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2016 Pathfinder S
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having an ongoing issue with my pathfinder for the last 6 months. I purchased it used at 18k miles in october 2018. In October 2019 the dealership replaced my transfer case. Other than routine oil changes, I haven't done any work to it. The problem started around 55k miles. At first it was only a small amount of white smoke on start up. I thought I somehow managed to mess up my oil change or something and redid it. The smoke went away for a few days but came back with a vengeance. I noticed there was a lot of floaty gunk in the basically new oil when I drained it for the 2nd oil change, so when the problem persisted I changed the PCV valve. It was sort of gunky but the problem didn't go away. I took it to the dealer since I was still under my extended warranty and they told me the gunk and smoking was from not changing my oil and my warranty wouldn't cover it. I had receipts for oil and filter purchases every 5k miles but that isn't proof according to them. They changed my transmission while it was there because apparently it threw a code while they were test driving it. I'm now at 77k miles and I am now having the problem any time the car idles for more than a couple minutes. Occasionally the car will stutter when accelerating and basically issue a smoke screen on all the drivers behind me. Its super fun, let me tell ya.

We just tackled the alternator and that was the worst alternator change I've ever had to endure. I am dreading the work this repair will take but I am upside down on the stupid thing and I need it to last for awhile longer.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I should narrow down where the problem is? I don't want to have to take it apart more than once.
 

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2017 Pathfinder S
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17 Posts
I've been having an ongoing issue with my pathfinder for the last 6 months. I purchased it used at 18k miles in october 2018. In October 2019 the dealership replaced my transfer case. Other than routine oil changes, I haven't done any work to it. The problem started around 55k miles. At first it was only a small amount of white smoke on start up. The smoke went away for a few days but came back with a vengeance.
Not sure about this but can white smoke indicate possible coolant/oil mixture?

Bill
 

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2016 Pathfinder S
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely not coolant. I've had 2 cars with blown head gaskets, one of which we replaced ourselves. There are no sweet burning coolant smells from the smoke. Coolant level and condition is the same as when we put the radiator back on after the alternator (I marked the overflow tank). And no overheating, the oil is clear but with floating crap in it. Not frothy or anything like that. Just sort of like it is constantly picking up carbon deposits that are for some reason not being contained by the filter. Small ones even show up on the dip stick when you pull it. The smoke occasionally has a bluish look to it, usually when it does its smoke screen while driving. I forgot to mention this but I'm finding I'm down between 1-3 quarts of oil per week and I drive about 300m per week. There is not a single spot in my driveway. The dealership did not do any compression tests on the engine and by the time I got that information they had had my car 7 weeks and I couldn't afford to leave it there any longer.
 

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2017 Pathfinder S
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17 Posts
Definitely not coolant. I've had 2 cars with blown head gaskets, one of which we replaced ourselves. There are no sweet burning coolant smells from the smoke. Coolant level and condition is the same as when we put the radiator back on after the alternator (I marked the overflow tank). And no overheating, the oil is clear but with floating crap in it. Not frothy or anything like that. Just sort of like it is constantly picking up carbon deposits that are for some reason not being contained by the filter. Small ones even show up on the dip stick when you pull it. The smoke occasionally has a bluish look to it, usually when it does its smoke screen while driving. I forgot to mention this but I'm finding I'm down between 1-3 quarts of oil per week and I drive about 300m per week. There is not a single spot in my driveway. The dealership did not do any compression tests on the engine and by the time I got that information they had had my car 7 weeks and I couldn't afford to leave it there any longer.

The best I got for you.

Bill
 

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I would do a compression check. This will check for bad rings, and possible bad valves. If there are leaking valve seals you can have oil getting in to the cylinders. A leaky head gasket can also cause this type of issue. From what is being described, I would be considering a complete engine rebuild. Most likely damage has been done. On the rebuilt engine do a proper break in millage for at least 3500 miles, and then do the first oil change. Change the oil every 6 months or 6000 miles and use synthetic only.
 
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