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I’m late to this post. But have a 2019 pathfinder that is having the same issue. Regular oil changes, but my engine is full of sludge at 51k miles, and is in really bad shape. Car was fine, then about a week ago, had to brake hard, and got a billowing white cloud of smoke pouring out of my exhaust. It stopped as soon as I accelerated. Happened again the next day, and has progressively gotten worse. First mechanic said it was a build up of moisture. So wrong. No one can seem to tell us the cause, or if it’s even fixable without replacing the engine.
 

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Has anyone been able to find out what is causing these issues besides "engine sludge"? Recently bought a 2018 with 25k miles on it and started having this issue less than 2 weeks after. Blows a large smoke cloud at start up every other day, occasionally when turning and braking hard. Took it to Nissan since it was still under warranty and they told me the same thing everyone else has been saying on these forums, "it has engine sludge and needs a new motor". I increased my oil change intervals to every 500 miles for 3000 miles of driving to see if I could get some of the sludge out, I also ran a flush on the motor and when I drained it, it was just as clean as when I put it in. Needless to say I am not convinced on the engine sludge diagnosis. If anyone else has a remedy I could try, I would be open to pretty much anything at this point.
 

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2015 Pathfinder SL - Tech 4WD
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The issue is not the sludge itself. Even if you remove it all, damage could have already been done to the engine. Sludge blocks/restricts oil to many vital components in it. The smoke you are seeing is due to excess oil getting where it's not supposed to get to, due to accelerated wear.
Pretty sure its not what you wanted to hear.

Your engine could have worn valve seals or piston rings, maybe more. Only way to fix would be to take it apart, clean the sludge and replace all worn parts but it would be cheaper to just swap the engine. You could just keep running yours until it starts knocking or it seizes, maybe it doesn't and your improved oil change intervals prevent any further damage, but won't fix what is already worn.
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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@Cooper.Ray

Sorry for your issues and I'm with you. On these really low mileage, relatively new Pathfinders, I don't believe the problem is from lack of maintenance. It seems the wall we run into on it is most of the posts about it are one hit wonders and we don't get follow up info, etc.

It seems like it's really easy to point the finger at "lack of oil changes" because of the results seen.

A careful engine tear down and analysis needs to be done to figure out why. No one wants to pay for that when you're in the midst of dealing with this and I don't blame them. Nisan really needs to figure this out. I believe it's on them.
 

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@Cooper.Ray

Sorry for your issues and I'm with you. On these really low mileage, relatively new Pathfinders, I don't believe the problem is from lack of maintenance. It seems the wall we run into on it is most of the posts about it are one hit wonders and we don't get follow up info, etc.

It seems like it's really easy to point the finger at "lack of oil changes" because of the results seen.

A careful engine tear down and analysis needs to be done to figure out why. No one wants to pay for that when you're in the midst of dealing with this and I don't blame them. Nisan really needs to figure this out. I believe it's on them.
I agree. I believe this has to be some kind of manufacturing defect that Nissan doesn’t want to own up to. I appreciate the advice and if I come across a remedy I’ll be sure to update the group.
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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I agree. I believe this has to be some kind of manufacturing defect that Nissan doesn’t want to own up to. I appreciate the advice and if I come across a remedy I’ll be sure to update the group.
I'm not even sure the issue is on Nissan's radar.

I don't believe it's widespread enough and dealer service departments are quick to condemn the engine due to what they can see.

I could be way off here, so time will tell. I do know Nissan has gone with direct injection across the board now, so if this is in fact an issue associated with the DI, things will happen.
 
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