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 1 of 7)

problem #125

Nov 232016


  • 110,000 miles


Radiator coolant leaked into the transmission rendering useless. Corroded and destroyed whole interior of transmission.

- Lakewood, NJ, USA

problem #124

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 #123

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

problem #122

Feb 052012


  • 16,000 miles


My Nissan Pathfinder 2005 stall and wont acclerate I put a new engine 3500 a new gas pump350 a vale body 2000 now they want put another part 1600

- Garden City, KS, USA

problem #121

Sep 092016


  • 120,000 miles
I took my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder into the shop because it was having trouble shifting gears at highway speeds. I later learned the bad news that the hoses in the radiator have failed causing coolant to cross contaminate and mix with transmission fluid producing a toxic sludge that ruins the radiator as well as the transmission. I was told that $4,000 later I would need a new radiator, new transmission and new hoses. The service technician also told me that this problem is very common in 05-06 Pathfinders. After going home a quick google search revealed that tens of thousands of cars have actually dealth with this problem and there was a lawsuit brought against Nissan for these problems. Unfortunately I never knew of such a lawsuit and now that I have the very problem it's too late to do anything about it. That type of service by companies for selling faulty products to their consumers is really too sad.

- Camas, WA, USA

problem #120

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 #119

Jun 072016


  • miles


At 96635 miles my oil light was coming on when the car was not in motion. Nissan told me my car needs to have its timing chain replaced which btw supposed to last life of engine. I've read Nissan knew about defective parts and was not honorable in doing a recall. Whats the point of switching from timing belt to timing chain if I need to change it at the same approximate mileage. Its costing me $3000 to get it fixed.

- Linden, NJ, USA

problem #118

Jun 302016


  • 140,000 miles
Car died on me this morning! mechanic said transmission as well as radiator. Plus coolant and tranny fluid leaked into each other. Something that looks like lawsuits and many others have complained on. Dealership wont fix it!

- Belgrade, MT, USA

problem #117

May 232016


  • 129,000 miles
Contamination of transmission fluid on 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Color of coolant is purple and cloudy in overflow and radiator. Transmission has started shuttering between 35 - 45 mph. Symptoms began at 130K miles.

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #116

Apr 152016


  • miles
I purchased a used 2005 with apprx 134,000 miles. I returned the vehicle the following Monday for a cracked radiator. The radiator was replaced. The vehicle continued to have shifting issues. 3 weeks later it was given a diagnosis from a certified Nissan service shop as "needing transmission replaces as a result of coolant leaking into the transmission from crack radiator" I was estimated over $7000 worth of repairs because of the radiator cracking and leaking coolant.

- Linn Creek, MO, USA

problem #115

Apr 292016


  • miles


I take my car in to nissian regularly and take very good care of it and doesn't have that many miles on in for how long I have owned it. I have been the only owner. Just had it serviced in febuary, all was perfect. It started making a awful when I G noise when you step on the gas pedal, turns out the timing chain is out and there has been a recall for some nissian cars for this not all. I called nissian Corp and they said since I have no warranty they were not going to help, even though you guys have issued a safety warning (ndtb07-042). There also is a class action lawsuit against nissian for this same problem. It should be a recall for all nissian. Cars/trucks.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #114

Jan 312016


  • 130,000 miles
ECM replaced under recall. Radiator/transmission replaced @ 96K miles under "extended warranty." Transmission replaced 2nd time 1 year later. Transmission hoses replaced twice (during same time period). Now - 103K miles - check engine light came on: Vias solenoid valve, bank 2 catalytic converter, & oil pressure sensor switch all need replaced (possibly related to ECM relay issue)

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #113

Jul 082014


  • 80,000 miles
Oil pressure dropped while driving due to timing chain tensioners and guide failure. If complete failure had accured, motor could have blown or locked up causing accident.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #112

Apr 242015


  • 96,889 miles
Radiator cracked and contaminated the transmission fluid. I had to replace the defective radiator and flush/refill the transmission fluid.

- Byron Center, MI, USA

problem #111

Dec 112015


  • 164,300 miles
On 12/11/2015 at approximately 6:00 pm, I was driving down a city street when my vehicle's engine shut off as I was driving at approximately 35 miles per hour. The brakes locked and I had to force the gear stick into park in the far left turning lane and nearly ran through a red light. I tried to start the vehicle and the engine stalled for about 40 seconds before re-starting. After I got the vehicle started, the "vdc off" and "slip" lights came on. The warning lights are still one and the engine has been skipping. This is the 3rd time in the past 2 weeks that I have been driving and the vehicle has just shut off. The other two shutoffs happened on highways while driving at night and approximately 60 miles per hour.

- Rembert, SC, USA

problem #110

Nov 032015


  • 120,497 miles
The radiator cooling system leaked into my transmission and caused it to stop working so I need to replace it at a cost of $5400 for transmission and radiator is $1000. I was in motion when I first felt a trimmer every now and then for about 3 weeks then it got worst at any speed or surface and places. Nissan will not help me on this because it has 120497 miles on it. I explained to Nissan if they had sent out notice about this I would have gotten my car fixed before now. I can not get anyone to help me on this. I have read on the internet that I am not alone on this situation. Can anyone help. I have bought several new Nissan but I will buy no more and I really loved my Pathfinder.

- North Dinwiddie, VA, USA

problem #109

Apr 032014


  • 79,000 miles
Coolant and transmission fluid mixed and caused the car to shake and not accelerate. This was a recall item and by the time it happened at 79K miles the dealer would only cover half. I had to pay $2500 for a repair that they new was defected. I was driving on a major highway and the car stalled and I had to put flashers on to keep cars from hitting me. This is a safety issue for anyone who still owns this truck. I now have another $750 bill to repair the fuel sending unit that went out after recall mileage expired. They know it's a problem and should fix it when it happens.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #108

Oct 292015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
There is a leak in my radiator which as gone into my transmission rendering it inoperable. Mechanics recommend to replace the entire transmission due to this massive design flaw Nissan has been well aware of for years....updated 12/03/15 I've spoken with my Nissan dealer as well as the dealer that looked over the car when I purchased it and both said it's a massive problem and customers have no way of knowing if or when it could occur, and therefore no way of preventing it. I understand the North Carolina consumer council filed a petition back in 2012 and that the complaint volume has been tremendous on this issue. I hope the NHTSA comes to the conclusion that this part should have been recalled. I have no family vehicle now and cannot afford to pay $7500 for a new transmission, that had no issues at all until the defective radiator got a hole. Thank you

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #107

Oct 282010


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving at 10 mph, the engine stalled and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the catalytic converters needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired several times, however the failure was persistent. The manufacturer was aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 145,000.

- Indian Harbour Beach, FL, USA

problem #106

Oct 272015


  • 140,000 miles
This is the same as another complaint (# 10777718) filed through this site on 9/25. I took my truck in because of the service engine check light and the tech reported catalytic converter, heater hose vacuum & valve, power steering hose, and tire gps. We have taken the truck in for the 3rd winter season and now they are saying it cost $725 dollars to repair the issue. For 3 years we have taken it in and they flushed the system, replace a sensor, and now this" also the catalytic converter costing $1380 and power steering hose at $305. I noticed 4 recalls that we were never contacted about with the engine, and we have taken the truck in numerous times for these issues and they never mentioned the recalls. Our issue with the catalytic converter is exactly the same as the above mentioned issue filed in September. We also purchased an extended warranty, and none of this is covered. I wonder who else is having the same issue with the catalytic converter"

- Laurel, MD, USA

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