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 9 of 22)

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problem #263

Oct 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


While on a short road trip the car began to shift hard and the check engine light came on. I took the car to the dealership and they said the car was leaking coolant into the transmission.

- Farmington, NM, USA

problem #262

Nov 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I was driving from work to pick up my kids from school and felt my vehicle begin to jerk, my service engine light came on so I pulled into a gas staion near by. When I got out of my vehicle I saw a huge puddle of radiator fluid gushing out. I called my local Nissan dealership and they told me to bring it in but keep my eye on the H & C gauge and make sure it doesn't reach up to H by any means. So I go and pull out of the gas station and go about 2 blocks away and immediately the gauge was rising to H quickly, so I pull over and shut the truck off and called a tow-truck to have it towed to the dealership. After Nissan looked at my truck I'm to replace both radiator and transmission! I looked up my problems with my truck and found out that like I, many of other american people are having or had the same problem and Nissan doesn't want to acknowledge that this is a serious problem for any Nissan owner and issue a full recall on these specific problems. Instead I'm stuck paying a $3,000 co-pay of a warranty that doesn't help me out at all.... I can't come up with that type of money spontaneously. My vehicle is my lifeline and now I'm without that due to on-going issue with Nissan Pathfinder trucks. Something has got to give seriously if I would've known that this was eventually going to happen (and it does happen) I would've never bought this truck plain & simple... I advise the consumers to stay away from Nissan unless they don't mind all the repairs and driving hasards Nissan has to offer.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #261

Feb 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
This car has had one issue after another. My fuel sensor went out, had a recall on the relay (was stalling as I was driving), had my transmission and radiator mix fluid and cause both to fail and my catalytic converters are defective. I need the catalytic to be changed so I can pass a smog check... it has been such a pain, expense and concern for safety. When is Nissan going to realize that they made faulty vehicles" do people have to have horrific accidents before they do anything about it " I paid good money, hard earned money for this vehicle, brand new. The costs to repair are ridiculous. My husband has a car older than me, more wear and tear and has never had an issue. The catalytic issue needs to be fixed before it kills the motor and makes it a useless box. To me, Nissan doesn't care about its customers or their safety. The relay and transmission issues almost caused us huge accidents. Without quick thinking and quick reflexes we could have been seriously hurt. Something needs to be done !!! thank you for your assistance.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #260

Jul 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


They report in all instances that the dealer diagnosed the problem as a failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer. The complainants report no warning signs leading up to or just prior to the failures.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #259

Oct 282012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 56,800 miles
My wife was driving to a road, for charity, while getting on the highway, the car would not go forward, the more you gave it gas the car took off like a rocket. I took the car out for a test ride, the same thing happen, at the stop sign the car would raveup.and take off like a.rocket. Took it to the dealership. The dealership told me it is going to cost a lot to fit this problem.

- Beverly, MA, USA

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problem #258

Sep 302013


  • 80,000 miles
While driving on the highway in second gear the car started to violently shake and rumble in second gear. I constantly had to press harder on the gas to make it stop. While coming into town my coolant was so hot that it exploded out of the car and leaked everywhere.

- Shenandoah , PA, USA

problem #257

Oct 212013


  • 86,000 miles


Due to a design defect, I have radiator fluid leaking into and ruining my transmission. I learned that Nissan has recognized the problem and has extended the warranty. However, because the vehicle has above 80,000 miles I have a co-pay of $2,500. I find this unfair. This problem is not due to miles driven or operator error. This is a design defect and to require customers to pay thousands to fix Nissan's engineering problem is wrong. I feel I have been taken advantage of. Nissan should cover the full cost of the repair regardless of mileage because the problem results from a design flaw.

- South Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #256

Oct 172013


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle decelerated to 30 mph independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they informed the contact that the radiator and transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was currently being inspected by the dealer for a second opinion. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #255

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I experienced transmission shifting problems between 50-60 mph. Local service center diagnosed it as a defective radiator which allowed radiator fluid to get into the transmission fluid. After talking to other Pathfinder owners and checking the internet apparently Nissan was aware of their defect and tried to keep it hidden resulting in a class action lawsuit which was settled. Unfortunately I am out $1,500 for repairs and there is no guarantee I won't be replacing my transmission soon! can you help?

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #254

Oct 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,937 miles
I reported a complete loss of motive power. The auto repair diagnosed the problem as a failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #253

Sep 012013


  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that radiator fluid entered the transmission cooling reservoir, causing the transmission to fail. The vehicle was taken to an authorized mechanic where a diagnostic was performed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 86,200.

- Palmetto , FL, USA

problem #252

Oct 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
As I was driving on a motor way, the car just start shaking and stopped in the middle of the road without prior warning from the dashboard. A message "service soon" started display on the dashboard. This seems like a transmission failure. I couldn't move the car from that spot on the motor way. I had the car towed to the mechanic and he diagnose the car and couldn't find any fault on the car. I am scare to drive the car and the car is still at the auto mechanic shop not know what the problem.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #251

Oct 012010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 229,247 miles
Spent $1067.22 on radiator and transmission repair on what later was recalled. Now they state I am not eligible because of mileage but logic would dictate that the high mileage cars would exhibit the problem first as mine did. Nissan admitted a problem with the recall and I experienced it and paid to have it repaired. Why would it not be covered? I submitted directly to Nissan with case number [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #250

Oct 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,600 miles
Failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid. The radiator had to be replaced, possible damage to transmission.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #249

Mar 172010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I took my car to a Nissan dealership complaining about issues with the transmission slipping. I was told they found nothing wrong- however the Nissan technician was fully aware of the issues with the transmission radiator coolant and failed to inform me of the possible issue. Why not just replace the radiator before it causes the transmission to go bad. Finally the transmission failed at 130K miles and of course I am told that I am out of luck and $4200. I think it is really sad that Nissan offered extended warranties for customers under certain miles and left others out in the cold. If there was enough evidence to prove they were aware of the defect all along then customers should be able to have this repaired at no cost to them regardless of the number of miles on the vehicle.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #248

Sep 232013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
Sudden jerking in the vehicle when traveling at highway speeds. The problem has been diagnosed as a failed transmission cooler which allows coolant to mix with the transmission fluid, causing internal damage to the components. Nothing happened before, but the transmission started slipping 5th gear and no going into it, now 4 and third finally just stopped moving... repair cost is going to be 6500$ at the Nissan dealership and they will not admit a known issue....

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #247

Sep 012013


  • 62,880 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 65 mph, the vehicle suddenly lost acceleration power. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 62,880.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #246

Sep 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
I was driving down a major highway and all of the sudden my SUV stalled. Check engine light popped up, took to a shop and mentioned that I need to replace the transmission valve body.

- Whittier , CA, USA

problem #245

Sep 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
My car would not start one morning so I had to call a tow truck to take it to my mechanic, he called me to tell me that the radiator was allowing moisture or water to go into the electrical part of the transmission and the transmission has completely fried. I got a quote of $4000 to $6000 to fix or rebuild it. He then told me there are thousands of articles online about the problem and that since my car was at 109,000 miles there was nothing Nissan would do about fixing it even though there was nothing I did to cause the problem!!! I still owe $8500, as I have only had the car for 2 years, and I sure can't go buy another car. I have 3 small children so now I have no car, can't afford another and Nissan will do nothing to help.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #244

May 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
I was did a click sound when changing shifts from 1 to second. I took the mechanic and I was told the transmission had leak some fluid damage because the radiator had a leakage. I changed the radiator and heater assembly hose that it was damage, too. To replace a re-build trans. I was told that I need 5K that I don't have it right now. But, sooner of later I have to replace it. I called my dealer and I was told that I'm in my own.because my car has 137K miles. I found out that there are more than a few owners with the same problem.

- Chicago , IL, USA

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