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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,836 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #65

Jan 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


I am having a very hardtime with this vehicle. Just bought on June 2013 from used dealership. It is mixing the antifreeze with transmission fluid. I have no other vehicle. And need to get around. My family depends on a good useful vehicle. That will not break down just anywhere. And will not cost thousands to repair.

- Dalton, GA, USA

problem #64

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 #63

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

problem #62

Jan 042014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


I went to pick up my oldest daughter from track practice and placed my 4 year old in her car seat to start driving. Allowing the car to warm up, I pulled out of my driveway and proceeded up the hill in my neighborhood when I noticed that my vehicle would not accelerate above 20 mph. Traffic was heavy at the time. Thinking that I did not warm the car up enough I proceeded on my way up hills at a snails pace to retrieve my oldest daughter from high school. Once I made it to the high school I figured that there was something significantly wrong with the vehicle and just wanted to get the vehicle home. I had to contend with heavy traffic trying to cross a large and busy road with a vehicle that only accelerated to 20 miles an hour and at some time actually stopped without warning in the middle of the road. Although the school is only 2 miles from home it took me 30 minutes to get back safely to my house because of the off and on again drivability. I took it to the mechanic the following Monday and they indicated that my transmission failed. The car is not old and taken care of----I searched for recalls and saw the numerous complaints about the transmission and had my vehicle towed to Nissan for diagnosis. The diagnosis was a failed transmission as a result of coolant and transmission fluid mixing and they indicated that my transmission would have to be replaced as well as my radiator---this is a known quality issue with the Nissan Pathfinders. The car failed without warning putting myself and my young daughter at risk for a rear end accident in the vehicle. Nissan should be ashamed of what they have put consumers through and a mandatory recall should happen. This is a safety risk to everyone who drives a Nissan.

- Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA

problem #61

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 #60

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 #59

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 #58

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Upon startup, loud whirling sound emanates from engine. When engine is shut off, there is a "wind down" sound as if a rotating part is gradually slowing to a stop. Mechanic states it is a timing chain guide failure - advises to repair vehicle as soon as possible or not drive if you cannot afford repair. Says engine can lock up while driving if total failure occurs.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #57

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 #56

Nov 182010


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the engine began to shake. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that they could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 74,000.

- Hopewell, NY, USA

problem #55

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 #54

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

problem #53

Oct 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Car shutters when we get to about 45 mph and you can feel some issues with the transmission. After doing a lot of research, apparently this is a known issue by Nissan. There was a class action law suit that says this is not a safety hazard so they made an arrangement to cover some, but not all, in full. Apparently radiator fluid is leaking into the transmission and ruining the transmission. The settlement says that at my mileage, over 90,000 miles but before 100,000 they will fix the problem for $3000! wow! how sweet of them. I can't believe this is not a recall. There are threads and threads of people complaining about this exact problem. It effects 2005-2010 models. They say it only effects a small amount, that is because they haven't even seen the impact yet. Are we going to wait until someone is really injured to do a recall. This is absolutely ridiculous. Guess I will just drive it like this and hope that it doesn't hurt me or someone else, since Nissan says it is not a safety hazard. How issues with a transmission are not a safety hazard is beyond me. I think this needs to be addressed again. This is my second Nissan and the second one that I have had to have a transmission replaced in. The other one was replaced in the first year because of another issue that they couldn't fix. No more Nissan in this house!

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

problem #52

Aug 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,267 miles
Car had been experiencing excessive jerking and vibration. The car heater stopped working only blowing out cold air and the car began overheating. I took it into Nissan only to find they have an extended warranty on the transmission to only 80,000 miles, which the car did not have any issues at that time. I had to replace the radiator, transmission, and U-joint. Bill to fix car was almost $3000 for a car that is only 7 years old and under 100,000 miles.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #51

Jun 102013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Car stopped in the middle of traffic going up a hill and overheated and had white foam dripping from the engine and underneath. The coolant and transmission fluid cross contaminated and it ruined the radiator and transmission. I replaced the radiator and had the transmission flushed. Car worked until 8-30-13, when vehicle began to shudder, RPM gauge ran to 5000, vehicle had no power on a highway causing a potential safety issue. A crash could have ensued. Had car towed to dealer. The transmission is out. Now I am faced with a $3000 fee/co-pay, for something I didn't cause! Nissan needs held responsible.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #50

Aug 302013


  • 91,000 miles
Upon stopping at a major intersection, car had little power. Had gas pedal completely to the floor and could only go 2 mph. Almost rear ended and barely made the traffic light. Bought my car used in march2013 was not aware their was a class action lawsuit. Now I have to pay a deductible out of pocket to have the issue fixed. I have two small children and not fearful of their safety when putting them in my car. I can't believe there hasn't been a safety issue found on this. Someone is going to be seriously hurt as people continue to find out about this problem. Very disappointed with Nissan, the dealer, and our safety department. Guess it has to take someone losing their life before something is done.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #49

Aug 142013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Transmission failed with no notice only 110000 miles upset and not safe! now I have no car and Nissan wants to charge me 8,500 to fix seems so unjust I'm a widow with children and struggled to pay for my car and this shouldn't happen at just over 100 thousand miles!

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #48

Jul 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE the radiator seems to have a bad leak and bad smell, motor keeps over heating causing it not to be driven until motor has cooled off, I need to keep putting water in radiator. The transmission seems to jerk and makes a loud sound when changing shifts and driving. The motor also has a squeaky sound when driving. I have taken the car for repair and the same thing happen again only this time even worse I can not afford the high Nissan service and part prices. I am still paying on this car, Nissan should fix the problem at no charge if there is a defect that caused so much trouble to my car not to mentioned the safety of my three children and I. Nissan needs to recall 2006 Nissan Pathfinder radiator and transmission cross contamination.

- Angleton, TX, USA

problem #47

Jul 312013


  • 105 miles
I was driving my truck on the expressway. The past few days there has been a vibration, a clunking noise and very slow acceleration. Until recently, there have been no signs of engine problems. Today on the expressway the truck started vibrating badly and lost acceleration. I was able to coast over to the side of the road but I almost caused a serious accident. I had an appointment schedule with Nissan on Friday due to the recent symptoms; however, after this morning I took the truck to the dealership. I spoke with someone at the shop who indicated tan extended warranty was issued for radiator and transmission problems. I never received a letter from Nissan and I certainly would have brought the truck in for repair. I almost caused a very serious accident.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #46

Jul 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
The automatic transmission stopped working. Car has to be driven in 3rd gear. Putting car in drive results in engine revving but not changing gears from 3rd to 4th gear. This will cost me close to $3000 to have the transmission rebuilt.

- Plano, TX, USA

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