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 7 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #303

Feb 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles


I was at a stop light in Washington D.C, when the light turned green the vehicle refused to move. Some kind people helped to push the vehicle and it was later towed to my home. I later serviced the transmission fluid and discovered that the radiator had failed and leaked into transmission. After changing the radiator the transmission remained inoperable. I have not been able to drive the car since. I am still making payment on the car even though I cannot drive it.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #302

May 102014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 135,142 miles
My wife and I were on a major interstate " accelerating up hill in the middle lane? the power just shut down. When depressing pedal ? tachometer revved up but still no power. In the meantime ? a tractor trailer was barreling up behind us!! I was lucky enough to just get out of its way by coasting through two lanes and into the breakdown lane. The person that stopped to help us informed us that his brother had this same issue with his Pathfinder and that there was a recall. Well ? we never received a recall notice ? the truck now has 135K miles and is not covered under their class action settlement. Called a local dealer and was told by the mechanic that our issue has nothing to do with the recall and they have no responsibility. My issue is ? if I had received the recall when it was issued in 2010 ? I would have had the repairs made while it was covered?. so how are they not responsible - we could have been killed??? they never sent us a recall notice and no mechanic had ever mentioned it??"

- Litchfield, NH, USA

problem #301

Feb 182014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Problem with the radiator and transmission fluid mixing. Told that this happens often with these trucks. Recommended to either have the radiator replaced and double flush the transmission for $1200, or opt to replace both radiator and transmission by Nissan and pay a co-pay of $3000, plus\tax. If this is a problem with these trucks then Nissan should fix their products.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #300

Feb 032014


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle would not accelerate past 35 mph and failed to move after being stopped. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #299

Apr 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,822 miles
Driving on the highway and transmission starts having a bump feel to it then car goes into limp mode and almost gets hit by another car then coast to the side of the highway and stopped on side of highway.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

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problem #298

May 172013


  • 62,000 miles
Car would just die while driving. The gauge would read empty even with a half tank or more of gas, I also called Nissan dealership to check on recall of the fuel sending unit, the dealership told me there was no recall. So I started doing the work myself, got halfway done and asked a buddy for help and he informed me that there was in fact a recall on that part. So I went to the dealership and then they all of a sudden had a recall and did the work for free. Since then (before) 100,000 miles, my radiator fluid filled my transmission and ruined it, and my transmission fluid filled my radiator and ruined it too. So out of pocket for transmission rebuild and rerouting of the coolant line ($3000). Now I just drive because I have too, anytime I stop I have to kill it to keep it from overheating. But I have no other vehicle so nothing I can do. Nissan continues to just not care at all. I will never have another Nissan. You could give me a Nissan for free and I wouldn't touch it. Straight garbage company.

- Pottsboro, TX, USA

problem #297

Mar 142014


  • miles


I am driving a group of co-workers out for lunch. I pull in the turning lane to wait for an opportunity to turn. When it was time to make the turn, I pressed the gas and the truck did not move. I pressed the brake again to check and make sure I had not accidentally hit the gear stick. Everything looked right so I tried to give it gas again. The engine revved loudly but again there was hesitation in movement. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the truck slowly turned. I tried to drive back to the office but had the same issue. I would stop and as soon as I pressed the gas, it would take forever before I would actually take off. The truck moved at a very slow speed as if I was pulling a large load. Turns out it is my transmission. How upsetting when I had no previous warning. More upsetting when I begin to do my research and found out a co-worker with the same year Pathfinder has the same problem and looking online it appears everyone with this model truck has had this issue or will eventually. Why is Nissan not doing something about this beyond continuously extending the warranty with huge co-pays that at the end of the day do not really help the consumer" Nissan needs to do something about this. How long will it take for this complaint to be reviewed"

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #296

Apr 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Pathfinder transmission failure due to coolant leaking into transmission. I had to pay a deductible for something that Nissan was aware of for years. I also did not receive a recall letter stating a deductible would be required. My letter stated extended warranty if the above happened 96 months or 80, 000 miles. I have 72,000 miles. Nissan would not pay in full because of the 96 months had expired. Problem is that the time starts from the date when the dealer first purchased for dealership. This was not stated in the letter. Problem with letters received is that none of them are dated and I did not receive the extended warranty letter until 2012. By the time the problem was identified and customers notified, I had less than an additional 8 years. If the first notice went out in 2007, customers should have 8 years from the notification date or 80,000 miles. Nissan put me and my family at risk with car stalling in heavy traffic. This really should have been a recall and not a warranty extension. Also, I never received the notification letter for the deductible. My letter doesn't mention a deductible.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #295

Mar 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
Was on interstate and transmission went out while I was driving with my twin nieces in the was a terrible experience and scary.I don't understand if a company builds something that is faulty how do you not support fixing the problem.regardless of miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Seffner, FL, USA

problem #294

Mar 192014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 8,600 miles
Radiator failed and leaked antifreeze into the transmission causing it to fail.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #293

Feb 232013


  • 106,000 miles


After having the transmission and radiator replaced twice (3/12 and 10/12) as I was driving 65 miles per hour on the highway, all lights on dashboard came on, car died. I had no power and somehow managed to get to the side of the highway slowing for the length between two exits until I could steer into guardrail to stop the vehicle. Car was smoking, coolant system mechanic thinks let go and engine cracked, Nissan refuses to buy back car that was a lemon in the first place. This is a safety issue that they did not fix.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #292

Dec 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles
Driving 35 mph, approaching stop sign. Service engine light went on. Stopped at stop sign. No apparent issues until I pulled out onto hwy and the car would barely move. It was as if it was taking off in second or third gear (it is an automatic transmission). Since the car would not gain speed, I pulled over as I could not gain speed to avoid the oncoming traffic in the lane. Could not drive vehicle over 20 mph and revving at almost 3000 RPM, just barely moving. This happened again after having transmission rebuilt on 1/28/14 at a stop and car would barely move, but rpms were near 3000. Took back to repair shop. This happened a third time after it had appeared to be fixed on 3/14/14. Luckily, all times I have not been in serious traffic and was able to pull off the road without injury. Have been told that there is now evidence of radiator leaking into the transmission. The recall notice for this does not extend to the mileage I have on this vehicle since it is now at 164,000, and the recall only covers 100,000 miles or 10 years. I have only had this car since 2009, but it does not qualify for the recall. Dangerous vehicle. It appears to be running just fine, and then it starts dragging and cannot gain speed. Have had three close calls.

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #291

Jan 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
My transmission is going out took it to the dealership and they change the transmission oil and a month later is still doing the same. Take it to another mechanic and he said the transmission oil was black and smelled old. The dealership ask when did I last change the oil and I had forgot the I had the quick lube place flush the transmission a couple of years ago. Call them back and told them what the other mechanic said and I took it back to the dealership and he said that not to bad we can only get so much out. The other mechanic flesh it and change the oil. I'm still having trouble with my transmission it goes real slow when backing up. I have keep my car up real good because I don't have the money to keep buying a new car.

- Farmington, NM, USA

problem #290

May 132013


  • 96,123 miles
I purchased the vehicle from carmax in 2012 w/ 76K miles on it. No warning about possible radiator issue. In may of 2013, radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and resulted in transmission failure at 96K miles.(thankfully, I was not merging onto a highway). Paid $3K co-pay to have transmission and radiator replaced. February 4, 2014, transmission hose blew while driving on the highway. Was assured that it was not related to the previous repairs. Paid $262 to have it fixed. March 9, 2014, was driving on highway, rpms spiked, acceleration was sluggish, made it to Nissan dealership - transmission failure (less than 1 year later) - 105K miles. I was very fortunate that these transmission failures did not occur while attempting to merge onto a busy highway.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #289

Mar 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 121,819 miles
Suddenly the car no longer accelerated. Nothing was coming or showing me that something was wrong. Stopped at a gas station and turned off the engine and on again then the "service engine soon" light came on. Tried to accelerate but nothing, everything was running smoothly but the car was just not accelerating. Suddenly it started going really slow but 500 feet on the road I had to pull over since the speed went no more than 20mph on a 40mph road. I tried pushing the gas pedal to the limit but nothing. The day before I went to Nissan dealership for a diagnostics which I was charged $105 for. They tried to get me to trade in my car for a new one. They recommended I get the oil pressure switch repair as well as something with the coolant flush and transmission flush. I was going go take it tomorrow but this happened I don't know what to do. The reason I took it to Nissan in the first place was because I was told my model and year were found to be erroneous with transmission.

- Wilmington , NC, USA

problem #288

Feb 252014


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the engine rpms increased as the transmission failed to respond without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis, who stated that radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and caused internal damage. The mechanic also stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #287

Nov 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,400 miles
Vehicle hesitation/shaking at 40-45 miles per hour. Transmission jerking.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #286

Feb 012014


  • 155,000 miles
In short the transmission in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is and has failed. I was in a very dangerous situation on the hyway and jeopardized my family's and my life. 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. I feel this faulty product should be recalled and necessary repairs made or a reimbursement made on behalf of Nissan.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #285

Aug 052013


  • 119,000 miles
Truck started having a hard time changing through gears, however when trying to go to 60mph truck will not change and the RPM just claim. Happy this did not happen on the interstate or when changing lanes. Took the vehicle to local mechanic and was told the coolant seal in the transmission has failed causing coolant to enter the transmission fluid. Repairing the this could cost upwards of $2500. Nissan offering no help on this matter.

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #284

Dec 202013


  • 117,304 miles
Transmission went out in my vehicle. Has been shaking and having trouble for a while, but finally "died" on December 20th. It is from the coolant leaking into the transmission (something Nissan is aware of, but makes no amends to fix). This is a costly fix and not one I can pay anytime soon. If I am unable to get to work then I can't buy parts and labor.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

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