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 9 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #216

Jan 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


I was driving on interstate 75 in atlanta, ga at the beginning of rush-hour when my vehicle suddenly started jerking. This is a 6 lane highway and I was riding in the center lane. While attempting to work my way to the right shoulder, I was unable to accelerate because my transmission was unresponsive. I had to hit the accelerator really hard to get out of the way of 18 wheelers and other fast moving vehicles. Thankfully, I was able to get the vehicle out of the way of on-coming traffic without incident. I had my vehicle towed to town center Nissan, which is where I take it for regular servicing and was informed on Friday 1/24/14 that the transmission 'was shot.' Not willing to take their word for it, my husband and I visited an aamco transmission location and was told by the technician that there was a class action law suit against Nissan due to radiator fluid leaking into the transmission. He stated that he had serviced 8 - 9 Pathfinders with the problem. My husband contacted Nissan Corp and the dealership about our discovery. Nissan initially denied any responsibility, but stated that they would investigate. We were contacted by Nissan Corp yesterday informing us that our problem was not due to cross-contamination, but due to an issue with the transmission fluid, in other words, it is our fault. What is most interesting is that this is our regular service site, so any issues with the transmission should have been reported to us by them. That is what we have been paying them for. They have quoted us $4500 to replace the damaged transmission. They also made a point of stressing the fact that they would not have addressed it anyway due to the fact that we have over 100,000 miles on the vehicle. Yes in 2014 we have 118,000 miles, but we were well below that number when this mess surfaced in 2010. What's worse is we never received a notice from nmac.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #215

Jan 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 84,500 miles
On Thursday 1/23/2014 at 9:30 and 9 degree in queens New York I started the engine of my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder and started out for my appointment for the day which I failed to mark because of my car. I did not get to my destination because about two blocks from my house I stopped at the stop sign and as soon as I proceeded to move my engine light came on and my vehicle started losing power, I drove 10mph to the Nissan dealer which is not too far from where I was. The dealer inspected the car and told me that there is a problem with the radiator which cause damage to the transmission. They told me they recognize the problem but it was not yet a recall issue, I guess other people had the same problem with that model. The representative said Nissan will fix the problem but I have the pay $2500 +tax for the deductible, I also had to rent a car for $300 to get to work until my car was repaired. I think I should not have to pay anything because it is the manufactures fault and Nissan is aware of it. I am very disappointed with Nissan, I should not have to pay for something that I did not cause.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #214

Jan 192014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
My family and I were on the highway close to home, in traffic when our car made a pop noise and our car completely shut down. Luckily no one hit us or hurt, as like I said we were in a heavy commute. Our car was taken to our local mechanic were we found out the transmission failed due to radiator fluid leaking into the system a $5,500 repair we can not afford. We also found out this is a common problem in certain makes of Nissan, they have numerous complaints which we were never informed about. All Nissan owners should have been notified of the problem and a recall to all models!

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #213

Jan 232014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


While driving transmission began shifting erratically. After stopping at a traffic light the vehicle would not accelerate above 20 mph. While attempting to get the vehicle home smoke was noticed coming from the transmission. Inspection verified transmission fluid was contaminated with coolant.

- Kingsland, GA, USA

problem #212

Jan 012014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the transmission began to jerk with severe hesitation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed that the transmission and radiator would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Highland, CA, USA

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problem #211

Jan 052014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
Faulty transmission cooler system - Nissan Pathfinder 2006 has faulty transmission cooling system that connects to radiator. Nissan product/design failed and created cross contamination of antifreeze & transmission fluid. This faulty product design poses serious safety risks to my family and others (just search on the internet & you'll see hundreds of complaints/claims & class action law suit). This issue can cause sudden stops and engine failure. My Pathfinder started running hot and that was first indication there was a problem. Mechanic said transmission fluid had leaked into the radiator and radiator fluid leaked into transmission. We had to replace the radiator, thermostat & flushed transmission 4 times (very expensive repair). This just happened and uncertain if transmission will cause problems and require replacement. We have kept regular maintenance and used extended life/synthetic products to help keep the engine & transmission well lubed. *note: We didn't qualify for Nissan recall & class action law suit due to mileage of vehicle. Based on Nissan's exclusion terms, we won't buy another Nissan product.

- Graham, NC, USA

problem #210

Jan 042014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


Transmission: Having problems with transmission - it will not go on reverse. Researching on the internet I found that this is a manufacturer defect. The radiator would crack causing the coolant to mix with the transmission fluid.

- Pennsauken , NJ, USA

problem #209

Jul 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 128,033 miles
As my wife and I with our 5 children were on our way to church, driving at 45mph the car started jerking dropping at 20mph with traffic behind us on a two way highway we had to pull over on a dirt embankment. We took the car to Nissan dealership and the service rep estimated the cost of $9,000. Problem in radiator crack line inside transmission fluid cooler. Antifreeze leak into transmission causing damage.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #208

Aug 192013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 134,546 miles
On August 19th while traveling on the highway when I noticed what appeared to smoke coming from my engine and noticed my temperature gauge reading that it was overheating. I pulled over on the shoulder and observed, what I now know was, coolant vaporizing from my engine. At this time all the mechanics I called where wrapping up for the day, so I had it towed and taken to a local Nissan service the next morning. After paying $49.95 for the inspection the service center informed me that the radiator failed mixed coolant in the transmission fluid killing my transmission as well. They gave me an estimate of $5,901, $6,373.08 after taxes, to fix the damages. I remembered being sent a notice of a radiator recall, that I was told didn't concern my vehicle when I brought it in, so I asked about it. I was told that there was a class action suit against Nissan for this issue and they extended the years/mileage on the warranty and I should call their 800 number. I called the number and was told that the recall didn't effect my VIN# and that my mileage was outside of the extension. I wasn't prepared for $6K in additional expenses so I started looking around for a more affordable price. I ended up finding a shop that was able to do the work for $2,784, and during the price shopping and repairs I spent $495.72 on a rental to get around. During this ordeal I both asked the mechanic who assessed my vehicle and google the issue on the internet. Both showed that I was experiencing the same issue that my VIN wasn't supposed to be effected by, and that it was a common issue for my model. Both sources also informed me that the situation was a ticking time bomb that nothing short of coolant system work around or replacing Nissan's defective radiator would stop it from occurring.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #207

Dec 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,171 miles
I brought my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder to a local Nissan dealership to check out a completely unrelated issue when I was made aware that my car had the problem of a cracked radiator that contaminates the transmission fluid that could lead to major problems if not corrected. Since I have less than 90,000 miles, I'd have to pay a co-pay of $2500 out of pocket. Evidently there is no recall on this issue, although there should certainly be one since this has happened to many other cars and shouldn't be the responsibility of the consumer to pay for an issue that is clearly a manufacturer's defect. I personally am not in a position to simply dump $2500 into a vehicle and this makes this problem even more difficult and hard to accept. Something absolutely needs to be done about this.

- Somerville, NJ, USA

problem #206

Dec 272013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Just found out that I have the coolant mixed with the transmission fluid causing transmission failure.... called Nissan Consumer Affairs and was told I had to go get diagnosis at dealer witch I did at a cost $100. Called Nissan back and said I was out of luck and nothing they would do.... how can they get away with selling such a defective part for so long is beyond me and the fact that there is numerous class action law suits on this issue and nothing is being done about it..... this is a major safety issue as a transmission failure will cause the vehicle to stop in traffic.... someone needs to do something about this.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #205

Dec 242013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
While entering highway the transmission started growling and would not shift. Oncoming traffic traveling at 60+ mph had difficulty avoiding my automobile.

- Farmington, NH, USA

problem #204

May 142013


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The mechanic stated that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission fluid. The mechanic replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission however, six months after the repair the vehicle stalled as the contact attempted to start the engine. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic, who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Leipsic, OH, USA

problem #203

Sep 222013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Wife noticed problems with our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder with 120K miles on it while driving home one day. When she got here it was leaking transmission fluid and we had it towed to our local transmission shop. They informed us that a coolant leak caused our transmission to fail. After doing some research online, I noticed it is a very common problem with certain years of Nissan. It was our primary vehicle and I didn't have the time to hassle with the Nissan run-around so had it repaired for over $3,800. We will never buy a Nissan again if this is how they do business. If its a known problem and cause so many customers so much grief with their poor design, they should be held liable for the damages and then some for not being considerate and informing their customers of this flaw. We will be sure to steer clear from any Nissan for any upcoming purchase. That is just an outrageous bill to pay for a known defect and they should be ashamed for running their business like that.

- Tolleson, AZ, USA

problem #202

Nov 222013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,057 miles
Transmission heat up and failed. It started slipping until it would not go.

- Waverly, VA, USA

problem #201

Apr 302013

Pathfinder 4-cyl

  • 126,571 miles
While driving transmission did not want to shift gears. Took to Nissan dealer. They stated has coolant and transmission fluid mixing. Coolant hose ruptured inside transmission.

- Tazewell, TN, USA

problem #200

Nov 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Water entered into transmission due to faulty valve.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #199

Nov 052013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
Water entered transmission fluid due to faulty valve.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #198

Nov 062013


  • 120,340 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems. Vehicle transmission started to vibrate and whine and within 1 mile the transmission was not working. I was in traffic and could not move at all. Had car taken to transmission repair shop and the shop automatically knew the problem. There was coolant leaking into the transmission from the radiator. He said it was a know issue with the Nissan Pathfinders and it was too late to do anything. I cannot believe this was a known issue and was not recalled. I had 2 children in the car and this could have caused a serious accident. Luckily, it did not. I am know stuck with a $4,000 bill to get this fixed. I will never purchase a Nissan again if this is how they treat their customers.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #197

Jun 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My radiator cracked fluid leaked into my transmission. I have had the transmission fixed twice.

- Antioch, CA, USA

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