Common Fuel Pump Problems For The Nissan Pathfinder

If you have a Nissan Pathfinder, odds are you’ll experience issues with the fuel pump at some point or another. Regardless of your make or model, there are three main components needed for an engine to run: Air, spark, and of course, fuel. If any of these are not present, the engine won’t run at all. If you’d like to learn more about maximizing the lifespan of your fuel pump, check out this post. Below is a list of common symptoms related to a fuel pump failure on Nissan Pathfinders. It also includes some diagnostic tips, repair information, recommended parts, and other important background information.

Nissan Pathfinder Fuel Pump Failure Symptoms

Pathfinder fuel pump
  • Stalling or sputtering engine
  • Engine is difficult to start
  • Loss of power
  • Lessened fuel economy
  • Engine surging
  • Whining noise from the fuel tank
  • Throttle response is lessened

Nissan Pathfinder Fuel Pump Diagnosis And Repair Tips

There are a few ways to check the condition of the fuel pump before removing it.

One option is to use a pressure gauge to measure the pressure of the fuel being delivered from the tank. This gauge is typically connected to the fuel line in the engine bay. The actual location where the gauge is connected varies by model.

You could also opt to measure the amount of current being drawn by the pump. If it is higher than spec, the pump is on it’s last legs and should be replaced.

Inspecting the condition of the electrical connectors on top of the fuel tank is another way to check your pump’s condition. If the connector is corroded or loose, replacing it may solve the problem.

If you’ve examined your pump and decided replacement is necessary, read on. If you’re looking for more specific help diagnosing fuel pump problems, download our Fuel Pump Troubleshooting Guide here.

Replacing The Fuel Pump

Replacing the fuel pump is actually a simple job if the manufacturer put an access panel in place under the rear seat. Unfortunately, the 2005-2012 Pathfinders do not have this access panel. The recommended way to access the fuel pump for this vehicle is to drop the fuel tank, which is difficult to do at home. We’ll look at the two processes below.

If your Pathfinder has an access panel:

  • Make sure the fuel tank is less than half full.
  • Disconnect the battery. (This is very important, as you do not want to risk a spark around fuel vapor.)
  • Remove the fuel cap.
  • Remove the rear seat over the access panel, and pull back the cover.
  • Remove the access panel.
  • Disconnect the fuel pump wiring connector.
  • Disconnect the fuel lines.
  • Clean the top of the fuel pump and the area around it, so dirt doesn’t drop into the tank.
  • Nissan uses a lock ring to hold the fuel pump in place. Spray the lock ring tabs with penetrating oil. To remove the ring, use a hammer and a punch to rotate the ring about one-eighth of a turn clockwise.
  • Lift the fuel pump upwards to remove it, and reverse the process to install the new fuel pump.

If you need to drop the tank, the job is more difficult. You will need jack stands and a floor jack to lower the tank to the ground. A helper is very handy when lowering the tank. Here’s an overview of the process.

  • Start with the tank as empty as you can get it. If there are more than a couple gallons of fuel in the tank, you should siphon the fuel out before beginning.
  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Put the rear of the vehicle on jack stands.
  • Disconnect the fuel supply hose that runs to the filler cap.
  • Place a floor jack under the fuel tank. To prevent damage to the tank, put a piece of plywood between the jack and the tank.
  • Remove the tank strap fasteners.
  • Lower the tank enough to get at the connectors on top of the fuel pump.
  • Disconnect the fuel lines and wiring connector.
  • Lower the tank to the ground.

The rest of the steps are the same as the access panel method.

Recommended Replacement Fuel Pump Part Types

YearModelPart #
1987 – 1995Nissan Pathfinder550-1050
1996 – 1999Nissan Pathfinder520-1021
1998 – 2004Nissan Pathfinder550-1100
2005 – 2012Nissan Pathfinder550-2030

Why Do Nissan Pathfinders Have Fuel Pump Problems?

Fuel pump issues are not unique to the Nissan Pathfinder. In most cases, fuel pumps can last upwards of 100,000 miles. If you’re having fuel pump issues before this mileage, you should check the fuel pump screen to see if it’s clogged. The screen is at the inlet of the fuel pump in the tank, so this takes some work. So you may want to just go ahead and change out the pump. If  you do find the screen is clogged, it may be a good idea to change to another gas station.

Regarding replacement parts for your Nissan Pathfinder, look no further than GMB to keep you out on the roads. With more than 70 years in business producing parts for countless makes and models, we have you covered. Our numerous locations around the U.S., Asia, and Europe are sure to get you your replacement parts quickly and efficiently. You can find our product page here, or contact us here.


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