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Clayso, Master Automobile Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 880
Experience:  ASE Master Certified Automobile Technician. 30 Years Experience.
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I just bought a used 2002 Pathfinder, the check engine light

Customer Question

Hi, I just bought a used 2002 Pathfinder, the check engine light just came on and I checked all fluid levels and changed oil/filter and now while driving the check engine light is blinking, also it seems to have a slight miss at idle and as you accelerate but after 2k rpm its fine smooth as a top, I know this sounds dumb but I can not locate any spark plugs or wires "I mean not at all" does the 3.5 have some other way of igniting the the fuel, I'm an old school mechanic. I've looked everywhere for the spark plugs, if I can find em I can
change em
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Expert:  Clayso replied 1 year ago.

Hi There, I'm Clayso a certified master automobile technician with 30 years of automotive repair and diagnostic experience.

You will need to have the vehicle checked for codes to find out why the (CEL) Check Engine Light is on. On OBD2 systems the CEL will illuminate to warn the driver of any malfunction causing emission deterioration. Most parts stores will check codes for you at no cost, (except CA). The spark plugs I can help you out with right now. They are located under the coil packs. This system uses coil on plug, meaning there is a coil for each plug. The complete service procedure for the spark plugs is in the link below.

Spark Plug Service and Repair

The specifications are as follows:


Gap (Nominal): .................. 1.1 mm (0.043 inch)
Spark plug Torque: ............. 19.6 - 29.4 Nm (2.0 - 2.9 kg-m, 15 - 22 ft. lbs.)

Have the vehicles codes checked and let me know the specific P codes and I'll see what all I can find.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions or comments let me know.

Kindly rate my assistance in a positive manner so I may have credit for helping you.
Positive ratings are greatly appreciated.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm more confused now then ever, I still don't have a clue as to where the spark plugs are exactly located, I know the coil pack theory and I do see numbered electrical connections, do the coil packs pop off or are they screwed down, it looks quite difficult to get at is there something that needs to be removed so you can gain access to the coil pack it seems to be under the manifold' the question about the CEL is primarily towards emissions or all the required functions of the engine.
Expert:  Clayso replied 1 year ago.

The coils are bolted down in the center of the valve cover. There is one bolt on each and a 3 wire connector on each. The book calls for 2½ hours to change the plugs, so it's not a leisure walk in the park. The procedure I sent over is specific to an '02 Pathfinder with the 3.5. Let me know the VIN and I'll verify my information.

The CEL illuminates when anything affects emissions. Misfires do affect the vehicles emissions as do any drive ability problems.