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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,428 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #118

Jul 182011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,128 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the transmission on the vehicle failed twice. The contact stated the transmission began to function with some resistance. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told the radiator failed causing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. The failure and current mileages were 124,128. The consumer stated the design of the cooling system on the vehicle allowed for cross-contamination of the transmission fluid with the engine coolant. The valve was defective, and ultimately failed.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #117

Jul 052011


  • 89,000 miles
Transmission/radiator coolant cross contamination causing the Pathfinder to stop in the middle of the highway. My 2 year old son was in the child seat in the back seat of the vehicle.

- Irmo, SC, USA

problem #116

Jan 172010


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the transmission failed and the vehicle would start to vibrate when driving 55 mph or more. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where a transmission flush was performed. The dealer advised that there was no need for repairs yet the failure persisted. The contact took the vehicle to a second dealer and was advised that fluid was backed up in the transmission. The radiator and transmission would both need replacing. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 86,000.

- Mcalisterville, PA, USA

problem #115

Jun 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 93,000 miles. Had original issue with transmission in 2009 a slight shimmy and once the transmission slipped, as soon as it slipped I took it to the dealership. The service manager at the dealership told me coolant had leaked into transmission and would have to replace: Radiator, and transmission at ~$6,500. I asked for options the dealer said I could try replacing radiator, flush transmission and add new transmission fluid for ~2,500, he said it may make it 5 more miles or 500K miles, but expected the transmission would at some point fail. I took the vehicle to local trusted repair shop and had radiator replaced and transmission flushed with Nissan transmission fluid and filled with Nissan transmission fluid for less than $1K. Had no issues since. On June 6th out of the blue as I was driving home from the lake, I felt the shimmy again, immediately backed off the accelerator and then slowly got back into the gas, as I did I felt the transmission slip a little. Less than 1,000 feet down the road I noticed smoke in the rearview mirror and immediately pulled the vehicle to the side of the road within 1,000' as I came to a stop thick black smoke came from beneath the vehicle and shut the car off, and I realized the car was on fire. I opened the door to get out and flames were coming from under the running boards. Within 3 minutes the car and all it's contents were completely destroyed by the fire. It was obvious from my vantage point and the pictures I took during the fire that the fire originated from the transmission overheating and the catastrophic failure resulting in a thermal event. The vehicle was totally destroyed, thank god I was alone.and the dealership could care less.

- Arden, NC, USA

problem #114

Jun 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I am filing this complaint since Nissan does not do anything with the problem to be fixed, I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder, when were on the road our car is having trouble shifting starts jerking, and were so scared that will not make it home because the way its acting we finally made it home and the ca would not reverse we look online and search what' causing the problem and read a bunch of complaint with the consumer at stating that the reason for the problem is the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission that causing the transmission to burn, called around with a bunch of auto mechanic and when I mention that I need my transmission replace the mechanic immediately said you know you need your radiator replace because that is causing your transmission problem I filed a complaint with Nissan and denied the complaint this should be in the recall because this is dangerous if you weren't aware of the problem if your on the road hope you can help us with this problem.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #113

Jun 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,677 miles
Nissan has a known issue with their radiators and faulty hoses. These result in coolant leaking in the transmission and ultimately destroying both. This issue is prevalent at 85K miles and beyond which is out of warranty for both. This leaks causes the Pathfinder to be unsafe as it cannot be driven until it is repaired for over 6K. The Pathfinder does not shift properly and will ultimately stall completely while in use. Nissan will not cover this issue which should have been a recall.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #112

Mar 152011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Transmission began to slip, had vehicle examined, part in radiator failed and contaminated transmission with coolant which damaged transmission, fluids were flushed and part in radiator bypassed however transmission was not saved failed immediately afterwards while being driven and almost caused accident while my wife and children were in vehicle.

- Oak Ridge, TN, USA

problem #111

Apr 012010


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle transmission and radiator failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the transmission coolant had leaked into the radiator and the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. As a result, both the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was out of warranty. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 150,000. The VIN was not available.

- Mandeville , LA, USA

problem #110

May 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder internal radiator leak causing the transmission to fail started with strong vibration between 40-45 mph. Dealer inspection states internal rupture of the oil cooler contaminating the oil in the transmission.

- Homestead , FL, USA

problem #109

Jan 102011


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 35 mph the vehicle suddenly lost power. The contact stated there was also a vibration underneath the hood of the vehicle. The contact managed to drive the vehicle home. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technicians stated radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission and it needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #108

Apr 152011


  • 61,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle started shaking violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the radiator was leaking coolant in the transmission, which caused it to be defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 61,000.

- Deerfield , IL, USA

problem #107

Feb 172011


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the radiator cracked causing fluid to leak into the transmission. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The dealer stated the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic who replace the transmission and radiator. After the repairs, the contact noticed that the engine began to malfunction. The contact did not take the vehicle back to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 107,000.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #106

May 162011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Radiator coolant and transmission fluid mixing, causing major problems with vehicle. Hesitant shifting, or worse, no shifting or movement at all. Especially dangerous on highway (interstate).

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #105

May 072011


  • 91,622 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Nissan extended their warranties on the 2005 Pathfinders to 80,000. The reason they did this is because they know their defective radiators have been causing transmissions to go out due to contamination from the radiator fluid. Since I was deployed, I was unaware of the extension or the problem until my transmission started giving me problems in may of 2011. The other day, I tried to pull out of a gas station and I lost all acceleration due to the transmission slipping almost causing a serious accident. I have a Nissan complaint ticket but unless it is forced into recall, I will have to pay for my new transmission on a car I just recently paid off. As a consumer, I should not have to pay for someone else's design defect that causes major mechanical cost and safety issues. After doing some research, most customers are being told to come and have the transmission flushed for approx. 500$ to be told the transmission needs replacement. This defect needs to be addressed immediately before someone dies as a result of Nissan negligence in standing behind their product.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #104

Apr 092011


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the radiator and transmission fluids were mixing together abnormally and causing the vehicle to stall. In addition, the vehicle would not change gears as a result of the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised the contact to replace the transmission and radiator. There were no recalls for the failure. The manufacturer was contacted who advised that they will give her a return call within a few days. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 102,000.

- Laurinburg, NC, USA

problem #103

Mar 222011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,682 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder is currently being repaired for transmission problems due to radiator leaking in the transmission. I have had trouble gaining speed atleast 6 times due to hesitation and sometimes wouldn't shift out of 2nd gear and wouldn't go no more than 25mph. I have taken the highway and it would do fine until I got off an exit and it would stall at 25mph. I have taking it to get it fixed but the transmission for my vehicle is on back order due to other thousands like me having this problem. This is a safety issue and this matter should be resolved by Nissan but no recall has not taken place as I know of. It put many drivers and their families at risk on an accident and to others sharing the highway and roads. Please help me and many others find a way to either get reimbursement for our repairs. This transmission issue is a defect and is dangerous! so far my cost of repairs is a total $4,424.32. My truck is a 2005 and the transmission shouldn't have failed me so early. I don't do hard driving and never towed or pulled anything heavy. Please help me and my family. Thanks and god bless!

- Fort Benning, GA, USA

problem #102

Apr 172011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 97,886 miles
Due to a known manufacturing defect in the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission cooling system, my daughter was stranded by a vehicle that wouldn't move. After researching the problem I have found that this is a fairly common problem in the 2005 year model. There is a problem with the engine cooling system and the transmission mixing fluids, thereby causing catastrophic damage to the transmission. Leading up to the transmission failure, the transmission may fail to shift or it may downshift at highway speeds causing overspeeding of the engine.

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #101

Mar 262011


  • 70,487 miles
I have 2005 Nissan Pathfinder le 4X4, my transmission has gone bad after searching online many complaint about the transmission coolant(water) entering the transmission and locking the transmission, after doing a search online I'm not the only one with this problem 100's of complaints have been told/advise to Nissan usa, transmission could lock on you while you are driving very serious, dangerous, took SUV to dealer wanted me to buy a new transmission, told them about all the complaint service dept.told me that the was my problem not Nissan's printed out and show them all the complaint no luck.....there should be a recall / transmission has to be change many many complaints..........

- Lawrence , MA, USA

problem #100

Jun 152010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Flat unresponsive gas pedal response excessive driveline vibration at highway speed wheel and tire shake dealership stated nothing was wrong with the vehicle. Occurred on a regular basis until failure occurred. Second servicing dealership diagnosed failed transmission radiator and complete transmission replacement/repair.

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #99

Mar 192011


  • 86,600 miles
My 2005 Pathfinder's transmission slipped. Found out that my radiator had failed and mixed radiator and transmission fluid. Nissan knew this was a problem and instead of recalling, they extended warranty until 80,000 or Feb, 2013 but did not notify anyone of the possible problem. My car has 86,600 mile on it. Nissan will not cover or pay any part of the repair. It is all over web discussion boards and on and from other with the same problem and result with Nissan corporate. When will Nissan end up owning up to this defect and pay for fixes. It is an expensive repair that many are having to pay. I will be sending a formal complaint to Nissan and to Consumer Affairs boards but someone needs to step up and get Nissan to own up to the problem.

- Holyoke, MA, USA

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