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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Feb 022011


  • 66,000 miles


I received a letter from Nissan informing me that the warranty on the radiator assembly of my 2005 Pathfinder is being extended because ┐a crack in the radiator assembly might occur at higher mileages leading to internal leakage of engine coolant┐. after doing some research it was evident that because the failure is internal the only way to detect it is by a malfunctioning transmission due to the intermingling of fluids. I contacted Nissan and asked them if the radiator failure caused the transmission to malfunction would the extended warranty cover repair or replacement of the transmission. They stated that if the dealer's work order stated that the transmission (or any other part) was damaged due to the radiator failure it would be covered. I then asked why they don┐T recall the radiator so that they only have to replace the radiator and not the transmission in addition to the radiator. Nissan stated that the government did not deem this a safety issue therefore they were not required to issue a recall. Wouldn't it make good business and public relations sense for Nissan to stand up and do the right thing and issue a voluntary recall" so my question to the government is; why isn't an unexpected transmission failure of a moving vehicle a safety issue? any product defect that causes the sudden loss of power to a moving vehicle is a safety hazard. There are numerous other product recalls due to sudden loss of power, what is different about this one"

- Decatur, AL, USA

problem #29

Jan 012011

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Consumer states several problems with the vehicle. She states that it is hard to start, paint is peeling, overdrive light comes on when braking to make a turn and a loud noise was coming from the motor.

- Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 142011


  • 82,000 miles
Timing chain and fuel sending unit on 2005 Pathfinder is defective. While the manufacturer recognizes this as an ongoing problem, they are only willing to cover those vehicles up to 72,000 miles. A claim was filed and rejected on both problems as my vehicle has 82,000 miles.

- Sinking Spring, PA, USA

problem #27

Nov 162010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,600 miles


My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder started stalling last week. I would be driving on the highway and it would just go dead making it near impossible to turn the steering wheel. I was towed to the Nissan dealership whom informed me it was an ipdm issue which was in the process of a recall.I informed them I was strapped for money being it was a 700 dollar job. They said chances were it would be covered. It was not covered! I was informed by their consumer affair people if there was infact a recall I may be notified for reimbursement. I have found on numerous sites that it is recalled but because I did not receive a letter it is not their problem. This is not the first issue I've had with Nissan. A fuel sensor issue was found and they covered nothing telling me it was not a safety issue. I was out of warranty so tough luck. Another $377 bucks. Please investigate Nissan practices. I will never trust the Nissan name again.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #26

Nov 132010


  • 117,720 miles
Vehicle shuts off while driving and has faulty fuel gage and sending unit

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #25

Sep 242010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Bought a Nissan Pathfinder SE 2005... it has over 70,000 miles on it now. I was driving it down the highway, with my husband and 12 month old baby girl, surrounded in wall to wall rush hour traffic and road construction. The Nissan started making a grinding noise then started slipping 4th gear. Suddenly without any notice 4th gear was completely out. I had to stop the car, put it in 3rd gear manually and drive before getting rear ended. Miraculously it drove in 3rd gear so we took it to the Nissan dealership who explained to us that the problem with the radiator. The radiator was causing coolant to leak into the transmission, mixing with the transmission oil and destroying our transmission. He knew this problem well since he's fixed them many times. We checked on the internet and found countless more individual such as ourselves experiencing the same problem. The mechanic also explained the new Pathfinders are not using these faulty radiators, so Nissan knows there is a problem. To fix the transmission using a used one will be $4,000. That's including the used transmission, labor, shipping costs, tax, and fluids. I understand that things break and wear out, but if a company says that you should buy there vehicle because they will stand behind it, and that they believe that they have a quality product that you can count on, then they should do as they say and stand behind there Nissan. We are one car short with not much money to pay for such a expensive repair. A recall is the right thing to do, I don't think someone has to die before someone somewhere stands up to make something happens. Our family have already suffered a loss due to a SUV malfunction. At least Toyota admits their faults and takes care of the problems. Nissan have lost all credibility with our side of the family and friends.

- Flatwoods, KY, USA

problem #24

Oct 282010


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled; there was no power steering or power brakes. The contact was able to drive home and to avoid a crash. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the ignition power distribution module needed to be replaced. The contact referenced recall 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling) and was told that the recall did not take effect until December 2010. The failure mileage was approximately 77,000.

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

problem #23

Aug 212009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 68,700 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. In August of 2009, when the vehicle was 4 years old, it started stalling randomly every 15-30 miles. Eventually, after several trips to the dealership, it was determined that the ipdm module was defective, and was replaced. This took care of the problem. I talked to the dealership and Nissan, and was told this only affected my vehicle. However, a recall was just issued for this problem. This is an extremely dangerous problem. The first time it happened to us, I was driving back home with my family from a camping trip in big bear, California. Our vehicle was fully loaded down with passengers and camping gear on a large downhill grade when it stalled. Since the power brakes went out, it took a long time to get the vehicle to stop by holding the brakes and the emergency brake, and finally coming to a portion of the road that was no longer downhill. If this happens in the wrong place, this failure could cause a crash, serious injury, or death. Also, when the problem occurs when you are driving, the vehicle cannot be restarted while rolling by placing the vehicle in neutral and turning the key for the starter. The key must be fully turned to the off position for a few seconds, and then back on. Once the key is off, the steering wheel locks, so you probably won't be able to restart it when rolling. Please make sure Nissan corrects all of the vehicles that are affected!!!!!!!

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 062009

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the transmission fluid and coolant mixed together which cause the transmission to malfunction and jump gears while driving 25 mph. At times the vehicle would shut off without warning. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer and noticed the transmission fluid and coolant mixing together. They stated the transmission and the engine needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 95,000. Updated 11/15/10

- Frankford, IL, USA

problem #21

Sep 212010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,100 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and on Tuesday on my way to work the truck stop on me in the middle of freeway. According to Nissan there are no recalls on my vehicle but I received a letter for recall from them that I cant find. A gentleman help me get it to the side of the free way since there was a lot of traffic. And it die again. All the lights on the dashboard were blinking like crazy. The truck went back on and did it again on my way home barely got home and did not want to turn on again. Had to take it to the Agency and they told me it was the ibpm control module. Which controls everything. So I been calling Nissan and they don't have any recalls according to them, but what about if it would of caused an accident. I felt my life was in danger.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #20

Apr 172010


  • 122,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated there was an abnormal vibration in the vehicle as if he was driving over a severely bumpy road surface. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the valve body was the cause of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the manufacturer was contacted and stated that the problem was common but would not offer any assistance. The failure progressed to the point where there was a stutter in the engine and the vehicle would stall without warning. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 122,000 and the current mileage was approximately 126,000.

- Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #19

Sep 122010


  • 65,108 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and I have radiator and transmission failure! defective radiator causes engine coolant to leak into transmission which could fail at any time. Driving at highway speed could and will cause dangerous situations. I must not be alone in this problem either, there are hundreds of complaints on this sight regarding this very issue! Nissan needs to take responsibility for their design/manufacturing flaw. Many consumers who are not aware of this are at danger and other people on the road as well. Nissan needs to recall this immediately!!! why does someone have to be killed or injured seriously before NHTSA or Nissan gets involved. I guess money is the root of all evil! and Nissan is more concerned about their profits than someone's life! we as consumers need to do something about this! this has nothing to do with the wear and tear on our part, but Nissan design department!

- Springfield, TN, USA

problem #18

Jul 072010

(reported on)


  • miles
Letter from congressman dent on behalf of constituent re problems with 2005 Nissan Pathfinder the consumer stated radiator fluid leaked into the transmission fluid and caused both to fail. Also, about a year ago, the catalytic converter failed.

- Center Valley, PA, USA

problem #17

Dec 152009


  • 65,000 miles
Several months ago, the Pathfinder started to pulsate while gaining performed trans service, fixed problem for a few days. Pathfinder started pulsating again, even worse. Dealer advised torque converter was bad..second opinion mechanic advised radiator leaked into trans, and trans fluid leaked into coolant. Coolant destroyed transmission. Learned this has been a ongoing problem with Pathfinders for years, there is a weld inside the radiator that fails and the two liquids transfers. Why would the company design a radiator that has two liquids inside that can contaminate each other.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #16

Jun 012009


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at speeds of 55 mph, the contact noticed the fuel level indicator reading fuel levels at empty after she had filled the fuel tank moments prior to the failure. In addition, the check engine warning light remained illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure mileage was 65,000 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- Belleair, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 152010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I was experiencing a shutter in my transmission while driving. This is a safety hazard because the transmission could bind while riding. This had been going on nearly 9 months until it broke while at the transmission shop and we had to get it towed because we couldn't afford to buy a transmission at the time. We were told that the radiator was defective and coolant leaked into the transmission which ruined the transmission.

- Mount Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #14

Mar 152010


  • 70,000 miles
I bought my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder new from the dealer. At about 70,000 miles I started having transmission problems and was told that Nissan had a severe problem with the radiator leaking into the transmission and ruining it. I had to replace the transmission and the radiator at a cost of about $3,000. I believe that Nissan should have had a recall since this problem is so widely documented. I have also had to have the power module, the thermostat, the sunvisor, and the hydraulic lifts for the back hatch all replaced with the car still under 80,000 miles. Needless to say, I won't be looking for a Nissan product when I shop for my next car.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #13

Mar 042010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 67K miles developed a "shudder" at 40 mph and 60 mph, approximately when the car was shifting from 3rd into 4th gear and from 4th into 5th gear. Took it to the dealer and was told that the transmission cooler (part of the radiator system) had leaked coolant into the transmission, ruining the transmission, and that both would need to be replaced, at a cost of approximately $5700. The vehicle is one month short of five years old, but is 7K miles past the warranty expiration and has been problem-free up to this point. After doing some research online, I found hundreds of similar complaints, along with reports that Nissan was refusing to pay for repairs to the transmission because the root problem was with the radiator. This is a well-documented problem online; why is Nissan refusing to do a recall? you'd think they'd want to avoid the pr disaster Toyota is currently enduring...

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #12

Feb 102010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder shudders at speeds between 40-60 mph. Local dealer says tranny and radiator need to be replaced at a cost of 5000-$7000. Bought the SUV with 73000, it now has 79000. Many others have complained of this problem, Nissan needs to take action on their faulty engineering.

- Willmar, MN, USA

problem #11

Feb 052010


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the radiator is faulty and it suddenly failed. The radiator coolant goes back through the transmission and mixes the fluids together. The dealer was called, and they stated the vehicle is out of warranty and they would not replace the radiator. The manufacturer was called and they told the contact to file a claim. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

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