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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the process of buying an '03 Pathfinder LE 4x4 & I was wondering what should I bee looking for? (known issues, etc).

It comes w/leather interior, 89K miles, what looks like to be an OEM entertainment system for the rear seats (VCR, can I install a DVD player instead?). It seems to be in good mechanical condition & it only needs a passenger side mirror & it has a dent in the fron bumper. Can the key fobs for the factory alarm be ordered through a dealer?

Thank you.
 

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Excellent year.
We had one since it was new until it fell victim to the Windsor Colorado tornado last year.
We were only able to put 45,000 miles on it and we had zero problems with it except for the front brake rotors. They always pulsated even after the dealer resurfaced them twice. I had planned on replacing the rotors with a set of Stillin vented rotors when the pads wore out.
I didn't know a VCR was available. Ours had a DVD player with a overhead LCD screen for the back seat passengers (factory unit).
The dealer can get key fobs for yours although they may be a little pricey.

We ended up getting an '08 Altima after the Pathfinders destruction. My wife sure does miss it. I may eventually find another same style Pathfinder LE for her (we hate the new body style).

Good luck!
 

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Quick69GTO........i was in a similiar situation as you. I had a Pathfinder, traded it in on a new Altima, gave the Altima back and now back in a used Pathfinder. Mine is a 2004, I'm not that crazy about the newer Pathfinders.

MOTO....excellent choice in truck....can't go wrong. Once you get it I would change all the fluids unless you have proof they were already done. Post pics if you get it.
 

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The engine, tranny, and interior are all pretty solid on the Pathy. Check for body rust, it can be a weak point on our generation of Pathfinders. During the winter when the roads are salted, I make sure to wash the car once a week, as a preventative measure. I have rust inside the rear wheel wells, not noticeable unless you bend down and look inside the well, but just one of those things that eats at your mind because you know it's there.

O2 sensors are the only thing that fail with any regular basis, but it's not critical (just leads to poor fuel economy) and aren't expensive.

You can get fobs on eBay, a much cheaper alternative to buying them from the dealer. I've had amazing trouble finding the glass for the passenger side mirror, if you do find some (a) take measurements and compare them to what the seller says their measurements are, and (b) let me know where you found it. I can get it from the dealer but they're charging $80 for a little piece of reflective glass.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the reply. I'm in the process of running a Carfax on it.

Any other good Pathfinder forum that you guys recommend?
 

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Oh crap!
There was one problem that Nissan wouldn't fix for us.
There are exhaust resonators located under the driver and passenger footwell that had started to separate at the seams. It created a nasty sounding exhaust leak.
Nissan had a fix, but it involved covering each resonator with two metal half shells and securing them with glue. Plus they wanted $130 for each resonator.
It sounded kinda hokey to me.
I told them "no thanks", went home, and pulled both resonators off the truck (bolt on, thank God!).
I took a wire feed welder, ran a bead down both seams of each resonator, bolted them back on, and the Pathfinder was back to being as quiet as the day I bought it.
I did that at 30,000 miles so they lasted 15,000 miles until the tornado totaled the Pathfinder.
It would have been interesting to see how long they would have lasted.
Another option would have been to hack each end off the resonators (for the flanges) and weld in a piece of exhaust pipe.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Laters,
Quick
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've done a bit of research on this & going by the owner reports, it seems that this is a very tough, reliable & comfortable vehicle. Thank you for all the replies, you've been very helpful.

Cheers.
 

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Tough and reliable is correct!! I test drove other suv's and the closest competitor to the Pathfinder was the 4Runner. All the other suv's including the Honda Pilot felt tinny and weak. Imo the Pathfinder is the perfect combo of quality, rugged, tough yet comfortable for day to day driving.

So you're getting it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If the Carfax come clean & a couple of small issues are addressed, we probably will.

A small mechanical issue w/it is that the truck will start but will die inmediately as if the idle is set too low. If you blip the throttle once while you are starting it, it'll stay running fine. My 1st thought was idle control valve but I've been reading about intake Cam sensors, rear o2 sensors, Air Flow Meter & turbine revolution sensor problems. Any ideas?
 

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I bought an 03 LE in 2006 to use as a second vehicle and winter beater. It only had 46K miles and now it has 65K. The only problem I had is when I first bought it there was a loud squeal coming from the belts on start up on very cold days. Turned out to be the fan clutch assembly.

One other problem I found on other Pathfinders that I test drove was the steering wheel would jitter on the highway when going over 50mph. That can be caused by bad tires, alignment or could be a problem in the suspension.

I really wanted an 04 Platinum but I could not find one reasonably priced back when I was looking.

I personal think 89K is a lot of miles. I would look for something that has a little less than that, especially if you are going to put a lot of miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For what I've been reading, these trucks/engines can last for a long time if properly maintained (correct me if I'm wrong). This one has more miles than what I'd have like to but another reason I'm considering it (aside from the above), is that I'm also getting a good deal on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The previous owner fixed all the issues it had (new bumper, mirror, starting issue, tires, etc) so I bought it. I just downloaded the owners & service manuals. It runs well but I'm planning to do a tune up on it (oil & filter, air filter, plugs). Any recommendations for online part retailers?

I'd like to replace the tranny & diff oils as preventive maintenance, any suggestions as of which oils to use? For spark plugs just buy the factory recommended ones?

Thank you.
 

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I just got a 2004 Platinum. 46K miles. 2WD. I too am thinking about what I need to do to it right away. A Florida and Georgia car. Carfax sez it was a fleet veh for a while, and then went to auction, where the dealer I got it from bought it. I have noticed an occasional pulsing in front too. Other than a side window broken air deflector, and a conical rubber cargo door cushion, I know of nothing it needs interior or exterior. Should I have the tranny flushed?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just got a 2004 Platinum. 46K miles. 2WD. I too am thinking about what I need to do to it right away. A Florida and Georgia car. Carfax sez it was a fleet veh for a while, and then went to auction, where the dealer I got it from bought it. I have noticed an occasional pulsing in front too. Other than a side window broken air deflector, and a conical rubber cargo door cushion, I know of nothing it needs interior or exterior. Should I have the tranny flushed?
I still have to get the tranny fluid replaced, I haven't heard from anybody advising against it. It's been a good truck so far & the wife really likes it.
 

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Whoa alot has changed since my previous posts. I traded in the Pathfinder as it become too problematic. Everything was fine until the Nissan dealer changed my tranny and differential fluids. After that it had an annoying vibration when I had it in Auto and 4WD Hi.
The fluids were re-checked, u-joints on driveshafts changed, new tires and the transfer case was changed. Still had the issue. Me being very picky i had enough of going back and forth and decided to dump it.

My opinion of Pathfinder's hasn't changed, they are solid trucks. I just have no idea what happened with mine. So be careful when you change those fluids and make sure the dealer uses the correct stuff. I can't prove anything but maybe the dealer used the wrong diff fluid in mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the heads up. It seems that lot of people prefer to leave auto trannies alone for this same reason. Anybody else has had experiences replacing their tranny fluids?
 

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I bought my Pathy a few years ago with 112,000km on it, in the middle of winter. As soon as it warmed up, I swapped out the tranny and diff fluids, just for peace of mind. The previous owner said he had them changed three years ago.

I've been very adamant about changing fluids on time on all my vehicles, and haven't had a problem. When I read debates about keeping vs. changing tranny fluid, it seems like the problems occur when the fluid has been left in there for a LONG time and then swapped out for new. Very rarely do I hear issues when people change their fluid on a regular basis.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I've been very adamant about changing fluids on time on all my vehicles, and haven't had a problem. When I read debates about keeping vs. changing tranny fluid, it seems like the problems occur when the fluid has been left in there for a LONG time and then swapped out for new. Very rarely do I hear issues when people change their fluid on a regular basis.
I know, unfortunately I don't know the maintenance history on this SUV & it has 90 k miles at the moment. I really hate not to do the necessary maintenance on my vehicles. :rolleyes:
 

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Just change the fluids as per spec. I did the same thing when I bought mine & had no problems. (It had 189000 km) I have a 2001 LE with 205000 km on it & it runs excellent. I always put premium fuel in it & since it's a 5000lb vehicle do not complain too much about gas mileage. I love the vehicle...

Jim
 
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