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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,409 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.

2006 Nissan Pathfinder cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #11

Aug 182011


  • 120,235 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitate to accelerate while driving. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission. As a result, both the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 120,235. Updated 09/30/11 updated 3/29/12

- Ontario , CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 012011


  • miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Consumer states fluid is leaking through to the transmission the consumer stated radiator fluid leaked into the transmission fluid.

- Atchison, KS, USA

problem #9

Oct 232010


  • 24,000 miles
This is in reference to the 2005 and 2006 Nissan Pathfinders and the failing in-radiator transmission coolers allowing coolant into the transmission causing them to fail. My 2006 has not failed but I am replacing the radiator today to stay ahead of the potential failure. (I am a mechanic and after reviewing approx 200 internet posts see the issue very clearly) you are welcome to the radiator I will be removing for a forensic evaluation of the internal transmission cooler, I have maintained my vehicle religiously and this would be a good indicator if there are corrosion issues with proper maintenance and low mileage. Just let me know where you would like it sent.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #8

Jul 212006


  • miles


I own a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. After hearing about many transmission issues due to a faulty radiator/seal, I decided to be proactive since I only have 41,000 miles and one year remaining on my power train warranty. I called Nissan usa informing them of my concern, and to see if there was a fix in place before my warranty was up in one year. The woman informed me that unless there was a specific problem at this time, nothing could be done. I was calling to try to save them from an upcoming issues/repairs under warranty. I also called my local dealership, and he heard about the issue and stated that no fix or recall is in place. After owning multiple Nissan over the past 15 years, this new was disheartening. Nissan documented my call (I have a conf. Number). I already had U-joint replaced. Alternator tensioner, and timing chain replaced under warranty.

- Wakefield, MA, USA

problem #7

Apr 012010


  • 60,000 miles
05 & 06 Nissan Pathfinders got a bad batch of radiators that were installed into there cars. The radiators are cracking and allowing the coolant to mix with the transmission fluid destroying both and leaving consumers with repair bills between $5500 and $7500. The danger in this matter is that cars are over heating on the roads, and transmissions are failing during driving. How safe can it be when a car is traveling down the road and complete loss of power happens at 70mph in the fast lane or in a steep incline. If your lucky enough to get to the shoulder safely then a family with kids could be trapped on the hwy or back roads of America forced to walk to the nearest town putting them in extreme danger of being run over and killed. Also if a car overheats and someone tries to force it down the road to a town that car could catch fire. All due to Nissan putting these radiators into there SUVS knowing its a family car. Nissan North America refuses to acknowledge the problem putting 10S of thousands of lives at risk.

- Fenton, MO, USA

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problem #6

Mar 292006


  • 79,930 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder was taken today for a routine yearly inspection. Only issue I have had with it is the heater periodically doesn't work correctly. At the Nissan dealer, I have been told the vehicle is in need of an entire transmission and radiator replacement due to the fact that a "cooling line is broken and all antifreeze mixed in with the transmission fluid". estimated cost is $7000. In addition, the catalytic converter needs replaced. The repairman indicated "many" Pathfinders have this problem. After searching on-line, there are multiple people angry that their Pathfinders are having the exact same issue, yet Nissan is still not assuming any responsibility for any of this. I also filed a complaint with Nissan customer service. This is quite disconcerting, as the vehicle is only 4 years old, and I am now being told I shouldn't even be driving it. They are offering to help only by giving us a great deal on a trade. However, I no longer trust Nissan, and would not trade for another Nissan. I am asking Nissan for some explanation, and some financial assistance on this issue, but I have not had a reply. The dealer only offers a "great" trade-in value - the manufacturer hasn't replied yet (assuming they will reply at all". thank you for your time on this matter and anything you can do to assist.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 122010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Transmission stalling vehicle making vehicle jump. Called Nissan motors about transmission problems. Have read on boards this problem with transmission and radiator is very common in these vehicles. Vehicle just all of the sudden starts jumping which could cause an accident. Paid too much money for this Nissan to be having these kind of problems and do not want to cause an accident. Nissan is not cooperating with all the consumers that own these vehicles. I am afraid it is going to completely stall in the middle of the road.

- Lookout Mtn, GA, USA

problem #4

Feb 102010


  • 65,000 miles
Truck began to shudder as if driving on rumble strips, then overheated on major highway. The transmission fluid and cooling fluid mixed due to defect. Radiator had to be replaced and truck completely flushed several times. Good chance that transmission was damaged and will have to be replaced, also. Total cost of repair was $1500.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 032009


  • miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder - in August the fuel gauge stops working I have to replace the fuel pump. In December the radiator coolant and transmission fluid mix and I have to replace radiator and flush transmission fluid. In January the ipmd module goes out, car goes completely dead on freeway and almost causes an accident. In February ses light goes on again this time catalytic converter goes bad. February 24 coolant and transmission fluid mixing again taking to shop tomorrow. Please look into the issues, if you search the internet you will discover this is not an isolated incident. Please help. I'm sure I will be posting again next month.

- San Clemente , CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 152009


  • 55,332 miles
Nissan Pathfinder, 2006 dealer states radiator coolant leaking into & mixing with transmission oil. Car would have a severe vibration above 40mph approx. When changing final gear. There is no heat from heater. Car temp would rise at speeds over 40mph. Dealer asked for $8000 for replacement of radiator and transmission. Car under power train warranty but they still won't cover defect radiator. Common problem found online with 2005 & 2006 models, they can catch on fire and the service engine light is not turning on. Nissan hq declined any help.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 012009


  • 50,000 miles
The transmission cooler is located in the radiator and cracked. This results in the mixture of anti-freeze and transmission fluid. So the ending result is anti-freeze in the transmission and transmission fluid in the radiator. The transmission starts slipping then fails.......there is a long list of problems with this at the edmunds car web site.!make=Nissan&model=Pathfinder.

- West Hamlin, WV, USA

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