really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
73,022 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.

1997 Nissan Pathfinder suspension problems

suspension problem

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1997 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jan 012000


  • 150,000 miles


The vehicle lost struts, steering rack, and has serious issues that have not been resolved. I spoke with the dealer and they said they don't need to fix. The entire front end is falling apart.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #38

Jul 152015


  • 99,000 miles
Driving truck got so bad it was hard to keep in road..would go side to side on highway and turns were not easy to say in lane.took to clarktire co..they replaced lots of parts and said mounts for shocks and struts were pretty badly rusted causing excessive movement of those.

- Granite Falls, NC, USA

problem #37

Apr 092014


  • 198,000 miles
The trailer arms failed. This is what holds the rear axle steady and will cause the truck to sway or hula hoop the rear end. I replaced them myself $160 for the parts 3hours under the car. Also replaced the shocks 5 days later. Rides like new. Looks like the frame is also rotting out. Hope they open a recall on the frame. I will check the front strut housing for rust.

- Albrightsville, PA, USA

problem #36

Oct 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles


The frame, including chassis, suspension and body has extensive rust. The suspension is caving into the chassis due to extensive chassis rust. The rust is not due to normal wear and tear of vehicle. It is due to inadequate coating to prevent rust. The vehicles of same model (year) of other makes have minimal rust compared to this vehicle. Even the mechanics I have approached have similar opinion that this vehicle across the board is poorly built, and more rust prone. The vehicle can be potentially catastrophic if the rust eats through and makes suspension/axles collapse, especially while driving. This vehicle had a recall for rust issues, but the recall only covered part of the problem, while there is more extensive issues with this vehicle.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #35

Aug 092013


  • 180,000 miles
The vehicle starts swaying dangerously, at a speed of 20 mph. At a higher speed the car will starts back swaying and fish tailing and would flip specially on a wet roads, no control to it.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

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problem #34

Apr 012011


  • 120,000 miles
At around 120000 miles the vehicle began to sway uncontrollably. Mechanics could find nothing wrong. Only way to stop the sway is to tap the brakes or accelerate. Happens quite often and is downright scary at times. Also the entire underbody / frame is extremely corroded. Vehicle should not corrode that quickly. All underbody parts are extremely rusted.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #33

Aug 222012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


At random... this Pathfinder will go into a crazy death wobble, to the point to were it wants to put your head and the heads of your children threw the windows. I have replaced the shocks in the car. But yet the problem remains. My car is at the Nissan dealership right now racking up a bill that I can not afford, for something they will most likely not be able to fix. I have read a hundred complaints on line that describe the same problem to a T. god help us!

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #32

Mar 142011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Extreme rear end wobble (sway) at highway speeds.

- Taylorsville, UT, USA

problem #31

Jul 242012


  • 183,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to a local mechanic for routine maintenance when the mechanic noticed a separation of the front driver side strut. The contact was advised that the vehicle was not drivable and could not be repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 183,000.

- Fergus Falls, MN, USA

problem #30

Jun 032012

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact was driving 30 mph when the vehicle accelerated over a speed bump and the rear of the vehicle swayed back and forth. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The dealer stated that the front and rear struts needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 170,000 and the current mileage was 174,000. Updated 8/24/12 the consumer also statd the front and rear sway bar links needed to be replaced.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #29

Mar 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


I bought my 1997 Nissan Pathfinder a few months ago as my second vehicle to get back and forth to work some 30 miles one way. I can't drive it more than up the street because it has developed a severe swaying defect when driving at speeds over 40 mph. It is so bad that it feels like an amusement park ride!. it is very very dangerous to drive on the highway. After looking on the internet to try to get some information about this problem, I found out that there are way too many comments from people over several years that have experienced this "death sway" that it is actually appalling that Nissan or the consumer safety department hasn't stepped in to correct this dangerous problem. The majority of the people found that it is a rear upper and lower bushing arm that seems to fix the problem but at a hefty expense of up to $1,000. A life shouldn't have to be taken for Nissan to accept responsibility for this well documented defect. Nissan not being held accountable for this defect is inexcusable.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #28

Jan 152002


  • miles
Please note that Nissan dealership only patched up the strut tower. The vehicle continues to display problems with steering. I am afraid to continue driving this vehicle. I am very disappointed with the repair services that were completed at the Nissan dealership in turnerville N.J.

- Lindenwold, NJ, USA

problem #27

Feb 272012


  • miles
The contact owns a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact received repairs to the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V244000(suspension:front). The contact stated that the sheet metal that was used to cover the rust on the strut tower per the recall would not be sufficient when driving under normal road conditions. The contact spoke with the manufacturer in regard to the inadequate recall remedy but the manufacturer did not provide a response to the contact. The vehicle had not experienced a failure. The current mileage was 180,000.

- Georgetown , OH, USA

problem #26

Jan 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
97 Pathfinder safety problem with rear suspension links. Side to side sway. It feels like the vehicle is about to flip.are these parts defective" are they of inferior quality" this can caused an unsafe condition on the highway. It seams like Nissan usa is well aware of the problem. Service bulletin classification: RA97-002, reference: Ntb98-001, hopefully we don't have to wait until somebody gets kill for Nissan to fix the problem.

- Rincon, GA, USA

problem #25

Nov 062011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I received a recall for my 1997 Nissan Pathfinder strut tower housing assembly. On the recall Nissan stated that the vehicles registered in certain states that uses road salt can develop corrosion that can lead to steering damages. However, the recall letter that was sent to me was stating that my vehicle was never in that states and also stated that my vehicle will not be covered for the applicable repairs. When I was in active military I was stationed to great lakes il. From September 2006 to June 2010. I was residing at[xxx]. my il states driver's license number was [xxx] and was issued [xxx]. I'm writing this complaint to make sure that all applicable inspections and repairs for my vehicle will be covered by the manufacturer. Thank you for your time. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Jan 192011

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
I had to pay to repair the strut housing sheet metal, that was grinding against the steering arm, on the left side of the vehicle. The cost of the repair was approximately--and I am waiting to get the receipt, as it was paid by credit card---$1340. Was the name of the repair shop, . the repair was done before the recall campaign began. I am very disappointed and frustrated by Nissan's lack of response, since I was informed of the recall. They state, in the document, that was sent to me, that I am eligible for reimbursement of related expense of repair. I have been trying to get a hold of Nissan at 1-800-647-7261, and have not heard back from them, after numerous messages and voice-mails. Nissan has not gotten back to me, after repeated attempts to reach them. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Antonito, CO, USA

problem #23

Oct 122011


  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving, the steering became hard to control. The vehicle was taken to the local mechanic who performed an inspection that located the failure at the front strut tower as being corroded. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 134,000.

- Eddystone , PA, USA

problem #22

Oct 012007

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 55 miles
(noticed problem end of 2007/ beginning 2008 and again in 2011) I have low mileage on Pathfinder and it is only driven on the freeway and in town. First noticed when driving speeds over 50 and during shifting on highway. Very sloppy steering control, Pathfinders rear swaying, skipping and jerking sometimes violently from side to side. Very dangerous driving conditions;very good chance of flipping over.took to different auto mechanics and most could not figure out issue. It turned out that the problem was all defective - failed, broken, cracked, or /and worn bushings links both front and rear. I recently completely replaced the bushings and components and after 6500 miles they are broken/defective and the Pathfinder is unsafe to drive again. I researched the bushing issues with the 1996 -2001 Nissan Pathfinder and most all Pathfinders of this years are having this serious suspension-defective bushing issues. Their have been many unanswered consumer complaints. This should have been and is a definite recall issue. Protect the consumer. Report this. Please ck into this asap.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #21

Dec 152009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
I was experiencing swaying in my rear end at highway speeds. I had a mechanic install new link bushings and link rods, both upper and lower. Due to rust the securing bolts and bushings had to be torched out. This is very strange and must be due to inferior parts since I live in New Mexico, a very dry climate where we do not typically experience rusting on vehicles of this age. This vehicle was originally purchased in nm and I purchased it at 40 some thousand miles and do not believe this vehicle ever spent time in a damp climate. The above repair took care of the problem but now I have 139,000 miles on the vehicle and am having the same problem only worse.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #20

Nov 032010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
My front drivers side strut tower housing was completely corroded and damaged and had to be replaced. I received a recall notice in the mail and realized this was what was behind the issue.

- Manitowish Waters, WI, USA

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