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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second important survey for owners of Pathfinders that can consistently make them shudder/judder.

If you can SAFELY try the following test:

When you know your Pathfinder is getting ready to shudder, keep your right foot on the accelerator, as normal, but when it starts the shudder/judder, quickly and lightly tap the brake with your left foot. Please try this at least 3 times before reporting your results. The question is:

Does the shudder stop or do anything different when you tap the brake while keeping your right foot on the accelerator (do not let off of the accelerator)?

Once again, try this at least three times and post here if tapping the brake while the shudder occurs, and keeping the accelerator in the same position makes any difference in the shudder (shudder stops? becomes less? less noise? or no change at all?). And since this is a somewhat tricky thing to do, please don't do this with other vehicles or people around; hopefully you can do this on an empty section of road or on a private road, not worth hurting yourself or others!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What would this show?
Excellent question. This apparently is a standard test to see if the torque converter lock-up is working right. Shudder apparently is often caused by the torque converter right when it starts to lock up. The shudder is the failure of the locking mechanism to properly engage. This locking mechanism should automatically release if you touch the brakes - that is a safety feature. So if a lot of people respond that hitting the brakes during shudder with the gas going makes the shudder stop or reduces significantly, then the culprit may be in the lockup feature of the torque converter. If the responses are negative (no change when pressing the brakes), then we can check out the answers to Important Survey question 2.
 

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I'm not able to reproduce the shudder consistently, so I can't perform this exact test, but the shudder did just start happening to me last week at 670 miles (3 times so far). The first time it happened, I was coming to a stop at a light, so my foot was on the brakes. Of course, I was pretty startled at the time, so my recollection of the events could be wrong, but I do distinctly remember being worried that I would not be able to stop in time (so I really do believe this is a safety issue that warrants federal investigation). The subsequent occurrences were more inline with what everyone else is reporting (happens when lightly tapping the accelerator at low speeds).

Prior to this, there were numerous times that could have been mild shudders and loss of power that I had dismissed as a bumpy road or just the pf being slow to accelerate from a stop. Upon reflection, I realize now that this was just wishful thinking on my part that my pf was immune to this problem, since each time that it occurred, something about it did feel not quite right. Guess I can't deny it any more once I felt the full-on rumble strip shudder for the first time.
 
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