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Nissan Pathfinder Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly

Tips on Nissan Pathfinder Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly Cleaning and Maintenance

Nissan Pathfinder owners often relegate the maintenance of the shock absorbers and struts to their trusted mechanic, but there are some things you can do on your part to care for these suspension components. If you're game for some elbow grease, here are some key tips on how to care for and maintain your Nissan Pathfinder shock absorber and strut assembly:

  • Hose dirt off.

Dirt, mud, and road salt can quickly build up around the shocks and struts especially if the SUV sees frequent use off-road. Aside from being unsightly, dirt and mud also tend to absorb water that can cause onset of rust. Road salt is also particularly corrosive as it can quickly wear down the metal and rubber seals, leading to dangerous leaks.

Once the shocks and struts get dirty, remove the wheels and cover the brake assembly with plastic sheeting taped in place. Next, using a garden hose set to high pressure, hose mud and debris off the shock and strut body. For hard-to-reach areas, use a stick and a stiff brush to dislodge any stubborn debris.

  • Grease the suspension on a regular basis.

Lubricants can help minimize friction, therefore saving the shocks and struts from premature wear as well as shielding these parts from corrosion-inducing moisture. Ideally, the shocks and struts should be greased up every 10,000-15,000 miles (16,000–24,000 km). It should also be lubricated every time the underside is washed or whenever the tires have been changed or rotated. Make sure not to get the grease anywhere else on the vehicle. Oil on or near the exhaust pipes may vaporize and coat the oxygen sensor of the catalytic converter, resulting in inaccurate exhaust readings.

  • Remove grease with engine cleaner.

While grease is good for the suspension, lubricant that's contaminated with dirt and other impurities can cause the seals to wear and the shock or strut body to rust. To fix this, spray the suspension with engine cleaner and rinse it off with a garden hose. Once it's clean, reapply a new layer of oil onto the shock and struts.

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  • Installing the Nissan Pathfinder Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly: Tips for Beginners

    Whether you are replacing a malfunctioning suspension system or upgrading to a high-performance unit, installing a new shock absorber and strut assembly on the Nissan Pathfinder is a task that is best left to licensed mechanics. But if you are confident enough of your skills and you have the necessary tools for the job, you can save a lot of time and money if you install the shocks and struts yourself. If you are thinking about installing a new Nissan Pathfinder shock absorber and strut assembly on your SUV, here are some tips that can help you out:

    Tip #1: Prep the vehicle for removal and installation.

    One of the first things you need to do is to make sure the suspension has sufficiently cooled down before working on it. The struts and shocks can get really hot from constant vibrations as well as heat reflected from the engine and the road. You should also disconnect the cable from the battery terminal, as the shocks and struts have electrical connections running through it.

    Tip #2: Keep the shock rod from moving with a vise grip.

    Stopping the shock piston rod from spinning while you are removing the upper mount of the shock can be quite a frustrating experience. To prevent this, lock a vise grip at the top of the rod. The pliers should hold the rod steady enough for you to loosen it with a wrench. There is also a hollow hex kit sold in auto parts stores that is specially made to fit over the rod that you can use for the same purpose.

    Tip #3: Loosen up stuck bolts with penetrating oil.

    The bolts that hold the shocks and struts in place tend to accumulate dirt and grime as well, and these can prove hard to remove. Don't try to pry the bolts by force, as doing so may cause the bushings to crack and the threads of the bolts to wear. Instead, spray the bolts with penetrating oil such as WD-40 and letting it soak for a few minutes before trying again. The oil should seep through the debris and loosen them enough to allow you to remove the bolts with ease.