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 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Sep 092014


  • 91,200 miles


The vehicle began a slight shudder when shifting and within a few days while passing a truck on the freeway at 70 mph it shifted very hard and responded as if it was in neutral. Any application of the accelerator caused high RPM but gave no additional power. I was forced to put on my emergency flashers and maneuver through three lanes of traffic as I had lost all power and could not was just coasting along the freeway. It was a very dangerous situation that fortunately ended safely no thanks to the car. It was later determined by my mechanic that the radiator fluid had mixed with the transmission fluid and caused the transmission components to fail. After spending $1000 on the first repairs to replace the radiator and flush the transmission 3 times it ran for a week and began shifting very hard again. It is now in the shop being considered for a transmission replacement. Hearing about the investigation and similar experiences by others it is a wonder why this issue has not been officially deemed a safety recall seeing as how my safety was definitely in jeopardy at the time of the failure.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #84

Aug 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 243,000 miles
Nissan dealership just diagnosed that my radiator was leaking into my transmission. This was problematic because the radiator coolant has damaged the transmission. In April of 2014, I had my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder to the same dealership for the same issue and they had flushed and replaced my transmission fluid.

- Medway, OH, USA

problem #83

Aug 072014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Radiator failure allowing transmission fluid to mix with antifreeze causing transmission failure. Radiator failure due to crack in transmission cooler. Is manufacturing defect, should be Nissan 's responsibility to fix not the consumer.

- Linwood, NC, USA

problem #82

Aug 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,212 miles


All of my experience with my transmission failure took place on the road while in heavy traffic which was unsafe and scary July 2014 - present. First, the truck developed a "bucking" movement whenever it was driven. The bucking movement is similar to a car that is trying to shift gears like a manual car, but the transition between gears was not smooth. Gradually and unexpectedly, while driving, the car started making revving noises like a race car, while the speed is only 20mph. The speed dropped and would not accelerate regardless of how hard you are pressing on the gas. To decrease the revving noise you cannot drive above 40mph. As always I rely on the dealership to service my car, and at first the diagnostic test did not show the coolant leaking into the transmission. With more and more test by the Nissan mechanic, there was still no indication by the diagnostic test that shows the increase defect of the transmission. 3 weeks later, after handing over the car for a complete day, the dealership strip the car and ran further diagnostic test which indicated that the transmission failure due to leak from the engine coolant liquid mixing with the transmission fluid leading to an automatic transmission damage. The recommendation by the dealership is to replace the transmission, which would cost $5,000. Remaining payment balance for the car is $1700. Total mileage on the car is 100,200.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #81

Nov 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I'm one of many victims that have endured faulty fuel sending units and inaccurate gas gauges that cause me to run out of gas while driving down the road. With such a widespread problem, it is a pure scam that no recall has been issued. Nissan simply extends the warranty to 72,000 miles, which does nothing to help the thousands of victims with more mileage. Just as they did with the radiator defect that contaminated the transmission, Nissan is getting away with offering help up only to the point when the problem begins to appear. This makes them appear they are doing something, but they are doing nothing for the vast majority of victims. How can you let them get away with this approach? it leaves victims without help, and leaves obviously defective cars on the road. It's dangerous to run out of gas on the side of the road, especially when you live in cold climates and have small children. Help.

- Booen, NC, USA

problem #80

Jun 202014


  • 110,081 miles
Vehicle stalled. Check engine light displayed. Took vehicle to security Nissan in baltimore, md to get checked out. Was informed by technician "radiator cooler is leaking coolant into automatic transmission". technician recommends transmission assembly, radiator with radiator cap, and flush cooler lines. Extended warranty states repairs are not covered. Total bull! cost of repairs $6000! contacted Nissan to see how they would assist with this problem and was basically told they wouldn't. Nissan Corp was aware of this problem since 2010. This situation could have been resolved with a recall to repair "crack in the radiator assembly leading to internal leakage of engine coolant". what could have been a couple hundred dollars or repairs by Nissan now is a few thousand dollars to consumers because of the neglect from Nissan Corp and many of it's certified dealers to make consumers aware of this problem. We purchased this vehicle in 2011 and not once did the dealer mention that this was a known problem nationwide.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #79

Jun 302014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,851 miles


My 2005 Pathfinder started to have this heavy vibration sound while accelerating and a shuddering sound so on June 30th I took it to the dealer who said they didn't hear the sound so he took is and run a check on it and told me that the coolant is leaking into the transmission he then gave me back the truck and said he was going to get in touch with the warranty and called me I as still waiting for that call until my husband research it on the internet and told me to stop driving the vehicle I then took it back to the dealer on July 8th and was told the cost will be $6000 but Nissan was giving me a goodwill program of $3000 so I would have to come up with that other $3000 which I don't have right now so am out of a vehicle they know of the problem since 2012 and did not recall the vehicle, that is a rip off to consumers.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #78

Jun 212014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,200 miles
I was driving along a local road and all of a sudden, my engine starting revving and the car started slowing down. I stopped at a red light, but when it turned green, my car wouldn't move for about a second or two when I pressed the gas peddle. When it did move, it crawled along at 20 miles an hour. I managed to get it home and took it to the mechanic on Monday. I was told that coolant from my radiator leaked into my transmission and destroyed it. On researching this, I discovered that this is a known issue in 2005 - 2010 Nissan trucks but Nissan will not cover the cost of repair even though they are aware of it and did not issue a recall.

- Lansdowne, PA, USA

problem #77

Jun 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
The torque converter in the transmission failed. I noticed the vehicle stuttering at different speeds during my time on the road. I had an independent mechanic check it and a Nissan dealer confirm the diagnosis. I was told the radiator and the entire transmission had to be replaced. I found numerous complaints on-line similar to mine; the 2005 model showed the most problems with the transmission. I don't have the $5,000 to repair the vehicle. The company extended some warranties due to this problem, but all had expired or I had too many miles (131,000), and a copay of $3000 was required. Not much of an offer from a large thriving company.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #76

Jun 162014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
I got my oil changed at team Nissan in lithia springs, and on the 2nd day of driving the vehicle my 2005 Pathfinder overheated. I immediately called team Nissan and told them of the problem, and they told me that they apologize and to bring it in. Well the SUV was too hot to put on the road at that point so I stopped by wal-mart to add coolant. I let the truck cool off and then added coolant. The levels then appeared normal and I made my way to team Nissan. When I got there they told me that they could see me and to come back the next day. While I was talking with the rep. I noticed that there was a guy topping off my fluids under the hood. When I came back the next day, they check it and told me that I had no coolant and that my radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and that the fluids were mixing. The repairs totaled up to $5028.43 including a radiator replacement, coolant flush, and a transmission replacement. I told him that I had heard of other recalls and complaints about this (I had just heard one of the reps call a customer and tell him that his recall on the same issues were complete and that he could pick up his vehicle), but he said that nothing was showing in the system. I then told him that I could not get that done at this time and I enquired that I have not had this issue at other places after an oil change. He gave me an excuse as the guy did the day before and shrugged me off. He suggested that I needed to check the coolant every other day and that the problem was likely to continue. So the waiting game begins.

- Villa Rica, GA, USA

problem #75

Apr 252014


  • 126,115 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximate 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the camshaft sensor and the crank sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 126,115.

- Upland , CA, USA

problem #74

Mar 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle was stop at red light of very busy intersection. When light turned green the vehicle accelerated and then would only coast in neutral while transmission was not engaging. Wife and 3 children were stuck in middle of intersection. Had to turn the vehicle off and then on to get transmission to re-engage and drive. This issue happened a half dozen more times. This owner took vehicle to local Nissan dealer and was charged for computer analysis. This owner was told there was a "known" issue with transmission of this particular vehicle being contaminated from inner cooler. This owner was told that it would cost over $5500 to fix. This owner did intense research on safety and mechanical problem and found thousands of Nissan owners with same issue. This vehicle needs to be recalled for "known" issue.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #73

May 032014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Parked Pathfinder in driveway. I went to leave and the vehicle won't start. Lights and everything turns on. The engine won't crank up. Looked up some issues with the Pathfinder and maybe there is a cross contamination of the engine coolant.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #72

Apr 072014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 67,956 miles
I was driving the vehicle when all of a sudden it shut off causing cars behind me to swerve off the road. I am a female the wheel was very hard for me to steer off the road. I thank god that nothing happen to my 8 year old in the car. Apparently someone has to die before they do a recall.

- Elizabeth , NJ, USA

problem #71

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 #70

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 #69

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 #68

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 #67

Jan 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
The vehicle engine timing chain had made a slight "whirring" sound for many months - nothing really loud enough to cause alarm, but noticeable. Then when idling the vehicle in my driveway, the engine began to whine loudly, and then all of a sudden the engine lost power and began to emit a loud slapping/ clunking sound. The problem is that the timing chain has failed and the chain is slapping around inside of the timing cover. I was lucky that the vehicle was idling in my driveway at the time! there are thousands of reported incidents to be found on the internet where Nissan owners have reported that timing chains have failed, and some owners in California have filed a class-action lawsuit to force Nissan to acknowledge this factory defect. Nissan knows about this problem - there are factory service bulletins to repair this problem, but no recall. This engine defect is dangerous - engine failure on busy NY / NJ / ct highways can be life-threatening!! why is the Nissan timing chain defect not deemed a mandatory factory defect recall"? as a former mechanic, I can say with confidence that modern vehicle engine timing chains can be reasonably expected to last the life of the engine! timing chains are not considered a regular maintenance item! not only does timing chain failure put the vehicle passengers in extreme danger, but is very expensive to repair. Why should consumers have to bear the financial responsibility to repair a factory defect" at this time the vehicle is sitting "dead" in my driveway - I do not have $2000 required to repair the factory defective timing chain assembly! please force Nissan to recall and repair their defective timing chains!!!

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #66

Jan 062014


  • 122,648 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic, who performed a diagnostic test and notice a defective ems relay. The mechanic replaced the defective ems relay. After the repair the contact noticed NHTSA campaign I.D. 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact called the manufacturer to see if the vehicle was included however, the manufacturer stated that the vehicle was included in the recall. The contact never received notification for the recall. The failure mileage was 122,648.

- Lusby, MD, USA

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