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 13 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #136

May 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,613 miles


Soon after purchase when I was traveling between 45 and 55 miles per hour it would feel as if the wheels had locked up but the car was still moving. This problem evolved until it would feel as if you were traveling over railroad tracks, then it started shuddering at anywhere between 45 and 60 miles per hour. Now it actually loses speed until it falls down to about 30 and then it will kick back into gear and I can speed up again. This has happened several times while driving on the interstate. Took it the dealer when I first started having problems a year ago and they could not duplicate the problem and said that there was nothing wrong with the car. Took it back today and now they say it is a known problem with this particular model due to a design flaw. This car should have been recalled from the beginning. Lemon law should apply.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #135

Apr 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 64,800 miles
Started as a vibration on 5ft gear at around 45mph. During a routine check, it was found transmission oil into the cooling system. Hence, the transmission fluid was contaminated with coolant, causing transmission malfunction as a result of a defective radiator.

- Arecibo, PR, USA

problem #134

Apr 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
Problem with vehicle shifting. It shifted or would not shift while in operation. We were out of state on vacation and did not know what was going on. Managed to get back home and parked it. Called Nissan dealer. Explained the problem. Problem: Crack within the transmission oil cooler in the radiator. Mixed coolant with transmission. Need to replace radiator and transmission. And there is only a 12/12 warranty on the replaced parts!!! estimated cost: $ $5000, since the vehicle turned over the 100000 mile. Nissan knows this problem exist and has not even notified owners of potential problem. Their design issue our cost issue.

- Trout Creek, MT, USA

problem #133

Apr 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 171,800 miles


Was at a stop light once the light turned green went to accelerate the truck and it would not go continue to press on the accelerate until finally it went, this continue until I made it home, I took it to the dealer on 04/09/2013 and was told it was the transmission and would cost around $10,000 to repair told them no way the truck is only seven years old, their response was it has a lot of miles. Ask if I would like to trade it in, told them I would never buy another Nissan. Stuck with a broken truck.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #132

Jan 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Under body vibration reported in January with less than 100K miles. Told it was due to the crack in my back bumper. Then 2 days ago, drove the car back to Nissan dealership at 112K miles where they told me my radiator cracked which lead to fluid going into the transmission - a widely known Nissan problem. Will have to replace transmission $5500 + radiator $700 because they are ruined. Fuel sensory gauge stuck also and will have to replace - also a widely known Nissan problem.

- Mooresville, IN, USA

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problem #131

Apr 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 79,633 miles
My coolant leak fluid into my transmission, Nissan honored the extended warranty and is replacing the radiator and the transmission. My whole exhaust system needs to be replaced also and my cost for that is 1200.

- Secane, PA, USA

problem #130

Mar 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,500 miles


At higher speeds the car started shuddering / jerking when it was trying to up or downshift. At first it was not too noticeable however that changed relatively fast and he jerking was more apparent. After taking it to the dealer it was found to be a known problem with the car. The problem was a crack within the transmission oil cooler in the radiator causing intermixing between the transmission and the coolant. The dealer replaced the radiator and the transmission assembly. Since my vehicle had between 80000 and 90000 miles I was in the $2500 copay range.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #129

Mar 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Complete loss of power and need to be towed to a dealership, then dealer diagnose, the problem as a failed transmission fluid, cooler located in de radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #128

Apr 022013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,400 miles
Radiator failed coolant leaked into transmission. Transmission and radiator need to be replaced. Nissan is aware of this problem and never informed me of this issue. If I was made aware of the problem I would have had radiator replaced. There should have been a recall. I am sure more similar situations will continue to occur until there is an official recall. Who loses? the customer. This is unacceptable. Nissan needs to be held responsible.

- Valencia , CA, USA

problem #127

Mar 272013


  • 95,000 miles
Radiator failed causing transmission fluid to leak into radiator and vice versa (antifreeze into transmission). Car rumbles really bad and shifts hard. Had to replace radiator and flush transmission so about $600 for a problem that Nissan should fix.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #126

Mar 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


I was driving on the highway about 55 to 60 miles per hour and felt an intense vibration causing my car to start shaking as if I were on the rumble strips in the median. I drove the car to a mechanic and was told my radiator had leaked into my transmission destroying the torque converter. Nissan has refused to help me as well as I have been denied by an aftermarket warranty that Nissan persuaded me to purchase.

- Arnold , MD, USA

problem #125

Mar 142013


  • 106,000 miles
Started shuttering and not shifting right, found tran fluid in radiator, what's sad is im writing this in vain cause nothing will come of it, its sad that if they're had been more known before hand my wife wouldn't have bought it, instead she has 3.5 more years to pay for something that was intended to last atleast til she got it paid for, but now she is going to have to go to the bank and make another loan, and try to make two payments instead of one, to say the least im not happy with Nissan trying to keep this under the rug with the rest of the dirt.

- Coalmont, TN, USA

problem #124

Mar 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission began to jerk continuously and the engine stalled without any warning. The vehicle resumed in a jerking motion once restarted. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The transmission internal seal was faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000....updated 05/08/13 the consumer stated the vehicle reversed itself when not in reverse gear. The transmission and radiator were replaced. Updated 05/20/2013

- Ambler, PA, USA

problem #123

Mar 132013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I have the 06 Pathfinder, there was a recall that I was not aware of, until I start searching after the car have accelerating issue that almost cause an accident multiple occasions, anyway I went to my dealership and they said Nissan only cover U to 100000 miles. Our is 15000 miles over, the problem was a defected radiator and that leak coolant into the transmission. It would cost us $7600 to repair it, and way over our budget. I start check online and there is a lot of complaints on this issues. Hope my complaints help us and many others that help same misfortune.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #122

Jan 092012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,349 miles
I have a Pathfinder 2006 with 110,000 miles on January 9, 2012 I take it to the dealership because it was shaking ones I drove over 60 mph the dealer did a multi- point vehicle inspection and they determined that everything was ok except from the four-wheel-drive chaff joint got excessive play and replace it for new one and yesterday March 7, 2013 I took my Pathfinder 2006 to royal palm Nissan and the service advisor [xxx]estate it that my car radiator is leaking coolant into the transmission and though that I had to replace it for a new ones and is going to cost me $6400 and he states that that's a common issue with the path finders so if it's a common issue and they do an extended warranties wish there are no good to no body how can they spect a costumer to pay 6400 for a part the they should recall I'm sure I'm not along on this issue and just hope the some busy like you guys can make them do the right thing and stand by their products to avoid any accidents with thousands of vehicles on the road thanks so much for reviewing this lines I appreciated and I hope to hear back from you guys thanks ever such lots. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Dunnellon , FL, USA

problem #121

Dec 062012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving between 45-55 mph, the front end of the vehicle vibrated excessively. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the failure could have been related to the transmission. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Mt Vernon, IN, USA

problem #120

Feb 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 126,203 miles
Observed milky puddle under radiator and thick milky pink fluid in radiator and overflow reservoir. Observed during the last 3000miles intermittent vibrations similar to hitting the "wake-up" strips on the side of a highway shoulder or washer-board road texture. Vibrations happened at various times between 1250 to 2250 RPM and 50 to 60mph. Tire balance was ruled out as a cause of vibration by mechanic. Dealer diagnosis verified cross contamination of the engine coolant and transmission fluid caused by an internal transmission cooler in the radiator split apart. A mechanic described the damage that would be caused to the transmission from the cross contamination would include severe corrosion. Transmission failure is imminent because of the severe leakage. Transmission failure is also sudden, because the vehicle was operable even with the presence of a leak. Repair of this condition requires replacement of the radiator and transmission and flushing the coolant system. I would not want to replace a faulty radiator with the same, but our mechanic verified that the Nissan replacement radiator has been be changed from the original part number. Therefore, Nissan has revised their radiator but not issued a recall. Nissan dealer quotes for repair was $9983.

- Tolleson, AZ, USA

problem #119

Dec 042012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,367 miles
I first noticed the transmission was not shifting smoothly and the RPM's were revving very high before a shift. I took it to get a transmission flush on 12/22/12.the fluid seemed to be speckled with a darker liquid. The flush seemed to do the trick, but just this week I noticed between 1000 and 1500 RPM at 25-35 mph the vehicle starts to violently jerk until I accelerate and change gears.

- Hillsdale, NJ, USA

problem #118

Jan 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder started having a violent vibration at around 50mph. Researched online and found numerous articles regarding this issue. All information I found indicated that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission through the coolent line. When I checked my radiator level, the coolent was low, which was one of the indicators that his was my problem. I took my vehicle to the dealership that I bought it from, less than a year ago with 75,000 miles, they tell me that the warrenty only covers vehicles with less that 80,000 miles. When I purchased the vehicle, there was no mention of the issue, only that the Pathfinder was a solid, certified pre-owned vihicle. Now I will have to pay $3,000 co-pay. Everything I have read, indicates that these issues rarely ever start before 80,000 miles. The fact that the industry is letting them get away with this is disgusting to me. I have a wife and two children riding around in a faulty vehicle with a well known issue I can't aford to fix.

- Bonaire , GA, USA

problem #117

Feb 252013


  • 101,000 miles
We took our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder into the local dealer and they told us that we have to change the transmission because the oil is mixing with the fluid in the radiator and transmission. Was estimated at $10,000 to repair.

- Barrigada, GU, USA

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