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 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

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 #64

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 #63

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 #62

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 #61

Jul 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

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

- Woodstock, VA, USA

problem #60

Nov 162013


  • 90,000 miles
Nearly got into an accident on the interstate when my car started jerking out of control and then slowed down drastically to less than 30 mph miles away from an exit ramp. My Pathfinder had to be towed to the dealership I purchased it from. Less than 100,000 miles and still under extended warranty. When I called to ask the service department to confirm what needs to be replaced, they said the my transmission has to be replaced from the damage by the coolant. A flush would be a patch fix that may not work, and only last a month best. My radiator has to be replaced- my car is overheating because of the failure. And my engine has to be completely flushed out- if not totally replaced because of the coolant flowing into the engine as well. Over $4000 possibly as high as $8000 according to the dealership. They said they can't even repair it because its so bad my car has to be sent off. Warranty company denied the claim because the issue is caused by faulty part "transmission cooler" which everyone is aware of and not covered under warranty. I paid $20,000 cash for my vehicle a year ago! Nissan lost a class action law suit earlier this year for thousands of dollars in damages, and I am too late to file. I can't believe the government hasn't forced a recall on this. Thousands of people and vehicles are affected and quit honestly its dangerous! I almost got killed on the interstate with my children in the car when everything failed. This happened on multiple years and the government is okay with this? the dealership and warranty company refuse to cover my claim. Someone needs to hold Nissan accountable. This is unacceptable!

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #59

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 #58

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 #57

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 #56

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 #55

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 #54

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 #53

Oct 012012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle decelerated and jerked while driving at any speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times. The dealer test drove the vehicle and was unable to duplicate the failure. The jerking and deceleration increased with greater force and the dealer re-inspected the vehicle, advising that the radiator fluid had penetrated the transmission. As a result, both the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 57,800.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #52

Jun 032013


  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder was locking up & stalling at low speeds June 2013. I took it to Nissan & paid $400 for supposedly a bad camshaft & bad crankshaft. Not more than a month later the vehicle is stalling yet again. Furious I took my vehicle to a non Nissan dealer. The other mechanic felt ECM recall & faulty ECM was the cause. He took it back to Nissan & insisted the do the recalled part & the bad ECM. Service was upset that he went in there telling them the problem. They free of charge got my car going again. Supposedly my key had "reset" itself. Which "could be caused by a battery being dead for too long or being jump started". our battery was new & only maybe 6 months old. Nissan service manager claimed she checked the ground & it was all ok. Just the catalytic converters needed replacement for about $2000 but were not the cause of stalling or the key resetting itself. She insisted the ECM was good & the recalled part had nothing to do with it. A week later & here I am again with a car that wont start. This time the Nissan tech came to the store where I was stranded at. His machine couldn't even read the codes & he said maybe it was ground wires in my dash or the ECM but hard to say unless I paid to have it looked at again! of course I have no choice but for them to look at it. I wouldn't mind as most for minor repairs/maitenance but it seems this year/model is pure crap. After reading other complaints I realize that my car shaking at 60+ miles when I do hit the freeway is a huge problem as well! we live in a small town where we don't usually drive those high speeds so I never really thought much of it until now. Nissan knows very well these are huge problem cars yet doesn't care! these vehicles are not safe. The stalling has happened at intersections or driving!!

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #51

Jul 152013


  • 105,000 miles
During the time I was driving the Pathfinder I notice that the transmission started pulling. I got into the turning lane to pull over to check it out but when I stopped and then try to turn the vehicle would not move more then 3 feet that left me in the middle of the road. Lucky no one was hurt but it could have been a bad situation if I was on a busy street.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #50

Aug 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
It's the typical Nissan Pathfinder (2005-2011) transmission/radiator failure due to fluids from both devices mixing and causing catastrophic failure of both. Nissan informs me that they certainly understand my problem, which is comforting, but will not pay a dime. Never buy another one.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #49

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has on numerous occasions, just stopped running and turned off. It does this while sitting idle, say in line. It does this while driving down the street. It just turns off! now I'm having trouble re-starting it!

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #48

Aug 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
There is problem with this model vehicle. Thousands of people are having the same problem. The radiator has a leak in it causing the transmission oil to mix with the radiator coolant creating a mixture of gravy type substance. The transmission and the radiator are filled up with this substance. The engine is not being cooled down. The vehicle starts to vibrate after a certain speed. When you pop up the hood it smells like plastic burning.

- Holtsville, NY, USA

problem #47

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My Pathfinder locked in 4WD while switch was still in 2wd and would not start back after towing to dealership I find out it is the radiator leaking into the transmission and both will have to be replaced at $4900. If my wife would of been on a road with more traffic it would of been bad for her and my two year old. We have only owned the car for a year and nothing but problems out of it and our Altima. We have always been Nissan owners but will never buy again this is evidently a really common problem and Nissan's customer appreciation is awful.

- Bronston, KY, USA

problem #46

Jul 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 105,345 miles
On July 25, 2013 the car made a skipping sound when I turned it on and a few days prior it would make a rolling action when stopped. On July 26, 2013 I was in route and after being on the road for 7 minutes at a stop light the vehicle would not accelerate when I pressed on the gas pedal. After numerous attempts it started driving however it would not go past 15 miles making a grinding sound/noise. I was able to get it to the closest mechanic. The mechanic informed me that the A/C coolant had gone into the transmission requiring it to be flushed however not guaranteeing that it will work. I called Nissan on July 26 2013 and was informed that my warranty had expired and that they would not assist in repairing the transmission. At this time, the problem is trying to be fixed and expected to be significantly costly.

- Methuen, MA, USA

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