Thinking about purchasing a Pathfinder...


Moderator: volvite

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:50 pm

Thinking about purchasing a Pathfinder...

Postby Reckoner » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:11 pm

Hello everyone. I come from the unfortunately (right now) cold state of NJ. I'm a moderator on and so do not worry, I know my way around the boards and I know the do's and don'ts. To be honest I hate posts like this, but I had to do it because I couldn't find answers to some of the questions I have. So if you can help me, thanks.

First of all I'm 22 years old, and I have never owned an SUV before. I've toyed with nothing but sports cars, roadsters and rally cars but I fear it's time to enter new ground. I had actually originally been looking into a 2006+ Honda Civic, but I wanted something bigger and perhaps power to all four of my wheels :) So here I am...

My current car is a G35 coupe...and as much as I love the car, I'm incredibly displeased with it. Not with its performance, I could keep this car forever. But for its reliablity. This car has had problem after problem since it hit 50K miles. So my question to you is, do any of your Pathfinders (2005+) exhibit these same problems? They are as follows:

Transmission rattle
Oil leak (several occasions)
Window motor failure (both)
Window regulator failure (both)
Gauge displays "slip" "brake" "VSC off" and all other kinds of misfires

And one other BIG question, how is the overall gas mileage? Not for an general. I'm not impressed at all with the mpg on my G35, and I believe the Pathfinder gets the VQ35 also. I read the Pathfinder gets around 15 city/21 this true?

Thank you to anyone that has done their best comprehending this, and especially to anyone that has an answer for me. Just do me a favor and be brutally honest about your experiences with your Pathfinder.


Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:29 pm

Postby coom1986 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:42 am

sorry i wont be of much help since mine is a 08 SE and have used it for around a year..And for me thus far i've not had any problems and am loving it both on and off road..
Some of the pre 2007 models did exhibit some VDC and slip light problems,lights just come on, but you'll have to wait for some one who actually owns a 2007 MY to answer you on that.
But what i can tell you is that the R51 pathfinders (new shape) doesnt come with the VQ35 but has the upgraded VQ40DE engine but the mileage you pointed out does look about right although you might be able to improve on them depending on your driving style.

And as far as ive heard and seen from this forum, no one here had any problems when it came to oil leaks and so on..but what the VQ40 does have is a time chain problem, produces a high pitched whining noise after around 50k, for which there is a TSB out and should be rectified by the dealer if you still got the warranty. As far as the engine goes that seems to be the only common problem.
Apart from that, based on my experience, the truck is built like a tank..
Again sorry i wasnt of much use,but hope it helped..

User avatar
Sponsored Member
Posts: 875
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:38 am
Location: World Traveler

Re: Thinking about purchasing a Pathfinder...

Postby blink32 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:44 am

Reckoner wrote:And one other BIG question, how is the overall gas mileage? I read the Pathfinder gets around 15 city/21 this true?
I can pull out 16-17mpg city-ish driving. That's a mix of NE Philly and S Jersey. If it's straight stop and go you will be down in the 14's no prob.

I've pulled 20-21mpg overall on a trip from SJ to Central CT several times. I have none of the problems with my Pathy that others have had except for a squeaky belt tensioner. But for an MY06 on the east coast I have really low miles, so take that for what it's worth.

I also run over-sized tires and a lift but leave off any other mpg-sucking attachments when possible. All of the above was achieved by not utilizing jack-rabbit starts, cruising as steady as possible, in general just driving smooth and not over 70 typically. I have gotten as low as 13mpg dragging a 2000lb enclosed trailer up to CT and back and 12 stuck in stop and go traffic.

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:50 pm

Postby Reckoner » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:31 am

Hmm...doesn't sound too bad. I honestly care more about issues the car is prone to, rather than gas.

Anyone else, feel free to post :)

Posts: 81
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:22 am
Location: Chicago Burb, IL

Postby Gonzo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:33 am

I've only had mine for 6 mos.. Sorry not much help here. Good luck though.


User avatar
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: Corona, CA

Postby gonyofam3 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:40 am

I have the V8 model and no problems yet in the city I get about 12.5 and on the hwy I've seen as high as 23, but that was going around 60. At 70 I can pulloff 20. We took it on a camping trip to the Grand Canyon completely loaded down with gear and four bikes on the back and I still averaged 17-18 mpg. All in all it's a great SUV.

User avatar
Sponsored Member
Posts: 1985
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:27 am
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: Thinking about purchasing a Pathfinder...

Postby NVSteve » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:39 am

Reckoner wrote:I had actually originally been looking into a 2006+ Honda Civic, but I wanted something bigger and perhaps power to all four of my wheels :) So here I am...
Bigger, yes. To give you an idea, I loaded up a boxed bathtub last weekend into the back (massive box), along with a number of 2x4x8's & a bunch of other parts.
Transmission rattle
not yet
Oil leak (several occasions)
I still have another year of free oil changes, so I haven't really been underneath to check. But, I'm not leaving spots anywhere I park.
Window motor failure (both)
Window regulator failure (both)
no to both
Gauge displays "slip" "brake" "VSC off" and all other kinds of misfires
All the bloody time. But, that is entirely because of the roads, road conditions & driving style (in my case). If I was taking a mellow drive on a straight, flat road & the thing went off, then I'd be concerned.
And one other BIG question, how is the overall gas mileage?
My overall mpg for the last 2 years is around 17. I'm anal about keeping mpg records, but not anal enough to jot down notes every time I change from city to highway, so I don't honestly have a clue what I might be getting for either one. All of my city driving probably includes at least 50% of my fuel expenditure sitting at a light or a traffic jam. None of my highway/freeway driving is ever slower than 75mph, and 99% of my driving is between 4300-10000 feet in elevation. My previous best must have included a tailwind, but it was over a section of I-80 in Nevada going about 80mph fully loaded inside w/2 16' kayaks on top. That gave me about 20-21mpg. My best so far has been a 100 or so mile downhill stretch of highway that gave me about 23mpg. One of our former members kept claiming 26mpg, but the dolt was never able to prove it even to himself (the speedo in the Pathfinder is accurate if you are running 265/75/16 tires, so smaller sizes will give a false sense of mileage gains).

Anyway, I've been pleased with the V6. More power than the V8 in the Durango I had before this, and much better mpg. The only place you'll notice any kind of difference is at the pump. I certainly enjoy paying $27 every 2 weeks to fill up now as opposed to the $70 it cost during the summer.

I've only had a few minor niggles with the vehicle, but none of them have any impact on the performance. I chalk them up to just being one of those "the perfect car for me would have..." things.

Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:11 pm
Location: Portland OR

Postby SHAWNATGERBROCK » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:54 am

I have an '06 with just over 30K miles ... so far it has been great ....We Love the ability to run me my wife the 2 kids and grandma and grandpa around .... without having to take 2 cars ....

I love the power the VQ40 its super fun and has no issues towing or having to pass anyone on the freeway ....

IMO First thing you will want to do is swap the tires for something more street worthy ... I am running a Hankook 275-65-VR17 and I will say its no sports car but the handling is really good for what it is ... I have thrown it around and its a blast for being an SUV ... Probably out handle alot of the cars on the road !!

As far as gas mileage , thats the only drawback ...we get 16-18 on the freeway at best !!

We have been very happy with ours .... no major issues and always nice to drive .... Ours has been dry and wet street , 3 feet of snow / Ice , in the sand at the beach , towing the boat and Race car around as well as hauling friends and family wherever they need to go !!

User avatar
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:15 am

Postby 2008PatherfinderS » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:26 pm

Have an 08 S model. Bought used with 20k miles in June. I've put 7K on it so far. No issues other than on occasion the VCD OFF and SLIP lights would come on when I would start it up. But they would go out after driving it for a few miles or after a stop and a restart of the engine. I used the 4WD Hi mode for the first time yesterday in the snow, and it performed excellent. The V6 has just enough power to get moving while not being too bad on gas. I get 17mpg in stop and go traffic. I have not had any long distance trips in her yet.

User avatar
Posts: 244
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:51 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Postby 08Datsun » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:02 pm

We have an '08 S we bought new and now has 15k. We had one check engine light issue that required a re-flash of the ECM that was covered under warranty. Other than that, we ripped one stock tire off-road which you really can't blame on the PF. We are pretty hard on this thing; we tow, off-road, and load the thing up for long road trips. It's done really well so far.

User avatar
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:23 am
Location: Houston, TX

Postby SilverGhost » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:23 pm

My bone-stock '06 LE 2WD has been super sweet in the 17K I've driven since buying it new in Jan '07. 16mpg city/21mpg hwy on 91 octane, as long as the price is under $3.50. Minor crap, of course, has cropped up . . .

1. Wheel alignment was off straight from the factory. I had to eat the cost of an alignment and rear-wheel camber kit 'cause I was out of the 6-month freebie period offered by the dealer (never did drive straight). Three months later, it was out of spec again, outer tire ribs feathering, with NO impact with anything. Dealer comp'd me on a re-alignment, and it appears that all is well for now.

2. Same VDC/Slip light issue (three times) that many others have mentioned. But, it goes out after a while, so I'm not concerned.

3. Rear hatch window leaked water along the top edge from day-1 (as others have experienced). I've ignored it so far, even though the dealer has offered to replace the gasket. Takes too much time in their shop, with no guarantee that it'll fix the problem.

4. Both fog lights replaced early-on due to lens . . uh . . . fogging.

5. Second row toe room is tight, to say the least, but that's a design issue vs. a performance issue.

6. No prob with the belt tensioner, yet . . .

7. And, for the benefit of a few recent posters, I've had not a single oil drip following dealer oil changes (at least 4 times, now). Don't know what's up with that complaint.

Damn thing runs like a scalded dog - LOVE that VQ40 and 5-speed auto!! Road handling is light years ahead of my previous Isuzu Trooper, and well beyond anything I could conceivably carp about.

Yeah, all the hard plastic interior surfaces could be improved upon, but for the price, I ain't complainin'.

My R51 LE is as full-featured as I prefer, while still being one helluva truck. And, considering I paid less than $30k, my frequent buyer's remorse never kicked in. At this point in my life, it could very easily be my last truck.

Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:29 pm

Postby coom1986 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:14 am

Ohh and on a side note,recently did a 380km run with a full load of passengers doing about 135kmph (approximately 85Mph) on average which also included some gas stomping runs to around 160kmph (100Mph), couldnt help myself, where there was also a 12km climb (approximately 8% gradient on average) to around 4000ft above sealevel.

All this and we still averaged 13.2l/100km throught the whole journey, average fuel consumption did increase though when climbing and descending..But overall quite pleased.

Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:59 pm

Postby Krafty » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:56 pm

I have an 06 S and it's been totally bullet proof (knock on wood) since new. I have a squeaky tensioner but that's it. I get about 15-16 with the wife running to and from school with NO road time whatsoever. 19-21 on the highway/interstate. Really couldn't be happier overall. The engine/tranny combination has to be one of the best I've ever experienced. Up and down hills with the cruise on there is no hunting or even shifting generally. It just muscles up. We also use it to tow a pop up camper and other misc stuff and it performs great.

User avatar
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:26 pm
Location: South Central Colorado Mountains

Postby OurPathfinder » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:45 pm

Our '07 PF SE 4x4 does about 15-17 city, and 19-20 highway here in Colorado. We're running stock configuration, 85 octane fuel, and only use the 4x4 off road when needed, in deep snow, or really slick road conditions.

We purchased our PF new in '07 and have put 30,000 miles on it. We are happy overall with the quality of craftsmanship, and haven't had any issues so far. We are happy with it.

No complaints. As far as your Infiniti is concerned I think it's dependent on specific cars. We have an '02 I30 which has been extremely reliable and haven't had ANY issues with it whatsoever. I think it can be any vehicle.

Good luck in your decision process!

Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:53 am

Postby bender031 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:00 am

I had a 2005 4x4 v6 for a little over 3 years, and put 47,500 miles on it. I had zero mechanical issues. couple of minor issues were covered in the warranty period. (some rattles and the back hatch had a paint flaw near the license plate (corrected in 06+)).

brakes lasted a while, i replaced the front rotors and pads at about 45k but there was still pad life on the originals at that point. mileage averaged about 16-17 with mostly city/rural.

solid, rides like a truck, feels like a truck, handles like a truck, I recommend driving one (along with other SUVs/trucks) for reference before you get too serious, if you're coming from small compacts, it may be a bit of a change for you.

FYI- recommended fuel is premium, my mpgs were with regular and i imagine some of the other's numbers are as well. prob see slightly better mpgs with premium.

Return to “2005-2012 Pathfinder (R51)”