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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,254 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 9)

problem #167

Oct 142016

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


I was stranded in a parking lot because my car would not start. After having it towed to the dealership, I find out it is the "intermix" between the radiator and the transmission. I never received any information about this from Nissan, but now understand it was a known and frequent failure - by design. Essentially, after 90,000 mile, the car is worthless because of this issue. After paying $5,000 for the repair, I drove off the lot only to have my fuel pump fail. Literally, I drove off the lot and the engine began misfiring. Unbelievable.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #166

Jun 102010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Fuel gauge not working.... you never know how much gas is in the tank... my family was stuck thinking that there was gas in the tank while going 55 mph.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #165

Dec 112014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
Ran out of gas B/C fuel gauge keeps showing empty even when it is full.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #164

Nov 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


I'm one of many victims that have endured faulty fuel sending units and inaccurate gas gauges that cause me to run out of gas while driving down the road. With such a widespread problem, it is a pure scam that no recall has been issued. Nissan simply extends the warranty to 72,000 miles, which does nothing to help the thousands of victims with more mileage. Just as they did with the radiator defect that contaminated the transmission, Nissan is getting away with offering help up only to the point when the problem begins to appear. This makes them appear they are doing something, but they are doing nothing for the vast majority of victims. How can you let them get away with this approach? it leaves victims without help, and leaves obviously defective cars on the road. It's dangerous to run out of gas on the side of the road, especially when you live in cold climates and have small children. Help.

- Booen, NC, USA

problem #163

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

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problem #162

Dec 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
The fuel gauge sensor has gone up in my truck. It happened in December 2012. I cannot tell whether I have gas in the truck or not. I have been unable to get this problem fixed as I cannot afford the repair. I have noticed that other 2005 Pathfinder owners have had the same issue.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #161

Nov 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


The fuel gauge is saying "empty tank" even though I pumped $50 worth of gas.

- Clarksburg, MD, USA

problem #160

Feb 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
This car has had one issue after another. My fuel sensor went out, had a recall on the relay (was stalling as I was driving), had my transmission and radiator mix fluid and cause both to fail and my catalytic converters are defective. I need the catalytic to be changed so I can pass a smog check... it has been such a pain, expense and concern for safety. When is Nissan going to realize that they made faulty vehicles" do people have to have horrific accidents before they do anything about it " I paid good money, hard earned money for this vehicle, brand new. The costs to repair are ridiculous. My husband has a car older than me, more wear and tear and has never had an issue. The catalytic issue needs to be fixed before it kills the motor and makes it a useless box. To me, Nissan doesn't care about its customers or their safety. The relay and transmission issues almost caused us huge accidents. Without quick thinking and quick reflexes we could have been seriously hurt. Something needs to be done !!! thank you for your assistance.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #159

Oct 282012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 56,800 miles
My wife was driving to a road, for charity, while getting on the highway, the car would not go forward, the more you gave it gas the car took off like a rocket. I took the car out for a test ride, the same thing happen, at the stop sign the car would raveup.and take off like a.rocket. Took it to the dealership. The dealership told me it is going to cost a lot to fit this problem.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #158

Oct 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 72,224 miles
After filling the vehicle up with gas-the fuel gauge dropped to empty and check engine light came on. When I checked the distance to empty on fuel gauge it showed blanks. As I began to drive the distance to empty started to increase but the fuel gauge never moved to the full position as it should have been. Upon stopping and turning the engine off the fuel gauge finally moved into the full position. The owners manual said to drive the vehicle several times and the check engine light should go off but has not. Took the vehicle to oreillys and had them run a diagnostic test on it and it showed to be the fuel level sensor was bad. The fuel gauge is still not working and this is only one of many problems that I have had with this vehicle. Recently had to have transmission replaced and U joints several times. The Nissan Pathfinder is a lemon and Nissan refuses to work with their customers. I suggest that no one buy a Nissan product. The company is a joke and will try to get out of warranty work and get every penny out of you that they can.

- Huntsvillle, AR, USA

problem #157

Oct 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


The vehicle has faulty fuel gauge sensor which seems to be a very very common problem and I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and they said that I must pay that out of pocket. I researched online and found out that not only does the Pathfinder have the problem but so does the xtera. Nissan is very well aware of the problem and so they should fix it.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #156

Sep 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
My car would not start one morning so I had to call a tow truck to take it to my mechanic, he called me to tell me that the radiator was allowing moisture or water to go into the electrical part of the transmission and the transmission has completely fried. I got a quote of $4000 to $6000 to fix or rebuild it. He then told me there are thousands of articles online about the problem and that since my car was at 109,000 miles there was nothing Nissan would do about fixing it even though there was nothing I did to cause the problem!!! I still owe $8500, as I have only had the car for 2 years, and I sure can't go buy another car. I have 3 small children so now I have no car, can't afford another and Nissan will do nothing to help.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #155

Aug 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,224 miles
I was driving towards reno, nv and every time there is an uphill roadway the engine would rev up and the transmission shifts to another gear, I would feel a thumping sound and on every 3 to 6 miles of driving the vehicle would feel like it is running on an unpaved road. I took the vehicle to the dealership and that is when they informed me that my transmission fluid and engine coolant are mixing. Not to mention that my fsr is no longer functioning properly. It turned out that the fsr (fuel sensor relay) is not on the recall list unless it is a 2006 and up. I don't mind the fsr, because I can work on this but the coolant and tranny fluid mixture should be a recall since a lot of people are experiencing this issue.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #154

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has on numerous occasions, just stopped running and turned off. It does this while sitting idle, say in line. It does this while driving down the street. It just turns off! now I'm having trouble re-starting it!

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #153

Jun 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 54,600 miles
My wife observed issue with gas or brakes for last couple months. I thought it was brakes and I had just bleed and replaced fluid which helped. On 6/20/13 I made left turn on my home street and transmission did not respond. I was stuck in middle of road and luckily no cars were approaching. At first I thought car stalled and tried to restart but realized the engine was still running. At that moment I knew what it was (failed transmission from cross contamination). I drove directly to reliable Nissan in albuquerque where they verified the bad news. This really proves this is a manufacturing defect. My car has all proper maintenance and only has 54600 miles. I am the original owner. The vehicle looks brand new. I had just talked to both service managers from both the local dealers about my fears about this possibly happening. Even had them check and they said the radiator was ok. I am only 50 days past my 8 years and with only 54600 miles Nissan refuses to provide any good will. I am still stuck paying 2500 dollars. Nissan keeps insisting this is not a safety issue. Loosing propulsion is a safety issue. Even in driving school I was trained that power, can avoid a possible disaster just as well as brakes. This is fact. Too many close calls reported on this issue and its sad that our government only acts when cars explode and people die. I have noticed that this issue is increasing exponentially putting the risk of death and injury a more probable outcome. From last February almost 29 percent more cases reported in just 4 months. I worked with my dealers trying to avoid this. Did all the trans oil changes, radiator flushes and asked if I could do anything to avoid this disaster and also had them inspect my radiator just a few months back. And yet, my brand new looking, meticulously maintained Pathfinder needs a new transmission and radiator.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #152

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
I just bought this car, and had a problem with transmission to begin with, following with the fuel level sensor (just started), I had to replace the transmission, radiator, now I have to replace the fuel sensor, and 2 days ago the plastic heater receiver that is located in firewall of car had melted, and all anti-freeze had gone and the motor got overheated (why plastic made", instead of brass??"), so the dealer said that I had to replace the whole piece ($250) plus labor, it is incredible how this car company called Nissan is loosing their prestige since started to assembly in us, it is just making more money out of the people with all these crappy parts they are using. We need the federal government to be involved and give us back the money spent on these manufacturing defects as soon as possible.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #151

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Consumer writes in regards to technical service bulletin recommended that fuel level sending unit be replaced and requests assistance for repairs. The consumer stated he took the vehicle to the dealer, because the instrument panel fuel gauge was giving an incorrect reading. He explained to the dealer, the instrument panel showed the vehicle had approximately one-quarter tank of fuel, when in fact the fuel tank was empty and the service engine light had illuminated. He also pointed out to the mechanic, that due to the inaccuracy and erratic movement of the fuel gauge reading, it could stall, at any time a resent an unsafe condition of the vehicle and compromise the life and safety of his passengers. After a careful review was conducted by the Nissan technician, it was determined that the problem was due to the fuel sending unit malfunctioning, which was discovered earlier by Nissan, in which a technical service bulletin was issued. Nissan denied the consumers request to have the fuel sending unit replaced free of charge, because the vehicle was outside of the new vehicle limited warranty. The consumer stated Nissan has since issued a safety recall regarding the fuel sending unit and extended the primary warranty.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #150

Jul 182012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that fuel gauge displayed incorrect readings. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who stated that the fuel level unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 4/1/13 updated 04/23/2013

- Rockhill, SC, USA

problem #149

Apr 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Failed emissions test because of failed fuel level sensor, can suddenly run out of gas on full gauge or overflow when gauge says empty when filling up tank.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #148

May 042012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 186,800 miles
Faulty fuel sensor gave me impression I had more gas causing me run out of gas in traffic. I have read many complaints online of this happening to other Nissan with this same fuel system and Nissan needs recall this system. I filled the tank and now the fuel gauge is not working.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

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