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CarComplaints.com 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.

9.2

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,910
Average Mileage:
102,200 miles
Total Complaints:
424 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission & radiator (290 reports)
  2. not sure (55 reports)
  3. replace transmission & flush the radiator (27 reports)
  4. repair transmission and add an external oil cooler (13 reports)
  5. replace radiator (13 reports)
  6. rebuild transmission (12 reports)
2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 22)

problem #424

Sep 242018

Pathfinder SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Here is the actual issue with my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder, all due to the coolant leaking into the transmission. This is from the Nissan dealership. I will never purchase another Nissan again! Of course, I am over 100k miles (119k to be exact) and the recall will not cover a dime for repairs.

The Pathfinder is equipped with a security system from the factory. The key is coded and asks permission to start the engine if all checkpoints allow.

The radiator/transmission cooler has failed internally causing the engine coolant and transmission fluid to intermix. That has caused the valve body in the transmission to fail to send the signal to the transmission computer (TCM) which is why it will not start. The contamination also causes damage to the multi-clutch pack in the transmission.

To fix the issue The radiator/transmission cooler will need to be replaced with the UPDATED part to prevent this from occurring in the future. The coolant system will need to be thoroughly flushed to get the transmission oil out of the coolant passages in your engine and heater core. The transmission lines would also be flushed (with a cleaner and trans fluid) to get the contamination out of there. Next the transmission it's self would be removed and replaced along with the torque converter. The new NISSAN Transmission would already have the new multi-clutch pack and valve body pre-installed, it would just need to be programmed to your transmission computer (TCM).

Estimated cost of the repair should be about $6,330 parts and labor with Tax. I quoted about $6,400 just in case there is anything else that may pop up (clamps, hoses, bolts, ect..).

- Jennifer A., Boise, US

problem #423

Jul 242018

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,802 miles

The cost is a quote received from the dealer. Dealer declined to offer any assistance, or ask their local Nissan After-Sales Rep for any assistance. Nissan consumer affairs refused to help due to age of vehicle (leased new, bough at end of lease, always properly maintained), arguing that (after a class action lawsuit), Nissan had already extended the warranty to 80,000, then 100,000 miles (with a $3000 co-pay from the customer!!!!) So it is fair to say that Nissan, when making poor design, does not stand behind its product and would rather have customers buy other cars. No more Nissan/Infinity for me....

- Benoit S., Mill Valley, US

problem #422

Sep 152017

Pathfinder LX 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Called Nissan dealer in Brandon, Florida, that sold me the car and told them of the problem. Advised to bring car in for inspection. Dealer confirmed the transmission was shot due to the coolant leak and they wanted in excess of $5k to fix with no further warranty. I asked why would I pay for them to reinstall a new radiator and transmission when they could/would not guarantee it wouldn't happen again. The reply was laughter and that it would cost me $90 for their diagnostic. Had car towed to transmission center in Tampa who rebuilt the transmission and bypassed the faulty trans/radiator design. Car runs fine now. I had other issues with this vehicle that weren't covered and several recalls while this car was under 90k miles. DON'T EVER BUY ANY NISSAN PRODUCT.

- Peter M., Plant City, US

problem #421

May 012018

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 114,000 miles. Trans started to slip at 110000 miles. Engine light on. Code flashed "Torque Converter Malfunction". Took to trans shop, diagnosed to total rebuild of trans. torque converter, and valve body. Recommend trans cooler bypass. Total repair estimate, $6000. Quote repair beyond value of car. Can't afford replacement or repair. Stuck with a useless Pathfinder. Get with it Nissan!

- Preem O., Mililani, HI, US

problem #420

May 272018

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,995 miles

Replaced leaky radiator and had transmission flushed 3 times to clean at approx 100000 miles approx 2015. Now must replace tranny, radiator and cooling unit at cost of $4500 out of pocket. Truck worth maybe $7500 with new tranny installed.

Update from Jul 16, 2018: Had tranny replaced, along with radiator.

Total cost $4500

- Bill E., Lindstrom, US

problem #419

Aug 212017

Pathfinder LL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Issue with coolant leaking into transmission. This vehicle was purchased by my 18 year old son in 2016. His first car, paid for by himself. The class action lawsuit ended in 2015 and the mileage levels were ridiculously low. This should have been a RECALL and Nissan should have stepped up and done the right thing for all these customers.

- Lisa A., Eagle, ID, US

problem #418

Dec 122017

Pathfinder ST-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,896 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have owned this car for several years and always maintained it. I had just finished the last upgrade when the transmission went. I thought OK well a couple of thousand dollars and it will be good till the end. Nissan wanted more then the car is worth to fix it $8,500 us. The best price I got from a mechanic was $4,000 and the wreckers will put in a dodgy second hand tranny for $3,000. Thanks Nissan for engineering a down right stupid design that fails on nearly all these cars and telling everyone to get stuffed. I will never buy another Nissan due to the way you have treated everyone who has had this issue.

- Michael P., Indooroopilly, Australia

problem #417

Jan 182016

Pathfinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I purchased this vehicle from Peoria Nissan in 2012. During this time a Class Action Lawsuit had been filed and Nissan was found responsible, establishing a tiered repair program. They would pay a set amount based on the mileage at failure. When I purchased the car it was well under mileage where most were failing. There was also a fix that could be applied that would keep the problem from happening. I was neither told about the potential for the problem, or the fix available. When the transmission started to slip I had it flushed which at that point did nothing for it. I had to have the radiator and the transmission replaced. Nissan wanted me to go to the dealership, pay additional money for them to diagnose the problem the transmission shop and everyone else in the world apparently knows this is an issue with this vehicle. Then they could tell me it is beyond the scope of the Class Action Suit, which all claims had to be in by 2013, and they could do nothing for me. Poor customer service to omit information such as this during a sale. I could have had the radiator diverted initially and avoided this or bought a different car altogether.

- Steven M., Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #416

Aug 102017

Pathfinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Nissan could care less if you are stranded out in the middle of nowhere for a known problem. the coolant leaked into the transmission and in turn ruined the transmission. needed to get it towed to a shop. to get repaired then called Nissan which was not even helpful. will never buy any Nissan product again. will spread the word.

- A O., Tucson, US

problem #415

Jun 242017

Pathfinder XL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Apparently this is a common issue and needs to be addressed and possible lawsuit filed against Nissan. Nissan was going to charge me 8,500.00 dollars to fix this issue, so I took to AAMCO and it is being repaired. Not sure of the cost yet but this matter needs to be address against Nissan.

- kcquick, Tri-Cities, US

problem #414

Jun 052017

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought this car from a small used shady car dealership who had to be aware of the problem. But, he patched the problem and passed it on to me. I learned a very expensive and valuable lesson.

- spy242, Newnan, US

problem #413

Apr 012016

Pathfinder LX 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 196,000 miles

the radiator busted causing the transmission to fail. I am still paying on this vehicle and it has not run in over a year. I cannot afford to fix it while I am still making payments. This car is worth nothing and I cannot do anything about it

- Victoria / Khamkuio P., Thornton, US

problem #412

Apr 112017

Pathfinder 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I have only had this SUV for a year and half and only put about 8,000 miles on it since I bought it. It started vibrating a lot while down shifting and having a hard time down shifting. It also squeaks when you put it in reverse. I have loved Nissan but I am surprised that they are not doing anything about this.

- Pat B., Logan, UT, US

problem #411

Oct 172012

Pathfinder SE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

click to see larger images

coolant leaked into transmission coolant leaked into transmission coolant leaked into transmission coolant leaked into transmission

I was caught by surprise reading through my emails to see an alarming email from CarCompliant.com warning the public about transmission problems with 2005 - 2010 Nisan Pathfinders. I rarely ever post anything, but felt obligated to share my families unfortunate experience. On October 17, 2012, my wife’s 2005 Nissan Pathfinder literally caught on fire while she was driving home from work with my eighteen month old daughter. There was no foretell warning, other than my wife suddenly felt a jerky motion when she pushed on the accelerator. Knowing something was not right, she was smart enough to immediately pullover on a suburban two lane highway during rush hour. They were not even a mile from our home. As my wife was sitting in the car attempting to contact me to explain the situation, she was thankfully interrupted by a stranger repeatedly honking and driving over towards her vehicle in an aggressive manner. In a panicked tone, the gentlemen informed my wife that she needed to get out immediately because her car was on FIRE! My wife had no idea.

She immediately got out, ran around to the back right passenger door to get my daughter out of her car seat. My wife recalls looking down and seeing flames near her feet. To add to the ordeal, while my wife was in the process of getting my daughter out of the car seat, my wife heard a loud “boom” noise (which she described as a shotgun going off), which the dispatched fireman believes was the battery exploding. Finally getting my daughter out, my wife ran as fast as she could away from the car. Within seconds, the uncontrollable fire flames literally engulfed the entire vehicle. It was, and still is, chilling to look at the aftermath of our vehicle. Pictures do not even start to describe the traumatic experience that my wife and child went through, but I have attached a couple to give you a glimpse of the severity of the car fire. After looking at a completely seared car seat, where my daughter was sitting in only seconds prior, you can not help but to think how close my wife and daughter were to being seriously burned, or even worse, death. Fortunately, my wife was able to act quickly and get herself and my daughter out safely with only minor medical injury/symptoms.

After the car fire, we wrote the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Center for Auto Safety, and Nissan directly. Nissan responded and launched an "internal" investigation. At first, they seemed concerned for my family and verbally expressed they wanted to make the situation right. After physically inspecting the vehicle and 6 months later, they concluded their "internal investigation" that the transmission cracked and the leaking transmission fluid is what ignited the car fire. Instead of taking responsibility of the situation, their tone immediately changed to defense. They tried to blame it on "faulty mechanic repair work" relating to normal maintenance we had on it prior. Looking back, I really wish we hired a lawyer and sued immediately. Especially after reading that others had similar issues with the Nissan Pathfinders transmission. Lesson learned, DO NOT BUY A NISSAN!!!!!!

- Jonathan S., Woodstock, GA, US

problem #410

Jan 142017

Pathfinder V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,143 miles

Problem has been substantiated in the past......greatly...and Nissan apparently did not failry offer damaged owners a fiar fix. Radiotor/transmission cooler cracked mixing coolant and transmission fluid, rendering the transmission ruined. I bought the vehicle used,, drove it 1000 mi, and it failed. this was a design flaw, aand shojld be corrected for any owner who experiences the problem however long it exists.This is a failure at 70,000 miles...........geeze NIssan........are your products any good?????? Why won't you stand behind your products, your work, your parts?????????? You owe me and everyone else who put faith in t/upi to fix this and make it right.....I bought the vehicle on the strength of NISSAN....and you let me down. What are ya gonna do?????????????

Update from Jan 21, 2017: transmission was fixsed........the gave me 'some goodwill'.................aqned I appreciate that sorta of. They extended their warrantly because so many of these failed....to some thing like $2000/$2500/$3000 'copay' at 80,000/90,000/100.000nmiles.........................except this expired ocy 2016........mine shot craps Jan 2017. They suggested that charging me $3000 for the radiator replacement and tranny replacement........was good will........yeah, I understand.......But!!!!!....your tranny failed because of designe flaw.....YOU BUILT IT PiSS POOR..........I (as a sucker)bought the vehicle USEe without looking on the internet.....when I finally did look.....................the red sticker stating AVOID THIS VEHICLE LIKE THE PLAGUE*** said it all, but it was too late. I do not know aht their usual charges woud lbe for the wrok they di.......Nissaan charged me $600 lessthan a radiator shop would have for the same work.... but still , bad taste in my mouth as this is indeed a KNOWN design flaw, a know and proven failure point.........they should have taeknn the responsibility and fixed it....no charge.. Now, if some recall etc., is done.....I seriously doubt they will send me a check for my $3000..................................I guess it is 'live and learn'...........DON'T BY A USED CARE WITHOTU LLOIOKING TO SEE IF THERE ARE SOEM GLARING PROBLEMS WITH THE MODEL, YEAR AND MAKE YOU ARE LOOKING AT!!!!!!!! ps....I MUST SAAY THAT THE FOLKS AT THE DEALERSHIP IN LENEXA KANSAS WERE VERY NICE FOKS, THEY DID A GOOD JOB........BUT I'D HAVE FELT ONE HELL OF A LOT BETTER IF THEY'D PAID FOR THE ENTIRE SECREW UP DESIGN FLAW!!!! oNE OTHER THING....IF IN DEED OU AHVE A 2005 PTHFINDER......ADN IT HAS never HAD A RADIATOR CHANGED OR AN EXTERNAL TRANSMISSION COOLER PUT ON AND BYPASSED THE RADIATOR TRANNY COLLER........DO IT DO IT DO IT NOW!!! BEFORE YOU HAVE TROUBLE.........IT IS PRETTY CHEAP COMPARED TO A TRANNY REBUILLD OR REPLACEMENT!!!!!!!NISSAN MIGHT HELP YOU OUT WIHT THIS PPROACTIVE REPAIR......

- Dana B., Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #409

Dec 112016

Pathfinder Cloth V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,327 miles

The transmission had water in it from the radiator, We had no warranty it cost us $ 2013.00 to get the transmission rebuilt and we are going to have the radiator repaired as well and don't know what that will cost as yet. We fill that Nissan should be liable for this as this problem has been going on since the 2005 pathfinders first came out, They knew there was a problem but did nothing to solve it. They don't care about their customers as long as they get their money for the sale of the car.

- kathywest, League City, TX, USA

problem #408

Dec 212016

Pathfinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

Common issue with these cars, other issues were found upon inspection. Giant money pit.

- tmcneill, Rochester, WA, USA

problem #407

Nov 232016

Pathfinder 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

What pisses me off is that this has been a major problem for 2005 Pathfinders and there were never any communication from Nissan . We have been a Pathfinder family for 25 years and after this problem and communication we will never buy from Nissan again .It seems to me that they do not care if they lose customers.

- Steve S., Lakewood, NJ, US

problem #406

May 132016

Pathfinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

In April the radiator leaked into the transmission. I paid $2,500 to get a new radiator and had everything flushed. Took a trip to northern Manitoba, Canada, to visit my children in May 2016 and on the way home (600 miles) my car quit on a highway with no cell contact. I waited for a help on the highway. Got a lift to Roblin, Manitoba. Only had a Buick/GMC dealership (Cross-town) in Roblin. Could not drive the car. Mechanic at Cross-town told me the transmission was gone. Told me there were many problems with my make/model. Had to have my car put on a flatbed and hauled 400 miles to Bismarck, ND where I live. It was the weekend so had the Pathfinder left in a parking lot where I live. Called the Nissan dealership on Monday morning. Asked them to come pick up my Pathfinder because the transmission was gone.....reminded them I had already paid them $2,500 for a new radiator. They said they could come but would charge me for hauling my car to their dealership. I said forget it. Called AAA and had car hauled to the Bismarck Motor Company/Nissan dealership. I asked them why they didn't tell me about all the lawsuits and problems with radiators/transmissions on the 2005 Pathfinder. They said they didn't think I needed to know.

Since I had no car to drive. I left my Pathfinder at the dealership and went to the Honda dealership and bought a Honda CRV. I am still angry that the Nissan dealership did not give me a good deal on my car....and mad they were not honest about the problems with the 2005 Pathfinder. If I had known about the problems I would not have paid $2,500 for a new radiator. My car was in perfect condition minus the radiator/transmission problem. Leather seats perfect, etc. It probably was worth $8,000.00 but I got nothing since I could not drive it. They said, "there are no lawsuits in North Dakota". I will never buy another Nissan.

- Janet L., Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #405

Oct 142016

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. I thought I was being sustainable by keeping my car; and to that end, I loved it. Only to find out that Nissan did not intend for my vehicle to be sustainable. This "intermix" issue between the radiator and transmission that Nissan installed for over 5-years, and knew was a design failure is unbelievable. I think it is stinky, shady, and disgraceful that me, and everyone else who thought we were being environmentally conscious by keeping or cars, were bamboozled! For Nissan to know these vehicles were headed toward exorbitant repair bills is deplorable. Had I known what I know today, I would have steered my friends away from their new Pathfinders, mainly due to a morally bankrupt company philosophy. $5,000 is an unbelievable amount of money to spend on an 11 year old car. I had no choice but to pay it because the car was worthless if it wasn't running. So disappointed.

- Julie M., Denver, CO, USA

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