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 12 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #156

Jun 192013


  • 97,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated while at a traffic light he attempted to accelerate but the vehicle failed to move. When he down shift, the transmission and the vehicle then began to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing and the contact was informed the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 97,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #155

Jun 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,536 miles
There was a jerk in my car and the check engine light came on. I pressed the gas and it wouldn't go anywhere. The radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and caused the my car to stop.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #154

Jun 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My vehicle is suffering the fate of countless others. I have the coolant intermix issue that has ruined my radiator and transmission. Now, I am outside the warranty period and I need a new transmission costing $4500! Nissan needs to recall this--I have spent thousands already and it simply isn't fair that they are trying to put a bandaid on a defect that has harmed and could continue to harm thousands of consumers. Please fix this!

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #153

May 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


While returning from lunch break, I pressed the accelerator on my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The vehicle hesitated and did not accelerate. It sounded as if it was idling but there was very little to no movement. This happened in the middle of the highway. After having the trucked towed and the problem assessed, I was told that the transmission and the radiator had to be replaced. This comes with a hefty price tag. In the mechanics explanation of the problems he asserted "you have heard about these Pathfinders, haven't you". well, I researched and found that the failed transmission and radiator is not a new occurrence. This has been and is happening regularly and there is no recall. This puts consumers in a bad position, especially when, like me, the warranty is expired. I am still waiting for a transmission to be shipped from California. By the way, I found out that it is on backorder. That's just how frequently this problem occurs. Make sure you purchase extended warranties and/or trade it before this happens to you. Or even worse someone is seriously hurt physically not just financially.

- Purvis, MS, USA

problem #152

Feb 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The timing chain has come loose due to the failure of a timing chain guide inside the motor. The plastic or rubber piece attached to the aluminum guide becomes separated from the base and falls down below the guide causing the timing chain to loose tension and rattle against the aluminum timing cover. This loosening of the timing chain causes the chain to rattle against the timing cover which could wear a hole or cause timing chain failure, could even cause the loose chain to jump a sprocket tooth a cause the engine to malfunction due to valves hitting the tops of the piston and causing bent valves and engine shut down. This is a common Nissan problem with the 3.5 liter V6 engine. Nissan needs to replace these poorly manufactured components. Many videos on youtube can be found on this problem with the 3.5 liter V6 engine. Many have complaint that Nissan will not recall nor pay for the repair.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #151

Jun 092013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 77,467 miles
My wife reported her Pathfinder hesitating, noticeable lack in power, and a decrease in mpg. Before our family was about to travel to another state (New Mexico to Colorado) I decided to do my own little pre trip inspection. I pulled the air filter and blew it out with air, checked the oil dipstick and it read in operating range, when I pulled the transmission dipstick it was covered with contaminated oil. The engine coolant is mixing with the transmission fluid in the heat exchanger cooler. If this vehicle is driven any longer transmission failure is imminent.

- Farmington, NM, USA

problem #150

May 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,225 miles


Less than one week after hitting 100K miles, I started hearing a noise coming from the engine on my way home from work. As I entered the highway the car lost all power and wouldn't change gears, the engine would rev. But the car wouldn't kick into gear. Luckily I was able to coast off highway safely (during rush hour & with all of the oncoming traffic, it was a very dangerous situation to be in) on the last exit before the toll bridge (which is over a mile long with no shoulder & if I got stuck there, I would have received ticket for over $600). I have keep excellent care of this car, taking it to the dealership for suggested services and now I've now found that Nissan has been aware of this problem and rather than recalling the parts, or making sure that the owners of these vehicles are aware of this, they have provided an extended the warranty. I've also found as they know about this problem they set the extended warranty at two different levels and 80K and 100K and that they are expecting most failure over the 100K mark and setting things up that way, they don't expect to honor any liability with most of these failures due to their faulty engineering. I've been trying to get them to work with me but since I now have 100,225 miles (just barley over the 100K mark!!!) they refuse to help with any of the extended warranty assistance (which I would still have to pay $3000 before tax as a deductible). This is a very costly repair, when I initially was looking into purchasing a Nissan, I had the understanding that they were reliable and if taken care of would run for well over 200K and that Nissan would stand by their product. Dealing with this situation and through research I now see that their bottom line is more important than customer satisfaction and safety!

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #149

Jun 012013


  • 91,000 miles
The radiator broke where it let coolant go into transmission and it ruin the transmission I purchase the car new in 2006 no one told me anything about this will happened and the Nissan corporation knew about this problem it will cost more than $7,000 in repair.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #148

May 092013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,170 miles
We did not have an accident, but wanted it known that we were not sure we were going to make it to the dealership for repair. This is in reference to the Nissan radiator/transmission problems. The car was vibrating and felt like it was not going to make the 40 mile trip. While there was not an accident we certainly felt like we could have caused one or been in one if the vehicle failed on the highway. We were on our way to the dealership for the transmission repair.

- Dover Foxcroft, ME, USA

problem #147

May 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Vehcile starting vibrating at 40mph, returned to the dealer and was informed transmission had failded due to raditor failure of transmission cooling system. I was aware of the problem with this paticular vehciled and it had been serviced on a regular basis with premiere Nissan in metairie, la. I addressed the issure with the service department several times prior to the transimission failure and was told there were no problems. I contacted Nissan North America and they refused any assistance with the $5,800 repair estimate. This should have been a recall of all vehicles when these problems were identified.

- Laplace, LA, USA

problem #146

Jan 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 78,600 miles


I was getting into the highway when car push back and heard a big sound coming from transmission service engine light came on saying that a sensor on transmission was failing. Continue using the car whe I found about law suit took it to the dealer but charge me 2500 because it was over the mileage limit.

- Imperial Beach, CA, USA

problem #145

May 092013


  • 75,000 miles
My 06 Nissan Pathfinder starting shaking and making a shuttering noise at 40mph. Also a squeaking noise coming from the undercarriage at lower speeds. I took my Pathfinder to the dealer to have it looked at. After a few hours the dealership called and told me it was a defect in the transmission cooler built inside the radiator. A line in the cooler cracked letting radiator fluid and transmission fluid to mix together and run all through both my cooling and transmission systems. I have 75,000 miles and was told I'm under the 80,000 mile warranty for these repairs. I was told I would need a new transmission and radiator along with a new thermostat and gasket. I'm one of the lucky ones that will not have to come out of pocket for these repairs. I've been reading post after post about other people having this same problem that are over the mileage warranty and are having to pay co-pays and some that had to pay the full repair bill. Please recall this. There are too many people being affected with this issue.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #144

May 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Check engine light came on. Went to Nissan dealership had it checked out. Dealership said radiator let fluid leak into transmission. They said I need a new radiator and new transmission at a cost of $5300. They advised me to call Nissan corporate which I did and they said I had too many miles for warranty to cover any expenses. Can't do without my SUV. American transmission quoted me a price of $4900 to replace radiator, transmission and new computer. I first bought a quest then a xterra and now the Pathfinder all purchased new from Nissan dealerships. It will be the last!!!!!!!

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #143

May 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,005 miles
The car had been having some jerking issues. We brought it to dealer. They made us spend more than one thousand dollars without fixing the problem. On our way home, we called them to tell them we are experiencing the same problem. They told us to bring it back. Due to time constraint, we parked the unsafe car until we found a convenient time. On Monday, May 6, 2013, we brought it back and found out the real problem has been the "radiator internal coolant that is leaking in the transmission". we called Nissan. Consumers relations department. They told us it is too late even we were sold a defective and unsafe product (car) at time of purchase. The case # is[xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #142

Apr 302013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Vehicle would begin to shake and lose power at exactly 43 miles per hour. To adjust, you would have to release the gas pedal, slow down and then press the gas pedal again to correct the problem. Clearly this causes highway issues when entering or exiting on ramps or streets that have a posting of 40 to 45mph. Not having the power to accelerate or decelerate, puts not only my family at risk, but those around us as well! when the issue was diagnosed, I was told that it was a Nissan extended warranty issue involving the radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. My vehicle has 82000 miles (2000 miles over, which would have qualified for free service) which meant that I was now liable for the $2500 dollar deductible for their faulty equipment!

- Brockton , MA, USA

problem #141

Apr 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,231 miles
The vehicle started to lose power and come back on while traveling with 6 passengers on the 101 fwy in North los angeles county. Then it's gauge showed it running hot (no smoke or loss of power) and a check engine light was on. Then the gauge said it wasn't running hot and no power loss. I continued down the freeway and made it home with no more problems. I studied and research this problem for hours on the web. I brought the car to the dealer service department the next day. My research turned up valid. This 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE vehicle should have been recalled by the manufacturer. Nissan knew about this problem. Instead Nissan extended a warranty to 100K and passed these flaws on to the consumer. Shame on Nissan! the problem is what is described as a fluid intermix. This is because the transmission fluid has cooling coils that run through the radiator. For a year or two Nissan had produced defective product and was not forced to recall. Now me the consumer is stuck with a six to nine thousand dollar repair bill on my vehicle with 110K miles on it. Recall these vehicles please Nissan. Whistle blowers just ask the service people about this particular no Nissan did. This is consumer abuse by corporate tough guys.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #140

Apr 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,588 miles
While driving our vehicle it would not produce any forward movement, the engine would rev, and the transmission would free spin. We had it towed to the mechanic and he stated that there is a transmission code for a faulty servo. He checked the transmission fluid and found it to be abnormally dirty. Nissan has an extended warranty for radiator coolant leaking into the transmission that was a result of a class action lawsuit. My problem is that I am over the 100,000 mile cap for the warranty and Nissan will not grant a waiver. I also feel that Nissan should issue a recall and be required to pay for the full replacement cost of these items. Even if I was under the 100,000 mile cap I would still have to pay a $3,000 deductible.

- Centreville, MD, USA

problem #139

Apr 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,710 miles
Vehicle jerks and stalls between 30 - 40 mph sometimes after the transmission is warmed up.

- Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

problem #138

Jan 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
My transmission is having trouble missing gears. Makes noise and rumble around 60 miles an hour.

- Valdese, NC, USA

problem #137

Apr 192013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder began to occasionally rumble when it was changing gears. We were advised by our mechanic that this was related to a failure in the vehicle's transmission/radiator cooler system. We contacted a Nissan dealership, and were advised that our vehicle's transmission and radiator would have to be replaced. He further advised that Nissan knew of this failing, and had extended their warranties on these vehicles to 10 years or 100,000 miles. However, this warranty includes up to a $3000 deductible. The deductible is determined by year and milage of the vehicle. Our Nissan has 87,000 miles, so we will have to pay a $2500 deductible for the repair work.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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