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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles


Suddenly my Pathfinder began to loss power while driving home. I barely made it home.the vehicle suddenly leaked out red transmission fluid in the driveway and began to smoke at the hood of the engine. The Pathfinder was towed to a Nissan dealer that same day. Nissan dealer reports the transmission and radiator needs to be replaced, costing approx $8000 dollars.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 119,070 miles
A couple of months ago my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder started jerking into gear around 45-55 mph. I had no idea of the transmission/radiator issue at that point. In mid-December when trying to accelerate from a stop at a stop sign, the vehicle revved but barely went forward at all. Thank god I wasn't at a busy intersection, this could have caused a major accident!! the service engine light came on and the RPM shot up. I was able to move the vehicle very slowly into a driveway and there it sat for a couple of days until we could bring it home. It has been parked in the driveway for a month and a half B/C I do not have the money to fix it. The transmission fluid is definitely contaminated. A few weeks ago I received a class action settlement claim form regarding this issue, however, my lovely vehicle has 119,081 miles on it...therefore, I am over the mileage and out of luck! Nissan has known about this problem for a very long time and had a recall been issued years ago the problem could have been fixed for much less money! I still owe on this vehicle and it is doing me absolutely no good sitting in the driveway.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #23

Dec 102012


  • 58,000 miles
I am being told that my transmission is going out due to a faulty transmission Nissan installed in the 2006 Pathfinders. They are telling me this is very common in the Pathfinders and after much research I am seeing that I am not alone.

- Central Point, OR, USA

problem #22

Jan 132013


  • 122,000 miles


Was unaware of known problem with the radiator when my wife was driving down a busy road and said that the vehicle just wouldn't go. Her speed dropped and she was left on the side of a dark busy road. We got the vehicle to a repair facility and they gave a us a quote and then called a Nissan dealership where they said it was a known problem and gave me a quote. Both quotes ended up being around the same. I wasn't aware that this was a known issue and am upset that it happened to so many other people and I wasn't made aware of it and that Nissan only pushed out the warranty date instead of making a recall.

- Dover, NH, USA

problem #21

Jul 012012


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while shifting gears, the vehicle vibrated and emitted a strong coolant odor. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the radiator cracked due to defective material and caused coolant to enter the transmission. The radiator and transmission was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000 and the current mileage was 97,000.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #20

Nov 262012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The engine starts up but will not shift to second gear.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #19

May 152012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 87,800 miles


Vehicle was running normal till we park to have lunch.start vehicle fine place shifter in gear (drive) was not taking any gear.we have vehicle taking to Nissan dealer.they determine cause due to a faulty radiator leaking coolant to transmission Nissan was not going to do any warranty repairs on the vehicle because vehicle was out warranty.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #18

Nov 142012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,242 miles
2006 Nissan Pathfinder 103K miles. We noticed vehicle would shudder upon acceleration at approximately 40 mph and again at 50 mph. Also at times the engine would rev up like it couldn't shift to the next gear. If we slowed down to 50 and re-accelerated to 55 mph, the shuddering became a severe vibration. We took it to an independent mechanic since we had recently a bad experience with our local Nissan dealer in fixing another problem (timing chain). The mechanic dropped the transmission pan and found the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission fluid. Mechanic stated we were very lucky to have caught this right away as it could have caused a lot of other problems too lengthy to mention here. Mechanic replaced radiator and did a tranny flush but I'm not sure our problems are over. Now the fuel gauge registers empty after I have just filled up with fuel, the service engine light came on, and now I am totally stressed out driving anywhere, and especially in traffic.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #17

Nov 172012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 90,283 miles
The transmission is slipping. The vehicle will suddenly lose its ability to move while under power. Checked transmission oil. The level is good but the fluid is "milky" in color. The fluid should be a clear, colored liquid. Suspect transmission line inside the radiator is fractured allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 052012


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated when accelerating from a stop the vehicle would jump to second gear and shake violently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. After diagnosis they advised him that he needed a new transmission and radiator. The vehicle was repaired for the transmission and radiator. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 135,000. The current mileage was approximately 136,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Monroe, GA, USA

problem #15

Oct 122012


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the air conditioning would only blow semi-cool air. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis who informed the contact that coolant and transmission fluid were mixing together abnormally. The contact was advised that the coolant lines and the radiator would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the lines and the radiator. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that because the failure was not uncommon, they would extend her warranty but not for the recent repairs. The failure and current mileages were approximately 82,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Waimanalo, HI, USA

problem #14

Apr 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 156,831 miles
Transmission went out while driving in traffic. Started lurching and lost speed. Almost got hit. Had the transmission rebuilt plus the torque converter rebuilt. 10/15/2012 transmission started slipping again and losing power. At mileage 169,886 mechanic told me coolant was leaking into the tranmission. Repaired again and brought home on 10/18/2012. That evening taking my son to football practice, lost power going 50 mph and almost got rear ended. I'm done with this dangerous vehicle but I don't want anyone driving it.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #13

May 052012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
Radiator/ transmission failed causing breakdown radiator was affected as well as when the interior components of the radiators (internal transmission coolers) broke down allowing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. As a result of the contamination, the transmission and other drive train components were damaged and required replacement.

- Visalia , CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,693 miles
Vehicle engine started skipping while in motion, engine temperature went up to overheated and speed automatically reduced itself to no more than 35mph on the road, caused traffic to avoid vehicle from hitting in the rear end. Had to drive small roads to get home. Nissan service fixed coolant pump but we found out later this was not the issue as less than 6 months later the engine overheated again, only this time the radiator leaked coolant into the transmission fluid and ruined the entire transmission. We find out that Nissan has hundreds or thousands of such incidents and have not issued a recall. Our cost to repair is $8,700 for a 6 year old vehicle with less than 100,000 miles on it.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #11

Sep 202012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Major issues with my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Intermix with coolant and transmission fluid. The Nissan dealership knew after a few moments from lifting my hood. The mechanic explained it would cost over $1500 to replace the radiator and flush the transmission and advised me to come back after 10K miles. After having the radiator ($800) replaced I was on the highway for less than a mile and my rpms were revving high when I accelerated and the truck was obviously stuck in gear. Took Pathfinder back (two days) to mechanic and found the radiator contaminated once again and needing a new transmission which will cost $2500 that I don't have and I can't afford a new vehicle. I'm making payments on a car I can't drive. My husband is driving a 2005 Altima which is having similar problems and just haven't broken down complete. Nissan should recognized this issue and address asap.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #10

Feb 112010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Dear sir/madam: My husband, our three small daughters, and myself were pulling out of toys R us when the accelerator would not respond. The car jerked and choked and would not respond to the depression of the accelerator. We narrowly avoided being broadsided by a semi-truck! thank goodness my husband swerved and shifted into neutral where we coasted to a stop. It was harrowing to say the least. I immediately took it to our mechanic and explained the problem. He was unable to "reproduce" the symptoms. We have had this problem twice since then and I've contacted Nissan usa to no avail. We won't even drive the vehicle. It has been sitting in our driveway since the most recent incident. Please advise. Regards, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Gibsonia, PA, USA

problem #9

May 302011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
This began intermittently showing problems on the highway, during acceleration (after letting off the gas pedal to slow) the car would start to shake slightly and lose power before again running smoothly in May 2011. Later it started to do it at slower speeds during acceleration. Then it would sometimes have one or two clunks during acceleration, before again running smoothly. We took our car again to our mechanic in May 2012, and found that the radiator had been leaking, then gushed into the transmission. We replaced the radiator, and flushed the transmission to help fix the issues. The issues still continue today, although we rarely drive the car and can not afford to purchase an new transmission.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 292011


  • 98,000 miles
I took my Nissan Pathfinder on 3 different occasions for the same problem and Nissan is fully aware of the problem.1st visit 11/29/2011, 2nd visit 3/12/2012, 3rd visit 6/11/2012 intermix with coolant and tranny fluid, replaced radiator $800, told me to come back and test fluids after 1000 miles, same issue, flushed out the tran fluid $250, T old me to come back after 1000 miles to test fluid, same problem. Paid $600 to clean out transmission pan and whatever bs they told me, now rpms are revving high when I try to take off, and I am at risk for stalling or transmission failing in the middle of intersection or highway. My wife and I are expecting our 1st child in January and I do not feel safe bringing our newborn in this vehicle and putting her life at risk. I called Nissan Consumer Affairs, and lodged a complaint then another rep called me back and said I do not qualify for financial assistance to repair my vehicle because I have 98K on my vehicle and the extended warranty they offered was up to 80K. Regardless there are many Pathfinder owners with this problem, she displayed no empathy, and kept saying the same thing, "I understand your frustration, but we cannot help you"....unbelievable!! vehicle has 98K and it's paid off. Don't want a new vehicle, and want Nissan to take responsibility for this issue and for everyone who has this problem!

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #7

Aug 162012


  • 106,000 miles
Car stalled at red light, smoking from hood took to mechanics advised of transmission failure, leaking brown stuff.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,500 miles
Vehicle shakes and transmission slipped when driving. Dangerous in traffic. Took to amoco and told the transmission fluid is mixing with the radiator and both failed. Cost over $4,000 dollars to fix or it is utterly useless - just over 82K miles. Investigation shows dangerous trend for safety and complete product defect, with years of foreknowledge by Nissan. Driving is dangerous since the vehicle doesn't accelerate consistently and steering violently shakes.

- Star, ID, USA

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