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I am having the same problem. I noticed it about a week ago @ 78k miles. My leak is alot slower. I hope it is a gasket. USCBOY, if you find the gasket part # please let me know.
#7 Old Mar 5th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 22
No gasket part number, but that's what was wrong with mine. It's actaully
an O-ring, not a gasket really.

Anyway, thought I'd update the thread - dealer cost for the O-ring on the
invoice was $13.34 and they said it was a pretty common thing.

If ignorance is bliss, going to Clemson must be orgasmic...
#8 Old Mar 13th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Why FRAM filter? I thought they were the worst in the market..
#9 Old Apr 15th, 2008, 10:10 PM
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Great information regarding Oil Cooler Leaks 1999-2004 Pathfinder

I've found a diagram for oil cooler parts. I'm going to try to change the o-ring and washer for my leaking Pathfinder oil cooler. I'm fairly confident I'm able to change these parts with a few tools. Skill level 2 out of 5. 5being mechanic.

Pathfinder: 2001 model 1999-2004 Xterra, qx5, Murano, fontier,
Mileage: 84,500
Regular Oil: Synthetics oil is thinner and can produce oil leaks on the 3.5 models. Suggestion don't use Synthetics with older engines or change your o-rings every time it starts to leak.

I tend to drive my pathy hard so keeping it in good condition is really important to me.

Check the link below for diagram of o-rings:

213 Oil Cooler :: Exhaust & Cooling :: Genuine Nissan Parts :: Pathfinder (R50) 1996-2004 :: CourtesyParts.com

Last edited by pathfinderbuddy; Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:20 PM.
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#10 Old Dec 31st, 2008, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Posts: 10

My 2001 pathy is having similar problem - see pics. Dealer wants $350-$800 to fix it, so I might try to fix it myself since several posts says it's easy.

Few questions:

1) Do I need to drain the engine oil?
2) Looking at the diagram, looks like all I need to do is remove the center bolt to replace the O-Ring, is that right?
3) What does the two attached hose go and do? Do I need to remove them?
4) how can you tell if the entire cooler needs replacement?
5) is this the Engine oil cooler or Transmission oil cooler? I think it's engine cooler but I just want to be sure.
6) Diagram shows two O-ring is that right? what are the O-ring part numbers?

Any other tips you want to share is greatly appreciated!
Thanks DKL.

#11 Old Dec 31st, 2008, 09:59 PM
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Picked up the o-ring a few days ago. Gonna swap it out this weekend. Here is a pic & the part number. The parts dept said there were several part numbers for the same item, so numbers might be different.

#12 Old Dec 31st, 2008, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Posts: 10
Thanks for posting the O-ring pic and number.

Do you plan to drain the oil and undo the two hoses before taking it apart. I assume all you need to do is unscrew the center bolt and exchange the O-right, right?

I plan to visit the dealer Friday to get the O-right to start fixing my 01 pathy.

Please let me know how it goes.

Oh, is it safe to drive the car with this leak?

Thanks a lot.
#13 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Posts: 28
WHAT ?!?!?

How much ???

I didn't even think of getting a quote to repair mine. Mine had been leaking for a few months before I found the source - just check the oil regularly.

I think the bolt head is 17mm - yes just remove the center bolt. The manual states that you need to remove a bunch of other things but there is just enough room to replace the seal by only moving the cooler out of the way.

Mine took about 15 mins to change, while the oil was draining. I just did mine with an oil change so I'm not sure of the oil level behind it.

#14 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Posts: 10
Thanks Richid for the info.

Yeah, dealer quoted $350 to replace the O-ring and ~$800 to replace the unit. And they said that's just an estimate without looking at the car.

Did I hear you correctly that engine oil WILL drain out from the cooler when the cooler is disassembled???

I read somewhere that coolant will drain out too from the two rubber hose, did you experience that?? If so did you get any air bubbles in the coolant lines?

Did you only replaced the large O-ring and not the O-ring on the bolt?

Sorry for all the questions, I just don't want any surprises while I'm laying under the car and getting fluids all over me.

#15 Old Jan 1st, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Posts: 28
No problem - I had trouble finding information on this leak originally.

Here's exactly what I did...
-Drained oil and removed filter (I waited until I needed an oil change to look at the leak).
-While oil finished draining, removed center bolt.
-removed cooler from block so I could wiggle center bolt out.
-removed old seal, cleaned oil filter mount and oil cooler mount.
-installed new sealed, reinstalled bolt and tighten.
-finished oil change.

I did not unhook the lines or completely remove the oil cooler - there is just enough room to work around it.

Hope that helps...


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