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 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

Aug 282010


  • 129,989 miles


2005 Nissan radiator and transmission failure. Defective radiator causes engine coolant to leak into transmission which may fail at any time. Driving at highway speed, entering traffic, merging or entering intersections causing dangerous conditions as the vehicle fails to move, decelerates quickly or the transmission slips badly and fails to accelerate. Hundreds of incidents of failures are reported on the internet. An apparent design/manufacturing flaw in the radiator causes the condition. Nissan has taken no responsibility or corrective action. Thousands of unsuspecting consumers and their families are at risk each day driving or riding in these vehicles. Consumers are left paying thousands of dollars for replacements.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #77

Aug 032010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Vibration in transmission, coolant in transmission oil.

- Trois-RiviÈRes, 00, USA

problem #76

Mar 062010


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle started vibrating. He took the vehicle to the dealer and he was advised that the transmission needed to be rebuilt because the radiator was leaking fluid into the transmission. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure mileage was 125,000. The current mileage was 131,000.

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #75

Oct 202009


  • 65,000 miles


I bought my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder new from the dealer. At about 60,000 miles I started having transmission problems and was told that Nissan had a severe problem with the radiator leaking into the transmission and ruining it. I had to replace the radiator at a cost of about $600. I believe that Nissan should have had a recall since this problem is so widely documented. I have also had to replace fuel pump which cost me $500. Needless to say, I won't be looking for a Nissan product when I shop for my next car. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #74

Jul 182010


  • 103,487 miles
My transmission totally went on my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. It would not start. The computer shut the car down B/C the transmission was not working. I was stranded with my children at a shopping center. I took it first to a transmission specialist. He could not repair it B/C he could not get the parts from Nissan to fix it proper. He said he had seen 18 of these 2005 Pathfinders with the same issue. It happens at 60,000-120,000 miles. I took it to a dealership. They knew right away. I was told it was a design flaw, the coolant from the radiator leaks into the transmission causing the transmission to go out. I was told I had to replace the radiator and hoses, so this would not happen again. Nissan made changes in the radiator to correct their mistake. I had to replace my transmission, temperature gauge, and radiator with new.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #73

May 222010


  • 58,000 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder le, it currently has 64,000 miles, at approx. 58,000 miles I notice excessive vibration thru out the vehicle at about 74mph, I took the vehicle to have the tires balanced and rotated but this did not fix the problem, took the vehicle to Nissan who told me they could not duplicate the problem but I should keep an eye on it, when it was time for my oil change I told them the problem still exists and again they could not find a problem so they re-balance the tires which did not change anything. I did some research online only to find out that there are hundreds of threads regarding this incident were the radiator coolant line leaks into the transmission and causing damage to the transmission, it is a known issue leading to the replacement of the radiator and transmission, car shakes tremendously as if it were falling apart, how can there be so many complaints and yet Nissan does nothing to fix it, extended warranties cover transmission damage but your still left with a $1000 bill for the radiator.

- Tarpon Springs, FL, USA

problem #72

Aug 092010


  • 70,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder began to shutter then jerk back into normal driving as it reached speeds of 60-70 mph. It was very sporadic in the beginning, but started to happen more frequently and at lower speeds for a longer period of time. I brought the truck into Nissan with 70,000 miles, at which time I was told that the radiator leaked into the transmission causing the need for both to be replaced at the cost of $6700. I did alot of research and discovered that hundreds and hundreds of people with the 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with approximately the same mileage (just after warranty expires) are experiencing the same issues. It seems as though a faulty radiator system was installed into these vehicles. They kept my truck for 12 days while trying to decide if they would offer assistance with fixing my 5 year old vehicle. The end result being, that they would pay to replace the transmission and I would pay to replace the radiator as well as the labor costs. I was told that this did not occur as a result of anything I did wrong. I asked why a recall isn't being done, at which time I was told that the number of injuries or deaths was a major factor in that determination. Although I was not injured, this is a huge financial burden to take on for a vehicle that is only 5 years old. Nissan needs to take responsibility and stand behind the parts they put in their vehicles!!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #71

Apr 072009


  • 67,000 miles
Noticed rough shifts in transmission, eventually failed to engage 5th gear. Took to dealer, transmission lines inside radiator had ruptured. Replaced transmission, radiator and lines at a cost of over $8000 and 4 weeks time. This occurred at 67K miles. At 87K miles, radiator fluid is milky and shows symptoms of another rupture of coolant lines inside transmission. Dealer and Nissan usa do not recognize this as a safety issue or inherent defect in engineering. However, a simple search will show an extremely large number of people with similar issues caused by faulty cooling lines in the radiator rupturing causing transmission abrupt behavior and the danger for loss of vehicle control due to the failure.

- Elko, MN, USA

problem #70

Sep 012009


  • miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that my transmission has gone out in. I have been told by the transmission repairman that it is caused by fluid getting into the transmission. There is obvious signs of antifreeze being in the transmission and through their research it is from the radiator leaking into the transmission. They have received several things at their shop concerning these problems. Now I have a 3000 bill or more to have this transmission repaired. There are numerous complaints on this in the internet. All talking about the same exact thing.

- Bethany, LA, USA

problem #69

Jun 202010


  • 50,600 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While the vehicle was parked she noticed transmission fluid on the ground. She took the vehicle to an authorized dealer, and they advised her that she needed a receipt. However, the dealer would or identify what type of receipt she needed. Two days later she received a recall letter; however, the dealer refused to perform the recall repair. The contact referenced recall NHTSA campaign id number: 10E019000, suspension:front:control arm:lower arm. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,600 and the current mileage was 55,774.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #68

Feb 012010


  • 90,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission is slipping and car shakes violently while driving on the highway at about 60-70mph. I've contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs about this problem but they are refusing to repair it due to not spending enough money at their dealerships and due to the high mileage(problem started around 90K, currently about 110K) of my vehicle.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

problem #67

Jun 142010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder defected radiators leaking into transmission, rusting components leading to transmission slipping and failure, I was on the mass pike highway going about 60 when my Pathfinder just pull back like you dropped it in low, 18 wheeler almost drove right threw my back of Pathfinder, this has happened more then one time, sometimes while stopped in traffic it feels like the transmission is pulling forward without putting your foot on the gas, I have done some research online to find the same problem many others are having in the radiator there is transmission fluid( look) for white milky substance also antifreeze going into transmission, please search the web for 2005 Nissan Pathfinders complaints and problems, this is vary dangerous to be driving it is unpredictable when it happens and I was told just a matter of days before I will have to replace both radiator and transmission, this is a total defect on Nissan, not fair at all, threshold be a recall on this a big safety issue could cause a serious accident.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #66

Jul 132010


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission "struggles" at 40 mpg and then again at 75 mph. Told I need a complete transmission $4,500! used ones can't be found in the junk yards because the demand is high!

- Gainesville, FL, USA

problem #65

Jul 152010


  • 93,000 miles
Complete failure of automatic transmission in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE requiring the entire transmission to be replaced.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #64

Apr 102010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated when driving at 40 mph in overdrive, the vehicle would abnormally vibrate excessively as if driving over an extremely uneven road surface.the failure would correct itself when the accelerator pedal was depressed but would return momentarily. The failure became progressively worse and on one occasion, while driving at 70 mph, the failure occurred and the contact was under the impression that he had a blown tire. The vehicle was taken to the contact's personal mechanic where he was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was then taken to the dealer where he was advised the radiator fluid was leaking into transmission and causing the failure. The dealer advised replacing both the radiator and transmission at the contact's expense. The manufacturer was contacted and the contact was awaiting a response to determine if they would assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000 and the current mileage was 75,432.

- Mision Viejo, CA, USA

problem #63

Jul 022010


  • 104,000 miles
Transmission started slipping on the freeway with the kids in the car. My husband found coolant in the tranny oil and then did research and found alot of people having this issue. Our car is out of warranty but this is due to a faulty radiator leaking coolant into the tranny over time.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #62

Jun 102010


  • 75,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission failure 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has a problem with coolant leaking into the transmission. This transmission cooler is located inside the radiator. The faulty design ruins the transmission, Nissan refuses to acknowledge the problem and issue a recall. Nissan and the dealerships are aware of this ongoing problem, but still keep selling them to unaware consumers. My transmission is destroyed and I replaced the radiator after we found coolant in the transmission. I kept the old radiator.

- Middleboro, MA, USA

problem #61

Jun 142010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 55,000 miles. I notice a vibration under the vehicle which would last for 2-3 seconds everytime I would drive it. I thought nothing about it, until it got worst. Now the vehicle stalls and vibrates more frequently while traveling on highways and major roads. I went on-line to research the problem and discovered the cause was from a leak from the radiator into the transmission and caused the slippage and the vibrations. Thousands of other people who own a Nissan Pathfinder had similar problems and have gone to the Nissan dealership and complained about the issue, as I had. The only thing Nissan will do is replace those parts, but we the consumer will have to pay for it, although it is clearly a manufacturer issue in relation to Nissan using inferior quality of parts. It will cost me $5,600 for parts and labor to fix a Nissan problem.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #60

Jul 072010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 89,500 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder S/N [xxx]. engine coolant leaking into transmission due to failure of oil cooler causing transmission failure. I have read over 100 complaints on this same issue and Nissan will not assist in the repairs. I was informed it would cost $5,149 before taxes to get this vehicle repaired. Nissan knows this is a problem. The dealership I took it to shook his head and said he currently has one in the shop for the same reason, but they won't stand behind their product. To make matters even worse, they are replacing the faulty part with the same defective part. Isn't there any way we can get this pushed through so Nissan would issue a recall on this and take responsibility for their mistakes? please call me @ [xxx]. I woulod like to know what I can do to help the many people in my same situation. Thank you for your time. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dickson, TN, USA

problem #59

Jul 022010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Transmission started slipping on the freeway with the kids in the car. My husband found coolant in the tranny oil and then did research and found alot of people having this issue. Our car is out of warranty but this is due to a faulty radiator leaking coolant into the tranny coolant built inside the radiator.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

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