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Considering a 2008 - 2011 Pathfinder

 
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greenexplr



Joined: 07 Dec 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:09 am    Post subject: Considering a 2008 - 2011 Pathfinder Reply with quote

Hi All:

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my post. I currently own a 2011 VW Jetta Sportwagen which will be bought back by VW in a couple of months due to the TDI diesel scandal (Dieselgate). I love my TDI and I just paid it off but it is time to move on back into an SUV, especially given the fact that VW is giving me $18k for a car that I bought for $25k and put 100k miles on.

As far as a replacement, I've always had jeeps and originally had my sights set on a 2014 Grand Cherokee Limited , but the more I think about it, I really don't want another car payment. I know jeeps well enough that I don't want to own one out of warranty. The 2014+ Grand Cherokee's can be bought used with a unlimited mileage lifetime warranty through fiat chrysler for $2600. But since I don't want another car payment for the next 6 years, I'm looking at other used SUVs. I originally started looking at Toyota 4Runners but found them to be way overpriced and usually with over 100k+ miles. I then found the Nissan Xterra. I drove an Xterra but at 6'4" I was too tall to fit comfortably. I loved the engine in the Xterra so I'm turning my attention to a used Pathfinder. I've done my fair share of reading on the forum and think I know enough about the SMOD issues to be careful. I've also read about the airlift recommendation and luckily I still have my airbags and compressor from the airlift kit I put in my old explorer (love that kit).

I'm looking to spend less than $12k on this next vehicle (so I can put $6k in the bank as a safety fund) but would prefer to buy a vehicle under 100k miles. Also I drive about 25k miles a year commuting in and out of Boston and out to clients from Maine/Vermont down to Philadelphia. My wife and I also go to the beach almost every weekend during the summer and have an oversand pass to some private beaches so 4wd and good ground clearance is a must. I can turn a wrench enough to tackle light projects (i.e. brakes, starters, alternators, spark plugs) but would prefer to not take on another project (I already have a wife and two young kids - which is another reason why I'm not touching an older jeep).

Given all of this information, is the Pathfinder the right vehicle for me? Any considerations I should make? Major maintenance items that I should be aware of?
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2011 VW TDI Sportwagen (soon to be bought back by VW)

Looking for my next vehicle.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 4791
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can afford an '11 or '12 model, those would be the best years as far as having all of the "bugs" worked out. 2005-10 models have had issues with the radiators, fuel sending units and timing chains. I'm not sure if your Explorer air bags will fit the Pathfinders, however. The LE models have the automatic transfer case, similar to GM's SmartTrak II system, whereas, the other models all have a "regular" transfer case. They aren't too bad of a vehicle if you like a body-on-frame SUV. Gas mileage is okay at around 17 mpg combined, unless you are lead-footed or do a lot of stop and go driving. They are not too bad to work on. The VQ40DE is a pretty good engine and the transmission is really good as long as it's not exposed to engine coolant!
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, Nitto Dura Grappler P265/65R17, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks
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DanJetta



Joined: 03 Oct 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in a similar situation as you so I thought I'd throw my opinion in.

Traded in a Jetta Wagon for a used '08 V8 Pathfinder with 50K miles a few years back. I drive about 25K miles a year in the Baltimore/DC area and drive the Pathfinder on the beach (OBX) in the summer.

All in all, I think it's a great vehicle and I'm happy with it. It's handled city life pretty well and I've even used it as a camera car chasing a Ferrari on an airport runway.

I got the V8 LE loaded with leather but coming from the Jetta, I was still missing a lot of little luxuries and German-engineered convenience things (especially the top dash diffuser vent).

What I like:
- Does very well on the highway, especially long trips. If you keep your suspension in order, it pretty much drives itself. The V8 is somewhat quieter than the V6 and has passes effortlessly.
- Driving position
- Towing capacity
- Storage, especially when you put the seats down. I'm a video producer and I regularly load the truck up with more gear than anyone imagines would ever fit.
- The third row (this has been huge for the family)
- Interior design ('08+ models). I like it better than the geriatric buttons in the Toyotas. It feels modern and clean to me.
- Bose stereo
- Gas mileage (it's actually not terrible)
- 4WD capability
- Opening rear hatch window

What I don't like:
- Backseat room, especially with two car seats (was bigger in my Jetta).
- City driving comfort. It's a body-on-frame, so it feels like your spine is connected to a jackhammer. It becomes the topic of conversation whenever someone rides with me.
- Underpowered brakes. Even with new pads/rotors. It's the design. Several times I've pounded the pedal to the floor without being able to lock the wheels and almost rear ended someone. I've learned to look ahead.
- Around 90K miles, you'll be replacing a few things–sometimes more than once. I've had to do my belt tensioner about every 18 months and a pinion seal about every year (maybe I should stop using factory parts?). Cheap fixes but annoying to have to take it in.
- Suspension parts can be tough to replace. My Jetta had 200K miles when I replaced my struts myself with a small tool kit in my garage. On my Pathfinder I had to have a mechanic cut everything out because every bolt was rusted and seized. Pretty typical for the Pathfinder.
- Like a BMW, the heated stuff stops working precisely at 92K miles (heated seats, heated steering wheel, etc.).

I have about 170K miles on it now and it's doing really well. Still drives and shifts like the day I bought it.
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2008 LE V8
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patomwazi



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 176
Location: Dubai, UAE

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i dont know about the US Nissan situation but here we still get the R51 but it comes from Spain and the VIN sticker says M.Y 2015, on further inquiries at the dealer they said these were excess, made as fleet vehicles for police, fire, etc in the EU and GCC market... had an 08 pathy had to get rid of it as it had a big engine job done wrong that fried the engine harness had that fixed at the dealers and the service advisor told me dump it ASAP... had 180,000kms on it... a buddy had an 09 that had 230,000kms on the clock and the biggest job was that timing belt thingy job done... apart from that nothing else... Sand dunes jeep tracks rocky river beds highway and city driving...
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2008 S V6. Old Man Emu 2'' lift kit, Cooper AT3, Stock Steelies, Pioneer DEH-X3550UI
2009 X-Terra SE (madame-boss's charriot)
NISSANS RULE...especially the OBESE ones!!
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Infinity-x



Joined: 07 Jun 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a 2012 so I'll chime in on my thoughts so far. Bought it last year w/ just over 43k miles on it for around $20k.. yes I paid too much I know Crying or Very sad Rolling Eyes

I have a pretty hefty commute and travel a good bit in the Pathfinder. A year later from purchase I have 77,xxx miles on it so I've put over 30k on it just last year. I travel about 50 mins each way from work. Depending on how I feel in the morning I'll either take the back roads the entire way or I'll do the entire trip to work on the highway, so my miles vary. I prefer highway though as it's easier on the engine with less RPM variations, braking, etc.

It's not going to ride like a Highlander or similar vehicle.. more like a 4Runner as it is truck-based. You'll feel more bumps and the frame will squeak over bumps/pot holes, etc.

Pros:
-It's an awesome looking vehicle.. I get compliments on mine all the time and it's nice to have a more "off-road" vehicle compared to newer generations.
-Overall comfortable ride, I came from a small hatchback but before that I had a Ford Expedition so I enjoy larger vehicles.
-This thing is quick, and I only have the V6. I also frequently drive a V6 Jeep Commander and the Jeep feels extremely underpowered compared to the Pathfinder. I have no trouble keeping up with cars on the highway.
-Can tow my boat without issues.. my boat isn't too light with a base wight of 2,800 lbs and a 1,000lb trailer on top of that.

Cons :
-Squeaky suspension/frame
-Not the best gas mileage. Honestly I wish I had a daily driver car or smaller SUV that I could commute to work with and just use the Pathfinder for weekend trips/towing.
-Engine will vibrate awkardly when you're sitting at a red light or in a parking lot.. feels like the engine is struggling to stay on but it's common with these engines so I've read.
-The headlights SUCK! My 2009 Pontiac hatchback had 100x better headlights.. I felt almost in danger driving the Pathfinder at night even after raising the headlights.

As of now I've experienced no issues *knock on wood* just basic maintenance, oil changes, tire rotations, air filter, etc.
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Kestral
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Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 689
Location: MA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything Infinity-X has to say about my 2012 Pathfinder. I had to laugh when he talked about the headlights .. Frankly I don't think it was built to drive at night! .. Lol.. I am still thinking about adding driving lights to my push bar? I go back and forth with it.

And yes mine has that nice vibration at idle as well seems normal but I really wish it was as smooth as my 2006 V6 Toyota 4Runner was when I got rid of it with 200,000 miles on it.
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Infinity-x



Joined: 07 Jun 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kestral wrote:
I agree with everything Infinity-X has to say about my 2012 Pathfinder. I had to laugh when he talked about the headlights .. Frankly I don't think it was built to drive at night! .. Lol.. I am still thinking about adding driving lights to my push bar? I go back and forth with it.

And yes mine has that nice vibration at idle as well seems normal but I really wish it was as smooth as my 2006 V6 Toyota 4Runner was when I got rid of it with 200,000 miles on it.


I'm in the process of retrofitting the stock headlights with HID projectors.. I do mainly city driving with lots of street lights but I need something for the long highway trips at night.

Bought a set of aftermarket lights also hoping they'd be better (they look better regardless) but the output was worse than stock believe it or not.

I did however replace the fog lights with LED projectors from Morimoto and they're extremely bright but since they have a cutoff they don't blind other drivers. That was probably the best upgrade I've done to the vehicle to date and it was so simple.
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Kestral
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Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Posts: 689
Location: MA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had good luck with Hella aftermarket lights they make a quality product. The Hella 550 drivers are extremely bright you do have to make sure you aim them right or everyone will flash you. I don't believe in buying cheep aftermarket lights anymore they just don't last.
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Infinity-x



Joined: 07 Jun 2017
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kestral wrote:
I have had good luck with Hella aftermarket lights they make a quality product. The Hella 550 drivers are extremely bright you do have to make sure you aim them right or everyone will flash you. I don't believe in buying cheep aftermarket lights anymore they just don't last.


Agreed.. I've got a project almost done with HID projectors.. gonna be bright!

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palmerwmd
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Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 337
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own a 2012 that I paid 14.8 for a mere 3 monthst ago with 102,000 miles (then)

Love the vehicle. Its the big brother to my XTerra.
Handles fantastic on the hiway (unlike the Xterra)

No complaints about the headlights though..
I have foglights and have used them as well
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"Rifle first, Rifle last, Rifle always"

2012 V6 4WD, in Grey over Grey
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