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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,729 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Nissan Pathfinder exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2003 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #18

Nov 012009


  • 75,000 miles


I own a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder le. Took it to a Nissan dealer and they said the passenger side resonator was leaking out of the outboard seam. The driver side resonator was leaking out of both the outboard and inboard seam. The exhaust could be very easily felt when the engine was running and there is exhaust smell in the cabin. The muffler was freely swinging. I had to replace the muffler. The resonators should be replaced by Nissan as many people are having the same problem. I hope you can do something or that a class action lawsuit is filed.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #17

Aug 232007


  • 75,000 miles
My husband and I purchased a new 2003 Nissan Pathfinder SE in July 03. In 2007, the "check engine light" came on. We took it to a dealer, who informed us that we needed to have the entire exhaust system replaced due to a crack in the pipe and the 02 sensor was making the light come on. They never informed us of a patch kit available. We did have the entire exhaust system replaced in 2008. We later came to find out this problem is occurring for many others with the same vehicle. We are doubly concerned about the affect that this has had on my 3 year old's asthma and respiratory issues (considering the emissions issues and what I am hearing from other's who's small children have similar issues and who also have this issue with their 03 Pathfinder). I would hope that a recall is required and that those of us affected will be duly compensated for Nissan's safety failure.

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #16

Oct 092008


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the resignator, which quiets the engine and is located directly in front of the muffler, is coming apart. In addition, fumes were noticed coming out of the exhaust. The dealer stated that they have a replacement kit to repair the issue, but the contact does not want the kit. He would like the failure to be repaired instead. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- St Lewis Park, MN, USA

problem #15

Aug 012008


  • 70,000 miles


I have a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder with cracked exhaust pipes. These pipes are cracking on 02-04 Pathfinders, and this is a chronic problem. Nissan provides (for $200 per side) a patch that includes a bracket filled with foam and some hose clamps. This patch lasted about a week before the problem occurred again. Nissan will re-patch for another $400, or replace the parts (presumably with more defective parts) for upwards of $1500. Please see the following link for a discussion among the dozens of owners with this problem :

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #14

Nov 012008


  • 52,000 miles
Faulty exhaust resonators from manufacturer resulting in serious exhaust emission leaks directly under cabin of vehicle in driver and front passenger positions.

- Loomis, CA, USA

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problem #13

Dec 292008


  • 65,000 miles
2003 Nissan Pathfinder. Cracked resonators/catalytic converters under vehicle allowing exhaust gas to enter vehicle. This is a very common problem with 2002/2003 Pathfinder owners and Nissan refuses to take action to correct this dangerous issue. No payment assistance has been offered by Nissan to help with the cost of the necessary repairs.

- Terryville, CT, USA

problem #12

Dec 102008


  • 50,000 miles


1.) there were no specific events that led to the failure of my vehicle part. 2.) my 2003 Nissan Pathfinder with 50K miles on it has a cracked resonator pipe which are the front pipes that attach in to the catalytic converted. I have researched this problem online and there are over 200 people on this website: that have the same problem that I do. This is a known issue across the entire country and needs to be addressed due to safety and emission issues. 3.) I patched the cracked pipe but the patch has since failed. I am looking at $1200 to put new exhaust pipes on a vehicle with 50K miles. Nissan will not cover this under the 8/80 law due to it not specifically listing the resonator pipes as part of the catalytic converter.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #11

Nov 262008


  • 48,054 miles
2003 Nissan Pathfinder catalytic converter failed at side seams and was patched once per Nissan official recommendation. Original patch has worn out and side seams are beginning to fail again. Nissan is refusing to cover the catalytic converter to 8 year/80000 mile warranty.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 202008


  • 45,000 miles
I have a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. It has a cracked catalytic converter. It has less than 45,000 miles. Nissan will not comply to the 8/80 law.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #9

Oct 082008


  • 63,500 miles
The car lost power and then there was high heat from under the car followed by a small explosion when two catalytic converts burst side seams and began to leak. Bennett Nissan in wilton Connecticut refused to replace the catalytic converts on both sides of the exhaust system. They claim that these are resonators and not covered under the eight year or 80,000 warranty. They also claim that if there is no "check engine light" that they are not part of the epa system. They offer a "fix" that seals the defect of this equipment and charge about $250. Replacement with new parts costs about $1500. I think: 1) this causes a dangerous situation and is directly related to the epa system; 2) there is danger from fire or excessive exhaust fumes in the car. The dealer and Nissan are obviously working to concert to avoid the repair under warranty and pushing the expensive repair to the consumer after they have no they beyond the 8/80000 mile coverage. This is wrong. This issue is on a 2003 Pathfinder le that I have owned since it was new.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #8

May 132005


  • 22,000 miles


Exhaust tubes on 2003 Nissan Pathfinder cracked before reached the 24,000 warranty expiration. Nissan "patched" tubes rather than replaced them. The patch failed this year and I am fighting with them because they should have used new parts in the first place. I can not tell if this is endangering the environment, however, I know that many Pathfinder owners are experiencing early failure of the exhaust system and Nissan is not owning up to their design defect.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 062008

(reported on)

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Nissan Pathfinder with exhaust leak. Consumer states that technician stated the problem was a cracked catalytic converter. Manufacturer stated the defected part was resonators not catalytic converters and was not covered under warranty.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #6

Jun 022008

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 84,500 miles
2003 Nissan Pathfinder exhaust system disintegrated at connection point (vehicle has 85,000 mi.). have had the dealership advise and cost will be $1200 to fix. Have searched on-line and found problem to be widespread with 2002-2003 Pathfinders.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #5

Sep 302007

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
September 2007- went to repair shop for oil change, was made aware of cracked catalytic converter November 2007- rear exhaust pipe fell off January 2008- went to muffler shop, was told that 2 catalytic converters and entire exhaust pipe need replacing. May 2008- went to Nissan dealer, was told that it is not my catalytic converters, but my "down pipes" that have severe cracks in them. Quoted over $600 for repair kit, as this is something that they claim to have seen often enough to create a patch kit for. Quoted $1300 for new parts. Severe exhaust in the vehicle passenger compartment, both with windows opened and closed. Vehicle only has 71,000 miles on it, and the catalytic converters, which 2 other repair shop have identified as the problem, are covered by warranty, but the down pipes, which only Nissan claims to be the problem, are not. This is now a very expensive safety issue, as the exhaust is unbearable.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #4

Nov 232005

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,200 miles
Maine vehicle safety inspection revealed crack along welded seam of exhaust resonator pipe assembly. Vehicle had approximately 37,400 miles just out of basic warranty. Dealer would not consider part failure under emissions warranty, but quoted repairs of nearly $200 or purchase of kit consisting of 4 metal bars, 4 band clamps and 1-2 oz of sealant for $70. Nissan has issued service bulletin rtb04-094 ? repair of exhaust leak/noise at front tube implying they have had an on-going problem in this area. Local dealer readily acknowledged multiple instances of this problem appearing locally.

- Holden, ME, USA

problem #3

Jul 222007

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,472 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact noticed an exhaust leak coming from the vehicle. She took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that they would use a repair kit to remedy the failure. She was unsure if the vehicle would pass the safety inspection and stated that since there is an open tsb (NHTSA item number 10010378) for this failure, there should be a recall as well. The current and failure mileages were 31,472.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #2

May 012004

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder. The vehicle has an exhaust leak which was discovered because the contact became a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. She took the vehicle ito dealer for an oil change and had them check the exhaust system. They told her that there was a leak. The dealership showed her the leak. It was about four inches long. The leak was discovered on the driver's side of the vehicle. There was a technical service bulletin, NHTSA item 10010378/service bulletin 04092; date of bulletin 9/1/2004 for this problem, but she was never notified because it was not a recall. She purchased a carbon monoxide detector, and it was letting her know that there was carbon monoxide in the vehicle while she was on her way to the dealership. The dealership told her they corrected the exhaust problem free of charge. The dealership show the contact that there was a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder that was in for service for the same problem. This problem became more intense since April 2005. The service invoice from the dealership stated: Concern when in neutral and cold there is a ticking noise in left side of the engine, and there is a carbon monoxide smell in the vehicle, carbon monoxide found leak at heater pipe. The contact stated she claimed symptoms of carbon monoxide but she could not smell it because carbon monoxide is odorless so that statement in the service invoice was incorrect.

- Dolores, CO, USA

problem #1

Jul 152005

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,400 miles
About three weeks ago, the consumer noticed the exhaust tubes split. The consumer noticed this when he started the vehicle in the garage. There was noise coming from the exhaust tubes. The owner noticed the vehicle was leaking exhaust fumes. Then the vehicle was taken to the dealership and they repaired it. There were no warning lights on in the vehicle prior to this occurrence. The vehicle was regularly serviced. The owner has contacted the manufacturer, who stated they would call him back in 24 hours. The dealer did not replace the exhaust tubes, they just patched them. The consumer says there must be a defect where heat causes problems in the exhaust.

- Ridgefield, WA, USA

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