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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving (in the US).
For some time now, our Pathy will randomly feel like a tire slips and the traction control light will come on indicating the system has engaged. However, the light doesn’t go back off and there’s been no issues with the terrain that would cause the tire to slip. It actually feels more like a thud in the drivetrain. The light will remain on until you turn the car off. Upon restarting, the light is gone and the car drives fine.
However, we drove 650 miles today and experienced a ”new” development. I was at highway speed and engaged the cruise control (around 70mph). About the time I released my foot from the gas and the cruise engaged, that same “thud” happened and the traction light came on. It remained on until I stopped for gas some time later. It seemed as though the car was running at a higher RPM than usual and gas mileage was not as good. Before stopping for gas (and turning off the car), we grabbed some food from a drive through. As I was pulling out of the parking lot onto the road, the car would move forward, but the transmission didn’t want to adjust gear ratios at all...like it was stuck in “1st” gear. I made it to the gas station and turned off the car. After filling up the gas tank and restarting, the traction light was off and the car drove beautifully for the remainder of the trip (with improved gas mileage and lower RPMs).
I’ve been suspicious of a bad wheel speed sensor, a bad CV joint, or something in the transmission before today. Now I’m stumped into thinking it’s something more on a computer end of things, or a combination of multiple components in the drivetrain.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in helping me troubleshoot. Anyone experienced this before?
I wish I knew how replicate the conditions that set off the persistent traction light, but I’ve found no pattern. Also, maybe related, sometimes when shifting from R to D, there is a rather loud “thud/clunk” sound, as well, but not consistent.
2014 model S will 113K miles.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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4,418 Posts
Are you sure you're not hitting the OD button on the shifter by mistake? I do that from time to time.
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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715 Posts
I don't know if you've had it diagnosed before, but if it's getting a funky signal from one of the wheel speed sensors there should be a stored code indicating which WSS.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The OD button was one of my first thoughts, too, since it was running higher RPMs. Alas, the OD was not engaged. I’ve not taken it see if there’s a stored code for WSS. I know places like AutoZone will scan for Check Engine Lights, but are their “free” scanner tools sophisticated enough to read other stored codes? Would a local shop scan be sufficient, or is a Nissan dealer type scan that needs to happen?
(Honestly, I’ve been thinking about buying my own scanner tool, as my commuter car (2003 Toyota Matrix W/ 178k miles) likes to throw a CEL at least once a year...usually right before state inspection is due.)
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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I'm not sure if the cheapest of cheap code readers will show these codes but they very well may. I've been rocking a $30 mail order cheapo for years, but have never tried it for ABS / WSS related stuff.
 
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