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Types Of Gas A Nissan Pathfinder Uses (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Nissan Pathfinder Uses (All Generations)

We’ve written extensively about the Nissan Pathfinders and the various questions you might have about this car on this blog. Today we’re going to take a thorough look at the gas specifications of this car. Let’s start with a quick answer:

Pathfinders manufactured from 2013 – Present-day use unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. For the 2001 – 2012 Nissan Pathfinder with a gasoline engine, the use of unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 is recommended. Fuel with an octane rating of 87 can be used but may decrease engine performance.

However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll talk about the different kinds of fuels on the market, what sort of specifications they have and whether or not Nissan recommends them for the Pathfinder. Furthermore, we’ll also talk about gas mileage, tank size, and the cost of a full tank for the Pathfinder. Read on!

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Infographci explaining the fuel types for a Nissan pathfinder

One More Note About The Octane Rating

It’s good to know that all generations of the Nissan Pathfinder usually hold true to the above-stated rules. However, we have to mention that the 2001 – 2005 Pathfinder Nissan has stated the following in the owner’s manual.

You may use unleaded gasoline with an octane rating as low as 85 AKI (Anti-Knock Index) number in these high
altitude areas [over 4,000 ft (1,219 m)] such as: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, northeastern Nevada, southern Idaho, western South Dakota, western Nebraska, and that part of Texas which is directly south of New Mexico.

Owners manual 2004 Nissan Pathfinder

Once again, this is only true for this generation, and nothing has been mentioned about this in other generations of the Pathfinder.

Gasoline Specifications

In all owners manuals of the Nissan Pathfinder, the company states that they recommend you use fuel that meets the World-Wide Fuel Charter specifications. This WWFC fuel is the fuel that meets the standard of the organization in which major automobile makers have a seat. In general, most major retailers will meet these standards.

Furthermore, it’s essential to know that the WWFC doesn’t seem to have a definitive list of retailers in the USA. Therefore we recommend you instead use the website of TOP TIER gas is another alliance that significant automobile makers started in the United States. It simply means that you’re using high-quality gas that meets certain specifications.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Nissan Pathfinder

Reformulated Gasoline

Reformulated gasoline is the gasoline that’s designed to burn cleaner and therefore produce less air pollution. In some areas of the United States, this fuel is mandatory by state law because the air quality in these regions is questionable.

As with many Nissan vehicles whether we’re talking about the Nissan Titan, or Nissan Sentra, the engines of all Pathfinders are designed to use reformulated gasoline whenever this is available, and Nissan recommends you use this fuel when you can.

Oxygenated Blends

Some fuels are considered to be oxygenated, which means they contain specific percentages of ethanol, Methyl
Tert-butyl Ether (MTBE) and methanol. If these blends are used, they should also contain a suitable amount of appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors. Furthermore, the following guidelines hold:

  • Fuel should contain no more than 5% of Methanol.
  • Fuel should contain no more than 15% MTBE.
  • Fuel should contain no more than 10% of any oxygenate for 2001 – 2012 Pathfinders and no more than 15% for 2013 – Present-day Pathfinders. This means that E-15 is prohibited in 2001 – 2012 Pathfinders and E-85 is prohibited in all generations of the Nissan Pathfinder.

Gasoline With Additives

Some gasoline has additives such as fuel injector cleaner, octane booster (MMT), intake valve deposit removers, and so on. Nissan advises strongly against the use of additives as in all generations of the Nissan Pathfinder. The reason for this is that some of these additives will contain solvents that will damage the engine’s fuel system.

Engine Knock After Refueling

From time to time, you may hear some phenomena referred to as ‘engine knock.’ This knocking sound occurs typically when the engine uses fuel with an octane rating that’s lower than recommended. For example, some engines prefer 91 octane but can use 87 octane. Using 87 octane in these engines may cause a light engine knock, and that’s not a problem.

However, if the engine knock becomes very loud, you have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. You may have put fuel in the car that has too low of an octane rating. Continuing to drive with a loud engine knock will most likely result in damage to the car’s fuel system. Park the vehicle immediately if this happens, and contact your dealership.

Gas Mileage Of A Nissan Pathfinder

It will be no surprise that the Nissan Pathfinder is not the most economical car you can get. The earlier generations of the Pathfinder have an MPG that we would consider to be bad these days. The newer versions do a bit better, but if economical driving is high on your wishlist, you’re better off getting the 2012 – 2016 Hybrid versions.

YearEngineCombined MPGCity MPGHighway MPG
2001 – 20053.3151418
2005 – 20074.0 2WD171421
4.0 4WD161419
2007 – 20124.0 2WD171522
4.0 4WD161420
2012 – 20162.5 Hybrid 2WD262528
2.5 Hybrid 4WD262527
3.5 2WD232027
3.5 4WD221926
2016 – 20213.5 2WD232027
3.5 4WD222027
2021 – Present-day3.5 2WD232126
3.5 4WD232127

Tank Size Per Generation

  • The 2001 – 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has a tank size of 20 7/8 gallons or 79 liters.
  • The 2005 – 2012 Nissan Pathfinder has a tank size of 21 1/8 gallons or 80 liters.
  • The 2012 – 2021 Nissan Pathfinder has a tank size of 19 1/2 gallons or 74 liters.
  • The 2021 – Present-day Nissan Pathfinder has a tank size of 18 1/2 gallons or 70 liters.

Cost Of A Full Tank

  • The 2001 – 2005 Nissan Pathfinder costs $71.81 for a full tank of gas.
  • The 2005 – 2012 Nissan Pathfinder costs $72.67 for a full tank of gas.
  • The 2012 – 2021 Nissan Pathfinder costs $67.08 for a full tank of gas.
  • The 2021 – Present-day Nissan Pathfinder costs $63.63 for a full tank of gas.


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