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Fluid level checks Nissan Pathfinder 2005 - 2014 Petrol 5.6 V8

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

2013 - 2014  | 5.6 V8 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
Note: Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake, clutch and other systems. Because these fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished. See Recommended lubricants and fluids and Capacities below before adding fluid to any of the following components
Note: The vehicle must be on level ground before fluid levels can be checked

Engine oil

1 The engine oil level is checked with a dipstick (see below)
2 The dipstick is located close to the oil filler cap - early V6 models shown, other models similar
3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 10 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper engine components, producing an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
4 Pull the dipstick out and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back in and pull it out again. Observe the oil at the end of the dipstick (see below)
5 The oil level should be at or near the H mark - if it isn’t, add enough oil to bring the level to near the H mark
6 It takes about one quart of oil to raise the level from the L mark to the H mark on the dipstick. Do not allow the level to drop below the L mark or oil starvation may cause engine damage. On the other hand, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the H mark) may cause oil fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures
7 Wipe the area around the filler cap, then remove the cap from the valve cover to add oil. Use a funnel to prevent spills. After adding the oil, install the filler cap hand tight. Start the engine and look carefully for any small leaks around the oil filter or drain plug. Stop the engine and check the oil level again after it has had sufficient time to drain from the upper block and cylinder head galleys
8 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A continually dropping oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, from loose connections, or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, a cylinder head gasket may be leaking. The cylinder head should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Each time you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don’t store new coolant or leave old coolant lying around where it’s accessible to children or pets - they’re attracted by its sweet smell and may drink it. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage floor and drip pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they’re noticed
1 The Pathfinder is equipped with a pressurized coolant recovery system. A white coolant reservoir, located on the right side of the engine compartment, is connected by a hose to the base of the coolant filler cap (see below). If the coolant gets too hot during engine operation, coolant can escape through the relief valve in the filler cap, then through a connecting hose into the reservoir. As the engine cools, the coolant is automatically drawn back into the cooling system to maintain the correct level
2 Don’t confuse the engine coolant reservoir (A) with the windshield washer fluid reservoir (B)
3 The coolant level should be checked regularly. It must be between the MAX and MIN lines on the tank. The level will vary with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be at or slightly above the MIN mark on the tank. Once the engine has warmed up, the level should be at or near the MAX mark. If it isn’t, allow the fluid in the tank to cool, then remove the cap from the reservoir and add coolant to bring the level up to the MAX line. Use only ethylene/glycol type coolant and water in the mixture ratio recommended by your owner’s manual. Do not use supplemental inhibitor additives. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the recommended antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, it is advisable to top up the coolant level with the correct mixture. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended ratio
4 If the coolant level drops within a short time after replenishment, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, engine coolant filler cap, drain plugs, air bleeder plugs and water pump. If no leak is evident, have the radiator cap pressure tested by your dealer
Warning: Never remove the radiator cap or the coolant reservoir cap when the engine is running or has just been shut down, because the cooling system is hot. Escaping steam and scalding liquid could cause serious injury
5 If it is necessary to open the radiator cap, wait until the system has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and slowly unscrew it. If any steam escapes, wait until the system has cooled further, then remove the cap
6 When checking the coolant level, always note its condition. It should be relatively clear. If it is brown or rust-colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out with use, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals
7 Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contacted areas immediately with plenty of water

Windshield washer fluid

Fluid for the windshield washer system is stored in a plastic reservoir which is located on the right side of the engine compartment, adjacent to the coolant reservoir (see step 2, above). In milder climates, plain water can be used to top up the reservoir, but the reservoir should be kept no more than two-thirds full to allow for expansion should the water freeze. In colder climates, the use of a specially designed windshield washer fluid, available at your dealer and any auto parts store, will help lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the solution with water in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions on the container. Do not use regular antifreeze, it will damage the vehicle’s paint

Battery electrolyte

On models not equipped with a sealed battery, check the electrolyte level of all six battery cells. It must be between the upper and lower levels. If the level is low, remove the filler/vent cap and add distilled water. Install and securely re-tighten the cap
Caution: Overfilling the cells may cause electrolyte to spill over during periods of heavy charging, causing corrosion or damage

Brake fluid

1 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the front of the power booster unit in the engine compartment. On 2013 and later models the fluid reservoir for the master cylinder is mounted on a bracket, inboard of the air filter housing
2 To check the fluid level of the brake master cylinder, simply look at the marks on the reservoir (see below)
3 The brake fluid level should be kept between the MIN and MAX marks on the translucent plastic reservoir
4 If the level is low, wipe the top of the reservoir cover with a clean rag to prevent contamination of the brake system before lifting the cover
5 Add only the specified brake fluid to the brake reservoir (refer to Recommended lubricants and fluids, below, or your owner’s manual). Mixing different types of brake fluid can damage the system. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir only to the MAX line
Warning: Use caution when filling the reservoir - brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces. Do not use brake fluid that has been opened for more than one year or has been left open. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking
6 While the reservoir cap is removed, inspect the master cylinder reservoir for contamination. If deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are present, the system should be drained and refilled
7 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the lid is properly seated to prevent fluid leakage and/or system pressure loss
8 The fluid in the brake master cylinder will drop slightly as the brake pads at each wheel wear during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated replenishing to keep it at the proper level, this is an indication of leakage in the brake system, which should be corrected immediately. If the brake system shows any indication of leakage, check all brake lines and connections, along with the calipers and booster
9 If, upon checking the brake cylinder fluid level, you discover it empty or nearly empty, the system should be thoroughly checked for leaks, repaired if any are found, then bled

Recommended lubricants and fluids

Note: Listed here are manufacturer recommendations at the time this manual was written. Manufacturers occasionally upgrade their fluid and lubricant specifications, so check with your local auto parts store for current recommendations
Engine oil
  Type API “certified for gasoline engines”
  Viscosity SAE 5W-30
Engine coolant
  2010 and earlier models 50/50 mixture of Genuine Nissan Long life antifreeze coolant and distilled or demineralized water
  2011 and later models 50/50 mixture of Genuine Nissan Long life antifreeze coolant (blue) and distilled or demineralized water
Fuel Unleaded gasoline, minimum 91 RON octane
Automatic transmission fluid
  2007 and earlier models Nissan Matic J automatic transmission fluid
  2008 through 2012 models Nissan Matic S automatic transmission fluid
Automatic transaxle fluid (2013 and later models) Nissan CVT fluid NS-3* ONLY
Brake fluid DOT 3 brake fluid
Power steering fluid Nissan PSF or DEXRON VI automatic transmission fluid
Front differential lubricant (2012 and earlier AWD models) Nissan differential oil hypoid super GL-5, 80W-90
Rear differential lubricant
  2012 and earlier models Nissan synthetic gear oil GL-5, 75W-90
  2013 and later AWD models Nissan differential oil hypoid super semi-synthetic GL-5, 75W-90
Transfer case lubricant (AWD models)
  2012 and earlier models Nissan Matic D automatic transmission fluid
  2013 and later models API GL-5 SAE 80W-90 hypoid gear lubricant
Note: *Use of conventional transmission fluid will damage the transaxle and void the warranty according to the manufacturer


Engine oil (including filter)
  3.5L V6 engines 5.1 quarts 4.8 liters
  4.0L V6 engines 5.4 quarts 5.1 liters
  5.6L V8 engines 6.9 quarts 6.5 liters
Coolant (including reservoir tank)
  2012 and earlier models
    Without rear air conditioning 11 quarts 10.2 liters
    With rear air conditioning 14 quarts 13.4 liters
  2013 and later models 11.2 quarts 10.6 liters
Note: *All capacities approximate. Add as necessary to bring up to appropriate level
Torque specifications Ft-lbs (unless otherwise indicated) Nm
Note: One foot-pound (ft-lb) of torque is equivalent to 12 inch-pounds (in-lbs) of torque. Torque values below approximately 15 foot-pounds are expressed in inch-pounds, because most foot-pound torque wrenches are not accurate at these smaller values
Engine oil drain plug 25 34
Engine block coolant drain plug 46 62
Engine block heater*
  2012 and earlier models 54 73
  2013 and later models 29 39
Automatic transmission drain plug (2012 and earlier models) 26 35
Automatic transaxle drain plug (2013 and later models) 25 34
Automatic transaxle fluid check/fill plug (2013 and later models) 89 in-lbs 10
Rear differential drain and fill plugs 26 35
Transfer case drain and fill plugs 26 35
Differential drain and fill plugs 26 35
Wheel lug nuts
  2012 and earlier models 98 133
  2013 and later models 83 113
* Canadian models
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