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 1 of 22)

problem #423

Dec 262016


  • 179,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 55 mph with the cruise control activated, the rpms accelerated and the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart on the first attempt, but the gears failed to shift. The vehicle was towed home. It was diagnosed that the transmission was flooded with water and the radiator needed to be replaced. The radiator was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 179,000.

- Lola, KS, USA

problem #422

Nov 232016


  • 110,000 miles
Radiator coolant leaked into the transmission rendering useless. Corroded and destroyed whole interior of transmission.

- Lakewood, NJ, USA

problem #421

Nov 212016


  • 70,000 miles
At almost 70,000 miles, I started getting a vibration when accelerating at or above 40 mph. I was told by the Nissan dealership that it was coolant intermixed in the radiator and transmission and they needed to be replaced at a cost of $6800. Nissan knew about this problem back in 2007 and didn't notify owners. Not happy!

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #420

Oct 132016


  • miles


Started loosing speed while driving on the interstate with my daughter in the SUV with me, so scary. But I managed to coast to the nearest exit roll in time for it to get to 0 on odometer. Then had it towed to my home. Few days later took to two different auto repair shops(towed to 2nd shop because SUV would not go pass 20 and it would just stop once down to 0)who informed me there were transmission issues, final shop said the radiator ruptured causing water, transmission fluids, and etc to all mix which has caused transmission to go bad my options are to rebuild, but another transmission or let the SUV go..upongoogling to see if others have or had this problems I'm totally not alone and yes I'm pass the 50,000 N 100,000 range however I still think some etching shouldbe done, being I took N trace very gd care if my SUV only allowing Nissan to repair and maintenance my SUV. I was told to repair this will cost me 3900 plus. I shouldn't have to pay any to be honest but done type if help would be greatly appreciated for not only me but everyone experiencing this issue.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #419

Oct 142016

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I was stranded in a parking lot because my car would not start. After having it towed to the dealership, I find out it is the "intermix" between the radiator and the transmission. I never received any information about this from Nissan, but now understand it was a known and frequent failure - by design. Essentially, after 90,000 mile, the car is worthless because of this issue. After paying $5,000 for the repair, I drove off the lot only to have my fuel pump fail. Literally, I drove off the lot and the engine began misfiring. Unbelievable.

- Denver, CO, USA

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problem #418

Aug 242016


  • 72,123 miles
Pathfinder 2005 has only 73,000 miles and now has a problem of cross contamination between transmission and radiator fluids. Requires replacement of transmission. Very expensive - requires to replace transmission and wash radiator. Transmission does not shift properly. Problem confirmed by the dealer shop as well as am independent car shop.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #417

Aug 242016


  • 150,000 miles


Transmission failure

- Mount Dora, FL, USA

problem #416

Sep 122016


  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder 92,000, vehicle won't start and had it towed, was told it was due to the radiator leaking into the transmission. After having spent $800 @ vadan Nissan, because my car would jerks and stop whilst driving, was told it was a coil problem, and a sensor issue, nothing was ever said to me about this huge problem the 2005 to 2010 Pathfinders are having, totally disgusted with Nissan.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #415

Sep 032016


  • 127,000 miles
Transmission failure on interstate had to be towed home 50 miles

- Athens, TN, USA

problem #414

Sep 162016


  • 156,000 miles
Driving and came to a light and the car would not move forward or reverse.

- Forest City, NC, USA

problem #413

Sep 122016


  • 125,000 miles


Takata recall I have coolent in my transmission due to radiator failure causing my transmission to slip causing my car to crash into my house in my carport the repair for the transmission is $3800 and I'm on a fix income

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #412

Aug 092016


  • 190,000 miles
Purchased a used 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Had the vehicle about 2 years. Driving home one day the vehicle started to loose power as the RPM's started to spike. We had to pull off the road in a very unsafe spot because the car could no longer move. There were no warning signs of the transmission failing. We had the vehicle towed. With a quick glance into the coolant tank, seems to have a mixture of coolant and transmission fluid. Repair cost are estimated from 2500 - 5,000+. something needs to be done about this problem.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #411

May 012011


  • 75,000 miles
Radiator coolant leaked into the transmission resulting in transmission failure.

- Benton, AR, USA

problem #410

Aug 082016


  • 150,000 miles
Our 2005 Pathfinder lost all power while driving on a local highway in our town to take our daughter to school. It has an automatic transmission and would not change out of first gear. We live up on a slight hill, and it honestly felt like I was pulling a semi behind my vehicle just to get it back home without requiring a tow. Needless to say we had to keep both of our children home from school that day because this is the only vehicle we own. It angers me that Nissan refuses to make a recall on this issue!! this transmission issue has caused us to be without a vehicle for almost a month now!! it's not always easy to find people that are willing to help you out long term!! this is a huge inconvenience to our family, & we don't have the money to pay out of pocket to get this fixed. A local mechanic near where we live said he has seen this issue tons of times, and has fixed numerous amounts of Nissan vehicles due to the crack that causes the antifreeze & transmission fluids to combine and mess up everything in the transmission over time. With this being an issue on Nissan's part, I feel that they should pay to have the problem resolved!!! my husband is out of work due to an injury and will be out for an undetermined amount of time. I work part time at a local bbq restaurant in our town, and don't bring home very much each week. I pray the corporation will do the right thing and finally recall all the vehicles affected by this. $3500 dollars is the best we can find & when it gets fixed, the person we have spoke with said they will bypass the radiator when the transmission gets reinstalled making sure we never have this problem ever again!!!! sadly we don't have the money for the repairs or I would not be making this complaint. If anyone knows of any information that I don't know of please let me know!!! I am desperate to get my vehicle back!!! we have no one to help. Thx

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #409

Aug 222016


  • 132,000 miles
I needed to change all sensors because check engine light and the dvd and slip light stayed it will not start all the time and if it does it will die in the middle of had to be towed to dealer.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #408

Aug 312016


  • 80,000 miles
8/31/2016 - check engine light came on during normal driving, I brought it to my local mechanic for inspection which showed the transmission has failed. This is due to the radiator and transmission intermix problem is how Nissan notes it and validated by my call to the local Nissan dealer. The car is outside the Nissan extended warranty period for this issue which is 10 years but well under the 100,000 miles as it has 80K miles at time of event. Nissan is unable to offer any financial assistance so the out of pocket cost to repair ($5-$6K) makes it not worth the repair so I'm stuck with a car that to date I have maintained very well. There was not warning signs and I am sure this problem has been going on for some time as it does not happen overnight. Very disappointing that Nissan does not take ownership of the problem that has plagued hundreds of Nissan Pathfinder owners.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #407

Jan 012012


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator failed and caused coolant to penetrate the transmission. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer to have the manufacturer warranted radiator replacement performed; however, the repair did not correct the failure. The radiator coolant penetrated the transmission and caused the engine to overheat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000.

- Toa Alta, PR, USA

problem #406

Jul 292016

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 25 mph, a burning odor emitted from the vents. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 134,000. Updated 12/01/16

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #405

Aug 102016


  • 80,250 miles
Vehicle would barely pull out in drive, just stopped pulling. Checked fluid in transmission and its a milky color. Radiator coolant is milky brown.

- Whitesburg, KY, USA

problem #404

Jun 302016


  • miles
When driving about 40 most speed limit it felt as if I was driving on safety strips on the highway like strudder.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

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