Thinking of buying....What do I need to look for


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Thinking of buying....What do I need to look for

Postby BrandonH13 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:24 am

My wife and I are in the market for a SUV and she has always wanted a pathfinder. Just quick reading on here, I know of the radiator problems.

We are going to look at one this weekend from an individual. Its an 06 LE fully loaded, navi, dvd, leather, 4wd, 3rd row. It has 132000 miles on it and the couple is only wanting $11400 for it. I talked to the wife and she said that they bought it from a friend in April. Now she wants a minivan, so they are selling it for pretty much what they owe.
Only problem is, after talking and asking a couple questions about if the engine was humming or anything was wrong with it (in which she said no it was running great) she said the check engine light has been on since they bought it, but since it was running great they didn't even bother to get it checked. So she is to check it at like oreillys today and give me the code it pulls.
Other than that, what do I need to look for? I know kind of about the timing chain tensioner I think is a issue. Is there a transmission dip stick I can pull to check the color and smell of the fluid? If coolant mixed with it, would it turn it a pink color?

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Postby Baedarlboo » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:36 am

The trans fluid would be like a strawberry milk'ish if coolant was mixed, but it would be kind of hard to tell with just the dip stick. Find out what the code is, it could be a number of things, but the common seems to be p0455 (evap leak) or a cat bank 1 or 2 (could be a bad cat, or bad 02 sensor). Drive it around till the truck is up to full temp, take notice of any weird jerk or slipping of trans. It should shift smooth. Turn the radio off and listen for any sounds. Check to see if the rear a/c heat if working.

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Postby BrandonH13 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:31 am

Yes I would plan on driving it around and they are suppose to meet us, so it will be up to full temp by that time I am sure. I always check the navi, dvd player, move the sound to all the speakers seperate to make sure none are blown, check the a/c and heat in front and rear, make sure all lights are working and not burnt out.
They said it does need tires though is the only thing.
On the Dvd player, can you make the movie play through the speakers or is it just like wireless headsets? Also I saw about modding the switch so you can play a dvd on the navi screen...I am guessing that would be played through the speakers then correct?
If I do end up buying it or another pathfinder, would the bypass be a good thing to do? Living in Kansas, we get anywhere from -10 or below with wind chill and ice/snow in the winter to 110-120 heat index in the summer.

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Postby dawgn86 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:10 pm


06 Path here..pretty well loaded except for DVD and nav and 4wd.
Bought it brand new in 06..had 2 Nissan recalls on minor things, other than that, not a minute of problems..has 90k miles now

I did the radiator bypass several months problems..I would check the coolant and be sure it is the proper color...they do have a dipstick located on the passenger side of the engine. It is held in by a 10mm bolt, but you can check trans fluid there.

Ours has been a great vehicle. My daughter has an 02 Xterra and still going strong.

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Postby JAHBLESSINGS » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:50 pm

open the oil filler cap and check for sludge. if you can get underneath then check for signs of transmission work like bolts with tool marks on them. also look at the fuel tank straps for tool marks also to see it the sending unit was done. and carfax it.

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Postby BrandonH13 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:48 am

Well we found another one and the owner is being super honest with us.
Its an 05 with 120K miles on it. Fully loaded like the other one. It was a previous carmax car, so he had a warranty. Said he used econolube and valvoline for the oil changes and flushes that they "sold" him on. Doesn't have the service records, but could put together them.
Said the service light was on for the fuel gauge sensor which he was planning on replacing. Also that 2 of the tire pressure senors are damaged so the tire indicator light is always on and that econolube said they could fix it for $225. He also just put a brand new battery and it has almost new tires. Said he would drop down to $12750 for it.

To me, this one is closer and he is being up front and honest so it might be a better buy. Even if its a year old but less miles and more expensive.

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Postby bend » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:37 am

the prices your getting seem a little high to me. My wife just bought an 06 LE w/ 75k miles on it for $12k

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Postby BrandonH13 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:10 am

Where are you located at

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Postby redwing » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:44 pm

I bought a 2006 pathfinder SE with 70,000 miles for 14,500. Since owning mine and being on this board, I'd make sure you know what your buying.

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Postby BrandonH13 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:30 pm

redwing wrote:I bought a 2006 pathfinder SE with 70,000 miles for 14,500. Since owning mine and being on this board, I'd make sure you know what your buying.
What do you mean by that?

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Postby disallow » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:02 am

I think he's referring to some of the issues highlighted on this board such as the known radiator/transmission cooler issue, ECM relays, corrosion issues depending on where you live.

People need to keep in mind that most individuals don't go onto the internet to find information about their vehicle unless they have a problem. Hence, you will find that it at least seems like everyone is having problems with their truck.

I have a 2005 SE Premium. I have done the rad bypass as a preventative measure. I have 120000mi on my truck. And the thing is awesome. For a 100000+ mile vehicle, I have very few problems that I'd attribute to poor design (some problems due to where I live and the conditions the vehicle put into), and none that have left me on the side of the road.

Others on this board haven't been as fortunate as I have, however, I believe this to be the exception and not the rule. Also, this is something you see with all car makes. I used to be very active on the honda boards on usenet back in the day when I had my 98 civic. Same thing there.

However, redwing's advise is sound, know what you are buying, and at least try to be aware of the known issues out there. Your buying a used vehicle, and that carries risk. Knowledge can minimize that risk.

Good luck, and let us know if you have any questions!


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Postby BrandonH13 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:40 am

Oh yeah I know, thats why when I am interested in a vehicle I search out a forum and ask about problems and try to find problems out.
We looked at a ford truck once and I knew about the "cam phaser" problems that the 5.4 have. It had it and the dealer didn't even know what I was talking about when I explained it and couldn't believe it was a $2000 repair til they called a ford dealer as I was standing there.

We haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet, but living in Kansas and the salt they use in the winter...I am sure it will have rust like pretty much every other used car from Kansas unless they had it undercoated or got it washed. I looked on here and found the ecu problem and also the rad problem. He said he had a warranty through carmax on it, so that at least gives me a little hope.

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Postby BrandonH13 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:59 pm

Sorry to revise an old post, but we haven't purchased a vehicle yet and figured I would throw this on here since the wife wants to look at it.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder LE - $12500

Tan Exterior with Tan Leather interior. I have all the service records since I purchased this SUV from CarMax. New Bridgestone Tires just over a year ago, great tread left. 122,000 miles. Loaded, Navigation, DVD, heated front seats, sunroof, upgraded grill, 3rd row of seats if needed, satellite radio ready if you have one. It is a beast of an SUV, drives great and very comfortable. Great in the snow and has just been an awesome car for me. I am recently married and need to sell. Call me if you want to drive and we'll set it up

I know of the trans issue like stated above and would look for the transmission to have work. Anything else from a 122K mile car? I kind of like that it was an carmax car too

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Postby volvite » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:32 pm

What happened to the two previous Pathfinders you were looking at buying?

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Postby BrandonH13 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:34 am

we never got around to looking at them because we were borrowing my wifes dads truck for the time being.

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