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 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #98

Mar 192011


  • 78,000 miles


Transmission failure. Historical coolant line issues. Requires rebuild.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #97

Feb 172011


  • 88,000 miles
Radiator cracked and leaked into transmission which lead to transmision failure

- Beaver Falls , PA, USA

problem #96

Oct 272010


  • 89,000 miles
Purchased 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Still owe on financing. I had an issue about 2 months ago where I had the radiator and transmission replaced as a result of faulty radiator. I spent well over 4500 to replace the transmission and radiator and would like to submit my claim for the class action lawsuit pending. I will never purchase a Nissan again.

- Vinton, VA, USA

problem #95

Jan 232011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder leaks coolant fluid into transmission which cause gear shifting problems. Repair is $6000 for radiator and transmission.

- Dorado , PR, USA

problem #94

Mar 012010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle momentarily stopped accelerating for a few seconds. After a few seconds, the vehicle continued to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told the transmission fluid needed to be replaced. While replacing the transmission fluid the authorized dealer noticed the transmission fluid and radiator fluid were mixing. The radiator was replaced and the fluids were flushed. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 106,000.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #93

Jan 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder 4X4 SE off road with 115,000 miles. Beautiful vehicle but beginning to have problems the fuel gauge will go to empty when full, also having hesitation about 40 miles an hour.I read about the horror story with radiator problem causing transmission problem. I have an appointment at a Nissan dealer this weekend for the recall on the ECM so I will have further info on the hesitation, Nissan recalled the fuel gauge problem but limited to 72,000 miles vehicle only, I think they should up hold the Nissan rep and take care of these problems also the transmission problems due to faulty parts. These problems are not normal wear and tear.

- Corryton, TN, USA

problem #92

Aug 012010


  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle would not shift gears and speed would not increase in speed more than 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the transmission was flushed. The contact continued to experience the failure and was unable to drive the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the technicians stated the radiator was leaking fluid into the transmission. The technicians stated the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Burnsville, NC, USA

problem #91

Aug 232010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The initial problem was that the vehicle overheated. Further investigation revealed that the transmission cooler inside the radiator had broken. This flooded the coolant system with transmission fluid, which then circulated through the engine. The coolant/water mix also leaked into the transmission and caused the transmission to fail. Corrective action taken - replace radiator, all hoses, and transmission.

- Hallsville, TX, USA

problem #90

Jul 162010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
No problems with vehicle just one day didn't switch gears and service engine light came on. That was it Nissan told me almost 6000 to fix radiator rotted and fluids leaked into transmission which made both no good. Also 2 months later cd player stopped working will not eject and cds stuck in the system.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #89

Nov 152010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
2005 Pathfinder wouldn't accelerate from 0-20mph and had shuttering feeling at 40-60mph. I fear the worst is happening.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #88

Oct 172010


  • 130,000 miles


I brought car to the dealer for service and asked for the tranny to flushed they said the radiator had a leak and there was coolant in the transmission. They offered to replace the radiator and flush the system for $1,000 but didn't think that would help. The dealer wanted to replace the transmission and radiator for 8-10K. I ended up taking a loss and trading in the car couldn't see putting that kind of money into a 5 year old car. After looking on the internet found hundreds of people having the same issue very disappointing Nissan doesn't stand behind their product.

- Carver, MA, USA

problem #87

Oct 072010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
We were driving in our 2005 Pathfinder when the car decided to decrease speed all by itself after we pulled out into an intersection with traffic headed our way. Took the car to Nissan dealership was told coolant leaking into transmission due to a defected seal in the radiator to fix the problem ECM, tcm, transmission and radiator need to be replaced about 7,000 to fix the problem Nissan need to correct there mistakes not recall one component that got fried because coolant leaked on it that's not going to correct the problem. I cant believe we have to wait for someone to loose a love one before action is done we were second away from that, seriously. Not a joke Nissan needs to stand up for there mistake this is America right don't we have rights to a safe auto for our children after paying alot for a car that suppose to be safe just google 2005 Pathfinder complaints and see how many are really out there 93% transmission problem on the 2005 same thing coolant leaking into the transmission make Nissan recall these cars and fix the problem we work hard for our country and deserve quality what if this was your family Nissan you have your family in one of these car think not!!!

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #86

Aug 032010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 52,800 miles
The transmission failed at 52,800 miles. No "slamming" of gears or shuddering or difficulty in shifting that would indicate an issue. Transmission serviced at 40,000 miles and oil change/fluid check and state inspection passed 8 weeks prior to failure. When shifted into reverse, gear would not engage for several seconds. Because acceleration/gas had been given, when the gear did engage, the engine would rev and reverse at approximately 20 mph causing near accidents with other vehicles and pedestrians in vicinity. Brought to Nissan dealer and was informed transmission fluid was burned. I requested the radiator be examined and although the dealer said they did it does not show on my service receipt. Dealer stated it was a faulty transmission only, no radiator involvement. I was 3 months outside of the drivetrain warranty. After 7 days of negotiation, Nissan decided to pay for part of the rebuilt transmission and labor. Over $2000 out of pocket for trans and rental car. All service performed at regular intervals, all service records kept. All services were performed at dealer the vehicle was purchased from. Safety recalls should not be business decisions based on saving large companies the millions they are cheating their customers out of on unusual repairs above and beyond normal maintenance. They should be based on saving lives and preventing accidents. I nearly hit a pedestrian due to this sudden transmission failure.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #85

Oct 302009


  • 20,500 miles
Service engine lamp lit. Transmission fluid's radiator cooler failed allowing coolant to enter into transmission ruining transmission.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #84

Oct 152010


  • 102,000 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that recently had the transmission go out on me. After taking the car to a Nissan dealership and finally an independent transmission mechanic, it was diagnosed as radiator leaking fluid into the transmission. An online search led me hundreds of other complaints about the same issue with Nissan Pathfinders. I believe that Nissan needs to be held accountable for fixing what is amounting to a defect in their cars.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #83

Jul 062009

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the transmission fluid and coolant mixed together which cause the transmission to malfunction and jump gears while driving 25 mph. At times the vehicle would shut off without warning. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer and noticed the transmission fluid and coolant mixing together. They stated the transmission and the engine needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 95,000. Updated 11/15/10

- Frankford, IL, USA

problem #82

Sep 172009


  • 95,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and I have had to pay 5000 to have a new transmission for my car, now I have to have a new radiator. Through research on the internet, Nissan was purchasing faulty radiators for 2005 Pathfinders, and the coolant leaks into the transmission and destroys it. This has happened to my vehicle and Nissan has refused to pay for it. This has happened to tons of other people on the internet and they should be responsible for correcting their mistake.

- Bethany, LA, USA

problem #81

Sep 112010


  • 65,450 miles
Transmission not shifting at 50 mph during acceleration on freeway. Unable to avoid fast traffic and stuck behind big rig. Slow driving more dangerous than normal flow traffic. Took to get transmission flushed and mechanic mention brownish color, but no contamination of radiator fluid. Says needs rebuilt or new trans. I took SUV back and been driving still with shifting working, but shaking at 60 mph or higher just like prior to shift issue. 65K only and from reading forums, I see many complaints and many unhappy customers including me. Hoping Nissan steps up and fixes this for free. Not sure if trading in or fixing. Love this car, but issue after issue. 2008 had both cats replaced, for lost of power.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #80

Aug 272010


  • 93,000 miles
While backing out of a parking space, I heard a loud "clang" which sounded like it came from the engine compartment or under the front of the car. It sounded like a metal rod hit another piece of metal. As I was already out of my space, I proceeded forward, but my car lacked power. I was finally able to gain enough power to move forward, but something was obviously wrong. I was able to get my car to the dealer, avoiding the highway for fear of getting hit by someone while my car had very little responsiveness. The dealer inspected the car and claimed to be surprised of the failure, which was that transmission fluid had leaked into the radiator, and coolant into the transmission. The dealer quoted me $7000 to fix this issue. After calling around and finding an aamco dealer who explained to me this well known issue, I was quoted a price of "only" $3800 to fix it. The problem, as described by the mechanic, was a faulty design where the transmission fluid travels through the radiator with some sort of valve box between them and the heat differential between the coolant and transmission fluid necessarily causes the valve box to decay causing the 2 fluids to mix. The result is a completely ruined radiator, completely ruined valve box, and if not treated early, a completely ruined transmission. Obviously, if I am driving my children on vacation and we're coming down a mountain when the transmission fails, this could be very tragic! now I am out a car, forced to obtain a rental car, and still need to correctly fix my own car. What's more, if I use the same components that Nissan has designed, I will only be setting myself up for future problems. I looked online to see if anyone else had this problem and was amazed to find so many people with the same issue, describing in detail pretty much what the aamco mechanic told me. I find it hard to believe that the folks at Nissan had never heard of it. It is obviously a faulty design and Nissan needs correct it.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #79

Sep 122010


  • 65,108 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder and I have radiator and transmission failure! defective radiator causes engine coolant to leak into transmission which could fail at any time. Driving at highway speed could and will cause dangerous situations. I must not be alone in this problem either, there are hundreds of complaints on this sight regarding this very issue! Nissan needs to take responsibility for their design/manufacturing flaw. Many consumers who are not aware of this are at danger and other people on the road as well. Nissan needs to recall this immediately!!! why does someone have to be killed or injured seriously before NHTSA or Nissan gets involved. I guess money is the root of all evil! and Nissan is more concerned about their profits than someone's life! we as consumers need to do something about this! this has nothing to do with the wear and tear on our part, but Nissan design department!

- Springfield, TN, USA

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