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:
73,102 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 #6

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 #5

Sep 042015


  • 97,000 miles
While driving on the highway in the fast lane at 85 mph the car lost power completely. Luckily there were no other cars in my vicinity. Coasted over 2 lanes to breakdown lane just barely over the line. Gas gage read 1/4 tank so figured I still had gas. Tried to restart several times but car acted like it was out of gas. Called aaa for a tow truck and asked to bring gas just in case. Car started right up after mechanic put gas in tank. Although this issue is a recall1 Nissan will not repair for free. Say my VIN is not included in the recall and it will cost me $450. Recall summary:Nissan is recalling certain model year 2006 and model year 2008 frontier, xterra and Pathfinder vehicles. The molded fuel tank shells can deform, causing the fuel sender float arm to contact an embossment molded into the tank shell causing the instrument panel fuel gauge to show that the vehicle has approximately one quarter tank when the fuel tank is empty. Hazard:this could cause the vehicle to run out of gas and stall in traffic, increasing the risk of a crash.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #4

May 122014

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Upon driving at 25mph the RPM's increased without any power. No matter how much gas I gave it O would only crawl and could barely exit the intersection. I was able to pull over and shut the car off. I tried to turn it back on and it would not. I brought it back to the dealer and was informed the radiator and transmission are bad. I then learned that this is a problem with many Nissan SUV's.

- Bronx, NY, 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

Jan 292011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder. While stopped at a traffic light, the contact stated the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into the rear bumper of another vehicle. The contact stated he was applying pressure to the brake pedal but the vehicle continued to accelerate. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated he would have the vehicle towed to the dealer for diagnostic. The manufacturer was contacted and stated a report could be filed but the contact decided to do that at later time. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Shamong, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 312007


  • 10 miles
The computer system in the 2008 Nissan Pathfinder malfunctions and all gauges, speedometer, and warning systems stop working. This happens when driving. The cruise control will cause the cars to accelerate.

- Cochran, GA, USA

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