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:
96,658 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

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 #9

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 #8

Jul 242012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 144,007 miles
Per Nissan dealership diagnosis: Technician found anti-freeze/transmission fluid mix in both radiator and transmission (failure in radiator cooler) trans (tcm); no communication with other vehicle ecms catastrophic transmission failure. Dealer recommendation: Replace transmission and radiator. Full transmission fluid and radiator flush of systems.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #7

May 162012


  • 110,000 miles


Radiator can fail and allow transmission fluid to mix eventually destroy the transmission. Ive checked the coolant and it has turned a milky pink color. Appearently, there are alot of owners with the same problem.

- Forest Hill, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 252010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and my transmission oil leaked into my radiator causing me to have to totally replace my radiator and I had to have my transmission flushed but it still damaged my transmission. This was a manufacture error but Nissan refused to pay because it had over 80,000 miles. I have three Nissan in our family but I will never buy another. I also am having trouble with the heating and air conditioner controls in both my 2005 and 2006 Nissan Pathfinders. The control quit working in both!!!! so disappointed with Nissan!!!!

- Jesup, GA, USA

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problem #5

Jul 312011


  • 115,914 miles
My family and I were driving back from a small trip while on our way home our truck starting shaking when it reached speeds of 40 to 50 mph it did this about 3 different times on our way home. We pulled over to check but were not able to find anything, we were nervous because we had not had any problems with our truck. Once we had made it into to town we were at a stop sign as my husband accelerated to cross the intersection the truck hesitated to speed up. It appeared to be that the truck was stuck on 1 to 2nd gear. Luckily it was late in the evening and there was no oncoming traffic when we crossed the interception, if not I hate to think what could have happened. It felt like the truck was going to die right in the middle of the intersection. Next day we took the truck in to our mechanic. He informed us that there was water/coolant from the radiator that leaked into the transmission, he advice us to take it in to our local Nissan dealer shop. We had to pay Nissan $96 for them to perform a diagnostic test because they would not accept our mechanics results. Once the diagnostic test was performed it confirmed what out mechanic had informed us. We submitted a claim to Nissan of America, and sadly they denied our claim. Their reason behind the denial was because the extended warranty for the radiator covered up to 80K miles our truck was over about 35K miles. We are stuck with a bill of over 6K to have the truck fixed, it requires a new transmission, radiator, tranny cooler line flush and coolant flush. I have been on the phone with Nissan for over 11/2 week with no results other than Nissan refuses to fix our truck because we have surpass the 80K miles. What I don't understand is how is it possible for a 6 year old truck to have such seriouse problems with transmission due to a falty radiator which Nissan was well aware.

- Porterville, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 012011


  • 37,000 miles


I received, in the mail, a warranty notification from Nissan North America headquarters, Consumer Affairs department, franklin, tn. Basically, it reads: Nissan has extended your vehicle's new vehicle limited warranty as it applies to the radiator assembly to 96 months/80,000 miles (whichever comes first)...Nissan North America wbi/10-029. When my husband, scott, contacted our local Nissan dealerships service department, he was informed that the component would have to fail before they could do anything about it. According to other NHTSA complaints from Nissan Pathfinder owners who have had the component fail, it sometimes causes transmission failure and loss of vehicle control (lack of engine power throughput to provide mobility). If the component were to fail it seems that it would create a safety issue under some conditions (on highways where it is not convenient to pull over). Some Pathfinder owners have claimed that it can cost thousands of dollars to replace the transmission, and that Nissan sometimes does not cover repairs beyond the radiator, despite that problem can leak coolant into the transmission, sometimes causing serious damage to, or failure of the transmission. Nissan should know about this problem and offer owners of possibly effected vehicles a free test to determine if their vehicle does, indeed have a defective radiator assembly. If a test is not available, then the radiator assemblies on these vehicles should be repaired of replaces as necessary to ensure that they will not fail under normal conditions and mileage. Furthermore, if a radiator assembler were to cause a transmission to need repair or replacement, Nissan should cover associated transmission correction costs. Because of this problem, we (my husband and I) no longer driver our Pathfinder on long trips, and have lost faith in our vehicle and Nissan.

- Fremont, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 292011


  • 49,977 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and have been doing all the required maintenance on it in a very timely manner. It is a very well maintained SUV and had only 49,997 miles on it. I got a safety recall notice on it for the ECM relay issued and took it to the dealer. I was also experiencing some whining noises. The service dealer advisor at the dealership told me that my timing chains had a problem and needed to be replaced. He said this was a serious issue and could lead to engine damage and is a potential road hazard. He also said it needed to be fixed immediately, as this was a known problem, that had been experienced by a number of other customers and that Nissan motor co. Had issued a service bulletin ntb09-128 regarding this problem. I am really surprised that Nissan did not think it was necessary to communicate this piece of important information to all its customers. My son who is 21 years old drives this SUV on ski trips and I am really alarmed that this defect which was known to Nissan could have lead to some serious road hazards. Nissan has acted in a very callous manner because they did not inform their customers about the possibility of such a serious issue which can lead to road hazards. They did not issue a safety recall to fix the issue. I request you to kindly investigate this issue and ensure that Nissan communicates this serious flaw to all owners of 2006 Nissan Pathfinders and any other model which has the same issue. Updated 03/07/11

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 012006


  • 20,000 miles
The transmission in the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder slips and jerks while driving at highway speeds. The slippage can cause the vehicle to rapidly decelerate in traffic increasing the likelihood of an accident. The rapid jerking of the vehicle can cause the vehicle to loose control on its own or frighten or disorient the driver causing the driver to loose control of the vehicle.

- Cameron Park, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 202010


  • 70,500 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Engine cuts off without warning while driving. Has happened twice in traffic, one time at a busy intersection. Vehicle starts about 20 minutes later. Took vehicle to dealer who advised that it's 'most likely' ipdm failure but they are unable to diagnose as it doesn't throw a code. Dealer kept car 5 days and "tried" to duplicate the failure to positively diagnose, but was unable to. The day after picking it up from the dealer the engine quit again in traffic. Now we are told that our warranty company will only cover if they can positively diagnose. My toddler was in the car the first time this occurred and our car died in the middle of an intersection between 2 6-lane roads. Couldn't remove the vehicle for 30 minutes. Just waiting for it to happen while merging on the interstate during rush hour traffic. Hopefully there are no injuries or fatalities as a result of this failure.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

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