pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,850 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace (9 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
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problem #11

Sep 062016

Pathfinder 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Timing chain problems which apparently everyone that has a Nissan Pathfinder made form 2004-2010 has the problem and yet NO RECALL!

- Scott C., Canton, MS, US

problem #10

Mar 252016

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I bought this car as my first big purchase as an "adult" and it has been the worst decision I have ever made. After 3 months of having it the coolant problem came up and had to get that replaced. Nissan was trying to tell me that because I was 1000 miles over the millage limit for the recall they weren't going to fix it. I was like ahnt uh not today you are going to fix this, finally got them to replace it!! Then my check engine light has come on and wont go off until I have to buy a new gas cap, I've done this 3 times now. Then my car started to shack so bad I was afraid to let anyone get in it and found out that all of my U joints were bad. Had to get those replaced. Now this terrible clicking and leak is happening and its the timing chain. The shop told me that it would be around 2k to fix it but that's without getting in there and actually seeing what is going on....so it could be more. I can't sell it because it is so bad and my loan is so badly upside down that I can't even trade it in. I will never ever buy from Nissan again.

- samanthawa, Spokane, WA, US

problem #9

Oct 092015

Pathfinder S 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,500 miles

I've managed to avoid other costly repairs on my 06 pathfinder by either taking action before the problem presents itself, or performing the repairs myself with OEM parts (I bypassed the radiator/transmission cooler that is prone to leak and destroy the transmission, and replaced the faulty fuel level sensing unit myself). But the issue with the timing chain is a bit more complex and would likely require someone with more experience and knowledge of these engines to perform the work. Engine timing is critical.

Having said that, the issue I have with the timing chain problem is the potential for serious injury/death in the event the part fails. Loss of engine timing or catastrophic failure of the timing chain/tensioner could result in the engine locking up. If the vehicle is in motion, there will be an immediate loss of power steering, propulsion from the engine, and with the transmission in Drive, could result in extreme vehicle instability on the road resulting in loss of control.

We have started experiencing the "whine" noise that indicates the tensioners are worn. Getting this fixed at the dealership (and Nissan has already published a "technical service bulletin") is estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $1500. For parts that should last the life of the vehicle.

- Scott C., Jasper, TN, US

problem #8

Jan 012015

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Have had the whining noise commonly associated with the timing chain issue for about the last year (or, at least it has become prominent enough for me to finally notice it!) Finally decided to search for causes/solutions online and discovered the lawsuits filed and the numerous complaints and high costs associated with the repairs. I do not think I ever received any mailings from Nissan regarding the issue and any necessity to have it fixed. Based on what I have read about it, this is a serious issue that (hopefully) any other manufacturer would own up to. I have dealt with the other common issues associated with this vehicle and others like it (e.g. fuel sending unit, transmission/radiator issues), but learning about this one takes the cake! I fear taking it to a dealer and having to leave them a check for thousands of dollars that I do not have to fix a problem that is 100% their fault. When I first purchased the vehicle (actually leased first, then eventually bought it), the sticker was upwards of $36,000. Not an inexpensive vehicle in 2005, and certainly deserving of a better guarantee of engine performance, durability, and above all, driver safety.

One last thought... Based on posts from others regarding the repairs for the timing chain, it appears there may even be risk in having the repairs done. The repairs require quite a bit of dis-assembly, not to mention accessing the internal workings of the engine itself. Clearly, such a setup would lead one to think that these components should have been designed for long-term durability so that such destructive means would not be required during the useful life of the vehicle. The risk of introducing contaminants, or of a faulty repair, or any other number of random things into a vital engine component cannot be understated.

Here's to hoping the class-action suit is expanded beyond the east coast.

- Jeffrey H., McKinney, TX, US

problem #7

Jul 232015

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

Ok, so the Pathfinder is at the dealer's service center because the radiator leaked coolant into the transmission and destroyed it. Nissan will make the repairs under an extension of the warranty (with a $2500 co-pay). Someone from the dealer calls up to tell me that I need to replace the secondary timing chains and that it will be an additional $1,500. This is also a known problem and Nissan will not stand behind their product.

- Robert D., Brier, US

problem #6

Nov 122013

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

Timing chain tensioner started making noise and Nissan refused to offer assistance on this repair. I had used the dealer for all maintenance and they said this failure was a normal thing. I said this was either a manufacturers defect, bad design, or they had not done the maintenance I had paid for since timing chain tensioners should NEVER wear out and definitely not at 83,000 miles. If that is typical, than Nissan designs are poor excuses for engineering. This pissed me off so much that I sold the vehicle right after I got it out of the shop (within a month) and purchased a new 2013 Chevrolet Z71 Tahoe. I was considering a 4x4 Nissan Armada but will never own anything Nissan again after owning 2 Pathfinders.

Update from Apr 30, 2015: It was at 89000 miles and the cost for the timing tensioner was $1800 out of a total of about $4500 including numerous other items. This vehicle was a piece of junk or at least designed as such.

- nativh, Houston, TX, US

problem #5

Apr 272015

Pathfinder LS 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,089 miles


- mrhoke, Salem, OR, US

problem #4

Jan 082015

Pathfinder SE 4x4 4.0L Dohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,264 miles

Apparently, there is at least one class action lawsuit regarding Nissan's knowledge within a year of my vehicle's manufacture of the early failure of their timing chains. Instead of letting customers know and replacing the faulty parts under warranty or voluntary recall, they hid the information from the public.

Case 2:13-cv-00686-DDP-MAN Document 22 Filed 06/26/13

I had heard the whining for a LONG time, but didn't take the truck in until the whining became constant. I had no idea how much I'd be paying out! Thankfully, my delay in getting my truck repaired didn't result in engine damage.

- Amy C., Ruther Glen, VA, US

problem #3

Feb 012015

Pathfinder 4x4 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I just hit 60,000 miles on my 2006 Pathfinder, and just had it serviced at the dealer. I also had them check the noise coming from engine. They said it was my tensioner. And will cost around $1500. WTF! They said it was normal. Someone please tell me this is not right. So that means every 60.000 I will have to pay out $1500...B.S!! I thought that it wouldn't need an adjustment until around 100.000 miles.

Update from Jul 26, 2015: My pathfinder is paid off and has low mileage and I all ways service it at the dealer. I gave in and paid for the repair at dealer in Riverside Ca. $1850 they said they were giving me a discount. The warranty stopped at 60.000 and the dealer all ready knew about this issue but never advised me, maybe so they wouldn't have to cover the repair. Duh!

I asked them to check the transmission because I read about the coolant issue and they said (on the down low) that I could buy a bypass that would solve that problem and not have to pay for that repair. (cost $3.000.) I have since researched it and found out that Nissan lost a class action law suit and added warranty coverage. 80.000 miles or 8 years. And of course, I am one year over. And they never mentioned this all this time.. I thought that was very funny. Not!

I bought a money pit, This is my 1st and last Nissan I will ever own.

- J S., Riverside, CA, US

problem #2

Nov 122012

Pathfinder LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

After I had taken my car to the dealer to have the radiator and transmission fixed at a cost of $3,000 dollars, while they had the car they advised me that the timing chain was bad and needed to be replaced. I have researched this problem and I have found several Nissan Pathfinders with similar problems, a timing chain should last longer than 90,000 miles. I understand they were using plastic guides which wore causing the timing chain to go bad. Nissan should stand behind their product better than this; they should recall all models and replace the guides and chain.

- Terrell S., Robbinsville, NC, US

problem #1

Feb 102012

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

This SUV has been maintained by the dealer, and only the dealer, as prescribed by NIssan. Nissan refuses to pick this up and said that major engine failures such as this at to be expected. After two Pathfinders in a row, I am now selling and going to a Denali. Nissan has seen the last dime out of me. Oh, and this is only part of the $4500 worth of work it needs to be roadworthy again. For a SUV with 89,000 highway miles and meticulous maintenance. Never again.

- nativh, Houston, TX, US