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 1 of 6)

problem #101

Jan 012017


  • 117,000 miles


Radiator leaking causing tranny to fail, after tranny is replace the transmission control module starts failing in just less than 2 years causing the car to have tranny issues again Nissan should be accountable for all this defects on this car, it posses a safe issue because transmission control module makes the car run if this fails while car running a huge accident could happen.

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #100

Dec 142016


  • 125,000 miles
My raditor leaked and had to be replaced. They flushed the transmission and a week later I need a new transmission.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #99

Nov 072016


  • 94,550 miles
Takata recall ?? the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder radiator and transmission failure and breakdown due to coolant leak into the transmission. Purchased pre-owned with nothing listed on car facts (carfax), or with any advisement to the issues with radiator coolant leaking into transmission. After a $1,017 bill from aamco for a diagnostic to find the issue, (in which they had to pull the tranny and inspect it was damaged due to fluid from radiator getting inside compromising transmission seals) I discovered, online, this ongoing well know problem..called Nissan North America and discovered my vehicle was covered under the 100K mileage (94955 actual) and good through 8-2017, from a previous filed complaint or class action, not sure which. However, apparently I only qualify for a co/pay of $3,000 on a vehicle valued at tops, $7,500. Needless to say I would have never purchased this vehicle, had I known this was an issue. I have been in touch with my bank, the dealership I purchased it from, and Nissan North America and no one is willing to assist. I suppose I will contact my attorney at this point (lemon law, tort laws, something) because I cant' seem to find anyone understanding to me, the consumer, whom is not at fault on this deal for help. I am extremely unhappy that Nissan has allowed this to happen. They should at least put a carfax warning or something to notify potential buyers or owners of this problem. I understand that parts get worn and go bad, however, this in not something that I have neglected to fix, maintain, check, or anything. This is a bad part/design flaw in the coolant system and should in all rights be fixed at 100% by Nissan. Beware.

- Valley Center, KS, USA

problem #98

Apr 292016


  • 100,000 miles


My only one family vehicle suffered the now known 2008 Nissan Pathfinder radiator and transmission failure and breakdown due to coolant leak into the transmission. I've purchased this vehicle pre-owned from np Mazda in san antonio Texas. They did not inform me of this known issue which involved several year models for the Pathfinder. I've spent a little over $5K of loaned money to have this resolve via independent transmission specialist as gunn Nissan presented me with a much higher price quote. I recently found out from a local Nissan service specialist that my vehicle currently have an extended warranty designed specifically for this and as a result of October 2012 class action lawsuit settled by court and Nissan Corp. I am attempting to have Nissan help me with some of recently mentioned financial impact regarding their well known defect.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #97

Sep 132016


  • miles
Coolant fluid leaked from radiator cap into transmission causing the radiator and transmission to have to be replaced. Vehicle has 122,000 miles and has never had any issues before this. The fluid in radiator and transmission is gunk.

- Reidsville, NC, USA

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problem #96

Aug 122016


  • 113,000 miles
Failed transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer. The 2008 Nissan Pathfinder had to be towed to the repair shop since it would not start. The Pathfinder had 113K miles. It cost me $2841.27 to repair.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #95

Aug 242016


  • 177,000 miles


In the middle of a heavy storm from the wake of an F3 tornado that swepted through, my wife and I were stuck in heavy wind and rain in an open area unable to start our 2008 Pathfinder after pulling over. Just prior, our transmission started shifting hard and slamming into gear. I got out in the wind and rain and after looking over the vehicle after it cooled down, thats when I noticed oil and water were mixed in the radiator.the Pathfinder now sits because the vehicle will not start. It went from parked and running to dead on thie side of the road.

- Yoder, IN, USA

problem #94

Aug 052016


  • 123,000 miles
Wow, I am amazed that my story is so similar to the ones I'm reading here. I also purchased a 2008 Pathfinder brand new. And I experienced the same issue with the radiator leaking into my transmission. And Nissan has turned their back on me as well. After doing some digging, I found out that Nissan knew about this issue in 2007. And yet when I bought my vehicle that had 13 miles on it from the dealership, never was this issue brought to my attention. I believe they issued extended warranties in 2010 and 2012. But never contacted us. If I had known it was a possibility of an issue, I would have had the correct repair done in advance to prevent this. But now I find myself with a destroyed transmission and nowhere to go. I can not currently pay out for this repair. I also am leading with Nissan to fix this problem. But they keep telling me " Nissan is not in a position to help me right now". the funny thing is that my family has bought 5 Nissan vehicles in the last 17 years. Some loyalty to a member of their family. I urge you people to do what I did. Issue a formal complaint with the better business bureau and most important the attorney generals office. Eventually we will have to be heard. I have also made it my mission to print out all the documents I have read regarding this issue and hand it to every person I I see driving a Nissan. And if it's parked, I leave it under the wiper. I drive everyday and go from manhattan to montauk. So far I have spoken with or left information for over 200 Nissan vehicles. And I'm not going to stop until there is enough complaints that we can get this thing fixed. Frank O

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #93

Aug 162016


  • miles
My transmission and radiator seeped into each other and apparently caused internal irreparable failure. My buyer's shield warranty is refusing to cover it. I purchased the 5 year/100000 mile power and train warranty as well. Nissan's factory warranty will not cover it neither will my extended.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #92

Jul 152016


  • 148,000 miles
As a single father of three teenagers, I needed two vehicles with enough room and safety features to handle high school and college needs. I bought two Pathfinders, a 2007 SE and 2008 le, one for myself and one for my son (which would be passed on, etc). My decision was based on my previous experience with Nissan products and my loyalty to the brand. However, I now have both Pathfinders needing major repairs to their automatic transmissions. The 2008 Pathfinder's transmission failed in very heavy houston traffic while driving with my younger son, which caused other vehicles to slam on their brakes and almost created a large pile-up on a major highway. While we avoided being killed by oncoming vehicles, we were also in danger as we moved the car to the side of the highway. After towing the vehicle to a reputable transmission shop, he found the issue to be a known problem with the coolant fluid leaking into the automatic transmission, causing total failure. Estimates are over $6,000 for rebuilding or replacing the transmission with parts and labor, including the required addition of a "cooler" instead of the radiator. I attempted to file this with my car insurance but was denied coverage. Now, the 2007 Pathfinder is having the same symptoms with slippage and inability to use overdrive, which almost cause another multi-car pile-up in houston traffic until I was able to downshift and move aside. It's only a matter of time before the 2007 Pathfinder transmission also fails completely, and I still owe $12,000 to the credit union on both loans combined. I attempted a loan for repairs through the transmission shop, but was denied due to bad credit from a lay-off last year. Nissan, please issue a recall for those of us without hope and unable to buy a new vehicle. This is your chance to save lives and boost your brand to a higher level, through integrity.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #91

Jul 292016


  • 155,000 miles


2008 Nissan Pathfinder. Transmission failed due to radiator failure which caused contamination of the cooling and transmission fluids. Engine overheated due to contamination. Entire cooling system had to be flushed several times after repairs. Repairs were over $4000. Nissan refused to address issue because of pending class action suit. I wish to be added to class action process to recoup expenses.

- Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #90

Aug 012014


  • 95,000 miles
Coolant leaked into the engine compartment causing significant transmission issues. The problem was supposed to resolved as we had it cleaned up...the vehicle worked ok for a couple of days and the problem reappeared getting worse and worse...the vehicle is undrivable at this point. This is not the first time I've heard of this issue with this make and model.

- Fitchburg, MA, USA

problem #89

Jul 252016


  • 131,000 miles
The SUV began shuddering when shifting into gear, and hard shifting in low gears. Brought to dealership, and they said coolant had contaminated the transmission case by leaking from the radiator. Repair needed: Replace radiator and transmission. SUV has 131,000 miles, and was other wise in good condition. Repair center said to replace both, cost would be $5800

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #88

Jun 202016


  • 92,600 miles
While driving my 2008 Nissan Pathfinder there was a hard shift when I put it in reverse, then noticed the check engine light was lit and steady, I then switched gears into drive which had a violent jerking motion & slight hesitation to accelerate. As I proceeded to drive on the county road the check engine light began flashing constantly & the vehicle had little power to accelerate & constantly hesitating causing me to immediately pull over. I believe the problem was created due to the entermix coolant in transmission as stated by the techician in the report I provided. This was a safety risk because at the time of incident I was driving across the road.

- Middle Island, NY, USA

problem #87

Nov 252015


  • 100,000 miles
Contamination from radiator into transmission.

- Prichard, AL, USA

problem #86

Jun 012016


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the transmission failed and the vehicle would not operate in reverse. There were no warning lights or sensors illuminated. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,000.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #85

May 032016


  • 156,000 miles
Transmission went out. I've been without a vehicle for over a month as parts are on back order. This is a known issue. Why is Nissan not prepared with replacement parts. Why was warranty only extended for certain time period as they were aware of the problem. Vehicle stopped running in my driveway. Could have been hazardous had it stopped running on the highway.

- Ruffs Dale, PA, USA

problem #84

Jun 052016


  • 115,000 miles
Engine coolant leaked into transmission destroying transmission and radiator requiring replacement of transmission and cooling system. Vehicle odometer is at 115,000. Estimated repair is $3000-4800+

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #83

Jun 112016


  • miles
I was driving around 35 to 40mph when I felt a vibration under vehicle backed off gas pedal went away after that it would come back now and then around the same speed just like you where driving on a rumble strip. Took to Nissan for diagnosis told me vehicle shifted erratically and found anti freeze in transmission, they gave a quote of more than $7,000 to fix.when I asked what could cause this they said a bushing could have been worn to let coolant into tranny, now they get info on problems that occur I just got a phony answer. Any way Nissan dosen't give their customers heads up on notifications of problems and complaints all get lost or buried. Nice support from Nissan. No more business from me........ 103,345miles on Pathfinder 2008 all happened on a flat smooth road driving straight

- Forked River, NJ, USA

problem #82

Nov 012015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was diagnosed, but the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Chester Springs, PA, USA

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