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 19 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Dec 142011


  • 72,362 miles


About 10,000 miles ago I noticed a vibration at 40 and 60mph. I took it to a local dealer who replaced two U joints and sent me on my way. Well, vibration is back, not only that now that it is winter, my vehicle wont warm up from an idle. It never blows hot air. These are a couple of symptoms that going forward show the radiator leaking into the transmission causing damage to the gaskets, seals, gears, torque converter. Please help the radiator obviously need replacing but not only that the transmission is messed up and stalls out now from time to time. It is really expensive to replace and should be covered under a recall program so it forces Nissan to recall just the radiators beofre they start leaking.

- Huntington, UT, USA

problem #15

Dec 212011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
The transmission failed on our Nissan Pathfinder. We take excellent care of our vehicles. Regular oil changes, transmission, fluids. This car should not have lost the transmission.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #14

Oct 012011


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle began to jerk forward and began shifting. The failure recurred at speeds greater than 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician stated to the contact that the radiator and transmission would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 062011


  • 129,000 miles


Radiator failure caused transmission failure leading to lurching and difficulty handling.

- Manlius, NY, USA

problem #12

Nov 012011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I had no idea that the transmission would fail on my Pathfinder, after finding out that thousands of Pathfinder owners experienced the same safety issue I am concerned. Nissan tells me they know there is a problem with the radiator and will leak coolant into transmission causing the will cost around $ 5,000 to repair, money I don't have. Some one is going to get hurt or worse if this failure was to cause a crash. Why has Nissan not been forced to recall and correct their faulty equipment?

- Cochranton, PA, USA

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problem #11

Jul 222011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder experienced transmission slippage at @ 85,000 miles and now no heat. Car is maintained perfectly and now transmission and radiator need to be replaced, Nissan says that it is not covered.

- Westfield, NJ, USA

problem #10

Apr 192010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 79,500 miles


-1st incident: At 79500 miles fuel gauge dropped to empty once level below half a tank. Nissan technician diagnosed as faulty fuel level sensor. Vehicle past 75000 mile extended warranty. Repair cost estimated at $450. -2nd incident: At 107000 miles drive-shaft broken in transit mid-span across 4 mile 4 lane interstate bridge at the beginning of rush hour. Potential for a catastrophic multi-vehicle crash. Vehicle towed at owners expense. -3rd incident: AT108600 miles vehicle failed to start. Vehicle towed at owners expense to Nissan service dept. Told next day transmission fuse blown and "radiator internal leak caused cross contamination into transmission" needs transmission and radiator. Advised work is out of warranty. Repaired at over $6000 at owners expense. Vehicle returned, owner noticed 20 amp fuse and unknown relay in cupholder console. 1 day later owner notices high-beam lights inoperable. -4th incident 1 week and 3 days after transmission and radiator repair less than 1 month old battery is found dead. Battery replaced vehicle still exhibiting electrical issues. Dashboard lights out, battery, brake and 4WD warning lights illuminated. Battery test ok. Alternator test ok, starter draw test ok. Owner becomes aware of Nissan recall campaign PC068 regarding ECM recall. Vehicle towed back to Nissan service department at owners expense. Owner requested ECM recall be performed no less than 4 times, service manager advised electrical problems not related to ECM and will not replace, then states no knowledge of recall, then claims owners ECM recall was previously performed. Complaint logged with Nissan Consumer Affairs. 5 days later owner told vehicle ready, owner goes to pick up then told vehicle is not ready as there is still electrical issue. Now 1 week without vehicle, no contact with service advisor in 2 days.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #9

May 262011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 85,900 miles
At 86,000 miles my transmission started to stutter. I took it to Nissan dealership in fairfax va and they just said I needed a new transmission for $7500. They mentioned nothing about a potential radiator problem causing this, they basically played dumb about it. If I were to have them fix it with a new transmission, I would have had the same problem all over. The service manager said I might want to "punt" on this one and let someone else deal with the problem. I decided to take it to aamco and they told me that there is a problem with this model where the radiator fails and fluid is cross-contaminated with the transmission. I paid $5000 to have this fixed. Nissan should fess up to this problem. I've been doing my research and it turns out that this problem has happened with numerous Pathfinder owners. Something needs to be done about this well known, documented issue. This type of issue could lead to a major accident if the transmission were to fail on the highway or a major personal safety issue if failure were to happen on back roads.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #8

Sep 022011


  • 121,000 miles
While driving with the family on a four lane freeway, transmission failure and immediate loss of speed in a rain storm. No warning or symptoms prior to the failure. Later found out that the radiator failed allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid causing catastrophic failure. Nissan assist was no help. Cost to repair quoted at $5700. No parts available for three weeks due to high demand. We did not have an accident due to the transmission failure, but it was very disturbing to make it off the freeway without getting hit from behind in the rain. My wife's vehicle and she was very thankful she was not driving when it happened.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #7

Aug 242011


  • 98,800 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the local mechanic for a routine oil change when the mechanic found that radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission cooler lines. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that the vehicle did not qualify for repairs due to the vehicle mileage. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 98,880.

- Stratford , CT, USA

problem #6

Jun 012010


  • 36,500 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated the fuel gauge failed. In addition, the driver side mirror failed while the contact attempted to adjust the mirror. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times for the failures. The dealer replaced the fuel gauge sensor. The contact stated that most recently, the transmission would exhibit failures and was slow to respond to acceleration attempts when in reverse. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised the contact to take the vehicle to the dealer. The driver side mirror and the transmission were not repaired. The failure mileage was 36,500 and the current mileage was 92,000. Kmj

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

problem #5

Aug 092010


  • 54,000 miles
While driving down the street at approximately 45mph the vehicle suddenly loss forward moving power but the engine would rev to a high RPM, causing a dangerous situation with the other traffic on the road while we attempted to coast to the side of the road. Upon taking the car to the dealer, I was informed that the radiator had experienced an internal failure causing antifreeze to enter and contaminate the transmission causing that to become damaged beyond repair. Although the power train (which I imagine includes the transmission) was still under manufactures warranty up to 60,000 miles, I was told it would not qualify for a warranty repair since it was determined that the radiator was the cause of the transmission failure and the radiator was only covered under a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty. The repair costs for both were quoted to me from the dealer to be ~$6,000 for a new radiator and transmission. It is also my understanding Nissan has recently started to extend the warranty on certain Pathfinders faulty radiators (based off of VIN number) and would also reimburse anyone who already had to pay for this repair out of pocket. I have not received a letter from Nissan to-date stating my vehicle has qualified for this plan. Even though it is obvious to me (and the Nissan dealer) that my radiator was faulty therefore causing the damage beyond repair to my transmission as well. I feel I should be reimbursed for this very expensive repair since it was caused out of no fault of my own. Due to the extremely high dealer quote, I opted to have the vehicle repaired at an independent certified repair shop for ~$4,000 for which they installed a newly warranted transmission and radiator package. I was told they only sell the replacement transmissions with the radiators included, confirming to me that this type of failure is known to the industry as a combined failure.

- Northbridge, MA, USA

problem #4

Oct 282010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
I have 2006 Pathfinder, it has 48K miles and is overheating.I thought is was T-stat so I replaced it. It continues to overheat so I am reading this forum for answers. Please explain symptoms you were experiencing before radiator leaking into transmission was discovered. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks (this is my 2nd Pathfinder, we liked the 1st one so much we bought a 2nd. Never a problem with my 2001 Pathfinder.)

- Morganville , NJ, USA

problem #3

Jun 052010


  • 50,000 miles
My check engine light would come on and off along with the gas gauge going crazy from empty to full. They replaced sensor after having to beg (cost would have been 700 dollars). This was just out of warranty. At about 50,000 miles my check engine light was on and they said they needed to replace a fuel sending sensor which cost me 300 dollars when it was in for that I needed both U joints replaced because the steering wheel and car wobbled horribly when hitting about 50 miles an hour. This wobble was horrible and thought it was the tires.. then had to replace two U joints ( second time since owning this 2006 Pathfinder).. I wish Nissan would step to the plate and recall the sensors and U joints.. its like everything happens just miles out of warranty. Probably last Nissan I will buy because of all the problems.

- Imperial, PW, USA

problem #2

Feb 102010


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the U joints were replaced twice within one year and needed to be replaced again. The dealer advised the contact to have the transmission and radiator rebuilt; however, the diagnostic test produced an unknown code pertaining to the fuel sending unit. The was concerned when she viewed numerous complaints, including NHTSA recall campaign id number 10V075000 (fuel system, gasoline: Storage: Auxiliary tank) but was unable to confirm if her vehicle was included in the recall. The contact stated that the manufacturer should be liable for the failure since they were fully aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Norton, MA, USA

problem #1

Jul 122007

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,013 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While the vehicle was parked and the key was removed from the ignition, it proceeded to roll backwards out of the driveway. The contact's son sustained a shoulder injury as he attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle crossed the street and rolled into a ditch. Rossville police department filed case number 070703509. Nissan sent an inspector to examine the vehicle. The vehicle was transported from the tow yard to the dealer. The inspector found nothing wrong with the vehicle and Nissan stated that they would not be responsible for the failure. The vehicle is currently at a body shop for repair. The current and failure mileages were 21,013.

- Rossville, GA, USA

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