Nissan ruined this car with the poor frame material they used
written on 05-27-2011
The Pathfinder itself as a vehicle is queen of snow and off road. It always starts and runs. Never broke down on the road. However theed very poor quality material used in the frame is apparent. I paid 4600k for it with 56k miles about 4 years ago. I have spent 6k rebuilding every part of the frame you can think of to pass inspection twice now. Not sure if it will pass this year for either frame issues or steering rod issues-1996 was recalled for rusted out steering rods but not the 1995. If you can weld then its a great off road, snow vehicle, otherwise expect to pay for some type of frame rebuild. Do not expect this it be a quiet or pretty ride-its all utility.
Just purchased my 95 pathy a few months ago. Since then, I've replaced all plugs and plug cables, fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, engine wiring harness (frayed wires to injectors), thermostat, a tension rod (front left broke from rust), O2 sensor, and now just found that the front right CV boot is cracked and the other is on the way. I've been turning a blind eye to the major rust on the frame. The list will never end with this truck (yours may be better). If you live in a 4 seasons kind of area (I'm in MN), I'd look for a newer model. If it weren't for the fact that I have to drive this, I'd take it back. Surprisingly, the interior is great- all the lights work, windows, etc.
This vehicle is great to drive everywhere. From camping, to around town, to snowboarding, and on the interstate. After 220k miles she still loves to get up and go. I have (and recommend) a 5 speed, which helps with the hills and gaining speed. This was my first Nissan, and I have been impressed so far. I bought it after reading comments on this sight and have not been disappointed. Mine has not had the rust problems mentioned elsewhere, so I guess I got lucky. I gave it a tune up, new Michelin m/s all season tires and keep the oil changed. This vehicle rocks in snow. Nothing seemed to stop the four wheel drive. Great for hauling kids, camping gear, and stuff from home depot.
I bought this truck in really rough condition as my first vehicle. The exhaust leaks, the frame is rusted, the suspension is shot. But this has to be the most reliable vehicle i've ever seen! in -10 degree weather it would start right up, and plow through 3 foot snow banks in 4WD L like they weren't even there. I've never had a problem getting it started, or getting it out of rough conditions. I even used it to tow my dads huge Dodge ram 1500 back when his tranny blew. I really love my "screaming metal death trap" as I call it. weather going 65 down the highway or crawling through snow and mud, this truck gets the job done!
My Pathfinder had over 220k's on it when I bought it and it had 280k on it when I got rid of it and it doesn't owe me a penny. I had it for 3 years and it never let me down. I only had one problem and it was tricky to solve as my mechanic raised his arms and said he couldn't figure it out. (after charging me $135.00). It would start sporadically every 10 to 15 cranks. My genius brother-in law told me to raise the hood and try tuning the key. Voila! it started no problem. Turns out it was a faulty relay switch; cost me $35.00 to fix. Overall I loved having a 4x4 in the harsh Canadian winter. (Drove a dirt road to work with lots of snow-drifts.) Not a luxury ride but competent.