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2009 Nissan Pathfinder - Reliable?

How reliable is this vehicle, I’m looking at one that is well over 100k miles. I want to know if it will still have life left after that. The vehicle is in great mechanical and physical shape.

Nate , if I could answer that I would be on my way to a local Casino right now.
Used vehicles are a gamble , so hedge your bet and pay a mechanic to look it over.


Volvo’s advice is solid. Get it looked at, but CarComplaints gives this year make and model its “Seal of Awesome.” That based on very low owner reported complaints.

I agree with @VOLVO_V70 that we can not make a virtual mechanical inspection for you, so you have to do your own research and to involve a competent mechanic for inspection if you can not do it on your own.

Getting that disclaimer written… I own 2006 Pathfinder, 163K miles on odometer, bought with 151K on it a couple of years ago specifically for style and load/capacity Nissan R51 line has. Engine goes strong, I’ve seen another vehicle with 260K on it and engine was still ok.

Shopping for this Pathfinder, I had to raise above the bottom feed ones as at the lowest price tier I found they were all trash with some lipstick on that pig. Once you get into mid-priced ones, some reasonable ones popped up, but a close inspection is needed, in the end these cars are not the best reliability wise (although far ahead of Jeep I’ve also considered).

R51 series have two major problems:

  1. Nissan radiator design, where transmission cooler inside the main radiator is made such that with age coolant will breach into transmission line and will kill transmission… it dies fast once radiator fails. This is actually the main issue with R51, which people complaint about. Good aftermarket radiator makes this trouble to disappear.

  2. V6 4.0 liter engine had timing chain manufacturing defect in some substantial number of engines, resulting in chains eating through the plastic tensioner shoes - engine makes a “whining” sound once it happens and although it is not killing it on the spot, eventually you will get to the damage. I’ve got to replace chains/tensioners myself (much less expensive for DIY), once there it makes sense to replace valve stem seals and adjust valves too.

Other than that, this is pretty much what you would expect from other Japanese makes: reasonably reliable, but will still require repairs and maintenance as it ages.

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