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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,393 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 10 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #196

Oct 272013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 89,300 miles


On the highway, the transmission started to feel as if the car was going to stall. The coolant light indicator moved rapidly to the high end, which seemed to indicate a radiator or coolant problem. I pulled off the highway and let the car cool down, before proceeding on back roads to get home. The car continued to act as if it was going to stall even at 15-20 miles per hour. Shortly thereafter, the service engine light came on. I had the car towed to my Nissan dealership and was advised that the radiator caused the transmission to fail. Nissan is aware this is a problem but as my car is over 80,000 miles, I will need to pay $2,500 to fix the problem!

- Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #195

Sep 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 126,400 miles
The car stalled in oncoming traffic more than once. Nissan dealership says it needs a new transmission, radiator, catalytic converters, cam sensors and fuel system. It has been nothing but trouble since we purchased it and it dangerous to drive.

- Rockingham, NC, USA

problem #194

May 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
While driving the car will randomly make a shaking feeling. The transmission makes a weird sound as if you are driving over a rumble stick. We are unable to drive the car or get it fixed. The cost is far too expensive. The car sits and we still owe on it. The car is too unsafe to drive with risk of breaking down on our windy country road. Please look into these issues.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #193

Oct 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


During highway speeds noted chattering/chuttering when accelerating at approximately 60-65 mph. Later after exiting the interstate, slowing down while approaching intersection, during automatic transmission down shift, vehicle seemed to lunge forward. Scary in city traffic. Upon return to home, removed radiator cap, coolant fluid was color and consistency of peanut butter. Fearing blown head gasket, check engine oil which was fine, check of transmission fluid revealed very runny and more of a peanut butter color on the dip stick. Removed transmission drain plug for a better fluid inspection, what drained was very watery, reddish, brownish, peanut butter colored fluid. Drained approximately 3 quarts. Replaced drained fluid with new, set up appointment and drove vehicle to Nissan service center. Cursory search of the web identified excessive number of other consumers complaining of same issue. Couple hours later, Nissan service manager informed me that there was cross contamination between coolant and transmission. Because vehicle had greater than 80000 miles, service manager informed me would be a co-pay of $2500. Repair work completed, money paid, now attempting to have Nissan reimburse.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #192

Oct 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Car shutters when we get to about 45 mph and you can feel some issues with the transmission. After doing a lot of research, apparently this is a known issue by Nissan. There was a class action law suit that says this is not a safety hazard so they made an arrangement to cover some, but not all, in full. Apparently radiator fluid is leaking into the transmission and ruining the transmission. The settlement says that at my mileage, over 90,000 miles but before 100,000 they will fix the problem for $3000! wow! how sweet of them. I can't believe this is not a recall. There are threads and threads of people complaining about this exact problem. It effects 2005-2010 models. They say it only effects a small amount, that is because they haven't even seen the impact yet. Are we going to wait until someone is really injured to do a recall. This is absolutely ridiculous. Guess I will just drive it like this and hope that it doesn't hurt me or someone else, since Nissan says it is not a safety hazard. How issues with a transmission are not a safety hazard is beyond me. I think this needs to be addressed again. This is my second Nissan and the second one that I have had to have a transmission replaced in. The other one was replaced in the first year because of another issue that they couldn't fix. No more Nissan in this house!

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

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problem #191

Mar 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Shuttering at about 40mph. Dealer said nothing was wrong. Later took it to the Nissan dealer and the dealer flushed the transmission fluid. A week or so later, the transmission started jerking and not shifting correctly. I found transmission fluid and water were mixed. Nissan dealer said there was no recall on the radiator. I purchased a new radiator, had it installed. The installer said that the transmission had water in the transmission fluid. I purchased new transmission fluid(for Nissan) and had the transmission fluid replaced, then had it replaced again after 100 miles. To remove any residual water. Nissan still denies any problems with the radiator or transmission. The radiator problem renders the entire vehicle useless. NHTSA - please remember that our government is by the people and for the people. You need to make Nissan repair our defective vehicles. Its your job.

- Deridder, LA, USA

problem #190

Sep 202013


  • 169,969 miles


Driving up a hill with my kid in the car the vehicle stalled due the transmission stalling fortunately I was able to pull over. You have to make Nissan recall these vehicles or send a notice to everyone that the transmission is going to fail do not put your kids in the unsafe vehicle. Do not wait until someone gets killed.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #189

Aug 232013


  • 117,000 miles
My husband was picking up the kids from school, and while he was driving, the car stopped accelerating. The engine was running, but the car wouldn't move.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #188

Aug 232013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 169,900 miles
Driving down the highway and trucks shifts violently and vibrates were you have to pull over.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #187

Sep 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The vehicle had some shifting and hesitation issues while driving at highway speeds, especially upon accelerating after decelerating about 5 mph at highway speed. I brought it in to the dealer who said the radiator needed to be replaced due to cross contamination with the transmission. Upon the dealer replacing the radiator and flushing the cooling system/transmission, they called and said that the vehicle is now throwing off codes and that the transmission needed replacement. In researching the issue online, I noted there was an open investigation as well as and extended warranty offered by Nissan for this defect. The dealer failed to mention this, so I forwarded them the information and visited them to discuss the defect. The dealer stated that there was a lower cost valve body service they could attempt, but if that did not work, I would need the full replacement, so therefore they recommended the replacement. The valve body service was $1300 and a new transmission was $5300, so if the service did not work I would be looking at $6600 plus another $350 for the cooling system and transmission flush they had already performed. The vehicle has 109,000 miles on it, so it is outside of the extended warranty Nissan issued for this issue. I did try their customer care line to attempt to have them cover the repair since it is only 9000 miles outside the warranty, but they said there is nothing they can do. Based on the cost of the repair versus the value of the vehicle, it's hard to justify the expense and therefore I considered not repairing the transmission. However, the vehicle is used by my wife to drive our kids around, and I can't imagine the consequence of not repairing and then have a complete failure like some owners have experienced while driving. It's evident that this is a major quality and safety issue, and that Nissan should be responsible.

- Saunderstown, RI, USA

problem #186

Jun 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


Car stopped in the middle of traffic going up a hill and overheated and had white foam dripping from the engine and underneath. The coolant and transmission fluid cross contaminated and it ruined the radiator and transmission. I replaced the radiator and had the transmission flushed. Car worked until 8-30-13, when vehicle began to shudder, RPM gauge ran to 5000, vehicle had no power on a highway causing a potential safety issue. A crash could have ensued. Had car towed to dealer. The transmission is out. Now I am faced with a $3000 fee/co-pay, for something I didn't cause! Nissan needs held responsible.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #185

Aug 172013


  • 84,526 miles
While my wife with my children in the vehicle come home from a trip felt a vibration and then had no power just made it off the road.when I left work and got to them and checked the car out found that there was coolant in the transmission and that there was atf in the radiator further research in to this found that Nissan knows about there screw up but will not stand behind there product had a issue with the fuel sending gauge earlier this month that was once again known by the Nissan company and they gave me the run around and now I read that they had a extended warranty but did not notify any body this is crap and some thing needs to be done people can not just keep forking out money to fix a lemon when the company knows they have junk I will never buy a Nissan again major break downs with out notice please some one do something these big company's just do what ever well okay hope this gets right soon.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #184

Aug 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Transmission failed with no notice only 110000 miles upset and not safe! now I have no car and Nissan wants to charge me 8,500 to fix seems so unjust I'm a widow with children and struggled to pay for my car and this shouldn't happen at just over 100 thousand miles!

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #183

Aug 092013


  • 85,238 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while traveling 40 mph, the vehicle made a rumbling noise and stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the radiator hose had failed and caused coolant to penetrate the transmission and that the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 85,238.

- Cincinnati , OH, USA

problem #182

Dec 132012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Transmission coolant line in bottom of radiator ruptured leaking coolant into transmission and trans fluid into cooling system.

- Laurel, MS, USA

problem #181

Jun 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
My Nissan came to a stop while driving home. I was going no more than 30 mph and my car started to shake and then it stopped and would not move anymore. I took it to a shop and they said it was the transmission and would have to rebuilt it. The shop kept my car for a month and was unable to fix it, even after rebuilding the transmission. I finally took it to a Nissan dealership and they stated that the problem was the radiator and transmission. They would fix it, but it would cost me $6,700. Because my car is over mileage in the extended warranty that Nissan had offered, I would get no financial assistance to fix my car--even though this is a manufacturing defect. This is just outrageous and irresponsible that Nissan will not recall the transmission and radiator problem. Luckily I was not traveling on the expressway at the time the transmission failed or there would have been fatalities. I will never purchase a Nissan ever again!!

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #180

Jun 032013


  • 76,000 miles
My car has coolant in transmission and starting to give me problem I told Nissan 2 year ago when my car had 78,000 miles but they said no now it has 103,000 and my transmission is bad and they don't want to fix issue.

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #179

Jul 272011


  • 94,000 miles
Transmission failure.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #178

Aug 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The coolant was leaking into the transmission fluid. Nissan must have known there was an issue to extending the warranty from 60,000 to 80,000. The Pathfinder was taken in for service for a few months because something wasn't right and finally found out the issue was coolant leaking into the transmission fluid at 83,000 miles.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #177

Aug 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
I just bought vehicle from a small dealership who promised to be in very good condition, my husband drove the car for about 8 minutes down the road and as soon as we hit the highway, not even being 40 miles the engine light lit up and started jerking!! called the dealership and will said they are not held responsible, had to pay to have someone towed my vehicle to my home.

- Ansonia, CT, USA

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