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 5 of 22)

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problem #343

Feb 112015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


I began to hear a noise and hesitation in gear change. Told tires but continue to hear. Had a oil change at twin city Nissan. Rep advice coolant in transmission would charge $3000 to repair and warranty on radiator expires soon. Radiator and transmission and fluids flushed for $3000 cost to me. Contact 1800 Nissan 1 and told over 368 complaints its manufacturing defect he advice can't. help.

- Port Arthur , TX, USA

problem #342

Jan 232015


  • 158,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 45 mph, the transmission seized and the check engine warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission, which caused the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 158,000.

- Atoka, TN, USA

problem #341

Jan 062015


  • 117,400 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while operating the vehicle, the check engine sensor light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that fluid from the radiator had leaked into the transmission. The transmission and radiator would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 117,400.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #340

Apr 102013


  • 189,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was restarted after several attempts. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #339

Oct 252014


  • 154,565 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan path finder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 154,565.

- Pomona, CA, USA

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problem #338

Aug 152014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,280 miles
The vehicle lagged shifting and shifted abruptly. Also the vehicle vibrated. When I took it to an auto shop (not a Nissan shop) they indicated the radiator had a crack in it and fluid was leaking into the transmission I took it to a Nissan shop and they said they are having problems with the 2005 Pathfinder and they would fix the problem but it would cost me $3000 and there would be no warranty on the fix. Seems unfair if, as they admitted at my local Nissan shop, this was a manufacture defect.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #337

Sep 152014


  • 122,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 30 mph, the vehicle shook violently when shifting gears. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 122,000.

- Mary Esther, FL, USA

problem #336

Oct 072014


  • 96,000 miles
Transmission failure making a left turn with oncoming traffic. No warning, no prior, noise or vibration, just a sudden total failure. The cause has been diagnosed as the leaking coolant from the transmission radiator. The current Nissan 'extended warranty' is not sufficient given the nature of the problem and the risks associated with a transmission failure during driving.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #335

Aug 142012


  • 72,000 miles
As I was pulling out onto a busy street the transmission slipped and my two small sons and I nearly got nailed by angry oncoming traffic that honked, yelled, and inappropriately gestured at us to get out of the way. We could have been seriously injured as well as others. This happened more times than I can even remember. It also shudders and slips while driving at 40-50 mph. It is dangerous! why doesn't anyone do something! I had been trying to figure out the problem since 65,000 miles and at 80,300 miles we found trani fluid in the radiator. After googling the issue and learning that it was a part a of a classaction suit I was pissed that I hadn't been notified. I am a struggling mother of two and I am still paying for a car that I haven't been able to drive for the last year because I can't afford to fix it! I feel this is unacceptable and there should be a recall in place!!!! lives are being endangered!

- Koloa, HI, USA

problem #334

Jun 232014


  • 95,300 miles
I had the vehicle's tires replaced and within a few days there was a shudder like rumble strips. I took the Pathfinder back to have the tires looked at. Repair shop replaced the wheel bearings. The shudder still persisted. I talked to a friend who owns a transmission repair shop and he told me about the radiator leak/transmission problem. He said to check the engine coolant for milkiness and search online. The coolant is milky and after reading all the other complaints, my family is scared to use the Pathfinder. I think a recall should be issued because the transmission is failing because of failure of the cooling system not wear and tear. A failing transmission is more likely to cause an accident than a failing cooling system. Also, Nissan's extended warranty seems to end to early to be effective.

- Branchburg, NJ, USA

problem #333

Sep 242014

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 143,140 miles


Transmission failed while driving on city streets. Car would not shift out of low gear, forcing my wife to get home on road shoulders with emergency lights on. Thankfully very light traffic on a weekday afternoon. Researching online, found that this is an issue with the Pathfinder, radiator coolant leaking and causing transmission failure. Never notified regarding any recalls or such.

- Sun Valley, CA, USA

problem #332

Sep 092014


  • 91,200 miles
The vehicle began a slight shudder when shifting and within a few days while passing a truck on the freeway at 70 mph it shifted very hard and responded as if it was in neutral. Any application of the accelerator caused high RPM but gave no additional power. I was forced to put on my emergency flashers and maneuver through three lanes of traffic as I had lost all power and could not was just coasting along the freeway. It was a very dangerous situation that fortunately ended safely no thanks to the car. It was later determined by my mechanic that the radiator fluid had mixed with the transmission fluid and caused the transmission components to fail. After spending $1000 on the first repairs to replace the radiator and flush the transmission 3 times it ran for a week and began shifting very hard again. It is now in the shop being considered for a transmission replacement. Hearing about the investigation and similar experiences by others it is a wonder why this issue has not been officially deemed a safety recall seeing as how my safety was definitely in jeopardy at the time of the failure.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #331

Dec 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,467 miles
The car been great until on December 2013. I was driving back home from work and I notice the car at the time of shifting from first to second has having a hard shifting, then later I spend around 450 for the transmission service, the car was shifting better but not perfect, then on July this year. After having a short trip and turning off the engine and then on again to go to the next destination, the car at the time of finishing the starting the transmission kick a bad noise and even the car jumps, today I went to the dealer and explain my problems and show the kicking the service advisor told me I have the choice to pay 3000 to get a new transmission and radiator, they know we have the problems with this transmissions and they didn't call for a recall that's bad. I have only 96350 miles and still 4900 to pay for it. Nissan is not making good business in America, please help us.

- San Pedro, CA, USA

problem #330

Aug 302014


  • 167,000 miles
The transmission in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has failed. My son was in a very dangerous situation on a busy street and this problem jeopardized his life.the vehicle basically stopped in the middle of a turn onto a busy street. The defective transmission/radiator breakdown is a serious situation and a known issue with these vehicles. My radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and failed. The amount to repair this vehicle and make this a safe vehicle is more than we can afford....approximately $5300 because the fuel sending unit also failed!! I feel this faulty product should be recalled and necessary repairs made or a reimbursement made by Nissan.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #329

Apr 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,123 miles
April 2013 (96K) - transmission failed as I was pulling out of my parking space. Transmission and radiator were replaced under the extended warranty offered by Nissan at a co-pay of $3000. February 2014 (105K) - transmission hose ruptured as I was driving on an expressway. I was able to pull off on an exit and park in a lot until a tow truck arrived. March 2014 (105K) - rpms spiking, sluggish acceleration as I was driving on a busy interstate. Transmission was again replaced. August 2014 (109K) - mechanic noticed leaking from transmission hose while replacing brakes. Drove to the dealer and had hose fixed again. September 2014 (109K) - transmission slipped as I was pulling out into traffic from a side street.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #328

Aug 142014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Check engine light came on, and after bringing vehicle to Nissan dealership, they informed me that due to an internal radiator crack, that engine coolant had leaked into the transmission cooling coils and as a result transmission failure was imminent and that both the radiator and transmission would need to be replaced. Then they indicate that they had extended the original vehicle warranty due to the volume of such failures, and that they would make the necessary repairs for a meager $3,000 "copay". I laughed because I thought he was merely making a joke, but then found out that the joke was on the Nissan customers. Apparently as a result of a class action lawsuit settlement, Nissan had agreed to the warranty extension. What a slap in the face, to say that in lieu of recalling the defective radiator, and making a $500 repair, they decided to roll the dice with their reputation and their customer's wallet on a potential $3,500 to $4,000 repair. What a moron business decision. The second joke came, when I inquired about the warranty on the repair, and they informed me that it was only 12 months or 12,000 miles. What a vote of confidence in their $3,000 repair (copay ??). so for a few bucks more, I can have an independent shop do the repair, and get a better warranty. Insult # 3 came when they offered up, that alternatively, they would discuss buyer assistance on a new Nissan vehicle. They probably heard me laughing in Japan.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #327

Aug 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 243,000 miles
Nissan dealership just diagnosed that my radiator was leaking into my transmission. This was problematic because the radiator coolant has damaged the transmission. In April of 2014, I had my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder to the same dealership for the same issue and they had flushed and replaced my transmission fluid.

- Medway, OH, USA

problem #326

Aug 122014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,675 miles
My radiator cracked internally and leaked into my transmission, which destroyed the parts and caused significant damage.

- Spanish Fork, UT, USA

problem #325

Aug 072014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Radiator failure allowing transmission fluid to mix with antifreeze causing transmission failure. Radiator failure due to crack in transmission cooler. Is manufacturing defect, should be Nissan 's responsibility to fix not the consumer.

- Linwood, NC, USA

problem #324

Aug 022014


  • 55,630 miles
Engine coolant leaked into transmission causing irreparable damage; requires both the radiator and transmission be replaced. This problem was noticed while driving. The car shudders and there is a heavy vibration while accelerating/shifting. This is a concern as the transmission failure may result in unsafe operation of this vehicle.

- Trappe, PA, USA

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