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 2 of 22)

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problem #403

Jul 222014


  • 171,888 miles


When operating my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder le the transmission starts to slip at speeds of 40-50 mph in motion on street's and highways.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #402

Apr 222016


  • 94,598 miles
Water in transmission oil due to bad trans cooler wich is a known problem w/ these vehicles by Nissan but was never recalled.

- Manteca, CA, USA

problem #401

May 232016


  • 129,000 miles
Contamination of transmission fluid on 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Color of coolant is purple and cloudy in overflow and radiator. Transmission has started shuttering between 35 - 45 mph. Symptoms began at 130K miles.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #400

May 162016


  • 125,000 miles


Coolant and transmission fluid are mixing! the transmission is starting to skip and the coolant is milky/ creamy looking and I added 3 quarts transmission fluid 7days ago and now have to add more. The coolant is being pushed out of the overflow do to the transmission fluid and coolant mixing together.

- Easthampton, MA, USA

problem #399

Apr 202016


  • 146,000 miles
The dreaded coolant leakage from a faulty oil cooler causes failure of transmission and radiator.

- Woodinville, WA, USA

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problem #398

May 142010


  • miles

- Perth Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #397

Apr 012016


  • 95,000 miles


2005 Pathfinder drives great at lower speeds, but occasionally sounds and feels like I'm going over rumble strips at speeds higher than 40 mph. Took it to Nissan and was told that we have the well known issue where the radiator cracks and leaks into the transmission, ruining both. The car has 95,000 miles on it and Nissan will do nothing to help. The Nissan dealership wanted $6,500 to fix. Now I'm reading that this could have been avoided with a work around. This should have been recalled, or at the very least, information given about the work around to fix prior to the trans going out.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #396

Apr 242016


  • 82,900 miles
Vehicle has service engine light came on. Vehicle would not shift gears properly while in traffic and occur sporadically. Diagnostic code revealed P1754 a known issue with transmission and radiator.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #395

Mar 192016


  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle vibrated roughly. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 111,000.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #394

Feb 012013


  • 120,000 miles
The coolant from the radiator leaked into the transmission in turned destroying the transmission. Shorted the safety feature in the transmission to where it would not start. I was still making payments on the vechicle when this happened. Nissan told me that it was a 100K and there was nothing they could do about it. I ruined my credit and 2 years later I am still having my check garnished for this horrible recall.. they repoed the vehicle and sold it for scrap and left me holding the bill because I could afford a $7000 fix!!! someone needs to be held accountable for the horrible recall

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #393

Jan 012016


  • 125,000 miles


Approx. 1 year ago I noticed that my engine coolant had trans fluid in it so I looked online and found the extended warranty. I then took the Pathfinder into hamilton Nissan in hagerstown md. They replaced the radiator and installed a rebuilt transmission. About 3 weeks ago I noticed that the Pathfinder was not shifting into overdrive. Now the transmission will not shift into overdrive and now slips in and out of 2nd and 3rd gear. This is very dangerous. I was almost T-boned this morning because the Pathfinder would not go into gear while the trans was in drive, which is why I am submitting this complaint.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #392

Dec 012015


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 40 mph, there was an abnormal vibration to the vehicle. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. The contact was informed that the radiator, transmission, and transmission cooling lines needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sherwood, OR, USA

problem #391

Feb 022016


  • 107,000 miles
Transmission was damaged due to coolant leaking in from a cracked radiator

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #390

Jan 012016


  • 130,000 miles
Transmission failed. Design also caused need for new radiator.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #389

Jan 312016


  • 130,000 miles
ECM replaced under recall. Radiator/transmission replaced @ 96K miles under "extended warranty." Transmission replaced 2nd time 1 year later. Transmission hoses replaced twice (during same time period). Now - 103K miles - check engine light came on: Vias solenoid valve, bank 2 catalytic converter, & oil pressure sensor switch all need replaced (possibly related to ECM relay issue)

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #388

Dec 202015


  • 88,900 miles
Transmission radiator ruptured. Coolant flooded transmission and destroyed transmission. This ruptured occurred while vehicle was in motion traveling on interstate.

- Berlin, NJ, USA

problem #387

Dec 192015


  • 113,000 miles
Transmission failure just bought truck for about 3 months for daughter never drove it first putting on the highway truck stop moving in the middle of traffic in the fast lane cause two accident get it pull home then found out its the transmission an alot of people having the same problem once it cools off it will drive till the transmission gets hot then it stops working again

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #386

Dec 112015


  • 164,300 miles
On 12/11/2015 at approximately 6:00 pm, I was driving down a city street when my vehicle's engine shut off as I was driving at approximately 35 miles per hour. The brakes locked and I had to force the gear stick into park in the far left turning lane and nearly ran through a red light. I tried to start the vehicle and the engine stalled for about 40 seconds before re-starting. After I got the vehicle started, the "vdc off" and "slip" lights came on. The warning lights are still one and the engine has been skipping. This is the 3rd time in the past 2 weeks that I have been driving and the vehicle has just shut off. The other two shutoffs happened on highways while driving at night and approximately 60 miles per hour.

- Rembert, SC, USA

problem #385

Oct 012015


  • 125,000 miles
Apparently there was a known issue regarding a radiator leaking fluid into the transmission causing the transmission to fail. I bought my vehicle a year ago with 117K miles and no one bothered to mention the issue to me. I did buy the extended warranty, but according to them, I'm out of luck because the warranty doesn't cover the radiator and the warranty doesn't cover "corrosion". I am disgusted by the way I've been treated and I feel like I've been scammed

- Los Lunas, NM, USA

problem #384

Nov 112015


  • 119,000 miles
The vehicle will at times not accelerate from a stop light, or will feel like it is laboring and barely move. The shop retrieved codes P1754 and P0744, and cleared codes, which returned in short order. This condition can occur when making a left turn, or where we live, strand the car on a railroad crossing (we have had 2 young ladies killed at rail crossings in the last 2 years here). When a driver expects the vehicle to accelerate, and instead it flounders, the results can absolutely be deadly. The car has had the radiator replaced (a known defective part causing costly damage), but the transmission is now being fingered as the culprit after cross contamination of coolant and trans fluid alters the transmission function to be erratic. Ours is not an isolated case, and it seems like it is becoming increasingly typical for a manufacturer to cover-up known defects even when life and death safety concerns are obvious. The suggested remedy is a very expensive transmission replacement, costing thousands more than on other vehicles. This is not acceptable. Please help.

- Sagle, ID, USA

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