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:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,422 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #105

Oct 212015


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at a low speed, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The engine's rpms increased and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Sylva, NC, USA

problem #104

Sep 172015


  • 74,251 miles
After receiving a complimentary multi-point inspection from the local Nissan dealership, my wife told me that on the way home that the transmission seemed to not want to shift properly. Went to check transmission fluid and found that the dipstick is locked into place. Did some quick research to find out how to check fluid level and then found out about issue with Nissan Pathfinders radiators having a problem with leaking coolant into the transmission cooling system. Checked radiator and found frothing foam on the inside of the pressure cap indicating that the radiator had failed. Contacted dealership and asked them why the section of the inspection for the cooling system and transmission system were checked as "ok". did not receive an answer. Also, we were never notified by Nissan about the issue with radiator in our Nissan. The vehicle is currently parked since the dealership said it would cost up to $3000 dollars in repairs under the agreement reached. I do not understand why this was not a recall. This situation could of caused a catastrophic failure of the transmission at speed while driving or catastrophic failure of the engine because of lack of cooling causing the engine to seize up at speed while driving.

- Rockbridge Baths, VA, USA

problem #103

Aug 242015


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 15 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact mentioned that the vehicle jerked before resuming acceleration. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission fluid leaked into the radiator and caused the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Farina, IL, USA

problem #102

Jul 122013


  • 61,000 miles


The vehicle has had all sorts of issues starting with the brakes when one brake shoe totally disintegrated and evidently ruptured brake lines at around 61,000 miles. New brake replacement almost $900. Since that time (the vehicle now has 75000 miles) the transmission has continually slipped, the gas gauges and all other gauges work intermittently, and the emissions test last month showed possible catalytic converter issues (there are evidently two). When taken in for service the service technician suggested I get rid of the vehicle because it was notorious for cross contamination of coolant and transmission fluid. Continuing to drive it would eventually destroy the transmission, and even now may have permanent damage. When contacting Nissan about possible recalls and the supposed settled class action lawsuit concerning the transmission contamination, I was told I would need documentation of all service done to the vehicle to receive $800 toward the necessary $3800 repair cost just for the contamination leak. If anyone is considering purchasing this or any other Nissan product, I would avoid it at all cost.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #101

May 192015


  • 172,000 miles
The vehicle started to make a whining noise under throttle but was not initially identified as a significant problem. It was assumed to be a belt or belt pulley. Approximately 2 weeks after the noise started, the timing chain developed a problem and loud rattling noises could be heard from the engine. The sound was a sloppy rattle consistent with a timing chain tensioner or guide broken.

- Hampstead, NH, USA

problem #100

Feb 012014


  • 140,000 miles
I had the same issue as many others. Coolant leaked into the transmission causing hard shifts, and shuttering while accelerating.

- Franklin , TN, USA

problem #99

May 062015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


A car ran into our lane made a sudden stop in front of me, to avoid hitting the car I turned to the right and hit a brick building. My air bag deploy on the driver side but not the passenger side. My wife was in the passenger side and she suffered a concussion she had her seatbelt on. Her face was badly bruised and is still receiving care.....updated 05-27-15 updated 9/17/2015

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #98

May 182011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle jerked and felt as if it would stall without warning. The air bag light also illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a Nissan dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bag sensor module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the air bag failure, but the failure recurred along with the jerking failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #97

Apr 182015


  • 90,000 miles
Vehicle contained a defective radiator cooler tank that ruptures and forces coolant into the transmission through the cooler lines. When the coolant mixes with transmission fluid it creates a frothy liquid that eats valves, erodes seals and causes corrosion. It's toxic, irreversible and killed the 5-speed automatic transmission. This problem was listed as the 2nd worst problem on's "top vehicle problem trends of 2012". why is this not a recall?!

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #96

Apr 242015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 113,529 miles
Transmission cooler attached to radiator cracked causing coolant to leak into the transmission leading to failure to accelerate the vehicle when needed and complete failure of the transmission.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #95

Aug 072014


  • 103,000 miles


Got recall in mail for radiator and transmission recall which we had to pay for"!?! over $2000. To replace the radiator and not even 3 months had gone by and have had the truck to the garage 3 times due to damage from transmission. Got in truck to go to work today yup you guessed it transmission is now shot put in drive and doesn't go. Totally unfair Nissan should have replaced it when the recall came out. Why should the consumer pay for there screw up" new transmission $5000. Will never buy Nissan again and will make sure I tell everyone. So far to date $5000. To try to fix up Nissan's mess and then I'm to spend another $5000. On there mistake. Ha total bull!!!!! they should have stood by there product and replaced everything at no cost to the owner!!! very unhappy!!

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #94

Jun 182014


  • 90,000 miles
Have problem with cooling system leaking into transmission.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #93

Mar 282015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,058 miles
The radiator on my Pathfinder has cracked and allowed coolant to get into the transmission fluid. This has ruined not only my radiator but also my transmission.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #92

Mar 232015


  • 96,000 miles
One morning on the way to daycare my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder could not shift above first gear. I drove 8-10mph with hazard lights on to the dealership, Nissan of portland (122nd ave). They told me it had cross contamination due to a "known faulty part" but that my warranty had expired in December. I bought the car from that dealership 18 months ago. They did not tell me at the time of purchase about this defect nor about the warranty, rather waited until they could charge me $5100 to replace the transmission and radiator. This is so wrong! Nissan corporate should be ashamed of themselves for not fixing this for free whenever it manifests itself (or before) and dealers can not be allowed to sell cars without disclosing known material defects. Oregon law ors 646.608 agrees.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #91

Mar 192015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Nissan needs to formally recall several vehicles with radiator/ transmission problems. In my case while I was driving my vehicle suddenly came to a stop while I was on the road driving at a speed of 55 mph. My vehicle shut down and I tried to turn on luckily it turned on and began to run again. I pressed on the accelerator it did not run more than 20 mph. I decided to tow my vehicle to a local mechanic to have it diagnosed since I was terrified of it shutting down once again in the middle of the road. My mechanic diagnosed my vehicle and concluded that fluid from the radiator had leaked into the transmission. Nonetheless, he expressed to me that this was nothing new he had seen with these vehicles. He told me that he had fixed a couple in just this last year. According to his past clients Nissan failed to do anything to correct the problem regardless of the potential hazard. I visited the dealer in which I have purchased the vehicle and explain the service man my concern. He clearly told me that my warranty was over and that the lawsuit against Nissan to be reimbursed had ended in 2013. I told him that my vehicle frequently comes to their service center for maintenance and if they were aware of the failure in theses vehicles once they reach their 100,000 miles why did they fail to correct the problem before it occurred. It surprises me that Nissan failed to inform any of its consumers of the problem when it was going through a lawsuit. He then proceeded to tell me that he could not help me and referred me to corporate office. I was told I would be called within two days. I received the call back from Nissan simply telling me my case was reviewed and they could not do anything due to the fact that my warranty is over. Nissan is putting the lives of their consumers in danger and is hiding behind their warranty guidelines to avoid correcting their engineering errors.

- Lakeview Terrace, CA, USA

problem #90

Jun 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
This is a engine control module (ECM) issue. My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is stalling at low engine speeds, red lights, during rush hour traffic. My vehicle only has 65K miles and has had four (4) ECM replaced. My last one went bad three hours after driving out of a Nissan dealership where I spent $1300 to replace it. Nissan refuses to pay for it stating they already replaced one via recall and "things fail".

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #89

Mar 092015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
Me and my 6 month old daughter were going down the road when my car lost all power and was like it had been shifted into neutral. My brakes weren't working properly but I got us off the road and had the car towed. After our repair guy checked all the wiring and ran test and pulled the transmission pan off the radiator coolant had leaked into the transmission full resulting in the gears messing up and the entire car undriveable. We knew about this problem and had contacted Nissan 6 months prior to check the recall and was told this vehicle had been fixed....obviously not. If it had been fixed it wasn't fixed properly or it would not have failed again many trips have been taken since then and now we are over 100,000 miles and it's a $3800 fix because Nissan either lied and it was never fixed to start with or didn't correctly fix it the first time.

- Toccoa, GA, USA

problem #88

Feb 112015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
I began to hear a noise and hesitation in gear change. Told tires but continue to hear. Had a oil change at twin city Nissan. Rep advice coolant in transmission would charge $3000 to repair and warranty on radiator expires soon. Radiator and transmission and fluids flushed for $3000 cost to me. Contact 1800 Nissan 1 and told over 368 complaints its manufacturing defect he advice can't. help.

- Port Arthur , TX, USA

problem #87

Jun 232014


  • 95,300 miles
I had the vehicle's tires replaced and within a few days there was a shudder like rumble strips. I took the Pathfinder back to have the tires looked at. Repair shop replaced the wheel bearings. The shudder still persisted. I talked to a friend who owns a transmission repair shop and he told me about the radiator leak/transmission problem. He said to check the engine coolant for milkiness and search online. The coolant is milky and after reading all the other complaints, my family is scared to use the Pathfinder. I think a recall should be issued because the transmission is failing because of failure of the cooling system not wear and tear. A failing transmission is more likely to cause an accident than a failing cooling system. Also, Nissan's extended warranty seems to end to early to be effective.

- Branchburg, NJ, USA

problem #86

Sep 122014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Check engine light came on, mechanic said O2 sensors were bad, & replace. Check engine light went off for a few days. Came back on. Then SUV started running roughly, losing power. Vdc/slip light came on, truck was difficult to start, then it cut off in traffic a few days later. Found research on ECM relay. Had it replaced, truck still having difficulty starting. Today it cut off in traffic again. Mechanic said camshaft position sensor cmp bank 1 bad, catalytic converter bank 1 & 2 bad. Fuel system faulty and ignition system faulty. Still paying on truck.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

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