Notes: While there are fewer "radiator leaked into transmission" complaints for the 2008 model year, they are starting to pile up. Buyer beware.

Nissan has extended their radiator warranty on 2005-2010 Pathfinders to 8 years/80,000 miles. However the average mileage for transmission failure for earlier model years is 95,000 miles, which conveniently (for Nissan) is just past the limit of their extended warranty. Owners beware.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,615 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.

2008 Nissan Pathfinder drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #81

May 192016


  • 129,000 miles


May, 2016 - started noticing my Pathfinder would slip when I hit the gas. The vehicle hesitated. I took into a Nissan dealer which diagnosed that the radiator had leaked coolant into the transmission, resulting in the need to replace the transmission, radiator and do a full flush. The transmission needed for my truck is not available from Nissan until July 3, 2016. Nissan dealer can get aftermarket transmission with 3-year warranty and install for $5,600. Mileage at 130,000. Nissan had an extended warranty until 100,000 miles. This isn't right. Issue is known by Nissan and they have not yet instituted a full recall.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #80

Apr 192016


  • 103,000 miles
My wife was driving Pathfinder with my children in it on interstate highway. Few minutes after she was on the highway, the vehicle (Pathfinder) was not responding to her when she pressed on gas pedal. It accelerated slowly, while she was on highway & driving at 50+ mph. Sensing danger, she took an exit and came off interstate highway and the engine stopped on her completely - as she exited from highway. Before stopping, the car slowed down and when my wife gave gas, it wasn't getting required speed on the interstate highway. Luckily for her car stopped on the middle of the road as she entered a small lane after exiting the interstate. We got it towed to aaa service center. The Nissan dealer is now saying that coolant got mixed with the transmission fluid and thus spoiled the computer that connects to engine. And it requires a complete overhaul of transmission, radiator etc and costing me $5,600. As this car is regularly serviced by Nissan dealer, and this damage is not caused by driving. Appears to have been caused by manufacturing design/deficiencies. When I researched on web, noticed many people having suffered with the same problem. Hence wanted to report this issue so that necessary action could be taken. My fear is if the vehicle suddenly stops on an interstate - it would've certainly led to an accident.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #79

Apr 052016


  • 115,000 miles
My daughter was pulling out on to a busy road on her way to school and the transmission seized causing a near collision with a oncoming semi-truck. The semi-truck driver had to skid to avoid a tragic accident. In my opinion would have been fatal for my daughter! the mechanic told us the radiator transmission cooler leaked radiator fluid into the transmission and ruined it. I have contacted Nissan about this issue and they refuse to offer any assistance. We have had the vehicle less than a year and nothing from a maintenance standpoint could have prevented this. Nissan concealed the fact that the radiator had a defect straight from the manufacturing plant. They should not only be held responsible for the replacement of the radiator but also the thousands of dollars it costs for the transmission.we cannot afford to have it fixed and are out a vehicle. As far as I'm concerned they need to be reprimanded before someone dies!

- Lino Lakes, MN, USA

problem #78

Mar 312016


  • 178,000 miles


I own a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder and the transmission went out due to a default in the radiator. It's going to cost me $3000 to fix a problem that Nissan new about. I was on my way to lunch and it just stopped in the middle of the highway. No warning or anything.

- Warrenton, NC, USA

problem #77

Mar 032016


  • 113,000 miles
Recall investigation #DP12004 : transmission control module failed during motion, causing my Nissan Pathfinder to stall and completely turn off in the middle of the road while driving in heavy traffic.

- Haiku, HI, USA

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problem #76

Mar 042016


  • 157,500 miles
Hi there I recently bought this vehicle 2 days ago from muller Toyota philipsburg NJ it have 157500 miles. The time I bought I didn't know there was transmission problem and neither the dealer didn't told me. I payed 8000 dollar plus taxes on this vehicle. After two days I found out that radiator coolant is mixed in transmission and making drilling sounds I call the dealer he didn't give me any good response. I took the car to the meinke shop they said they will change the radiator and drain the coolant and transmission oil but they not sure if there is any internal damage done to transmission or not if this didn't fixes the problem I need to repair the transmission which will cost 2700 dollar were I am going to get that money I am poor guy and I cant afford that money if I know that I will never ever buy Nissan this the biggest mistake of my life. I dont no what to do now. Please help I am totally screwed I almost spend 10000 dollars and I am still suffering.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #75

Feb 122016


  • 110,000 miles


On my 2008 Nissan Pathfinder, which is only 8 years old, I have repaired my transmission due to an atf contamination via the cooling system around 95,000 miles. I purchased the vehicle at 90,000 miles used. This affected my speed control and all related systems.the radiator was replaced also due to the contamination. This has affected my cooling and heating system and all related systems.this cost my extended warranty company around $2,900+ (glad I was smart enough to purchase this warranty), however it cost me my deductible of $200. On February 12, 2016 I dropped my Nissan off for a follow-up repair to replace the entire timing chain assembly after going in for a simple alignment earlier (which was a waste of money because you have to purchase a camper kit in order for your alignment to be 100%, $249 out-of-pocket). This caused me to have to buy a brand new set of tires out-of-pocket which came with a free alignment as a special, otherwise I would've re-payed for another alignment. Headquarters Nissan of columbus, ga never informed me of the timing chain issues with these SUVS! this resulted in performance issues. Again my extended warranty will pay around $1,800 to Nissan for the repairs and me a $200 deductible. I have run out of gas in the middle of traffic on the highway in atlanta, ga during rush hour before because my gas gauge or indicator or something doesn't read or is inaccurate. I also hear noise from the tires or something when I roll over speed bumps, accelerate or bank left or right with bad, hard steering. The cooling and heating system has not blown air at times and sometimes I have to depress the gas petal while idling to heat up air that has gone cold. When the A/C does this I turn off the A/C and let the windows down, pressing the gas petal does not work. Nissan says they can't find a problem with this system when diagnosing vehicle?!

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #74

Feb 042016


  • 98,000 miles
Defective radiator cracked and the fluid went into my transmission ruining both. Known defect admitted by Nissan, but limited warranty being awarded per class action lawsuit. This is prevalent and I should not have to pay 3,000 due to their production of a defective product it would stutter when shifting gears, and sometime not accelerate properly, very dangerous as mom driving with 4 small children!

- Shippensburg, PA, USA

problem #73

Sep 052015


  • 101,406 miles
At just over 100K miles (101406) my radiator leaked into the transmission and ruined the transmission. Nissan will not cover the repair at all because I am 1406 out of the class action settlement. Speaking with the local dealer they said there was nothing I could have done from the service side to prevent it.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #72

Oct 102015


  • 130,000 miles
Car began experiencing difficulty shifting. Repair shop reports transmission fluid and coolant intermixing, requiring replacement of both the radiator and the transmission.

- Statham, GA, USA

problem #71

Nov 252015


  • 122,600 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. While accelerating, the vehicle made a vibrating motion. Also, while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator was leaking onto the transmission and the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 122,600.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #70

Oct 082015


  • 110,000 miles
Transmission cooling system runs through the radiator. Faulty design/construction lead to failure, resulting in cooling fluids in the transmission, and transmission fluid in the radiator. Occurred at 110K miles but Nissan will not acknowledge & repairs are $5770. Began with vehicle not shifting properly and then not getting out of first gear. Turned around & drove the 1/2 mile back home to discover viscus emulsion in radiator reservoir. Investigated & discovered this is a common problem on Nissan Pathfinders.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #69

Nov 062015


  • miles
On November 6, 2015 around or about 7:00pm my V6 2008 Nissan Pathfinder service engine light turned on while in first gear in mostion; the SUV engine and transmission turned off had no brakes and had a fender bender while in motion, had the SUV towed home and checked the code on the obd and it read code: U1000 controller area network (can) communcation line sigal malfunction.did a visual check inside radiator filler port, electrical fuse (10amp fuse to the transmission blew which atomcticly told me a communication harness is open or shorted; or a faulty engine control module(ECM))and also checked the resivor filler port, found red transmission fluid and green engine coolent fluid incorporated in radiator (contamination),also checked transmission dip stick to see if transmisson fluids low but instead found rust at the end part of the dipstick inside the transmisson indicating engine coolent contamination (water) all inside the transmission.who know how much rust is inside the transmission until a full tear down and thorough inspection is is stationary and will not start

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #68

Sep 052015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. After shifting the vehicle into reverse, a loud noise was heard and the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #67

Oct 212015


  • 140,580 miles
Our Pathfinder seemingly lost power and control, almost resulting in near collision with another vehicle approaching and another vehicle behind almost rear ended while turning into shopping plaza. Coasted to side while smoke and yellowish/ green liquid poured out from the hood. Had to have it towed. Mechanics analysis was related to contamination from coolant / radiator / transmission. Complete failure of transmission and radiator and cross contamination of all related parts. Possibly $6000 to $8000 repair costs. Total loss to us, and we still owe for financing, truck is probably not even valued at that.

- North Smithfield, RI, USA

problem #66

Sep 082015


  • 120,000 miles
When I pulled out in to oncoming traffic my car revved but did not go anywhere. My 5 year old was in his baby seat with car and trucks honking and swerving around my truck to avoid us.

- Babylon , NY, USA

problem #65

Aug 182015


  • 109,000 miles
I noticed a shudder when the car shifted from 2nd to 3rd gear but seem to drive normal otherwise. I contacted Nissan service department and scheduled the first available appointment, which took exactly 1 week from date first symptom. On the morning of my appointment, my car would not shift gears at all once I got on the highway, causing very dangerous situation for both myself and other drivers. I was able to coast my car to the dealership where I was later informed from the service department that a faulty radiator leaked fluid and contaminated the transmission fluid, resulting in a failed transmission. Repair costs would be $5230, but the manager would agree to do it for $4165. I was told at the dealership they were aware of faulty radiator in the 2005-06 models but were unaware other models had the same issue. I had already researched the problem, to find that numerous complaints had been filed regarding 2005-2010 Pathfinder, xterras, and frontier and Nissan had settled a class action law suit by offering an extended warranty for the radiator assembly. Since I was barely outside of the extended warranty, I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs to inquire about assistance with goodwill repair since the transmission failure was the result of a manufacturing defect. I was informed by the regional specialist she would need a week to review the case. One week to the date, she returned my call inquiring if I would be willing to pay the copay listed in the extended warranty and I informed her yes. She then inquired if I would be interested in a possible vpp discount on a 2015 Nissan automobile. I informed her I was interested in all options in order to make the best choice for my situation. She asked for two more days to review case and returned my call two days later to tell me Nissan was unable to provide any type of assistance to me in my repairs.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #64

Aug 312015


  • 97,490 miles
Cross contamination of the radiator fluid and transmission fluid due to faulty mfg(Nissan) design caused transmission to fail. $3000 out of pocket due to a mfg fault!

- Huntington Woods, MI, USA

problem #63

Jun 302015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle started violently shaking without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Berkeley Springs, WV, USA

problem #62

Aug 032015


  • miles
Transmition failure hard shifting due to coolant contaminates the transmition, radiator and transmition needs to be replace

- Burlingame , CA, USA

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