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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 6 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #323

Aug 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,212 miles


All of my experience with my transmission failure took place on the road while in heavy traffic which was unsafe and scary July 2014 - present. First, the truck developed a "bucking" movement whenever it was driven. The bucking movement is similar to a car that is trying to shift gears like a manual car, but the transition between gears was not smooth. Gradually and unexpectedly, while driving, the car started making revving noises like a race car, while the speed is only 20mph. The speed dropped and would not accelerate regardless of how hard you are pressing on the gas. To decrease the revving noise you cannot drive above 40mph. As always I rely on the dealership to service my car, and at first the diagnostic test did not show the coolant leaking into the transmission. With more and more test by the Nissan mechanic, there was still no indication by the diagnostic test that shows the increase defect of the transmission. 3 weeks later, after handing over the car for a complete day, the dealership strip the car and ran further diagnostic test which indicated that the transmission failure due to leak from the engine coolant liquid mixing with the transmission fluid leading to an automatic transmission damage. The recommendation by the dealership is to replace the transmission, which would cost $5,000. Remaining payment balance for the car is $1700. Total mileage on the car is 100,200.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #322

May 292014


  • 83,601 miles
Had a problem with the radiator leaking a couple of years ago. My mechanic told me to put in some fluid that seals up the leak. Worked well for a while. Then this may the transmission started making noises and vibrations. Took it to my mechanic and he tells me that the radiator has leaked into the transmission. About $1,000 to fix it. I say go ahead as what choice do I have. They replace the radiator and flush the transmission about 4 times. About a month later the transmission starts shifting into 4WD by itself and the car won't go anywhere while giving it gas. Turn it off then on and that fixes it. I take it to Nissan because my mechanic shop was closed. I explain my previous repairs and my problem. They tell me about the extended warranty. Ask me if I have a factory or after market radiator installed. I don't know. So I wait until Monday to talk to my original mechanic and they say it was an aftermarket. Nissan says this is a problem and after talking to the dealership and Nissan Consumer Affairs they tell me they can't honor the warranty. I ask them to maybe take a statement from my mechanic that he took out the original factory radiator and replaced it, but they say they need the original which was taken to the scrap yard. Nissan had to replace the accelerator pedal and now I think I will have to replace the transmission. Lesson learned that Nissan does not make good cars. And won't back them up either.

- Bolton, CT, USA

problem #321

Apr 152014


  • 100,702 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was applied. The vehicle was difficult to shift into gears and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed due to water and anti-freeze entering the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 100,702.

- North Dinwiddie, VA, USA

problem #320

Jun 292014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,700 miles


Vehicle began to shudder and shift hard. Then it lost almost all power. Limped home in the dark not knowing if I could get home. Very scary situation. I was lucky that the weather was not severe (excessive heat or cold) as this could have been very dangerous. With children in the car, in a remote area and from what I now understand, the transmission could have actually caught fire, this has the potential to be a real disaster! please review this situation, Nissan needs to be held accountable before someone gets killed!

- Radiant, VA, USA

problem #319

Jun 202014


  • 110,081 miles
Vehicle stalled. Check engine light displayed. Took vehicle to security Nissan in baltimore, md to get checked out. Was informed by technician "radiator cooler is leaking coolant into automatic transmission". technician recommends transmission assembly, radiator with radiator cap, and flush cooler lines. Extended warranty states repairs are not covered. Total bull! cost of repairs $6000! contacted Nissan to see how they would assist with this problem and was basically told they wouldn't. Nissan Corp was aware of this problem since 2010. This situation could have been resolved with a recall to repair "crack in the radiator assembly leading to internal leakage of engine coolant". what could have been a couple hundred dollars or repairs by Nissan now is a few thousand dollars to consumers because of the neglect from Nissan Corp and many of it's certified dealers to make consumers aware of this problem. We purchased this vehicle in 2011 and not once did the dealer mention that this was a known problem nationwide.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #318

Jul 052014


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission was slipping and that there was a transmission leak. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle was hesitating and stalled on numerous occasions. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V142000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #317

Jun 172014


  • 100,000 miles


Heard a weird sound while driving down the road....then one day I drove my Pathfinder then came home and parked my truck and 3 hour later went to go to store my truck would not go forward. By later that night when the truck cooled down the drove fine... I then took it to a transmission shop and was told coolant was leaking in my transmission...... I have spent 440 dollars so far to get the water out of it...... I pick the Pathfinder up and drove 10 mile down the street and the truck did it again...... it is now back at the transmission shop and being looked at again.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #316

Jun 302014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,851 miles
My 2005 Pathfinder started to have this heavy vibration sound while accelerating and a shuddering sound so on June 30th I took it to the dealer who said they didn't hear the sound so he took is and run a check on it and told me that the coolant is leaking into the transmission he then gave me back the truck and said he was going to get in touch with the warranty and called me I as still waiting for that call until my husband research it on the internet and told me to stop driving the vehicle I then took it back to the dealer on July 8th and was told the cost will be $6000 but Nissan was giving me a goodwill program of $3000 so I would have to come up with that other $3000 which I don't have right now so am out of a vehicle they know of the problem since 2012 and did not recall the vehicle, that is a rip off to consumers.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #315

Jun 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,692 miles
I was driving with my family on the highway when the A/T transmission began vibrating. Then the A/T transmission began slipping out of gear. Was able to coast to a gas station and inspect it. Transmission fluid has been leaking in my coolant tank and reservoir. Coolant has mixed with transmission fluid in the transmission and has caused catastrophic failure as a result.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #314

Jul 202012


  • 180,000 miles
Stopped at red light once light changed green vehicle would not pull off. Press gas to floor to get vehicle out of the way and crossed the street and pulled off over. Turned vehicle off then turned it on it would drive forward but very slow was able to do this to get to store parking lot to canal for assistance had SUV taken to transmission shop and was told coolant was in the transmission. Updated 1/29/2015

- Madisonville , LA, USA

problem #313

May 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 114,515 miles


While driving uphill on the freeway, the transmission in our Nissan began to slip through gears. I had to get towed off the freeway. I took the vehicle to our mechanic and learned the radiator trans cooler was leaking radiator fluid into the automatic transmission system causing cross contamination and failure. Our mechanic flushed the trans system and replaced the radiator. The vehicle transmission operated okay for approx. 3 weeks then began to slip again. Now it will not shift out of first gear. I started checking into this an learned Nissan was facing a class action law suit in 2012 for radiator/trans oil cross contamination issues. There was a deadline on Nissan's settlement in early 2013 where they extended the warranty on the radiator to 100K and would cover subsequent repairs to the trans. My mileage exceeds 100K and I knew noting about the lawsuit back in 2012 and 2013 and did not have a trans problem then. Nissan will do nothing to help. Is there anything I can do besides fork out all this money to have the trans rebuilt.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #312

May 132010


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle vibrated. The contact stated that the vehicle speed was reduced to 20 mph and the vehicle came to a halt. The failure occurred on two separate occasions. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000 and the current mileage 144,000.

- Groveland, IL, USA

problem #311

Jun 212014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,200 miles
I was driving along a local road and all of a sudden, my engine starting revving and the car started slowing down. I stopped at a red light, but when it turned green, my car wouldn't move for about a second or two when I pressed the gas peddle. When it did move, it crawled along at 20 miles an hour. I managed to get it home and took it to the mechanic on Monday. I was told that coolant from my radiator leaked into my transmission and destroyed it. On researching this, I discovered that this is a known issue in 2005 - 2010 Nissan trucks but Nissan will not cover the cost of repair even though they are aware of it and did not issue a recall.

- Lansdowne, PA, USA

problem #310

Jun 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 14,600 miles
My SUV began stuttering when attempting to change gears. I looked on line and found the problem that so many have been having, coolant leaking into transmission contaminating it. Nissan suggested an initial transmission flush, but recommends a $5,500 transmission replacement in addition to a $620 radiator. I cannot afford these repairs, and I am afraid to continue driving my car.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #309

Aug 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I was driving my truck on the expressway and I felt vibration when it shift from first to second gear as I increased the speed the vibration got worse and I felt something like it was trying to pick up speed but it could not and finally it caught the gear and was able to pick up speed but at the same time my check engine light came on. So I was able to drive it home and when I got there I called bill kay Nissan to take it I for service. When I took it in they checked it out and I was informed my transmission valve body had become contaminated and it had to be replaced and it would cost me $2098 to replace it and if I didn't get it replaced it was possible for the transmission fluid and radiator fluid could mix and cause the transmission to go bad. Moving forward to June 9th 2014, on approximately May 3rd I noticed I began to feel some vibration again and it felt the same way it felt in August of 2013 and on June 8th the check engine light came on once again so I took it back to bill kay Nissan and was told the transmission and radiator fluid had mixed and I would have to have the transmission and radiator replaced and Nissan had an extended warranty offer but it had a $2500 deductible and I would be responsible for that portion. I've already spent $2100 to have the valve box replaced because of some contamination and now I'm being told I have to spend more money on the same thing. This is not right.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #308

Jun 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
The torque converter in the transmission failed. I noticed the vehicle stuttering at different speeds during my time on the road. I had an independent mechanic check it and a Nissan dealer confirm the diagnosis. I was told the radiator and the entire transmission had to be replaced. I found numerous complaints on-line similar to mine; the 2005 model showed the most problems with the transmission. I don't have the $5,000 to repair the vehicle. The company extended some warranties due to this problem, but all had expired or I had too many miles (131,000), and a copay of $3000 was required. Not much of an offer from a large thriving company.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #307

Jun 162014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
I got my oil changed at team Nissan in lithia springs, and on the 2nd day of driving the vehicle my 2005 Pathfinder overheated. I immediately called team Nissan and told them of the problem, and they told me that they apologize and to bring it in. Well the SUV was too hot to put on the road at that point so I stopped by wal-mart to add coolant. I let the truck cool off and then added coolant. The levels then appeared normal and I made my way to team Nissan. When I got there they told me that they could see me and to come back the next day. While I was talking with the rep. I noticed that there was a guy topping off my fluids under the hood. When I came back the next day, they check it and told me that I had no coolant and that my radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and that the fluids were mixing. The repairs totaled up to $5028.43 including a radiator replacement, coolant flush, and a transmission replacement. I told him that I had heard of other recalls and complaints about this (I had just heard one of the reps call a customer and tell him that his recall on the same issues were complete and that he could pick up his vehicle), but he said that nothing was showing in the system. I then told him that I could not get that done at this time and I enquired that I have not had this issue at other places after an oil change. He gave me an excuse as the guy did the day before and shrugged me off. He suggested that I needed to check the coolant every other day and that the problem was likely to continue. So the waiting game begins.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #306

Jun 052014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,500 miles
While driving away from a traffic light the SUV hesitates out of first gear and a loud pop as it drags into second gear. After taking the vehicle to a local DC area dealer I was informed that the transmission coolant line had cracked and coolant had leaked into the transmission destroying it. I was then informed that repairs would be $7600 and that this was not a recall item. In researching this it appears that others in the country have had this issue and Nissan hadn't issued a recall but settled a class action suit assisting others with the repair costs after an initial $2500 to $3000 cost to the customer. This appears to have been an issue with this vehicle for some time and I'd like to know why no recall was ever issued for those not having problems already"?"

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #305

Mar 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle was stop at red light of very busy intersection. When light turned green the vehicle accelerated and then would only coast in neutral while transmission was not engaging. Wife and 3 children were stuck in middle of intersection. Had to turn the vehicle off and then on to get transmission to re-engage and drive. This issue happened a half dozen more times. This owner took vehicle to local Nissan dealer and was charged for computer analysis. This owner was told there was a "known" issue with transmission of this particular vehicle being contaminated from inner cooler. This owner was told that it would cost over $5500 to fix. This owner did intense research on safety and mechanical problem and found thousands of Nissan owners with same issue. This vehicle needs to be recalled for "known" issue.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #304

Jun 232006


  • 20,000 miles
I started feeling weird shaking and jerking movements whenever I went on the freeway going around 65 mph about a year after I bought the vehicle. I took it to the Nissan dealership (dirito brothers, walnut creek, ca -- the place from where I bought the car) to check it out, and they told me the car was fine but I was still feeling this same shaking. I took it back to the shop for the same thing about two more times, and I got the same answer. The car only got worse and worse. At the last visit, when the transmission was almost broken, they told me about a cooler system crack and they recommended I replace my transmission with a new one. I told them I had no money for it, so what they did was fix the crack, flush the transmission, and clean it as much as possible inside. After a while, my transmission broke down completely and after my car was over 100,000 miles, that's when I received a letter from the dealer telling me about a factory failure -- I didn't qualify because they only fixed cars with less than 100,000 miles on them. This isn't fair because I've been complaining about this issue since long before the car had 100,000 miles on it. I was wondering if you could help me with this issue. I would appreciate the help. Sincerely, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Concord, CA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?