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:
66,567 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 012015


  • miles


Where do I begin with with problems that I have had with this vehicle" I purchased the vehicle in 2010 with 48,000 miles on it. Looked brand new, now, I think I know what they traded it in. I have had one problem after another. I have spent over $7000 in the past year and a half, outside of normal upkeep like tires and brakes, on repairs for this vehicle. I am a single mother with 2 small children! my husband was killed in 2014. Do you know how hard it's been for me to get all this done?!?! but I had to, it's paid off and I don't want a new car note! replacing a transmission that the company I feel knows is faulty is really unjust. I initially paid $1800 to get it fixed for it only to continue messing up again. I was told them they probably replaced the transmission but not the computer and radiator which is the major problem with the vehicle. I then paid another $2400 to get it fixed correctly. Then, there was the timing chain issue, why did it break, who knows, but it shouldn't have.. so that was another $2300. I've also had to replace both sides of the catalytic converter which were about $300 each and a ball baring I believe its called was gone. Currently, my horn only works when you turn the steering wheel left and steering is getting harder to turn so I think my pump is going out; checked the fluids and they are fine. I dont have the money to get either of those problems fixed right now. Oh, did I mention my electrical problems" my windows are temperamental and don't always go down when I want them too. I was told that would probably be about $500, maybe more, to get electrical work done. I will likely never by another Nissan again after this one! if this vehicle wasn't already paid off, I would have traded it in already!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Mar 132016


  • 108,000 miles
A crack in the radiator mixed fluids between the radiator and transmission causing the vehicle to lock up. Both the radiator and transmission are damaged and need to be replaced. A class action lawsuit was filed against Nissan and even though Nissan lost the case they still refused to issue a recall. The only compensation was an extended warranty to a max of 100,000 miles and $3,000 up front to fix this known issue. Studies also show that this usually occurs to 2008 Nissan Pathfinders after the 100,000 mile mark, essentially making this extended warranty useless. Nissan needs to stand by their product, broken or not, and recall all defective radiators and transmissions.

- Clintwood, VA, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jul 082015


  • 183,000 miles


After driving at about 30 miles, my car stopped running and a little smoke came from the hood. When I parked the car it would crank but would not start. Whenever I turn the key in the ignition it cranks but wont catch as if the battery is dead or low on fuel. I have been having problems with my battery for a while but if I hit the starter it would crank. I dont believe it is anything major because it didnt show any signs.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #4

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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problem #3

Jul 132015


  • 135 miles
I turned on my truck in the morning it made a weird noise it sounded like something was rattling in the truck I checked the truck water oil everything looked normal except the noise... I went who work after work I a son as I turned on truck noise was louder and I couldn't drive it more then 20miles it started shaking and swerving I rite away took it to a mechanic...and he said that the timing belt and transmission were the cause of that rattle noise and that's why I couldn't run it more than 10-20miles... now to fix it's 4,500 for a new transmission... I had just got the viechle 3 months ago from the dealership now they won't help me fix. Now am stuck with a car that doesn't work and still making payments... I've seen online that Nissan SUV's have this kind of problem that's like a manufacturer defect.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012015


  • 121,900 miles
Shifts rough - Nissan dealership diagnosed as cross contamination of engine coolant, atf, and milky radiator cap. Recommed replacement of transmission, radiator, trans cooler and thermostat. Quoted $6400 to repair. Who has $6400 laying around for car repairs. With only 122,000 miles on car I certainly didn't think I would be needing to purchase another car and have car payments right now. No help from Nissan and we just found out about this problem and that Nissan is well aware of it. They should be covering the problem.

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #1

May 222009

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 10,500 miles
I bought the Pathfinder brand new in 2008. Shortly there after, when I inserted the key into the ignition, it makes no attempt of turning on. It has left me stranded on 7 occasions thus far. When I put the key in and turn it, it does nothing. I brought it in last year and they never found what was wrong with it. The warranty expires in two weeks and I do not want to be left with a problem once the warranty has expired. Luckily it has only left me stranded within 30 miles of home, but I am not looking forward to being stranded far from home. After a good 30-90 minutes, the car will eventually turn on. I have had to get a ride from my parents from the supermarket, had my husband leave work to pick me up from another town, walked to my parent's house because the SUV would not turn on. When I have spoken to the service people where I bought it, they have told me that if they cannot replicate the problem, they cannot fix it. It is very frustrating to insert key and not have car turn on. I am bringing car once again to dealer to see if problem can be resolved. I want the problem resolved prior to the warranty running out.

- Meriden, CT, USA

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