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:
105,176 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 #10

Jun 052018


  • 135,000 miles


Ive been having upteen amount of isssues with this car since I bought it. I bought the car back in 2015. With transmission and radiator problems. Those are fixed. It also has a fuel pump issue which there is a recall for!! my car reada empty at a quarter of a tank. Also my drive train. Wheel hubs etc. Ive replaced several times and still having issues with those. My sway bar and tire rods my front suspension sounds like and feels like its falling apart. My car dont accelerate like it should, when im braking going down hill the rpms go up to 3 or 4 rpms as im braking. Now I have my 3 yr old twin boys in the car with me and all I want is a safe vehicle for my kids and myself. Now the issues ive been having, there are recalls for but not for my vehicle 2008 Nissan Pathfinder!

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #9

Jun 132018


  • 179,800 miles
"Nissan Pathfinder" my vehicle decelerates abruptly as a result to an issue involving the radiator fluid & transmission fluid mixing. This resulted in the need for them to be replaced for a cost of nearly $4000. This seems to be a factory defect and it is dangerous to drive the vehicle on the highway as it will begin jerking and slowing down without warning. The dealer should address this problem if a vehicle is under 200,000 miles. My vehicle was in motion and driving (in motion) with no issues along the interstate (highway) when all of a sudden it started jerking as if the transmission was failing. It caught me by surprise as I had no problems with the vehicle till that point. The issues occurs at various speeds and out of the blue. Nissan should reimburse owners or replace the transmissions and/or radiators at no cost since the defect was manufacture related.

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 282017


  • 178,349 miles
When driving and you go to stop and move your foot from the gas to the brake when you push the brake the veh tries to accelerate and you have O always pay attention or could possibly run into the back of another veh. It also happens numerous times daily depending on how much you drive it.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #7

Aug 012015


  • 120,000 miles


All steering wheel lights do not work. Horn does not work and airbag light is flashing. I replaced busted radiator at 115,000 miles. Vehicle would turn off at any speed. It is only a matter of time before people get killed due to this defect. I had to replace several sensors. My vehicle has currently been parked in my driveway for over 3 weeks. I cannot figure out what is wrong with it. It is a shame that this company is being allowed to get away with all this. It is not a matter of if someone gets killed, if it hasn't happened yet, but when. This is the worst vehicle I have ever owned and will never purchase another vehicle from this company again.

- Weslaco, TX, USA

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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