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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder:

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

2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Jan 142014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle was jerking. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. The mechanic informed the contact that the way the radiator was built allowed the fluids to leak into the transmission as a result the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000. The VIN was not available. Updated 9/12/14 the consumer stated there was a class action suit for the radiator/transmission defect. The consumer would like the vehicle repaired free of charge. Updated 02/05/2015

- Rancho Cucanonga, CA, USA

problem #34

Jul 082014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
I was traveling at highway speeds going about 60mph and the car suddenly jerked nearly giving me whiplash. I then looked down at the gauge cluster and no lights were on and everything seemed normal, and in about 5 seconds it did it again... I slowed down as fast as I could to merge over and get out of traffic and as I went to pull off the car shut down and I could not get it restarted. I had to have it towed to my house and parked it for a few days. The battery went dead from trying to start it so much so I took it to a O'reily and found the battery to be bad so it was replaced. The car then started up and I drove slowly around my nieghborhood and it seemed ok. The next day my wife took it back to O'reliy to have the alternator tested and it was fine. I thought maybe it was something wrong to cause it to shut down like that and as she was driving home it did the same thing again. After much research it seems that this is a known issue with Nissan Pathfinders and that they did not let the owners know about the issue with the radiator fluid mixing with the tranny fluid and rendering the vehicle useless. I called Nissan today and was told that I am out of luck since the vehicle is out of warranty.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #33

Jul 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Radiator crack caused the coolant and transmission fluid to mix causing the transmission to fail.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 072014


  • 116,800 miles


After months of searching for a good used car, I researched, verified, test drove, and got an independent mechanics check on a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder sold by a private seller as "in perfect and excellent working condition" bought it on a Saturday nite, drove it 20 minutes home, then drove it for the next first time two days later on a long 200 mile trip out of country. I began to hear the strange high pitched noise along the way. When I arrived to my destination, I immediately contracted a mechanic who diagnosed the problem as internal, recommending I take to Nissan for accurate diagnosis. I also called 4 diff Nissan dealerships, and who diagnosed the timing chain issue over the phone, .I also called Nissan Corp and opened a claim was advised to get formal diagnosis from a dealership. I anxiously drove back the 200 miles and took it to dealership. Fyi, I contacted original seller who stated again she knew nothing of the problem but could not help. I now have formal documentation of the timing chain problem and repair estimate $1,650, also, I was advised to immediately replace my radiator due to a well known, documented problem with leakage into the transmission on this car. I also did more research finding hundreds of documented complaints regarding the two above faulty and well known problems with the Pathfinders and a class action lawsuit! my new $10,500 car is sitting in my driveway, after only driving it one time im looking at $3000 worth of necessary work, and I will still be afraid to put my 3 daughters into this vehicle uncontrolled acceleration! Nissan has yet to get back to me, it is unbelievable that Nissan has no responsibility for these serious issues. Many complaints have been reported.when will the government make Nissan take responsibility? I saved and hitched rides to find and buy a car, and now I have none and no money~!

- Rsm, CA, USA

problem #31

Jul 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,693 miles
2008 Nissan Pathfinder stopped shifting into reverse. Went to dealer. They claim that the transmission and coolant fluid are mixing and said it needs a new transmission and radiator. Cost: $3000 until it reaches 100, 000 miles; then it will be $9785.88. I have taken this vehicle to the dealer for all service appointments and no mention of this defect was made. Car is now unusable until I can get the $3000.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #30

Jun 032014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
NHTSA action number : dp12004nhtsa recall campaign number : N/a vehicle make / model: Model year(s): Nissan / frontier 2005-2010 Nissan / Pathfinder 2005-2010 Nissan / xterra 2005-2010 manufacturer(s) : Nissan North America, Inc. Component(s) : power train power train:automatic transmission power train:automatic transmission:control module (tcm, PCM) power train:automatic transmission:cooling unit and lines power train:automatic transmission:torque converter date investigation opened : June 11, 2012 date investigation closed : open.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #29

May 122014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


Upon driving at 25mph the RPM's increased without any power. No matter how much gas I gave it O would only crawl and could barely exit the intersection. I was able to pull over and shut the car off. I tried to turn it back on and it would not. I brought it back to the dealer and was informed the radiator and transmission are bad. I then learned that this is a problem with many Nissan SUV's.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #28

Jan 062014


  • 80,000 miles
The radiator fluid has been leaked into my transmission. Nissan says that I must pay $2500 to have it repaired because I am 1000 miles over their cutoff. They have known about this problem and never informed their consumers of the potential problem. I would have had it checked sooner if I was informed. I now cannot drive my vehicle for fear that the transmission will give out and cannot afford to have it repaired. I have now sent a demand letter to Nissan in an attempt to get them to own up to this problem and have it fully covered.

- Hanover, MA, USA

problem #27

Apr 022014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,675 miles
Car suddenly stalls and will not drive in "reverse". per mechanic, there is a crack in the radiator which is allowing coolant from the radiator to enter into the transmission. Apparently, there has been a previous lawsuit against Nissan for this same issue. A recall on these "cracked radiators" must be issued immediately.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #26

Mar 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
I was pulling out into oncoming traffic when my car lost power and wouldn't move. The transmission bucked and kicked back in and I was able to drive. I brought vehicle to my mechanic the next day and he found the radiator coolant was in my transmission. After further look he found coolant line was were leaking into transmission which had caused failure. My vehicle is past the Nissan warranty because of miles but this is a continuing problem on all Nissan SUV's made in these time frames. This isn't a warranty issue, it is a recall issue. Nissan needs to stand up for their mistake and submit a recall.

- North Adams, MA, USA

problem #25

Feb 032014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,500 miles


There was a leak in the radiator that contaminated the transmission fluid. The radiator and the transmission both need to be replaced or rebuilt. Nissan will not cover warranty since the vehicle is over 90K miles.

- Narvon, PA, USA

problem #24

Feb 072014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,700 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into transmission fluid causing vehicle to violently shimmy at about 40 mph. The repairs came to $1,334.55. They had to replace the battery ($119.21), radiator ($266.95), radiator hose ($14.35), serpentine belt ($29.95). They used a transmission flush kit ($29.95), a cooling system flush kit ($29.99) and a global extended life coolant ($29.92). They used $50 in shop supplies and labor was $587. Tax was $87.31.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
The radiator cracked sending the fluid straight to the transmission and damaged the transmission and the radiator so now I need both new parts estimate about 5,700 from Nissan dealership.

- Azusa, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 222013


  • 94,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder began shuddering whenever I would coast to 40 mph and then accelerate. I took it into the local Nissan dealership to have the issue checked out. They informed me there was an issue with the torque converter in my transmission that was caused by leakage from the radiator. They said this was evidenced by rust that had formed on my transmission fluid dipstick. They quoted me a repair price of over $4,500 but informed me I would only be responsible for $3,000 due to a class action lawsuit settlement. After researching the issue, I realized that this is a very common problem with Nissan. Further, I'm convinced there was evidence of this issue existing in my vehicle long before I took it in for service. I get my vehicle regularly serviced at the Nissan dealership and had my last oil change there about four months ago. It takes a long time for rust to form - so if there is rust on my transmission fluid dipstick today, then there was probably evidence of the issue just four months ago. It was in Nissan's best interest to not mention the issue to me since they needed me to be over the 90,000 mile mark so that I'm responsible for more of the repair. This is a huge safety issue - imagine what would happen if the transmission fails during my drive to work on the interstate one day. And it's infuriating that Nissan won't correct the issue. I love my Pathfinder and would have been a lifelong Nissan customer, but you better believe I'll never spend another dollar there.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #21

Oct 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Transmission failed causing a sudden deceleration and lack of a forward motion resulting in a near rear end collision with a tractor trailer. Only after the event did I learn of the issue with the transmissions in the Nissan models frontier, Pathfinder and xterra 2005-2010. I am 15K miles outside of the extended warranty but was not aware of any potential issue with safety. I never received notice or advice of such an event being possible. Had I known I would have taken proactive action. Nissan needs to extend this repair issue through a recall and repair the issue at their entire cost. This is a design flaw. The public safety is at stake!

- Dandridge, TN, USA

problem #20

Apr 042010


  • 60,000 miles
Our Nissan problems started years ago. In 2010 I started noticing noise and shuddering coming from the transmission. I brought it in to the dealer and they said it was nothing more than it needed a flush of the transmission fluid. So I paid the $150, had it done and went on my way. In 2011 is started doing it again, had it checked and they said nothing was wrong with it I must have been hearing things. They test drove it numerous times and 'never heard anything'. eventually they had a specialist come and look at my car. He determined that my A/C unit needed to be reset. Everything seemed to be fine and we went on our merry way. Flash forward to July 2013. On the way home from a road trip, about 3 hours from our house we started noticing it was getting hot in the car. Sure enough the air just started blowing out hot air. Everything still worked on the A/C, just blowing hot air. So we drove home sweating our a$$ off in mid-summer in fl. A day or 2 later we are driving down the road and the service engine light came on (1st time ever in this car). Husband thought he should shut the car off...well, that was the last time my car ever worked. We had it towed to a mechanic where it sat there for 2 weeks. First he determined it was a blown fuse - great, $10! - went to pick it up and it blew again. He then determined it was a broken computer told us to tow it to Nissan. We did. It has been there for a week and we were just told that the trans & radiator fluids mixed and caused trans to seize causing A/C and electrical issues as well. They claim they've never heard of this before...yea, right! Nissan won't do anything but has told us to call the class action lawsuit # and file a complaint...oh and they'll give me $500 for a car that's worth $6,000+. they knew about this issue and never told me about it in the years that I brought up the issue. Beware of Nissan!

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #19

Aug 152012


  • 78,000 miles
Transmission slips due to radiator fluid entering transmission. Transmission shifts rough and does not let vehicle get up to speed.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #18

May 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,500 miles
Car abruptly overheated while driving and came to near complete stop in traffic. Diagnosed as engine coolant leaking from defective made radiator into transmission and transmission fluid leaking into radiator causing both systems to fail.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #17

Apr 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Vehicle starts to jerk, vibrate, and has power interruption during acceleration, on inclines and while towing. Transmission shop told me it was due to bad coolant lines in transmission and transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of $7000 by Nissan dealership.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #16

Jun 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I am the one owner of this vehicle which I purchased new in quincy, Massachusetts in 2008. I began to sense a clunk or slippage in my transmission about two weeks before the incident. I immediately took the car to an oil change place and had my transmission and differential fluids replaced. Cost $150. Attendant noted magnetic plug had metal shavings and some discoloration in transmission fluid but nothing conclusive to work on. Approx two weeks later while driving up a grade, I experienced a serious "clunk" and immediately pulled into the next service station I could find. I was 100 miles from home. After leaving the car for diagnostic work, I went online to find other similar complaints concerning radiator coolant leaking into the transmission and causing catastrophic failure with no warning. I called the mechanic to report what I had found and asked him to check this condition first. He reported back that this is exactly what happened and I may have caught the defect in time to save the transmission. The mechanic worked on the car for two days to fix the problem. Cost $1100. I have put about 300 miles on the car as of this writing and I now have only an occasional/minor "clunk." I believe this is clearly a defective Nissan part and note that other people are finding Nissan uncooperative in taking responsibility for this defect. I have receipts for my work done and will provide them if needed. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Nahant, MA, USA

Read the next 15 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?