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2014 Nissan Pathfinder passenger axle incorrect installation and transfer case damage

While driving my 2014 Nissan pathfinder, I heard a noise under the rear section of my car suddenly. I was near a repair shop and the mechanic offered to take a look at it. He said my axle was bad and that was where the noise was coming from. Days later after the repair, the car now was making a louder and more grinding noise. The mechanic blamed it on an internal noise in my transmission.
My Question is that can an axle be installed incorrectly and cause major damage to my transfer case if driven while the passenger side axle was installed incorrectly? Please help. This repair has caused me additional damage to my car and I don’t know what to do now. I am told I need a brand new transfer case installed.

By axle, do you mean just the shaft? Or the entire assembly?

Is this vehicle 4wd? Or All wheel drive?

Have you considered taking it to another shop for diagnosis and review of the previous work?

From what I understand it was the an installation of a passenger side Front axle which cost $325.00 for the axle and 330 for the labor.
Yes this car has all wheel drive where I can change it to 4wd when needed.
I have not yet been able to get another diagnosis as of yet. I am working on finding another repairshop now. It is currently sitting in the parking lot at the Nissan Dealer now.

Seems like the problem was misdiagnosed, the front half shaft was not the source of the noise in the rear (center) of the vehicle.

That’s what I thought. I am just devastated right now because this caused damage to my car and now the dealer want $6800.00 to correct the problem but they told me Meineke caused the initial problem when they installed the axle incorrectly. I had to drive it home and it just continued to cause more damage I think.

Sounds like you need a lawyer if the dealer can confirm the axle change damaged the transfer case. I don’t see how that can happen but I haven’t seen tne car.


That was your biggest problem that is one of the worst places to go for anything.



If there was no other place to go, then I guess it’s sort of… any port in a storm.
But, if there are other options, one should avoid Meineke, Midas, Monro, Sears, Pep Boys, AAMCO, and all other chain-run operations. The mechanics at those places rarely have the competency that you would find at a well-established independent mechanic’s shop.


Yes, that’s why I need to get another mechanic to confirm the damages so that I will have more than one.

I now have learned that from this particular experience. I was traveling home to and once I heard the noise under my car I happened to be right next to a Meineke off the highway. I wish I had been able to get a tow to the dealer that day at least. But they offered me loaner to get home and my disable child was being dropped off by the bus and at that time my concern was to get home to him. I was totally in distress that day. But now I am paying for it because my car is damaged in the worst way.

I agree because when the service rep a Nissan tried to explain that the axle was installed improperly by even sending videos and pictures, they still insisted that they did it correctly. Meineke said that they only have to snap the axle in but Nissan said no. The left and right axles are different. You can’t just snap the passenger side axle in. He said it has to be placed properly and then a bracket hold it into place correctly. I just want this nightmare to be over. Now I have to take them to court.

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Sorry to hear about your problem’s I spoke to soon but for future reference my advise still stand’ and that includes all chain run operation’s like ammco transmission repair
and jiffy lube etc.


Thanks for the heads up.

In this order: Hire a lawyer. Let them advise you on whether they send their expert to review the car before it is fixed or maybe hang around the dealer while it is being fixed to get pictures and parts. Whatever the lawyer suggests.

Let the dealer fix the transaxle. Pay the dealer for the repair. Sue Meineke for buggering it up.

You need your car, so pay to get it fixed and hopefully you’ll get a reimbursement from Meineke if you win your case.


Thank you for the great advice because I am a mess right now. Didn’t know exactly which way to go with this first.

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A quick look at a parts source shows 2 different axle lengths on the passenger side. One is 41 and 6/16 and the other is 41 and 7/16. Only a sixteenth difference but if the longer were used on the shorter application it could be a problem. Whether that potential problem led to a transfer case failure may be very debateable.

There’s also the question of whether or not the transfer case fluid changes have been done in the past. Since the majority of cars are lacking in the maintenance category that does pose a problem.

Playing Devil’s Advocate for a moment, you car is 7 years old with ??? miles on it. You say you heard a noise originally but did not specify what that noise was. It could be the transfer case was becoming a problem before the axle replacement and the axle had nothing to do with the failure.
I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of a CV axle making a grinding noise even with Tripod joints which would be more likely to grind than the ball/Rzeppa joints. Your Pathfinder has the latter.

I’m no fan of Meineke but this issue is not so clear cut to me that they caused the problem.

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Your pathfinder is 4wd. It has rear differential.
Which axle was replaced. Front right? Rear right?
You had noise from rear?
And repair caused bad front transmission? Transfer case?
You have bad rear differential?
I’m at a loss here

According to the OP:

The passenger side axle was replaced but it was not correctly installed in the brackets. The mechanic said that this caused vibration all the way down to the rear of my vehicle. I think the bottom line is that Meineke misdiagnosed my initial problem and now I am facing a very large repair bill. If only I had proceeded to get a tow truck that day, this scenario would be different.

I still missed what expensive item your replacing?