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 17 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

Jul 062012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles


I bought this vehicle in June 2011 from benson Nissan in spartanburg, SC. I had no idea about the radiator/transmission problems these vehicles were having &of course it wasn't mentioned in the sale. It was already slightly past the 80,000 mile warranty (the previous owner was obviously aware of problems) for the radiator. Less than 2 weeks after purchase I told the sales person &a mechanic that the car was jerking at around 60 mph when changing gears. The mechanic blamed "bad gas? & ?ethanol? & assured me it wasn't the transmission. Less than a month later, I took it back to the dealer?S &told them the car was still jerking at 60mph &asked them about the transmission. They again told me there was not a problem with the transmission. The car continued to shake worse when shifting &I continued to call Nissan &complain. The sales person even offered to trade the car in for me, but reneged when his manager declined because I "got too good of a deal on that car &(they) couldn't trade it back." The shaking began to get worse &spread to lower gears &I accepted the fact that I was sold a lemon. Through all this, no one at the Nissan dealership mentioned the transmission or radiator problem. I found out about it only after I began to research how to repair it myself &by then all I could do was pray. Barely one year after purchase while on the way to my parent?S house with my child in the back seat, &while on a busy highway, the car stuck in 2nd gear. I barely got it to my parent"S house &endured a lot of angry drivers around me. It cost $3700 to rebuild the transmission &replace the radiator that leaked into the transmission &finally after getting it back the jerking while shifting has stopped. I should've been informed about the transmission problem at purchase or at least after complaining &Nissan needs to make good on their faulty parts before someone is really hurt.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #47

Mar 052012


  • 72,873 miles
Driving the car as I normally do and felt the transmission slipping and acting funny car lost power on hwy took to an aamco transmissions mechanic and was told that the radiator coolant leaked in to transmission. So to get it fixed had to rebuild transmission, new torque converter and new radiator. I see too many people having the same problems and Nissan dose nothing to fix the problem you call them and they brush you off. Mean wail everyone is spending any-ware from $5000 to $7000. Could this get looked in to?

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #46

Jul 032012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Our 2006 Pathfinder had started shuttering in the transmission about a week before it just gave out on the side of the road. I took it to an independent transmission repair shop, who told me that the radiator fluid had gotten into the transmission and ruined it. I did some checking on the internet and found that I was not the only one that has had this problem. Nissan has known this was a problem and has not sent any notices or recalls. I also had another problem recently with the ECM relay, that left it on the side of the road. After research found that a recall was issued and no notice was sent out. I was thankful that Nissan replaced the relay. We have call Nissan customer service about the transmission, but I do not believe they will help due to the mileage. This should have been addressed when it was discovered with a new radiator and a complete transmission service.

- Jasper, FL, USA

problem #45

Jul 122012


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was then maneuvered to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic for an inspection. Several diagnostic codes were produced during the inspection, but they were unable to determine the failure. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle was out of warranty. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Greenwood Lake, NY, USA

problem #44

Jul 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 59,799 miles
Drove to wawa for gas and as car was idiling it over heated and check engine light came on. Got my car home and started poking around online just to find thousands of other people are experiencing the same issue. The radiator cracked and mixed with transmission fluid. Don't know if transmission is destroyed yet but time will tell. Horrible that there is no recall for this. And what a hazard I had my 3 children in car and had to tell them no baseball for them. And top it off there was no signs of any issues and car only has 59,799 miles on it.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

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problem #43

Jul 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,033 miles
Went to dealership and notified them of shuddering when driving in excess of 40mph and check engine light on. Was told by the service department that the transmission fluid is 'milky' as a result of coolant mixing in with automatic transmission fluid due to a crack in the radiator. Advised repairs to include a transmission cooler would be in excess of $8,000+. also advised that mileage of 91,033 voided extended warranty. (3 years, 80,000 miles) vehicle is non-operable due to total transmission failure.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #42

Aug 092010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


While doing regular vehicle maintenance on my vehicle, found coolant had leaked into my transmission fluid. As a result of finding this problem, and not having the financial resources to fix it at the time, I stopped driving the vehicle on a consistent basis for around 18 months. I did the best I could to fix it by bypassing the defective transmission cooler under the radiator and flushing the transmission of contaminated fluid. Since discovering this problem I have driven approximately 6,000 miles, and now the transmission is slipping badly and when it shifts, the transmission shifts very hard. As a result of this transmission cooler failure I am now looking at being forced to replace my transmission.

- Richmond Heights, MO, USA

problem #41

Jun 232012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,500 miles
Just purchased 2006 Pathfinder from local (Jeep/Dodge) dealer. Was literally driving it home from the lot when I encountered vibration and near loss of control at freeway speeds. I was able to get the vehicle home and after checking the fluids found a milky white (atf?) fluid in the coolant/radiator. The vehicle has 87500 miles and I'm beside myself right now. The dealer I purchased the vehicle from seems willing to work with me to remedy the situation but I'm not sure if they'll pay for a new transmission and radiator...? after a couple of minutes of investigation on the internet found the mass of folks dealing with the same radiator/transmission failure problem. I've got an appointment with the local Nissan dealer this week... we'll see what happens. NHTSA please help the hundreds if not thousands of Nissan owners dealing with this obvious defect!

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #40

Jun 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Driving between 35-60 mph my 2006 Pathfinder was shaking as if I were on a rumble strip. It continued to worsen as the week progressed. I took it into the dealer and was told that both front and rear U-joints were loose and needed to be replaced. With only 81000 miles on my vehicle I asked if this was premature for both U-joints to fail at the same time. I was told it is considered "normal wear and tear". the cost of replacement was $1200.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #39

Mar 202012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My transmission started making noises and problem shifting at 60 mph and the whole vehicle start shaking. I had to brake and reduced speed to avoid the shaking.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #38

Jul 142011


  • 82,367 miles


At first incident, the transmission would start slipping causing a vibration while the overdrive was on, the vibration would go away when out of overdrive. Then the car would stall when you would try to take off at a stop, the car would not move until you would turn the car off and crank it again. As you would pull out into traffic the car would not go. Then even with the car out of overdrive while at speeds at 55 mph or higher the transmission would not work, you would have to let off on the accelerator and wait on the RPM's to drop and then it would go into gear again.I took the car to a local mechanic and he advised the trouble was in a solenoid in the transmission. I took the car to a transmission shop, they checked the fluid and said there was water in the transmission fluid, caused by a coolant leak from inside of radiator getting into the transmission lines causing the transmission to go bad due to coolant into the transmission.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #37

May 302012


  • 10,500 miles
As has been reported by many our 2006 Pathfinder has been found to have antifreeze in the transmission and we are now told it will take 4500 dollars to fix. This is no doubt a manufactures defect as there was no way to prevent this from happening or knowing for sure when it did. This SUV has been maintained by professionals and they did not catch it, I believe Nissan knew about this based on actions they have taken and now should have to repair these vehicles.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #36

May 252012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The transmission is slipping while trying to accelerate or will downshift incorrectly and redline, making the tires chirp and almost lose control.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #35

May 212012


  • 133,995 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced because transmission coolant had erroneously leaked into the transmission. There was a manufacturer's recall for the failure but the contact's vehicle exceeded the mileage limit for the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 133,995.

- Wildwood, FL, USA

problem #34

May 042012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,700 miles
My transmission failed while driving on an interstate. Mechanic said the cooling line cracked, which allowed radiator fluid to enter the transmission and destroy it.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #33

Aug 232010


  • 120,000 miles
Vehicle problem started with ECM/ipdm power train which stool on me. Replace for a cost of $17-1800. I paid about $1500-$1800 to get the ECM fixed and ipdm replaced. I was informed that my vehicle needed 2front converters for a cost of $2500. I contacted Nissan manufacturers and expresses my concerned. Nissan manufacturers did not want to pay attention to my concerns, but after about 3-5months of non stop complaining, Nissan manufacturers issued a recalled on the ECM and refunded my money, but refuses to fix my converters. In March 2011, I got a recalled noticed from Nissan manufacturers about a leak of coolant into transmission, so I took my vehicle to the dealership and the dealership refused to do the required inspection and claimed that my vehicle had more miles than the manufacturers required mile; and yes, my vehicle at that time was not 5years. Two weeks later my transmission went into heavy smoke with a strong rotten egg odor while I was driving. I was told that valve body inside my vehicle transmission is burned and to replace it for a cost of about $3000+, and sensor need to be replace as well and the 2 converters. Nissan gave me a bill of over $5000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #32

Nov 162011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Back in November 2011 (a week before thanksgiving) my car started to act up while shifting (shifting hard or not shifting). I took it to a Nissan dealer (bertera Nissan of auburn, MA) on my way to work. The mechanics there told me there was nothing wrong with my car. They never even took it for a test drive. The mileage at the time was around the 80K. In February to my local mechanic (ed's automotive, ellington ct) for routine maintenance (oil change). I asked him to check if I needed a transmission service since I was at 100K in miles. He checked the fluid and told me that the coolant was mixed with my transmission fluid and told me to take it to a dealer to see if it was covered. He informed me at that time of the service bulletin that Nissan has out. So I took it back to the same dealer that told me 4 months earlier that nothing was wrong. They gave me the info to file the claim and confirmed that I need a new transmission and radiator. I filed and waiting for a response. It took about a week. When I heard back from the customer line, they told me that they would not assist me with the issue. I called back several times to try to reach a different person to discuss this. I was never put through to anyone else. The woman on the phone told me that if I didn't like the outcome to contact the BBB and file a claim. That's great and all, but that still does not fix my car. I've only had the car for a year, I'm paying $20K for it. I was finally contacted by the Nissan corporate office after sending out several emails. Again, Nissan denied helping me. The reason I was given is because the mileage wasn't taken down by the dealership at the first visit. Really? how am I suppose to know your procedures. That does not fall on me as a customer. That falls on the dealership!

- Stafford Springs, CT, USA

problem #31

Mar 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,798 miles
Verified at local dealership that radiator coolant is mixing with transmission fluid which causes rough shifting and car to shake at certain speeds. This is a serious safety issue as car can suddenly lose power/break down while driving. Radiator and transmission need to be replaced. We received Nissan's extended warranty (8 yr/80,000 miles) on radiator last year. Car is only 800 miles out of warranty, however Nissan will not cover the cost of replacing the radiator and transmission. Nissan needs stand by its product and issue a recall for this problem.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #30

Mar 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,400 miles
I purchased my "certified pre-own" 2006 Pathfinder with only 37,000 miles on it and I properly maintained it. December 2010 I noticed that my truck would lose power and sputter while driving at a speed between 40 to 60 mph, and that it would also "tremble or shake" while shifting gears. I took my truck to the dealer to have it serviced and tuned up. I was informed that the radiator was leaking into the transmission and that I needed to have both replaced. I couldn't see straight! I asked the service tech why in the hell I would need a new transmission on a vehicle with just over 100,000 miles and that I'm still paying for no less. The tech suggested that the transmission could be "saved" and I would still have to buy a new radiator and other parts. A year later- 03/12 my truck is behaving the same way so instead of returning to the dealer I decided to take it to a transmission specialist. When I informed him of my problem he asked if I had any problems with the radiator, as a matter a fact I told him I had it replaced a year ago because it was leaking into the transmission. He informed me that he's had a number of Pathfinder owners coming to his shop about this very problem, and informed me that there was a class action lawsuit against Nissan. I found the lawsuit on the web against Nissan and since contacted the attorney and joined in the law suit. Up until the moment I had this problem I was a loyal Nissan owner, even back to the days when my father owned a Datsun and it became my first car. It's one thing to replace a transmission simply due to normal wear, it's another to have consumers do so because of faulty design from the dealer. I'm disappointed that Nissan would treat and handle their customers this way.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #29

Apr 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving, the car vibrates and if you stop at traffic light and try to proceed driving it acts as if it has no power and it doesn't want to pull. Took the car to Nissan and they said the radiator had leaked coolant into the transmission, and both has to be replaced about $7000. There was no prior warning of this problem.

- Midfield, AL, USA

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