The distributor shaft bearing can become rusty, and seize causing the engine to stall or not start. The failed distributor will commonly require replacement.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 1996 Nissan Pathfinder
1996 Nissan Pathfinder
1996 Nissan Pathfinder Problems
1996 Nissan Pathfinder Recalls (Recent)
Summary: DUE TO THE THICKNESS OF THE CARPET PADDING ON THE TRANSMISSION TUNNEL, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE BRAKE PEDAL AND THE TRANSMISSION TUNNEL COULD CATCH A DRIVER'S RIGHT FOOT UNDER THE BRAKE PEDAL.Learn more »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
In areas where winter road salt is used, a mixture of snow/water and salt may enter an assembly location hole in the upper strut housing. This corrosive mixture can collect on the mating surface of the strut housing panel and the inner hood ledge assembly; over time, this can cause rusting of the strut tower housing. The rust can weaken the housing, causing it to crack and pull away from the inner hood ledge assembly. This can lead to grinding noises and increased steering effort, which, if severe enough, can cause the steering column to break. This would result in a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the strut housing and repair the vehicles as necessary. An interim notification letter should be mailed to owners prior to May 16, 2011.
Summary: DUE TO THE TYPE OF LUBRICANT USED IN THE STEERING TRANSFER GEAR ASSEMBLY, THE EFFORT REQUIRED TO TURN THE STEERING WHEEL AT LOW AMBIENT TEMPERATURES (LESS THAN -30 C) COULD INCREASE TO THE POINT WHERE SOME DRIVERS WOULD HAVE DIFFICULTY IN TURNING THE WHEEL.Learn more »
1996 Nissan Pathfinder Questions and Answers
do we have to remove the crank pulleys
ABS lite came on & brakes were pulsating & making a noise. Had brakes & pads replaced and while the problem has changed slightly, it's continuing. The ABS lite came on just once ...
Alarm Keep on sounding killing battery and car won't start. How do disconnect factory alarm and will I be able to start my car,So that i can take it to repair shop.
I will look at vehicle today for inspect. I'll review hoses, fluids, distributor, spark plugs, leaks, etc.. Idle = stall.
1996 Nissan Pathfinder Reviews
how to replace the throw-out bearing for the clutch and the right side steering center link
Bought my 1996 LE used with 39K miles. It now has over 340K miles and just cracked the left exhaust mainfold. $500 one day repair job but still better than a car payment. Replaced the transmission with a used 1997 model ($ 1000.00) at the 260K point. This has been the best car I have ever owned.
It has always had Mobil One Synthetic and OEM oil filters. I highly recommend this to others.
I am looking for another used 96 - 2000 for a second car. I have literally run this one all over the US. 340K is only 20K short of driving to the moon or 85 times around the equator.
Overall, I have been happy with my Nissan Pathfinder for the last 12 plus years I've had it. Given it has ~190k miles on it it still runs as well as it did when I first got it. The only parts I have changed have been O2 censors, timing belt, starter, battery, and water pump - due to the parts nearing the end of their life expectancy. The core engine (drive train, A/C, radiator, etc) are still the original and running well.
There are only two things that I'd prefer would have been better with my truck.
1) Engine horsepower. This was the first model of the pathfinder with a unibody and they retained the older version of the engine with only 176 hp versus the 200 plus it has now. Though I've rarely needed to pull something heavy the extra hp would have helped going up the steep lake tahoe roads with 5 adults and tons of luggage.
2) Outside noise. At top speeds the wind noise going by the driver side window gets a bit annoying. I've gotten use to it but often times people who drive my truck for the first time comment about it.
I think Nissan Pathfinder was one of the better made SUVs in the market at its time.