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Questions and Answers

Nissan Pathfinder No Fourth Gear

Q. I have a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder 3.3 liter V-6, automatic transmission and 4WD. I'm trying to diagnose a transmission problem, was wondering if you can point out with a diagram or info about any electrical harness or connectors underhood that I may have not connected properly. The MIL code was "4th gear ratio incorrect".

Nissan Pathfinder No Fourth Gear

I forget the code number since the shop cleared it after they gave me the description of the code. Basically, first gear to second gear shifts are normal, then when it should be shifting into third, it revs up the rpm's like a slipping clutch (its an auto though), and then shifts hard into third, but never will shift into fourth gear at all, so at about 60 mph, the engine is red lining and that's the top speed at that point with this situation.

I recently replaced the knock sensor successfully, so I had to remove the intake manifold as well as the lower runners on top of the block, so all the hoses and electrical wires/harnesses also had to be removed at that time.

I reconnected everything, or so I thought, but this transmission issue developed immediately afterwards. I've gone through all the visible hoses and electrical harnesses that I could see thinking that they weren't connected properly, but they all appear to be fine.

I've also gone through the Haynes repair manual for my vehicle but it was of little help showing which/where the electrical harnesses would be for any transmission control harnesses that are under hood. It did mention that there should be some, but had no picture or description where.

I've even searched through your sites past questions and found a reference and instructions to check a shift solenoid B for a 1995 Pathfinder, but again, no description as to where the actual solenoid or electrical harness connector for it is. Can you please advise with a diagram or advice?

Thank you,

A. Without a code number, I have to go by description. It is always best to include the code number if you can. It makes it easier for me to find it and it is more accurate then a description.

The closest I have is "Improper Shifting To 4th Gear Position Or Improper Torque Converter Clutch Operation"


  • This is one of the items indicated by the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL).
  • This malfunction will not be detected while the "OD OFF" indicator lamp is indicating another self-diagnosis malfunction.
  • This malfunction is detected when the A/T does not shift into fourth gear position or the torque converter clutch does not lock up as instructed by the A/T control unit.

    This is not caused by an electrical malfunction (circuits open or shorted) but by mechanical malfunction such as control valve sticking, improper solenoid valve operation, malfunctioning oil pump or torque converter clutch, etc.

Here is the location and the test procedure for checking the solenoids. This does require removing the transmission valve body. This can be somewhat complicated and there are several small check balls that could get lost. If you are not comfortable with this, then I would suggest taking it to a Nissan Dealer.

Nissan Pathfinder No Fourth Gear

Nissan Pathfinder No Fourth Gear

Nissan Pathfinder No Fourth Gear

Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

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© 2003 Vincent T. Ciulla

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