Nissan Pick-ups and Pathfinder 1989-1995

Tires and Wheels



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

Inspect the tires regularly for wear and damage. Remove stones or other foreign particles which may be lodged in the tread. If tread wear is excessive or irregular, it could be a sign of front end problems, or simply improper inflation.

The inflation should be checked at least once a month and adjusted if necessary. The tires must be cold (driven less than one mile) or an inaccurate reading will result. Do not forget to check the spare.

The correct inflation pressure for your vehicle can be found on a decal mounted in the glove box. If you cannot find the decal, a local tire dealer or your Nissan dealer can furnish you with this information. An additional source for tire pressure information may be the vehicle owner's manual.

Inspect tires for uneven wear that might indicate the need for front end alignment or tire rotation. Tires should be replaced when a tread wear indicator appears as a solid band across the tread.

The tires on your truck were selected to provide the best all around performance for normal operation when inflated as specified. Oversize tires (Load Range D) will not increase the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle, although they will provide an extra margin of tread life. Be sure to check overall height before using larger size tires which may interfere with suspension components or wheel wells. When replacing conventional tire sizes with other tire size designations, be sure to check the manufacturer's recommendations. Interchangeability is not always possible because of differences in load ratings, tire dimensions, wheel well clearances, and rim size. Also, due to differences in handling characteristics, 70 Series and 60 Series tires should be used only in pairs on the same axle; radial tires should be used only in sets of four.

When you buy new tires, give some thought to these points, especially if you are switching to larger tires or to another profile series (50, 60, 70, 78):

The wheels must be the correct width for the tire. Tire dealers have charts of tire and rim compatibility. A mismatch can cause sloppy handling and rapid tread wear. The old rule of thumb is that the tread width should match the rim width (inside bead to inside bead) within an inch (25mm). For radial tires, the rim width should be 80% or less of the tire (not tread) width.
The height (mounted diameter) of the new tires can greatly change speedometer accuracy, engine speed at a given road speed, fuel mileage, acceleration, and ground clearance. Tire makers furnish full measurement specifications. Speedometer drive gears are available from Nissan dealers for correction.

Dimensions of tires marked the same size may vary significantly, even among tires from the same maker.

The spare tire should be usable with the new tires, at least for low speed operation.
There shouldn't be any body interference when loaded, on bumps, or in turning.

The only sure way to avoid problems with these points is to stick to tire and wheel sizes available as factory options.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Tread wear indicators will appear when the tire is worn beyond a safe margin

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Fig. Fig. 2: A penny works well for checking tread depth; when the top of Lincoln's head is visible, it's time for new tires

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Fig. Fig. 3: Tread depth can also be checked with an inexpensive gauge


See Figure 4

Rotation is recommended every 6000 miles (9600 km) or so, to obtain maximum tire wear. The pattern you use depends on whether or not your truck has a usable, full size spare tire. Although conventional advice years ago was to the contrary, you can cross-switch radial tires. Snow tires sometimes have directional arrows molded into the side of the carcass; these arrow shows the direction of rotation. Some specialized off-road tires may be directional as well. These tires will wear very rapidly if the direction of rotation is reversed. Also, studded tires will lose their studs if their rotational direction is reversed.

Mark the wheel position or rotational direction of studded snow tires before removing them.

If your truck is equipped with tires having different load ratings on the front and the rear, the tires should not be rotated front to rear. Rotating these tires could affect tire life (the tires with the lower rating will wear faster, and could become overloaded), and upset the handling of the truck.

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Fig. Fig. 4: Common tire rotation patterns


For maximum wear and safety, tires should be used in sets of five (including a full size spare, if equipped). Mixing different types (radial, bias-belted, fiberglass belted) should be avoided. Conventional bias tires are constructed so that the cords run bead-to-bead at an angle. Alternate plies run at an opposite angle. This type of construction gives rigidity to both the tread and sidewall. Bias-belted tires are similar in construction to conventional bias ply tires; their belts run at an angle and also at a 90 degree angle to the bead, as in the radial tire. Tread life is improved considerably over the conventional bias tire. The radial tire differs in construction, but instead of the carcass plies running at a 90 degree angle to each other, they run at a 90 degree angle to the bead. This gives the tread a great deal of rigidity and the sidewall a great deal of flexibility; it also accounts for the characteristic bulge associated with radial tires.

Radial tires are recommended for use on all Nissan trucks. If optional tires are used, the tire sizes and wheel diameters should be selected to maintain ground clearance and tire load capacity equivalent to the minimum specified tire. Radial tires should always be used in sets of five, but in an emergency, radial tires can be used with caution on the rear axle only. If this is done, both tires on the rear should be of radial design.

Radial tires should never be used on ONLY the front axle.


Store the tires at the proper inflation pressure if they are mounted on wheels. Keep them in a cool, dry place, on their sides. If the tires must be stored upright in the garage or basement, do not let them stand on a concrete floor; set them on strips of wood.


An aluminum wheel may be porous and leak air. Locate the leak by inflating the tire to 40 psi (276 kPa) and submerging the tire/wheel assembly in water. Mark the leak areas. Remove the tire from the wheel and scuff the inside rim surface with 80 grit sandpaper. Apply a thick layer of adhesive sealant or equivalent to the leak area and allow to dry for approximately 6 hours.

Clean aluminum wheels with a special mag wheel cleaner or mild soap and water. Do not use harsh detergents or solvents since they may damage the wheel's protective coating.