If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

CarComplaints.com 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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,190 miles
Total Complaints:
119 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission and radiator (75 reports)
  2. rebuild transmission and replace radiator (18 reports)
  3. not sure (15 reports)
  4. replace radiator and transmission (10 reports)
  5. radiator and transmission cooler replaced (1 reports)
2006 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder:

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

2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #119

Oct 202014

Pathfinder SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


Learned yesterday this is now MY problem as Nissan has settled their class action that does nothing for me or the hundreds of others that have just over 100,000. miles. Their settlement made the consumer responsible for their known product defect which is now my $6000. repair bill. Why weren't these vehicles recalled and the radiators replaced BEFORE the transmissions were allowed to be cross contaminated and ruined. If you were lucky enough not to have 100,000 miles, they fixed it but you had to pay a deductible of $2500-3000 based on mileage. Why should the consumer have to pay anything? A decent company would have a good product recall program, notified the consumers affected and fixed the issue instead of hiding behind a class action that essentially illeviates them of liability! How much did that save you NISSAN?

- , Pipe Creek, TX, USA

problem #118

Jun 022014

Pathfinder 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


- , Youngstown, Ohio, USA

problem #117

Sep 022014

Pathfinder ES 2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 168,400 miles

There was a recall on this problem so Nissan admitted there was a problem but because my car is over the milelage limit they imposed, they will not pay for the repair.

- , Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #116

Aug 232014

Pathfinder Se 4x4 4.0L Dohc V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,780 miles


My 2006 Nissan pathfinder recently broke down on the road due to transmission failure at 69780 miles.

A year ago in 2013 August I noticed that some liquid leaking out when the vehicle stops, suddenly I opened the hood and found that it is from the coolant tank but the color doesn’t looks like coolant. I took the vehicle to a local workshop and they found out that the interior components of the radiator (internal transmission oil coolers) broke down allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. As a result I replaced the radiator and flushed out transmission fluid, I even continue do the transmission flush out several times and the vehicle was running good. Just after a year in August 2014 suddenly the trans started shifting poorly at 69780 miles and stop moving I took it to the local Aamco transmission and rebuild the transmission , so for the both transmission and radiator I spent $5,680.00. This is due to the manufacturing defect from Nissan’s engineering and they supposed to reimburse the money I spent for no fault from my side.


problem #115

Nov 272013

Pathfinder LE V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

Bought car, mint condition from original owner. Took a family trip for a Thanksgiving dinner. Pathfinder broke down 800 miles away from home. We replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission completely. We made it home but took it to the Nissan dealer and the repairs costs were astronomical. I ended up replacing the transmission with a new unit. The cost after the radiator was right at 5,000 dollars..Merry Freakin Christmas!!

- , Crossville, Tennessee, USA

problem #114

May 052014

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,895 miles


- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #113

Jun 052014

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,372 miles


the dealership did not help at all . we had the extended warranty on the car and each time we reported the problem to the dealership that we got the car from they could not find the problem . After couple month the warranty ended and the transmission failed and I had to pay $3000 out of pocket to pay for the replacement of the radiator first and then the transmission.

- , Bensenville, IL, USA

problem #112

Jul 042014

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

OK, where do I start? We decided to buy an SUV because our little two door car wasn't cutting it with two kids. Worst mistake we made was wondering onto a Nissan dealership. We test drove a few cars and my wife kinda liked the Pathfinder so we sat down with the salesmen to talk numbers. Well, we couldn't come to terms so we decided to leave because it was getting close to time to pick our kids up from school and as we were walking to the door a man came running out from the back yelling so my wife left and I stayed to talk to the man. He dropped the price because the car had been on his lot too long and it was about to start costing him money. We put 13k down on the car and financed the rest though a bank.

Now on to the bad part, My wife was driving our kids to school one day and all of a sudden the Nissan Pathfinder started to shake and vibrate viciously causing my wife and two small children to pull over on the shoulder of a very busy interstate. My wife calls me at work and concerned for their safety I leave work to get them. I get behind the wheel of this P.O.S Nissan Pathfinder and start to slowly drive it back home because I couldn't afford a tow bill at the time. Everything seemed fine for a while, no check engine light, tires looked fine, so I continued home.

So we get off the interstate in one piece (luckily) and I pull up to a busy intersection by my house and start to drive through the intersection and then all hell breaks loose, the Nissan Pathfinder starts to shake and vibrate violently and I loose power in the middle of this busy intersection almost getting hit by oncoming traffic. I finally get the Pathfinder home (thank god) and I don't know what to do so I get online and see what I can find.

Quickly I find where a bunch of Nissan vehicles are having the same problem I am having where the radiator coolant is leaking into the transmission causing catastrophic failure and my heart sinks. My wife was a full time student at the time and I was the only one working and I knew I couldn't afford to pay for all these repairs. I called the local Nissan dealership and told them what was happening with my Nissan Pathfinder and I was quickly put on hold. They told me that if I didn't have a warranty that they wasn't responsible for the problem, but I could bring it to them and for a fee I could have them diagnose the problem. I took it to a local transmission shop and was told it was going to cost $4500 - $5000 to fix.

The Pathfinder has been sitting for a while now and I have tried calling the Nissan North America and they refuse to help me so now we are having to borrow family and friends cars to get us both to work and our kids to school. My advice to whoever reads this, DO NOT BUY NISSAN. I've experienced horrible customer service with the dealership and the head office. They produce inferior products and will leave you high and dry. I will continue to tell my experience with Nissan with everyone I can. God Bless

- , Silver Point, Tennessee, USA

problem #111

Aug 272014

Pathfinder SE 4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,809 miles

In August, 2014, my 2006 Pathfinder SE developed symptoms of a transmission problem. It was bought to the dealership of purchase for mechanical diagnosis. It was found to have a cracked radiator which allowed coolant to be forced into the transmission system, resulting in the destruction of the transmission components. The repairs would require the replacement of both the radiator and transmission, and were estimated at $7100 before taxes. Subsequent research indicated that this is a very common problem with the 2005-2007 Pathfinder, and is due to a major radiator design flaw. It also appears to be an exceptionally well known flaw, evident by the massive anecdotal evidence on websites such as carcomplaints.com.

Of the legal review of this issue conducted so far, Nissan has been found to have a significant weight of responsibility. Litigation and judicial review has been completed in the United States, the ruling of which was in favor of the vehicle owners.The subsequent settlement of forced Nissan to significantly expand their warranty covering this problem from 3 years/30,000miles up to 10 years/90,000 miles. This warranty, however, does not cover my vehicle, as it falls outside of the maximum mileage covered by the extended warranty.

Despite this, in the name of customer satisfaction and good business ethics, Nissan does still hold an obligation to assist in the repair of my vehicle. Service records prove my vehicle was well maintained and free collision repair that could have altered, changed or otherwise contributed to transmission and radiator damage. This condition was solely the result of a poor design, and should not result in major financial burden to the customer. It is clear from customer complaints that this issue most often falls outside of the extended warranty period, but this does not absolve Nissan of their obligation to take responsibility for an unintended design mistake. Their customers, and my family, should not have to suffer.

Ethically, at the bare minimum, I believe Nissan should have made more effort to inform me of this potential issue as well as the remedy. However, as the warranty extension is not a recall, it does not put onus on Nissan to notify customers of a “defect” nor offer a proactive remedy to the situation. Had this been done, I could made the informed decision to implement the low cost modification to the transmission cooler system that would have prevented this situation. I believe that this adds further weight of responsibility for Nissan to take steps to correct this error for all customers, both inside and outside of the proscribed warranty period.

I purchased my vehicle new, in good faith, confident in the reputation and integrity of Nissan products. A large sum of money was paid, and a healthy profit reaped, on the promise of a quality product. My decision to purchase this vehicle came partly as a result of familiarity and experience, as I come from what can be described as a Nissan family. My father currently owns a Maxima and a Quest, and has owned multiple Nissan vehicles in the past. This was my second Pathfinder I personally owned in succession, having been happy with my previous 1997 model. I, like my father, had faith in the sound construction and reliability of the Nissan product. In hindsight, trust should not be build from owning a sound automobile, trust SHOULD be build by examining how a company handles problems.

As for how Nissan is handling this problem, I have been assured by Nissan Canada Customer service that they will not under any circumstances take responsibility or ownership for the mistakes they have made in the production of a faulty product. They advised me that an extended warranty, admittedly forced upon them by a class action lawsuit in the United States, absolves them of all responsibility for designing a self-destructing automobile. I was rudely advised by one "customer care" representative (Jennifer) that at some point, the customer must become responsible for the design defects of the manufacturer, as laid out by warranty limitations.

This is completely unacceptable, and I plan to explore all regulatory, legal and media related options to get resolution in this matter.

- , Winnipeg, Manitoba, canada

problem #110

Aug 292014

Pathfinder LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I bought the vehicle and after it reached 93000 miles, it started running very rough. I looked on the internet and noticed all of my problems were "known" problems with this vehicle. I had someone look at it; and yes, it is the same transmission problem previously reported by several Pathfinder owners. Runs like you are on a gravel road.. HORRIBLE! I am getting it fixed and going back to Dodge!

- , Carmel, Indiana, USA

problem #109

Aug 202014

Pathfinder SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,000 miles


On August 20 2014 the problem started happening, my daughter was merging on to the interstate and went to merge and the car did not accelerate at all. Another car swerved to miss her at 70 mph. the check engine light came on and she moved to the shoulder to avoid an accident. She was very upset and called me crying hysterically. I asked her if it would start and she said no . I felt helpless because she is 200 miles away at college. I told her to call her roommate to come get her and i would drive there the next day to see what i could do.After 20 minutes she called back and said it started. I told her to take it to the closest Auto Zone etc and tell them to run codes on the car Code came up P1774 which is bad solenoid in transmission. I went up the next day and tried to drive car home. Had a few problems but got it home. Took it to a reputable transmission shop and he told me the coolant and transmission fluid have mixed and have been contaminated. He told me he had 2 more pathfinders on lifts with the same problem. He also told me that he has had over a 100 pathfinders he has fixed over the past year. So i called nissan customer service and told me to go to a dealer and have it checked. I did and they told me the same problem and told me i need a new radiator and transmission. $ 5.000 my cost. Called back nissan and for 2 wks talked to at least a dozen people and they said sorry we are not paying to fix your problem. Even the service manager at the nissan dealer and the other shop said there should have been a recall for this problem.Please help all the people with this issue get some help.Thank You

- , Hendersonville, Tennessee, USA

problem #108

Jul 292014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 166,390 miles

There are many problems with this vehicle. When I checked the fluids for the transmission, it wasn't the color of the transmission fluid, it was a black color. I have also been having transmission problems. I found out that the catalytic converters need to replaced. When it was working, the vehicle would stall and then start back up. I cannot gear in (R) reverse and my vehicle cannot drive anymore, even geared up in the (D) drive. It revs up and does not go anywhere. Now I am stuck with a vehicle that does not work AT ALL. I cannot drive to interviews and take my child to school.

Something needs to be done with this. This is going to total up to thousand dollars for recalled parts. I am upset with the manufacturing of this vehicle.

- , Ajo, Arizona, USA

problem #107

Mar 012014

Pathfinder SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

The heater hasn't worked for two winters. I thought it was related to the radiator/transmission defect caused by Nissan. Each time I took it in to Nissan to check the heater, they just said they didn't know what was wrong with it. The heater would occasionally work, but mostly not. I took the Pathfinder in for a routine oil change and asked them one more time, to PLEASE look at the heater again as I cannot drive it another Colorado winter without heat. Finally they told me that the coolant and transmission fluid are mixing, due to a manufacture error (I have since read that it is caused by a crack in the radiator.. caused by Nissan) and that my transmission needs replacement and I will have to pay $3000!

This is unethical of Nissan. Nissan made a mistake, and should have to take full responsibility!!!

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #106

Oct 302012

Pathfinder SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I have had no heater for a couple of years, in Colorado winters. Each time I took the Pathfinder to Nissan, they couldn't/wouldn't tell me why it wouldn't work. Now I know it was because of a defective radiator, that is now causing my transmission to go bad.

- , Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #105

Feb 012014

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,256 miles

Going through this process one Nissan representative admitted to me that they hear about this problem all the time and they are told to refuse all of them! After owning multiple Nissans over the years I can tell that this company is losing its way.

Story: This Pathfinder was Dealership serviced whole life and always ran flawlessly. Once the trans started shifting poorly at around 120K I was told it was outside of any warranty. I asked for assistance since this was a known issue and seemed to be increasing with other owners on the blogs, etc. And dealership refused and factory refused. Both very abruptly, I might add! It was obvious that they hear about this problem all the time and know just what to say. I took it all the way to "Nissan Executive Team"(highest level for factory goodwill decisions they told me) and they refused to help or participate in anyway and to complain to the BBB. I am just so very disappointed with this. I am having the trans and rad. repaired at a local Aamco trans. Hope it all works out as I still love my Pathfinder and would like to keep for several more years.

- , Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #104

Feb 152014

Pathfinder LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Noted the contamination in the cooling system overflow. Repair shop flushed the transmission, replaced the radiator ($600). Brought the vehicle home and now we are experiencing the dreaded shudder, transmission on its way to failure. Next step? User tranny with 1 year warranty is $2800 + labor to swap them out. $4K to fix this issue. I will likely NEVER purchase another Nissan.

- , MIcthell, IN, USA

problem #103

Jul 212014

Pathfinder 4.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,383 miles

This is Bull. Nissan appears aware of this transmission issue due to the extended warranty offered to all. However those of us with 80,000 or more miles get the shaft and have to pay out more than $2500.00. Nissan should have recalled the vehicles. Unfortunately I'm stuck with my Nissan for a few more years but when the time comes we won't be looking at Nissan again.

- , New Castle, DE, USA

problem #102

Jul 102014

Pathfinder LE 4WD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

My car joins the ranks of the victims of the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission. Started feeling rumbles at around 40 mph 2 months ago; brought it in for servicing and was told there was coolant in the transmission. Then researched the issue on internet and learned all about the now-closed class action lawsuit re the design defect that allows the hoses to transmit the coolant into the transmission. I'm afraid to drive because I know that any moment the transmission can fail completely. Was quoted "around $6500.00" to fix it. I will take it to the Nissan dealer to see if they can do better with used parts, but only if they have a long warranty. I think it's a bad idea to spend $6500 for it; why give so much money over to Nissan when they haven't taken responsibility for the defective radiator and transmission? I will request that them to cover my expenses and if they refuse I think I'll file my own personal little lawsuit in small claims court just to express my frustration if nothing else.

- , Falmouth, MA, USA

problem #101

Jul 172014

Pathfinder V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,120 miles

At first sign of a problem it was too late...transmission fried. Extended Warranty set to 80K I'm at 88,128. This will cost me $2500 out of pocket...I'm reading on the site that average mileage of the problem is over 100K so they set an 80,000 mile mark to cost the owner $2500 which is probably less than it costs them to fix it being they are the dealer.

I almost got killed because it chose to slip and stop the vehicle in an intersection when the light changed and cars were baring down on me at 50 mph. People thought I was a nut stopping in the intersection as I tried to limp my way out of harms way.

Thanking God my family was not with me...

Can't afford this with awful economy but have no choice.

I'm pretty screwed!!!

Nissan has totally let me down...

- , La Quinta, California, USA

problem #100

Apr 272014

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

We took it to a mechanic. He said the radiator was cracked and replaced the thermostat because it all of a sudden started running hot. About 2 weeks, later, we took it to another mechanic and he said that we need to replace the radiator and he needed to drain the transmission due to the mixture or coolant and tranny fluid. My wife bought the radiator, and took it to him to fix.

After about 2 weeks, the check engine light came on. Now, I'm in Afghanistan this whole time as a Paratrooper, she'd doing this on her own with 3 children and little to no money. Once the light came on, she took it to Auto Zone to get the code read. They said it had something to do with the cat converter. When she found that out, she took it to Nissan of Sanford, NC. The service dept ran a diagnostic test and told my wife that it need about $8,000 worth of work. It needed a new CAT Converter, a new transmission and new cooling system. Keep in mind, we have already paid more than $1000 putting a "band aid" on a more intense problem.

The service man at Nissan told my wife it is a ticking time bomb and that needed to get rid of that vehicle while it was still drivable.

Little did we know about the class action lawsuit for this vehicle. The Nissan Radiator Defect Class Action Lawsuit Settlement case is In re: Nissan Radiator/Transmission Cooler Litigation, Case No. 10-cv-07493, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Now after reading all the disgruntled owners talking about "What about the owners over 100K". This is blatant disregard for loyal customers who apparentlt, HAD THE MISFORTUNE of their vehicle"MAKING" it past the 100K mark.

This is a skid mark on the underpants of an owner. Shame on you. Now, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place...either try to fix the issue and spend 8K, or have my wife trade out while Im in Afghanistan, deployed, sacrificing my time, my life for asses like Nissan to just crap on us. I can't believe this is happening.

- , Cameron, NC, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?