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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

Jun 282010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 68,900 miles


I was informed on Monday, June 28, 2010 that my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with only 68,900 miles is in need of a new transmission and radiator. I was told by a certified Nissan technician that an internal failure in the radiator caused coolant fluid to leak into the transmission is causing the transmission to breakdown. Approx 1 month ago I noticed my Nissan Pathfinder vibrating between 40-60 mph. It took three times to the dealer to diagnose this problem. Apparently, this problem is not isolated to my vehicle alone. I googled the "2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problem" and discovered 100 plus similar complaints. Nissan customer service is not taking ownership to this problem. They are well aware of the issue. My fear is Pathfinder owners with similar issues will drive these vehicles unbeknownst to them there is an issue and the transmission may seize causing an motor vehicle accident.

- Broomall, PA, USA

problem #57

May 152010


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 60 mph, he engaged the accelerator and the vehicle's speed did not increase. He stated the failure was intermittent. In addition, the transmission slips. The contact stated that water from the radiator was going to the transmission. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000 and the current mileage was 105,704.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #56

May 052010


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

- Clifton, NJ, USA

problem #55

Jun 072010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder. We felt a vibration about two weeks ago. At 40 mph it felt like we were going over rumble strips. Took to the mechanic. He said it was the transmission. Radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and back. Both needed to be replaced as they were ruined. Car is not safe to drive. Repair will cost $5,000. Nissan will not cover any or all of the repair. The car only has 67,000 miles on it.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #54

Jun 022010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 40 mph the vehicle starting shaking as if she was driving over a grooved pavement. She drove home a parked the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and she was told that the transmission and radiator needed replacing because they were leaking fluids. The cost for the repairs was $5,900. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact stated the gas gauge had previously stopped working and she paid for the repairs. The failure and current mileages were 70,000.

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #53

Jun 042005


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan path finder. The contact stated while driving at unknown speeds, there was an unusual rumbling. The dealer determined that the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission, causing the transmission to foul. The dealer advised the transmission and radiator would need to be replaced. The manufacturer advised that the contact was out of warranty and would not provide any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 74,000.

- Troy, AL, USA

problem #52

Apr 032010


  • 75,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission radiator issue. There are plenty of posts online regarding the same problem. The radiator leaks coolant into the transmission fluid lines. Which in turn causes irreversible damage to the transmission. Which is around a $4000 part.

- Waynesboro, VA, USA

problem #51

May 232010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at 30-40 mph, the transmission began making a shuddering noise. The contact pulled over to inspect the vehicle and then took it to a local mechanic who stated that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The contact also stated that the fuel gauge stopped functioning at 50,000 miles. The failure mileage was approximately 88,000. The current mileage was 88,562.

- Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA

problem #50

Apr 302010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Nissan corporation has a manufacture defect in their radiator which causes coolant to leak into the transmission. This action need a nationwide recall on both parts (radiator and transmission). Just like Toyota corporation had nationwide attention, Nissan need the same ordeal. The vehicle in question is a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. This vehicle has extended warranty which was not honor. Quoted when purchasing the extended warranty, "everything is cover from bumper to bumper, even down to the bolts". this is a misleading statement from the warranty department. Warranty department would not honor the warranty due to coolant was in the transmission. Money was paid for this purpose, now they say the warranty does not cover this mishap. After researching and talking with skills mechanics, it was discovered that the coolant came from a defective (busted) radiator. The mechanics stated this is becoming a common problem.

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #49

Apr 012010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder le, have had to replace the fuel sensor unit at own expense when it wouldn't show correct amount of fuel left in tank below half full. This problem occurred about 50K miles. Now with just under 95K miles, am having issue with transmission not locking into overdrive. This is the situation often described as heavy vibration around 45 mph, as well as around 60 mph. Have had dealer as well as independent shop look at this both saying it is a well known issue across the country with this make/model/year. As of this point - no cross-contamination has been found with the coolant and the transmission fluid. I am looking at around 5K in costs for a new transmission which has never been involved in an heavy accident nor driven off-road or anything besides city and highway driving. Not very reliable from my point of view and needs to be investigated why so many have been faulty - and if found to be design, then why isn't it at least part of the responsibility of Nissan to help owners of these vehicles?

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #48

Feb 062008


  • 52,000 miles


I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder le. 52,000 miles. With transmission trouble. It vibrates at speeds of 45-50 mph. Water in the transmission due to a leaking radiator which leaks into the transmission and ruins it. Gas gauge that doesn't work properly.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #47

Dec 312009


  • 39,000 miles
In Dec. '09, noticed rear end vibration and clinking sound. Thought it might be transmission problem. Pure coincidence-brought it to dealer for coolant flush was told that there was trans fluid in my radiator. Called my trans repair people (not Nissan). They were aware of problem. Told me that radiators in Pathfinder 2005's were defective. Coolant leaked through one of radiator trans coolers, into trans. And trans fluid leaked back into radiator, rendering both irreparable. Needed new trans and radiator. Told dealer and Nissan. Through several phone calls/negotiations, , Nissan agreed to do the $5,000-7000 repair for dealer labor charge of $450. Told me I would get money back if there was a recall. Dealer did repair. The problem is also a safety issue, because radiator and/or trans can fail while on the road. Countless Pathfinder owners have reported the problem to no avail. Nissan getting away with a major defect that could prove dangerous.

- Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #46

Dec 152009


  • 65,000 miles
Several months ago, the Pathfinder started to pulsate while gaining performed trans service, fixed problem for a few days. Pathfinder started pulsating again, even worse. Dealer advised torque converter was bad..second opinion mechanic advised radiator leaked into trans, and trans fluid leaked into coolant. Coolant destroyed transmission. Learned this has been a ongoing problem with Pathfinders for years, there is a weld inside the radiator that fails and the two liquids transfers. Why would the company design a radiator that has two liquids inside that can contaminate each other.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #45

Mar 012010


  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle hesitates during overdrive at speed of @ 40-50mph. Vibration occurs and gears do not properly engage. Failure is due to defective radiator leaking fluids into transmission. Nissan installed defective radiator in 2005 Pathfinder. They refuse to correct the problem leading to damaged transmission!

- Signal Mountain, TN, USA

problem #44

Apr 132010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
1) the transmission completely failed with no previous warning/indication on a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder around the 82K mile mark. I just bought the car used less than 1 month and 1K miles previously. I was in the process of merging onto an expressway at the time and found myself unable to fully accelerate. I basically coasted it off the road at this point. Although an accident was averted one could have easily occurred. 2) from what I was told, the transmission seized up entirely, and all of the fluids drained out entirely. It only happened once, however it caused my vehicle to instantly be "dead in the water". 3) the car had to be towed to the dealership to have the U-joint and the transmission replaced (new) for a roughly 7200 total price tag that fortunately for me the extended warranty company ultimately covered (minus the deductible) after much back and forth / inspections over 6 weeks.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #43

Mar 312010


  • 62,500 miles
Transmission shaking at 40-45 mph. Is constant until transmission changes gears. Nissan replaced the transmission for a fee. After replacement the new transmission experiences the same symptoms. Took it in again and they said the radiator is leaking into the transmission. Pathfinder is in service and I have to pay for the parts and labor. Reading the complaints this is a known issue and should be a recall.

- Mantua, NJ, USA

problem #42

Apr 282010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
It all started with the radiator and the only reason I even knew something was wrong was that my gears were switching weird. I took the car into the dealership, they told me that I needed to get a new radiator and transmission B/C my radiator fluid was leaking into my transmission. They quoted me at $6000. I then took my car to get a new radiator and transmission flush, it helped a little. My car finally gave out 2 weeks ago. While driving down a side street, thenall of a sudden the transmission wouldn't switch gears. I tried pressing the gas to go and the transmission would not go. The car was still running, however I couldn't grab any gears to go. I got it towed to a transmission shop, they told me that my radiator fluid is leaking into my transmission which made my transmission lock up. They took my transmission apart to look at parts and apparently everything is rusty together, not to mention the "computer" in the transmission is fried. You would think that Nissan would recognize an issue when they see that same part is on backorder B/C I am waiting on a part. While reading others with the same issue, some have been on the highway and the transmission went out. This is definitely a safety issue seeing as if driving at high speeds you could possibly get rear ended badly. I almost got rearended while only going 45mph.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #41

Apr 102010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
We own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Recently the transmission is slow to engage. It has failed at times while pulling out from a stop. It places the vehicle occupants in a dangerous situation because the vehicle fails to move forward and you are pulling out into traffic. Our vehicle has 65000 miles on it, just over the warranty limit. We recently took it to the local dealership who diagnosed the problem to a faulty radiator and transmission. A $6000 repair estimate was given to us. From what information I have found by my own research, this is a common occurrence that Nissan is fully aware of but refuses to recall. We have contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs which has been a total waste of time. This problem is a serious safety issue in my opinion.

- Montezuma, NC, USA

problem #40

May 042010


  • 78,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder with approximately 78,000 miles developed a vibration and shaking when driving at a constant speed on any road, however; when driving with overdrive off the vibration and shaking is no longer present. When vehicle was brought to Nissan dealership they discovered that the transmission fluid was mixing with the engine coolant and vice versa. Upon diagnosis of this problem the dealership said it would be about $6,000 to replace transmission and radiator and fluids. Luckily my extended warranty covered this. I am not the first person to have this problem. for proof of others with the same issue.

- Fort Carson, CO, USA

problem #39

Apr 282010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 78,092 miles
I have taken my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder to my dealer, because of a rumbling sound;the mechanic said that the radiator has a internal damage and cause the antifreeze to leak to the transmission. I do have a extended warranty that the dealer also refuse to take because the radiator is not cover but the transmission it is, but they still will not repair the transmission.

- Brooklyn , NY, USA

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