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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #90

Apr 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles


The transmission started slipping when accelerating at all speeds. Coolant was found in the trans fluid. The radiator and water pump had to be replaced. We had to also add a oil cooler as a precaution. Now 8K miles later the transmission has failed and will not shift into 5th gear. Best case scenario is a new trans valve assembly for $1500 or worst case new trans for $6500.

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #89

Sep 012012


  • 80,000 miles
Water in transmission. Transmission/ radiator issues now. $2500 co-pay to have repaired.

- Piggott, AR, USA

problem #88

Jul 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Transmission failed. Sent to Nissan dealership and put me to another transmission place. The transmission was redone again. After that transmission failed again and the mech. Noticed the mixing of radiator fluid in the transmission fluid. Then I contacted Nissan and Nissan Corp. They both pushed me aside saying that they could do anything do to the mileage. I increased the urgency to Nissan Corp. I am in the military with no car for my wife. I have expended over 5 K already and now needing to do more.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

problem #87

Nov 182012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


I was going to work a usual so I have to take the highway. Everything was pretty normal then as I was driving for about 10 minutes I felt like hesitation from the SUV. I was in first lame so as I pressed the gas pedal a little further in I noticed that the car was decelerating. It was like it was losing power. It returned to normal then 5 minutes later the same thing happened only the car started jerking as well. I turned to the emergency lane to see what was wrong. I turned the engine off and popped the hood it smelled like coolant leaking and the SUV didn't say that it was overheated.I tried to turn it on it didn't let me and the dashboard wasn't displaying the N, D, R...etc. Took it to the mechanic and said the SUV had internal leakage of the radiator and it messed with the transmission. He told me that this type and year of SUV had faulty radiator that came like that. The only problem is that I had bought the car 8 months ago and that it came with a warranty for these type of car for less than 80,000 miles. Well I bought the car from the dealer with more than 100,000 at this point to fix the car ranges from 3,000-6,000 dollars. Shame on Nissan dealers for selling these type of cars that are potentially dangerous on the road.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #86

May 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 950,000 miles
Around 95000 miles the transmission began very abrupt jerking when accelerating. Around May 2011 transmission began slipping, I googled the problem and discovered many people had the same problem due to radiator cracked. I looked into my radiator and discovered strawberry looking fluid. Replaced my radiator, an flushed it a few times and then flushed my transmission which had the same color fluids, I believe Nissan was aware of these faulty radiators and transmission and drag it out through court so people would loose their opportunity to use their warranty. I am currently trying to get Nissan to replace my faulty transmission and I am willing to pay a $3000 fee but so far they are reluctant. Any suggestions you may have would be appreciated.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #85

Mar 142012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Well my Pathfinder was working great and I never had any problem with it then one day I'm driving it to work and it just stop I kept accelerating and it wouldn't move. A friend of mine came and looked at it and told me on the spot you radiator busted and filled your transmission with coolant and that destroyed your transmission and destroy it did. My friend to told me funny thing is that could have been prevented by installing an external cooling which he would have done for 100 bucks if only had Nissan let me know that the 2005 Pathfinders had this issue. Oh well I feel cheated and I swore in my life I will have a Nissan car again or Acura for that matter nor anyone in my family. This one I'm stuck with but once guaranteed that the mechanic gave it's about to expire I'm selling it and I'm definitely not buying Nissan again! ever!

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #84

Oct 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


This complaint is regarding a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. It is common to this model and involves the intermingling of coolant and transmission fluid due to the faulty design involving these systems. The result is ruination of both the automatic transmission and the radiator, in addition to various associated components. Please, compel Nissan to issue a fully-covered recall on this defect. It is an obvious design flaw and the fact that the consumer is currently forced to bear the significant burden of the substantial related repairs is absolutely ridiculous.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #83

Sep 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 144,180 miles
I was leaving a restaurant parking lot with my wife and kids. I pulled to the parking lot exit and turned right onto the 4-lane boulevard. I tried to accelerate to traffic speed in the near lane but the motor simply raced and would not propel the vehicle. As traffic caught me I heard tires squealing and horns blowing from the vehicles behind me. The traffic worked around me while I shifted the transmission into park and then back into drive and began to move at idle speed. As traffic allowed I worked over into the left lane and then the turning lane while gradually accelerating to driving speed, merged back into traffic and proceeded home, careful to avoid any stop lights in busy traffic. We are fortunate that we were not involved in an accident. I'm no expert, but I do know that a vehicle that suddenly won't propel itself in traffic is as dangerous as one with no brakes. This was the one and only time that we experienced this problem. There was no previous indication that anything was wrong. I took the car to the Nissan dealer and they diagnosed the problem as a transmission coolant line failure which allowed transmission fluid and engine coolant to intermix in the radiator, engine block and transmission, which in turn caused the transmission to slip. I'm sure NHTSA has received many complaints about this problem. I'm hearing many of the same complaints just in my area and likely there are others that have not yet been reported. Hopefully no one will have to die or suffer serious injury because of this unsafe condition before a recall will be issued.

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #82

Jul 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,841 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled numerous times while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed that located the failure at the radiator. The contact was advised that radiator fluid mixed with the transmission fluid and caused the vehicle to stall. The radiator and transmission was replaced however, the failure was not corrected. The check engine warning light illuminated as the heather and air conditioning unit failed to operate. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The dealer inspected the vehicle and located the failure as the radiator. The dealer advised the contact that the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and denied assistance with the repair. The failure mileage was 130,841 and the current mileage was 144,121. Updated 1/7/13 the consumer stated radiator coolant leaked into the transmission, twice. The first time, was in July 2011, and Nissan replaced the transmission and radiator at a cost of $ $6,981.86. The second time it occurred was in September 2012, at a cost of $ $1499.19. Nissan replaced the transmission with an after market transmission and flushed the radiator. Updated 01/09/13

- Waldorf , MD, USA

problem #81

Oct 122012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,200 miles
My vehicle quit driving in the middle of traffic. It would only idle when I pressed the accelerator. I was notified that my radiator had an internal leak and the coolant was mixing with my transmission fluid which caused my transmission to shut down. I was notified when searching for a radiator, that this has been a common problem with the vehicles and is documented with complaints all over the internet. I am currently a nursing student, and I do not think it is fair that I must pay for repairs that are not my fault when I am not able to afford them. This has been an extremely costly repair and I have been forced to take out a loan to get my vehicle repaired so I will have transportation to school.

- San Augustine, TX, USA

problem #80

Oct 032012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles


Radiator leaked into the transmission case completely destroying the entire transmission. Per Nissan, the cost to fix is $5900 and requires a new radiator and transmission. First symptom was lack of acceleration.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #79

Sep 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
Driving vehicle and suddenly lurched forward and wouldn't drive. Taken to shop and said defect in radiator allowed coolant into transmission ruining both components. This is a known complaint which Nissan fails to address. They uped their warranty when problem was seen but mostly happens outside of the warranty. I spoke with a customer service rep and she said there was nothing they could do even though they are aware of the problem.

- Xenia, OH, USA

problem #78

Sep 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 112,973 miles
Radiator and transmission fluid mixed. Internal radiator failure caused damage to transmission. Causing loss of power when driving. Nissan is aware of this problem and refuses to step up to the plate. It is a defective radiator and it can become very dangerous if it happens on a very busy interstate. I have chosen to let my vehicle set. I don't want to cause a fatality to myself or my family. Please help not to let Nissan get by with this. Updated IVOQ 01/02/13

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #77

Sep 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
On two separate occasions, I cannot remember the date of the first incident. My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder stalled and would not accelerate. My family was in the vehicle and we were leaving a place of business, which was kind of on a hill and when I tried to accelerate the vehicle would not move, but started to go backward. I cut the vehicle off and tried again and we were off and going, until we were on the road and in traffic going about 45mph the vehicle started to stall, and we had to get ourselves out of traffic. I GT the vehicle going again and everything seemed to go fine for about 2 weeks, then on Sept 15 I woke early to take a family member to a weekend class, as I was driving down my street I heard a noise coming from the 2005 Pathfinder I rolled my window down to hear the sound as I was listening the sound went away and all of a sudden I was approaching the traffic light the vehicle began to stall, I was pushing on the gas and it would not go, the light was green and I had cars behind me. I had to turn my hazard lights on and try to get myself out of the middle of the road to safety, once I did I had to park my vehicle in a business parking lot at a shopping center that is close to my home. At this point my vehicle is parked due to the fact that it will not accelerate when put in drive. I have talked to Nissan dealership and they have advised that they have heard of the radiator/transmission fluid mix and this seems to be the case with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder, and that it is costly to get it repaired. The cost is ultimately left up to me, and I feel as if this is a Nissan issue that has been an ongoing issue for quite some time for some other Nissan customers that needs to be considered a recall and Nissan should be fixing this manufacturing problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #76

Jun 062012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Coolant mixing in the transmission system. Some issues with slipping at first, mechanics couldn't figure it out. Said they would have to take apart the transmission to figure it out since there were no codes being tripped. Then the slip got worse and they happened to discover how bad the fluid looked by the U-joint underneath the car. It was only then that they discovered that the problem could have been related to the radiator coolant leak. They proceeded to fix the radiator and related components and flushed the system several times ($726.81) only 2 months later the transmission was acting up again and almost failed on the freeway, stuttering the engine and smoking a bit. Fortunately, we where able to limp the vehicle home and get it to the mechanic the next day. Vehicle was at the shop for 3 weeks, then the mechanic thought he had it fixed. We drove the car about 5 miles down the road, the vehicle started to stutter and slip again and the check engine light came on again. We returned the vehicle to the shop, they checked the codes and determined that the transmission would need to be replaced. This is ridiculous...... when you pay this much money for a vehicle, there is no reason why a transmission should fail in 94,000 miles. I can't believe all the horror stories I have read on the internet related to this Nissan transmission issue. I feel a sick to my stomach right now just thinking about the financial impact that this has and will cause to my family. There is absolutely no reason that Nissan shouldn't be responsible for this catastrophe. Especially after they have identified that this is a known issue.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #75

Sep 072012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
While driving up to speed at 55 mph the transmission started making a rumbling noise like if driving over rough pavement. When the transmission shifts to it over drive gear it starts rumbling. Radiator fluid is contaminating the automatic transmission.

- Fair Lawn, NJ, USA

problem #74

Sep 072012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,200 miles
Radiator cracked causing coolant fluids to leak into transmission and transmission to slip and not drive.

- Cairo, GA, USA

problem #73

Feb 132012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 78,748 miles
There is a Nissan manufacturer defect of faulty radiators that are causing radiator coolant to leak into and destroy the transmission of the vehicles and ends up killing valves, seals and the torque converter on 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinders, Nissan xterras, and Nissan frontiers. This defect can cause an owners transmission to fail and lose forward propulsion on a highway and can cause catastrophic loss(ES).

- Forest, VA, USA

problem #72

May 242012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The vehicle experienced loss of power while driving at 60mph in the freeway. After a few similar incidents I took the vehicle to the dealer for a recall that described a similar issue, a relay was changed.. the vehicle continue experiencing the jerking until a few weeks ago that it look like transmission fluid leaked in the driveway. I took the vehicle to the nearest shop for a check up. Apparently coolant was leaked into the transmission. We took the vehicle to Nissan we the hoped that they would honor a warranty extension, they asked as to pay for a test to confirm what we already new. We were told that we needed to contact Nissan's 800 number corporate office cause there was a chance that they might want to extend the warranty. I understand that they extended the transmission warranty to 80K due to this common issue. They totally denied the extension cause my vehicle had 107,000 miles. Thanks god that we have not had an accident as a result of this issue. Now we have to incur the expensive cost of replacing the radiator and transmission. This factory defect should be paid by Nissan and we need an investigation into this common issue. Please let's not wait until a fatality occurs for your organization to initiate it.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #71

Aug 242012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,200 miles
Coolant leaking into transmission. Well-known Nissan issue. Vehicle started rumbling intermittently going between 4th and 5th gear around 40 and 60 mph. The rumbling will last between 2 and 5 seconds until the accelerator is depressed hard enough to force the vehicle to downshift which results in a loud banging noise and a jerk. Also noticed what looks like curdled milk all around the radiator cap. I have an appointment with the dealership, Nissan of saco, on 08/28/2012 and am almost certain they will try and get out of covering this under the "lifetime powertrain warranty".

- Scarborough , ME, USA

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