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 18 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

May 252012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


The transmission is slipping while trying to accelerate or will downshift incorrectly and redline, making the tires chirp and almost lose control.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #35

May 212012


  • 133,995 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced because transmission coolant had erroneously leaked into the transmission. There was a manufacturer's recall for the failure but the contact's vehicle exceeded the mileage limit for the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 133,995.

- Wildwood, FL, USA

problem #34

May 042012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,700 miles
My transmission failed while driving on an interstate. Mechanic said the cooling line cracked, which allowed radiator fluid to enter the transmission and destroy it.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #33

Aug 232010


  • 120,000 miles


Vehicle problem started with ECM/ipdm power train which stool on me. Replace for a cost of $17-1800. I paid about $1500-$1800 to get the ECM fixed and ipdm replaced. I was informed that my vehicle needed 2front converters for a cost of $2500. I contacted Nissan manufacturers and expresses my concerned. Nissan manufacturers did not want to pay attention to my concerns, but after about 3-5months of non stop complaining, Nissan manufacturers issued a recalled on the ECM and refunded my money, but refuses to fix my converters. In March 2011, I got a recalled noticed from Nissan manufacturers about a leak of coolant into transmission, so I took my vehicle to the dealership and the dealership refused to do the required inspection and claimed that my vehicle had more miles than the manufacturers required mile; and yes, my vehicle at that time was not 5years. Two weeks later my transmission went into heavy smoke with a strong rotten egg odor while I was driving. I was told that valve body inside my vehicle transmission is burned and to replace it for a cost of about $3000+, and sensor need to be replace as well and the 2 converters. Nissan gave me a bill of over $5000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #32

Nov 162011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Back in November 2011 (a week before thanksgiving) my car started to act up while shifting (shifting hard or not shifting). I took it to a Nissan dealer (bertera Nissan of auburn, MA) on my way to work. The mechanics there told me there was nothing wrong with my car. They never even took it for a test drive. The mileage at the time was around the 80K. In February to my local mechanic (ed's automotive, ellington ct) for routine maintenance (oil change). I asked him to check if I needed a transmission service since I was at 100K in miles. He checked the fluid and told me that the coolant was mixed with my transmission fluid and told me to take it to a dealer to see if it was covered. He informed me at that time of the service bulletin that Nissan has out. So I took it back to the same dealer that told me 4 months earlier that nothing was wrong. They gave me the info to file the claim and confirmed that I need a new transmission and radiator. I filed and waiting for a response. It took about a week. When I heard back from the customer line, they told me that they would not assist me with the issue. I called back several times to try to reach a different person to discuss this. I was never put through to anyone else. The woman on the phone told me that if I didn't like the outcome to contact the BBB and file a claim. That's great and all, but that still does not fix my car. I've only had the car for a year, I'm paying $20K for it. I was finally contacted by the Nissan corporate office after sending out several emails. Again, Nissan denied helping me. The reason I was given is because the mileage wasn't taken down by the dealership at the first visit. Really? how am I suppose to know your procedures. That does not fall on me as a customer. That falls on the dealership!

- Stafford Springs, CT, USA

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problem #31

Mar 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 80,798 miles
Verified at local dealership that radiator coolant is mixing with transmission fluid which causes rough shifting and car to shake at certain speeds. This is a serious safety issue as car can suddenly lose power/break down while driving. Radiator and transmission need to be replaced. We received Nissan's extended warranty (8 yr/80,000 miles) on radiator last year. Car is only 800 miles out of warranty, however Nissan will not cover the cost of replacing the radiator and transmission. Nissan needs stand by its product and issue a recall for this problem.

- Mililani, HI, USA

problem #30

Mar 052011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,400 miles


I purchased my "certified pre-own" 2006 Pathfinder with only 37,000 miles on it and I properly maintained it. December 2010 I noticed that my truck would lose power and sputter while driving at a speed between 40 to 60 mph, and that it would also "tremble or shake" while shifting gears. I took my truck to the dealer to have it serviced and tuned up. I was informed that the radiator was leaking into the transmission and that I needed to have both replaced. I couldn't see straight! I asked the service tech why in the hell I would need a new transmission on a vehicle with just over 100,000 miles and that I'm still paying for no less. The tech suggested that the transmission could be "saved" and I would still have to buy a new radiator and other parts. A year later- 03/12 my truck is behaving the same way so instead of returning to the dealer I decided to take it to a transmission specialist. When I informed him of my problem he asked if I had any problems with the radiator, as a matter a fact I told him I had it replaced a year ago because it was leaking into the transmission. He informed me that he's had a number of Pathfinder owners coming to his shop about this very problem, and informed me that there was a class action lawsuit against Nissan. I found the lawsuit on the web against Nissan and since contacted the attorney and joined in the law suit. Up until the moment I had this problem I was a loyal Nissan owner, even back to the days when my father owned a Datsun and it became my first car. It's one thing to replace a transmission simply due to normal wear, it's another to have consumers do so because of faulty design from the dealer. I'm disappointed that Nissan would treat and handle their customers this way.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #29

Apr 022012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving, the car vibrates and if you stop at traffic light and try to proceed driving it acts as if it has no power and it doesn't want to pull. Took the car to Nissan and they said the radiator had leaked coolant into the transmission, and both has to be replaced about $7000. There was no prior warning of this problem.

- Midfield, AL, USA

problem #28

Mar 242010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,613 miles
My vehicle started (Mar 2010) to vibrate at between 45 and 65 mph, it felt like I was going over a rumble strip. Brought it to dealer they diagnosed a bad universal joint. Ten months (Jan 2011) later it happened again, additionally car was shifting poorly and felt like it couldn't find the correct gear between 45 and 65 mph, dealer said I need a new transmission. When they dropped the driveshaft they said it was just a universal joint between the transmission and the driveshaft. The problem recurred in Mar 2012, brought vehicle to local mechanic (vehicle was no longer under warranty) who consulted a transmission shop. Was told that radiator fluid was leaking into transmission through a faulty hose/line in the radiator and vehicle now need a transmission overhaul and new radiator. I am concerned that transmission could fail catastrophically on highway leading to an accident and injury.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #27

Mar 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Transmission failure due to leak from radiator. Nissan wants $6,400 to repair and issue that should be considered manufacture defect!

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Mar 052012


  • 108,000 miles


Noticed hesitation in lower gears with minor vibration. Sent the Pathfinder for an early service to have them look it over. Explained to them the problem I was having. They test drove the vehicle and did not notice any problem. They checked the catalytic converter. It was fine. They recommended maybe replacing the spark plugs would help. It did not help. One week later the vibration was longer and more violent. Discovered online that people were having problems with the oil cooler. I checked the transmission fluid and it was over full and gritty. The radiator was low and had oil in it from the trans. I have been told they could repair it for $750-$7,000. I had them do 95% of all the services and I bought the car new from Nissan. 6 years later my vehicle is worthless.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #25

Feb 012012


  • 95,000 miles
It started feeling like I was driving over the bumps on the side of the road. I took my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder to the dealer and I had the radiator leaking into the transmission problem. I was told this is a common issue with Nissan and they are not recalling the problem. They extended the warranty to 80,000 miles; unfortunately, I have 95,000 miles on my truck. It would have cost me approximately $1,000 to fix the radiator, more than 5000 to fix the transmission.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #24

Jan 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The radiator colling pump cracked causing the cooling fluid to leak into the transmission and mix with the transmisssion fluid in return a new radiator drive unit and transmission needed to be replaced as well as the torque converter.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

problem #23

Dec 292011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,885 miles
The cooler radiator opened and allow the coolant and transmission fluid to mix, causing damage to the transmission unit..

- Woodhaven, NY, USA

problem #22

Feb 132012


  • 114,600 miles
My 2006 Nissan Pathfinder le 4WD began shuttering while driving at various speeds. It also began having issues going into reverse - taking up to 7 or 8 seconds to engage. In taking the vehicle to the garage, it was determined that the transmission required repair/replacement. The issue has not yet been determined but there are many reports that an issue with fluids mixing between the transmission and radiator are occurring quite often. It is deplorable that Nissan is not taking responsibility for this issue.

- Langhorne, PA, USA

problem #21

Feb 092012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the radiator was leaking fluid onto the transmission. The dealer was notified and diagnosed that the vehicle would need a new transmission. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 93,000. Updated 03/06/12 updated 03/08/12

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #20

Jan 252012


  • miles
Heard a thud in the rear. Took it to get looked at by a mechanic. Before the mechanic even looked at it he knew what was wrong. I told him I think something is wrong with my transmission. The mechanic already knew what was wrong hooked it up to the computer. Didn't show anything he explained to me. The computer was not working on the car it had burned out due to the design of Pathfinder. The transmission oil the radiator and all of the cars fluids are mixed. The radiator looked like vasoline.he told me I need a transmission cooling system and computer. Hr would charge 5,000 dollars he suggested taking it to Nissan.he said he has fixed several pathifinders with the same issues he said Nissan is well aware of the problems.I took it to my dealer in bradenton fl. Where I purchased my car they quoted me 8,000 dollars to fix it. Since my truck isn't under warranty. I asked my dealer about all the problems.he told me to call Nissan to make a complaint there isn't any thing he can do. Then I researched and found thousands of Pathfinders with my same problem im appalled by this. And need to know what I can do"??"

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #19

Sep 222011


  • 86,000 miles
My son's Pathfinder's transmission just died at 86,000 miles. He bought the truck used and has only owned it for 4 months. There is a known problem with the radiator leaking and mixing with the transmission fluid, and the rest is history. We have seen numerous complaints online referring to this very problem. Just want to file a complaint if there should ever be a recall on this vehicle. We contacted both the dealer and the manufacturer, with no satisfaction at all.

- South Wales, NY, USA

problem #18

Jan 192012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 97,395 miles
Rough shifting prompted a check of the transmission fluid at the dealer. Was told the radiator cracked and leaked coolant into the transmission and both components needed to be replaced immediately. They offered refurbished parts for the out of warranty repair for $5480. An independent repair shop offered new parts for $5200. N

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 132010


  • 76,846 miles
Vehicle (2006 Nissan Pathfinder) going approximately 55mph on interstate began to experience problems after being switched into four-wheel drive. When attempting to switch out of 4 wheel drive the vehicle would not switch back to 2X2. After parking, turning off the vehicle and turning back up, upon switching in to reverse the car thumped and switched, the impact of the thumb caused the vehicle to accelerated in reverse at higher than controllable speed, thus causing the vehicle to crash in the objects behind. The vehicle was towed into an auto dealer. After inspection is was discovered that the coolant tube had leaked, causing transmission/radiator fluid to leak. I was informed that if the complications from the leakage have occurred earlier, it was more than likely, highly feasible, that I would have lost control of the vehicle. The combination of the inability to get the 4X4 to lock and change, along with the transmission problems, compounded by the recent engine problems (which I was just informed of) could have been fatal, not just for all passengers in my vehicle, but all those around me on the interstate. Nissan needs to have a complete recall of all of these transmissions.

- Omaha, NE, USA

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