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 4 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #363

Jul 042015


  • 122,000 miles


The radiator leaked into the transmission causing catastrophic transmission failure.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #362

Jul 032015


  • 160,000 miles
Transmission fluid coolant line failed in radiator causing coolant and transmission fluid to mix and destroy the transmission

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #361

Jun 152015


  • 135,000 miles
Vehicle had trouble picking up speed after stopping which is dangerous when crossing traffic. Vehicle stalled and had to cool off before restarting. Took the vehicle to dealearship and they stated into was a common flaw in Nissan where the radiator coolant leaked into the transmission due to cracked atf line. They recommended either installing a new transmission or having the transmission rebuilt. They recommened a place to have the transmission rebuilt. Picked up the vehical after rebuild on July 1, 2015 and began having the same symptoms on July 7, 2015.

- Mount Juliet, TN, USA

problem #360

Jun 162015


  • 97,000 miles


My car started shuttering when it was trying to change gears and when I took it to the dealership they informed me that the radiator was leaking coolant and it got into the transmission contaminating the transmission therefore I need a new radiator and transmission. I have a power train warranty which covers the transmission but not the radiator and because the radiator was the cause of the transmission going bad the warranty won't pay to replace the transmission either. After investigating this has been a known problem with this year, make and model and people are getting ripped off. If this has been an ongoing problem why wouldn't it have been a recall. I am disgusted with the entire matter and think it needs to be addressed so people don't continue to get ripped off. I am hoping they come through and replace mine for free.

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #359

Feb 012014


  • 140,000 miles
I had the same issue as many others. Coolant leaked into the transmission causing hard shifts, and shuttering while accelerating.

- Franklin , TN, USA

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problem #358

Apr 182015


  • 90,000 miles
Vehicle contained a defective radiator cooler tank that ruptures and forces coolant into the transmission through the cooler lines. When the coolant mixes with transmission fluid it creates a frothy liquid that eats valves, erodes seals and causes corrosion. It's toxic, irreversible and killed the 5-speed automatic transmission. This problem was listed as the 2nd worst problem on's "top vehicle problem trends of 2012". why is this not a recall?!

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #357

Apr 242015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 113,529 miles


Transmission cooler attached to radiator cracked causing coolant to leak into the transmission leading to failure to accelerate the vehicle when needed and complete failure of the transmission.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #356

Apr 292015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Transmission failed.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #355

Apr 062015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I started having issues with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder at approximately 100,000 miles. I first noticed the problem with the heater. When I was parked the truck would not heat up only cold air with come out. Next problem was when I would step on the gas pedal the truck would jerk alot and it would vibrate when I would speed up. It was very scary, it actually felt like it was going to cause me to get into an accident, that's how terrible it felt. I took it to the Nissan dealer where I bought the truck for them to check it and they immediately knew that the problem was coming from the transmission. The coolant mixed into the radiator causing for that to go bad too. I called the Nissan headquarters after finding out that this issue was experienced by so many other owners of 2005 Nissan Pathfinders. This job cost me over $4000.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #354

Aug 072014


  • 103,000 miles
Got recall in mail for radiator and transmission recall which we had to pay for"!?! over $2000. To replace the radiator and not even 3 months had gone by and have had the truck to the garage 3 times due to damage from transmission. Got in truck to go to work today yup you guessed it transmission is now shot put in drive and doesn't go. Totally unfair Nissan should have replaced it when the recall came out. Why should the consumer pay for there screw up" new transmission $5000. Will never buy Nissan again and will make sure I tell everyone. So far to date $5000. To try to fix up Nissan's mess and then I'm to spend another $5000. On there mistake. Ha total bull!!!!! they should have stood by there product and replaced everything at no cost to the owner!!! very unhappy!!

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #353

Jun 182014


  • 90,000 miles


Have problem with cooling system leaking into transmission.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #352

Apr 122015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Vehicle failed to torque after accelerating and slipped, after I lost control slightly bumped into a parked car.

- Hacienda Hts, CA, USA

problem #351

Mar 282015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,058 miles
The radiator on my Pathfinder has cracked and allowed coolant to get into the transmission fluid. This has ruined not only my radiator but also my transmission.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #350

Mar 192015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Nissan needs to formally recall several vehicles with radiator/ transmission problems. In my case while I was driving my vehicle suddenly came to a stop while I was on the road driving at a speed of 55 mph. My vehicle shut down and I tried to turn on luckily it turned on and began to run again. I pressed on the accelerator it did not run more than 20 mph. I decided to tow my vehicle to a local mechanic to have it diagnosed since I was terrified of it shutting down once again in the middle of the road. My mechanic diagnosed my vehicle and concluded that fluid from the radiator had leaked into the transmission. Nonetheless, he expressed to me that this was nothing new he had seen with these vehicles. He told me that he had fixed a couple in just this last year. According to his past clients Nissan failed to do anything to correct the problem regardless of the potential hazard. I visited the dealer in which I have purchased the vehicle and explain the service man my concern. He clearly told me that my warranty was over and that the lawsuit against Nissan to be reimbursed had ended in 2013. I told him that my vehicle frequently comes to their service center for maintenance and if they were aware of the failure in theses vehicles once they reach their 100,000 miles why did they fail to correct the problem before it occurred. It surprises me that Nissan failed to inform any of its consumers of the problem when it was going through a lawsuit. He then proceeded to tell me that he could not help me and referred me to corporate office. I was told I would be called within two days. I received the call back from Nissan simply telling me my case was reviewed and they could not do anything due to the fact that my warranty is over. Nissan is putting the lives of their consumers in danger and is hiding behind their warranty guidelines to avoid correcting their engineering errors.

- Lakeview Terrace, CA, USA

problem #349

Sep 102014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Re: transmission fluid mixed with radiator fluid causing transmission to fail. Had to rebuild transmission. I received no notice of the class action lawsuit re: Nissan transmission/ radiator leak issues. In September of 2014 my transmission started to fail. I had it looked at by two different shops and they advised a radiator and transmission replacement. This cost me: $5400 out of pocket. I now read that Nissan had a class action lawsuit and would cover some cars. My car however, is over 100,000 miles and Nissan is not offering any compensation. This is totally unacceptable and I am beyond frustrated with Nissan.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #348

Mar 142015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 158,874 miles
While driving down to the title department the day after I purchased my newest vehicle I've ever owned I was hit with the sad reality of an untrue man selling me his problem my transmission has antifreeze in the fluid it will drive fine until it heats up and the fluid gets to the transmission it is not safe this should be a recall they no it's a problem and also my seatbelt light for passenger seat even when someone sit in that seat the sensor does not work.

- Rockwell , NC, USA

problem #347

Jan 232015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
I took my Pathfinder into a local shop because I started hearing noise coming from the transmission at around 45 mph. I was informed antifreeze got into my transmission fluid due to a radiator failure. The shop replaced the radiator and flushed the tranny. Over a $600 bill. The shop hoped it would fix the problem without rebuilding or replacing the transmission. No luck!! now I am looking at another $4000 plus on something that should never have happened. I was told by many shops including the local dealer that this is a known problem. If proactive by the manufacture could have been fixed with replacement of the radiator. Instead, Nissan decided to extend the warranty. Never informing customers to have inspected for premature failure of the radiator or tranny.

- Estill Springs, TN, USA

problem #346

Mar 092015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
Me and my 6 month old daughter were going down the road when my car lost all power and was like it had been shifted into neutral. My brakes weren't working properly but I got us off the road and had the car towed. After our repair guy checked all the wiring and ran test and pulled the transmission pan off the radiator coolant had leaked into the transmission full resulting in the gears messing up and the entire car undriveable. We knew about this problem and had contacted Nissan 6 months prior to check the recall and was told this vehicle had been fixed....obviously not. If it had been fixed it wasn't fixed properly or it would not have failed again many trips have been taken since then and now we are over 100,000 miles and it's a $3800 fix because Nissan either lied and it was never fixed to start with or didn't correctly fix it the first time.

- Toccoa, GA, USA

problem #345

Oct 132014


  • 130,000 miles
The radiator leaked into the transmission causing a transmission failure.

- Parachute, CO, USA

problem #344

Dec 042012


  • 90,000 miles
Radiator coolant getting into transmission causing the short circuit, transmission computer is inside the transmission which destroys the transmission causing replacement, radiator replacement, thermostat and computer sensors replacement. Cost for replacement in this Pathfinder approx. $5,500 - $6,000 and the remaining loan on the Pathfinder is almost the same amount! according to the local dealership this is a major default of Nissan and a major problem with more complaints than they themselves can count. This Pathfinder belongs to an 83 year old man who uses this transportation to travel with his 80 year old wife to and from 90% medical use, now he can not afford to have the repairs and to no fault of his and due to Nissan's default and will not agree to fix the problem, the Pathfinder can no longer be used and the loan payments are still coming in.

- Muscle Shoals, AL, USA

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