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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,859 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 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #130

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,224 miles


I was driving towards reno, nv and every time there is an uphill roadway the engine would rev up and the transmission shifts to another gear, I would feel a thumping sound and on every 3 to 6 miles of driving the vehicle would feel like it is running on an unpaved road. I took the vehicle to the dealership and that is when they informed me that my transmission fluid and engine coolant are mixing. Not to mention that my fsr is no longer functioning properly. It turned out that the fsr (fuel sensor relay) is not on the recall list unless it is a 2006 and up. I don't mind the fsr, because I can work on this but the coolant and tranny fluid mixture should be a recall since a lot of people are experiencing this issue.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #129

Aug 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Engine light is on. Nissan dealer shop recommends to replaced transmission and radiator.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #128

Aug 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Driving in town roughly 25 miles, the truck slowed down, you hit the gas to excel and it stops eventually. The mechanic says the transmission coolant leaked, mixed and need to replace the transmission and trained and leaned the radiator.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #127

Jul 292013


  • 99,000 miles


Transmission went out on vehicle while it was in motion causing vehicle to stall and difficulty picking up speed to merge into 65mph highway traffic almost resulting in a collision. When vehicle was towed to transmission shop, they informed me that these Nissan Pathfinders are known for having bad radiators causing water to enter transmissions making the transmission to suddenly go out...I then had it towed to a second shop and they confirmed radiator went bad. Radiator was replaced but transmission is completely out due to the radiator.

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #126

Jul 282013


  • 102,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer for routine service when the contact was told that the radiator was leaking fluid into the transmission. The contact stated that the transmission had been hesitant. The dealer stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 102,500.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #125

Jun 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
It appears the radiator failed leaking coolant into the transmission. When I asked the mechanic about it he said that now your transmission will fail soon. I have been reading that this is very common and has happened alot with this year and model which I believe to be totally not acceptable.

- Loudon, NH, USA

problem #124

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,188 miles


While backing out of a parking space my check engine light came on and it felt like my transmission was slipping. I had the vehicle towed to the Nissan dealer. They told me the radiator failed and the radiator fluid seeped into the transmission fluid causing everything to fail. 80, 000 miles is the warranty. I am just over that. They are offering me a $2500 co pay but I feel they should take care of this problem. There should be a recall on the radiator to prevent this problem.

- Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

problem #123

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was driving on a highway back from getting groceries in a town 45 miles from me. All of a sudden the car started revving. I took it off of cruise control and tried pressing on the gas. Nothing happened. I pulled off to the side of the road and called a tow truck. After several hours sitting on the side of the road in the dark and by myself, I got it towed back to my town, 35 miles away. I found out that the transmission had gone out. I took it to a transmission shop and they told me that it was the cooling system had leaked into my transmission and fired the tcm. It will cost me $4600 to fix it. I found out that there is a recall on this problem after the fact of it happening and now they refuse to fix their mistake. They will cover up to 80000 miles for the recall and up to 100000 miles with a deductible of $2500. And nothing after 100000. Why did they not inform us of this problem" does anyone have a law suit going on this"

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #122

May 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,257 miles
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.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #121

Dec 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My coolant is leaking into my transmission and its on its last leg..oil pressure gauge is broken along with fuel indicator and many other problems.

- Hickman, NE, USA

problem #120

Jun 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and it was determined that the coolant from the radiator leaked into the transmission and caused the transmission to fail. The transmission would need to be replaced. The failure and the current mileages were 90,000.

- Lake George, NY, USA

problem #119

Jun 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 54,600 miles
My wife observed issue with gas or brakes for last couple months. I thought it was brakes and I had just bleed and replaced fluid which helped. On 6/20/13 I made left turn on my home street and transmission did not respond. I was stuck in middle of road and luckily no cars were approaching. At first I thought car stalled and tried to restart but realized the engine was still running. At that moment I knew what it was (failed transmission from cross contamination). I drove directly to reliable Nissan in albuquerque where they verified the bad news. This really proves this is a manufacturing defect. My car has all proper maintenance and only has 54600 miles. I am the original owner. The vehicle looks brand new. I had just talked to both service managers from both the local dealers about my fears about this possibly happening. Even had them check and they said the radiator was ok. I am only 50 days past my 8 years and with only 54600 miles Nissan refuses to provide any good will. I am still stuck paying 2500 dollars. Nissan keeps insisting this is not a safety issue. Loosing propulsion is a safety issue. Even in driving school I was trained that power, can avoid a possible disaster just as well as brakes. This is fact. Too many close calls reported on this issue and its sad that our government only acts when cars explode and people die. I have noticed that this issue is increasing exponentially putting the risk of death and injury a more probable outcome. From last February almost 29 percent more cases reported in just 4 months. I worked with my dealers trying to avoid this. Did all the trans oil changes, radiator flushes and asked if I could do anything to avoid this disaster and also had them inspect my radiator just a few months back. And yet, my brand new looking, meticulously maintained Pathfinder needs a new transmission and radiator.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #118

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
I just bought this car, and had a problem with transmission to begin with, following with the fuel level sensor (just started), I had to replace the transmission, radiator, now I have to replace the fuel sensor, and 2 days ago the plastic heater receiver that is located in firewall of car had melted, and all anti-freeze had gone and the motor got overheated (why plastic made", instead of brass??"), so the dealer said that I had to replace the whole piece ($250) plus labor, it is incredible how this car company called Nissan is loosing their prestige since started to assembly in us, it is just making more money out of the people with all these crappy parts they are using. We need the federal government to be involved and give us back the money spent on these manufacturing defects as soon as possible.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #117

Jun 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,657 miles
I brought our Pathfinder in to our mechanic for an oil change and inspection. He said that the radiator is going bad. Specifically the coolant that is attached to the transmission. He said that we should not drive the vehicle, as it could blow the transmission. We are lucky that he did such a thorough inspection, as we had no warning signs. I googled the problem and found your website, and that this has been an ongoing problem with Nissan. Our mechanic said he recently had to replace two radiators, one on a 2009 Nissan Pathfinder and another on a Nissan (truck)...I can't remember the model and year.

- Danville , VT, USA

problem #116

Jun 052013


  • 103,000 miles
The check engine light came on in the vehicle the night before. Vehicle was taken to the Nissan service dealership the next day-June 5, 2013-for a diagnosis. Was told the coolant had leaked into the transmission and ruined it. Both the radiator and the transmission will need to be replaced. Was told by the mechanic that Nissan will not pay for any part of the repairs due to being over 100,000 miles. The odometer has 103,000 miles, only 3,000 miles over the limit. This is manufacturer's defect and should be repaired by Nissan, free of charge. After further investigation, discovered that thousands of owners 2005-2010 Pathfinders, X-terras, frontiers and armadas have experienced the same exact issue. The cost for my repair is $6300! Nissan needs to be investigated and the total repair costs refunded to the owners! this is an enormous hardship for this family and all who have experienced this fiasco!

- Hope, RI, USA

problem #115

May 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder's transmission started to slip and engine speed would dip and vehicle would feel as though it was attempting to shift into a non existent gear at speed. Several weeks after this started to happen a notification was received in the mail pertaining to the coolant leaking into the transmission oil. After having replacing the radiator and flushing the transmission and replacing transmission oil, the transmission is continuing to slip. Awaiting word from Nissan North America to replace or fix this known issue.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #114

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 119,072 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel continuously. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that there was a combination of both the transmission fluid and coolant leaking together, which could cause damage to the transmission. The manufacturer offered an extended warranty associated with a manufacturer's voluntary recall related to the transmission. The vehicle was ineligible due to the excessive mileage. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 119,072....updated 07-10-13

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #113

Apr 112013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,900 miles
Driving down interstate and vehicle started slipping wouldn't take gear had to coast off to the side of the road had to have vehicle towed into station serviceman said that radiator leaked into transmission and damaged the transmission had to have both transmission and radiator replaced the man at the station said that was the sixth vehicle that he had to do the same repairs too same make and model said that Nissan had a recall on this make and model for a defect.

- Brilliant, AL, USA

problem #112

Apr 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
I felt a grinding nose while shifted and I stop and took the car to a dealer Nissan and the find out a problem from transmission/ radiator. There was a recall for a faulty radiator who leaks into the transmission that cause the problem and I should pay for the repair on my own. I find out that Nissan knows that problem never sent me a recall for that and I bought the car new I serviced it and all the maintenance at a dealership no word I should change the radiator. The same thing happens to me with my 2002 Altima.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #111

May 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
I have only had this vehicle for a year. I noticed the transmission started sputtering when I got to about 40 or 50 mph. I had it taken in to see what the problem was and they told me the radiator failed and leaked into the transmission and both had to be replaced. Luckily I was not on the road with my children in the car when this thing decided to fail.

- Helena, AL, USA

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