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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
117,748 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #18

Apr 152015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


The radiator failed causing engine coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. This caused damage to all of the engine coolant parts and caused a complete transmission failure.

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 232015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into transmission fluid and now transmission is polluted and will need to be changed.

- Milford , MA, USA

problem #16

Feb 262015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Catastrophic cooling/transmission failure. Traveling East on a heavily traveled single lane highway with no breakdown lane. Sudden noise from the engine compartment, sounding like liquids being expelled. Check engine light comes on. Engine temperature gauge pegs to high. Limped along the highway until I could reach a safe point to pull the overheating vehicle off road. Arranged for a tow and had the vehicle inspected. The inspection revealed failure of the radiator. After further inspection and with some research, it was discovered that Nissan has a known design flaw that contributes to the eventual failure, in a catastrophic event, of the cooling and transmission components. My vehicle was mixing engine coolant and transmission fluid together. The sudden failure of the radiator, expelled engine cooling and transmission fluid in a sudden and rapid event. This is a known and documented event that Nissan is fully aware of. A sudden failure of these components poses a safety risk for the owner, occupant, public and environment.

- Athol, MA, USA

problem #15

Oct 142014


  • 105,400 miles


My wife was driving her Pathfinder and it stopped in the middle of an intersection. My wife is disabled and has had many back surgery. The radiator is leaking into the transmission causing it to stall at anytime loosing power to the power steering and brakes. I believe this is a life threatening issue losing power down the highway with a truck behind you can cause a serious accident. 2 gentlemen got out of there vehicles to push my wife to safety.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #14

Sep 222014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 51,700 miles
Oem radiator leaking.

- Bryn Mawr, PA, USA

problem #13

May 152014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 101,500 miles
Noticed a shutter during acceleration. Service dept suggested replacing the radiator due to faulty radiator that leaked fluid into tranny so I did.I felt the shutter on my way home from the dealer! I did research and found the class action suit regarding this problem. I placed a claim with Consumer Affairs and was told I was 1500 miles out of warranty sorry. Will eventually need a transmission.

- Port Jervis, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 162013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 200,000 miles


I own a Nissan Pathfinder 2008. The problem was noticed when the vehicle's radiator began to run hot. We took it to a repair shop and was told that the coolant was mixing with the transmission fluid. We replaced the radiator in hopes that the damage had not extended to the transmission. While out of town on a trip, the transmission went out in the Pathfinder. The truck was transported to the local dealer who advised that the transmission was gone, and it would require replacing. I have previously called Nissan and was advised that there was some type of recall, but my vehicle had too many miles. The defect is a manufacturer's defect, not one of my own doing. Nissan will not stand behind their vehicles. Please investigate this matter. There are alot of people dealing with the same thing.

- Eight Mile, AL, USA

problem #11

Jul 062014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Radiator crack caused the coolant and transmission fluid to mix causing the transmission to fail.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 99,693 miles
2008 Nissan Pathfinder stopped shifting into reverse. Went to dealer. They claim that the transmission and coolant fluid are mixing and said it needs a new transmission and radiator. Cost: $3000 until it reaches 100, 000 miles; then it will be $9785.88. I have taken this vehicle to the dealer for all service appointments and no mention of this defect was made. Car is now unusable until I can get the $3000.

- Abingdon, MD, USA

problem #9

Apr 022014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 115,675 miles
Car suddenly stalls and will not drive in "reverse". per mechanic, there is a crack in the radiator which is allowing coolant from the radiator to enter into the transmission. Apparently, there has been a previous lawsuit against Nissan for this same issue. A recall on these "cracked radiators" must be issued immediately.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #8

Mar 062013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


I was pulling out into oncoming traffic when my car lost power and wouldn't move. The transmission bucked and kicked back in and I was able to drive. I brought vehicle to my mechanic the next day and he found the radiator coolant was in my transmission. After further look he found coolant line was were leaking into transmission which had caused failure. My vehicle is past the Nissan warranty because of miles but this is a continuing problem on all Nissan SUV's made in these time frames. This isn't a warranty issue, it is a recall issue. Nissan needs to stand up for their mistake and submit a recall.

- North Adams, MA, USA

problem #7

Jan 092014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
The radiator cracked sending the fluid straight to the transmission and damaged the transmission and the radiator so now I need both new parts estimate about 5,700 from Nissan dealership.

- Azusa, CA, USA

problem #6

May 312013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 83,500 miles
Car abruptly overheated while driving and came to near complete stop in traffic. Diagnosed as engine coolant leaking from defective made radiator into transmission and transmission fluid leaking into radiator causing both systems to fail.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
In February of 2013, my 2008 Nissan Pathfinder started vibrating and shaking while driving at a low speed of 40 mph. At first I thought it was rough road but it continued and got worse. The SUV slips alot and it jerks forward even when I brake. It has become scary to drive, but it is our family's only car. I need something safe to Transport my young kids in and this definitely is not a safe car. I took the SUV to the dealership and they said that the transmission is bad do to a faulty radiator and that both needed to be replaced but since I was barely over 80K miles I would have to pay $2500. I did research and found that this is a common problem on Nissan part and that many people have been affected by this issue. I bought the SUV in 2010 as a certified pre-owned that already had 48K miles on it. I also have a 84 month/100K miles limited warranty on the car that covers the transmission, but I was told that this warranty would not cover my transmission since my transmission was damaged by Nissan's faulty radiator. This makes no sense at all. Nissan is the worst!

- Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #4

Mar 152013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
The engine control module went out. Nissan stated it would cost $1000 for the part and $500 labor. I have had so much trouble with this vehicle since I bought it in 2010. I started having trouble with the gas gauge 3 months after I bought it. It was burning oil and I had to pay $380 to fix that. The tire sensor has been out for 1 year. Now this about the engine control module. This is not a good car. I feel I have been screwed and now I have to pay for a car that I can't afford to have fixed.

- Eldorado, AR, USA

problem #3

Feb 262013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder has a radiator that failed causing engine coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid thus causing a total failure of my transmission. In researching after the failure I have found this is a very common problem with Nissan Pathfinders, frontiers, and xterras from 2005-2008. It is to the point where people have taken the transmission line out of the coolant system loop prior to the radiator failing in attempt to save the transmission from the inevitable failure. These radiators need to be recalled to prevent another transmission from total failure and thus prevent serious accidents resulting in injury or death in the future. This is a safety concern! in my instance while driving my wife and my 7 day old first born son to his doctors appointment my Nissan Pathfinder began to hesitate and slip, then catch, and slip, and lock up, and jerk, and then only slip. I was forced to push my vehicle a distance while vehicles proceeded to pass me at a high rate of speed. All the while my wife and 7 day old infant inside. I then needed to have my car towed to the dealership. After calling the Nissan dealership I was told that is fairly common and they were not surprised. 2005-2008 Nissan Pathfinders, xterras, and frontiers have faulty radiators that are causing catastrophic failure to the transmission and are extremely unsafe for the passengers of these vehicles. Does someone have to die before Nissan admits to and fixes this avoidable problem? this is very common knowledge for all transmission repair shops as well as Nissan dealerships.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Dec 112012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
Radiator leaked into the transmission, both will need to be replaced $4500-4800 fix.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 082012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Pathfinder suddenly stopped while driving. I had it towed to the dealer and they said that the radiator cracked and fluid got into the transmission. There were no signs that jy car was having any problem prior to this. Because my car is 1000 miles out of warranty they refuse to warranty it even though this is Q known problem. My car is leased and I can not turn it in until I have it in working condition. In order to fix it the dealer wants to charge me $9,000.

- Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA

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