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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Feb 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,100 miles


On 2/1/12, I had one incident when my car was stopped and when I accelerated and it gave me a push/pull slow to move. On 2/2/12 the same thing occurred multiple times. My check engine light eventually came on and then my car eventually would not accelerate after being stopped. I towed it to midas, who said they were unable to fix it. I brought it to lee miles transmission and they told me the radiator fluid mixed with antifreeze fluid causing corrosion and contamination within the transmission. I picked it up on 2/6/12 and it was fine driving home. While on my work on 2/7/12, the same problem occurred in which I was not able to accelerate. I had it towed back to lee miles and it's possibly the torque converter that was replaced with the transmission.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #49

Nov 142011


  • 85,000 miles
Know issues by Nissan not being addressed... radiator/oil leak - warranty extended but does not cover our vehicle. Timing chain failure in Nissan vehichles - no warrant extension covered. More info available upon request. Letter sent to Nissan on 1/15/2012 detailing all of the issues.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #48

Dec 282011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The radiator failed causing coolant to leak into the automatic transmission. Bother were ruined and had to be replaced. The repairs cost $5000+ this issue is well documented on top shelf internet websites including and others. Many folks are under power when the engine stalls, at any speed.. Nissan is not offering recall. A class action lawsuit is underway. This is a dangerous design defect (cooling the transmission via the radiator) and people may be injured or worse. Maybe it has already happened to some?

- Watkinsville, GA, USA

problem #47

Sep 022011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


My car had 1/4 fuel, I filled the tank to full, the gas gauge do not set the car to full tank, I read the book and made the instructions but the gauge do not change, when I run the car for 2 hrs. And I turn off, it began to change to full tank. The other issue was when I had a 1/2 tank of gasoline...I stop for 5 minutes and I leave the car on, when I returned saw the gas gauge in empty... actually I have the check engine light on for some days and off for the others days.

- Boqueron, PR, USA

problem #46

Dec 162011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 72,035 miles
Noticed that fuel and oil pressure gauges would not register fuel or oil levels correctly, the miles till empty will not work. We have no idea when we are going to run out of fuel, started getting worse, than notice the check engine light came on, had vehicle diagnose, turned out that both the fuel and oil pressure sending units needed to be replaced, there are numerous Pathfinders with the same problem but there are no recalls on these issues. This repair is very costly and is dangerous to be driving without the fuel and oil sending units. Why are there no recalls? please help!

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #45

May 122009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Car make a noisy when speed and smell very bad, after the noisy started increase more and more. I know other people they got the same an exactly problem.

- Montgomery Village, MD, USA

problem #44

Nov 212011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


2005 Pathfinder wouldn't go in gear intermittently and I had to maneuver out of traffic to the side road and then was unable to backup no reverse! I turned the car off and back on and I was then able to to drive home and park the vehicle. This happened again the next day when taking it to our mechanic to have the vehicle diagnosed. The mechanic had issue of this while test driving. Received a call from the mechanic and was told to take it to a Nissan dealer for repair. There have been numerous complaints to Nissan about a defective radiator issue and over time leaks into the transmission. Nissan has been aware of this issue and has refused to make this right for their consumers. We took the vehicle to the Nissan dealer and was told they would contact Nissan to see if they would help with repair. Nissan refused to assist or repair the issue that started with a known defective part. I am assuming by the response received from Nissan that they are ok with a consumer that can't afford to repair their vehicle with an issue that is from a known defective part have to take their chances in driving to and from work safely until they can make enough money to have the repair done. Thank you Nissan.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #43

Nov 232011


  • 93,105 miles
Radiator core is cracked, which is causing the radiator to leak. It is undetermined at this time if any antifreeze has leaked into the transmission; however, over the past several months, I have on a few occasions experienced the automatic transmission operating erratically (e.g., down shifting or not shifting into passing gear when under full power). The vehicle is scheduled to have its radiator replaced on 11/30/2011, and at that time, I will have the transmission fluid analyzed to determine if any antifreeze has entered the transmission. I pray it has not!

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #42

Oct 072011


  • miles
Radiator leaked into transmission causing the vehicle to stop. Major problrm on 2005 Pathfinders and Nissan won't respond to the problem.

- Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #41

Nov 302010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
We had to replace the ipdm in November 2010, the truck stopped running in middle of the road, we had 118,000 miles on vehicle. In July 2011, we were on vacation in Indiana and on our way to see family in Ohio. We were on the interstate and the vehicle would not excellerate over 40 - 45 mph., we stopped at an autozone to test the vehicle to see what the problem was and it cleared it. Since that time, the engine light would periodically come on. On September 15, 2011, the truck would not start. The truck is still at the mechanic to be repaired, we were advised the problem is the radiator leaking into the transmission causing transmission to fail. Cost is $6,000 to repair and truck has 127,000 miles on it. This is a consistant complaint of owners of this vehicle, however, Nissan does not want to do anything to correct the problem. This is my first and last Nissan.

- Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #40

May 012010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


Radiator leaks fluid into transmission, Nissan knows this is a flaw and they will only flush your transmission, just to put it off until you are out of warranty. I started taking my Nissan in at 52,000miles for this problem and they kept telling me that they are unfamiliar with the problems I was experiencing and they couldn't find anything wrong with the truck. Now I'm out of warranty and my transmission needs replaced. Nissan also has a problem with they fuel gage, sometimes it shows gas levels, and sometimes it doesn't. I have ran out of gas 3 times now, on the highway! again, Nissan knows this is a problem, they even sent an "extended warranty" to cover this problem specifically. But, only if you are under a certain mileage. And they didn't send me the notice until I was under the mileage limit by 300 miles! please help!!

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #39

Dec 012009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
First time- transmission failed- new one installed under extended warranty- has gone bad again last week- they tell me the coolant is leaking into the transmission and has ruined it, the gas tank needs replacing, new radiator, new catalytic converter, new U-joints for the second time. My extended warranty has expired- they are telling me that I need $8000 worth of repairs to fix the problems. That is more than the vehicle is worth with 155,000 miles on it!!! please help.

- Only, TN, USA

problem #38

Jul 172011


  • 58,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the engine began to rev, but the vehicle would not accelerate. The contact stopped the vehicle on the shoulder of the road. After placing the vehicle in park and switching the gear back into drive the failure did not continue. The contact also stated that the vehicle would idle and lose power. The failure would occur intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostics, where the technicians stated that there was a leak in the transfer case. The vehicle was not repaired at the dealer and was instead taken to a transmission technician. The technician stated that the radiator was cracked and leaked water into the transmission, causing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 58,500. Updated 2/22/12

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #37

Jul 052011


  • 89,000 miles
Transmission/radiator coolant cross contamination causing the Pathfinder to stop in the middle of the highway. My 2 year old son was in the child seat in the back seat of the vehicle.

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #36

Jun 122011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator failed. The vehicle was repaired by a local mechanic, but the failure recurred. The dealer and manufacturer were not contacted. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Saginaw, AL, USA

problem #35

Feb 172011


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the radiator cracked causing fluid to leak into the transmission. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic who replace the transmission and radiator. After the repairs, the contact noticed that the engine began to malfunction. The contact did not take the vehicle back to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 107,000.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #34

Jan 012011


  • 37,000 miles
I received, in the mail, a warranty notification from Nissan North America headquarters, Consumer Affairs department, franklin, tn. Basically, it reads: Nissan has extended your vehicle's new vehicle limited warranty as it applies to the radiator assembly to 96 months/80,000 miles (whichever comes first)...Nissan North America wbi/10-029. When my husband, scott, contacted our local Nissan dealerships service department, he was informed that the component would have to fail before they could do anything about it. According to other NHTSA complaints from Nissan Pathfinder owners who have had the component fail, it sometimes causes transmission failure and loss of vehicle control (lack of engine power throughput to provide mobility). If the component were to fail it seems that it would create a safety issue under some conditions (on highways where it is not convenient to pull over). Some Pathfinder owners have claimed that it can cost thousands of dollars to replace the transmission, and that Nissan sometimes does not cover repairs beyond the radiator, despite that problem can leak coolant into the transmission, sometimes causing serious damage to, or failure of the transmission. Nissan should know about this problem and offer owners of possibly effected vehicles a free test to determine if their vehicle does, indeed have a defective radiator assembly. If a test is not available, then the radiator assemblies on these vehicles should be repaired of replaces as necessary to ensure that they will not fail under normal conditions and mileage. Furthermore, if a radiator assembler were to cause a transmission to need repair or replacement, Nissan should cover associated transmission correction costs. Because of this problem, we (my husband and I) no longer driver our Pathfinder on long trips, and have lost faith in our vehicle and Nissan.

- Fremont, MI, USA

problem #33

Feb 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Consumer writes in regards to a ECM relay, sensor and fuel standing unit. Consumer states there should not be a charge for replacement of a defective or malfunctioning unit

- Lawrenceburg, TN, USA

problem #32

Jan 292011


  • 49,977 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and have been doing all the required maintenance on it in a very timely manner. It is a very well maintained SUV and had only 49,997 miles on it. I got a safety recall notice on it for the ECM relay issued and took it to the dealer. I was also experiencing some whining noises. The service dealer advisor at the dealership told me that my timing chains had a problem and needed to be replaced. He said this was a serious issue and could lead to engine damage and is a potential road hazard. He also said it needed to be fixed immediately, as this was a known problem, that had been experienced by a number of other customers and that Nissan motor co. Had issued a service bulletin ntb09-128 regarding this problem. I am really surprised that Nissan did not think it was necessary to communicate this piece of important information to all its customers. My son who is 21 years old drives this SUV on ski trips and I am really alarmed that this defect which was known to Nissan could have lead to some serious road hazards. Nissan has acted in a very callous manner because they did not inform their customers about the possibility of such a serious issue which can lead to road hazards. They did not issue a safety recall to fix the issue. I request you to kindly investigate this issue and ensure that Nissan communicates this serious flaw to all owners of 2006 Nissan Pathfinders and any other model which has the same issue. Updated 03/07/11

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #31

Feb 092011


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator fluid leaked onto the transmission which caused the vehicle to vibrate when traveling between 40-45 mph. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the radiator was cracked. The vehicle was being repaired. The current and failure mileages were 109,000.

- Alberquegue , NM, USA

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