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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,304 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 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Aug 152012

Pathfinder

  • 78,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

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

problem #15

Feb 262013

Pathfinder

  • 97,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder has a radiator that failed causing engine coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid thus causing a total failure of my transmission. In researching after the failure I have found this is a very common problem with Nissan Pathfinders, frontiers, and exteras from 2005-2008. It is to the point where people have taken the transmission line out of the coolant system loop prior to the radiator failing in attempt to save the transmission from the inevitable failure. These radiators need to be recalled to prevent another transmission from total failure and thus prevent serious accidents resulting in injury or death in the future. This is a safety concern! in my instance while driving my wife and my 7 day old first born son to his doctors appointment my Nissan Pathfinder began to hesitate and slip, then catch, and slip, and lock up, and jerk, and then only slip. I was forced to push my vehicle a distance while vehicles proceeded to pass me at a high rate of speed. All the while my wife and 7 day old infant inside. I then needed to have my car towed to the dealership. After calling the Nissan dealership I was told that is fairly common and they were not surprised. 2005-2008 Nissan Pathfinders, exteras, and frontiers have faulty radiators that are causing catastrophic failure to the transmission and are extremely unsafe for the passengers of these vehicles. Does someone have to die before Nissan admits to and fixes this avoidable problem?! this is very common knowledge for all transmission repair shops as well as Nissan dealerships.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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problem #14

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
In February of 2013, my 2008 Nissan Pathfinder started vibrating and shaking while driving at a low speed of 40 mph. At first I thought it was rough road but it continued and got worse. The SUV slips alot and it jerks forward even when I brake. It has become scary to drive, but it is our family's only car. I need something safe to Transport my young kids in and this definitely is not a safe car. I took the SUV to the dealership and they said that the transmission is bad do to a faulty radiator and that both needed to be replaced but since I was barely over 80K miles I would have to pay $2500. I did research and found that this is a common problem on Nissan part and that many people have been affected by this issue. I bought the SUV in 2010 as a certified pre-owned that already had 48K miles on it. I also have a 84 month/100K miles limited warranty on the car that covers the transmission, but I was told that this warranty would not cover my transmission since my transmission was damaged by Nissan's faulty radiator. This makes no sense at all. Nissan is the worst!

- Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 122013

Pathfinder

  • 81,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that there was a strong vibration in the vehicle when driving at various speeds or when the vehicle was parked. The contact stated that she took the vehicle to a certified mechanic and he advised her that the radiator was cracked and the fluids between the radiator and the transmission were mixing. As a result, both components needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 81,000.

- Richmanhill , GA, USA

problem #12

Feb 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder has a radiator that failed causing engine coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid thus causing a total failure of my transmission. In researching after the failure I have found this is a very common problem with Nissan Pathfinders, frontiers, and xterras from 2005-2008. It is to the point where people have taken the transmission line out of the coolant system loop prior to the radiator failing in attempt to save the transmission from the inevitable failure. These radiators need to be recalled to prevent another transmission from total failure and thus prevent serious accidents resulting in injury or death in the future. This is a safety concern! in my instance while driving my wife and my 7 day old first born son to his doctors appointment my Nissan Pathfinder began to hesitate and slip, then catch, and slip, and lock up, and jerk, and then only slip. I was forced to push my vehicle a distance while vehicles proceeded to pass me at a high rate of speed. All the while my wife and 7 day old infant inside. I then needed to have my car towed to the dealership. After calling the Nissan dealership I was told that is fairly common and they were not surprised. 2005-2008 Nissan Pathfinders, xterras, and frontiers have faulty radiators that are causing catastrophic failure to the transmission and are extremely unsafe for the passengers of these vehicles. Does someone have to die before Nissan admits to and fixes this avoidable problem? this is very common knowledge for all transmission repair shops as well as Nissan dealerships.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #11

Apr 042012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,691 miles
Your website would not allow me to put in the transmission and radiator as affected parts. My vehicle with 77,000 miles on it had a slipping issue with my transmission and was brought to the dealership, along with the warranty upgrade notice provided by Nissan, for service. I notified the dealership of the transmission slipping and of the warranty notice, and that I wanted it looked at. They came back to me and verbally stated that there was no issue with my transmission. Dealer did not note it on the work order that they test drove and said there was no issue. Nissan is known to have radiator problems that lead to transmission failure for my type of vehicle. There is a class action lawsuit out right now about the issue. Nissan refused to do the work unless I paid for the $3000 co-pay, and paid for the timing chain shoes, another Nissan known issue, another $1800. My vehicle is a 2008 Pathfinder with 92000 miles on it now. Just want Nissan to stand behind their product properly and replace the items required at no charge to me. Both of the issues could lead to a failure and cause a major accident.

- Sutton, MA, USA

problem #10

Nov 152012

Pathfinder

  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle jerked. The failure occurred constantly when attempting to accelerate over 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the radiator and transmission would have to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #9

Jul 142009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Vehicle trying to lunge forward while stopped at redlight, stopsign, or in traffic. Transmission vibration at low speeds when going into overdrive. Engine revs during travel, without accelerator being pressed. As well as apparent malfunction, there are too many instances of safety issue with no control over when it happens, and we now understand the complexity of the problem with Nissan and the "recall that should have been." We dont remember being notified of an extended warranty. We wish to complain, that a company we had faith in, and trusted, exposed our family to safety issues that could have been terrible, had circumstances been worse, as some have experienced. Nissan should fix them all.

- Westminster, SC, USA

problem #8

Dec 292012

Pathfinder

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the coolant and transmission fluids were mixing and as a result, the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 91,000.

- E Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
Radiator leaked into the transmission, both will need to be replaced $4500-4800 fix.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #6

Jul 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
My car started making a jutter type sound when I would be going approximately 40 mph and would cause my car to rumble like I was going over a rumble strip. The car would lose acceleration when this would happen.

- Spring City, PA, USA

problem #5

Aug 302011

Pathfinder 8-cyl

  • 107,270 miles
Thought I was having a problem with my transmission. Took it to get checked. My radiator leaked causing fluid to leak into my transmission. As a result have to get my transmission & radiator replaced. Come to find out from the repair shop. They were seeing alot of Nissan trucks with this issue. I was told there was a class action lawsuit against Nissan fro this issue. I think Nissan should issue a recall & reimburse people who have this issue.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder suddenly stopped while driving. I had it towed to the dealer and they said that the radiator cracked and fluid got into the transmission. There were no signs that jy car was having any problem prior to this. Because my car is 1000 miles out of warranty they refuse to warranty it even though this is Q known problem. My car is leased and I can not turn it in until I have it in working condition. In order to fix it the dealer wants to charge me $9,000.

- Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 212012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 53,592 miles
I took my certified Pathfinder in for a faulty window switch and while it was there had them check the power train for a noise I was hearing every initial 1st to 2nd gear shift after start up. Dealer notified me that the transmission fluid was contaminated or incorrect fluid. I was then told I would have to cover the cost of replacing the fluid. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs, as not only is the vehicle covered by the Nissan certified pre-owned program, but I also bought their security plus warranty. The transmission service is not due for another 6,000 miles, and the fluid should not be contaminated or be the wrong color and have the viscosity of water, per the dealership service dept. They are not even advising a standard transmission service, they want to replace all the fluid, as what is currently in the system is unusable. Nissan cpo is denying my claim to have the transmission fixed, taking the stance that they do not warranty fluids. I am not asking them to warranty the fluid, standard maintenance is my responsibility. However there is an issues as to how/why the fluid got contaminated and is no longer usable, and needs to be flushed. Nissan does not want any part in addressing that issue, even though their cpo and security plus warranties are supposed to cover the engine and drive train. As it turns out there are several other having similar issues, apparently there is an issues in the radiator, which also has the transmissions cooler build into it, allowing coolant to seep into the transmission fluid. Knowing this Nissan is still taking the stance that they do not warranty fluids and is refusing to service the transmission. They are basically asking me to replace the fluid and hope it does not get contaminated again and hope no other issues arise from a transmission operating for who know how long with bad fluid that was the incorrect viscosity.

- Troy, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 125,153 miles
Cracked radiator allows fluid to leak into transmission, causing erratic operation, potential sudden failure. Transmission has to be replaced.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #1

Dec 312008

Pathfinder

  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contacted experienced failures while he shifted gears the vehicle slowed down, and when he attempted to stop it the brakes did not respond immediately which caused him to increase the breaking distance. He thought it was drivers error, because the vehicle was new. He took the vehicle to the dealer who replaced the front shocks; the repair did not correct the failure. The manufacturer took report 6887492; however, the manufacturer advised that they could not assist with the transmission failure, because the routine maintenance wasn't done at the dealer. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 87,000.

- South Ozone Park Queens , NY, USA

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