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
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,689 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 10 of 22)

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problem #243

Oct 012012


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle decelerated and jerked while driving at any speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times. The dealer test drove the vehicle and was unable to duplicate the failure. The jerking and deceleration increased with greater force and the dealer re-inspected the vehicle, advising that the radiator fluid had penetrated the transmission. As a result, both the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 57,800.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #242

Jun 092013


  • 57,450 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact was driving 30 mph when the vehicle stalled and jerked as the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle was coasted off the roadway until it was powered off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed a transmission mount. The manufacturer was notified of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 57450.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #241

Aug 012013


  • 126,000 miles
Transmission problems - vehicle has been having problems shifting - then suddenly began to make loud noises - took to transmission shop - they found no problems with computer diagnostic - 2 weeks later the service engine light came on P1746 - went to drive to shop and couldn't make it - had to have it towed home. Transmission made loud grinding noises all of sudden and would not shift gears checked tranny fluid and everything else - do not understand why it went out - no prior problems or service engine light before this -- etc..went downhill fast - if I could have caught earlier or had some kind of warning from Nissan maybe we could have done something preventive - extremely upset after finding out online about 05 tranny problems - called Nissan - I have to pay out of pocket for costs - was never informed by Nissan or dealer about transmission radiator problems - not a mechanic so I don't speak to details about the transmission replaced radiator last year in October 2012 - still was not advised about potential impact to transmission my wife was driving - lucky she was not in heavy traffic or on freeway - could have been horrible accident - Nissan should honor - and fix - or either give us rebate on new vehicle for trade-in.

- Sahuarita, AZ, USA

problem #240

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,224 miles


I was driving towards reno, nv and every time there is an uphill roadway the engine would rev up and the transmission shifts to another gear, I would feel a thumping sound and on every 3 to 6 miles of driving the vehicle would feel like it is running on an unpaved road. I took the vehicle to the dealership and that is when they informed me that my transmission fluid and engine coolant are mixing. Not to mention that my fsr is no longer functioning properly. It turned out that the fsr (fuel sensor relay) is not on the recall list unless it is a 2006 and up. I don't mind the fsr, because I can work on this but the coolant and tranny fluid mixture should be a recall since a lot of people are experiencing this issue.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #239

Aug 262013


  • 66,889 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph and there was a slight loss of transmission power with severe hesitation. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis andy they informed the contact that the transmission line was cracked and transmission fluid was leaking. The transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 66,889.

- Plainview, NY, USA

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problem #238

Aug 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 74,199 miles
Vehicle lost power while driving and won't accelerate. Checked the fluid levels and they all are ok, however, transmission fluid color appears brownish instead of the usual pink color.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #237

Sep 022013


  • 101,563 miles


Transmission oil in radiator, cause car to over heat. Most likely need new transmission and radiator. Just over Nissan 100,000 mile warranty and they won't cover the replacement. And if the would want me to pay 3,000 out of my pocket for a know defective part. I feel this needs to be recall and Nissan expense and fix my car.

- Newfields, NH, USA

problem #236

Jul 152013


  • 105,000 miles
During the time I was driving the Pathfinder I notice that the transmission started pulling. I got into the turning lane to pull over to check it out but when I stopped and then try to turn the vehicle would not move more then 3 feet that left me in the middle of the road. Lucky no one was hurt but it could have been a bad situation if I was on a busy street.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #235

Aug 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Engine light is on. Nissan dealer shop recommends to replaced transmission and radiator.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #234

Jul 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
The transmission in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is failing, just as it has been stated all over the internet. Of course the extended warranty from October of 2012 does not assist me. My truck was fine at that time, and now, I am over $124,000 miles. Nissan is still responsible for failing to inform its consumers about the on-going failing transmission issues. Nissan needs to pay for my transmission. I expect it to happen!!!

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #233

Aug 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


It's the typical Nissan Pathfinder (2005-2011) transmission/radiator failure due to fluids from both devices mixing and causing catastrophic failure of both. Nissan informs me that they certainly understand my problem, which is comforting, but will not pay a dime. Never buy another one.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #232

Aug 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
There is problem with this model vehicle. Thousands of people are having the same problem. The radiator has a leak in it causing the transmission oil to mix with the radiator coolant creating a mixture of gravy type substance. The transmission and the radiator are filled up with this substance. The engine is not being cooled down. The vehicle starts to vibrate after a certain speed. When you pop up the hood it smells like plastic burning.

- Holtsville, NY, USA

problem #231

Jul 182012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Nissan has a recall on the transmission only up to 100,000 miles. I purchased the vehicle at 98,000 but did not know about recall. I contacted Nissan and since it is over 100,000 they will not fix their mistake on engineering this vehicle. So I now have a vehicle that is setting in my driveway and will not run! the transmission is completely useless and I do not have $6000 to fix it!! I feel Nissan should be liable for the faulty vehicles no matter what mileage considering it only happens in higher mileage. Nissan has told me that they will not fix it and it is now my responsibility to do so.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #230

Aug 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Driving in town roughly 25 miles, the truck slowed down, you hit the gas to excel and it stops eventually. The mechanic says the transmission coolant leaked, mixed and need to replace the transmission and trained and leaned the radiator.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #229

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My Pathfinder locked in 4WD while switch was still in 2wd and would not start back after towing to dealership I find out it is the radiator leaking into the transmission and both will have to be replaced at $4900. If my wife would of been on a road with more traffic it would of been bad for her and my two year old. We have only owned the car for a year and nothing but problems out of it and our Altima. We have always been Nissan owners but will never buy again this is evidently a really common problem and Nissan's customer appreciation is awful.

- Bronston, KY, USA

problem #228

Jul 292013


  • 99,000 miles
Transmission went out on vehicle while it was in motion causing vehicle to stall and difficulty picking up speed to merge into 65mph highway traffic almost resulting in a collision. When vehicle was towed to transmission shop, they informed me that these Nissan Pathfinders are known for having bad radiators causing water to enter transmissions making the transmission to suddenly go out...I then had it towed to a second shop and they confirmed radiator went bad. Radiator was replaced but transmission is completely out due to the radiator.

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #227

Jul 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
Transmission fail... never received any recalls about it... now I noticed was recall for my transmission and Nissan didn't do anything to help.

- Hawthorne , NJ, USA

problem #226

Jul 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 101,500 miles
1st - fuel gauge does not indicate whether tank is full and service engine light is constantly on. Informed that this was a common problem, but no recall for my vehicle. Will cost $1,000 to replace, still have not done. 2nd - was driving my 2005 Pathfinder on highway, alone with my 2.5 year old daughter, rpms surge, car won't accelerate, forced to pull over in the middle of nowhere ok, towed to Nissan dealership for $200. Dealership says that radiator and transmission both need to be replaced. Do a google search to find that this is a common issue on this year, make and model and repairs total approximately $4,800. Since my mileage is at 101,500, 1,500 miles over warranty, Nissan will offer no copay. Why is there no recall" does somebody need to be seriously injured or killed for this to happen" shame on Nissan for putting people in danger. Had my car serviced at Nissan dealership where purchased, no one ever informed me of this problem so I could have taken care of it before it was too late.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #225

Jul 282013


  • 102,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for routine service when the contact was told that the radiator was leaking fluid into the transmission. The contact stated that the transmission had been hesitant. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 102,500.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #224

Jun 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
It appears the radiator failed leaking coolant into the transmission. When I asked the mechanic about it he said that now your transmission will fail soon. I have been reading that this is very common and has happened alot with this year and model which I believe to be totally not acceptable.

- Loudon, NH, USA

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