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 11 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #176

Jul 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE the radiator seems to have a bad leak and bad smell, motor keeps over heating causing it not to be driven until motor has cooled off, I need to keep putting water in radiator. The transmission seems to jerk and makes a loud sound when changing shifts and driving. The motor also has a squeaky sound when driving. I have taken the car for repair and the same thing happen again only this time even worse I can not afford the high Nissan service and part prices. I am still paying on this car, Nissan should fix the problem at no charge if there is a defect that caused so much trouble to my car not to mentioned the safety of my three children and I. Nissan needs to recall 2006 Nissan Pathfinder radiator and transmission cross contamination.

- Angleton, TX, USA

problem #175

Jul 312013


  • 105 miles
I was driving my truck on the expressway. The past few days there has been a vibration, a clunking noise and very slow acceleration. Until recently, there have been no signs of engine problems. Today on the expressway the truck started vibrating badly and lost acceleration. I was able to coast over to the side of the road but I almost caused a serious accident. I had an appointment schedule with Nissan on Friday due to the recent symptoms; however, after this morning I took the truck to the dealership. I spoke with someone at the shop who indicated tan extended warranty was issued for radiator and transmission problems. I never received a letter from Nissan and I certainly would have brought the truck in for repair. I almost caused a very serious accident.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #174

Jul 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
I was shocked to find out that my transmission and radiator needed replaced after such low mileage. Dealer said it was a design defect and it would be covered by Nissan who extended the warranties on vehicles with this problem because of a class action lawsuit. What disturbs me is that I was told I could have had a catastrophic failure in my Pathfinder. I literally could have pulled out onto a highway and my transmission might have failed. With 3 small children who ride in the backseat, this might have resulted in serious injury or death. How can this admitted defect not result in a recall so all affected vehicles could be inspected for safety"?" and my "new" remanufactured transmission has a very limited warranty now, not the 60,000. On my original transmission so I'm afraid of future repair costs. So unfair!!!

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #173

Jun 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


My Nissan pahtfinder 2006 sudden jerking when traveling at highway speeds, the vehicle would hesitate to accelerate while driving. Diagnosed as a failed transmission cooler which allows, coolant to mix with the transmission fluid.

- Cabo Rojo, PR, USA

problem #172

Apr 012013


  • 97,000 miles
April 2013 I was having issues with my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. It began shuddering upon acceleration. We contacted the local Nissan dealership and questioned them about any recall or any other service bulletins regarding transmission issues. I was told there were no recalls on my vehicle or any outstanding service bulletins in regards to this particular year and model. Since the vehicle had over 80,000 miles and was out of warranty and we would have to pay for repairs. April 30 it was found that the radiator assembly was leaking coolant into the transmission and needed replaced. The vehicle was fine for the first week after repair. On May 9 my vehicle was unable to go over 20 mph. It began shuddering and loosing power when accelerating from a standstill or at a low speed. At that point, I had to get out of the flow of traffic and get the car to a safe place along the roadway. Going back to the local repair shop they flushed the transmission fluid, changed the oil and put in new filters. About a week later when the engine was hot; it would continue to shudder upon acceleration, again they flushed the transmission and changed oil. It continued to have issues. On June 2 we took the vehicle to a local transmission place where we had the transmission replaced. At this time we were told about a class action lawsuit against Nissan for Nissan radiator/transmission cooler litigation, which alleges these vehicles contain a defect that permits cross-contamination of engine coolant and transmission fluid, ultimately causing the radiator and transmission to fail or need substantial repairs. The class action lawsuit further alleges that Nissan failed to disclose the alleged radiator defect to consumers despite knowing about it. You needed to file no later than June 7, 2013. Our issues occurred after the deadline. This issue has cost us over $5,000.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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problem #171

Jul 152013


  • 130,000 miles
I recently bought a used 2006 Pathfinder. I was at a park on day and a guy came up to me asking me if I had any transmission problems with mine. I told to him that I had only had it for a few weeks but had not noticed any problems. Well he went on to tell me that he had transmission problems due to coolant leaking into transmission and had spent 3,500 in getting it fixed. In which he had to replace radiator, rebuild transmission and transmission computer part. He had a friend that done the work for free and he only had to pay for parts. So of course with just buying our Pathfinder I came home and told my husband the news and to look it up on the internet because there were so many others with this same problem. So after looking on the internet he went and checked the fluids and of course we had transmission fluid in our radiator. We haven't even paid on our truck 6 months yet and already have a major cost to have repairs made. It is so crazy to see all these people with the same problem and Nissan will do nothing about it and they claim to have great customer service"??"!!!! I will let anyone and everyone I know of this problem so that they to can make a claim against Nissan so maybe they will have this problem fixed since if you call any dealership this a known problem.

- East Peoria, IL, USA

problem #170

Jul 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles


The transmission failed due to the on going problem with Nissan. Coolant is leaking into transmission and ruining them. There should be a recall on these now.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #169

Mar 122013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 147,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into the transmission fluid causing the vehicle to have issues accelerating. This resulted in over $700 in car repairs.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #168

Jul 022013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,110 miles
We purchased our Pathfinder from a dealership June 1, 2012. On July 2, 2013 we were driving back home and the transmission started to slip. Upon researching online immediately when we got home, we found that many, many others had the same issue and that it is caused by faulty design of the radiator and transmission. The radiator cracks and leaks directly into the transmission so there is no warning that there is an issue until it's too late. The next morning I immediately drove it to our nearest Nissan dealer to have it checked out. They informed me after my description of what was going on that indeed, that is probably what was wrong but they couldn't get me in to check it out for another 6 days (and it would be $109) to diagnose. They also informed me that Nissan has issued a conditional warranty of them. Up to 80,000 miles, they cover any expense past $2,500. Up to 90,00 miles, they cover any expense past $3,000. Up to 100,00 they cover any expense past $3,500. There is no coverage past 100,000 miles and the average cost to repair is $7000. Our transmission failed at 108,000 miles. Now we are stuck paying out of pocket for a flawed design that Nissan acknowledges is their fault. How is there not a mandatory recall on these models and Nissan not required to replace these issues in full on their dime.. for their mistake" the conditional warranty offered is a joke and I am infuriated that Nissan is not covering our flawed vehicle also. This failure is in no wise due to any neglect or misuse of the owner/operator's part. Where is the responsibility for this product? why must we continue to promote a mindset of neglecting responsibility for what we produce? where is the quality? where is the follow-through"

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #167

Jul 112013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
500 miles away from home on vacation. Went for routine oil change only to find transmission fluid in the radiator and coolant in the transmission. Had to purchase a new radiator and have both systems flushed for a total of $1,300 dollars. The transmission seemed good on the way home, but would like to be reimbursed the $1,300 and have some piece of mind that Nissan will cover the transmission if it goes out.

- Scottsboro, AL, USA

problem #166

Jul 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Radiator coolant leaking in transmission.

- Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #165

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
My transmission failed because the cooling lines that run through the radiator cracked allowing the coolants to mix. I will have to replace the transmission and the radiator.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #164

Jun 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Radiator failed allowing coolant to contaminate transmission causing it to fail as well. I really like this vehicle and I feel Nissan should pay to fix all of these affected since it is a known equipment failure and has happened at such a wide range of mileage. I had this one checked at 60,000 miles and had no problem with neither part and I have been watching it regularly but didn't catch it in time when it finally went. I am an ase certified mechanic for the last 20+ years and once a transmission is contaminated with coolant there is only on fix and that is to replace or rebuild.....not just a flush and send on your way!

- Chaffee, MO, USA

problem #163

Jun 192013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Driving at a substantial speed of 40mph car just stopped even though car was still running. Radiator and transmission went all of a sudden. Was almost rear ended. Had towed to Nissan dealer in turnersville NJ. They stated that it was 12,000 of extended warranty that was issued a year or so ago. I was never notified of a class action suit and that this problem would occur all of a sudden as I was driving. Apparently a faulty radiator caused fluid to go into transmission and destroy it making car just stop running in the middle of a highway. The regional office told me I did not get a notice because I was the second owner. I was willing to pay a $3,000 copay but they would not even approve that. Now they want 5,900 to replace the transmission and radiator. The car is only worth 8 or 9 thousand. I am 67 years old and do not have that kind of money. I am in a hopeless situation. Please assist.

- Erial, NJ, USA

problem #162

Apr 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I was on vacation in Virginia, heading back to ct when my cars ability to accelerate stopped on the highway. Luckily my husband was driving and could feel the difference in the car. He started changing lanes and glided the vehicle to the shoulder. My husband, our 16 year old son, his friend, and our 4 year old niece and I were in the car. We waited for triple a, were towed to a pepboys facility, (the only facility I could think would be open on a Saturday) for them to tell us that they could not assist us with the issue our vehicle was having. The tow truck towed us to a triple a facility which was closed. We had to get lodging for the evening and pay triple a facility approximately $100 to tell us our transmission was done and it would cost us anywhere between $5000 and $8000 to have repaired. I then had to pay for a rental car, and a addition $1200+ dollars to have our car towed back to ct. I know have $5000 to repair my car to find out Nissan is aware of this issue. My family could have been injured loosing our transmission on the highway that day. It really bothers me that Nissan knew the possibility of this failure. Considering I just brought my car in October of 2011.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #161

Jun 212013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Vehicle overheated and radiator fluid contaminated the transmission. I spoke with Nissan and asserted that this is a known factory defect. Nissan refuses to honor or warranty repair costs.

- Cottekill, NY, USA

problem #160

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder because I had a Nissan Altima that I loved but needed a bigger vehicle. I have only had it for 8 months and while driving down the road it completely stopped and wouldn't go. I had all 5 kids in the car with me this could have been really bad and we could have been hit. I can't afford to pay $5000 to have it fixed! I have been researching and it looks like this is something that has been happening alot!! I have 5 kids and I carry them in this car everyday! if it stops in the middle of the road with no warning this is a safety issue N needs a recall or deaths are going to start happening! please help!!!!!

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #159

Jun 212013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Coolant leaked in to transmission causing damage to both radiator and transmission.

- Troy, TX, USA

problem #158

Jun 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,095 miles
After driving around I had milky substance coming out of the over flow. When I checked it, the transmission was dry and it had mixed in the with radiator fluid. On a short trip before it was realized what had happen, the transmission was slipping and shifting hard.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #157

Jan 092012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The engine looses power when driving. I took it to a mechanic and he told me that Pathfinder transmission tend to fail or go bad. Transmissions on car should last longer. The Pathfinder there has been cases where at 100,000 miles it already needs a new transmission. My Pathfinder makes a loud noise when im driving. Sometimes it takes a while for it to go at a normal speed. This should not be happening at this point. Nissan should tend to this problem and fix it.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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