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 16 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #76

Sep 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


Engine oil cooler ruptured transmission replacement.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #75

Oct 122012


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission causing the vehicle to stall. The contact merged to the side of the road and shut off the vehicle. The contact restarted the vehicle and it started to shake between 40 and 50 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact then took the vehicle to a dealer for a diagnostic test. The technician diagnosed that the radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and transmission fluid leaked into the radiator. As result, the transmission became defective and needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Lenheartsville, PA, USA

problem #74

Apr 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 156,831 miles
Transmission went out while driving in traffic. Started lurching and lost speed. Almost got hit. Had the transmission rebuilt plus the torque converter rebuilt. 10/15/2012 transmission started slipping again and losing power. At mileage 169,886 mechanic told me coolant was leaking into the tranmission. Repaired again and brought home on 10/18/2012. That evening taking my son to football practice, lost power going 50 mph and almost got rear ended. I'm done with this dangerous vehicle but I don't want anyone driving it.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #73

May 052012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles


Radiator/ transmission failed causing breakdown radiator was affected as well as when the interior components of the radiators (internal transmission coolers) broke down allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. As a result of the contamination, the transmission and other drive train components were damaged and required replacement.

- Visalia , CA, USA

problem #72

Aug 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 134,139 miles
We drove our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder and parked it in the morning. When we attempted to start it that afternoon, it would not start and had to be towed. The Nissan dealership did a diagnostic test and informed us that the radiator had leaked into the transmission and both were ruined and had to be replaced. The estimate for repair was $8,719. We contacted Nissan corporate in Tennessee to file a complaint only to be told that they were aware of this problem with 05, 06 and 07 Nissan, they had increased the manufacturer's warranty to 80,000 miles, and were not able to help me in any way. My vehicle had over 81,000 miles on it when I bought it. This problem should have been addressed before they sold me the vehicle. I paid $2,000 for an extended warranty and $600 for gap insurance, neither of which will help in any way. I still owe $14,000 on the car. Nissan should do a recall for everyone's benefit. They should fix my vehicle at no charge. They knew about the problem.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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problem #71

Aug 252012


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact noticed the fuel tank was empty. After fueling the vehicle the contact attempted to accelerate but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the radiator had leaked water into the transmission causing the transmission to fail. As a result, the transmission needed to be replaced. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: DP12004 (power train: Automatic transmission: Torque converter power train: Automatic transmission: Cooling unit and lines power train: Automatic transmission: Control module (tcm, PCM)) that may be related to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #70

Mar 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,693 miles


Vehicle engine started skipping while in motion, engine temperature went up to overheated and speed automatically reduced itself to no more than 35mph on the road, caused traffic to avoid vehicle from hitting in the rear end. Had to drive small roads to get home. Nissan service fixed coolant pump but we found out later this was not the issue as less than 6 months later the engine overheated again, only this time the radiator leaked coolant into the transmission fluid and ruined the entire transmission. We find out that Nissan has hundreds or thousands of such incidents and have not issued a recall. Our cost to repair is $8,700 for a 6 year old vehicle with less than 100,000 miles on it.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #69

Sep 202012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Major issues with my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Intermix with coolant and transmission fluid. The Nissan dealership knew after a few moments from lifting my hood. The mechanic explained it would cost over $1500 to replace the radiator and flush the transmission and advised me to come back after 10K miles. After having the radiator ($800) replaced I was on the highway for less than a mile and my rpms were revving high when I accelerated and the truck was obviously stuck in gear. Took Pathfinder back (two days) to mechanic and found the radiator contaminated once again and needing a new transmission which will cost $2500 that I don't have and I can't afford a new vehicle. I'm making payments on a car I can't drive. My husband is driving a 2005 Altima which is having similar problems and just haven't broken down complete. Nissan should recognized this issue and address asap.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #68

Aug 312012


  • 134,139 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact tried to start the vehicle but it failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for inspection where they confirmed the radiator leaked into the transmission and both components needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 134,139.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #67

Sep 212012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,800 miles
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder has an issue with the radiator (coolant) leaking into the transmission. Truck began to shudder as if driving on rumble strips. Leaking fluid causes what first starts out as a rumble during shifting around 40 mph, then eventually leads to a seize of the transmission which can occur at any time. Should the transmission fail while in traffic it could cause a accident. The vehicle was taken to transmission shop and they advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure and the current mileages were 103,800 miles.

- Patterson, NY, USA

problem #66

Sep 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


My 2006 Nissan Pathfinder had severe transmission failure at 50mph caused by a manufacturer defect almost causing me to lose control.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #65

Sep 032012


  • 120,000 miles
I was driving my car on a busy major highway during rush hour traffic. My car sputtered and stalled unable to exceed 40 mph. I pulled over onto the shoulder and waited over an hour for the tow truck while cars zoomed past me at 60 mph. My car was diagnosed with a radiator that leaked antifreeze into transmission causing transmission failure. Nissan has several class action lawsuits against them for this problem. Updated IVOQ 10/24/12

- Saint Louis , MO, USA

problem #64

Sep 182012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I was driving my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder on a highway in light traffic at about 60 mph when I began to hear a high-pitched whine from the engine area. When I started to accelerate after stopping at a traffic light, the vehicle "bucked, " or lurched forward, and began to shake. There was no one in front of me at the time; if another vehicle had been in my path, I would have slammed into it. I was able to exit the highway without incident and drive/coast to a safe place where I immediately called for a tow truck. The repair shop at the Nissan dealership informed me that the radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and caused the transmission to fail. Nissan apparently knew about this problem but did not suggest that the potentially defective radiator be replaced before it led to transmission failure.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #63

Jul 012008


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving, the fuel gauge displayed an inaccurate fuel level reading, causing the vehicle to stall. The contact was unable to restart vehicle. The contact refueled the vehicle and was able to resolve the failure momentarily before recurring. The vehicle was taken to dealer who advised that the fuel sensor was defective. The vehicle was repaired by replacing the fuel sensor. In addition, the vehicle shifted out of gear abnormally. The dealer determined that the failure was caused by cooling fluid leaking into the radiator. The dealer then performed a transmission system flush and the failure was resolved. One year later after refueling the vehicle, the contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to dealer who inspected the vehicle and determined that the transmission module system had failed. The failure was due to a leak of cooling fluid into the radiator system. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, no further assistance was offered. The failure mileage was 60,000. The approximate current mileage was 107,000.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #62

May 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I use this vehicle to commute to and from work. I currently serve in the U.S. military and must drive over causeways that are located over water to get to work. The vibrations from the failing transmission cause a major concern when going over these causeways. If the transmission were to fail going 50 mph it could cause a major accident possibly killing my family, me and possibly many more. Today I was taking the family out for dinner. On our way I drove over the causeway driving 55 and came to an exit. As I was exiting, the vehicle started jerking vigorously. Thankfully there was enough room to control the vehicle to bring it to a stop. Now the vehicle will not drive past 1st gear, so obviously I had to get it towed. Nissan must address the problem immediately before someone gets killed, but we all know that's exactly what they are waiting for.

- Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

problem #61

Sep 192012


  • 90,975 miles
Transmission has been acting up lately and went into a safety mode that I can only run on 3rd gear. My overdrive has been giving issues for a long time that it wouldn't lock fully so I have been running on fourth gear.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #60

Aug 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Radiator leaked into automatic transmission, the neutral safety switch shorted out, but not until transmission was burnt up.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #59

Aug 282012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Transmission has completely failed due to leakage from the radiator crack. Rumbling started at about 130K miles, transmission starting slipping several weeks ago. We took it into the shop and paid $300 for a complete flush and replacement of fluid. It did no good - transmission is now not working at all.

- Alpine , CA, USA

problem #58

Jul 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
I took my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder to a transmission shop because when I accelerated or slowed down it was giving a "bucking" feeling and my regular mechanic referred me to them. I was told that it was the faulty radiator and the transmission and radiator would need to be replaced for anywhere from $4800-$5500. Wow what a shock! this is ridiculous!!!

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #57

Sep 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,100 miles
While driving on a very bust highway towing our 3000 lb boat our SUV began to shutter and slow down swiftly causing traffic to swerve dangerously around our boat and car and potentially cause a major pile up. Apparently, the defect in the radiator and transmission lines caused the fluids to mix, overheating and damaging our transmission. We were unaware of this potential problem since we bought this car in a private sale 2 weeks prior to this incident. Luckily a crisis was averted, however it had the potential for a catastrophic consequences because the vehicle slowed down without touching brakes therefore not signaling to following vehicles that we were indeed slowing rapidly.

- Matthews , NC, USA

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