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Discussion Starter #1
My son's 2004 Pathfinder LE Platinum (137k miles) lit up the Service Engine Soon light. Scanner shows that both Cam Shaft Sensors are bad so I replace them with new sensors from a Nissan Dealer. I cleared the codes and the Service Engine Soon light went off. The next morning it gave the codes that both sensors where bad again. I've read in other sites that the Crank shaft sensor usually goes shortly after the Cam Shaft Sensors so I replaced the Crank Shaft Sensor with one from AutoZone. I cleared the codes & they came back again that the CAM Sensors are having issues. During this time the car is not very responsive to accelerations once it reaches 40 mph & it whines out the gears longer before shifting.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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It seems like maybe there's a problem with the ECU or the wiring for the sensors. It's very unlikely that both sensors would go bad at the same time. Check all the engine management ground point connections to insure that there is no oxidation and that they are tight; also check the connections at the ECU.

Make sure the charging system is operating correctly. A properly working charging system puts out about 13.2 to 15.0 volts, but this is a general spec. and the factory service manual should be referenced for the correct charging system voltage specifications for a particular vehicle. A battery should have a static charge of 12.2-12.6 volts. If a battery is not good, the charging system may not be able to charge properly. When a charging system is not charging, or overcharging, a lot of "strange" things can occur. It's not uncommon to see a multiple of stored trouble codes in the ECM memory. So, whenever a car is setting a multiple of trouble codes, idling funny or stalling, or anything out of the "norm," test the charging system before you start pulling hairs!

Please post the actual fault codes that you are encountering so that we can further help you.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
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One sensor failing does not make another go bad and they rarely fail at the same time. What are the exact code numbers you are getting?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you all for your posts.

I'm going to give you a little history that I left out & some current information since my original post. A few weeks prior to the sensors codes, some times after starting the truck the "Low Oil Pressure" light would stay on up to 5 minutes then turn off. Sometimes the light would go out right away. The oil in the truck has only been in there for 2,800 miles.

Last week the truck gave the codes:
P0011 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1
P0021 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 2

When I installed the CAM Shaft Sensors the codes stayed on so I cleared them & drove the truck for 15 minutes. Performance stayed poor over 30 mph & lights stayed off. The next morning while my son was driving the truck to school (not right after starting the truck) the "Service Engine Soon" light came back on. I replaced the Crackshaft Sensor for kicks last night, cleared the codes & drove the truck for about 15 minutes. Service light stayed off & performance hadn't improved. My son drove the truck to his evening class & the "Service Engine Soon" light came back on. When I checked the truck after his return the "Low Oil Pressure" light was on with the "Service Engine Soon". It had the same P0011 & P0021 codes. I cleared the codes & drove the truck around the block. The "Low Oil Pressure" light turned off during the drive. This morning the light stayed off out performance is still poor.
 

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My son's 2004 Pathfinder LE Platinum (137k miles) lit up the Service Engine Soon light. Scanner shows that both Cam Shaft Sensors are bad so I replace them with new sensors from a Nissan Dealer. I cleared the codes and the Service Engine Soon light went off. The next morning it gave the codes that both sensors where bad again. I've read in other sites that the Crank shaft sensor usually goes shortly after the Cam Shaft Sensors so I replaced the Crank Shaft Sensor with one from AutoZone. I cleared the codes & they came back again that the CAM Sensors are having issues. During this time the car is not very responsive to accelerations once it reaches 40 mph & it whines out the gears longer before shifting.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Let me try this again. Try changing the oil. The same thing happened to me. I took it to the dealer and they informed me this is a common fluke with the 2004 pathy...sure enough. Oil changed, problem gone. It's worth a $20 oil change before spending much more. Hope this helps you!
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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Thank you all for your posts.

I'm going to give you a little history that I left out & some current information since my original post. A few weeks prior to the sensors codes, some times after starting the truck the "Low Oil Pressure" light would stay on up to 5 minutes then turn off. Sometimes the light would go out right away. The oil in the truck has only been in there for 2,800 miles.

Last week the truck gave the codes:
P0011 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1
P0021 "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 2

When I installed the CAM Shaft Sensors the codes stayed on so I cleared them & drove the truck for 15 minutes. Performance stayed poor over 30 mph & lights stayed off. The next morning while my son was driving the truck to school (not right after starting the truck) the "Service Engine Soon" light came back on. I replaced the Crackshaft Sensor for kicks last night, cleared the codes & drove the truck for about 15 minutes. Service light stayed off & performance hadn't improved. My son drove the truck to his evening class & the "Service Engine Soon" light came back on. When I checked the truck after his return the "Low Oil Pressure" light was on with the "Service Engine Soon". It had the same P0011 & P0021 codes. I cleared the codes & drove the truck around the block. The "Low Oil Pressure" light turned off during the drive. This morning the light stayed off out performance is still poor.
Thanks for the extra detail; this really helps more. The P0011 and the P0021 codes are caused by the IVT control valve not functioning correctly. This mechanism hydraulically controls cam phases continuously with the fixed operating angle of the intake valve; the valve operates by oil pressure. When the malfunction is detected, the ECU enters fail-safe mode which causes degradation of engine performance.

Since you had seen the "Low Oil Pressure" dash light come on, the loss of oil pressure would trigger the two codes to be set. This has therefore nothing to do with the idea of the CKP and the CMP sensors going bad. It might be a good idea to measure the oil pressure. You can check the pressure very easily by installing a temporary mechanical oil pressure gauge. You would remove the oil sensor which is located near the oil filter and install the mechanical oil pressure gauge in it's place; you may need to get an 1/8 BSPT to 1/8 NPT adapter to hook up the gauge.

With the engine fully warmed up, the pressure should be as follows:
idle - at least 14 psi
2000 RPM - at least 43 psi

You can try and change the motor oil and filter to see if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm returning to thank everyone for their help & to update this situation for future seekers.

The bottom line, oil & oil filter change fixed the problem!

Now for a little more history.
We inherited the 2004 Pathfinder from my mother in May 2018. I changed the oil & it promptly leaked out. The oil pan was rusted through. I replace the oil pan & put 5qts of oil in. I did not change the oil filter again 2 weeks after the first oil change. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. 2700 miles on since the last oil change the Low Oil Pressure light started appearing after starting the vehicle but would go away within 5 minutes. Last week the Service Engine Soon started appearing & engine performance greatly decreased. The very knowledgeable "rogoman" who contributed greatly in the thread explained that the performance decrease was the computer in the vehicle protecting itself. The codes given were P0011 & P0021 (both Camshaft sensors). I saw Youtube vids & posts saying that the Crackshaft Sensor usually goes bad around the same time as the Camshaft sensors so I set out to replace all three sensors. In some Youtube vids & posts I saw mention of staying away from aftermarket for these pasts so I went to the Nissan dealer. They got me for $270 for both Camshaft Sensors (would have been half the price aftermarket). The dealer lost the Crackshaft sensor & was gonna reorder it. I replaced the Camshaft sensors & cleared the code. The next day the Service Engine Soon came back on. I went aftermarket & replaced the Crackshaft sensor ($48)(Nissan wanted $131) & cleared the code. The next day the Service Engine Soon came back on. Then I posted here & had responses with in 24 hours. @dnorto03, @dfrhodes & @rogoman all suggested changing the oil. @dfrhodes said he had a similar situation resolved at the Dealer with an oil change. Two days later I found the time & changed the oil ($25). LOW & BEHOLD, there was a little less than a quart in the vehicle. This thing eat over 4.25 quarts of oil in 2700 miles. I replaced the filter & added the 5.25 qts as per the manual & cleared the P0011 & P0021 codes again. Codes haven't returned & performance is back for the last two days.

Where the oil is going remains a mystery since there is not a drop of oil in the drive. The engine block is wet where it meets the Trans but that's not what we're here for. I spent $310 in sensors & the problem was that I didn't know that I was SO low on oil ($25).

Thank you again to everyone who contributed. Even the five comments help in the conclusion!
Andy
 

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The VQ engines are known to be heavy oil consumers. mine did about 1000 per quart, less on a interstate trip at Texas speeds. please check it more regularly. also its old, my 2003 had rear main leak, transfer case input leak and of course the regular oil cooler leak. fixed that 2 or 3 times !
 

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If there is oil where the engine meets the trans, it could be the rear main seal. I've never seen a rear main seal cause that much oil loss, however, in a VQ motor. The old saying is, "If it ain't leaking it, it must be burning it." So, you could have an oil burning engine. I would first check the PCV system and make sure the valve isn't stuck and the system is working properly. If that's not it, it is likely the piston rings or scored cylinder walls. Sometimes the oil control rings on the pistons in the VQ35DE engines of that era stick in the landings and create a poor sealing condition. In other circumstances, because the engine uses variable camshaft timing to accomplish EGR rather than a conventional EGR valve, the upstream catalytic converter substrate can break apart into tiny pieces that get sucked into the combustion chamber and score the walls. Either of those two scenarios can result in the engine needing to be torn down to fix...or, an engine replacement.
 
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