I live up north too; almost all Nissan trucks have rusted out front bumpers. The Pathfinder models look like they take the brunt of corrosion on the body panels. Toyota pickups seem to be as bad if not worse with much rust on the wheel wells. So I think the moral is Buy an upscale American truck for the salt and snow.
The winters have also been tough on my 95 truck. Bought it new in Erie, PA for a good price and it has 145k miles on it now. The city/county spreads cinders on the winter roads to aid traction, but these fine particles get into any open spaces underneath the truck. Body seams were the first to rust through. Replaced gas tank too, the rust popped the seams open between the top and bottom halves of the tank. Shop said it's typical on low end trucks. My anti-lock brake valve by the gas tank went bad - that was expensive. Use the truck now as main vehicle for winter driving. Learned my lesson - you get what you pay for. And I won't buy a white vehicle again - shows too much rust.
Mine has 91k miles on it. XE 4wd. I bought it in Arizona. If buying a used Nissan of this era buy it from a dry state like AZ or TX as they can have a rust problem.
Very reliable, not real comfortable but I bought it to use when only a pickup will do so it doesn't get driven much and it stays garaged. With routine maintenance I expect that I'll die before it does. A friend has had many Nissan Pathfinders and pickups, some with 300k miles. They are cheap and reliable but only buy a used vehicle from a dry state that doesn't salt the roads in winter. Get a manual tranny also as the automatic, if not maintained, will go out. Oh yes! Why no cup holders!?!
I used to live in the rustbelt (Ohio) and I can tell you that ANY vehicle that has seen a few winters with road salt is subject to major rust problems. I've owned them all, both American and foreign, and they all rusted out.
The worst offenders were the full-size Chevy trucks I had.. some of them rusted so badly that the cab mounts were gone. I really don't know what held the cab in place at that point.. maybe luck?
My point is that you absolutely cannot expect any vehicle driven in road salt year after year to be rust-free.. it ain't gonna happen.
I have a 1987 Nissan that is the best truck ever. Always starts right up and drives really good. The body is in great shape for its age, with just a little rust on the bed. I lowered the truck about 5 inches in the front and back, so it is really low. Handles pretty good for a little pickup. Also have a 1997 Nissan that is in even better condition. Brother purchased a Titan and the truck is awesome; can make it through anything four wheel drive is excellent. If you're gonna get the Titan, get it with the work and offroad package, you won't regret it.
Yes, I agree 100 percent that the material used on Nissans were very poor. I have a 95 WD21 Pathfinder XE that is currently at 189,000 miles.
I didn't know about the frame rust when I got it. The frame broke within three months of getting it (May 2008).
But the engine is solid and once the frame was fixed and the maintenance taken care of (timing belt, cam seals, water pump) it was a great little daily driver.
There automatic transmissions are also not very rugged and their coolers are flawed. I would advise every one to bypass the stock cooler completely and add an after market one with at least a 18,000 GVW rating.
I have a 1995 Nissan 4WD pickup with 150,000 miles on it. The only real problem was caused by my not cleaning the maf sensor every time I changed the air filter. It was running real rich, with a bad hesitation at start up. I cleaned the maf and it runs like new. No rust yet, bought in WA state, now in Colorado.
Here in Michigan, definitely the worst state for rust, any small pickup is vulnerable. Chevy S10s rust badly. Ford Rangers fare better, but the doors and wheel wells still tend to attract the rust disease. I see F150s with severe rust around the wheel wells, but they tend to be old, high-mileage trucks that have run longer than ordinary cars the same age. The Nissans seem extremely common down south, but few people even bothered to buy them here.
If you want to see rust, look at a Honda from Michigan. The Accords have all completely rotted away around the gas caps, and often the bumpers are loose because one of the corners rusted off.
I'm having similar rusting problems on my '95 "Hardbody". Not to mention all of the mechanical problems with this thing too, including, but not limited to, speedo failure, ABS problems, A/C doesn't work, frozen front brake caliper, broken timing chain guides, frozen universals, etc. etc.
Sadly, this truck has well under 50,000 miles on it, & I recently purchased it from the original owner, who I came to find out, after I already bought it, had multiple problems with it before it even had 10,000 miles on it.
I definitely will not buy another Nissan anything, and surely had much more luck with my '87 Toyota with well over 200,000 miles on it; I don't foresee me hitting 60,000 on this "Hardbody". These things should definitely be recalled by Nissan, they're much worse than anything Toyota put out there, & even they recalled some of their trucks for far less problems than what this Nissan, at least mine, is giving me!