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:
106,912 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

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 20 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Aug 082010


  • 89,000 miles


8-9-2010 I began having difficulty getting my car to shift into reverse. Within 2 weeks, while driving down a crowded highway, my car wouldn't shift from 3rd to 4th, and I could smell something burning. When I finally found a spot to pull over and park, a large puddle of fluid leaked all over the ground. I was alone, in an area I didn't know, and nearly got rear-ended several times when it wouldn't shift gears. I took it to several shops, and the transmissions was ruined. It would have to be rebuilt or replaced, both totaling thousands of $ I don't have. I borrowed money to have it rebuilt. Within 2 weeks, I started having the same issues. When I took it back to the shop, the technician said radiator coolant had leaked into the transmission and it would have to be rebuilt or replaced again. After looking online, I see hundreds of complaints for the exact same issue. For the fuel system, approximately 5/2010, the fuel gauge will drop to empty, even though there will still be fuel in the tank. Sometimes it will stick to mid-full when there is no fuel. Adaptive equipment, when I start the vehicle and try to warm it up, it will only blow cold air, never warm no matter how long it runs.

- Yelm, WA, USA

problem #36

Dec 232011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,900 miles
A cracked radiator caused coolant to leak into the transmission and mix with the transmission fluid. Once the coolant (antifreeze) entered the transmission it killed the valves, seals and torque converter and rendered the entire transmission useless.

- West Dundee, IL, USA

problem #35

Nov 142011


  • 85,000 miles
Know issues by Nissan not being addressed... radiator/oil leak - warranty extended but does not cover our vehicle. Timing chain failure in Nissan vehichles - no warrant extension covered. More info available upon request. Letter sent to Nissan on 1/15/2012 detailing all of the issues.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #34

Dec 282011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


The radiator failed causing coolant to leak into the automatic transmission. Bother were ruined and had to be replaced. The repairs cost $5000+ this issue is well documented on top shelf internet websites including and others. Many folks are under power when the engine stalls, at any speed.. Nissan is not offering recall. A class action lawsuit is underway. This is a dangerous design defect (cooling the transmission via the radiator) and people may be injured or worse. Maybe it has already happened to some?

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #33

Mar 152011


  • miles
Vibration from rear wheel begins at 40 mph and increases with vehicle speed. Tires and U joints have been replaced - problem persists. Identical to transmission/radiator issues described in several consumer forums. I am reluctant to drive this vehicle, especially on the highway.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

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problem #32

Dec 122011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
Radiator coolant leaking into transmission fluid, causing transmission to fail. Safety issue is it causes delay in forward propulsion. This is a common problem and has been well noted on Nissan Pathfinders but Nissan is not willing to accept responsibility for the problem.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #31

Nov 232011


  • 93,105 miles


Radiator core is cracked, which is causing the radiator to leak. It is undetermined at this time if any antifreeze has leaked into the transmission; however, over the past several months, I have on a few occasions experienced the automatic transmission operating erratically (e.g., down shifting or not shifting into passing gear when under full power). The vehicle is scheduled to have its radiator replaced on 11/30/2011, and at that time, I will have the transmission fluid analyzed to determine if any antifreeze has entered the transmission. I pray it has not!

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #30

Aug 122011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
While attempting to enter a freeway on ramp the transmission failed causing the vehicle to lose power and stop in traffic. After causing a major traffic jam at the intersection, traffic light, and on ramp we were able to get the vehicle off the road. I had just had out patient surgery and my wife was driving, it was a horrible experience. We find out later that this is a known defect from Nissan and they won't do a recall. What would have happened if we had been a few hundred yards farther down the on ramp and trying to merge into freeway traffic when this failed?

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #29

Feb 012010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle started to jerk violently and there was an increase in engine rpms. The vehicle was taken to a local shop prior to the failure where it was diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be dismantled in order to determine the exact failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 105,000.

- St Joseph, IL, USA

problem #28

Nov 082011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder shuttered excessively when decelerating from the interstate and from that point forward had difficulty shifting into higher gears. I immediately took it to a mechanic and was told the transmission had gone bad. In the process of replacing the transmission, they discovered the radiator leaking into the transmission and the computers in the transmission and the car were not communicating.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #27

Jan 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


Nissan needs to step up! this is an unbelievable amount of what is wrong with the world. Since having the many other problems fixed on my Pathfinder(2005) I am now facing an issue of it running sluggishly, high RPM's and less get up. That was one of my favorite things when we purchased the truck, I thought it was safe. I felt comfortable merging into traffic with my 4 children I knew we had power on our side. The tire pressure is constantly ( 1X a week) setting off the TPMS, then there is the squeaky brakes and other rattling, vibrating noises. The other thing is the check engine light that randomly comes on for some reason then will mysteriously be gone a few miles later. We bought Nissan thinking it was still a stable reliable company that made a strong product and stood behind it...well were we ever wrong! never again!!!

- New Egypt, NJ, USA

problem #26

Oct 032011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I was having trouble with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission slipping during routine driving. I had the fluid level checked and there was no problem. On October 3,2011 while driving on to a highway ramp, I started to accelerate to merge into traffic and the transmission just made a high pitch sound and would not engage. Several cars were behind me and I had to go off the road onto the embankment to avoid being hit. I had the vehicle towed to the shop, after several days told by a mechanic that there was a defect in the radiator of the Nissan the interior components of the radiator allowed coolant to mix with the transmission fluid contaminating it. The transmission and other drive train components were damaged and needed to be replaced along with the radiator. When I contacted the Nissan dealership here in North Carolina I was told that there have been numerous complaints filed regarding the transmission problem but there was not a recall on record to date. The cost of my repairs was $2,500.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #25

Oct 082011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Vehicle is slow to accelerate and runs very sluggish. Mechanic confirmed coolant has leaked into transmission.

- Canyon Lake,, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 152011


  • 110,000 miles
On Saturday, October 15, I was crossing a busy intersection between two major highways when my transmission failed. Luckily, I was able to get it up on to the concrete median in the middle of the highway. I had 4 children in my vehicle when this occurred, and luckily a nice police officer witnessed what was happening and stopped to offer assistance. Later that night, my car was impounded because I wasn't able to tow it that day. I had to pay $275 to get my vehicle out of the impound lot and to the transmission shop. The transmission shop calls and says my transmission is completely "shot" because the coolant mixed with the transmission fluid and I have to replace the transmission and the radiator. The expense alone is more than I can spare, not to mention the danger that my children were in when the truck decided to come to a dead stop at the busiest time of day on a weekend!

- Clayton, DE, USA

problem #23

Sep 302011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,095 miles
2005 Pathfinder transmission in overdrive gear the car felt like it was going over a grated road. Took into Nissan and after 2 days of tests determined that the radiator leaked into the transmission and now both the transmission and radiator have to be replaced for over $5,500. Nissan did extend the warranty to 80,000 miles but since my car has 98,000 and was never routinely serviced by Nissan they will not offer any monetary help. Nissan knows there is a problem with the radiator/transmission. I called up an independent transmission repair franchise and as soon as I said 2005 Pathfinder he knew radiator leak caused the problem. There should be a national recall issued.

- Monmouth Junction, NJ, USA

problem #22

Dec 012010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
At about 40,000 miles fuel gauge stopped working. And started having intermittent electrical problems. Headlights going on and off when in park. Fan starting when key is turned but not cranked. Anti-theft system locking me out from starting the truck. 70000 miles vehicle would intermittently not start. It would crank but not start. Took it to Nissan and was told nothing could be done on their part. I was told it was the ECU, bmu, tmu, and ipdm were all bad. I replaced the ipdm and bmu and ECU. Truck still ran rough. At 91000 miles Nissan now says my transmission is bad due to the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission but I am out of the 80000 mile warranty. Nissan said they will pay half to fix if I pay half of the $4600 transmission repair. Nissan can not explain why this happened but acknowledged that this is a big complaint of the 2005 Pathfinder.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #21

May 012010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Radiator leaks fluid into transmission, Nissan knows this is a flaw and they will only flush your transmission, just to put it off until you are out of warranty. I started taking my Nissan in at 52,000miles for this problem and they kept telling me that they are unfamiliar with the problems I was experiencing and they couldn't find anything wrong with the truck. Now I'm out of warranty and my transmission needs replaced. Nissan also has a problem with they fuel gage, sometimes it shows gas levels, and sometimes it doesn't. I have ran out of gas 3 times now, on the highway! again, Nissan knows this is a problem, they even sent an "extended warranty" to cover this problem specifically. But, only if you are under a certain mileage. And they didn't send me the notice until I was under the mileage limit by 300 miles! please help!!

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #20

Sep 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The transmission on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has failed due to an apparent leak in the cooling system that allows radiator fluid to leak into the transmission. We brought the vehicle to the dealership as it began to make loud noises while driving, apparently struggling to shift gears, and sounded as if it was about to fall out of the vehicle. The dealership pretended that they did not know what was wrong with the vehicle until I brought them the research I had found online (which there is plenty pertaining to this same exact problem with this same exact make, model, & year vehicle). Then they finally admitted that they were aware of the this widespread problem but that unfortunately the vehicle was out of warranty and that I will now have to eat the $6,000 repair bill that they've given me. Based on the research I've done, Nissan Corp. Has known about this problem for some time and has failed to address it.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #19

Mar 032010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the air conditioner would not blow cold air when the vehicle was idled. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that there was a leak within the air conditioner. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact also stated that the vehicle would experience trouble shifting into first or second gear. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #18

Sep 012011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving, the contact stated that the vehicle would drag or hesitate while shifting into the next gear. The dealer diagnosed that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission, causing it to fail. The transmission and radiator were both replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and assisted with the initial repair. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 112,000.

- Kernersville, NC, USA

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