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:
84,794 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 272015


  • 140,000 miles


This is the same as another complaint (# 10777718) filed through this site on 9/25. I took my truck in because of the service engine check light and the tech reported catalytic converter, heater hose vacuum & valve, power steering hose, and tire gps. We have taken the truck in for the 3rd winter season and now they are saying it cost $725 dollars to repair the issue. For 3 years we have taken it in and they flushed the system, replace a sensor, and now this" also the catalytic converter costing $1380 and power steering hose at $305. I noticed 4 recalls that we were never contacted about with the engine, and we have taken the truck in numerous times for these issues and they never mentioned the recalls. Our issue with the catalytic converter is exactly the same as the above mentioned issue filed in September. We also purchased an extended warranty, and none of this is covered. I wonder who else is having the same issue with the catalytic converter"

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #8

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 #7

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 #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

Jan 012011


  • 100,000 miles
The contacts client owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 25 mph the driver of the vehicle lost control of the steering wheel. The driver was able to stop the vehicle and have it towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the front strut tower fractured causing damage to the steering column. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Becket, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 292010


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph and making a turn the steering wheel suddenly locked and the vehicle swayed to the left and right out of control. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and they informed her that they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 99,000.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 132010


  • 117,720 miles


Vehicle shuts off while driving and has faulty fuel gage and sending unit

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 112010


  • 65,680 miles
In March 2010 we took the vehicle to a dealership for a check engine light staying on and the fuel gauge malfunctioning. The problems discovered were a fuel sending unit failure and an evap air control valve failure. Estimated repairs cost around $1300. We were told the fuel sending issue did not effect fuel delivery so we elected to wait and save up for the costly repair. On Oct. 23, 2010 while driving the power steering and brakes stiffened and the vehicle died while crossing traffic leaving a stop sign. It started rough and we proceeded to a fuel station thinking the broken fuel gauge reported fuel in an empty tank. When I attempted to fuel the vehicle it only took about 4 gallons. The tank had plenty of fuel. This stalling and dieing then happened more times in traffic causing us to barely maneuver out of the lane to safety. Each time it died it was rough to start, but started. We made a service appointment for Nov. 12, 2010 to have this looked at and get the fuel sending unit repaired under the new warranty extension (thank you Nissan!). on Nov 11, 2010 after pulling out of a parking space the vehicle died again and this time would not start. As a result of our location (no local Nissan dealership), we then had to have it towed (at our expense) 38 miles to the nearest dealer to look at it. We also had to cancel our original appointment for service at another dealership. They informed us that the new non-starting and stalling problem was a faulty ignition power distribution module (ipdm). This ipdm is a known recall issue in other 2004-06 Nissan but Pathfinder was not listed. Our new estimate to replace the ipdm so it will start and run is approximately $700. The ipdm failure almost caused multiple accidents, stalling in traffic. I can't believe that Nissan used a different ipdm in just the Pathfinder and will own-up and recall their mistake.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #1

Mar 132006

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Purchased 2005 Nissan Pathfinder Feb 2006. 1st visit to dealership for maintenance requested dealership to check the directional stability (wandering) of the vehicle. In addition, I asked the dealership about the violent shaking when the vehicle hits a bump on the freeway at speeds of 50 mph or higher. The dealership advised that they adjusted air in tires. Tire pressure prior to appointment was 35 psi; after appointment tire pressure was 35 psi. 3-13-06/ 2nd visit to dealership for oil change at 2500 miles and issue of directional stability still causing vehicle to wander. I was advised that the mechanic had adjusted the cam and toe of the front end and the alignment was checked for accuracy. The directional stability was improved, but not to acceptable standards. 3rd visit to the dealership for an oil change and my request to rotate tires. Again stated that the vehicle wanders and violently shakes when hitting any bump. Dealership changed oil, rotated tires and test drove the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. I was advised wandering and shaking was a characteristic of the vehicle and there was nothing more Nissan could do. The wandering was attributed to tall tires, short wheel base and no load. I contacted Nissan North America and filed a complaint:#5332144. My area's regional representative from nna advised me to have a certified Nissan mechanic from a different dealership go on a drive-along to experience the issue of wandering and violent shaking. I made an appointment with a different Nissan dealership and rode as their "lead tech" drove my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder at highway speeds. He experienced the wandering and violent shaking. He advised that those were all characteristics of the vehicle. This was reported to the regional representative and I was advised if I had any further issues I could write a letter of complaint to nna. Certified mechanics form nna have identified a serious safety characteristic of my vehicle. However, they are of the opinion that characteristic is acceptable.

- Medway, OH, USA

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