Notes: The 2013 has a growing number of transmission complaints at low mileage. The issue is part of a class-action lawsuit that says the transmissions shake violently during acceleration between 15mph and 30mph.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,153 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.

2013 Nissan Pathfinder drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 13 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Mar 222013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,500 miles


It happened 3 times already, car started shaking and it stop all of a sudden, all transmission fluid and coolant drained out. Luckily we did'N get hit from the back because the first time was when we stop on a red light and it didn't move at all we tow it to the nearest Nissan dealer and they said that it was a factory defect but that was fixed. I had a bad feeling and took it to puente hills Nissan where we bought the car. But they told to comeback next day so on my way home on the freeway it started again we just had seconds to pull aside from the road and the car didn't moved at all, fluids drained out again and this time the smoke was even worst I had a panic attack because I thought it was going to catch on fire so I've jumped out of the car "on the freeway" without thinking that I could get killed. The car got towed to puente hills Nissan and "they fixed it". when they were testing it it happened again!! they towed the car back and now after a week they said that they already fixed the problem that it was the radiator that had too much pressure so was heating up and shooting the hoses off so they now replaced the radiator and told me to go and pick up the car. I don't feel safe driving around with my family this situation can cause an accident. Nissan dealer won't replace the car even though there is the lemon law that states that after 3 repairs from the same issue the car has to be replaced and even more because it was a brand new car and we only had it for 6 weeks. And there was also 2 recalls on this particular vehicle one on the electric system and other one on the air bags so now I don't know what else is going to happen with this vehicle.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 252012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the transmission began shifting hard. When driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle would vibrate excessively. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure and advised the contact that the failure was not safety related. The technician reset the transmissions computer but the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 1,600.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #16

Feb 262013


  • 136 miles
When starting from being stopped and also when going slow from first to second gear, transmission shudders and jerks like it is stuck and can't get into the next gear. Took back to dealership and they confirmed there is a problem and that Nissan is investigating but doesn't have a fix yet but hopes to by April 2013. Most expensive car we ever bought and we have only had it a month and it is doing it more and more frequently. If Nissan knew there was a problem they should have stopped selling the cars or at least notify the potential buyer of the problem. We also have the passenger airbag problem too.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

problem #15

Mar 162013


  • 3,500 miles


Bought a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder in November. 3 months later and 2 hours away from home we started feeling a "jutter" and could no longer accelerate. Leaving myself (32 weeks pregnant), my 2 year old, and 5 year old stranded on the side of the northway in 20* weather. There was smoke billowing out from under the hood. The transmission blew, a new transmission has been ordered but, it is unknown how long it will take to fix. Nissan nor my local dealer are doing anything rectify the problem apparently, I should take an $8,000 loss because I don't feel safe putting my family in their faulty product that can't get us from point a to point B.

- Saranac Lake, NY, USA

problem #14

Feb 252013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 150 miles
During slow acceleration from full stop, the vehicle would vibrate/shudder for a couple or seconds somewhere between 15-25 mph. It feels like the transmission would slip and catch and slip and catch. This happens 3-5 times a day. I drive mostly city driving so its mostly stop and go driving from one light to the next. There has been a recall to reprogram the transmission computer but my vehicle is not part of that recall and exhibits the same issues. Even after the reprogram, other owners I've talked to still experience the same issue.

- Katy, TX, USA

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problem #13

Feb 022011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 300 miles
Most of the time that I am accelerating between 20 - 25 mph, the vehicle is shaking. The amount of shake or "shudder"varies from slightly noticeable to very noticeable. The concern here is the reliability of the transmission (cvt) which seems to be slipping. I believe this should be investigated to prevent failure of the transmission while driving in freeways thus preventing a possibility of a crash.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #12

Feb 212013


  • 3,125 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35-45 mph, the vehicle started to decelerate without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was advised that the cooler line clamp failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 3,125. The current mileage was approximately 3,141.

- Mount Laurel , NJ, USA

problem #11

Feb 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
I purchased a brand new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder on 02/16/2013 and steering wheel off balance. 2 days later, I took the car back to henderson Nissan but it was just a patch up to the problem. Today 02/26/2013 a new problem occurs when I drive at 15mph the transmission jerk cause a big vibration to the car and I'm afraid this will lead to a major problem. I purchase this car to Transport my 4 years daughter and I don't want this car transmission to break down on freeway which could cause a major pile up. Please consider a safety to our family and many others family own this Nissan Pathfinder by investigation into this matter. Sincerely.

- Lasvegas, NV, USA

problem #10

Feb 182013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,532 miles
Have owned the vehicle for 3 weeks. Wife was returning from picking of pizza and was 2 miles from house - called me to tell me the car is "dead". arrived to find fluid all over street behind and below vehicle. Had it towed to the dealer and the next day was told they would be replacing the radiator and transmission. Was told that the hose for transmission was manufactured a bit too small and they have been "falling off" resulting in a transmission and radiator burn out. Not how I wanted to begin ownership with a Nissan...

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #9

Feb 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Detected intermittent heat failure in the rear of the vehicle as well as the area surrounding the occupant's feet. Check engine light came on after 10 days of ownership. Dealership determined code was "transmission fluid pressure switch." The service tech erased the code without performing service. 5 days later driver detected transmission slippage. Drove the vehicle to the dealership. Service tech and driver took a test drive. Service tech confirmed transmission was slipping. While driving back to the dealership, the driver pressed the gas pedal and the car wouldn't move. This created a safety issue for the driver and service tech. It happened twice more and the vehicle almost got stuck under the door trying to return to the dealership. Diagnosis by dealer: Cvt failure.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #8

Feb 022013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 2,200 miles


I was driving on the highway with my wife and 10 month old daughter. The engine rpms kept going up and down when I pressed the gas with limited or no propulsion. I had to avoid the high speed highway traffic while I moved over 3 lanes to the shoulder. Dealership tells me that the vehicle, with 2200 miles, requires a new transmission due to a failure on the transmission oil delivery system.

- Clifton , NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 272013


  • 45 miles
I have my 2013 Pathfinder for around 2 weeks and since day 2 it's having problems I think with the power train. It start to fail the acceleration, like when on a manual car you step out the clutch early. I went twice to a Nissan dealer to verify the problem and on both visits they said there's no problem with the SUV. So I have to wait to something more happens so they can find a problem. I changed my 2010 Pathfinder for this one... I think I made a really bad move here.

- Toa Baja, PR, USA

problem #6

Jan 282013


  • 2,200 miles
I was driving on the highway at approximately 60 mph when my 2013 Nissan Pathfinder started to act strange. The RPM's would be erratic going from 3000 - 5000 if I touched the accelerator. Then it would stop if I did not touch the accelerator. Then 4000 - 6000 rpms. It seemed very unsafe and obviously something was wrong. I decided to get off the highway and on the exit ramp when I heard a large grinding noise and the car stopped. There was an awful burning smell and the cabin filled with smoke in addition to the smoke coming out of the hood. I turned the car off, turned it back on and it would not start. It also stopped in a very unsafe location and eventually the state police came to push me out of the way. Called my Nissan dealer, they sent a tow truck and I went to the dealership. Later that day I found out that the recommendation was for a new transmission. I could not believe this, I was driving a $40,000 brand new SUV and that was the only option. How could a new transmission help, if there is a design defect in Nissan's Pathfinder transmissions? my new car would never be the same.

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 232013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 700 miles
Driving on the highway @55mph the engine began to rev from low to very high rpms. All of a sudden cabin began to fill with smoke and lost complete power to drive train. Move to the side of road and avoided a huge accident with 2 children on board.

- Eastchester, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 292012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 1,510 miles
While I was driving with my 5 year old and 5 month old my 2013 Pathfinder on 12/29 (which I had for 1 month)it started feeling like it was missing gears and sputtering. The rpms started to rev up between 4000-5000 and was only going about 45 mph and the vehicle was not going any faster, and the car was jerking as I was driving it. I stopped and turned the car off hoping it was just a fluke but when I stared it would not move when I was in reverse I then put in drive again it was doing the same thing but this time the check engine light came on, and I even pressed the cruise to see if that would work and it wouldn't work either. I brought it to the dealership and they told me it was a transmission module chip that needed to be replaced. I waited 10 days and finally they said it was ready. I picked it up and literally turned around because it was doing the exact same thing except this time as I took my foot of the pedal the vehicle did not decelerate and continued to drive at 60mph without me pressing the gas until I hit the brake it started to slow down, thank god, all while my baby is in the car with me. Since then it has been at the dealership which does not know what to do now and I have been in contact with Nissan expressing my concern for the vehicles safety, and the fact it is brand new a month old car and the only thing that I'm being told is that they are sending a tech from Nissan and they're really sorry about my trouble. So now the car just sits at the dealership going on a month and neither one I feel has been really concerned with trying to fix the vehicle in a timely manner or worried on the safety of it. I am totally disappointed with the way the dealership and Nissan have handled the situation. So much for them being concerned about the well being and safety of their passengers.

- New Orleans , LA, USA

problem #3

Jan 212013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 326 miles
After fueling my brand new vehicle for the first time, I headed out and noticed smoke around my vehicle. A neighboring vehicle motioned for me to roll down my window and said I had fluid that looked like anti freeze pouring out from beneath my 2013 Pathfinder. I tried to pull over but the SUV would no longer accelerate forward and I was stuck in the middle of the road with my children. Not knowing why my vehicle was smoking, I contacted the fire department. Some people stopped to help and push the vehicle from the street. The fire department arrived and the dealership was contacted. A towing company was sent out. I was told the towing company's have been towing these brand new vehicles alot, some that were driven off the lot and had to be towed. After researching this issue, I found there are several people having the same issue and this issue was under a law suit for the 2005-2010 model Pathfinders. It doesn't look like Nissan has resolved the issue just yet.

- Temple, TX, USA

problem #2

Jan 202013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 450 miles
My wife was driving our two week old 2013 Nissan Pathfinder platinum edition with my four year old daughter when the transmission failed and the vehicle became disabled. The transmission completely failed and the car had to be towed to the local Nissan dealer. I was told today that the coolant line burst and that the transmission fluid leaked from the vehicle. As a "precaution" they will be replacing the radiator, transmission line (s), as well as the transmission on the vehicle before returning it to us. The dealer claims that the transmission and radiator did not get affected buy the incident and that they are replacing those parts as a precautionary measure. I have done some research online and learned that a number of other 2013 Pathfinders have suffered from the same catastrophic issue. I also learned that previous generations of the Pathfinder had similar issues which Nissan was very slow to acknowledge. When a vehicle that is traveling at a moderate to high rate of speed looses transmission the driver becomes at risk for a major accident. The vehicle cannot be driven and in our case my wife was saved by a aaa employee who was kind enough to push her car out of the way of oncoming traffic. These cars need to be recalled immediately before someone gets killed. If you are reading this and you know someone who drives this vehicle please tell them to take it to their Nissan service department immediately. I am convinced this is going to require a recall. Our car had 450 mile on it for gods sake.

- Riverwoods, IL, USA

problem #1

Dec 312012


  • 306 miles
While driving around 35 mph the Pathfinder started sputtering between 3000-4000 rpms and would not increase in speed. I stopped the vehicle and shut off the engine in hopes to reset a problem. When I turned the car back on, the Pathfinder would not move in drive or reverse. As the tow truck driver was loading the Pathfinder he noticed a large amount of liquid coming from underneath the vehicle. Once at the dealership they found that the transmission cooler line had burst and the radiator needed to be replace. Also another owner of a 2013 Pathfinder was also having problems with their transmission and was told that a problem had been identified with the computer that was affecting the transmission. Nissan knew about the problem but didn't catch it prior to the new Pathfinder leaving the factory.

- Windermere, FL, USA

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