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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
118,800 miles
Total Complaints:
81 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace radiator & transmission (68 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. no solution. transmission and radiator must be replaced (5 reports)
  4. install external cooler (1 reports)
2008 Nissan Pathfinder transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #81

Jun 192020

Pathfinder 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 179,506 miles


1st time having this issue fixed (poor get up), engine light on (summer 2020). Come fall 2020 I have a leak and I take the car to Nissan Union City, but they can't find the leak. I take it back again they say it the powering steering hose got it replaced, still there is a leak same stop. I took it for a second opinion and the guys at the shop came out to get me and showed me that the fluids in the radiator and reservoir are mixed with oils. How did that happen?!

I took it back to Nissan to get them to correct their mistake. They kept the car overnight. They called me the next evening and said that the radiator needs to be replaced and fluids need to be flushed (not to tell you how many days without transportation I had to deal with). They never helped in any way other than tell me how much it will be to get the work done on the Pathfinder.

I called corp, no help, so the second time I'm out of town the Pathfinder goes out there's a Nissan nearby I took it in they told me the transmission (Union City Nissan offered no help - Vonzella told me that I can come back to Atlanta to get a copy of the receipt where I paid for the first transmission to be replaced). Lee Nissan Destin FL then offers me to trade in at the value of $500 and to get a 2018 Pathfinder. I had to get the Pathfinder towed back home from Destin FL to Atlanta GA.

With how I've been treated I don't feel safe dealing with the Nissan company.) I have a voice recording of the union city worker stating the Nissan company is aware of the failure of the transmission due the radiator leaking and the fluids mixing.I reached out to the corporate office and they told me they wouldn't fix it because it wasn't their fault.

- Elijah H., Atlanta, US

problem #80

Apr 052018

Pathfinder LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Well I had gotten my transmission fluid changed at approximately 65,000 miles and I went back a second time to have it changes again at 110,00 miles he changed my fluid and said nothing about it having radiator fluid in it. I believe the tech knew the radiator fluid was in my transmission and fell to tell me because not long after my SUV was giving me problems and I took it in to be checked they tells me I need a new transmission and radiator. And by me misplacing my recall paper I wasn't aware of the recall. These dealerships and service department are money hungry turds. They could have advise me of the recall . I heard later there was a lawsuit. I think all these dealerships and services centers are crooks. One day they are going to be held accountable for their wrongs when they meet their maker.

I took my SUV to a specialist and he rerouted some stuff and it was ok for about a month, but it messed up so bad with gonk it had to be rebuilt. It running fine now but Nissan should reimburse its customers. I have purchased 4 Nissan. My next auto will not be a Nissan. Nissan should send me a check for a new Auto.

- Deneen B., Cleveland, US

problem #79

Jun 242019

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,767 miles

I bought this vehicle used in October of 2017. My local Nissan dealer has been the only place I went to for service. This past June, I asked the dealer to take a look into my vehicle as there was a slight shudder between gears four and five. They came back and said I needed a full replacement transmission and quoted me over $8,000 as the transmission would soon fail as a result of a faulty OEM radiator. If Nissan knew the OEM radiator could fail, why didn't they just suggest that fix from the start?

- Olay V., Holland, MI, US

problem #78

Jun 112018

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,233 miles


This is an ongoing known issue. Nissan refuses to administer a recall that is causing honest hard working customers a lot of money. Offer to pay half or something Nissan. Please help.

- James J., Yantic, US

problem #77

Jun 032018

Pathfinder SE Off Road 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,950 miles

I've really loved my Pathfinder, but to discover that this is a know manufacturing defect that Nissan has not adequately addressed disappoints me, and has made me reconsider purchasing a Nissan as my next vehicle.

- Paul L., Belmont, CA, US

problem #76

Feb 042018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

I have had my Nissan Pathfinder for 9 years. I never had any real issues with it until now. I went to start the car in the driveway and it wouldn't turn over. I waited a few days and tried it again. Couldn't for the life of me figure out what was the problem, so I decided to have it towed to Goodyear.

They couldn't find the problem with the car, so they had to have it towed to a Nissan dealership and have their mechanics look at it. It is ironic how they knew what was wrong with it with in hours. They stated that this was an ongoing problem with these cars.

I looked it up and there it was in black and white. He gave me a number to get in touch with Nissan Corporate to help with the repairs, they claim that there was nothing they could do. Please see attached article in reference to this problem.

DO NOT BUY A NISSAN as they do not stand behind their product. They will screw you over in a minute.

- Angele M., Slidell, LA, US

problem #75

Dec 212017

Pathfinder Subn V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


Just before Xmas thought it was leak in radiator but when we got it to the repair shop they stated it could possibly be transmission. $1000 later stated they replaced the radiator and saved transmission (flushed). I was told it was a defect that Nissan was aware about and not covering but I was lucky to catch it before the transmission was gone. Mind you just hit the 100,000 mile mark, made last payment and ruined Xmas.

Further more 2 weeks later coming home from work the thing wouldn't go past 20 mph. Now shop tells me we can do this, we can do that, but all in all you might want to think about just replacing the transmission. Needless to say, now I have a title to a a piece of junk sitting in my yard and don't know what to do with it. I really did like the truck, but think if that many people with the same damn problem Nissan should do something about it. I will never buy another Nissan again in my life. Truck died with no warning and no help with recall.

- Dawn W., Syracuse, US

problem #74

Jan 092017

Pathfinder S 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


- Oscar L., Durham, NC, US

problem #73

Feb 192016

Pathfinder LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

Backed car out of garage then would not go forward. Turned off car and would not restart. Battery checked and OK. Had to tow to Nissan garage who said this happened and costs 4700$+ to repair! Car had 155k miles on it and just put new tires on weeks prior to this! Nissan garage, of course, offers just 1000$ toward new car. Said I missed the cut off r/t class action lawsuit. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware this was a problem and of course wasn't contacted by nissan to alert me to this! Now, I am left w/ no car and deciding to sell for junk. If anyone has anymore info on what could be done, please let me know.

- Anne E., Morgantown, WV, US

problem #72

Jun 092017

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Same story as everyone else. Transmission started vibrating before shifting to overdrive under certain conditions. Problem started getting worse and I took to the internet. Right away I found the cracked radiator problem and knew I was sunk. As soon as I got home I opened up the engine coolant reservoir and found the "oil milkshake". Opened up the radiator cap and found the same. Haven't decided what to do yet. This was the first new vehicle I bought for myself after graduating college, and it now serves as my wife's car to transport my 2 young children. I always like Nissan's and wanted to get several more years out of it. Obviously I will NEVER buy another Nissan. Not because of the defect (as an engineer myself I understand defects happen), but because they have known about this for years and I am just finding out about it now after it is too late. Absolutely unacceptable. Had I known just months ago, I could have easily prevented a $4k transmission failure.

Nissan's negligent behavior is irresponsible at best, and borders on criminal. Shame on them.

- Jason L., Shavertown, US

problem #71

May 012017

Pathfinder S

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,530 miles


Keep the car or get rid of it. Mechanic says this is a horrible issue and should NEVER occur. He has been in business for 30 years, and has never seen something like this before

- Timothy G., Bryn Mawr, US

problem #70

Apr 012017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

I think it's terrible that Nissan knows this can happen to these cars, yet doesn't offer help.

- Karen F., Sandpoint, US

problem #69

Aug 022016

Pathfinder LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 185,000 miles

transmission oil leaked into radiator, looked murky purple... continues to blow eco fuse. changed all liquids and replaced all filters and still fuse blows after vehicle ignition is turned on. Cannot find solution....!!!

- Jeremy D., Saint Martinville, LA, US

problem #68

Mar 152017

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

I'll just be added to the list I'm sure, but my transmission suffered a total failure due to the radiator issue that leaks into the transmission. Apparently it's a well known problem and Nissan looked the other way. Cost me $4000 to rebuild the transmission and replace the radiator. I'm at a loss for words the way Nissan handled this. Nissan could have been in MUCH more trouble. My wife got stuck with the truck on the parkway on the side with oncoming traffic whizzing past her at over 55 MPH with my 10 year old son and 8 year old son IN THE TRUCK. She called me in PANIC. Nobody thinks that such a failure could pose such a danger like this!! Whats it going to take for a recall? A terrible accident???? Luckily she was able to get the truck moving slowly off the parkway and make it home. How there is no recall on this is beyond me.....Never again buying another Nissan!!

- Chippy11793 .., Wantagh, NY, US

problem #67

Feb 152017

Pathfinder ES 6 Cylinder

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,400 miles

I was driving my car one day and suddenly felt it shutter hard when shifting into gear. I thought it was strange but didn't think a whole lot of it..... until I realized that it was going to keep doing it. My car started to shutter at high and low speeds.. backroads and highways. Very irritating. Then within no time, I noticed that the rear controls would only blow out cold heat, even when set to the warmest temperature possible. And the heat in the front of the car would not blow warm air when idling. At this time I did not know that these issues were related. The thought occurred to me that maybe I was low on transmission fluid? But that would be strange because I had just gotten my car serviced at my local Nissan dealership the month prior, and they documented that they checked and filled all my fluids.

Being that I didn't have the proper tool to pull out the dipstick to check the transmission fluid, I asked my mechanic friend to do it. When I told him the type of car that I had and explained the problem, he immediately began to worry that the issue may be because of my radiator being cracked and coolant leaking into my transmission. And yes, unfortunately, he was right. When he checked my fluids they were milky.

He since has flushed out both systems and had to replace the heater hose nipple (due to the oil and coolant deteriorating it). So far I have spent over $600 just in parts, and I have yet to know if this will work long term. I have a 2008 model but I bought my car in 2011... why did Nissan not make me aware of this very common problem then?!?!?!

Update from Jun 28, 2017: So after my mechanic flushed out the transmission and redirected where the coolant was going, the car seemed to run fine for a while. I had my fingers crossed that maybe we caught the problem early enough and no serious damage had been done to the transmission. However, in mid June the transmission started slipping a little bit when accelerating. But it did not happen often, just occasionally. Not even every day. During this time my "Service Engine Soon" light came on, but then shut back off for a few days and then came back on again. My mechanic thought that maybe it was the catalytic converter that was causing the slipping and I set up a time for him to look at the car. On June 26, I started my car just fine, dropped my kids off at camp and went into work for the day. No issues. When I came out to my car at lunch time, I could not start it. No sound was made when I turned the key, yet the interior lights and dash board lights were still coming on. I tried jump starting the battery and that did not do anything at all. I called my mechanic and he came to look at it. Turns out that there is a fuse that is blowing therefore effecting the transmission and sending a signal to the car to go into limp mode. Therefore not being drivable at all. I called Nissan and explained the problem. After having it towed there and diagnosed, the Nissan mechanic said that my car does indeed need a new transmission and radiator. The total cost will be $5,000. He could not do anything to help me but gave me the phone number for Nissan Headquarters. He said they were running a campaign that in some cases was giving rebates to people for up to $3,000 but that campaign has since ended so he is not sure if they can help me now. Are you kidding me???!!! I am now waiting on a return phone call from them. I am VERY disappointed.

Update from Jun 29, 2017: I spoke to an agent from Nissan Headquarters, and she said that they will do nothing to help me since my car has over 100,000 miles on it. NOTHING. The extended warranty program that they were running ended in October 2016, and that was only offered to Nissan vehicles with less than 100,000 miles. (Why would this warranty program end when there are still a ton of these faulty radiators on the road?!?! And why only until 100,000?)

So... my car is sitting at a Nissan dealership for a problem that was caused by their manufacturer defect, and was never disclosed to me at the time I bought the car. (The car was purchased in 2011... this issue began with 2005 Nissan's... the dealership was certainly aware of it). Yet I am supposed to pay $5,000 to have Nissan fix it? And still make my monthly car payments to them. I can't even believe it. Needless to say, I WILL NEVER BUY A NISSAN AGAIN. They clearly don't take good care of their customers. Very, very disappointed.

- Shannon D., Deep River, CT, US

problem #66

Dec 152016

Pathfinder V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Obviously this is a well known problem at this point. Nissan was forced to extend the warrantee to 100000 miles. i was at 101000 miles when it happened. Nissan refused to help at all (technically far, but remarkably disappointing). Also made me get it towed to a nissan dealer to even consider it and charged me an unannounced $110 to give their opinion, which was the same as my mechanics.

Look into Nissan a bit before you buy any Nissan car, then buy something else based on what you find. I was a loyal customer for no other reason then I hadn't had a problem, but when i did, it was big, known, avoidable, and one they could help with after the fact. They do stand by their cars, stand by and watch you deal with known manufacturer defects on your own dime.

If it's not clear, I will never buy another Nissan, nor will my family, ever.

- Sam L., Canaan, CT, US

problem #65

Dec 132016

Pathfinder V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,401 miles

Replaced radiator in summer and flushed the transmission to stop the shudder. No further problems until out of town 3 hours from home. Service engine light went on and vehicle immediately had difficulty going into first gear from full stop within minutes of light going on in dash. Had to rent a car to get family home from trip and tow vehicle back to get fixed.....that's if we can even afford what needs to be done to it. Nissan should be covering the cost of these repairs as they know about the problem with coolant going into the transmission. Not happy. Will never buy a Nissan again and will never recommend to anyone.

- Kristine C., Campbell River, BC, Canada

problem #64

Nov 122016

Pathfinder 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,455 miles

The antifreeze is leaking into the transmission causing the vehicle to stop. I had to get an auto body shop to tow to their shop for a mechanic to work on it. It was diagnosed by the mechanic the antifreeze was leaking into the transmission and the car shut down and wouldn't start. It also blew out the fuses. Each time it starts it blows out the fuse. I have to pay a mechanic $700 and that isn't including the transmission work. Fluid is in the transmission and now I have to take it to a Transmission specialist. I'm unable to go to work, this is causing me a financial hardship and inconvenience. I am unable to drive and enjoy my vehicle.

- jdpretto1948, Roosevelt, NY, US

problem #63

Dec 072016

Pathfinder LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I have brought the car to the shop 3 separate Wednesday's, first time for oil change, next week for a cracked raditor and they flushed the system, the following Wednesday they say the transmission is done!!!

- Michael D., Bel Air, MD, US

problem #62

Dec 092016

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Six months ago Kline Nissan of Maplewood, MN tells me I need to replace the radiator and transmission again, after I just replaced the transmission six months ago because of the same problem...Sounds to me like Kline Nissan doesn't know their head from their A! didn't fix the problem in the first place and wont set the situation right! Do not bring your vehicles to Kline Nissan in Maplewood, MN unless you like giving them money over and over because they don't fix the actual problems!

- Jake S., White Bear, MN, US

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