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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,417 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.

2006 Nissan Pathfinder drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 14 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #108

Jan 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,445 miles


As I was going down the road and my vehicle started to shake like I was running over the emergency lane vibration strips and lost power. I was in high traffic and was almost rear ended. I had to let off the gas pedal, coast a little then press the pedal again until it shifted into a higher gear. I had it checked by a dealer and turns out the transmission had failed because of a crack in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to leak into the transmission. A problem that many Pathfinder owners have experienced. A problem that Nissan knew about in their Pathfinders and instead of recalling the vehicles they extended a warranty that leaves the owner paying a $3,000 co pay to have the transmission and radiator replaced for a known problem.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #107

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Suddenly my Pathfinder began to loss power while driving home. I barely made it home.the vehicle suddenly leaked out red transmission fluid in the driveway and began to smoke at the hood of the engine. The Pathfinder was towed to a Nissan dealer that same day. Nissan dealer reports the transmission and radiator needs to be replaced, costing approx $8000 dollars.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #106

Jan 012013


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator leaked water into the transmission, causing the transmission to seize while driving 60 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified who stated there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Cincinnatti, OH, USA

problem #105

Dec 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 119,070 miles


A couple of months ago my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder started jerking into gear around 45-55 mph. I had no idea of the transmission/radiator issue at that point. In mid-December when trying to accelerate from a stop at a stop sign, the vehicle revved but barely went forward at all. Thank god I wasn't at a busy intersection, this could have caused a major accident!! the service engine light came on and the RPM shot up. I was able to move the vehicle very slowly into a driveway and there it sat for a couple of days until we could bring it home. It has been parked in the driveway for a month and a half B/C I do not have the money to fix it. The transmission fluid is definitely contaminated. A few weeks ago I received a class action settlement claim form regarding this issue, however, my lovely vehicle has 119,081 miles on it...therefore, I am over the mileage and out of luck! Nissan has known about this problem for a very long time and had a recall been issued years ago the problem could have been fixed for much less money! I still owe on this vehicle and it is doing me absolutely no good sitting in the driveway.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #104

Jan 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
The transmission on my 2006 Pathfinder began slipping, causing vibrations to the point that my wife did not want to drive the vehicle any longer with our child in it. Took it to the dealership and paid the $3000 co-pay to replace the transmission fix the coolant problem. I find this very disappointing due to the fact that it is a known problem with these vehicles. Had I known of this possible issue earlier, I may have been able to had the vehicle diagnosed and saved the $3000 co-pay...which we really can't afford to pay! I hope this issue becomes a recall before someone gets hurt!!

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

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problem #103

Dec 102012


  • 58,000 miles
I am being told that my transmission is going out due to a faulty transmission Nissan installed in the 2006 Pathfinders. They are telling me this is very common in the Pathfinders and after much research I am seeing that I am not alone.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #102

Jan 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Fuel level sensor malfunction, gas gauge shows inaccurate amount of gas in tank. Cannot pass deq test until fixed. Appears to be ongoing issue with this make & model of vehicle. There needs to be an extension on the recall, very expensive too fix. Problem #2 severe transmission vibration at 50-70 mph, cannot operate in overdrive without having transmission causing severe jerking of vehicle. Very scary noise especially with little kids in car. There is a service bulletin on this issue and it needs to be moved to a full recall. Very dangerous!

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #101

Dec 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,569 miles
Coolant in the transmission sudden lose of speed difficult to drive manage to get it home haven't ran it since afraid of losing the transmission completely did not no of this issue till it was too late I have 2 cars between me and my 3 sons and now down to one car till this issue can be resolve, can not afford to pay for the repairs out of pocket im hoping Nissan will be taking some responsibility I've own 5 Nissan a stanza, Sentra, a Pathfinder, maxima, and now 06 Pathfinder im having issues with.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #100

Jul 012012


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while shifting gears, the vehicle vibrated and emitted a strong coolant odor. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the radiator cracked due to defective material and caused coolant to enter the transmission. The radiator and transmission was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000 and the current mileage was 97,000.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #99

Jul 252012


  • 101,000 miles
While accelerating down main highway in Massachusetts my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder slipped out of gear, jerked repeatedly and then caught again surging forward. This process repeated its self for the following 5 miles until could safely get it off the highway.

- Norton , MA, USA

problem #98

Nov 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


The engine starts up but will not shift to second gear.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #97

Dec 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Radiator/transmission cooler failed leaking radiator fluid into transmission ruining transmission. Radiator and transmission need to be replaced according to Nissan dealership. Proactive replacement (recall) of known defect in radiator would have been inexpensive and prevented very costly transmission damage.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #96

Oct 252012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Vehicle began to shudder while climbing a slight grade at about 35-40mph. Problem has gotten progressively worse. Dealer acknowledges problem is with transmission, which was damaged by defective radiator.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #95

Dec 092012


  • 82,790 miles
Transmission failure due to transmission fluid and engine coolant mixing in the radiator. This is a known problem according to Nissan. I was required to pay a $2500 copay to have the repair made. The failure of the transmission could have resulted in an accident since we were on a highway. The failure is catastrophic. My reason for complaint is that Nissan is aware of the problem but refuses to issue a recall. Instead they offer an extended warranty with copays. I would not have had to pay the $2500 if this was a recall or the failure occurred before 80000 miles. I urge you to force Nissan to issue the recall and reimburse the copay.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #94

Dec 102012


  • 83,000 miles
My wife drove the SUV to town. It started acting funny (transmission was not shifting correctly). At this time the SUV acted like it was out of drive and would not go forward or reverse. She had it towed to a repair shop to see what was going on with it. They called her later the same day and told her that her transmission cooling line in the radiator had leaked coolant into transmission. The Nissan dealership in longview, wa. Told us that we have to pay $2500 if we want our SUV repaired, and that in October 2012 they had sent a letter stating that we needed to bring our SUV in because of this very problem. We did not receive this so called letter.

- Kelso, WA, USA

problem #93

Nov 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway and when vehicle reaches approx 50 mph, car starts shuddering. Over time this shuddering noise becomes worse even at low speeds 20-30 mph. Nissan is well aware of this problem because they extended the warranty for the radiator/transmission cooler. The worst thing is Nissan is charging a co-pay of $2,500. They should cover all the charges including the co-pay since this is a known factory defect.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #92

Nov 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,557 miles
Took my 2006 Pathfinder to a shop for poor heat, and a slight transmission shutter after checking the fluid noticed the anti-freeze was contaminated with transmission fluid and the transmission fluid was milky from the anti-freeze. Only having 88,000 miles on car I started looking for reasons and found that there was a crack in the radiator causing it to swap fluids. After speaking with the shop owner he believes it was caught early so there is an off chance that a good flush and transmission service will correct the shutter, how ever I will need to replace the radiator, thermostat, all fluids and the hose assembly that connects the rear heat ( became brittle and cracked from transmission fluid) for a cost off $2000 parts.

- Flat Rock, NC, USA

problem #91

Jan 262010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,127 miles
Due to an acknowledged defect in a hose leading from the radiator to the transmission, coolant leaked into the transmission causing catastrophic damage. We had to replace the transmission and the defective radiator to the tune of >$4000. Nissan recognized there was an issue because they extended the powertrain warranty to just under the mileage where the majority of their customers were beginning to experience issues. When approached, Nissan refused to authorize a reimbursement of any sort, not even agreeing to meet halfway, when they knew it was their defective part that was to blame for the damage that was done. Nissan hopes that by dismissing people they will give up and not pursue further recourse. I will say now that they are sorely mistaken. There are too many people that have been affected by their negligence. It was a costly and dangerous oversight that needs to end in some sort of resolution.

- West Henrietta , NY, USA

problem #90

May 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,800 miles
Vehicle was running normal till we park to have lunch.start vehicle fine place shifter in gear (drive) was not taking any gear.we have vehicle taking to Nissan dealer.they determine cause due to a faulty radiator leaking coolant to transmission Nissan was not going to do any warranty repairs on the vehicle because vehicle was out warranty.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #89

Nov 142012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,242 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder 103K miles. We noticed vehicle would shudder upon acceleration at approximately 40 mph and again at 50 mph. Also at times the engine would rev up like it couldn't shift to the next gear. If we slowed down to 50 and re-accelerated to 55 mph, the shuddering became a severe vibration. We took it to an independent mechanic since we had recently a bad experience with our local Nissan dealer in fixing another problem (timing chain). The mechanic dropped the transmission pan and found the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission fluid. Mechanic stated we were very lucky to have caught this right away as it could have caused a lot of other problems too lengthy to mention here. Mechanic replaced radiator and did a tranny flush but I'm not sure our problems are over. Now the fuel gauge registers empty after I have just filled up with fuel, the service engine light came on, and now I am totally stressed out driving anywhere, and especially in traffic.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

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