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 14 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #116

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


This issue is related to NHTSA action number : DP12004 my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder started having transmission issues at roughly 96,000 miles on 2/1/2013. While driving, the car will sometimes shake and rumble when traveling between 40-55 mph. The car has progressively gotten worse in the 2 weeks that the problem started happening. I took my Nissan for repair at berlin city Nissan in portland, Maine on 2/19/2013 and they stated that the problem is a known issue. The known issue was a design flaw with how the radiator and transmission are integrated together. In summary when there is a cracked atf line in the vehicle, that engine coolant will run through the transmission ultimately causing permanent damage and requiring that the radiator and transmission be replaced. The quote I got today to get the items repaired is $6,700. Nissan is aware of this issue and rather than having a recall they increased the warranty duration to 80K miles. From reading on-line, it appears that most people that have had this issue (like me), experience this problem after 80K miles. Therefore, Nissan does not have to pay for the repair. From reading on-line and talking with the Nissan service staff, the problem with my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder is only going to get worse and ultimately present a driving hazard. I need to make a decision soon whether to make the costly repair or get a new vehicle. I am concerned about the car failing putting myself and my passengers at risk.

- Falmouth, ME, USA

problem #115

Feb 182013


  • miles
Traveling at approximately 40mph. Noticed that car shuddered when I accelerated, but then it stopped as I sped up. Service engine soon light came on and car lost power while I was driving in high traffic. Nearly rearended by the vehicle behind me. Cars has to swerve to miss hitting me. The rpms were high when I applied the accelerator, but the car would only go about 10 mph. Took car to mechanic nearby. Was told there was a problem with the transmission and the car was dangerous to drive. Advised to have the car moved to a local transmission business for further inspection. Received a class action lawsuit notice against Nissan for the very make and model SUV I own. At the time, I had no problems. I have maintained the vehicle well. This very costly transmission problem came on suddenly with no warnings, which I read is typical of this Nissan defect. I believe that these cars should be recalled and all expenses paid for by Nissan as they were aware of the defective radiators. Not only are the costs to their consumers unacceptable ($6,000 repair on a vehicle with little over 100,000K miles), but they are putting people's lives at risk with this defect.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #114

Feb 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
The radiator coolant has leaked into the transmission which has destroyed the transmission.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #113

Feb 162013


  • 166,000 miles


Driving car starts hard shifting up and down.I don't think I would have made it home if I wasn't so close. After a little online research I check radiator and see that transmission fluid is intermixing with radiator fluid. The worse part is Nissan new this was a problem and hasn't done a recall. I bought this car from a Nissan dealers preowned with 86,000 in 2009. To me they new it was a problem and still sold me a car in which I have little recourse, but to fix myself.

- Lake Worth, TX, USA

problem #112

Dec 232012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 138,131 miles
I noticed my radiator reservoir was getting low, so I filled again, a week passed and the same thing, I told my brother in law who have some mechanical knowledge and we both check the reservoir unit, and then the radiator cap, and for my sad surprise, there were a oily brown residue, which means that my truck had mixed transmission fluid and anti-coolant, wow what a downside !!! now the cost to repair it is around $3000+ dollars and of course I changed the radiator already, due to the fact of that part being defective, and of course after that happened I received a letter from Nissan extending the warranty of the radiator, only if I had less than 80K miles on my truck, so guess what? I am not covered but that warranty !!!! because I have more than 130K anyways, 2 weeks ago I received a class action settlement against Nissan !!!!! yeah !!!

- Corona, CA, USA

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problem #111

Feb 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Driving on the highway last evening my transmission just blew out. The RPM's went high and I was thrown into first or second gear in an automatic vehicle. I had to weave to get off to the side of the road and out of traffic. It was a huge safety concern for me and my children. There was no warning. I have called Nissan this morning and I am being told there is nothing they can do. There are reports, class action law suits, and other complaints all over the internet on the exact issue (radiator fluid is leaking into transmission and causing it failure) and nothing is being addressed by Nissan. Does someone have to die before this is handled"? horrible business on their part. I know have a truck that should be worth $10,000-12,000 that has a $6,000 fix because of a factory defect and it is my problem?" this is unbelievable....

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #110

Dec 212012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,758 miles


Recently I noticed that the vehicle vibrates/shutters at certain speeds causing difficulty with acceleration. I took it to my mechanic and the mechanic told me that after some research he discovered there is a known defect with the radiator/transmission and that I should take it to the dealer. I brought it to the dealer and they informed me that I was 2000 miles over the 100,000 mile extended power train warranty and that I was not eligible for the replacements under warranty (which would have cost me $3,000?). instead if I want the radiator and transmission replaced I would have to pay $7,000-$8,000 which I find very unethical because as a pregnant mother driving around 2 small children this vehicle is unsafe for my family to drive in it's current condition. Nissan should recall the defective parts and replace at no cost to the customers, considering the part was defective when built and the consumers were never notified of the potential issues.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #109

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 107,710 miles
I was driving down the highway during rush when all of a sudden my car wouldn't go over 45mph and the RPM went up to 6-7 RPM's as my transmission slipped. I was able to pull my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder over to the median, but it was too dangerous to exit and check the engine because of the rush hour traffic driving in excess of 65-70mph. I was able to get the truck towed to coggin Nissan in jacksonville, fl at my expense. The dealership stated that the transmission cooler line ruptured inside of the radiator allowing coolant and transmission fluid to mix and cross contaminate. They suggested I get a new radiator and transmission. The same dealership sold me the truck and a warranty by fidelity warranty services. The warranty company that is a subsidiary company of the dealership owed by South East Toyota (set) denied my claim saying to root of the problem was the radiator. Felt like this is a conflict of interest since set owns the warranty company, which would be like asking your boss to pay for something. Contacted Nissan and haven't heard back. All Nissan offered was info on the class action lawsuit which didn't help since this failure in their engineering of the vehicle didn't occur until after 107,710 miles was put on my vehicle. I bought the vehicle with only 93,844 miles on it, and have only had it for a year and a half. I still owe $10,000 and the dealership, warranty company, and Nissan have all failed to help fix a known manufacturer defect in the engineering design. I thank god that my pregnant wife was not in the truck with me at the time and we were hit. Nissan should take responsibility for their decisions and recall and fix this. All this is doing is causing loyal customers to leave Nissan, coggin Toyota at the avenues, and fidelity warranty services and expose them and their crooked actions.

- Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA

problem #108

Jan 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,445 miles
As I was going down the road and my vehicle started to shake like I was running over the emergency lane vibration strips and lost power. I was in high traffic and was almost rear ended. I had to let off the gas pedal, coast a little then press the pedal again until it shifted into a higher gear. I had it checked by a dealer and turns out the transmission had failed because of a crack in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to leak into the transmission. A problem that many Pathfinder owners have experienced. A problem that Nissan knew about in their Pathfinders and instead of recalling the vehicles they extended a warranty that leaves the owner paying a $3,000 co pay to have the transmission and radiator replaced for a known problem.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #107

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Suddenly my Pathfinder began to loss power while driving home. I barely made it home.the vehicle suddenly leaked out red transmission fluid in the driveway and began to smoke at the hood of the engine. The Pathfinder was towed to a Nissan dealer that same day. Nissan dealer reports the transmission and radiator needs to be replaced, costing approx $8000 dollars.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #106

Jan 012013


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator leaked water into the transmission, causing the transmission to seize while driving 60 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified who stated there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Cincinnatti, OH, USA

problem #105

Dec 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 119,070 miles
A couple of months ago my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder started jerking into gear around 45-55 mph. I had no idea of the transmission/radiator issue at that point. In mid-December when trying to accelerate from a stop at a stop sign, the vehicle revved but barely went forward at all. Thank god I wasn't at a busy intersection, this could have caused a major accident!! the service engine light came on and the RPM shot up. I was able to move the vehicle very slowly into a driveway and there it sat for a couple of days until we could bring it home. It has been parked in the driveway for a month and a half B/C I do not have the money to fix it. The transmission fluid is definitely contaminated. A few weeks ago I received a class action settlement claim form regarding this issue, however, my lovely vehicle has 119,081 miles on it...therefore, I am over the mileage and out of luck! Nissan has known about this problem for a very long time and had a recall been issued years ago the problem could have been fixed for much less money! I still owe on this vehicle and it is doing me absolutely no good sitting in the driveway.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #104

Jan 282013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
The transmission on my 2006 Pathfinder began slipping, causing vibrations to the point that my wife did not want to drive the vehicle any longer with our child in it. Took it to the dealership and paid the $3000 co-pay to replace the transmission fix the coolant problem. I find this very disappointing due to the fact that it is a known problem with these vehicles. Had I known of this possible issue earlier, I may have been able to had the vehicle diagnosed and saved the $3000 co-pay...which we really can't afford to pay! I hope this issue becomes a recall before someone gets hurt!!

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #103

Dec 102012


  • 58,000 miles
I am being told that my transmission is going out due to a faulty transmission Nissan installed in the 2006 Pathfinders. They are telling me this is very common in the Pathfinders and after much research I am seeing that I am not alone.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #102

Jan 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Fuel level sensor malfunction, gas gauge shows inaccurate amount of gas in tank. Cannot pass deq test until fixed. Appears to be ongoing issue with this make & model of vehicle. There needs to be an extension on the recall, very expensive too fix. Problem #2 severe transmission vibration at 50-70 mph, cannot operate in overdrive without having transmission causing severe jerking of vehicle. Very scary noise especially with little kids in car. There is a service bulletin on this issue and it needs to be moved to a full recall. Very dangerous!

- West Linn, OR, USA

problem #101

Dec 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,569 miles
Coolant in the transmission sudden lose of speed difficult to drive manage to get it home haven't ran it since afraid of losing the transmission completely did not no of this issue till it was too late I have 2 cars between me and my 3 sons and now down to one car till this issue can be resolve, can not afford to pay for the repairs out of pocket im hoping Nissan will be taking some responsibility I've own 5 Nissan a stanza, Sentra, a Pathfinder, maxima, and now 06 Pathfinder im having issues with.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #100

Jul 012012


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while shifting gears, the vehicle vibrated and emitted a strong coolant odor. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the radiator cracked due to defective material and caused coolant to enter the transmission. The radiator and transmission was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000 and the current mileage was 97,000.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #99

Jul 252012


  • 101,000 miles
While accelerating down main highway in Massachusetts my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder slipped out of gear, jerked repeatedly and then caught again surging forward. This process repeated its self for the following 5 miles until could safely get it off the highway.

- Norton , MA, USA

problem #98

Nov 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The engine starts up but will not shift to second gear.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #97

Dec 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Radiator/transmission cooler failed leaking radiator fluid into transmission ruining transmission. Radiator and transmission need to be replaced according to Nissan dealership. Proactive replacement (recall) of known defect in radiator would have been inexpensive and prevented very costly transmission damage.

- Rockford, IL, USA

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