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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 112015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


I began to hear a noise and hesitation in gear change. Told tires but continue to hear. Had a oil change at twin city Nissan. Rep advice coolant in transmission would charge $3000 to repair and warranty on radiator expires soon. Radiator and transmission and fluids flushed for $3000 cost to me. Contact 1800 Nissan 1 and told over 368 complaints its manufacturing defect he advice can't. help.

- Port Arthur , TX, USA

problem #27

Aug 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,212 miles
All of my experience with my transmission failure took place on the road while in heavy traffic which was unsafe and scary July 2014 - present. First, the truck developed a "bucking" movement whenever it was driven. The bucking movement is similar to a car that is trying to shift gears like a manual car, but the transition between gears was not smooth. Gradually and unexpectedly, while driving, the car started making revving noises like a race car, while the speed is only 20mph. The speed dropped and would not accelerate regardless of how hard you are pressing on the gas. To decrease the revving noise you cannot drive above 40mph. As always I rely on the dealership to service my car, and at first the diagnostic test did not show the coolant leaking into the transmission. With more and more test by the Nissan mechanic, there was still no indication by the diagnostic test that shows the increase defect of the transmission. 3 weeks later, after handing over the car for a complete day, the dealership strip the car and ran further diagnostic test which indicated that the transmission failure due to leak from the engine coolant liquid mixing with the transmission fluid leading to an automatic transmission damage. The recommendation by the dealership is to replace the transmission, which would cost $5,000. Remaining payment balance for the car is $1700. Total mileage on the car is 100,200.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #26

Mar 012014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle was stop at red light of very busy intersection. When light turned green the vehicle accelerated and then would only coast in neutral while transmission was not engaging. Wife and 3 children were stuck in middle of intersection. Had to turn the vehicle off and then on to get transmission to re-engage and drive. This issue happened a half dozen more times. This owner took vehicle to local Nissan dealer and was charged for computer analysis. This owner was told there was a "known" issue with transmission of this particular vehicle being contaminated from inner cooler. This owner was told that it would cost over $5500 to fix. This owner did intense research on safety and mechanical problem and found thousands of Nissan owners with same issue. This vehicle needs to be recalled for "known" issue.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #25

Oct 172012


  • 114,356 miles


Nissan issued a safety recall in Sept. 2013 covering the accelerator pedal sensor and throttle body for several models not including the Pathfinder. In October 2012 and December 2013, my accelerator pedal stopped working while driving and in some cases stalled on the road. I had to shut off the car and restart it in order to regain acceleration, only to lose it again shortly. The vdc and slip lights came on in these cases even though the roads were dry. The accelerator pedal was pushed to the floor without any acceleration. Both times, I was able to make it home but had to have the car towed to the dealership for the expensive repairs. Due to the recall mentioned above, I am requesting the ntsb review my incident as well as other similar incidents to instruct Nissan to extend this recall notice to include the Pathfinder.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #24

Mar 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
Was on interstate and transmission went out while I was driving with my twin nieces in the was a terrible experience and scary.I don't understand if a company builds something that is faulty how do you not support fixing the problem.regardless of miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Seffner, FL, USA

problem #23

Mar 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 121,819 miles
Suddenly the car no longer accelerated. Nothing was coming or showing me that something was wrong. Stopped at a gas station and turned off the engine and on again then the "service engine soon" light came on. Tried to accelerate but nothing, everything was running smoothly but the car was just not accelerating. Suddenly it started going really slow but 500 feet on the road I had to pull over since the speed went no more than 20mph on a 40mph road. I tried pushing the gas pedal to the limit but nothing. The day before I went to Nissan dealership for a diagnostics which I was charged $105 for. They tried to get me to trade in my car for a new one. They recommended I get the oil pressure switch repair as well as something with the coolant flush and transmission flush. I was going go take it tomorrow but this happened I don't know what to do. The reason I took it to Nissan in the first place was because I was told my model and year were found to be erroneous with transmission.

- Wilmington , NC, USA

problem #22

Jan 022014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,500 miles


Vehicle revved erratically, then jerked then cut off. Took vehicle to dealer who diagnosed the problem as "radiator full of oil and transmission fluid and smells burnt-fluids mixing-need transmission.

- Bushkill, PA, USA

problem #21

Nov 162013


  • 90,000 miles
Nearly got into an accident on the interstate when my car started jerking out of control and then slowed down drastically to less than 30 mph miles away from an exit ramp. My Pathfinder had to be towed to the dealership I purchased it from. Less than 100,000 miles and still under extended warranty. When I called to ask the service department to confirm what needs to be replaced, they said the my transmission has to be replaced from the damage by the coolant. A flush would be a patch fix that may not work, and only last a month best. My radiator has to be replaced- my car is overheating because of the failure. And my engine has to be completely flushed out- if not totally replaced because of the coolant flowing into the engine as well. Over $4000 possibly as high as $8000 according to the dealership. They said they can't even repair it because its so bad my car has to be sent off. Warranty company denied the claim because the issue is caused by faulty part "transmission cooler" which everyone is aware of and not covered under warranty. I paid $20,000 cash for my vehicle a year ago! Nissan lost a class action law suit earlier this year for thousands of dollars in damages, and I am too late to file. I can't believe the government hasn't forced a recall on this. Thousands of people and vehicles are affected and quit honestly its dangerous! I almost got killed on the interstate with my children in the car when everything failed. This happened on multiple years and the government is okay with this? the dealership and warranty company refuse to cover my claim. Someone needs to hold Nissan accountable. This is unacceptable!

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #20

Aug 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,943 miles
I was coming back from the store and was waiting at a red light when my light turn green I had trouble going I press the gas and it was like pulling then it king of jump and the service engine light came on. I had a shop check my car and sure thing it was the cooling/ transmission problem. I have not driven my car since I have no money to pay for the repair, yes I take it out to turn it on and move around my block, but is that fair its my family car we have not gone anywhere else because we do not fit in to our. Smaller cars I did receive the claim form for this problem but I did not had the problem then the claim expired June 7th 2013, right before my problem. Please help us.

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 162013


  • 154,000 miles
My family and I were driving home. We live in the mountains of wnc and as we were heading up and incline the transmission slipped and after much research I believe I am the owner of a Nissan vehicle with the transmission/coolant issue involved in the class action lawsuit in NY. However, because my vehicle has 154,000 miles on it and the issue just occurred I am unable to join the lawsuit. I still want you to be aware that this issue has no deadline on it and Nissan should be held accountable for every defective vehicle still on the road regardless of age and mileage. If the problem is specifically attributable to the defective radiator and Nissan has not fixed it then Nissan sold a defective vehicle, period. Had this defect not been built into the vehicle I am sure it would be operational right now. I also own a 2001 Chevy cavalier with over 200,000 miles and it is still running!!! shame on Nissan!!!!

- Cashiers, NC, USA

problem #18

Jul 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Was exiting a side street onto a high traffic road turning left, crossing oncoming traffic. Vehicle lurched forward then lost all forward acceleration. Leaving me in oncoming traffic lane. A separate vehicle nearly impacted the front driver door of my vehicle, sliding to a stop. Upon vehicle inspection at the local dealer, it was determined the radiator that houses a transmission cooler failed and mixed anti-freeze in with the transmission, causing the vehicle to degrade quickly, causing a spurt of vehicle acceleration due to a large transmission slip. This could have cause a very serious injury or death had the other vehicle made contact with my vehicle.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #17

Apr 022013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,500 miles
The 2005 Nissan Pathfinder was going down the road and it began to hard shift. The revs would go high and then the car would shift very hard. Then while going down the road at about 55mph the car shifted into neutral. The car would not engage any gears and I had to pull of the road. Once the vehicle was stopped it would not engage any gears. I tried to reset from park and still nothing. I turned off the car and then back on, then I placed the car into "D" drive at which time it had a long delay before engaging the gear hard. Then I rolled off slowly and again, it reved up high before going into the next gear. As soon as I got to about 20 mph it shifted into neutral before coasting to a stop. I had to repeat the off/on procedure and keep it under 20 mph before I got to a safe place. The car continue to go down the road between 15-20 mph at high revs in order to get it to a mechanic shop. There were no warning signs, no indicators that the car was going to shift into neutral and the worst thing is that I was with my family in the car when this occured with a high volume of cars on the road which made it a dangerous condition for the car to unexpectedly shift into neutral.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #16

Mar 062013


  • 100,412 miles
Noticed my truck hesitating at about 40mph took in to have checked and was told the transmission and radiator were both failing due to a broken line between the two which caused the fluids from the two parts to mix and cause the failure. Then the good news haha the cost would be $6,000. I then came to read that this is a problem for many and it should have been a recall by the Nissan Corp.

- Lake Mills , WI, USA

problem #15

Nov 262012


  • 101,000 miles
I purchased my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder in March of 2011. Had done great for awhile. Replace a exhaust sensor in August of 2012. Always smelled hot after being driven, like something electrical but could never pinpoint it. Then around November 2012 noticed a delayed reaction in engaging when going into reverse and a slight hesitation coming out of park into drive. Didn't think much about it at time. But has since gotten worse, shutters from time to time driving, and hesitates more often. I called the local Nissan service department today, Jan 24, the manager there told me I should call the Nissan consumer office because the company was aware of the issue. So I did. The first person I started talking to hung up on me as soon as I mentioned my vehicles make and model. I called back got someone else, although she didn't hang up on me, she was no help. She said because my vehicle was over 100000 miles, there was nothing that could be done. So I got in touch with the Toyota dealership where I purchased the vehicle. They are looking into it for me as well. This is wrong the way Nissan is treating people. If they truly wanted good customer service, they would voluntarily recall these affected vehicles and make it right. I will never purchase another Nissan product or recommend them.

- Carthage, NC, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Nov 072011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
While I was driving my vehicle I had to stop abruptly and the brakes did not respond I had to press it extremely hard for them to respond they made a weird sound and also when I changed from parking to drive, it made a strong noise and was extremely difficult to change it.

- Isabela, PR, USA

problem #12

Oct 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The car was being driven on a busy street during morning rush hour, at approximately 40 mph. The car immediately stopped running and went to a crawling speed (around 1-2 mph). Cars behind needed to move quickly to avoid collision, and because there was no shoulder, the car blocked traffic. The car was taken to a Nissan dealership. Their first diagnosis was that it was a failure of the automatic transmission valve body, and they wanted to charge around $2400 for the repair. Three days later, after looking at it, the dealership diagnosed the problem as coolant leaking into the transmission, with a cost of repair of $7400.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The car starts pulling back after is driven 50 miles at a speed of 60mph specially if you start climbing up the hill. Nissan does not want to take responsibility for the damage. Though while the car is driven in the city, there is no problem, unless you go on the highway and go for a long drive. Thank you..

- Forest Hills, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 232012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I was driving with my 15 year old daughter from my home in sanford, fl to clermont, fl to visit my mom at the nursing home. While I was on the expressway 408 the vehicle began to stall and bog down causing the vehicles behind me to slowed down abruptly almost causing a chain reaction accident. I was terrified. I slowly made my way off the expressway onto state road 50 then the vehicle would not go at all. I called my husband and he told me to put my hazard lights on turn the vehicle off and then try again. This worked but I was only able to go 20 mph, however the speed limit was 50 mph. At one point I was on a hill and the vehicle began rolling backwards almost crashing into the vehicle behind me. I was able to make it to the nursing home where I parked the vehicle then my husband came and towed it back home where it now sits, we have to hold Nissan responsible for their flaws. It's not fair that my life, my child's life and the life of other drivers were in danger because of Nissan's irresponsibility. I want the transmission on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder replaced with a new transmission.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #9

Oct 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I noticed a consistent vibration when the automatic transmission shifted around 40 mph. An initial flush of the fluid temporarily corrected the problem, but it reappeared several months later and progressively worsened. The transmission is now erratic at almost every shifting juncture and is pronounced at high speeds. An inspection at a Nissan service center confirmed that the problem is due to radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. This is a well documented Nissan design flaw that Nissan will not take responsibility for. The vehicle is to the point where it is unsafe to drive, especially at highway speeds.

- Springboro, OH, USA

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