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 8 of 22)

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problem #283

Feb 042014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


I had transmission failure while driving. I lost all but 1st gear with no warning. I had it towed to a transmission shop whom stated that there was coolant in the transmission fluid. They advised me that the cooler in the radiator had broken and allowed coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. I have not got a bill yet but it will be upwards of $3500. I had gotten two letters from Nissan that extended the warranty but both times I was to high of a mileage. Seems that if they extend a warranty for a problem twice than they know they have a problem and should do a complete recall. I also had the fuel sending unit go out and I repaired that due to Nissan wanting a high dollar amount to fix it. I have had it with Nissan and them not doing anything to help the customers when they know there is a major problem.

- Demorest, GA, USA

problem #282

May 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 156,843 miles
Transmission is in safe mode due to radiator fluid leaking into transmission. Transmission and radiator need to be replaced.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #281

Dec 122013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that radiator coolant was leaking into the transmission. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the mechanic confirmed the failure. The transmission was replaced. The manufactured was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Bloomingdale, IL, USA

problem #280

Jan 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Radiator fluid leaked to the transmission which cause transmission failure.

- Weiser, ID, USA

problem #279

Jan 272014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
Radiator fluid has leaked into my transmission, due to a factory defective radiator. My transmission is damaged and will not shift into 5th gear. The transmission will have to be repaired or replaced along with the radiator.

- Benton, LA, USA

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problem #278

Jan 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Vehicle was not wanting to accelerate immediately. Took it in for an oil change and had air filter replaced, and check the check engine light. That gave a bunch of codes that all related to transmission. Took it to transmission specialist who said that the radiator cracked and leaked into the transmission. Work to be done is replace radiator, rebuild transmission, and install external coolers. Shop said this is a known issue with the 2005 Pathfinders. Cost is about $5000. They said this also ruined the computer on the transmission.

- West Valley City, UT, USA

problem #277

Jan 172014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,300 miles


On 1/17/14, while driving my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder on a busy highway, the service engine light came on without warning and the vehicle immediately slowed to a crawl.I was able to pull off the road and avoid a serious accident. I live close by and was able to make it home. We took our vehicle to our dealer the next day. They told us they would look at our vehicle on Monday. In four hrs., the svc.rep.called and said the radiator failed and damaged the transmission.they found a whining sound and said the timing chain needed to be replaced. The cost would be $3,200 for the transmission and $2,000 for the timing chain. Why did they rush to inspect the SUV" we wonder if they jumped on the opportunity to make a large repair. Prior to this, we took our SUV in for scheduled 8/13 at this dealer. We were told everything was fine and no repairs were needed. The mileage is now 82,300 miles, and we planned to keep it for many more years. We called the Nissan hotline and spoke with the reg. Cust.svc.rep. She said there was nothing Nissan would do and offered no assistance. We discovered that Nissan was involved in a class action suit that was recently settled regarding the transmission problem. The Nissan radiator/transmission cooler litigation, case no. 10-cv-07493. Why weren't we notified by Nissan about this problem immediately" per the suit, the cost for repairs over 80,000 miles is $2,500. If this problem was identified during our scheduled maint. We would have avoided all these problems and expenses. This makes us wonder if Nissan and the dealer conspired to keep this info. Quiet until after the vehicle passed 80,000 miles. We also discovered a new class action suit filed on 6/26/13 involving the premature failing of the timing chain. We will pursue every opportunity to get reimbursed for these problems that Nissan was aware of.

- Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

problem #276

Dec 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,483 miles
I noticed that the temperature gauge was reading a little high so I took it to a friend and he said there was oil in the radiator when the cap was removed. He recommended that I take the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer said I had to pay a co-pay of $2500 to replace the radiator and the transmission because the warranty had expired.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #275

Jan 022014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,500 miles
Vehicle revved erratically, then jerked then cut off. Took vehicle to dealer who diagnosed the problem as "radiator full of oil and transmission fluid and smells burnt-fluids mixing-need transmission.

- Bushkill, PA, USA

problem #274

Dec 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,100 miles
While traveling down the highway at approximately 40 miles per hour I felt like I was riding over rumble strips in the road. The road was smooth, so that was not the problem. I later found out that I had a transmission problem. Upon further investigation, I found that the radiator coolant fluid leaked into the transmission and destroyed both the transmission and radiator. Upon further investigation I found that this is a problem experienced by many other Nissan Pathfinder owners (years 2005 - 2010). This is definitely a manufacturing defect not recognized by Nissan.

- West Babylon, NY, USA

problem #273

Dec 232013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 117,208 miles


Purchased this SUV from a private owner who replaced the radiator and transmission cooler years ago, had it confirmed from their mechanic and when I drove this Pathfinder it has a bump in the trans. Was told by Nissan of paducah, autozone of paducah that it was the cat converter was plugged. Replaced the cat converter, still has the bump/slip in the transmission. Found out through several websites and forums that Nissan needs to do a recall on this problem. I've been part of Z clubs in the usa for over 25 years and a loyal Nissan owner and can't believe Nissan won't take care of this problem in their SUV's and small trucks...

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #272

Jun 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,431 miles
Transmission failed at intersection leaving vehicle unable to move. Problem was caused by radiator fluid mixing with transmission fluid. I contacted Nissan about the issue and they denied any claim for repairs. Nissan has known about the issue and settled the claims for a small number of people. They made it basically impossible to recover any damages because they require a deductible of $3000 before they pay anything. They also will not cover anything above 100,000 miles.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #271

Dec 232013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I was driving the car and when on the onramp of the freeway, the car lost power and shut down. Nissan dealership said the radiator leaked fluid onto the transmission causing it to loose power. They said I need a new transmission and radiator but will not cover the warranty which was settle in us district court of New York. They want to charge me $5300 for the repairs. This is clearly a faulty design of the Nissan Pathfinder series and website searches verify that the problem exits for thousands of Nissan Pathfinders for the years of 2005-2010 in relations to a radiator crack and fluid leaking onto the transmission.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #270

Dec 172013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Lost all acceleration power; barely moved with full gas. Diagnosed as radiator fluid leak into the transmission.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #269

Dec 162013


  • 123,007 miles
Transmission just out of no where starts jerking and over heating took to the dealership and they told me that coolant/transmission fluid cross contamination due to internal radiator/transmission fluid cooler failure to fix the problem it will cost $4700 after doing some research have found that there is more Nissan owners having this very issue please Nissan you need to do a recall on these transmissions if not ill never buy a Nissan ever again. I mean who has that kind of money to spend on a part that is internal and not able to be maintenanced how do we know its going bad? oh yea it just stops working I have a family of 5 and we travel the interstate alot im glad I wasn't on the interstate at this particular time. Could have been very tragic if some one hit us because of a malfunction like this.

- Palatka , FL, USA

problem #268

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Failed transmission due to contamination from radiator fluid.

- Granite Bay, CA, USA

problem #267

Jul 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,600,000 miles
Transmission went out as I was driving it on the highway.

- Woodstock, VA, USA

problem #266

Dec 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
I am an owner of a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. On 12/05/13 the transmission and radiator on my car failed with no warning on a deserted road. I had my car towed to Nissan where they told me that it would cost 5,100 dollars to repair. I later learned that there had previously been a lawsuit against Nissan for transmission and radiator failure and the make and model of my car was included. After learning this information I called Nissan back and they stated that they only covered it up to 100,000 miles and my car is at 136,000 miles so it would be my responsibility to fix it. After doing research on line there are so many other people that are having these exact same issues and Nissan will do absolutely nothing about it and they are not willing to help with cost in any way.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #265

Aug 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,943 miles
I was coming back from the store and was waiting at a red light when my light turn green I had trouble going I press the gas and it was like pulling then it king of jump and the service engine light came on. I had a shop check my car and sure thing it was the cooling/ transmission problem. I have not driven my car since I have no money to pay for the repair, yes I take it out to turn it on and move around my block, but is that fair its my family car we have not gone anywhere else because we do not fit in to our. Smaller cars I did receive the claim form for this problem but I did not had the problem then the claim expired June 7th 2013, right before my problem. Please help us.

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #264

Nov 162013


  • 154,000 miles
My family and I were driving home. We live in the mountains of wnc and as we were heading up and incline the transmission slipped and after much research I believe I am the owner of a Nissan vehicle with the transmission/coolant issue involved in the class action lawsuit in NY. However, because my vehicle has 154,000 miles on it and the issue just occurred I am unable to join the lawsuit. I still want you to be aware that this issue has no deadline on it and Nissan should be held accountable for every defective vehicle still on the road regardless of age and mileage. If the problem is specifically attributable to the defective radiator and Nissan has not fixed it then Nissan sold a defective vehicle, period. Had this defect not been built into the vehicle I am sure it would be operational right now. I also own a 2001 Chevy cavalier with over 200,000 miles and it is still running!!! shame on Nissan!!!!

- Cashiers, NC, USA

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