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 2 of 19)

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problem #356

Apr 142016


  • 98,000 miles


While accelerating to get onto an entrance to I-95 my car began to vibrate at about 40 mph and make a roaring noise. The noise went away at about 50 mph. When I took it to my mechanic he said the problem was an known issue that Nissan had involving the transmission coolant leaking into the transmission and ruining it. He explained that Nissan had offered an extended warranty up to 80,000 miles. My car has 98,000. Nissan has known about their defective radiators leaking into the transmissions since 2013 and did not issue a recall. I feel like it is their responsibility to fix this problem for free. When I attempted to trade the car in no one wanted it in trade because of the known issues. I am on a fixed income and can not afford this costly repair or a new vehicle. Nissan had left us high and dry and plan to do nothing to help fix a problem that they knew existed. This is criminal! they have cheated us and ignored Nissan owners dealing with this problem. I want my car fixed before it gets to 100,000 miles in case they call a cut off at that mileage again! they are totally at fault and responsible for cheating people out of hundreds of thousands dollars and the are getting away with it. My car is parked and I can't drive it for fear of going over 100,000 miles or breaking down completely on the highway and having a fatal accident. I have had to borrow my son's car to go any where I need to go. This is very frustrating and totally unfair that I even have to write this complaint since Nissan admits that thousands of their vehicles are known lemons! they should pay up or be prosecuted as any other criminal would be for cheating/stealing from a consumer.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #355

May 062016


  • miles
We have a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder that has transmission failure due to a defective radiator. This is a known defect that Nissan should be held accountable for. We followed all recommended maintenance, most of which was at a Nissan dealership. The dealership was negligent in its inspection and repair of our vehicle. When we began to experience transmission failure and had both transmission and coolant contamination, they failed to diagnose the problem. Two Nissan dealership inspections in May 2016 outlined that all was well with our vehicle, even after we found that there was no transmission fluid on our dipstick, and it did not appear that the bolt to check the fluid had not been recently removed. Our family's safety was put at risk driving this vehicle for over a month, while it was experiencing transmission failure and risked engine failure due to heavily contaminated coolant. After a few weeks of symptoms, we looked online and were shocked to see the widespread manufacturing defect that has been reported. We took our truck to an independent shop who diagnosed the problem. The Nissan warranty was extended to 10 years or 160,000 kilometers for possible radiator assembly failure. Although our vehicle fell within the 10 year time frame, we were outside the kilometer range by 40,000 kilometers. Nissan Canada and crown Nissan refused to extend the warranty to us. We feel the 160,000 km is far too low for a 10 year warranty. A recent Dodge warranty extension was 10 yrs, 240,000 km. Nissan put us in an unsafe situation, where they failed to diagnose the problem and we were out driving for several weeks, some of which involved towing our family camper on the highways. Nissan has been negligent on many levels and a recall should be extended to these faulty radiators.

- Winnipeg, ND, USA

problem #354

Apr 062016


  • 191,270 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed due to coolant contamination. As a result, the transmission, radiator, and thermostat needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 191,270.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #353

Jun 162016


  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While the gear lever was in reverse, the transmission failed to operate. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the radiator connector hose leaked fluid into the transmission. The contamination caused internal damage to the transmission. The radiator and transmission were replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #352

Jun 252016


  • 160 miles
My vehicle had problems in 2011 when a "warranty notice" was sent regarding a radiator problem. I took the car in and they found that it was a timing belt and did not change my radiator while it was under the extended warranty and had approximatey 70,000 miles. I now have 160,000 miles and my car is acting up again and the dealership advised me the radiator is cracked and leaking coolant into the transmission so I need both repaired or my car will get worse and can cause an accident. To me it appears that this defect with the car was from the inception and it should have been recalled because it was bound to fail and it should be fixed at Nissan's cost. My vehicle is still pretty good looking but I feel it is only a shell that I am driving because of the interior radiator flaw. They indicate that since no recalls were made I have to pay the total out of pocket. I missed the lawsuit in 2013 but am willing to file another class action lawsuit if a lawyer is willing to accept it. The vehicle was shaking when I was driving it on the freeway mainly and it felt like it was not in gear and pulling. These were also my concerns in 2011 when I took it in to be repaired and fixed, but they said I had no problems. Well I do now and I wouldn't have if they had fixed the defective radiator.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

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problem #351

Jun 112016


  • 127 miles
Driving home after the car has been warmed up for quite some time it started jerking shuttering violently and whining extremely loud upon acceleration it continued to worsen we checked radiator and transmission fluids there was atf fluid in the radiator and in the reservoir of radiator fluid it was thick frothy and almost a tannish color that like of strawberry milk. We were only about a half a block from home when this occurred and it frightened our children in the backseat thankful we were not on the interstate the shuttering was extremely bad

- Northfield, NH, USA

problem #350

Jun 012016


  • 112,781 miles


The transmission fluid was contaminated because there was a hole in the radiator. The radiator and transmission need to be replaced. I have 112,781 miles. This is a known problem with Nissan Pathfinders. Nissan extended coverage up to 100,000 miles. The radiator should have been recalled and all owners should have been notified.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #349

Jun 012016


  • 101,100 miles
Nissan has an issue with the radiator leaking into the transmission, causing the car to shutter while driving.the transmission will go eventually!! Nissan is totally aware of the issue, and if you have an extended warranty for the powertrain it is not covered, because they do not consider the radiator, part of the powertrain!!I it will just be a matter of time before it leaves me sitting along the road! I hope I can get off the road and not cause an accident! Nissan really need to fix this!! thankfully no incident has happened, but I thought this should be told!

- Birdsboro, PA, USA

problem #348

Jun 062016


  • 145,000 miles
On highway driving home from work when transmission suddenly failed, causing a dangerous situation for myself and fellow drivers. It was a very harrowing experience, to say the least. It now sits with the mechanic, who informs me that the dreaded engine coolant/transmission contamination issue has occurred...unfortunately, my vehicle is over 10 years old and over 145,000 miles, so the recall notice does not apply...I now have to come up with $5,000 for can Nissan ignore this issue and neglect their customers?

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #347

Jun 032016


  • 109,000 miles
On the second day of owning my Pathfinder I noticed a vibration when I was driving around 40 mph. I took it into the shop less than a week later to have the transmission flushed and to disconnect the radiator from the transmission (did this due to research we found on the internet). The mechanic did see that my transmission fluid was cloudy meaning the coolant was leaking into the transmission. My vehicle was working great for about two weeks until one day I noticed a jerky feeling when driving my vehicle on a city street. That jerky feeling shortly turned into the vehicle shaking when shifting, which turned into not shifting at all after stopping at a red light. My vehicle would barely accelerate, mostly engine revving, luckily I was on a hill where I could coast to the side of the road. This occurred within 5-10 minutes, very quick, little warning. This could have been a very dangerous situation and could have ended worse than it did!!!

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #346

May 162016


  • 98,816 miles


Check engine light came on, diagnostic for auto trans sensor. Mechanic flushed transmission then couldn't replace sensor due to on going problem with radiator leaking coolant to transmission

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #345

May 082016


  • 110,150 miles
Coolant leaked into transmission, destroying the transmission, and rendering vehicle useless without thousands in repairs

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #344

Apr 192016


  • miles
Transmission needs to be replaced due to coolant from the radiator leaking into transmission.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #343

Feb 272016


  • 92,000 miles
Car shakes violently when accelerating and jerks. Have been told I probably have a crack in raidiator and fluids leaked in transmission will be thousands to fix. After looking on internet. I see many people with problem and Nissan is not covering costs.

- Steger, IL, USA

problem #342

Feb 292016


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving various speeds, the transmission began to slip gears without warning. The intermittent failure recurred and became progressively worse. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the radiator coolant leaked into the transmission fluid, which caused internal damage to the transmission. The mechanic stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #341

Mar 242016


  • miles
While driving on interstate 25 in South denver, my Pathfinder began to sputter and stall. The engine started to overheat as I pulled into a service station about two miles away. I had it towed to christian brothers auto in parker Colorado. A radiator part blew, the engine overheated and was destroyed. The steam from the plastic radiator part also damaged the main computer. It was close to $10,000 for all repairs related to the radiator part failure. Approximately 8,000 miles later, my daughter and I were driving on I-70 near the vail, Colorado exit, and the Pathfinder started to jerk violently on the highway going 65mph. I was able to pull over to the side of the road. Scary experience for us both. This happened today, 03/24/2016. Smoke was coming from under the car. I had it towed to avon auto in avon Colorado. They said the transmission is damaged, but they did not have time to look into it further. Please call or email me with further questions. 303-726-6211 or

- Vail, CO, USA

problem #340

Mar 212016


  • 124,000 miles
Coolant from a faulty radiator leaked into the transmission. Ruining the transmission requiring a total replacement.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #339

Mar 162016


  • 83,000 miles
Total transmission & radiator failure due to coolant leaking into the transmission.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #338

Nov 052015


  • 142,320 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle was constantly remaining stuck in first gear and in reverse. The vehicle was towed to the residence and then taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The vehicle was also inspected and diagnosed by more than one independent mechanic. The mechanics all informed that there was a failure in the transmission due to the radiator having an internal premature fracture, which caused the coolant to leak into the transmission. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the radiator and the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 142,320.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #337

Feb 022016


  • 165,500 miles
Known problem by Nissan where radiator fluid leaks into transmission and ruins transmission. Repair cost of $3900. No recall.

- Sanford, FL, USA

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