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 7 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

May 042009


  • 64,863 miles


Transmission failure SUV bucks will not drive going down highway unsafe in traffic.

- Southampton, PA, USA

problem #17

Feb 242010


  • 87,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder started having shifting problems, had 60K service done at dealer, started again, flushed again at 72 had problems again at 80 and at 87K the radiator core failed and leaked into the transmission causing the transmission to fail and seize total cost for repairs $4400 after hearing about this I did a little search and found this is a big problem with this car, as the shifting is a precurser to the failure, I wanted the dealer to cover since they assured me it was ok..

- Sherman, NN, USA

problem #16

Jan 152010


  • 95,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder is having the same transmission problems that so many others are having. It seems that Nissan had a defective batch of radiators that has let coolant leak into the transmission causing vibrations, hesitation and eventually failure.we have three foster children and one of them is an infant with a feeding tube and track I do not want to get a call from my wife saying she has broken down on the road on her way to visitation with the biological parents or to doctor appointments. Nissan is clearly avoiding this problem! I expect they will start taking action when lawsuits start rolling in on them. Mr. CEO of Nissan may find this thing parked in his living room if something happens to my foster children because of breaking down. Just kidding, but I will be pissed. Someone please do something about this!!!

- Narrows, VA, USA

problem #15

Jan 042010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. He stated that the vehicle was taken into the dealer for maintenance and they advised him that fluid was leaking from the radiator into the transmission. The vehicle was repaired at the owners expense. He also stated that the defective part should be recalled. The failure mileage was 39000. The current mileage was 40350. Updated 03/26/10. The consumer stated there was a problem with the transmission. Updated 07/23/10

- Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #14

Feb 232010


  • 70,200 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder transmission slipping out of gear while driving. I called Nissan and they claims that they know nothing about, however there are several others with exactly the same problems online at car space automotive forums.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #13

Feb 222010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
Regular driving minimal to hardly any towing. Transmission and coolant flushed religiously at 30K since taken ownership. Current mileage 80K. Failure of radiator cross contaminates atf and coolant, eventually destroying transmission costing $5000 to repair aside from disabling the vehicle. This is an issue on many 2005 Pathfinder, xterra and frontiers equipped with 4.0L V6 coupled with 5 speed automatic transmission. Vehicle is currently at the dealership. Nissan must take responsibility.

- Torrington, CT, USA

problem #12

Aug 262009


  • 86,000 miles


Coolant leaking into transmission. On multiple occasions my family of 4 and I start from a stop and our 2005 Nissan Pathfinder will begin to move into the intersection and the transmission will disengage or slip due to contamination while other vehicles are heading for us. I have been trying to get Nissan of middletown NY to replace it since I put my children in the vehicle and feel it is a safety issue but instead they keep replacing the transmission fluid and sending me on my way. It was not until I was on a test drive with the mechanic (I got to know them being there all the time) that he told me in confidence that it was a known issue with the Nissan that the transmission has a flaw and it will cost about $7,000 to replace. I feel if it is a flaw and it proves to be a safety issue it should be replaced by Nissan at no cost to the consumer since families cannot afford to replace them forcing us to drive unsafe vehicles. Please help us Pathfinder owners hold Nissan accountable for flaw in the transmissions.

- Milford, PA, USA

problem #11

Feb 172010


  • 76,000 miles
This is reference to 2005 Nissan Pathfinder le. I was driving on the freeway and the SUV started to slow down. I press down the gas pedal to give it more power but it wouldn't accelerate. I pulled to side of the freeway and turn the engine off to diagnose the problem. I couldn't find anything wrong so I tried to restart it but would not crank over. The metro freeway towing company try to jump start it 3 times but would not start. I had it tow to the Nissan dealer in the city of West covina which they discover that the coolant from the radiator leaked into the transmission. The mixure of the two components burned out the ECM module in the transmission. The cost of replacing the radiator and transmission is approximately $5400, the vechicle is still at the Nissan dealer which I am currently trying find a resoluation to this matter. Bottom line who is going to pay for this bill since there are numerous complaints about this issue.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 272009

Pathfinder 4WD

  • 20,500 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder 4WD SUV suddenly down shifted out of 2wd driving mode with a sudden deceleration into 4WD mode. 4WD warning light and service engine lights came on. Diagnostic test found transmission cooler in radiator failed and leaked fluid into transmission damaging transmission control module..

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #9

Feb 162010


  • 104,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that has begun to show signs of the engine coolant leakage into the transmission fluid problem that has been reported by several other consumers. The problems occurring are severe transmission slippage at high speeds and vibration at speeds between 45-55 mph. I have been experiencing these problems for several days and am contacting Nissan for the dreaded formal diagnosis. This is an issue that needs immediate attention as the catastrophic failure of a vehicle transmission at high speed can lead to an accident with potential for very serious injury or death. The problem is well know to Nissan and has occurred in other model years as well and they have been unwilling to address the issue. It appears Nissan will continue to ignore the coolant leakage into the transmission fluid via the radiator design flaw until directed to do so. This has been reported in many consumer forums related to Nissan Pathfinders of years 2005-2007.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #8

Jan 102010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


2005 Nissan Pathfinder has problems with antifreeze leaking into the transmission because of some design flaw. After researching this problem I see that there are many complaints of this occurring with this same particular model. The transmission starts to make a grinding noise and then will start slipping. Nissan is aware of the problem because they are the one that has diagnosed it over and over again, but have refused to issue a tsb or recall. This is a very serious defect and is costing people 5 to 10 thousand dollars to fix. My 2005 Nissan Pathfinder has just begun the tell tale symptoms of this costly problem. Nissan should consider the problems that Toyota is having right now and issue a recall for this defect.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #7

Dec 312009


  • 61,000 miles
Own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with 64,000 right now.. which is out of warranty. Had the check engine light on for couple of months.. the truck has been at the dealer and also private mechanics... nobody could find anything wrong with the car until it completely shut down on me. Wouldn't start had it towed to the nearest mechanic he said the car had electrical problems had the whole fuse box replaced paid $450 two days later the check engine light came on again took it to the dealer nothing wrong was found went back home.. right now my car is at a private mechanic... because wouldn't go more than 40 mph.... the mechanic said is the radiator which is broken and antifreeze leaked in the transmission please help.... I see there's a lot of people having the same problem these vehicles are defective just to get it fixed is close to $10,000.

- Glen Cove, NY, USA

problem #6

Jun 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2005 Nissan Pathfinder my radiator leaks fluid into the tranny cooling lines. Its been to Nissan 2-3 times. Finally there putting in a new tranny and radiator. Fortunately its still under warranty.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012010


  • 63,000 miles
I just recently purchased a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. Just a couple of short weeks after owning the vehicle, I began to notice a strange vibration noise (like you are driving over a grooved surface) coming from the vehicle around 2000-2500 rpms or 45-65 mph. After doing some research online ( I have found out that there are a ton of people having this same exact problem on the '05 Nissan Pathfinders. Apparently, there is a hose that runs from the radiator to the transmission and there is a chronic problem with antifreeze leaking from the radiator into the transmission, thus causing the transmission to begin to malfunction and then ultimately shut down. As you can see from the post on, this is a chronic issue impacting all 2005 Nissan Pathfinder owners. I do not have the money to get the radiator/transmission replaced on this vehicle. Yet, I must have transportation to get to/fro work. This is obviously defective engineering on Nissan part and they need to take ownership of this issue and address the faulty engineering here before someone's transmission shuts down at 60mph causing a crash on one of our highways/interstates.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 252010


  • 100,000 miles
While driving our 2005 Pathfinder on the hwy I noticed smoke ( a lot)coming from the back of the vehicle. The car was also losing rpms (like the tranny was slipping) the shop said the radiator leaked into the transmission and fried the transmission ($7000).Nissan here locally stated they have seen this problem before in the model. The engine stopped smoking after 20 minutes, had to evacuate four children on the hwy. This is second posted complaint about this problem. The shop states this is a design flaw.

- Damascus, OR, USA

problem #3

Mar 152009


  • 59,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that the oil cooler leaked radiator fluid into the transmission.

- Hope Mills, NC, USA

problem #2

Sep 012008

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Courtesy copy of a letter from consumers written to Nissan North America re problems with their 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. The consumer stated the vehicle was defective. There were numerous problems with the vehicle. The radiator was replaced, the transmission had a whistle up shifting from 1st to 2nd gear, the tires were feathered and an alignment was needed, the door panels creaked, the brakes made a clicking noise, the drive belts were replaced twice because of a noise the consumer heard, the plastic finisher on the running boards kept popping off, the strut on the rear hatch leaked due to a poor seal, the transfer case leaked, there was hesitation when accelerating from a stop, the 4-wheel drive light illuminated on the dashboard, the dealer stated it failed due to internal failure. The rear shocks leaked, the front pinion seal and oil pinion seal were replaced and the rear hatch window leaked. Updated 04/06/10.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jul 102008


  • 61,000 miles
The dealer pointed out that there was a buzzing / whining noise coming from one or both secondary timing chains and camshaft sprocket areas. I had to replace both secondary timing chains and both secondary timing chain tensioners at 61,000 miles. Cost: $2,148. Please see Nissan technical service bulletin: Classification: EM07-001 ntb07-042. Reference: Date: July 17, 2007. I believe this item should be a recall. This is obviously a mistake on Nissan's behalf when they used inappropriate and unsafe parts. I asked Nissan to cover this item under warranty, which they quickly refused. I was 1,000 miles past my drive train warranty but this had begun way before that point. I find it both amusing and convenient that Nissan never mentioned this problem to its customers, and me specifically until I was out of warranty; the service report is dated July 17, 2007, exactly one year prior to my vehicle needing repair. I believe this is a clear admittance of guilt on behalf of Nissan.

- Fairfax, CA, USA

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