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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When driving the 2014 Pathfinder with the 4wd not engaged sometimes at low speeds when turning it feels like something in the back is dragging. It only seems to happen when going low speeds and turning and to make it worse it doesn't do it all of the time. I have recently replaced both rear wheel bearings and abs sensors in the back because of the abs light being on. The abs light is no longer on but I have this weird behavior. I was thinking maybe a rear caliper was binding up or a brake hose collapsing. Someone mentioned to me that it may be something in the rear differential binding up but I thought they are free spinning unless the 4wd was engaged. If anyone could please share your thoughts on what I can check to try and diagnose this issue. I have only had it for a year now and I have no idea if the rear differential fluid has ever been changed. The Pathfinder has 80k miles.
 

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2015 Pathfinder SL - Tech 4WD
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Does it happen when the 4WD is set to Auto? What about 2WD? If yes and no, it could be the magnetic coupler mounted on the rear differential.
It could also be a bent brake back plate or dragging brake pad shims.
 

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Sounds like torque wind up caused by the transfer case not splitting torque evenly between the axles.
What are the road conditions causing you to use 4WD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Does it happen when the 4WD is set to Auto? What about 2WD? If yes and no, it could be the magnetic coupler mounted on the rear differential.
It could also be a bent brake back plate or dragging brake pad shims.
I have always had it in Auto but after reading your post I set it to 2wd and I will let you know if it happens again. This seems to have started after I replaced the passenger rear hub bearing and abs sensor. Does the ECU use the signal from the abs sensor to determine if 4wd should be engaged? When the 4wd engages does an indicator light appear on the dash to show its in 4wd? I appreciate you taking the time to post advice and answer my questions. I will admit that I did buy the cheapest abs sensor I could find and I am wondering if that could be the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sounds like torque wind up caused by the transfer case not splitting torque evenly between the axles.
What are the road conditions causing you to use 4WD?
Every time it has happened it was on dry pavement. But it did kind of feel like that type of binding coming from the rear. The last 4wd vehicle I drove was an 87 Ranger with manual locking hubs and I remember feeling something similar to that if they were locked and on dry pavement. Thanks
 

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2015 Pathfinder SL - Tech 4WD
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Does the ECU use the signal from the abs sensor to determine if 4wd should be engaged? When the 4wd engages does an indicator light appear on the dash to show its in 4wd?
Yes. The dash will show 4WD AUTO. If you want to see when the rear engages, there is a screen that shows a bar that goes from 0-100% for each axle.
 

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2015 Pathfinder SL - Tech 4WD
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On dry pavement, two wheel drive only. Otherwise you’ll potentially break stuff.
I disagree.
This does not apply for an AWD vehicle or a 4WD vehicle with a central differential or coupler (the PF). These systems allow the front and rear differentials to run at different speeds. The user manual would have a huge warning is that was the case.
I do agree to minimize using 4WD Lock on dry pavement.

A true (not high end) 4WD vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler cannot drive on dry pavement with 4WD engaged (or you'll brake stuff) as it doesn't have a central diff. A Range Rover does.
 

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It sounds like what jman mentioned, the electronic coupler. Hopefully it's still under warranty and you can get it replaced. You c

The brakes wouldn't care about turning, just rotation, but it's always a good idea to double check your work to make sure you didn't install the new problem.

The AWD system has its own module, but it does get wheel speed info from the ABS module for AWD. It would be helpful to see the speeds that the abs module is seeing, when this happens to see if one is dripping out. They are pretty good about setting lights and codes when they do that though.

It sounds like a slam dunk for the coupler, except you said it seems to have started after your repairs.
 
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