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 20 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Feb 172012


  • 150,360 miles


Internal components of the radiator fail allowing coolant to leak into the transmission via the tranny cooler. This ruins the internals of the transmission and cause irreparable damage.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #42

Nov 112011


  • miles
I took my vehicle into Sierra Nissan, birmingham Alabama on 11-11-2011 for service due to experiencing problems. I was told that the cooler from the radiator had leaked into the transmission and the transmission fluid leaked into the radiator and both needed to be replaced. I was not told by anyone in the service dept of the radiator assembly issue with Nissan 2005-2010 frontier, Pathfinder, and xterra. I found this information by surfing Nissan website. I did this because I was being told by every repair shop in the surrounding area of birmingham that Nissan is well aware of this issue and should do a recall on it. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs on 1-10-2011 about the information that I discovered. I was told that I needed to take my vehicle back to the Nissan dealership to access the repairs a because it had been over 30 days since I took my vehicle into a Nissan dealership for service. Then, my request would be reviewed by Consumer Affairs to see if Nissan would pay for the repairs. I explained to the representative that I did not have another $100 to have the service dept to tell me the same thing again. I got an email 2 weeks ago from Nissan for a survey and never heard anything back. When I purchased this vehicle in 2008 I also purchased the extended warranty with Nissan, which now is expired. I could not afford to pay $5,695 for repairs so I went out and found a license transmission shop that could do it at a lesser amount. The transmission shop told me that they are having a difficult time with Nissan and ordering parts for the transmission because Nissan can not produce the parts fast enough due to the high demand for repairs for this issue. Even though, I have 114,700 miles on my vehicle I am asking Nissan to do the honorable thing and stand behind their company vision "enriching people lives", by paying for the repairs of this vehicle.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #41

Feb 122012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Automatic transmission started to slip and would not go into gears. After parking the car, found that the car would not go into reverse either and all it would do is rev. Car has been on regular maintenance schedule. Very disappointed to see that this problem occurred with under 100K miles.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #40

Feb 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,100 miles


On 2/1/12, I had one incident when my car was stopped and when I accelerated and it gave me a push/pull slow to move. On 2/2/12 the same thing occurred multiple times. My check engine light eventually came on and then my car eventually would not accelerate after being stopped. I towed it to midas, who said they were unable to fix it. I brought it to lee miles transmission and they told me the radiator fluid mixed with antifreeze fluid causing corrosion and contamination within the transmission. I picked it up on 2/6/12 and it was fine driving home. While on my work on 2/7/12, the same problem occurred in which I was not able to accelerate. I had it towed back to lee miles and it's possibly the torque converter that was replaced with the transmission.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #39

Feb 062012


  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems took my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder to the dealer for transmission repair. The Nissan advisor and I noticed transmission fluid in multiple places. Coolant container was muddy with transmission fluid. Vehicle had just enough miles below the 80,000 miles. Hopefully the Nissan company will cover the repairs. Technician said the 80,000 miles warranty will be good until sometime in the year 2013. I was in the freeway driving and the transmission started to slip. This is very dangerous because I could of been in an accident if I was making a left turn in the highway and the opposite driver could of hit the truck in the passenger side. The Nissan advisor told me this problem is happening to many vehicles from the years of 2005 to 2007. Just today he registered 5 vehicles for repairs. The majority had 83,000 to 91,000, so the warranty will not cover. Be very careful with these type of vehicles. Transmission repair for a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder runs from $4,000 to $6,000 plus other parts. Nissan should extend the warranty to at least 100,000 miles and repair the radiator problem. The Nissan advisor informed me that the radiator gets damaged and antifreeze mixes inside transmission, "this damages the transmission and many other parts due to the excessive leaking and splashing of the transmission fluid."

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #38

Dec 052011


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that radiator fluid leaked into the transmission, causing the transmission to fail. A local mechanic repaired the radiator but the transmission also needed to be repaired. The dealer flushed the radiator after it was replaced by the local mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The transmission was not repaired. The approximate failure and the current mileage was 96,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #37

Aug 082010


  • 89,000 miles


8-9-2010 I began having difficulty getting my car to shift into reverse. Within 2 weeks, while driving down a crowded highway, my car wouldn't shift from 3rd to 4th, and I could smell something burning. When I finally found a spot to pull over and park, a large puddle of fluid leaked all over the ground. I was alone, in an area I didn't know, and nearly got rear-ended several times when it wouldn't shift gears. I took it to several shops, and the transmissions was ruined. It would have to be rebuilt or replaced, both totaling thousands of $ I don't have. I borrowed money to have it rebuilt. Within 2 weeks, I started having the same issues. When I took it back to the shop, the technician said radiator coolant had leaked into the transmission and it would have to be rebuilt or replaced again. After looking online, I see hundreds of complaints for the exact same issue. For the fuel system, approximately 5/2010, the fuel gauge will drop to empty, even though there will still be fuel in the tank. Sometimes it will stick to mid-full when there is no fuel. Adaptive equipment, when I start the vehicle and try to warm it up, it will only blow cold air, never warm no matter how long it runs.

- Yelm, WA, USA

problem #36

Dec 232011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,900 miles
A cracked radiator caused coolant to leak into the transmission and mix with the transmission fluid. Once the coolant (antifreeze) entered the transmission it killed the valves, seals and torque converter and rendered the entire transmission useless.

- West Dundee, IL, USA

problem #35

Nov 142011


  • 85,000 miles
Know issues by Nissan not being addressed... radiator/oil leak - warranty extended but does not cover our vehicle. Timing chain failure in Nissan vehichles - no warrant extension covered. More info available upon request. Letter sent to Nissan on 1/15/2012 detailing all of the issues.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #34

Dec 282011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The radiator failed causing coolant to leak into the automatic transmission. Bother were ruined and had to be replaced. The repairs cost $5000+ this issue is well documented on top shelf internet websites including and others. Many folks are under power when the engine stalls, at any speed.. Nissan is not offering recall. A class action lawsuit is underway. This is a dangerous design defect (cooling the transmission via the radiator) and people may be injured or worse. Maybe it has already happened to some?

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #33

Mar 152011


  • miles


Vibration from rear wheel begins at 40 mph and increases with vehicle speed. Tires and U joints have been replaced - problem persists. Identical to transmission/radiator issues described in several consumer forums. I am reluctant to drive this vehicle, especially on the highway.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #32

Dec 122011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
Radiator coolant leaking into transmission fluid, causing transmission to fail. Safety issue is it causes delay in forward propulsion. This is a common problem and has been well noted on Nissan Pathfinders but Nissan is not willing to accept responsibility for the problem.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #31

Nov 232011


  • 93,105 miles
Radiator core is cracked, which is causing the radiator to leak. It is undetermined at this time if any antifreeze has leaked into the transmission; however, over the past several months, I have on a few occasions experienced the automatic transmission operating erratically (e.g., down shifting or not shifting into passing gear when under full power). The vehicle is scheduled to have its radiator replaced on 11/30/2011, and at that time, I will have the transmission fluid analyzed to determine if any antifreeze has entered the transmission. I pray it has not!

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #30

Aug 122011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
While attempting to enter a freeway on ramp the transmission failed causing the vehicle to lose power and stop in traffic. After causing a major traffic jam at the intersection, traffic light, and on ramp we were able to get the vehicle off the road. I had just had out patient surgery and my wife was driving, it was a horrible experience. We find out later that this is a known defect from Nissan and they won't do a recall. What would have happened if we had been a few hundred yards farther down the on ramp and trying to merge into freeway traffic when this failed?

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #29

Feb 012010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle started to jerk violently and there was an increase in engine rpms. The vehicle was taken to a local shop prior to the failure where it was diagnosed that the transmission was defective and needed to be dismantled in order to determine the exact failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 105,000.

- St Joseph, IL, USA

problem #28

Nov 082011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder shuttered excessively when decelerating from the interstate and from that point forward had difficulty shifting into higher gears. I immediately took it to a mechanic and was told the transmission had gone bad. In the process of replacing the transmission, they discovered the radiator leaking into the transmission and the computers in the transmission and the car were not communicating.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #27

Jan 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Nissan needs to step up! this is an unbelievable amount of what is wrong with the world. Since having the many other problems fixed on my Pathfinder(2005) I am now facing an issue of it running sluggishly, high RPM's and less get up. That was one of my favorite things when we purchased the truck, I thought it was safe. I felt comfortable merging into traffic with my 4 children I knew we had power on our side. The tire pressure is constantly ( 1X a week) setting off the TPMS, then there is the squeaky brakes and other rattling, vibrating noises. The other thing is the check engine light that randomly comes on for some reason then will mysteriously be gone a few miles later. We bought Nissan thinking it was still a stable reliable company that made a strong product and stood behind it...well were we ever wrong! never again!!!

- New Egypt, NJ, USA

problem #26

Oct 032011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I was having trouble with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission slipping during routine driving. I had the fluid level checked and there was no problem. On October 3,2011 while driving on to a highway ramp, I started to accelerate to merge into traffic and the transmission just made a high pitch sound and would not engage. Several cars were behind me and I had to go off the road onto the embankment to avoid being hit. I had the vehicle towed to the shop, after several days told by a mechanic that there was a defect in the radiator of the Nissan the interior components of the radiator allowed coolant to mix with the transmission fluid contaminating it. The transmission and other drive train components were damaged and needed to be replaced along with the radiator. When I contacted the Nissan dealership here in North Carolina I was told that there have been numerous complaints filed regarding the transmission problem but there was not a recall on record to date. The cost of my repairs was $2,500.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #25

Oct 082011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Vehicle is slow to accelerate and runs very sluggish. Mechanic confirmed coolant has leaked into transmission.

- Canyon Lake,, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 152011


  • 110,000 miles
On Saturday, October 15, I was crossing a busy intersection between two major highways when my transmission failed. Luckily, I was able to get it up on to the concrete median in the middle of the highway. I had 4 children in my vehicle when this occurred, and luckily a nice police officer witnessed what was happening and stopped to offer assistance. Later that night, my car was impounded because I wasn't able to tow it that day. I had to pay $275 to get my vehicle out of the impound lot and to the transmission shop. The transmission shop calls and says my transmission is completely "shot" because the coolant mixed with the transmission fluid and I have to replace the transmission and the radiator. The expense alone is more than I can spare, not to mention the danger that my children were in when the truck decided to come to a dead stop at the busiest time of day on a weekend!

- Clayton, DE, USA

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