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 12 of 22)

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problem #203

May 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate, the vehicle stalled and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage 105,000.

- East Point, KY, USA

problem #202

Apr 292013


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle vibrated and the gears made a grinding noise while shifting. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the radiator had fractured and caused coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 84,000.

- Warminster , PA, USA

problem #201

May 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I am reporting about my Nissan Pathfinder 2005, suddenly stopped driving on 85-N after existing the freeway yesterday (05/28/2013) around 1:30 pm and it was not moving at all and we were shocked and almost hit from behind and their was a lot of traffic. We were lucky it didn't stopped on the freeway, since it was busy day. With me in the car were, my wife, 3 children, youngest been 1 year old and with my sister-in law.. when traffic was backed, we got assistance from the hero and he moved us from the exit and later we towed the car to the mechanic shop and we found out it has a transmission problem. I saw an advert ( North Carolina consumer council) and we reported to them too before someone is killed. Please advise us what to do next.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #200

May 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


I have only had this vehicle for a year. I noticed the transmission started sputtering when I got to about 40 or 50 mph. I had it taken in to see what the problem was and they told me the radiator failed and leaked into the transmission and both had to be replaced. Luckily I was not on the road with my children in the car when this thing decided to fail.

- Helena, AL, USA

problem #199

May 202013


  • 170,650 miles
I took my truck to the Nissan dealership for them to tell me that my transmission fluid and radiator fluids have mixed and that I need to replace both of them. After doing some research I found out that this has been a problem with this truck since around 2007. I called Nissan and asked them what do they plan to do to help me get my truck fixed and they told due to the miles that they couldn't help me. I

- Memphis, TN, USA

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problem #198

May 212010


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while at the dealer for routine maintenance the technician advised that the radiator would have to be replaced. After the replacement of the radiator, the contact was parked when the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #197

May 032013


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and the transmission slipped out of gear. All of the instrument panel warning lights illuminated when the failure occurred. The contact had the vehicle towed to a dealer. The dealer stated that the relay pack malfunctioned and the transmission was defective due radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. There was also transmission fluid that leaked into the radiator. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- North Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #196

Mar 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Transmission started chugging took it to the repair shop the next day and they showed me I have engine coolant in the transmission and that it would be 5000 to repair. Told me I was the 6th Nissan that has been in his shop in the last month with the same problem!!

- Kingston, TN, USA

problem #195

May 032013


  • 116,000 miles
My wife was on way home. As she slowed and turned into driveway car just stopped pulling. It was like it was in 5th gear. Had to accelerate hard to just get into driveway. Parked and shut it off. After inspection I found trans fluid looked milky. Searched web and found that hundreds of others had experienced this. I hoped I had caught it early enough not to have damaged transmission. I replaced radiator, thermostat, trans filter and fluids. No help...... still doesn't pull. Does have nice clean fluids in it now.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #194

May 072013


  • 108,000 miles
Having the same problem that the Nissan put out a recall for. An alarming number of Nissan xterra, Pathfinder and frontier owners are stepping forward with stories about their cracked radiators which are causing coolant to leak into the transmission. Once mixed with the transmission fluid this lethal combination kills the valves, seals and torque converter -- rendering your entire transmission useless. This issue is currently contained to the 2005 - 2007 model years, but we're keeping our eyes open for reports from other years.

- Hartland , WI, USA

problem #193

Apr 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


I have been notified by my mechanic, that there is transmission fluid in both my radiator and coolant system. Thought I'm thankful that no incident has happened yet, in doing research I have heard of many Nissan Pathfinder 2005-2010 owners having the same issues with their vehicles. Some have even reported repair costs in excess of $3000 for transmission failure repairs. I am getting mixed information as to what my options are in regard to a class action suite against Nissan. I need some clarity in this issue before I find myself in an unfavorable situation.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #192

Jun 062012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission started to exhibit a loud noise when shifting gears. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the technician diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. As a result, the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 99,000.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

problem #191

Apr 232013


  • 14,330 miles
While driving on a local street in my neighborhood at 35 mph on my way to pick up my son from school, the Pathfinder began to lose power. I press on the gas and the Pathfinder would not go any faster, it was hesitating and seemed like it was going to stop. I made to the mechanic and was told the radiator had leaked into the transmission. The mechanic then advised the radiator and transmission would have to be replaced at a cost of $5828. I am upset and completely in shock when he tells Nissan has an extended warranty however it only covers you up to 100,000 miles. Nissan is aware of this issue and if it happened at 100,000 I would have brought it in for servicing. I paid over 30,000 for the Pathfinder brand new and after eight years this is what I am left with, no recourse?

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #190

Apr 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 61,131 miles
Transmission did not engage when pulling car out of my garage. I put it in park and tried again but the car would still not engage. After a third attempt the car began to move but the transmission was acting very odd and disengaging, almost like I was coasting. This was very scary for me and my three children. My husband inspected the car and found that radiator fluid contained a white greasy substance. I took the car in for inspection and repair at my local Nissan dealer and they informed me that there was indeed cross contamination due to a cracked transmission cooling line mixing with the radiator fluid. This will end up costing me $2,500 to fix. It appears that I am not the first to have to deal with this problem, and by the number of people filing complaints it seems like a defect to me and not mere coincidence. This really needs to be a recall. Nissan needs to be held liable for the multitudes of people stuck in this unfortunate situation.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #189

Nov 242011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Lost power, transmission not engaging, was told that it was radiator coolant was leaking in the system. After transmission was replaced after at approximately 27,000 miles same incident happened again.

- San Bruno, CA, USA

problem #188

Apr 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 149,929 miles
Car would not start, got it towed to my mechanic, radiator allowed coolant to mix with transmission fluid. Containment the transmission. Radiator and transmission has to be replaced. Job will cost $5346.74.

- Ewing, NJ, USA

problem #187

Apr 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The transmission cooler of the radiator is leaking into the transmission.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #186

Mar 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl Diesel

  • 115,000 miles
While driving at approx 40 mph, the transmission suddenly disengaged; rpms went up to 5000; was like being in neutral. At the time, I was traveling up a slight incline without a shoulder or safe area to stop. Stopped in the roadway. Had it towed to Nissan dealership. They advised that they were aware of the known issue¯for a long time and that the radiator part that cools the transmission fluid failed and radiator fluid had entered the transmission causing the transmission to fail. This known issue, was never a recall and Nissan had no intentions on a recall due to a class action lawsuit. Unfortunately, my vehicle mileage is over the class action lawsuit settlement mileage and therefore Nissan will not take any responsibility; leaving strict instructions¯ to Nissan customer affairs to specifically not offer any assistance to persons affected by this known issue. Nissan dealership service dept advised that Nissan had fixed¯ the known issue on a newer model of radiator. Nissan should have recalled the product for a safety inspection and replaced all parts known to fail. Total estimated cost to repair at Nissan dealership started around $8000 and negotiated to $5000. Several private transmission repair shop estimates are approx. $4000. Most private auto shops will not touch this repair due to the known issue¯ and no confidence that Nissan fixed the known issue¯. request an investigation with an eye towards safety recall & reimbursement for those who already had to pay out of pocket.

- Island Heights, NJ, USA

problem #185

Mar 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Just over a year ago our 2005 Pathfinder's transmission failed due to Nissan installing a faulty radiator in the vehicle when it was made. Due to the expense of getting it fixed, it still sets in the garage waiting to save up the money to fix the issue. Over the year, Nissan has admitted it was a problem but instead of fixing it, they say they will cover it if the vehicle has low millage. The radiator problem is not millage dependant. We drove our Pathfinder and it was beyond the millage they would cover. So I guess I am being penalized by Nissan for driving the Pathfinder. I just wish Nissan would do the right thing for its customers.

- Altus, AR, USA

problem #184

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Transmission stalls when trying to shift between gears. The transmission cannot decide when to shift and tries to downshift during deceleration. The transmission is slow to respond.

- Fountain Hills , AZ, USA

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