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 17 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #56

May 302011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


This began intermittently showing problems on the highway, during acceleration (after letting off the gas pedal to slow) the car would start to shake slightly and lose power before again running smoothly in May 2011. Later it started to do it at slower speeds during acceleration. Then it would sometimes have one or two clunks during acceleration, before again running smoothly. We took our car again to our mechanic in May 2012, and found that the radiator had been leaking, then gushed into the transmission. We replaced the radiator, and flushed the transmission to help fix the issues. The issues still continue today, although we rarely drive the car and can not afford to purchase an new transmission.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #55

Nov 292011


  • 98,000 miles
I took my Nissan Pathfinder on 3 different occasions for the same problem and Nissan is fully aware of the problem.1st visit 11/29/2011, 2nd visit 3/12/2012, 3rd visit 6/11/2012 intermix with coolant and tranny fluid, replaced radiator $800, told me to come back and test fluids after 1000 miles, same issue, flushed out the tran fluid $250, T old me to come back after 1000 miles to test fluid, same problem. Paid $600 to clean out transmission pan and whatever bs they told me, now rpms are revving high when I try to take off, and I am at risk for stalling or transmission failing in the middle of intersection or highway. My wife and I are expecting our 1st child in January and I do not feel safe bringing our newborn in this vehicle and putting her life at risk. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs, and lodged a complaint then another rep called me back and said I do not qualify for financial assistance to repair my vehicle because I have 98K on my vehicle and the extended warranty they offered was up to 80K. Regardless there are many Pathfinder owners with this problem, she displayed no empathy, and kept saying the same thing, "I understand your frustration, but we cannot help you"....unbelievable!! vehicle has 98K and it's paid off. Don't want a new vehicle, and want Nissan to take responsibility for this issue and for everyone who has this problem!

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #54

Aug 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Going 70 mph the vehicle started shaking real bad the RPM gauge was going nuts. Brought the vehicle to a stop then tried to start it again the vehicle jumped uncontrollably. Parked it and had it picked up by a towtruck. Was diagnosed with a faulty transmission and radiator. Faulty valve on radiator contaminated transmission. I am so glad that me and my daughter were ok this was very scary.

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #53

Aug 172012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles


The transmission is shot!

- Commack, NY, USA

problem #52

Jun 222012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,200 miles
The automatic transmission shudders or vibrates extensively at approx 42 mph, 55 mph, and 62 mph. It cannot downshift properly - I have to drive above or below the referenced speeds to avoid the shaking. In later incidents, the vehicle jolted but not out of control.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

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problem #51

Aug 162012


  • 106,000 miles
Car stalled at red light, smoking from hood took to mechanics advised of transmission failure, leaking brown stuff.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #50

Jul 222012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


I was driving home from a weekend vacation in ocean city, md with 2 of my children in my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Approximately 45 minutes into the drive on route 1 in de, the vehicle abruptly 'jumped' and then slipped out of gear. Luckily, I was able to coast into the right lane and then pull to the side of the road. If not, we could have been hit by any vehicles that were behind us. For a brief time, I was able to get the vehicle to slowly drive in 1st gear and pull into a parking lot of a gas station/convenience store. I couldn't get it to go back into drive after that point. We then had to wait 2 1/2 hours to be picked up by my husband. The car was towed to a local shop and diagnosed as needing a new transmission. The price quoted was extremely high (probably because they knew we were out of state), so we opted to have the vehicle towed back to our town of residence to a transmission shop. The shop indicated that they have seen this problem many times in 2005-2007 Nissan Pathfinders. The radiator cracks, and the coolant leaks into the transmission, which ends up destroying the transmission. This appears to be a known defect. $6000 later, I now have a repaired Nissan Pathfinder. Nissan needs to issue a recall and fix these known issues. They also need to reimburse customers who have experienced these issues and have had to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

- Downingtown, PA, USA

problem #49

Jul 282012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
I was driving on I 20 hwy in atl ! I was going to pickup my kids from six flags amusement park. I was driving in the center lane, and out of the clear blue, my car cutoff, and indicated a slip light come on ! I was lucky the cars around me did allow me to pull over to the side of the road ! when I was lucky enough to pull over, I began to start my car backup, and surprisingly it did start backup. I was able to pickup my kids, and I did drive no faster than 60 miles an hour when I did take my daughter's friends home ! this surprise incident, could have taken my life easily ! thanks to other drivers being surprisingly accommodating and letting me pull off the road without my car having any power !

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #48

Jul 062012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
I bought this vehicle in June 2011 from benson Nissan in spartanburg, SC. I had no idea about the radiator/transmission problems these vehicles were having &of course it wasn't mentioned in the sale. It was already slightly past the 80,000 mile warranty (the previous owner was obviously aware of problems) for the radiator. Less than 2 weeks after purchase I told the sales person &a mechanic that the car was jerking at around 60 mph when changing gears. The mechanic blamed "bad gas? & ?ethanol? & assured me it wasn't the transmission. Less than a month later, I took it back to the dealer?S &told them the car was still jerking at 60mph &asked them about the transmission. They again told me there was not a problem with the transmission. The car continued to shake worse when shifting &I continued to call Nissan &complain. The sales person even offered to trade the car in for me, but reneged when his manager declined because I "got too good of a deal on that car &(they) couldn't trade it back." The shaking began to get worse &spread to lower gears &I accepted the fact that I was sold a lemon. Through all this, no one at the Nissan dealership mentioned the transmission or radiator problem. I found out about it only after I began to research how to repair it myself &by then all I could do was pray. Barely one year after purchase while on the way to my parent?S house with my child in the back seat, &while on a busy highway, the car stuck in 2nd gear. I barely got it to my parent"S house &endured a lot of angry drivers around me. It cost $3700 to rebuild the transmission &replace the radiator that leaked into the transmission &finally after getting it back the jerking while shifting has stopped. I should've been informed about the transmission problem at purchase or at least after complaining &Nissan needs to make good on their faulty parts before someone is really hurt.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #47

Mar 052012


  • 72,873 miles
Driving the car as I normally do and felt the transmission slipping and acting funny car lost power on hwy took to an aamco transmissions mechanic and was told that the radiator coolant leaked in to transmission. So to get it fixed had to rebuild transmission, new torque converter and new radiator. I see too many people having the same problems and Nissan dose nothing to fix the problem you call them and they brush you off. Mean wail everyone is spending any-ware from $5000 to $7000. Could this get looked in to?

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #46

Jul 032012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles


Our 2006 Pathfinder had started shuttering in the transmission about a week before it just gave out on the side of the road. I took it to an independent transmission repair shop, who told me that the radiator fluid had gotten into the transmission and ruined it. I did some checking on the internet and found that I was not the only one that has had this problem. Nissan has known this was a problem and has not sent any notices or recalls. I also had another problem recently with the ECM relay, that left it on the side of the road. After research found that a recall was issued and no notice was sent out. I was thankful that Nissan replaced the relay. We have call Nissan customer service about the transmission, but I do not believe they will help due to the mileage. This should have been addressed when it was discovered with a new radiator and a complete transmission service.

- Jasper, FL, USA

problem #45

Jul 122012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was then maneuvered to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic for an inspection. Several diagnostic codes were produced during the inspection, but they were unable to determine the failure. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle was out of warranty. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Greenwood Lake, NY, USA

problem #44

Jul 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 59,799 miles
Drove to wawa for gas and as car was idiling it over heated and check engine light came on. Got my car home and started poking around online just to find thousands of other people are experiencing the same issue. The radiator cracked and mixed with transmission fluid. Don't know if transmission is destroyed yet but time will tell. Horrible that there is no recall for this. And what a hazard I had my 3 children in car and had to tell them no baseball for them. And top it off there was no signs of any issues and car only has 59,799 miles on it.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #43

Jul 112011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,033 miles
Went to dealership and notified them of shuddering when driving in excess of 40mph and check engine light on. Was told by the service department that the transmission fluid is 'milky' as a result of coolant mixing in with automatic transmission fluid due to a crack in the radiator. Advised repairs to include a transmission cooler would be in excess of $8,000+. also advised that mileage of 91,033 voided extended warranty. (3 years, 80,000 miles) vehicle is non-operable due to total transmission failure.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #42

Aug 092010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
While doing regular vehicle maintenance on my vehicle, found coolant had leaked into my transmission fluid. As a result of finding this problem, and not having the financial resources to fix it at the time, I stopped driving the vehicle on a consistent basis for around 18 months. I did the best I could to fix it by bypassing the defective transmission cooler under the radiator and flushing the transmission of contaminated fluid. Since discovering this problem I have driven approximately 6,000 miles, and now the transmission is slipping badly and when it shifts, the transmission shifts very hard. As a result of this transmission cooler failure I am now looking at being forced to replace my transmission.

- Richmond Heights, MO, USA

problem #41

Jun 232012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,500 miles
Just purchased 2006 Pathfinder from local (Jeep/Dodge) dealer. Was literally driving it home from the lot when I encountered vibration and near loss of control at freeway speeds. I was able to get the vehicle home and after checking the fluids found a milky white (atf?) fluid in the coolant/radiator. The vehicle has 87500 miles and I'm beside myself right now. The dealer I purchased the vehicle from seems willing to work with me to remedy the situation but I'm not sure if they'll pay for a new transmission and radiator...? after a couple of minutes of investigation on the internet found the mass of folks dealing with the same radiator/transmission failure problem. I've got an appointment with the local Nissan dealer this week... we'll see what happens. NHTSA please help the hundreds if not thousands of Nissan owners dealing with this obvious defect!

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #40

Jun 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
Driving between 35-60 mph my 2006 Pathfinder was shaking as if I were on a rumble strip. It continued to worsen as the week progressed. I took it into the dealer and was told that both front and rear U-joints were loose and needed to be replaced. With only 81000 miles on my vehicle I asked if this was premature for both U-joints to fail at the same time. I was told it is considered "normal wear and tear". the cost of replacement was $1200.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #39

Mar 202012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My transmission started making noises and problem shifting at 60 mph and the whole vehicle start shaking. I had to brake and reduced speed to avoid the shaking.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #38

Jul 142011


  • 82,367 miles
At first incident, the transmission would start slipping causing a vibration while the overdrive was on, the vibration would go away when out of overdrive. Then the car would stall when you would try to take off at a stop, the car would not move until you would turn the car off and crank it again. As you would pull out into traffic the car would not go. Then even with the car out of overdrive while at speeds at 55 mph or higher the transmission would not work, you would have to let off on the accelerator and wait on the RPM's to drop and then it would go into gear again.I took the car to a local mechanic and he advised the trouble was in a solenoid in the transmission. I took the car to a transmission shop, they checked the fluid and said there was water in the transmission fluid, caused by a coolant leak from inside of radiator getting into the transmission lines causing the transmission to go bad due to coolant into the transmission.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #37

May 302012


  • 10,500 miles
As has been reported by many our 2006 Pathfinder has been found to have antifreeze in the transmission and we are now told it will take 4500 dollars to fix. This is no doubt a manufactures defect as there was no way to prevent this from happening or knowing for sure when it did. This SUV has been maintained by professionals and they did not catch it, I believe Nissan knew about this based on actions they have taken and now should have to repair these vehicles.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

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