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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Feb 152010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 74,500 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 74,500 miles needs transmission replacement and radiator due to leaking of radiator coolant into transmission, mixing up with transmission oil damaging transmission. Looking at customer complaints online, it looks as every Pathfinder with above 60,000 miles suffers the same problem.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #37

Mar 282010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Vehicle shutters and shakes in overdrive at @ 40/45 mph and does not properly engage gears during operation of vehicle. The transmission fails during normal navigation through traffic. Confirmed factory defective radiator leaked coolant into transmission causing ruined transmission.

- Signal Mountain, TN, USA

problem #36

Apr 202010


  • 75,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has a defect involving fluid from the radiator leaking into the transmission. This is a known defect that posted about by many others and it causes my car to shake violently between speeds of 45-65 mph. Neither Nissan N.a. nor the dealership where I bought the car, rt 22 Nissan in NJ, have been cooperative in rectifying or even addressing how to fix the problem.

- Basking Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #35

Apr 192010


  • 58,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has 58,000 and shakes violently once I reach 40 mph and over especially on the highway. I took it to my local Nissan dealer and it was diagnosed with the radiator leaking into the transmission making it shake very violently. The estimated cost to repair this huge problem is anywhere from $3500-$4500. I called Nissan headquarters only to hear that my warranty already expired and that they can't do anything about this problem. This is a serious safety and mechanical problem that should be recalled since they have terrible engineering and could possibly cause an major accident and someone's life.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #34

Apr 032010


  • 90,000 miles
TL- contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the vehicle began to vibrate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership for a diagnostic test where the contact was informed that the radiator coolant was leaking into the transmission; both the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 90,000.

- Wrentham, MA, USA

problem #33

Feb 142010


  • 100,033 miles
1) car started to stutter at first, then kick, then buck when hitting 60mph. Then it started doing it at 30mph, 45mph and again at 60mph. 2) it won't automatically shift (yes it is an automatic) in 3 or more gears once the car has been warmed up 3) car was taken to dealer for diagnostic (at their request) and they said the most "cost effective" way is to replace the radiator and the transmission due to a leaking radiator hose that manages to get liquid into the transmission.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #32

Dec 302009


  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that in February 2010 while driving approximately 40 mph, the rear passenger tire began to shake excessively. The faster the contact drove, the worse the shaking became. When the contact slowed the vehicle down, the shaking seemed to stop. There were no warning lights illuminated to indicate what the cause of the failure could be. The contact took the vehicle to an authorized dealer who stated that the radiator had been leaking fluid into the transmission and both would have to be replaced. The contact then took the vehicle to a local repair shop where the transmission was being rebuilt when the complaint was filed. The manufacturer stated that they could not offer any assistance regarding the repairs since the vehicle was taken to an outside repair shop instead of an authorized dealer. The current and failure mileages were approximately 83,000.

- Pineville, MO, USA

problem #31

Mar 032010


  • 58,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has a faulty radiator which leaks back into the transmission. The vehicle has less than 60,000 miles and the dealer says Nissan will not cover the transmission damage. On there are hundreds of complaints for the same exact complaint from other owners. The problem causes the vehicle to shake at highway speeds.

- Milton, WA, USA

problem #30

Mar 212010


  • 56,700 miles
At around 56,600 miles noticed car shaking vigourously when driving over 50 mph. This mileage typically occurring on highway and steering wheel shakes and vibrates and car gears feels like it keeps slipping until you slow down below 40mph. I bought my car brand new, 2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE and have seen several complaints about a defective radiator in these vehicles which cracks and causes fluids to leak into transmission and destroy it. Although my transmission is still covered under the 5yr/60,000 mi warranty, they will not address the problem because the radiator hasn't been recalled as yet.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #29

Mar 202010


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stopped at a stop sign and when she attempted to accelerate forward, the vehicle instead moved backward. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where she was informed that the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced because of a leak in the radiator which also caused the transmission to stop functioning correctly. The vehicle was at the dealership being repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 74,000.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #28

Mar 152010


  • 70,000 miles


I bought my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder new from the dealer. At about 70,000 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 transmission and the radiator at a cost of about $3,000. I believe that Nissan should have had a recall since this problem is so widely documented. I have also had to have the power module, the thermostat, the sunvisor, and the hydraulic lifts for the back hatch all replaced with the car still under 80,000 miles. Needless to say, I won't be looking for a Nissan product when I shop for my next car.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #27

Feb 222010


  • 75,974 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact was driving 40 mph when the vehicle began to vibrate violently. The contact was able to continue driving the vehicle normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure was caused by transmission fluid leaking into the radiator. The contact was displeased to know the authorized dealer was not financially responsible for the repair cost. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 75,974. The current mileage was 76,000.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #26

Jan 102010


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. I have come to find that the transmission is failing due to a defective radiator letting radiator fluid into the transmission. My car, which has 88K miles is now out of the 60K mi. Nissan warranty. From doing research online I see that this is a very, common problem and seems to affect all 2005 Pathfinders. As this has been a known problem for some time Nissan could have warned about the issue (replacing the radiator before it failed and failed the transmission) as well it most likely started failing before the warranty expired. Nissan will not fix the issue. I feel that Nissan should be compelled to fix this issue for all 2005 Pathfinder owners.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #25

Mar 042010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 67K miles developed a "shudder" at 40 mph and 60 mph, approximately when the car was shifting from 3rd into 4th gear and from 4th into 5th gear. Took it to the dealer and was told that the transmission cooler (part of the radiator system) had leaked coolant into the transmission, ruining the transmission, and that both would need to be replaced, at a cost of approximately $5700. The vehicle is one month short of five years old, but is 7K miles past the warranty expiration and has been problem-free up to this point. After doing some research online, I found hundreds of similar complaints, along with reports that Nissan was refusing to pay for repairs to the transmission because the root problem was with the radiator. This is a well-documented problem online; why is Nissan refusing to do a recall? you'd think they'd want to avoid the pr disaster Toyota is currently enduring...

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #24

Feb 102010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder shudders at speeds between 40-60 mph. Local dealer says tranny and radiator need to be replaced at a cost of 5000-$7000. Bought the SUV with 73000, it now has 79000. Many others have complained of this problem, Nissan needs to take action on their faulty engineering.

- Willmar, MN, USA

problem #23

Feb 102010


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. While the contact was driving 40 mph, the transmission shifted from 5th gear to overdrive without assistance. There were no prior warnings. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician recommended that the transmission be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The current and failure mileages were 79,000.

- Willmer, MN, USA

problem #22

Mar 042010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder (56,000 miles) has defective radiator which leaks fluid into transmission, now needs both radiator and transmission replaced. Transmission is covered under warranty but because of Nissan's bad radiator they will not cover the cost of either.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #21

Sep 142009

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE. I have had an issue with it and it could of been a safety issue. In June '09 the radiator had a cooling line that broke which has become a transmission problem. And anytime that a drivetrain is in issue it could cause a safety issue. I replaced the radiator for $600 and the transmission went out with violent stuttering and engaging in and out while in heavy traffic which could of caused a major accident especially at highway speeds. I have replaced the transmission with no help from Nissan. This is a major problem that has been documented by several hundred consumers all with the same problem. The total I spent was $3197.09 which should be reimbursed by Nissan Corp for this problem is well known by the yet no recall has been issued.

- Ceresco, MI, USA

problem #20

Jun 062009

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Radiator leaked into transmission causing failure when my family was driving down the highway. Although no one was injured in this case, Nissan refuses to acknowledge this widespread problem with the Pathfinder and someone could be hurt in the future.

- Madisonville, LA, USA

problem #19

Feb 262010


  • 91,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 106,000 miles has had 3 transmissions replaced since June 2009. Dealership covered them under warranty, but now other non-warranty issues are occurring which were caused by those transmission failures. Vehicle has had the transcooler replaced, hoses, and radiator replaced and my cost. Vehicle makes a dangerously loud vibrating noise between 40-60 mph and begins to shake. Almost causing an accident. Parts that were replaced were kept at the dealership and are not available at this time. This is a recurring problem that happens every 2 months or so.

- Richmond, VA, USA

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