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: While there are fewer "radiator leaked into transmission" complaints for the 2008 model year, they are starting to pile up. Buyer beware.

Nissan has extended their radiator warranty on 2005-2010 Pathfinders to 8 years/80,000 miles. However the average mileage for transmission failure for earlier model years is 95,000 miles, which conveniently (for Nissan) is just past the limit of their extended warranty. Owners beware.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,754 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.

2008 Nissan Pathfinder drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

May 102015


  • 74,148 miles


How is this not a recall?? im driving down the freeway with my family in the vehicle and the transmission decides to start shaking and slip right out of gear as I am in the far left lane trying to get over to stop the car!! almost causing a huge accident!! all my transmission fluid has leaked in with my coolant for my rad. Destroying my transmission.

- Maple Ridge, WA, USA

problem #54

Apr 152015


  • 125,000 miles
The radiator failed causing engine coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. This caused damage to all of the engine coolant parts and caused a complete transmission failure.

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #53

Oct 212014


  • 148,145 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at 40 mph, the vehicle shifted gears without warning. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the torque convertor and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 148,145.

- Snow Hill , MD, USA

problem #52

Apr 232015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles


Radiator fluid leaked into transmission fluid and now transmission is polluted and will need to be changed.

- Milford , MA, USA

problem #51

Mar 152015


  • 146,000 miles
2008 Pathfinder - radiator cracked causing fluid to leak into and destroy the transmission. This is a known problem to Nissan. Problem has occurred to thousands of vehicles. Issue originally occurred in December, 2013. Issue was fixed at butler Nissan. Issue repaired with substandard and used parts, which resulted in same issue occurring - radiator cracking, which caused catastrophic failure to the transmission. Issue occurred while we were driving the vehicle. Fluid leaked into engine, caused the engine to smoke and obstruct our view of the road. We were able to pull car into business without a collision. Concerned that Nissan was willing to allow an unsafe vehicle back out on the road after knowingly repairing an issue with substandard parts.

- Stony Point, NY, USA

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problem #50

Mar 272015

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2008 Nissan Pathfinder when her service engine soon and 4WD warning light came on while pulling up to an intersection. When she pulled away from the intersection the vehicle moved very slowly and would no longer shift. After shutting the vehicle off it would not start again. A transmission shop has tested the transmission fluid and found glycol contamination from the transmission cooler that has shorted the transmission control module. The vehicle requires a complete transmission rebuild, new tcm and a radiator bypass to remedy the problem. Total cost will be approximately $4000.

- Sharpsburg, GA, USA

problem #49

Feb 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Couple years ago around 60,000 mile or so ago started to notice hesitancy when shifting around 40mph. Nissan stated that was due to how I broke the car in. So I let it go thinking that it was okay... then it started at 60mph and kept getting worse at every gear, sounded like I was driving on rumble strips. So I take it to a mechanic they inform me that it was caused by the radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. Which I see now that is an ongoing problem! I contacted Nissan and they said there is nothing they can do because I was over the miles on the extended warranty now. If it was an ongoing problem why was I not notified? they had no answer so I am just informing you that this is still happening and to get it on record.

- New Kensington , PA, USA

problem #48

Feb 262015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Catastrophic cooling/transmission failure. Traveling East on a heavily traveled single lane highway with no breakdown lane. Sudden noise from the engine compartment, sounding like liquids being expelled. Check engine light comes on. Engine temperature gauge pegs to high. Limped along the highway until I could reach a safe point to pull the overheating vehicle off road. Arranged for a tow and had the vehicle inspected. The inspection revealed failure of the radiator. After further inspection and with some research, it was discovered that Nissan has a known design flaw that contributes to the eventual failure, in a catastrophic event, of the cooling and transmission components. My vehicle was mixing engine coolant and transmission fluid together. The sudden failure of the radiator, expelled engine cooling and transmission fluid in a sudden and rapid event. This is a known and documented event that Nissan is fully aware of. A sudden failure of these components poses a safety risk for the owner, occupant, public and environment.

- Athol, MA, USA

problem #47

Dec 102014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
Car would not accelerate from a stop it was as if it was not shifting to first gear from a stop. Also while driving the car would begin to shudder violently and would not stop until the vehicle came to a complete stop. As it turns out, a line inside radiator coming from the transmission broke and caused contamination. Coolant mixed with transmission fluid created a sludge that contaminated both coolant system and transmission. Radiator was replaced and coolant system flushed as well as transmission flushed. A week later the car was parked and would not start. As it turns out the transmission blew a fuse and was not registering that the vehicle was in park. This is all related to the same problem the transmission control module (tcm) was burned out from the sludge created by coolant and transmission fluid. So now, either the transmission needs to be replaced because the clutch and gears are potentially burned up or the tcm. With just a tcm there is no guarantee that the transmission will not fail due to no way of knowing the condition of the clutch and transmission gears. Vehicle is still in the shop for over a month now and we have been forced to purchase a new car to meet our transportation needs.

- Choctaw, OK, USA

problem #46

Oct 292014


  • 145,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into transmission due to poor design of the cooling system for the transmission. This issue cost $4200 to repair the transmission.

- Bixby , OK, USA

problem #45

Oct 142014


  • 105,400 miles


My wife was driving her Pathfinder and it stopped in the middle of an intersection. My wife is disabled and has had many back surgery. The radiator is leaking into the transmission causing it to stall at anytime loosing power to the power steering and brakes. I believe this is a life threatening issue losing power down the highway with a truck behind you can cause a serious accident. 2 gentlemen got out of there vehicles to push my wife to safety.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #44

Sep 182014


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 35 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated and the vehicle shuddered and stalled. The vehicle was able to restart, but the gear was stuck in the park position. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the valve body needed to be repaired. In addition, radiator fluid leaked into the transmission fluid and caused the vehicle to need a new transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- Tewksbury, MA, USA

problem #43

Sep 222014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 51,700 miles
Vehicle threw a code (P0463 - fuel gauge sending unit) indicating the fuel gauge sending unit is malfunctioning. This is a problem which Nissan North America is aware of however failing to correct on many vehicles. Failure of the fuel gauge sending unit has many possible severe symptoms including, but not limited to: 1) failure of the fuel gauge to properly indicate levels of fuel, 2) failure of the fuel gauge in its entirety and/or 3) failure of the sending unit to properly function while in vehicles are in use potentially causing affected vehicles to shut down while in motion. Also a know problem with radiator leaking into automatic transmission which resulted in class action lawsuit against Nissan North America. Settlement was reached in which Nissan offers to pay for any and all repairs only if malfunction occurs, however when malfunction occurs it can be a significant safety issue affecting the performance of the impacted vehicle.

- Bryn Mawr, PA, USA

problem #42

May 152014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 101,500 miles
Noticed a shutter during acceleration. Service dept suggested replacing the radiator due to faulty radiator that leaked fluid into tranny so I did.I felt the shutter on my way home from the dealer! I did research and found the class action suit regarding this problem. I placed a claim with Consumer Affairs and was told I was 1500 miles out of warranty sorry. Will eventually need a transmission.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #41

Aug 152014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Transmission failures.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #40

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,300 miles
Fuel gauge does not register correctly, have no way of knowing how much fuel in vehicle, causes sensor light to show up, and car will not pass inspection, there was a recall on this, but as others have stated mine wasn't one of them. Also had problem with transmission on this car, which again mine wasn't one of them, but we had a 100,000 mile warranty provided by the dealer on this. If really seems to me, how do they know what Nissan are defective, and what ones aren't if the problem is happening to so many of us. We had Nissan since 2000, but no longer and never again. I gave this vehicle to my son, and now he has to pay for the repair, as car will not pass inspection.

- West Bridgewater, MA, USA

problem #39

Aug 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
I own a Nissan Pathfinder 2008. The problem was noticed when the vehicle's radiator began to run hot. We took it to a repair shop and was told that the coolant was mixing with the transmission fluid. We replaced the radiator in hopes that the damage had not extended to the transmission. While out of town on a trip, the transmission went out in the Pathfinder. The truck was transported to the local dealer who advised that the transmission was gone, and it would require replacing. I have previously called Nissan and was advised that there was some type of recall, but my vehicle had too many miles. The defect is a manufacturer's defect, not one of my own doing. Nissan will not stand behind their vehicles. Please investigate this matter. There are alot of people dealing with the same thing.

- Eight Mile, AL, USA

problem #38

Aug 042014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Started noticing a vibration in the Pathfinder at 40 miles per hour. Called to set an appointment and the dealer did not get back to me. The problem got worse called again and got through after waiting 20 minutes. Took it in today and was told I need a radiator and transmission for $4500. I told them to let me think about it. Then found out that this is going on with many Nissan vehicles. There was a class action law suit but because I now have over 100000 miles it does not apply to me. So this manufacturing defect is totally out of pocket for me. If they know of a manufacturing defect should this not be a recall.

- Pittstown, NJ, USA

problem #37

Jul 262014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,326 miles
I, a female, purchased a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder from integrity Chevrolet in chattanooga, tn. A day later the Pathfinder is skipping, vibrating and rattling, rear end clunking at 40 mph. Shifts hard at 4 and 5. got 4 mechanics and the Nissan dealership to check all this out and they all concluded the coolant overflow tank was filthy, stinks- not the sweet smell- smelled burnt and rusty. The valves were bloated and radiator cap seal was loose. Low on coolant, high in water. Transmission and radiator needs to be flushed and checked for 'sludge'! the dealership's associate, [xxx], assured me the 2008 Pathfinder had been serviced and all fluids checked and filled. The Nissan dealership and the 4 mechanics all stated that 'no service or fluids were checked!' if it had been, the dealership would have known of this transmission issue! the coolant from the radiator is mixing with the transmission fluid in the transmission, causing a milky- sludge. No one can convince me that this dealership, integrity Chevrolet, in chatt, tn, did not know of this issue- it is a very common issue with the Nissan Pathfinders, xterras and frontiers years 2006-2010. Any good associate would have known this issue- in order to sell this automobile honestly! [xxx], to whom I have known for over 20 years, screwed me over and saw an unknowing, innocent woman coming his way! I had to be a good joke that day. This dealership knew they had to get rid of this Pathfinder quickly B/C it is a 'lemon'! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Harrison, TN, USA

problem #36

Feb 112014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
I started feeling my car slip gears when it reached certain speeds, as well as the vdc, slip and engine lights came on. Within the next few days, as I was driving, my car overheated and the antifreeze poured out of it. The radiator was cracked and had leaked into the transmission. When my husband called Nissan and told them our issue, and that our mileage was 103,000, they said we were no longer under warranty and it would cost approximately $6,000 (obviously knowing what the issue was from all the other transmissions that were ruined from their error). My husband's friend, who is mechanic, replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission fluid. It seemed to run fine for the next few months, with the occasional flush of the transmission fluid. Within the last week, the car began slipping again. By yesterday, it would not come out of second gear. My transmission is shot and needs to be replaced. I am extremely disappointed with Nissan, as we have been loyal customers for the last 14 years. I loved my Pathfinder, and would think that after spending $36,000 on a car, it would hold up longer than 6 years. It is absolutely unacceptable that Nissan will not take responsibility for their manufacturing error and that they do not stand behind their product. I am so disappointed and disgusted, I will never buy another Nissan.

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

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