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 11 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #223

Jul 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Was exiting a side street onto a high traffic road turning left, crossing oncoming traffic. Vehicle lurched forward then lost all forward acceleration. Leaving me in oncoming traffic lane. A separate vehicle nearly impacted the front driver door of my vehicle, sliding to a stop. Upon vehicle inspection at the local dealer, it was determined the radiator that houses a transmission cooler failed and mixed anti-freeze in with the transmission, causing the vehicle to degrade quickly, causing a spurt of vehicle acceleration due to a large transmission slip. This could have cause a very serious injury or death had the other vehicle made contact with my vehicle.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #222

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,188 miles
While backing out of a parking space my check engine light came on and it felt like my transmission was slipping. I had the vehicle towed to the Nissan dealer. They told me the radiator failed and the radiator fluid seeped into the transmission fluid causing everything to fail. 80, 000 miles is the warranty. I am just over that. They are offering me a $2500 co pay but I feel they should take care of this problem. There should be a recall on the radiator to prevent this problem.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #221

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was driving on a highway back from getting groceries in a town 45 miles from me. All of a sudden the car started revving. I took it off of cruise control and tried pressing on the gas. Nothing happened. I pulled off to the side of the road and called a tow truck. After several hours sitting on the side of the road in the dark and by myself, I got it towed back to my town, 35 miles away. I found out that the transmission had gone out. I took it to a transmission shop and they told me that it was the cooling system had leaked into my transmission and fired the tcm. It will cost me $4600 to fix it. I found out that there is a recall on this problem after the fact of it happening and now they refuse to fix their mistake. They will cover up to 80000 miles for the recall and up to 100000 miles with a deductible of $2500. And nothing after 100000. Why did they not inform us of this problem" does anyone have a law suit going on this"

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #220

May 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,257 miles


Failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #219

Dec 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My coolant is leaking into my transmission and its on its last leg..oil pressure gauge is broken along with fuel indicator and many other problems.

- Hickman, NE, USA

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problem #218

Jun 222013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,344 miles
The Nissan Pathfinder complete shut down down and then would not go into reverse. I restarted the vehicle and the slip light was on--the car would not go into reverse. I then parked the car and returned next morning and the car electronics apparently reset (apparently) and the car would go into reverse. After driving for 10 km, the slip light came on and I drove it promptly into Nissan repair (overseas). The repair center informs me to not drive the car--possible damage to the transmission and that we need to get a part called valve assembly 31705ea30A; I must have this shipped, and cost for repair labor is $1,000 larie (667.00 usd). The issue is that the car died out as I was entering into a parking lot and a car hit me in the rear--luckily I was not on a highway when this happened. I have minor rear bumper damage>approximately 200 usd; I would have been seriously injured as well as my wife, if this had happened on the highway or in major traffic flow. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Nokesville, VA, USA

problem #217

Jun 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


The radiator is cracked and has leaked fluid into transmission.

- Eagle, ID, USA

problem #216

Jun 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and it was determined that the coolant from the radiator leaked into the transmission and caused the transmission to fail. The transmission would need to be replaced. The failure and the current mileages were 90,000.

- Lake George, NY, USA

problem #215

Jun 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 54,600 miles
My wife observed issue with gas or brakes for last couple months. I thought it was brakes and I had just bleed and replaced fluid which helped. On 6/20/13 I made left turn on my home street and transmission did not respond. I was stuck in middle of road and luckily no cars were approaching. At first I thought car stalled and tried to restart but realized the engine was still running. At that moment I knew what it was (failed transmission from cross contamination). I drove directly to reliable Nissan in albuquerque where they verified the bad news. This really proves this is a manufacturing defect. My car has all proper maintenance and only has 54600 miles. I am the original owner. The vehicle looks brand new. I had just talked to both service managers from both the local dealers about my fears about this possibly happening. Even had them check and they said the radiator was ok. I am only 50 days past my 8 years and with only 54600 miles Nissan refuses to provide any good will. I am still stuck paying 2500 dollars. Nissan keeps insisting this is not a safety issue. Loosing propulsion is a safety issue. Even in driving school I was trained that power, can avoid a possible disaster just as well as brakes. This is fact. Too many close calls reported on this issue and its sad that our government only acts when cars explode and people die. I have noticed that this issue is increasing exponentially putting the risk of death and injury a more probable outcome. From last February almost 29 percent more cases reported in just 4 months. I worked with my dealers trying to avoid this. Did all the trans oil changes, radiator flushes and asked if I could do anything to avoid this disaster and also had them inspect my radiator just a few months back. And yet, my brand new looking, meticulously maintained Pathfinder needs a new transmission and radiator.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #214

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
I just bought this car, and had a problem with transmission to begin with, following with the fuel level sensor (just started), I had to replace the transmission, radiator, now I have to replace the fuel sensor, and 2 days ago the plastic heater receiver that is located in firewall of car had melted, and all anti-freeze had gone and the motor got overheated (why plastic made", instead of brass??"), so the dealer said that I had to replace the whole piece ($250) plus labor, it is incredible how this car company called Nissan is loosing their prestige since started to assembly in us, it is just making more money out of the people with all these crappy parts they are using. We need the federal government to be involved and give us back the money spent on these manufacturing defects as soon as possible.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #213

Jun 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 134,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. As a result, the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 134,000.

- Jackson , KY, USA

problem #212

Jun 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,657 miles
I brought our Pathfinder in to our mechanic for an oil change and inspection. He said that the radiator is going bad. Specifically the coolant that is attached to the transmission. He said that we should not drive the vehicle, as it could blow the transmission. We are lucky that he did such a thorough inspection, as we had no warning signs. I googled the problem and found your website, and that this has been an ongoing problem with Nissan. Our mechanic said he recently had to replace two radiators, one on a 2009 Nissan Pathfinder and another on a Nissan (truck)...I can't remember the model and year.

- Danville , VT, USA

problem #211

Jun 052013


  • 103,000 miles
The check engine light came on in the vehicle the night before. Vehicle was taken to the Nissan service dealership the next day-June 5, 2013-for a diagnosis. Was told the coolant had leaked into the transmission and ruined it. Both the radiator and the transmission will need to be replaced. Was told by the mechanic that Nissan will not pay for any part of the repairs due to being over 100,000 miles. The odometer has 103,000 miles, only 3,000 miles over the limit. This is manufacturer's defect and should be repaired by Nissan, free of charge. After further investigation, discovered that thousands of owners 2005-2010 Pathfinders, X-terras, frontiers and armadas have experienced the same exact issue. The cost for my repair is $6300! Nissan needs to be investigated and the total repair costs refunded to the owners! this is an enormous hardship for this family and all who have experienced this fiasco!

- Hope, RI, USA

problem #210

May 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder's transmission started to slip and engine speed would dip and vehicle would feel as though it was attempting to shift into a non existent gear at speed. Several weeks after this started to happen a notification was received in the mail pertaining to the coolant leaking into the transmission oil. After having replacing the radiator and flushing the transmission and replacing transmission oil, the transmission is continuing to slip. Awaiting word from Nissan North America to replace or fix this known issue.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #209

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 119,072 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel continuously. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that there was a combination of both the transmission fluid and coolant leaking together, which could cause damage to the transmission. The manufacturer offered an extended warranty associated with a manufacturer's voluntary recall related to the transmission. The vehicle was ineligible due to the excessive mileage. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 119,072....updated 07-10-13

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #208

Apr 112013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,900 miles
Driving down interstate and vehicle started slipping wouldn't take gear had to coast off to the side of the road had to have vehicle towed into station serviceman said that radiator leaked into transmission and damaged the transmission had to have both transmission and radiator replaced the man at the station said that was the sixth vehicle that he had to do the same repairs too same make and model said that Nissan had a recall on this make and model for a defect.

- Brilliant, AL, USA

problem #207

Apr 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
I felt a grinding nose while shifted and I stop and took the car to a dealer Nissan and the find out a problem from transmission/ radiator. There was a recall for a faulty radiator who leaks into the transmission that cause the problem and I should pay for the repair on my own. I find out that Nissan knows that problem never sent me a recall for that and I bought the car new I serviced it and all the maintenance at a dealership no word I should change the radiator. The same thing happens to me with my 2002 Altima.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #206

Mar 242013


  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Consumer writes in regards to transmission failure. The dealer informed the consumer they would replace the transmission at a cost of $4,000

- Hertford, NC, USA

problem #205

Jun 042013


  • 104,000 miles
I started off at an intersection in heavy traffic where I live in atlanta, ga. My truck would not move. The engine revved when given gas but would not go forward. I was in panic mode because of the traffic and I had my family in the car. I was told by a Nissan rep that radiator fluid is leaking into my transmission fluid and causing it to fail. He said eventually it will fail for good. These vehicles need to be recalled by Nissan!!!!!!! this is a known issue and is very dangerous!! this must be addressed before someone loses a life at the hands of a faulty transmission!. also this is a very expensive repair for me. Please do something!!

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #204

May 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,948 miles
From stop transmission failed to engage. Checked fluid found water in transmission from failed cooling line thru radiator/ trans cooling line.

- Brookings, OR, USA

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