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2004 Nissan Pathfinder - Keep or Toss?

Hello, I have a 2004 Nissan Pathfinder LE Platinum 2WD with 115000 miles. It runs great but needs body work, interior repair, new shocks and tires. In your opinion, is this particular make and model worth fixing up at this juncture or do you think it would be a poor investment if I plan on keeping the car for at least another 5-10 years? Thanks so much for your expertise. best to you, Rick

It has no collector status so any money spent is just spent. Shocks and tires are just maintenance items on any vehicle . They will be needed if you plan to sell . It sounds like it is not worth much now and I would not put the amount of money needed in it myself .
Get prices for the interior and body work and that will help you decide.

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I think it’s unrealistic to expect to keep the car that long, especially as a daily driver. It will only become increasingly less reliable, and parts will become difficult to find. You’ve more than gotten your money’s worth out of it. Trade it now.

Body work is VERY expensive. Rust you see is a fraction of the total rust. As others have said, it gets increasingly difficult to keep as a daily driver as time goes on.

Thanks very much VOLVO_V70, old_mopar_guy and Mustangman. I appreciate your input!

I think based on your comments and some additional research Ive done that it might be best for us to look for a later model vehicle and just keep the '04 Pathfinder as a good secondary vehicle.

take care,


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Rust is what will kill it and its a losing game trying t repair it. 115000 isnt that much but that is at a point where many other maintenance things need to be done . The car is 15 years old , time to put it out to pasture due to your rust issue. If you lived down south somewhere it might be worth it .

what state are you in? there is a difference between a scraped fender and a rust hole you can put your fist thru. or rusted frame rails. or floor pans

Thanks much vipergg and Cavell. I appreciate your input!

Actually, if I indicated that I had a rust problem I apologize as I don’t. When I mentioned that the car needs bodywork I should have said just minor dent repair. It has about 15-20 dent marks on the doors.

We live in Phoenix and the car has spent its entire time in the state.

With that said do you still feel that investing the money to get new shocks, tires, dent repair and an interior fix (some tears in the seats) would be worth it and do you feel that with proper care it could make it to 200K (probably about 7 years of driving)?

Thanks again!

First, you’re not investing any money. You are spending money in the hopes of receiving some transportation out of it. It’s a big gamble at this age. If you want this as a daily driver for another few years it is likely that you will become so aggravated by the constant repairs you’ll want to pour kerosene on the seats and throw in a match. It’s probably not worth more than scrap value now. Something newer will cost you far less per mile.

Since you live in Arizona, I’ll assume the truck has no appreciable rust, but maybe faded paint and/or clear coat?

If so, and if it does indeed run well . . . yes, it would be a good candidate for a secondary vehicle, as you have already stated

I suggest replacing shocks and tires first, then worry about the cosmetic stuff

As far as shocks and tires, don’t go cheap, but don’t go top tier, either. Monroe shocks are fine, and bf goodrich, dunlop, goodyear, etc. are fine for tires. Don’t get store brand tires or shocks. But you don’t need Michelin, either. That’s overkill

Depending on the dents, paintless dent repair may be a viable option . . . but you’d have to post some pictures.

As far as the torn seats go, are they uncomfortable? You could stop by an auto upholstery shop and ask for an estimate . . . it might be surprisingly affordable to redo the seat(s)

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Wow . . .

What kind of Jeep is that in your picture?

Thanks for the message!

Great information! Thanks so much for the response!

Since there’s no structural rust problem, it runs well, and given it is the 2WD version, I think you could reasonably expect another 50K reliable miles from this vehicle. That’s 4-5 years. 10 more years/200K is probably a little optimistic. Me, I’d definitely spring for the suspension system and tire work as needed, that’s routine repairs for any car. The cosmetic work, that depends on what you are willing to live with. Me, I like my cars to be in very good form appearance-wise on the outside, but I’m able to live with minor appearance problems on the inside. Maybe just get some new seat covers and a good set of floor mats and be done with the interior problems, out of sight, out of mind. Minor dent repair can be a good diy’er job, if you’re interested in learning something new. A diy’er job won’t be a pro quality job that will look showroom pristine, and last for the rest of the life of the car, but it should be good enough. It’s time consuming, but the materials needed are relatively inexpensive.

Maybe you should ask the question to other Pathfinder owners. That generation was one of the best , and parts should still be readily available. In addition to your tires and shocks, consider replacing the rear control arms as the bushings wearing in them causes potential drive-ability problems