2003 Nissan Pathfinder Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2003 Nissan Pathfinder

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2003 Nissan Pathfinder
$
759
to $
2,130
2003 Nissan Pathfinder
$
174
to $
1,687
2003 Nissan Pathfinder
$
441
to $
1,611
2003 Nissan Pathfinder
$
293
to $
1,004
2003 Nissan Pathfinder
$
241
to $
432

2003 Nissan Pathfinder Problems

Engine won't crank due to starter relay failure
The engine may not crank when the key is turned to "start" if the starter relay fails. This can be confused with a defective starter motor.
Timing Chain Rattle and Tapping Noise

Rattling and tapping in the front of the engine on the Nissan Pathfinder is very evident, especially on cold starts. This rattling noise should not be taken lightly as it warns of upcoming timing chain failure. 

The cause of the noise is faulty timing chain guide rails and timing chain tensioners that wear out well ahead of schedule. These components are there to keep the timing chain tight and properly positioned. When these parts fail, the timing chain becomes loose, and pieces of the timing chain guides break off, falling into the oil pan. 

To remedy the situation, Nissan/Infiniti has made revised guides and tensioners, but replacement can be very costly. 

Proper oil change intervals and oil type may help slow or prevent the situation. 

Erratic or High Idle After Cleaning Throttle Body

The throttle body for the Nissan Pathfinder is known for carbon buildup, and requires regular, light cleaning to maintain peak performance. After cleaning the throttle body, many owners notice a very high idle, erratic (bouncing) idle, and unpredictable power surging. 

The cause is normal ECU adaptation: When the throttle body builds up carbon, the rate of airflow is slightly decreased. The vehicles computer reads this decrease in air volume, and adjusts the throttle body settings to maintain the proper engine idle speed. When the carbon is cleaned out, the ECU now registers too much air, and cannot adjust back to the original settings. While it is trying to change settings, the idle will bounce from low to high, and the car will surge forward at times. 

It has been recommended to simply wipe inside the throttle body every 12,000 miles, and never to touch the flap inside. Also, the cleaning procedure may be best left to a qualified technician.

The solution can be as simple as disconnecting the battery for at least an hour, having the dealer reset the computer, or, in extreme cases, replace the throttle bodies. 

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2003 Nissan Pathfinder Recalls

Front Airbag Inflator Module

This limited regional recall is for vehicles currently registered or first sold in southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. Upon deployment the passenger airbag inflator could rupture, increasing the risk of personal injury. Dealers will replace the passenger side air bag inflator to correct this concern.

Front Airbag Inflator Module

This limited regional recall is for vehicles currently registered or first sold in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with Takata-brand air bag inflators. Upon deployment the driver and/or passenger airbag inflator could rupture, increasing the risk of personal injury. Honda dealers will replace the affected airbag inflator modules to correct this concern.

Front Airbag Inflator Module

This limited regional recall is for vehicles currently registered or first sold in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and equipped with Takata-brand air bag inflators. Upon deployment the driver and/or passenger airbag inflator could rupture, increasing the risk of personal injury. Honda dealers will replace the affected airbag inflator modules to correct this concern.

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2003 Nissan Pathfinder Reviews

Rated
based on 2 customer reviews
I am the second owner, 75,000 miles with only normal wear, exhaust system is rusting prematurely.
Overall my pathfinder has been great. I bought it with 14k and it now has 121k, I did have to put a new exhaust on it at 80k which ive heard is very common with this year. All in all its been great only complaint is gas mileage which i wish was a little better. Id buy another one without a doubt.

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