1st Mar 2004, 12:07

I agree with your comments. I own a 1997 Pathfinder and have continuously had problems with the way it rides. I am currently having shocks and struts put on my vehicle. I was bouncing down the road and the front end shakes when I hit the least bump in the road. I have been very disappointed in the way this car rides.

I am also having problems with the CD player. It must have a CD in the player at all times or else it will run continuously and run down my battery. This has happened several times before I figured out that I had to leave the CD inserted in the player.

The AC has been replaced while under factory warranty.

I will not be purchasing another Nissan.

25th Mar 2004, 10:19

As an owner of a '96 SE, I can sympathize. Totally reliable and no probs until around 95,000. Then replaced struts, so many front suspension bits and pieces I can't even recall the names of them offhand- VERY pricey. Just had the clutch replaced to the tune of some $900, and guess what? It's slipping (to be fair, this was done at a local shop, not by Nissan). I'm on the third exhaust (all pieces from 1st muffler back) since I've owned it, and guess what? That one fell off last night! Sunroof leaks, power antenna and CD player both stopped working. I owned a '95 Maxima before this, and it was a totally different story. No problems at all, like new when I sold it with 130,000 miles (should have kept it!!!). In short, I think this has more to do with the new model Pathfinder (remember- this was a redesigned model for '96) than with Nissan quality in general.

10th Jun 2004, 03:20

I found many similarities with what others experienced with their Pathfinders. I owned one since June 2002 automatic transmission. I bought it from a Nissan dealer (57000) saying that it was owned by one of their representatives in another state. In short, I did not buy it only because of that, but mainly because of the good reputation of this SUV SE 4x4. I had an extended warranty on it for three years/36000.

Here comes the similarities with the other reviewers : First, the antenna is bad. Second, the original CD seems to be a piece of junk, it was replaced right away. the windshield wipers are not great either; replaced. Check engine light on several times because of the bad Oxygen sensors (the 4 was changed on two different trips). Now, at 80K, the dealer just told that I have to change the brakes, the struts and four sets of tires. This is very expensive from a Nissan dealer (expensive parts). Gas mileage is bad.

But I feel secured in it. I am planning to keep if repairs give me a break.

21st Sep 2004, 12:38

I have a 97 4x4 pathfinder with 150,000 and I run it pretty hard and it's completely fine except bleeding the clutch has turned out to be a real big pain I replaced the master cylinder, the slave cylinder, and the clutch damper and I still can't get it to build pressure in the clutch system. I've tried everything if anyone has any ideas let me know please.

19th Oct 2004, 16:46

I also have a 1996 V-6 Finder, but have not had any of the above-mentioned problems. Sunroof hasn't leaked, no strut/suspension issues at all, and this thing has been pushed all along its 165,000 miles. I felt safe traveling all across the country (diligent with maintenance is key), but the vehicle is heavy (great in snow--best 4x4 I have owned) so the engine requires a lot of fuel. This is the second Pathfinder (also owned an 87) for me and I would absolutely recommend them to anyone interested.

13th Feb 2005, 09:07

I have 96 pathfinder XE with 145,000 miles. Pwr windows, locks, heated mirrors, auto trans, and 4WD. This suv runs great. Replaced the timing belt at 105,000 (as recommended by Nissan) The only things I've had to replace due to them going bad is the sway bar end links, the starter, and the throttle positioning sensor. It has been very reliable. Every vehicle is going to its lemons. I am very happy with my Nissan and whens she's finaly done, I plan to get another.

19th Apr 2005, 06:34

I have a 1997 Pathfinder XE with 156k miles. I just spent $2400 on repairs, which is the first major repair I have had to put into the vehicle. I have gone through four sets of front brake pads since I have owned it (I do a lot of driving into the mountains via highways). I replaced the shocks and struts at 96k miles and am currently on my fourth set of tires (Pirrelli Scorpions-great tires for all weather, particularly in the snow).

Major overhaul consisted of replacing the exhaust manifold (cracked), fuel system cleaning, MAPS sensor failure, full system diagnostic, replaced transmission fluid, replaced engine coolant, and replaced two locks (1 vandalized, 1 was working partially).

I have noticed that the stock CD player gets hot to the touch. I console on the lower left corner of the dash has a crack in it due to heat expansion and contraction.

Other than that, it has been a solid vehicle.

19th Oct 2005, 13:40

$2400 for an exhaust manifold and fluid change seems exhorbitantly expensive to me. I'm looking at a used '96 this afternoon. Amazed to read that these Nissans are actually more dependable than the Toyota 4Runner.

8th Nov 2005, 22:41

Considering a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder SE with 64k miles. I am looking for any comments. The dealer is asking 10k and says its certified.

11th Apr 2006, 16:48

I have a '96 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 and it just hit 105,000. I just recently had to replace the front axel due to the boots on each side going bad. The gas pedal sticks a little bit when the weather is warm, but it is not that bad. It has been a great truck so far. I have taken it through some challenges and it handles snow and offroad conditions perfectly. I have some BF Goodwrench All Terrains on it and they compliment its performance nicely, except for a little worse gas mileage. I say it is a good vehicle and would recommend it to anyone.

9th Sep 2006, 14:55

I own a 97 Pathfinder and some of the repairs peoples mechanics have them make are unneeded. The check engine light is a computer glitch, not O2 sensors and the dealer knows it. Let it go. Brakes? normal wear and tear will make them go at 30k. big deal. If a mechanic wants to repair these things, he just wants your $.

8th Nov 2006, 18:39

I've just recently purchased a 93 pathfinder, had it for two weeks, have replaced the starter, alternator, battery, still not running due to the factory security system shutting down everything, for the time being I'm using a push button starter, as much as I want to prasie this car, as I have always wanted an suv like this, its given me nothing, but headaches since the first day.

11th Jul 2009, 21:20

I'm looking at a 96 Pathfinder with 157,000 miles for $3800, and was wondering if this is a good deal, and how far this car can go?

12th Jul 2009, 17:35

As with any car that is 13 years old with this high mileage, you should expect to have some kind of problems. At the very least, you'll need to change all the fluids and filters right off, and catch up on maintenance or something will break before long. Drive them down to $2,500 and it would be a better deal.

30th May 2010, 03:41

I have a 97 Pathfinder with 145,000 miles, & I love it.

Had to replace the map sensor.

Changed the timing belt as part of general maintenance at 80,000 miles.

Had to fix an exhaust leak and replace a clogged catalytic converter that was turning almost white from the heat.

Gas mileage is not the best, but certainly not the worst on the road either. I see around 17-19 MPG on average. Like others have mentioned, the vehicle is heavy, so there you go on the MPG.

I plan to drive my Pathfinder until it falls apart. I love it and it has never left me stranded since I bought it new in 1997 with a whopping 4 miles on her.