12th Feb 2008, 16:28

I couldn't disagree with you MORE! I've owned may cars before I bought my '97 Pathfinder LE, and very great cars at that, and I love my Pathfinder. Yeah, the occasional brake job, or starter replacement, or new struts have happened to me too.. But that's nothing compared to most other vehicles. I've owned mine for a few years now and I would definitely buy another Nissan without a doubt.

Maybe that 1st comment was right, maybe you just bought a used car that wasn't taken good care of.

20th Jun 2008, 20:32

I couldn't agree more with the fact that you bought a used car with hideous prior maintenance. For what you're stating the previous owner just fill it up and neglected doing everything else. On the other hand, I like to purchase all my cars brand new as well. I went out on a limb by purchasing a 97'Pathfinder with 88 thousand miles on it to use as a back up car (never owned one before). As of today, I have never owned a better car and wouldn't hesitate on trading it in for a more recent model.

29th Oct 2010, 16:34

I know I'm a bit late to this, but perhaps my comments might help out another reader.

Firstly, all used cars will require more careful maintenance than a new car. You can't expect every component to be in tip top shape. That being said, the important matters are the major components, engine, tranny, drivetrain, etc. To address the original posters complaints 1 by 1;

1. Brakes are a maintenance item, complaining about them is like complaining that your oil gets dirty every few months.

2. Starter - A typical component failure on any used car. Same applies to speedometer and exhaust. Over time, things get rusty, they get wet, worn, and need replacing. If these things were breaking on a new car, I'd say you have a legitimate gripe, but you just can't expect these things to go 100K without some updating.

3. To the shocks... I hear these complaints from many Pathy owners, and there is NO problem with shocks. The problem lies with rear control arm/trailing arm bushings. The shocks keep getting replaced because mechanics love to diagnose every suspension issue as a bad shock. 15 minutes work, and lots of $$ for them. Properly diagnosing the bushings requires some serious muscle, and mechanics hate removing these trailing arms. The bushings can be had for under $100 for the entire set of 8. I bought mine and brought them to the local shop. Told him exactly what I wanted done, and a 1/2 hour plus $40 later, they were in. No more bouncing in the rear. This is a known issue for Pathy owners, but if you're not aware, mechanics will bleed you dry before they actually fix it.

My 98 has 130K miles on it. To put it in perspective; I recently had the misfortune of forgetting to top off the radiator after removing it for belt replacement. I was driving someplace I absolutely had to make it to when the vehicle started overheating. Stupidly, I kept driving for 10 miles and the car died just as I got to my destination. Blew the cap off and killed the engine. Engine was red hot. I thought for sure I had blown the head. Later on, I refilled the radiator with water, secured the cap with duct tape and she started right up. Of course the head must be blown right? Nope, she's still intact. A new radiator and hoses, and she's good as new. To me, this is the most telling thing. I did something that no car should be able to withstand, and the Pathy is still ticking away.

On the other hand, my Acura MDX has been a major pain in the ass. Major tranny problems on a much more expensive car.

If you're looking at a 96-2000 Pathfinder, know this: It is an old car and will need some maintaining. But the core of this vehicle is rock solid. If you take care of the little things, the big things will give 200 - 300K miles, no problem.