NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Prospect, VA
I have a 2006 Pathfinder LE and a former Nissan Master Technician and i can understand the OP's disgust. Fortunately, I bought mine with 84000 miles on it and a lot of the inherent problems were already addressed. 2005-2007 models are by far the worst of the run. The biggest problem is the radiator cooler failures that cause antifreeze to enter the trans fluid and take out the transmission for a $6500 repair, +/-. Nissan eventually lost a class action lawsuit in NY state and their already extended warranty on the radiator and subsequent damage for 8 years/80000 miles was amended to add a $2500 expense cap from 80000-90000 miles and $3500 cap for 90000-100000 miles. Of course, $2500-35000 is still a big hunk of change for most and many feel Nissan should step up and recall the faulty radiators used from 2005 through 2010 in Pathfinders, Xterras and Frontiers. As preventive maintenance, many have replaced the original radiator (which is what I did) or have bypassed the radiator's integral cooler, using only the factory external trans cooler. A lot of those failures don't occur until after 80000 miles and many after 100,000 miles, when the warranty extension does them no good.
Other problems include upper timing chain tensioners that wear out prematurely, faulty fuel sending units, a weak rear suspension (adding Airlift 1000 air bags and monotube shocks helps rectify this), squeak and rattle issues, poor electrical ground issues, leaking cowls, squeaky serpentine belts, rear control arm bolts that seize to the bushings making it impossible to adjust the alignment, rear A/C and coolant lines that corrode, leak and require, in some cases, to lift up the body off of the frame on the right side. Failing catalytic converters, cam sensors and HVAC issues are also common. For me, it was a well-designed vehicle that was poorly executed on the assembly line, using cheap parts in some cases and victimized by cost-cutting measures. Nissan has addressed some of the issues with TSB's and updated parts. I've been happy with mine, on the whole. It's comfortable and does well in the snow. It's a little unsettled on rough roads, but is very solid on the highway and on a long trip of mostly highways and interstates, the 5-speed AT gets me around 21.5 mpg (around town that drops to around 16 mpg and my average is usually around 17.5 mpg).
Nissan can be a little inconsistent with their vehicles. They can have vehicles that they do a pretty good job on, such as the Sentra, Altima and Maxima...and then have vehicles that seem to be poorly made and problematic, such as the Versa sedan, the Titan and recent Pathfinders, the former Quest. I can see why people get upset and go to another brand...especially Toyota. Nissan has no one to blame but their selves.