How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Nissan Pathfinder

by Kyle McBride
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For the 2013-through-2015 Pathfinder, Nissan recommends you use API-certified SAE 5W30 engine oil. Of course, they want you to use genuine Nissan oil, but you can use any premium-grade oil with the API certification. In your continuously variable transmission, Nissan strongly recommends their genuine Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3, though other brands -- such as Valvoline, Amsoil and Supersyn -- offer CVT oil equivalent to the NS-3.

Gear Oil and Coolant

Your Pathfinder needs semi-synthetic SAE 75W-90 hypoid oil in the differential and SAE 80W-90 in the transfer case -- both rated API GL-5. Nissan would prefer you use their oil, but any premium-grade API GL-5-rated oil works. The cooling system came filled with blue Nissan long-life coolant, but you can top it off with the green LLC. However, mixing the different color coolants reduces the life expectancy of the coolant to four years.

Power Steering and Brakes

Starting in 2013, Nissan recommends using only genuine Nissan power steering fluid; using any other fluid will prevent the system from operating properly. In prior years, however, Nissan offered Dexron-VI ATF fluid as an alternate power steering fluid. For the brakes, use DOT3 brake fluid.

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