Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2005-2007 Pathfinder appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

According to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,828 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 12 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #198

May 212010


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while at the dealer for routine maintenance the technician advised that the radiator would have to be replaced. After the replacement of the radiator, the contact was parked when the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #197

May 032013


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and the transmission slipped out of gear. All of the instrument panel warning lights illuminated when the failure occurred. The contact had the vehicle towed to a dealer. The dealer stated that the relay pack malfunctioned and the transmission was defective due radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. There was also transmission fluid that leaked into the radiator. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- North Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #196

Mar 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Transmission started chugging took it to the repair shop the next day and they showed me I have engine coolant in the transmission and that it would be 5000 to repair. Told me I was the 6th Nissan that has been in his shop in the last month with the same problem!!

- Kingston, TN, USA

problem #195

May 032013


  • 116,000 miles


My wife was on way home. As she slowed and turned into driveway car just stopped pulling. It was like it was in 5th gear. Had to accelerate hard to just get into driveway. Parked and shut it off. After inspection I found trans fluid looked milky. Searched web and found that hundreds of others had experienced this. I hoped I had caught it early enough not to have damaged transmission. I replaced radiator, thermostat, trans filter and fluids. No help...... still doesn't pull. Does have nice clean fluids in it now.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #194

May 072013


  • 108,000 miles
Having the same problem that the Nissan put out a recall for. An alarming number of Nissan xterra, Pathfinder and frontier owners are stepping forward with stories about their cracked radiators which are causing coolant to leak into the transmission. Once mixed with the transmission fluid this lethal combination kills the valves, seals and torque converter -- rendering your entire transmission useless. This issue is currently contained to the 2005 - 2007 model years, but we're keeping our eyes open for reports from other years.

- Hartland , WI, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #193

Apr 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I have been notified by my mechanic, that there is transmission fluid in both my radiator and coolant system. Thought I'm thankful that no incident has happened yet, in doing research I have heard of many Nissan Pathfinder 2005-2010 owners having the same issues with their vehicles. Some have even reported repair costs in excess of $3000 for transmission failure repairs. I am getting mixed information as to what my options are in regard to a class action suite against Nissan. I need some clarity in this issue before I find myself in an unfavorable situation.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #192

Jun 062012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission started to exhibit a loud noise when shifting gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. As a result, the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 99,000.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

problem #191

Apr 232013


  • 14,330 miles
While driving on a local street in my neighborhood at 35 mph on my way to pick up my son from school, the Pathfinder began to lose power. I press on the gas and the Pathfinder would not go any faster, it was hesitating and seemed like it was going to stop. I made to the mechanic and was told the radiator had leaked into the transmission. The mechanic then advised the radiator and transmission would have to be replaced at a cost of $5828. I am upset and completely in shock when he tells Nissan has an extended warranty however it only covers you up to 100,000 miles. Nissan is aware of this issue and if it happened at 100,000 I would have brought it in for servicing. I paid over 30,000 for the Pathfinder brand new and after eight years this is what I am left with, no recourse?

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #190

Apr 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 61,131 miles
Transmission did not engage when pulling car out of my garage. I put it in park and tried again but the car would still not engage. After a third attempt the car began to move but the transmission was acting very odd and disengaging, almost like I was coasting. This was very scary for me and my three children. My husband inspected the car and found that radiator fluid contained a white greasy substance. I took the car in for inspection and repair at my local Nissan dealer and they informed me that there was indeed cross contamination due to a cracked transmission cooling line mixing with the radiator fluid. This will end up costing me $2,500 to fix. It appears that I am not the first to have to deal with this problem, and by the number of people filing complaints it seems like a defect to me and not mere coincidence. This really needs to be a recall. Nissan needs to be held liable for the multitudes of people stuck in this unfortunate situation.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #189

Nov 242011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Lost power, transmission not engaging, was told that it was radiator coolant was leaking in the system. After transmission was replaced after at approximately 27,000 miles same incident happened again.

- San Bruno, CA, USA

problem #188

Apr 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 149,929 miles


Car would not start, got it towed to my mechanic, radiator allowed coolant to mix with transmission fluid. Containment the transmission. Radiator and transmission has to be replaced. Job will cost $5346.74.

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #187

Apr 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The transmission cooler of the radiator is leaking into the transmission.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #186

Mar 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl Diesel

  • 115,000 miles
While driving at approx 40 mph, the transmission suddenly disengaged; rpms went up to 5000; was like being in neutral. At the time, I was traveling up a slight incline without a shoulder or safe area to stop. Stopped in the roadway. Had it towed to Nissan dealership. They advised that they were aware of the known issue¯for a long time and that the radiator part that cools the transmission fluid failed and radiator fluid had entered the transmission causing the transmission to fail. This known issue, was never a recall and Nissan had no intentions on a recall due to a class action lawsuit. Unfortunately, my vehicle mileage is over the class action lawsuit settlement mileage and therefore Nissan will not take any responsibility; leaving strict instructions¯ to Nissan customer affairs to specifically not offer any assistance to persons affected by this known issue. Nissan dealership service dept advised that Nissan had fixed¯ the known issue on a newer model of radiator. Nissan should have recalled the product for a safety inspection and replaced all parts known to fail. Total estimated cost to repair at Nissan dealership started around $8000 and negotiated to $5000. Several private transmission repair shop estimates are approx. $4000. Most private auto shops will not touch this repair due to the known issue¯ and no confidence that Nissan fixed the known issue¯. request an investigation with an eye towards safety recall & reimbursement for those who already had to pay out of pocket.

- Island Heights, NJ, USA

problem #185

Mar 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Just over a year ago our 2005 Pathfinder's transmission failed due to Nissan installing a faulty radiator in the vehicle when it was made. Due to the expense of getting it fixed, it still sets in the garage waiting to save up the money to fix the issue. Over the year, Nissan has admitted it was a problem but instead of fixing it, they say they will cover it if the vehicle has low millage. The radiator problem is not millage dependant. We drove our Pathfinder and it was beyond the millage they would cover. So I guess I am being penalized by Nissan for driving the Pathfinder. I just wish Nissan would do the right thing for its customers.

- Altus, AR, USA

problem #184

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Transmission stalls when trying to shift between gears. The transmission cannot decide when to shift and tries to downshift during deceleration. The transmission is slow to respond.

- Fountain Hills , AZ, USA

problem #183

Apr 022013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,500 miles
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder was going down the road and it began to hard shift. The revs would go high and then the car would shift very hard. Then while going down the road at about 55mph the car shifted into neutral. The car would not engage any gears and I had to pull of the road. Once the vehicle was stopped it would not engage any gears. I tried to reset from park and still nothing. I turned off the car and then back on, then I placed the car into "D" drive at which time it had a long delay before engaging the gear hard. Then I rolled off slowly and again, it reved up high before going into the next gear. As soon as I got to about 20 mph it shifted into neutral before coasting to a stop. I had to repeat the off/on procedure and keep it under 20 mph before I got to a safe place. The car continue to go down the road between 15-20 mph at high revs in order to get it to a mechanic shop. There were no warning signs, no indicators that the car was going to shift into neutral and the worst thing is that I was with my family in the car when this occured with a high volume of cars on the road which made it a dangerous condition for the car to unexpectedly shift into neutral.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #182

Feb 152013


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the transmission seized and the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the radiator and transmission were both replaced due to coolant leaking into the transmission and causing internal damage. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Choctaw, OK, USA

problem #181

Mar 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Radiator cracked allowing coolant to contaminate transmission fluid. Transmission suddenly failed on highway. No warning signs. Vehicle was revving but not moving. Dealer says internal transmission problem and not eligible for repair under extended warranty. Specialty shop says radiator is cracked. Photos and parts available.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #180

Mar 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Transmission is going out, I received a letter from Nissan a couple months ago that states some of these vehicles have had issues. Also they do nothing for this after 100000 mi. Well, it seems that Nissan knew about this and there are alot more of these than some of these vehicles. I have been all over the web and have come to the conclusion that there are thousands of these issues and Nissan fails to admit fault. I don't have money to fix my vehicle with 112000 on it and I should not have to replace a transmission with only 112000 on it, especially a well maintained one.Nissan knew of this problem! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Newark, IL, USA

problem #179

Mar 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
I was driving and stopped at a traffic signal. When the light turned green and I pressed the gas pedal the vehicle moved less than 5 M.P.H. this continued all the way to church on March 10th, 2013. I drove to the vehicle to the dealer and 2 days later they diagnosed the issue. The radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission, cross contaminating the transmission fluid. This caused the valve body in the transmission to fail. The Nissan dealer informed me that the radiator and valve body in the transmission had to be replaced. They also informed me that my power train warranty was expired because I was over 100,000 miles and my vehicle is at 104,000. I was told that Nissan wouldn't cover the repair even though the radiator is defective but since I caught it early the transmission wasn't totally damaged just partially damaged saving me more money. However, my repair bill was $2,999.94!! even the mechanics at Nissan told me that this is an known issue (off the record) and Nissan should cover the repair!! this is due to a defective radiator and Nissan should issue a recall. Consumers shouldn't have to foot the bill for a manufacturing defect that Nissan is aware of! it effects 2005 thru 2010 Pathfinder, xterra and frontier vehicles. Nissan is voluntarily offering to co-pay for repairs if your vehicle has less than 100,000 miles because of a class action lawsuit that is still pending in court. The issue only occurs after 100,000 miles leaving millions of consumers on the hook for an obvious manufacturing defect!! please help us recover the cost of this expensive repair?? please!!!!

- Chicago, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?