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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,543 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 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

Sep 082008


  • 51,425 miles


On 9/5/2008 I took my Pathfinder to giles Nissan in lafayette, la because I experienced several occasions where the vehicle would accelerate by itself. There were also occasions where the vehicle would not accelerate at all when the gas petal was pushed, essentially the engine would "rev" up but the car wouldn't move. Giles Nissan kept the vehicle for six days and I was told they could not find anything wrong with it. At the time, mileage was at 51,425, which would have still been covered under the 60,000 mile warranty. Nissan was aware of the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission problem at this point, and if it would have been fixed when I first noticed the problem all of this could have been resolved right then. However, it was not and several months later, in April of 2009, the problems continued, and I no longer felt it was safe to drive the vehicle, as it would stop accelerating altogether, sometimes while driving on the interstate. I took the car to leblanc Nissan in baton rouge, where they informed me I would need to replace the transmission & radiator, and by this time I was over the 60,000/5 year warranty. The estimate was approximately $7,000, and we were told by the service manager that Nissan would not be paying for any of the repairs. There was no way I could afford to pay this much money, so I took my Pathfinder to an independent mechanic specializing in transmission work. He suggested that he could rebuild the transmission and flush the radiator although he warned I may still have problems in the future (which was true). The mechanic also advised that I would need to get a complete radiator flush two or three months later to make sure there was no more leakage. Since then, I have had transmission work done two more times, and to this day the transmission continues to sip. Nissan refuses to reimburse any money whatsoever.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #7

Mar 072012


  • 210,030 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact was driving 10 mph when the vehicle abnormally accelerated, despite the contact applying the brakes.the vehicle was taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 210,030 and the current mileage was 210,629.

- Rochester, NH, USA

problem #6

Mar 062012


  • 91,000 miles
Tuesday morning after dropping my children off at school, I had just made a left hand turn through an intersection in heavy traffic. I was traveling approx. 45 mph when bam! car all but stalled and would not accelerate. The car behind me almost hit me, I could barely get the car to steer and had trouble getting enough juice to pull it over safely to the side of the road. After much research, I see that Nissan radiators are defective; they rupture and allow the coolant to spill over into the coolant system in transmission, contaminating both and ruining both radiator and transmission. There are countless stories of people stalling in traffic or completely losing enough acceleration power in a very abrupt manner that someone is going to get very hurt, if not die. What if my kids had been in the car with me" what if we would have been in heavier traffic in different circumstances? the thought of this makes me sick to my stomach. I was very lucky not to have been hurt or hurt someone else after what happened. Nissan and you all need to acknowledge that a real safety risk exists here. A recall must be done! sickens me to think of those who will eventually lose their lives. How can going from a full functioning speed to no speed at all in the most abrupt, nerve-jarring manner possible in heavy traffic and not being able to maneuver your vehicle not be a safety issue" please explain this to me. Oh, and as if it isn't enough that Nissan obviously has no regard for their consumer's safety, they are limiting the warranties in such an unrealistic manner that the consumer is forced to foot $6,000-$8,000 to fix the issue that they clearly knew about and could have prevented from the get-go.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #5

Aug 122011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


While attempting to enter a freeway on ramp the transmission failed causing the vehicle to lose power and stop in traffic. After causing a major traffic jam at the intersection, traffic light, and on ramp we were able to get the vehicle off the road. I had just had out patient surgery and my wife was driving, it was a horrible experience. We find out later that this is a known defect from Nissan and they won't do a recall. What would have happened if we had been a few hundred yards farther down the on ramp and trying to merge into freeway traffic when this failed?

- Silverdale, WA, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Apr 282010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
It all started with the radiator and the only reason I even knew something was wrong was that my gears were switching weird. I took the car into the dealership, they told me that I needed to get a new radiator and transmission B/C my radiator fluid was leaking into my transmission. They quoted me at $6000. I then took my car to get a new radiator and transmission flush, it helped a little. My car finally gave out 2 weeks ago. While driving down a side street, thenall of a sudden the transmission wouldn't switch gears. I tried pressing the gas to go and the transmission would not go. The car was still running, however I couldn't grab any gears to go. I got it towed to a transmission shop, they told me that my radiator fluid is leaking into my transmission which made my transmission lock up. They took my transmission apart to look at parts and apparently everything is rusty together, not to mention the "computer" in the transmission is fried. You would think that Nissan would recognize an issue when they see that same part is on backorder B/C I am waiting on a part. While reading others with the same issue, some have been on the highway and the transmission went out. This is definitely a safety issue seeing as if driving at high speeds you could possibly get rear ended badly. I almost got rearended while only going 45mph.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #2

Mar 082010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at speeds of 65 mph, the speedometer suddenly decreased to speeds of less than 5 mph. The vehicle then decreased in speed without driver intent and began dragging for approximately two minutes. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle off of the road and have it towed to the dealer. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The current and failure mileage was 70,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #1

Nov 252007

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
After a few seconds of being stopped at a traffic light with my foot on the brake pedal I felt and heard the vehicle engine rev up, the car then began to jolt forward even though my foot was still on the brake on the brake pedal.

- Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA

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