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 1 of 9)

problem #170

Apr 062015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


I started having issues with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder at approximately 100,000 miles. I first noticed the problem with the heater. When I was parked the truck would not heat up only cold air with come out. Next problem was when I would step on the gas pedal the truck would jerk alot and it would vibrate when I would speed up. It was very scary, it actually felt like it was going to cause me to get into an accident, that's how terrible it felt. I took it to the Nissan dealer where I bought the truck for them to check it and they immediately knew that the problem was coming from the transmission. The coolant mixed into the radiator causing for that to go bad too. I called the Nissan headquarters after finding out that this issue was experienced by so many other owners of 2005 Nissan Pathfinders. This job cost me over $4000.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #169

Mar 142015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 158,874 miles
While driving down to the title department the day after I purchased my newest vehicle I've ever owned I was hit with the sad reality of an untrue man selling me his problem my transmission has antifreeze in the fluid it will drive fine until it heats up and the fluid gets to the transmission it is not safe this should be a recall they no it's a problem and also my seatbelt light for passenger seat even when someone sit in that seat the sensor does not work.

- Rockwell , NC, USA

problem #168

Jan 232015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
I took my Pathfinder into a local shop because I started hearing noise coming from the transmission at around 45 mph. I was informed antifreeze got into my transmission fluid due to a radiator failure. The shop replaced the radiator and flushed the tranny. Over a $600 bill. The shop hoped it would fix the problem without rebuilding or replacing the transmission. No luck!! now I am looking at another $4000 plus on something that should never have happened. I was told by many shops including the local dealer that this is a known problem. If proactive by the manufacture could have been fixed with replacement of the radiator. Instead, Nissan decided to extend the warranty. Never informing customers to have inspected for premature failure of the radiator or tranny.

- Estill Springs, TN, USA

problem #167

Oct 132014


  • 130,000 miles


The radiator leaked into the transmission causing a transmission failure.

- Parachute, CO, USA

problem #166

Dec 042012


  • 90,000 miles
Radiator coolant getting into transmission causing the short circuit, transmission computer is inside the transmission which destroys the transmission causing replacement, radiator replacement, thermostat and computer sensors replacement. Cost for replacement in this Pathfinder approx. $5,500 - $6,000 and the remaining loan on the Pathfinder is almost the same amount! according to the local dealership this is a major default of Nissan and a major problem with more complaints than they themselves can count. This Pathfinder belongs to an 83 year old man who uses this transportation to travel with his 80 year old wife to and from 90% medical use, now he can not afford to have the repairs and to no fault of his and due to Nissan's default and will not agree to fix the problem, the Pathfinder can no longer be used and the loan payments are still coming in.

- Muscle Shoals, AL, USA

problem #165

Aug 152014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,280 miles
The vehicle lagged shifting and shifted abruptly. Also the vehicle vibrated. When I took it to an auto shop (not a Nissan shop) they indicated the radiator had a crack in it and fluid was leaking into the transmission I took it to a Nissan shop and they said they are having problems with the 2005 Pathfinder and they would fix the problem but it would cost me $3000 and there would be no warranty on the fix. Seems unfair if, as they admitted at my local Nissan shop, this was a manufacture defect.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #164

Aug 142014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Check engine light came on, and after bringing vehicle to Nissan dealership, they informed me that due to an internal radiator crack, that engine coolant had leaked into the transmission cooling coils and as a result transmission failure was imminent and that both the radiator and transmission would need to be replaced. Then they indicate that they had extended the original vehicle warranty due to the volume of such failures, and that they would make the necessary repairs for a meager $3,000 "copay". I laughed because I thought he was merely making a joke, but then found out that the joke was on the Nissan customers. Apparently as a result of a class action lawsuit settlement, Nissan had agreed to the warranty extension. What a slap in the face, to say that in lieu of recalling the defective radiator, and making a $500 repair, they decided to roll the dice with their reputation and their customer's wallet on a potential $3,500 to $4,000 repair. What a moron business decision. The second joke came, when I inquired about the warranty on the repair, and they informed me that it was only 12 months or 12,000 miles. What a vote of confidence in their $3,000 repair (copay ??). so for a few bucks more, I can have an independent shop do the repair, and get a better warranty. Insult # 3 came when they offered up, that alternatively, they would discuss buyer assistance on a new Nissan vehicle. They probably heard me laughing in Japan.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #163

Aug 122014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,675 miles
My radiator cracked internally and leaked into my transmission, which destroyed the parts and caused significant damage.

- Spanish Fork, UT, USA

problem #162

Aug 022014


  • 55,630 miles
Engine coolant leaked into transmission causing irreparable damage; requires both the radiator and transmission be replaced. This problem was noticed while driving. The car shudders and there is a heavy vibration while accelerating/shifting. This is a concern as the transmission failure may result in unsafe operation of this vehicle.

- Trappe, PA, USA

problem #161

May 292014


  • 83,601 miles
Had a problem with the radiator leaking a couple of years ago. My mechanic told me to put in some fluid that seals up the leak. Worked well for a while. Then this may the transmission started making noises and vibrations. Took it to my mechanic and he tells me that the radiator has leaked into the transmission. About $1,000 to fix it. I say go ahead as what choice do I have. They replace the radiator and flush the transmission about 4 times. About a month later the transmission starts shifting into 4WD by itself and the car won't go anywhere while giving it gas. Turn it off then on and that fixes it. I take it to Nissan because my mechanic shop was closed. I explain my previous repairs and my problem. They tell me about the extended warranty. Ask me if I have a factory or after market radiator installed. I don't know. So I wait until Monday to talk to my original mechanic and they say it was an aftermarket. Nissan says this is a problem and after talking to the dealership and Nissan Consumer Affairs they tell me they can't honor the warranty. I ask them to maybe take a statement from my mechanic that he took out the original factory radiator and replaced it, but they say they need the original which was taken to the scrap yard. Nissan had to replace the accelerator pedal and now I think I will have to replace the transmission. Lesson learned that Nissan does not make good cars. And won't back them up either.

- Bolton, CT, USA

problem #160

May 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 114,515 miles


While driving uphill on the freeway, the transmission in our Nissan began to slip through gears. I had to get towed off the freeway. I took the vehicle to our mechanic and learned the radiator trans cooler was leaking radiator fluid into the automatic transmission system causing cross contamination and failure. Our mechanic flushed the trans system and replaced the radiator. The vehicle transmission operated okay for approx. 3 weeks then began to slip again. Now it will not shift out of first gear. I started checking into this an learned Nissan was facing a class action law suit in 2012 for radiator/trans oil cross contamination issues. There was a deadline on Nissan's settlement in early 2013 where they extended the warranty on the radiator to 100K and would cover subsequent repairs to the trans. My mileage exceeds 100K and I knew noting about the lawsuit back in 2012 and 2013 and did not have a trans problem then. Nissan will do nothing to help. Is there anything I can do besides fork out all this money to have the trans rebuilt.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #159

Jun 202014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 14,600 miles
My SUV began stuttering when attempting to change gears. I looked on line and found the problem that so many have been having, coolant leaking into transmission contaminating it. Nissan suggested an initial transmission flush, but recommends a $5,500 transmission replacement in addition to a $620 radiator. I cannot afford these repairs, and I am afraid to continue driving my car.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #158

Aug 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I was driving my truck on the expressway and I felt vibration when it shift from first to second gear as I increased the speed the vibration got worse and I felt something like it was trying to pick up speed but it could not and finally it caught the gear and was able to pick up speed but at the same time my check engine light came on. So I was able to drive it home and when I got there I called bill kay Nissan to take it I for service. When I took it in they checked it out and I was informed my transmission valve body had become contaminated and it had to be replaced and it would cost me $2098 to replace it and if I didn't get it replaced it was possible for the transmission fluid and radiator fluid could mix and cause the transmission to go bad. Moving forward to June 9th 2014, on approximately May 3rd I noticed I began to feel some vibration again and it felt the same way it felt in August of 2013 and on June 8th the check engine light came on once again so I took it back to bill kay Nissan and was told the transmission and radiator fluid had mixed and I would have to have the transmission and radiator replaced and Nissan had an extended warranty offer but it had a $2500 deductible and I would be responsible for that portion. I've already spent $2100 to have the valve box replaced because of some contamination and now I'm being told I have to spend more money on the same thing. This is not right.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #157

Jun 052014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,500 miles
While driving away from a traffic light the SUV hesitates out of first gear and a loud pop as it drags into second gear. After taking the vehicle to a local DC area dealer I was informed that the transmission coolant line had cracked and coolant had leaked into the transmission destroying it. I was then informed that repairs would be $7600 and that this was not a recall item. In researching this it appears that others in the country have had this issue and Nissan hadn't issued a recall but settled a class action suit assisting others with the repair costs after an initial $2500 to $3000 cost to the customer. This appears to have been an issue with this vehicle for some time and I'd like to know why no recall was ever issued for those not having problems already"?"

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #156

Feb 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I was at a stop light in Washington D.C, when the light turned green the vehicle refused to move. Some kind people helped to push the vehicle and it was later towed to my home. I later serviced the transmission fluid and discovered that the radiator had failed and leaked into transmission. After changing the radiator the transmission remained inoperable. I have not been able to drive the car since. I am still making payment on the car even though I cannot drive it.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #155

May 172013


  • 62,000 miles
Car would just die while driving. The gauge would read empty even with a half tank or more of gas, I also called Nissan dealership to check on recall of the fuel sending unit, the dealership told me there was no recall. So I started doing the work myself, got halfway done and asked a buddy for help and he informed me that there was in fact a recall on that part. So I went to the dealership and then they all of a sudden had a recall and did the work for free. Since then (before) 100,000 miles, my radiator fluid filled my transmission and ruined it, and my transmission fluid filled my radiator and ruined it too. So out of pocket for transmission rebuild and rerouting of the coolant line ($3000). Now I just drive because I have too, anytime I stop I have to kill it to keep it from overheating. But I have no other vehicle so nothing I can do. Nissan continues to just not care at all. I will never have another Nissan. You could give me a Nissan for free and I wouldn't touch it. Straight garbage company.

- Pottsboro, TX, USA

problem #154

Apr 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Pathfinder transmission failure due to coolant leaking into transmission. I had to pay a deductible for something that Nissan was aware of for years. I also did not receive a recall letter stating a deductible would be required. My letter stated extended warranty if the above happened 96 months or 80, 000 miles. I have 72,000 miles. Nissan would not pay in full because of the 96 months had expired. Problem is that the time starts from the date when the dealer first purchased for dealership. This was not stated in the letter. Problem with letters received is that none of them are dated and I did not receive the extended warranty letter until 2012. By the time the problem was identified and customers notified, I had less than an additional 8 years. If the first notice went out in 2007, customers should have 8 years from the notification date or 80,000 miles. Nissan put me and my family at risk with car stalling in heavy traffic. This really should have been a recall and not a warranty extension. Also, I never received the notification letter for the deductible. My letter doesn't mention a deductible.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #153

Mar 192014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 8,600 miles
Radiator failed and leaked antifreeze into the transmission causing it to fail.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #152

Dec 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles
Driving 35 mph, approaching stop sign. Service engine light went on. Stopped at stop sign. No apparent issues until I pulled out onto hwy and the car would barely move. It was as if it was taking off in second or third gear (it is an automatic transmission). Since the car would not gain speed, I pulled over as I could not gain speed to avoid the oncoming traffic in the lane. Could not drive vehicle over 20 mph and revving at almost 3000 RPM, just barely moving. This happened again after having transmission rebuilt on 1/28/14 at a stop and car would barely move, but rpms were near 3000. Took back to repair shop. This happened a third time after it had appeared to be fixed on 3/14/14. Luckily, all times I have not been in serious traffic and was able to pull off the road without injury. Have been told that there is now evidence of radiator leaking into the transmission. The recall notice for this does not extend to the mileage I have on this vehicle since it is now at 164,000, and the recall only covers 100,000 miles or 10 years. I have only had this car since 2009, but it does not qualify for the recall. Dangerous vehicle. It appears to be running just fine, and then it starts dragging and cannot gain speed. Have had three close calls.

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #151

May 132013


  • 96,123 miles
I purchased the vehicle from carmax in 2012 w/ 76K miles on it. No warning about possible radiator issue. In may of 2013, radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and resulted in transmission failure at 96K miles.(thankfully, I was not merging onto a highway). Paid $3K co-pay to have transmission and radiator replaced. February 4, 2014, transmission hose blew while driving on the highway. Was assured that it was not related to the previous repairs. Paid $262 to have it fixed. March 9, 2014, was driving on highway, rpms spiked, acceleration was sluggish, made it to Nissan dealership - transmission failure (less than 1 year later) - 105K miles. I was very fortunate that these transmission failures did not occur while attempting to merge onto a busy highway.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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