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 18 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Mar 242010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,613 miles


My vehicle started (Mar 2010) to vibrate at between 45 and 65 mph, it felt like I was going over a rumble strip. Brought it to dealer they diagnosed a bad universal joint. Ten months (Jan 2011) later it happened again, additionally car was shifting poorly and felt like it couldn't find the correct gear between 45 and 65 mph, dealer said I need a new transmission. When they dropped the driveshaft they said it was just a universal joint between the transmission and the driveshaft. The problem recurred in Mar 2012, brought vehicle to local mechanic (vehicle was no longer under warranty) who consulted a transmission shop. Was told that radiator fluid was leaking into transmission through a faulty hose/line in the radiator and vehicle now need a transmission overhaul and new radiator. I am concerned that transmission could fail catastrophically on highway leading to an accident and injury.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #27

Mar 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Transmission failure due to leak from radiator. Nissan wants $6,400 to repair and issue that should be considered manufacture defect!

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 052012


  • 108,000 miles
Noticed hesitation in lower gears with minor vibration. Sent the Pathfinder for an early service to have them look it over. Explained to them the problem I was having. They test drove the vehicle and did not notice any problem. They checked the catalytic converter. It was fine. They recommended maybe replacing the spark plugs would help. It did not help. One week later the vibration was longer and more violent. Discovered online that people were having problems with the oil cooler. I checked the transmission fluid and it was over full and gritty. The radiator was low and had oil in it from the trans. I have been told they could repair it for $750-$7,000. I had them do 95% of all the services and I bought the car new from Nissan. 6 years later my vehicle is worthless.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #25

Feb 012012


  • 95,000 miles


It started feeling like I was driving over the bumps on the side of the road. I took my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder to the dealer and I had the radiator leaking into the transmission problem. I was told this is a common issue with Nissan and they are not recalling the problem. They extended the warranty to 80,000 miles; unfortunately, I have 95,000 miles on my truck. It would have cost me approximately $1,000 to fix the radiator, more than 5000 to fix the transmission.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #24

Jan 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The radiator colling pump cracked causing the cooling fluid to leak into the transmission and mix with the transmisssion fluid in return a new radiator drive unit and transmission needed to be replaced as well as the torque converter.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

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problem #23

Dec 292011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,885 miles
The cooler radiator opened and allow the coolant and transmission fluid to mix, causing damage to the transmission unit..

- Woodhaven, NY, USA

problem #22

Feb 132012


  • 114,600 miles


My 2006 Nissan Pathfinder le 4WD began shuttering while driving at various speeds. It also began having issues going into reverse - taking up to 7 or 8 seconds to engage. In taking the vehicle to the garage, it was determined that the transmission required repair/replacement. The issue has not yet been determined but there are many reports that an issue with fluids mixing between the transmission and radiator are occurring quite often. It is deplorable that Nissan is not taking responsibility for this issue.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #21

Feb 092012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator was leaking fluid onto the transmission. The dealer was notified and diagnosed that the vehicle would need a new transmission. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 93,000. Updated 03/06/12 updated 03/08/12

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #20

Jan 252012


  • miles
Heard a thud in the rear. Took it to get looked at by a mechanic. Before the mechanic even looked at it he knew what was wrong. I told him I think something is wrong with my transmission. The mechanic already knew what was wrong hooked it up to the computer. Didn't show anything he explained to me. The computer was not working on the car it had burned out due to the design of Pathfinder. The transmission oil the radiator and all of the cars fluids are mixed. The radiator looked like vasoline.he told me I need a transmission cooling system and computer. Hr would charge 5,000 dollars he suggested taking it to Nissan.he said he has fixed several pathifinders with the same issues he said Nissan is well aware of the problems.I took it to my dealer in bradenton fl. Where I purchased my car they quoted me 8,000 dollars to fix it. Since my truck isn't under warranty. I asked my dealer about all the problems.he told me to call Nissan to make a complaint there isn't any thing he can do. Then I researched and found thousands of Pathfinders with my same problem im appalled by this. And need to know what I can do"??"

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #19

Sep 222011


  • 86,000 miles
My son's Pathfinder's transmission just died at 86,000 miles. He bought the truck used and has only owned it for 4 months. There is a known problem with the radiator leaking and mixing with the transmission fluid, and the rest is history. We have seen numerous complaints online referring to this very problem. Just want to file a complaint if there should ever be a recall on this vehicle. We contacted both the dealer and the manufacturer, with no satisfaction at all.

- South Wales, NY, USA

problem #18

Jan 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 97,395 miles


Rough shifting prompted a check of the transmission fluid at the dealer. Was told the radiator cracked and leaked coolant into the transmission and both components needed to be replaced immediately. They offered refurbished parts for the out of warranty repair for $5480. An independent repair shop offered new parts for $5200. N

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 132010


  • 76,846 miles
Vehicle (2006 Nissan Pathfinder) going approximately 55mph on interstate began to experience problems after being switched into four-wheel drive. When attempting to switch out of 4 wheel drive the vehicle would not switch back to 2X2. After parking, turning off the vehicle and turning back up, upon switching in to reverse the car thumped and switched, the impact of the thumb caused the vehicle to accelerated in reverse at higher than controllable speed, thus causing the vehicle to crash in the objects behind. The vehicle was towed into an auto dealer. After inspection is was discovered that the coolant tube had leaked, causing transmission/radiator fluid to leak. I was informed that if the complications from the leakage have occurred earlier, it was more than likely, highly feasible, that I would have lost control of the vehicle. The combination of the inability to get the 4X4 to lock and change, along with the transmission problems, compounded by the recent engine problems (which I was just informed of) could have been fatal, not just for all passengers in my vehicle, but all those around me on the interstate. Nissan needs to have a complete recall of all of these transmissions.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #16

Dec 142011


  • 72,362 miles
About 10,000 miles ago I noticed a vibration at 40 and 60mph. I took it to a local dealer who replaced two U joints and sent me on my way. Well, vibration is back, not only that now that it is winter, my vehicle wont warm up from an idle. It never blows hot air. These are a couple of symptoms that going forward show the radiator leaking into the transmission causing damage to the gaskets, seals, gears, torque converter. Please help the radiator obviously need replacing but not only that the transmission is messed up and stalls out now from time to time. It is really expensive to replace and should be covered under a recall program so it forces Nissan to recall just the radiators beofre they start leaking.

- Huntington, UT, USA

problem #15

Dec 212011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
The transmission failed on our Nissan Pathfinder. We take excellent care of our vehicles. Regular oil changes, transmission, fluids. This car should not have lost the transmission.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #14

Oct 012011


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle began to jerk forward and began shifting. The failure recurred at speeds greater than 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician stated to the contact that the radiator and transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 062011


  • 129,000 miles
Radiator failure caused transmission failure leading to lurching and difficulty handling.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #12

Nov 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I had no idea that the transmission would fail on my Pathfinder, after finding out that thousands of Pathfinder owners experienced the same safety issue I am concerned. Nissan tells me they know there is a problem with the radiator and will leak coolant into transmission causing the will cost around $ 5,000 to repair, money I don't have. Some one is going to get hurt or worse if this failure was to cause a crash. Why has Nissan not been forced to recall and correct their faulty equipment?

- Cochranton, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 222011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder experienced transmission slippage at @ 85,000 miles and now no heat. Car is maintained perfectly and now transmission and radiator need to be replaced, Nissan says that it is not covered.

- Westfield, NJ, USA

problem #10

Apr 192010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 79,500 miles
-1st incident: At 79500 miles fuel gauge dropped to empty once level below half a tank. Nissan technician diagnosed as faulty fuel level sensor. Vehicle past 75000 mile extended warranty. Repair cost estimated at $450. -2nd incident: At 107000 miles drive-shaft broken in transit mid-span across 4 mile 4 lane interstate bridge at the beginning of rush hour. Potential for a catastrophic multi-vehicle crash. Vehicle towed at owners expense. -3rd incident: AT108600 miles vehicle failed to start. Vehicle towed at owners expense to Nissan service dept. Told next day transmission fuse blown and "radiator internal leak caused cross contamination into transmission" needs transmission and radiator. Advised work is out of warranty. Repaired at over $6000 at owners expense. Vehicle returned, owner noticed 20 amp fuse and unknown relay in cupholder console. 1 day later owner notices high-beam lights inoperable. -4th incident 1 week and 3 days after transmission and radiator repair less than 1 month old battery is found dead. Battery replaced vehicle still exhibiting electrical issues. Dashboard lights out, battery, brake and 4WD warning lights illuminated. Battery test ok. Alternator test ok, starter draw test ok. Owner becomes aware of Nissan recall campaign PC068 regarding ECM recall. Vehicle towed back to Nissan service department at owners expense. Owner requested ECM recall be performed no less than 4 times, service manager advised electrical problems not related to ECM and will not replace, then states no knowledge of recall, then claims owners ECM recall was previously performed. Complaint logged with Nissan Consumer Affairs. 5 days later owner told vehicle ready, owner goes to pick up then told vehicle is not ready as there is still electrical issue. Now 1 week without vehicle, no contact with service advisor in 2 days.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #9

May 262011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 85,900 miles
At 86,000 miles my transmission started to stutter. I took it to Nissan dealership in fairfax va and they just said I needed a new transmission for $7500. They mentioned nothing about a potential radiator problem causing this, they basically played dumb about it. If I were to have them fix it with a new transmission, I would have had the same problem all over. The service manager said I might want to "punt" on this one and let someone else deal with the problem. I decided to take it to aamco and they told me that there is a problem with this model where the radiator fails and fluid is cross-contaminated with the transmission. I paid $5000 to have this fixed. Nissan should fess up to this problem. I've been doing my research and it turns out that this problem has happened with numerous Pathfinder owners. Something needs to be done about this well known, documented issue. This type of issue could lead to a major accident if the transmission were to fail on the highway or a major personal safety issue if failure were to happen on back roads.

- Lorton, VA, USA

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