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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,921 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.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder cooling system problems

cooling system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder:

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

2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Oct 172010


  • 130,000 miles


I brought car to the dealer for service and asked for the tranny to flushed they said the radiator had a leak and there was coolant in the transmission. They offered to replace the radiator and flush the system for $1,000 but didn't think that would help. The dealer wanted to replace the transmission and radiator for 8-10K. I ended up taking a loss and trading in the car couldn't see putting that kind of money into a 5 year old car. After looking on the internet found hundreds of people having the same issue very disappointing Nissan doesn't stand behind their product.

- Carver, MA, USA

problem #43

Oct 072010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
We were driving in our 2005 Pathfinder when the car decided to decrease speed all by itself after we pulled out into an intersection with traffic headed our way. Took the car to Nissan dealership was told coolant leaking into transmission due to a defected seal in the radiator to fix the problem ECM, tcm, transmission and radiator need to be replaced about 7,000 to fix the problem Nissan need to correct there mistakes not recall one component that got fried because coolant leaked on it that's not going to correct the problem. I cant believe we have to wait for someone to loose a love one before action is done we were second away from that, seriously. Not a joke Nissan needs to stand up for there mistake this is America right don't we have rights to a safe auto for our children after paying alot for a car that suppose to be safe just google 2005 Pathfinder complaints and see how many are really out there 93% transmission problem on the 2005 same thing coolant leaking into the transmission make Nissan recall these cars and fix the problem we work hard for our country and deserve quality what if this was your family Nissan you have your family in one of these car think not!!!

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #42

Oct 302009


  • 20,500 miles
Service engine lamp lit. Transmission fluid's radiator cooler failed allowing coolant to enter into transmission ruining transmission.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #41

Aug 122010


  • 82,000 miles


When our 2005 Nissan Pathfinder started to make a grinding noise during gear shift at 40 mph and 60 mph, we immediately took it to the Nissan dealership only to be told that a problem with the radiator was causing coolant to leak into the transmission, mixing with the transmission oil and destroying our transmission. This was on August 12, 2010. We were told we would have to replace the entire radiator and transmission at a cost of over $4500. We could not understand how coolant could be leaking into the transmission, so we immediately contacted Nissan North America and filed a complaint. This kind of damage should not occur due to normal wear and tear. We were informed that not enough complaints had been filed but they would keep a record of our call and we would be contacted if they ever did a recall in the future. Still confused about what was causing this problem, we decided to get a second opinion at another Nissan dealership, less than 15 miles away from the first. This was done on August 30, 2010. We were told the same thing, the coolant was leaking into the transmission, but they wanted over five thousand for the same repair. Before making a final decision, we decided to research this issue further. We were amazed to find over a hundred complaints online, all from owners of 2005 Nissan Pathfinders, and all complaining about the thousands of dollars they had to pay to repair both radiator and transmission for the same problem we, too, were experiencing. With no help or acknowledge from Nissan, we went to an outside mechanic and had the work done at a much lower cost.

- Maryville, TN, USA

problem #40

May 142010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was on a family trip and had realized that when I was at stop my coolant temperature would rise and I would get a slip. Waited for my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder to cool down and then I checked on my radiator fluid. To my surprise it was gunky, like oil was all in it mixed with the anti-freeze. Come to realize that it was transmission fluid. So much of it that it had even clogged up the passage way to the thermostat. After doing some research, I had found out that there are many many others that have experienced that same ordeal. There is a flaw in the radiators that were used by Nissan on 2005 and up Pathfinders, X-terras, and frontiers with the 4.0 V6 engines. These radiators, in which anti-freeze and automatic transmission fluid, would both pass through are somehow cracking and mixing the 2 fluids together. When this mixture occurs, the radiator and tranny oil would need to be flushed. The transmission will then also need to be replaced because of damage already done. This will ad up to about 5K-8K. Nissan does not take responsibility of this damage. If you google "2005+ Nissan Pathfinder transmission", you will see that there are many complains about it.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #39

Aug 282010


  • 129,989 miles
2005 Nissan radiator and transmission failure. Defective radiator causes engine coolant to leak into transmission which may fail at any time. Driving at highway speed, entering traffic, merging or entering intersections causing dangerous conditions as the vehicle fails to move, decelerates quickly or the transmission slips badly and fails to accelerate. Hundreds of incidents of failures are reported on the internet. An apparent design/manufacturing flaw in the radiator causes the condition. Nissan has taken no responsibility or corrective action. Thousands of unsuspecting consumers and their families are at risk each day driving or riding in these vehicles. Consumers are left paying thousands of dollars for replacements.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #38

Aug 032010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Vibration in transmission, coolant in transmission oil.

- Trois-RiviÈRes, 00, USA

problem #37

Jul 182010


  • 103,487 miles
My transmission totally went on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. It would not start. The computer shut the car down B/C the transmission was not working. I was stranded with my children at a shopping center. I took it first to a transmission specialist. He could not repair it B/C he could not get the parts from Nissan to fix it proper. He said he had seen 18 of these 2005 Pathfinders with the same issue. It happens at 60,000-120,000 miles. I took it to a dealership. They knew right away. I was told it was a design flaw, the coolant from the radiator leaks into the transmission causing the transmission to go out. I was told I had to replace the radiator and hoses, so this would not happen again. Nissan made changes in the radiator to correct their mistake. I had to replace my transmission, temperature gauge, and radiator with new.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #36

Aug 092010


  • 70,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder began to shutter then jerk back into normal driving as it reached speeds of 60-70 mph. It was very sporadic in the beginning, but started to happen more frequently and at lower speeds for a longer period of time. I brought the truck into Nissan with 70,000 miles, at which time I was told that the radiator leaked into the transmission causing the need for both to be replaced at the cost of $6700. I did alot of research and discovered that hundreds and hundreds of people with the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with approximately the same mileage (just after warranty expires) are experiencing the same issues. It seems as though a faulty radiator system was installed into these vehicles. They kept my truck for 12 days while trying to decide if they would offer assistance with fixing my 5 year old vehicle. The end result being, that they would pay to replace the transmission and I would pay to replace the radiator as well as the labor costs. I was told that this did not occur as a result of anything I did wrong. I asked why a recall isn't being done, at which time I was told that the number of injuries or deaths was a major factor in that determination. Although I was not injured, this is a huge financial burden to take on for a vehicle that is only 5 years old. Nissan needs to take responsibility and stand behind the parts they put in their vehicles!!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #35

Jun 012010


  • 85,000 miles
The coolant line in the radiator got a leak and mixed transmission fluid with the coolant causing me to have to replace the radiator. Not sure if this is what causes a miss fire in cylinder # 2 but now there is a problem with that as well. Hopefully it was caught in time as not to damage the transmission. I hope Nissan will own up to this problem and make the necessary repairs and restitution to Pathfinder owners.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #34

Apr 072009


  • 67,000 miles


Noticed rough shifts in transmission, eventually failed to engage 5th gear. Took to dealer, transmission lines inside radiator had ruptured. Replaced transmission, radiator and lines at a cost of over $8000 and 4 weeks time. This occurred at 67K miles. At 87K miles, radiator fluid is milky and shows symptoms of another rupture of coolant lines inside transmission. Dealer and Nissan usa do not recognize this as a safety issue or inherent defect in engineering. However, a simple search will show an extremely large number of people with similar issues caused by faulty cooling lines in the radiator rupturing causing transmission abrupt behavior and the danger for loss of vehicle control due to the failure.

- Elko, MN, USA

problem #33

Jun 142010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder defected radiators leaking into transmission, rusting components leading to transmission slipping and failure, I was on the mass pike highway going about 60 when my Pathfinder just pull back like you dropped it in low, 18 wheeler almost drove right threw my back of Pathfinder, this has happened more then one time, sometimes while stopped in traffic it feels like the transmission is pulling forward without putting your foot on the gas, I have done some research online to find the same problem many others are having in the radiator there is transmission fluid( look) for white milky substance also antifreeze going into transmission, please search the web for 2005 Nissan Pathfinders complaints and problems, this is vary dangerous to be driving it is unpredictable when it happens and I was told just a matter of days before I will have to replace both radiator and transmission, this is a total defect on Nissan, not fair at all, threshold be a recall on this a big safety issue could cause a serious accident.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #32

Apr 102010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated when driving at 40 mph in overdrive, the vehicle would abnormally vibrate excessively as if driving over an extremely uneven road surface.the failure would correct itself when the accelerator pedal was depressed but would return momentarily. The failure became progressively worse and on one occasion, while driving at 70 mph, the failure occurred and the contact was under the impression that he had a blown tire. The vehicle was taken to the contact's personal mechanic where he was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was then taken to the dealer where he was advised the radiator fluid was leaking into transmission and causing the failure. The dealer advised replacing both the radiator and transmission at the contact's expense. The manufacturer was contacted and the contact was awaiting a response to determine if they would assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000 and the current mileage was 75,432.

- Mision Viejo, CA, USA

problem #31

Jun 142010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 55,000 miles. I notice a vibration under the vehicle which would last for 2-3 seconds everytime I would drive it. I thought nothing about it, until it got worst. Now the vehicle stalls and vibrates more frequently while traveling on highways and major roads. I went on-line to research the problem and discovered the cause was from a leak from the radiator into the transmission and caused the slippage and the vibrations. Thousands of other people who own a Nissan Pathfinder had similar problems and have gone to the Nissan dealership and complained about the issue, as I had. The only thing Nissan will do is replace those parts, but we the consumer will have to pay for it, although it is clearly a manufacturer issue in relation to Nissan using inferior quality of parts. It will cost me $5,600 for parts and labor to fix a Nissan problem.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #30

Jul 072010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 89,500 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder S/N [xxx]. engine coolant leaking into transmission due to failure of oil cooler causing transmission failure. I have read over 100 complaints on this same issue and Nissan will not assist in the repairs. I was informed it would cost $5,149 before taxes to get this vehicle repaired. Nissan knows this is a problem. The dealership I took it to shook his head and said he currently has one in the shop for the same reason, but they won't stand behind their product. To make matters even worse, they are replacing the faulty part with the same defective part. Isn't there any way we can get this pushed through so Nissan would issue a recall on this and take responsibility for their mistakes? please call me @ [xxx]. I woulod like to know what I can do to help the many people in my same situation. Thank you for your time. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dickson, TN, USA

problem #29

Jun 292010


  • 101,000 miles
Transmission problem I had noticed the transmission slipping on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Took it to my local mechanic who did not think it was a serious problem. It gets worse the longer you drive it, but agreed it was not right and told me to take it to a transmission specialist. I took it immediately, he put the car on the on computer and got error codes back, car is fine.... I explained my problem again and he decided to take it for a test drive. He wasn't gone 10 min when he pulls in to his garage with tran fluid pouring out from under my car. He needs to use the fire extinguisher as the fluid is so hot it is catching on fire. Now after all has settled down he does get errors on the computer but nothing specific about the problem. He has yet to tell me what caused it except that it is internal. There are so many problems with the transmission on this model and make someone has to do something. What if I was driving my children on the highway when this happened. Would we have all gotten out!

- Dallastown, PA, USA

problem #28

May 012010


  • 99,000 miles
Radiator/transmission fluid mix the trans started shifting in and out of O/D at just over 40mph (vibrating) at about 99,000 miles. Took it to the shop and found the radiator busted and mixed with trans fluid. Had the radiator replaced and the transmission flushed twice. At a cost of $1,058 it worked fine until 103,000 miles. It just made a thump noise and the transmission started slipping so bad it barely got me home.

- Heath, TX, USA

problem #27

Jun 202010


  • 158,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Transmission failure due to coolant contamination. Radiator had to be replaced as well as the transmission. Many other problems with car. The fuel sending unit, air conditioning/heater fan, drive shfts/universal joints, brakes. Just about everything has failed and cost me massive amounts of cash.

- Veazie , ME, USA

problem #26

Jun 152010


  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission/coolant failure. As I have read on a number of sites ( this has been an issue with thousands of people. The radiator fails causing the transmission fluid to mix with the coolant which causes failure to the transmission and cooling system. This is an issue that thousands have complained about. Lets get something done. Nissan has refused to handle the situation!!!!

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #25

Apr 302010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Nissan corporation has a manufacture defect in their radiator which causes coolant to leak into the transmission. This action need a nationwide recall on both parts (radiator and transmission). Just like Toyota corporation had nationwide attention, Nissan need the same ordeal. The vehicle in question is a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. This vehicle has extended warranty which was not honor. Quoted when purchasing the extended warranty, "everything is cover from bumper to bumper, even down to the bolts". this is a misleading statement from the warranty department. Warranty department would not honor the warranty due to coolant was in the transmission. Money was paid for this purpose, now they say the warranty does not cover this mishap. After researching and talking with skills mechanics, it was discovered that the coolant came from a defective (busted) radiator. The mechanics stated this is becoming a common problem.

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?