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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Nov 222012


  • 100,720 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, an unusual noise could be heard coming from the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the transmission was flushed and the radiator was replaced. The technician stated that the transmission exhibited internal damage as a result of coolant leaking from the radiator. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling) due to the fact that it had exceeded the 100,000 mile limit. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,720.

- Virginia Beach , VA, USA

problem #24

Nov 072011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
While I was driving my vehicle I had to stop abruptly and the brakes did not respond I had to press it extremely hard for them to respond they made a weird sound and also when I changed from parking to drive, it made a strong noise and was extremely difficult to change it.

- Isabela, PR, USA

problem #23

Nov 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,567 miles
Bought vehicle in April 2012 had transmission go out fixed that with warranty company. The transmission went out again in less than a month comes to find out the radiator was cracked sending antifreeze into transmission and transmission fluid into my radiator destroying my transmission computer. Got that fixed camshaft sensors then went bad cost me more money. After that the radiator was still messed up had it repaired and flushed system completely. The shop also had to replace the back flow reserve cap and thermostat for being bad. The vehicle worked for another two days and had a mechanic look at the vehicle for overheating and the diagnosis was fan clutch was working need to replace fan clutch completed that. Now Nov. 8th two days later after being fixed still overheating. Do know what to do anymore"?"

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #22

Oct 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


The car was being driven on a busy street during morning rush hour, at approximately 40 mph. The car immediately stopped running and went to a crawling speed (around 1-2 mph). Cars behind needed to move quickly to avoid collision, and because there was no shoulder, the car blocked traffic. The car was taken to a Nissan dealership. Their first diagnosis was that it was a failure of the automatic transmission valve body, and they wanted to charge around $2400 for the repair. Three days later, after looking at it, the dealership diagnosed the problem as coolant leaking into the transmission, with a cost of repair of $7400.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #21

Oct 212012


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated without any warning. The contact mentioned that the digital panel that displayed which gear the vehicle was in also went blank. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed that the radiator leaked coolant into the transmission, destroying the modulator. As a result, the transmission, radiator and modulator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who offered to pay for part of the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 96,000.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #20

Aug 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
Many instances of the car jerking, jerking forward when trying to slow down or stop. The RPM revving up to dangerous levels for no reason and trouble driving uphill. My car has become a major safety issue. First the fuel gauge stopped working, which caused me to run out of gas and stalling in the middle of an intersection. Next, my car stalled for no reason while driving, that was repaired, something to do with a relay switch, now the transmission issues, possible radiator failure and the need of a new catalytic converter in a car with 100K miles.... that's insane !!! someone is going to be seriously hurt or killed if they don't fix these vehicles and people don't have thousands of dollars laying around to fix it. So, no food, rent or bills being paid for over a month just to pay for repairs is even more of a hardship to families. Please help us before something happens. Thanks !!!

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #19

Oct 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


Radiator fluid and water were found in the transmission box. Mechanic said this is very common with this year make and model and can lead to transmission failure and loss of driving ability at any time. Google searches indicate as such, and that Nissan knows about this issue but isn't doing anything about it.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #18

Sep 272012


  • 99,900 miles
I bought my 2005 Pathfinder in November of 2010 with 76K miles. Ever since I bought it ive been having issues with the transmisson that have slowly gotten worse. I went and got my transmission fluid changed at 98K miles and now it has left me sit. Still owing over 19K on the vehicle and paying over 400 dollars a month on a payment and now Nissan wants me to pay for the problem that they have known they had on a vehicle. Not cheap eaither, apple Nissan of york pa estimated over 6K to fix the problem. Complete bs. This needs to stop now and these problems need to be free of charge and recalled asap!! I will go as far as going to the district attorney generals office if need be.

- York, PA, USA

problem #17

Sep 232012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I was driving with my 15 year old daughter from my home in sanford, fl to clermont, fl to visit my mom at the nursing home. While I was on the expressway 408 the vehicle began to stall and bog down causing the vehicles behind me to slowed down abruptly almost causing a chain reaction accident. I was terrified. I slowly made my way off the expressway onto state road 50 then the vehicle would not go at all. I called my husband and he told me to put my hazard lights on turn the vehicle off and then try again. This worked but I was only able to go 20 mph, however the speed limit was 50 mph. At one point I was on a hill and the vehicle began rolling backwards almost crashing into the vehicle behind me. I was able to make it to the nursing home where I parked the vehicle then my husband came and towed it back home where it now sits, we have to hold Nissan responsible for their flaws. It's not fair that my life, my child's life and the life of other drivers were in danger because of Nissan's irresponsibility. I want the transmission on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder replaced with a new transmission.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #16

Sep 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
We had started to notice some rough shifting at low speeds. This past weekend my wife was trying to drive with our kids in atlanta freeway stop and go traffic. At speeds around 15 mph the vehicle would start to buck and lurch and it would kill the engine. It is an automatic but was behaving like a manual if someone didn't push in the clutch when coming to a stop. This was very hazardous in stop and go traffic on a 10+ lane freeway. The mechanic said the transmission is failing because radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission and that he had seen a number of Nissan with this problem. We are having to replace both the transmission and radiator at $4,000. That is better than having the transmission lock up at highway speeds. If you remember last year, montoya's nascar transmission locked up sending him into one of the jet driers at the track causing a fiery collision. He had no control at that time and he is a professional driver. Nissan knows this is a problem. I now know that I am not alone and that too many Nissan owners have made this complaint and Nissan will not voluntarily protect their customers.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #15

Aug 302012


  • 91,000 miles


Apparently Nissan has a faulty radiator which in turn ruined my transmission. My vehicle has been serviced only at Nissan, and I have taken very good care of it. There was no warning, no indication that something was wrong until it started giving me problems shifting gears. I had it towed to Nissan just to find out that the radiator ruined my transmission and now will cost close to 6,000 dollars in repair.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #14

Aug 242012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
I was driving on highway at 45 mph and suddenly there was no more speed as if the vehicle was being driven on neutral, there were cars behind but it was fortunate that it was at a distance where they were able to stop suddenly without crashing into us or each other. This type of vehicle is intended to Transport several passengers and in my case I had my children with me. We bought this vehicle used as being our only financial option for a family of six. This has created huge trouble for our family since all of our savings went to the purchase of this SUV last year and we have no money to do repairs at time which are approximately $4,000.

- Eagle Pass, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 212011


  • 98,000 miles
Transmission failure, radiator failure. Had it fixed months ago and my car continues to spew blueberry yogurt from cooling system. Nissan did nothing, dealer did nothing and now mechanic is making me jump through hoops. This is a serious and dangerous issue, occurring countrywide in thousands of vehicles. Nissan obviously does not want the bad publicity by owning up to the faulty parts...why do you think they changed the parts in 08' models and up" luckily my tranny blowing on the interstate did not cause injury, but it very well could it going to take someone dying for someone to finally do something!!?" there is currently a class action lawsuit against Nissan for this issue (since 2010!) do something!! innocent, hard working people are being put in danger by these vehicles.

- Florissant , CO, USA

problem #12

Aug 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 107,305 miles
While driving on the way to pick up my kids, my check engine lighted on. Then at a traffic stop light, when the lights turn green for go, I did release my foot on the brake but no movement on the car. I press on the accelerator but hesitant and jerking. After a while it moves gradually. I straight away went to the dealer to have it check. They did put a small instrument to check and I heard him ask another guy what 1754 is. After a while he came to me and said that he had the check engine lighted off and if it lights on again, it might be a costly repair. I asked him what might be the problem. He said most probably the transmission. Then a week later, the check engine lights on again, and I tried a second opinion, so I went to a non dealer transmission shop. He asked me what's wrong. I told him I had a check engine light on and there is hesitation on the vehicle after a stop. He asked for the year of the vehicle. The moment I said 2005, he knows already the problem. He had previous cases of the same year and model of my car. He still did some checking and he was not wrong. He told me its a transmission problem. He said coolant from the radiator is leaking to the transmission. This is causing damaged to the transmission. He said he had to rebuilt the transmission to the tune of 4500. Its a huge amount for repair. Its the only vehicle we use for work and for kids going to school. With an unsafe vehicle like this, you are putting yourself and your family in grave danger.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Jul 242012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 144,007 miles
Per Nissan dealership diagnosis: Technician found anti-freeze/transmission fluid mix in both radiator and transmission (failure in radiator cooler) trans (tcm); no communication with other vehicle ecms catastrophic transmission failure. Dealer recommendation: Replace transmission and radiator. Full transmission fluid and radiator flush of systems.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #10

Apr 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The transmission started slipping/not responding/hesitation/car 'shaking' when shifting, etc so we took it to a Nissan dealer to ask what happened. They said the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and pretty much destroyed it. I asked if they had seen this before or if there was a recall for it and they said they had not seen it nor was there a recall. I then called another non-dealer transmission center and they knew what the issue was before I even finished explaining. They said they get 2005 Pathfinders about 1 per week and currently had two on the lot -- all with the exact same issue. I called the dealership back with this info and they tried to act surprised but I could tell they knew exactly what was going on here. Here is a full (and better) description from a pending lawsuit on this problem with the vehicles like we (and so many others) experienced: "transmission failure caused by cracked radiators - faulty radiators are causing coolant to leak into and destroy the transmission. An alarming number of Nissan xterra, Pathfinder and frontier owners are stepping forward with stories about their cracked radiators which are causing coolant to leak into the transmission. Once mixed with the transmission fluid this lethal combination kills the valves, seals and torque converter -- rendering your entire transmission useless. This issue is currently contained to the 2005 model year, but we're keeping our eyes open for reports from other years. What's even more troubling is owners who have already had their transmissions "repaired" by an authorized Nissan dealer are still reporting catastrophic transmission failure. Through no fault of their own, Nissan owners who are out of warranty are left to cover the hefty repair bill, which can be over $4,500 when all is said and done."

- Apollo, PA, USA

problem #9

May 092012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Experienced problems with the engine, the check light was on and the gears seemed to be shifting hard and engine running rough as it was in second gear. The recommendation was to first flush the transmission and apply an exterior coolant on to the radiator because of known issues with the radiator leaking into the transmission. This was a temporary band aid because the next time I was going on a long trip, the vehicle shifted hard while driving, jerked and when into 4WD automatically without me touching anything and the check engine light is on again. When you drive over 60 miles an hour the rpms tack up super high and the engine runs with a roar. Had the transmission diagnosed again and the fault codes show a P1754, P1759, P1764,01731, P0102....basically they are telling me I need a new transmission or a rebuilt one to the tune of 4-5000 dollars, the source of the issue is the faulty radiator which leaked water into the transmission. This is a catastrophic issue to me both safety wise and financially wise and I'm not alone--there are pages and pages of complaints for this same problem you can find all over the internet. I wish I would have known before buying the vehicle but that's water under the bridge. Nissan extending a warranty upto 80,000 miles is a mute point when most of these issues happens after that mileage, to me it's just ridiculous to have such a huge design/component flaw that can cause such a high dollar damage to the vehicle and not have it recognized by Nissan as a recall.

- Aberdeen, NC, USA

problem #8

Jul 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Coolant leaked from the radiator into the transmission causing the transmission to go out (not an uncommon problem from what I have heard from my mechanic and have seen online after researching the problem).

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #7

Jul 032012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the vehicle but the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Marion, SC, USA

problem #6

Oct 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I noticed a consistent vibration when the automatic transmission shifted around 40 mph. An initial flush of the fluid temporarily corrected the problem, but it reappeared several months later and progressively worsened. The transmission is now erratic at almost every shifting juncture and is pronounced at high speeds. An inspection at a Nissan service center confirmed that the problem is due to radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. This is a well documented Nissan design flaw that Nissan will not take responsibility for. The vehicle is to the point where it is unsafe to drive, especially at highway speeds.

- Springboro, OH, USA

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