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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 15 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Oct 252012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


Vehicle began to shudder while climbing a slight grade at about 35-40mph. Problem has gotten progressively worse. Dealer acknowledges problem is with transmission, which was damaged by defective radiator.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #95

Dec 092012


  • 82,790 miles
Transmission failure due to transmission fluid and engine coolant mixing in the radiator. This is a known problem according to Nissan. I was required to pay a $2500 copay to have the repair made. The failure of the transmission could have resulted in an accident since we were on a highway. The failure is catastrophic. My reason for complaint is that Nissan is aware of the problem but refuses to issue a recall. Instead they offer an extended warranty with copays. I would not have had to pay the $2500 if this was a recall or the failure occurred before 80000 miles. I urge you to force Nissan to issue the recall and reimburse the copay.

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #94

Dec 102012


  • 83,000 miles
My wife drove the SUV to town. It started acting funny (transmission was not shifting correctly). At this time the SUV acted like it was out of drive and would not go forward or reverse. She had it towed to a repair shop to see what was going on with it. They called her later the same day and told her that her transmission cooling line in the radiator had leaked coolant into transmission. The Nissan dealership in longview, wa. Told us that we have to pay $2500 if we want our SUV repaired, and that in October 2012 they had sent a letter stating that we needed to bring our SUV in because of this very problem. We did not receive this so called letter.

- Kelso, WA, USA

problem #93

Nov 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


I was driving on the freeway and when vehicle reaches approx 50 mph, car starts shuddering. Over time this shuddering noise becomes worse even at low speeds 20-30 mph. Nissan is well aware of this problem because they extended the warranty for the radiator/transmission cooler. The worst thing is Nissan is charging a co-pay of $2,500. They should cover all the charges including the co-pay since this is a known factory defect.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #92

Nov 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,557 miles
Took my 2006 Pathfinder to a shop for poor heat, and a slight transmission shutter after checking the fluid noticed the anti-freeze was contaminated with transmission fluid and the transmission fluid was milky from the anti-freeze. Only having 88,000 miles on car I started looking for reasons and found that there was a crack in the radiator causing it to swap fluids. After speaking with the shop owner he believes it was caught early so there is an off chance that a good flush and transmission service will correct the shutter, how ever I will need to replace the radiator, thermostat, all fluids and the hose assembly that connects the rear heat ( became brittle and cracked from transmission fluid) for a cost off $2000 parts.

- Flat Rock, NC, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #91

Jan 262010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,127 miles
Due to an acknowledged defect in a hose leading from the radiator to the transmission, coolant leaked into the transmission causing catastrophic damage. We had to replace the transmission and the defective radiator to the tune of >$4000. Nissan recognized there was an issue because they extended the powertrain warranty to just under the mileage where the majority of their customers were beginning to experience issues. When approached, Nissan refused to authorize a reimbursement of any sort, not even agreeing to meet halfway, when they knew it was their defective part that was to blame for the damage that was done. Nissan hopes that by dismissing people they will give up and not pursue further recourse. I will say now that they are sorely mistaken. There are too many people that have been affected by their negligence. It was a costly and dangerous oversight that needs to end in some sort of resolution.

- West Henrietta , NY, USA

problem #90

May 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,800 miles


Vehicle was running normal till we park to have lunch.start vehicle fine place shifter in gear (drive) was not taking any gear.we have vehicle taking to Nissan dealer.they determine cause due to a faulty radiator leaking coolant to transmission Nissan was not going to do any warranty repairs on the vehicle because vehicle was out warranty.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #89

Nov 142012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,242 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder 103K miles. We noticed vehicle would shudder upon acceleration at approximately 40 mph and again at 50 mph. Also at times the engine would rev up like it couldn't shift to the next gear. If we slowed down to 50 and re-accelerated to 55 mph, the shuddering became a severe vibration. We took it to an independent mechanic since we had recently a bad experience with our local Nissan dealer in fixing another problem (timing chain). The mechanic dropped the transmission pan and found the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission fluid. Mechanic stated we were very lucky to have caught this right away as it could have caused a lot of other problems too lengthy to mention here. Mechanic replaced radiator and did a tranny flush but I'm not sure our problems are over. Now the fuel gauge registers empty after I have just filled up with fuel, the service engine light came on, and now I am totally stressed out driving anywhere, and especially in traffic.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #88

Apr 222012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I had transmission problems, the transmission started vibrating and then would not move, I took to local transmission shop, they advised there was a problem in the radiator causing damage to transmission, I took to Nissan dealer they advised that Nissan had extended the warranty to 80,000 miles due to the radiator, however Nissan had not sent any information regarding a problem are extending the warranty. If I had known there was a problem with radiator, I would have had it checked prior to the 80,000 miles. Then Nissan sends letter that they are extending warranty to 100,000 miles with a 3,000 dollar deductible. If I had received a letter earlier from Nissan about the problem, I would have taken the Nissan to a dealer prior to the 80,000 miles. At times the transmission would stall out when making a turn, which could have caused a serious accident; fortunately there were no on coming traffic. The car also has a fuel gauge which gives a false reading at all times to the actual amount of fuel in the tank due to a faulty sending unit. So now I am stuck with a bill for 3,000 dollars. I feel Nissan was negligent in not advising their customers of the problem earlier. The dealer then called me and told me that the timing chain was worn and needed to be replaced at a cost of 2,000 dollars. My Nissan has less than 100,000 miles and the radiator, transmission and timing chain are faulty, and Nissan should cover these charges.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #87

Nov 172012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,283 miles
The transmission is slipping. The vehicle will suddenly lose its ability to move while under power. Checked transmission oil. The level is good but the fluid is "milky" in color. The fluid should be a clear, colored liquid. Suspect transmission line inside the radiator is fractured allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #86

Jul 222011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 109,463 miles


Brief description of what happened.. I purchased a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, local trade at a dealership. After I purchased the vehicle some days later I started to notice the vehicle shifted very hard, started more frequently as the vehicle was on the road longer.. felt like it slammed into each gear!!! I was driving across a bridge one morning and its a 2 lane bridge and all of a sudden my rpms redline and feels like im in 3rd gear, all the cars behind swerve into the next like cause I was go the speed limit then the car drops down very rapidly in speed.I tried to accelerate but the vehicle just started to shake a little and the rpms just redlined. I get it to a local shop, come to find out that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and messed everything up.. all in all the shop tells me the radiator and transmission is shot and needs to be replaced.and my total bill would be close to $4,000 dollars... very disappointed in Nissan!!! lost all faith and will stick to Honda from now on!!!!!

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #85

Jun 072012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,696 miles
I purchased a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder in 2009. It had 64000 miles and I paid $18500. Of course the dealer did not inform me of the issue. Since I have purchased this car (one previous owner) I have had to replace two cat converters, a radiator, a pressure gauge, and now a transmission because the radiator fluids and transmission fluids are mixing. It causes the car to jerk uncontrollably out of nowhere while in normal operation. When I brought the car in for service, the service adviser had me change the radiator and the transmission maintenance. This costs me $1650. Two cat converters, $3200. Now they said I need a new transmission for $5000+. there have been over 5000 complaints regarding this safety issue, and the NHTSA has not issued a recall. This is unbelievable. Will someone have to be killed first in a Pathfinder for something to be done? the car is very dangerous to drive. Nissan is well aware of this problem and could care less. I have been spoken to Nissan North America, they have decided I was one not worthy of help due to mileage. The problem I have is Nissan knows and understands this will happen to their cars eventually. It is not only Pathfinders, but also frontiers, maximas, Altima, etc. Read all of the blogs. It is a joke. Nissan needs be held accountable for the design flaw. They are having their customers pay for Nissan's problem. Usa Nissan customers need your help. Nissan needs to be punished for their inaction. Nissan has also settled a class action lawsuit as well regarding this issue. Please do something before somebody gets killed!

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #84

Oct 122012


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, first my fuel sensor failed, and now at approx 92,000 miles my vehicle has this horrible vibration at 45mph and 60 mph. After thinking it was my tires off balance and having them serviced and an alignment done, I decided to do some research online and called my Nissan service dept. To my surprise this is a very common problem with this vehicle and it is a problem with the transmission and radiator fluids mixing, causing the tranny to fail. If this is not a major safety concern I am not sure what is. Please review, it will cost the consumer approx $8,000 to fix and not to mention the inconvenience. If this were an isolated incident I would not complain, but there are a massive amount of complaints. I even contacted Nissan Corp. And after 3 weeks I am still waiting on a return call. I do highway driving and have 3 children in my vehicle daily. This is a major concern.

- Linwood, PA, USA

problem #83

Oct 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 113,419 miles
Traveling on the highway, the car slowed up. Light came on that stated "service engine soon". went to Nissan dealer and they diagnosed it as transmission/radiator system gone and needs total replacement.

- Olyphant, PA, USA

problem #82

Sep 012012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission started to slip. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that anti-freeze had entered the transmission from the radiator. As a result, both the radiator and the transmission would need to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 85,000.

- Elisabeth, PA, USA

problem #81

Mar 192011


  • 130,000 miles
I had multiple posting previously on my 2006 brand new Nissan Pathfinder. First problem was with the ECM which was later fixed for about $2000, later Nissan reimbursed. As lithia spring ga. Nissan dealership had my SUV to fix the ECM, on day of pick up, 2 front catalytic converters were defective evidence by a loud hollow noise which the dealership denied. Few months later I was notified by Nissan manufacturers to take my SUV for a recalled maintenance on radiator assemble issues. I took my SUV to the same dealership with my noticed, the dealership refused to complete the recalled maintenance and claimed that my SUV had a higher mileage than what the manufacturers are recalling. Two weeks later my SUV went into a cloud of smoke with a rooting eggs odor and as I towed the car to the same dealership, I was charge $98 to complete diagnostic and I was informed the valves body, the transmission sensor and my transmission need a replacement for the total of offer $5000. I managed to complete payment on the car, I had just cancelled the registration on my SUV. I still need help to get my SUV running again. At the time of purchased I drove of with only 20 miles in my SUV. It is un-acceptable that Nissan and Nissan dealership around the nation would not stand out to take full responsibilities to their defective products; rather, to try to clean out the pockets of Nissan owners. I had a service manager at Nissan lithia spring ga. Asked me what type of job am I doing? I told him that is irrelevant. My speed on the day my SUV went into full white smoke was between 35-40 miles.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #80

Oct 052012


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated when accelerating from a stop the vehicle would jump to second gear and shake violently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. After diagnosis they advised him that he needed a new transmission and radiator. The vehicle was repaired for the transmission and radiator. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 135,000. The current mileage was approximately 136,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Monroe, GA, USA

problem #79

Oct 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My Nissan has 108,000 miles, always had all required maintenance transmission makes a "clank" at 15 to 20 mph and vibrates severely when I lower the speed or try to regain the speed from 40 or 60 mph. It also drags, losses power and vibrates when going up hill on lower speed say 20 mph. Internet information, reveals that the cause is radiator water leak to the transmission. Nissan is aware of this. The Pathfinder also has motor oil, leaks, in the oil filter area internet search revealed malfunctioning, faulty part both condition is known by Nissan Corp office internet search has reveals extensive complaints just like mines and Nissan does nothing about it for both please request a recall motor oil, leaks, in the oil filter area.

- Toa Baja, PR, USA

problem #78

Oct 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Vehicle started shuddering and lost propulsion on the highway. After this incident it began slamming into gears and would not go in reverse. Looked online and saw that many people are having the same issue. I brought the car to the dealer to be told that the radiator failed causing coolant and transmission fluid to mix, causing incorrect internal transmission pressure, and internal failure. Nissan refuses to take accountable action and repair the failures. This is obviously a defect and in no way should the consumer be responsible. Thankfully nobody was behind me on the highway when this happened as I had my three kids in the car.

- Cheshire , CT, USA

problem #77

Oct 122012


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the air conditioning would only blow semi-cool air. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis who informed the contact that coolant and transmission fluid were mixing together abnormally. The contact was advised that the coolant lines and the radiator would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the lines and the radiator. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that because the failure was not uncommon, they would extend her warranty but not for the recent repairs. The failure and current mileages were approximately 82,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Waimanalo, HI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?