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:
95,564 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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #56

Jan 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


2006 Nissan Pathfinder started having a violent vibration at around 50mph. Researched online and found numerous articles regarding this issue. All information I found indicated that the radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission through the coolent line. When I checked my radiator level, the coolent was low, which was one of the indicators that his was my problem. I took my vehicle to the dealership that I bought it from, less than a year ago with 75,000 miles, they tell me that the warrenty only covers vehicles with less that 80,000 miles. When I purchased the vehicle, there was no mention of the issue, only that the Pathfinder was a solid, certified pre-owned vihicle. Now I will have to pay $3,000 co-pay. Everything I have read, indicates that these issues rarely ever start before 80,000 miles. The fact that the industry is letting them get away with this is disgusting to me. I have a wife and two children riding around in a faulty vehicle with a well known issue I can't aford to fix.

- Bonaire , GA, USA

problem #55

Feb 042013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
The radiator coolant has leaked into the transmission which has destroyed the transmission.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #54

Feb 162013


  • 166,000 miles
Driving car starts hard shifting up and down.I don't think I would have made it home if I wasn't so close. After a little online research I check radiator and see that transmission fluid is intermixing with radiator fluid. The worse part is Nissan new this was a problem and hasn't done a recall. I bought this car from a Nissan dealers preowned with 86,000 in 2009. To me they new it was a problem and still sold me a car in which I have little recourse, but to fix myself.

- Lake Worth, TX, USA

problem #53

Feb 072013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


Driving on the highway last evening my transmission just blew out. The RPM's went high and I was thrown into first or second gear in an automatic vehicle. I had to weave to get off to the side of the road and out of traffic. It was a huge safety concern for me and my children. There was no warning. I have called Nissan this morning and I am being told there is nothing they can do. There are reports, class action law suits, and other complaints all over the internet on the exact issue (radiator fluid is leaking into transmission and causing it failure) and nothing is being addressed by Nissan. Does someone have to die before this is handled"? horrible business on their part. I know have a truck that should be worth $10,000-12,000 that has a $6,000 fix because of a factory defect and it is my problem?" this is unbelievable....

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #52

Dec 212012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 98,758 miles
Recently I noticed that the vehicle vibrates/shutters at certain speeds causing difficulty with acceleration. I took it to my mechanic and the mechanic told me that after some research he discovered there is a known defect with the radiator/transmission and that I should take it to the dealer. I brought it to the dealer and they informed me that I was 2000 miles over the 100,000 mile extended power train warranty and that I was not eligible for the replacements under warranty (which would have cost me $3,000?). instead if I want the radiator and transmission replaced I would have to pay $7,000-$8,000 which I find very unethical because as a pregnant mother driving around 2 small children this vehicle is unsafe for my family to drive in it's current condition. Nissan should recall the defective parts and replace at no cost to the customers, considering the part was defective when built and the consumers were never notified of the potential issues.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #51

Jan 162012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 94,445 miles
As I was going down the road and my vehicle started to shake like I was running over the emergency lane vibration strips and lost power. I was in high traffic and was almost rear ended. I had to let off the gas pedal, coast a little then press the pedal again until it shifted into a higher gear. I had it checked by a dealer and turns out the transmission had failed because of a crack in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to leak into the transmission. A problem that many Pathfinder owners have experienced. A problem that Nissan knew about in their Pathfinders and instead of recalling the vehicles they extended a warranty that leaves the owner paying a $3,000 co pay to have the transmission and radiator replaced for a known problem.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #50

Dec 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 122,569 miles


Coolant in the transmission sudden lose of speed difficult to drive manage to get it home haven't ran it since afraid of losing the transmission completely did not no of this issue till it was too late I have 2 cars between me and my 3 sons and now down to one car till this issue can be resolve, can not afford to pay for the repairs out of pocket im hoping Nissan will be taking some responsibility I've own 5 Nissan a stanza, Sentra, a Pathfinder, maxima, and now 06 Pathfinder im having issues with.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #49

Dec 202012


  • 80,000 miles
In June 2012 we took our car to be seen for stalling and shaking. Nissan stated "we can't replicate the problem" instead they replaced the radiator. Nissan stated that the radiator was leaking, but never told us there was a recall. Now Dec we almost had an accident due to the shaking of the car. Took it back to Nissan and once again the said they couldn't find the problem with the car. I mentioned that I had read about transmission possibly being affected by radiator leaks on other Pathfinders. Nissan said I can't always believe what I read on the internet. Nissan does not want to look at the transmission for us. I believe that they are just waiting for my car's warranty to be up. I feel helpless and scared that one day I will be in an accident and Nissan never helped my family out.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #48

Dec 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Radiator/transmission cooler failed leaking radiator fluid into transmission ruining transmission. Radiator and transmission need to be replaced according to Nissan dealership. Proactive replacement (recall) of known defect in radiator would have been inexpensive and prevented very costly transmission damage.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #47

Nov 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway and when vehicle reaches approx 50 mph, car starts shuddering. Over time this shuddering noise becomes worse even at low speeds 20-30 mph. Nissan is well aware of this problem because they extended the warranty for the radiator/transmission cooler. The worst thing is Nissan is charging a co-pay of $2,500. They should cover all the charges including the co-pay since this is a known factory defect.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #46

Nov 302012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,557 miles


Took my 2006 Pathfinder to a shop for poor heat, and a slight transmission shutter after checking the fluid noticed the anti-freeze was contaminated with transmission fluid and the transmission fluid was milky from the anti-freeze. Only having 88,000 miles on car I started looking for reasons and found that there was a crack in the radiator causing it to swap fluids. After speaking with the shop owner he believes it was caught early so there is an off chance that a good flush and transmission service will correct the shutter, how ever I will need to replace the radiator, thermostat, all fluids and the hose assembly that connects the rear heat ( became brittle and cracked from transmission fluid) for a cost off $2000 parts.

- Flat Rock, NC, USA

problem #45

Jan 262010

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,127 miles
Due to an acknowledged defect in a hose leading from the radiator to the transmission, coolant leaked into the transmission causing catastrophic damage. We had to replace the transmission and the defective radiator to the tune of >$4000. Nissan recognized there was an issue because they extended the powertrain warranty to just under the mileage where the majority of their customers were beginning to experience issues. When approached, Nissan refused to authorize a reimbursement of any sort, not even agreeing to meet halfway, when they knew it was their defective part that was to blame for the damage that was done. Nissan hopes that by dismissing people they will give up and not pursue further recourse. I will say now that they are sorely mistaken. There are too many people that have been affected by their negligence. It was a costly and dangerous oversight that needs to end in some sort of resolution.

- West Henrietta , NY, USA

problem #44

Apr 222012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I had transmission problems, the transmission started vibrating and then would not move, I took to local transmission shop, they advised there was a problem in the radiator causing damage to transmission, I took to Nissan dealer they advised that Nissan had extended the warranty to 80,000 miles due to the radiator, however Nissan had not sent any information regarding a problem are extending the warranty. If I had known there was a problem with radiator, I would have had it checked prior to the 80,000 miles. Then Nissan sends letter that they are extending warranty to 100,000 miles with a 3,000 dollar deductible. If I had received a letter earlier from Nissan about the problem, I would have taken the Nissan to a dealer prior to the 80,000 miles. At times the transmission would stall out when making a turn, which could have caused a serious accident; fortunately there were no on coming traffic. The car also has a fuel gauge which gives a false reading at all times to the actual amount of fuel in the tank due to a faulty sending unit. So now I am stuck with a bill for 3,000 dollars. I feel Nissan was negligent in not advising their customers of the problem earlier. The dealer then called me and told me that the timing chain was worn and needed to be replaced at a cost of 2,000 dollars. My Nissan has less than 100,000 miles and the radiator, transmission and timing chain are faulty, and Nissan should cover these charges.

- Robbinsville, NC, USA

problem #43

Jun 072012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 116,696 miles
I purchased a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder in 2009. It had 64000 miles and I paid $18500. Of course the dealer did not inform me of the issue. Since I have purchased this car (one previous owner) I have had to replace two cat converters, a radiator, a pressure gauge, and now a transmission because the radiator fluids and transmission fluids are mixing. It causes the car to jerk uncontrollably out of nowhere while in normal operation. When I brought the car in for service, the service adviser had me change the radiator and the transmission maintenance. This costs me $1650. Two cat converters, $3200. Now they said I need a new transmission for $5000+. there have been over 5000 complaints regarding this safety issue, and the NHTSA has not issued a recall. This is unbelievable. Will someone have to be killed first in a Pathfinder for something to be done? the car is very dangerous to drive. Nissan is well aware of this problem and could care less. I have been spoken to Nissan North America, they have decided I was one not worthy of help due to mileage. The problem I have is Nissan knows and understands this will happen to their cars eventually. It is not only Pathfinders, but also frontiers, maximas, Altima, etc. Read all of the blogs. It is a joke. Nissan needs be held accountable for the design flaw. They are having their customers pay for Nissan's problem. Usa Nissan customers need your help. Nissan needs to be punished for their inaction. Nissan has also settled a class action lawsuit as well regarding this issue. Please do something before somebody gets killed!

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #42

Oct 102012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 113,419 miles
Traveling on the highway, the car slowed up. Light came on that stated "service engine soon". went to Nissan dealer and they diagnosed it as transmission/radiator system gone and needs total replacement.

- Olyphant, PA, USA

problem #41

Mar 192011


  • 130,000 miles
I had multiple posting previously on my 2006 brand new Nissan Pathfinder. First problem was with the ECM which was later fixed for about $2000, later Nissan reimbursed. As lithia spring ga. Nissan dealership had my SUV to fix the ECM, on day of pick up, 2 front catalytic converters were defective evidence by a loud hollow noise which the dealership denied. Few months later I was notified by Nissan manufacturers to take my SUV for a recalled maintenance on radiator assemble issues. I took my SUV to the same dealership with my noticed, the dealership refused to complete the recalled maintenance and claimed that my SUV had a higher mileage than what the manufacturers are recalling. Two weeks later my SUV went into a cloud of smoke with a rooting eggs odor and as I towed the car to the same dealership, I was charge $98 to complete diagnostic and I was informed the valves body, the transmission sensor and my transmission need a replacement for the total of offer $5000. I managed to complete payment on the car, I had just cancelled the registration on my SUV. I still need help to get my SUV running again. At the time of purchased I drove of with only 20 miles in my SUV. It is un-acceptable that Nissan and Nissan dealership around the nation would not stand out to take full responsibilities to their defective products; rather, to try to clean out the pockets of Nissan owners. I had a service manager at Nissan lithia spring ga. Asked me what type of job am I doing? I told him that is irrelevant. My speed on the day my SUV went into full white smoke was between 35-40 miles.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #40

Oct 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Vehicle started shuddering and lost propulsion on the highway. After this incident it began slamming into gears and would not go in reverse. Looked online and saw that many people are having the same issue. I brought the car to the dealer to be told that the radiator failed causing coolant and transmission fluid to mix, causing incorrect internal transmission pressure, and internal failure. Nissan refuses to take accountable action and repair the failures. This is obviously a defect and in no way should the consumer be responsible. Thankfully nobody was behind me on the highway when this happened as I had my three kids in the car.

- Cheshire , CT, USA

problem #39

Sep 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Engine oil cooler ruptured transmission replacement.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #38

Aug 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 134,139 miles
We drove our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder and parked it in the morning. When we attempted to start it that afternoon, it would not start and had to be towed. The Nissan dealership did a diagnostic test and informed us that the radiator had leaked into the transmission and both were ruined and had to be replaced. The estimate for repair was $8,719. We contacted Nissan corporate in Tennessee to file a complaint only to be told that they were aware of this problem with 05, 06 and 07 Nissan, they had increased the manufacturer's warranty to 80,000 miles, and were not able to help me in any way. My vehicle had over 81,000 miles on it when I bought it. This problem should have been addressed before they sold me the vehicle. I paid $2,000 for an extended warranty and $600 for gap insurance, neither of which will help in any way. I still owe $14,000 on the car. Nissan should do a recall for everyone's benefit. They should fix my vehicle at no charge. They knew about the problem.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #37

Sep 212012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 103,800 miles
The 2006 Nissan Pathfinder has an issue with the radiator (coolant) leaking into the transmission. Truck began to shudder as if driving on rumble strips. Leaking fluid causes what first starts out as a rumble during shifting around 40 mph, then eventually leads to a seize of the transmission which can occur at any time. Should the transmission fail while in traffic it could cause a accident. The vehicle was taken to transmission shop and they advised that the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure and the current mileages were 103,800 miles.

- Patterson, NY, USA

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