really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,200 miles
Total Complaints:
424 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission & radiator (290 reports)
  2. not sure (55 reports)
  3. replace transmission & flush the radiator (27 reports)
  4. repair transmission and add an external oil cooler (13 reports)
  5. replace radiator (13 reports)
  6. rebuild transmission (12 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #404

Oct 172016

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

This vehicle was in perfect condition. I purchased it with 70,000 miles and now has 172,000. I cant afford a new vehicle and now the transmission has left me in a financial bind. There are no oil leaks, no other issues with the vehicle until the transmission started acting up. It was intermittent with shifting issues, etc. Took to dealer and they told me what the problem was by taking the radiator cap off. Antifreeze leaking into the trans. Now I am stuck with a $4300 dollar repair bill. If Nissan would have only recalled the radiator none of this would have happened. I'll never purchase a Nissan product again!!

- Brian W., Claremore, OK, USA

problem #403

Apr 142016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I can't believe my Nissan Pathfinder is only 11 years and 61,000 miles and because of the manufacturer problem that they are well aware of I have to find 4500 to change my transmission. Very annoyed and will never buy or recommend another Nissan.

- Compton S., Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #402

Sep 092016

Pathfinder LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I took my car into Nissan last week only to find out that at 120,000 miles the radiator has failed and was made with defective hoses that leak coolant into the transmission fluid causing cross contamination of the coolant and the transmission fluid. The service guy at the dealer told me this is a pretty common problem in 05-06 pathfinders....one quick google search and come to find out they settled a class action lawsuit regarding this very issue a couple years ago. It's too bad that Nissan had to use faulty parts and put so many people though this. We pay our hard earned money for goods and get cheap trash in return.

- jclarkwa, Camas, WA, USA

problem #401

Aug 082016

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

We own a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder. We bought it used of course back in March. We absolutely love the vehicle. It drives/drove great up until this issue happened. I was taking our daughter to school on a typical Monday morning, & when I pulled out the vehicle NEVER shifted out of first gear. I immediately turned the radio down & told my daughter to be quiet so I could listen to the vehicle. We drove up the ramp to a local highway in the town we live in, and it still NEVER shifted out of first. So at that point I told her we were going to have to turn around & go back home and knew something with the transmission just wasn't acting right. Well...we pull up to a red light and have to come to a complete stop & when I went to pull out I had no power at all. I had to rev it up to right at 2000 rpm's before it would even move. So we get out of that & go to turn up the slight hill we have to drive up to get to our house, and I didn't even stop...I floored it and you honestly would have thought I was pulling a semi behind my vehicle. It took us almost 5 minutes (which doesn't sound like a long time) to get to our house and normally it would take less than a minute. This happened on August 8th, 2016 & other than taking the chance & driving it about 5 miles from our house for a diagnostic reading on it at a local garage it has been parked in our driveway the whole time. A man who runs a garage near where we live that my husband & his family have went through for repairs numerous times in the past said he has seen & repaired several hundreds of these problems. NOT just Pathfinders, Frontiers, and Xterras too. Namely the 2005 models. My husband's grandfather had just passed the December before we purchased this vehicle, and he had left my husband some money. It wasn't much, but our family needed a good DEPENDABLE vehicle. We have two children and also needed the extra room the Pathfinder provided. We went to the used car lot & both took turns driving the vehicle on two days back to back before we actually decided to purchase it. When this Catastrophic Transmission Failure happened the vehicle had approximately 150k miles on it. Like I said we haven't driven it since, & won't be until it can be repaired. This issue has left us having to "bum" rides from friends so our children can get back & forth to school & we all know how long that usually lasts before they no longer want to help you out. The mechanic I spoke of earlier said he will charge us $3500 out the door. That's parts, labor, tow, EVERYTHING !! He also said that when he does the repair that he will bypass the radiator so we would NEVER have this problem again. That amount of money may not sound like a lot to some, but to my family & I that's not easy money. We have no friends or family to help us out with the cost of repairs, and are forced to just look at our vehicle sitting in our driveway everyday. Considering ALL the complaints & supposed lawsuits with Nissan, you know that they have to be aware of this problem by now. It completely outrages me that they would just brush it off & NOT RECALL THE ISSUE !!! At this point I am starting to "kick" myself for not doing better research on this particular vehicle before we bought it. But considering my vehicle isn't the only one affected I'm curious what other's may have done about this issue ?? I am desperate right now for any help with this....I need this vehicle badly for my kiddos & so I can get back & forth from work. Thanks for reading my story. I hope we all find a resolution to our vehicle issues.

- Amy W., Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #400

Jul 122016

Pathfinder LE 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,735 miles

Our radiator leaked coolant into our transmission. we had to get both radiator and transmission fixed at the cost of thousands. I contact the Nissan they don't care that they were installing defective equipment in all Nissans. Never buy a Nissan again and further research it is happening to all Nissans not just a certain model. Do not put your family at risk don't think about buying any Nissans and don't think it will not happen to you because it will.

- Mary Jo F., Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #399

Jul 122016

Pathfinder LE 4.0V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,735 miles

I purchased this vehicle used in October 2015 unfortunately the extended warranty on this issue expired in May 2015. I contacted Nissan & they DO NOT care that they were installing DEFECTIVE parts. They knew what they were doing. I will never get another Nissan again.

- Mary Jo F., Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #398

Aug 092016

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,250 miles



- aadamsky, Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #397

Jun 052016

Pathfinder LE 4,0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,500 miles

In 2013 I got a notice from Nissan about the issue of coolant leaking into the transmission they were having on these models and the extended warranty they were offering which was worthless. Up to 80,000 they would repair w/o charge. Up to 90,000 miles there is a $2500 deductible. Up to 100,000 miles there is a $3000 deductible. I had 84,000 miles on my car at the time and was not experiencing any problems so I took my Pathfinder to my dealer where I purchased it and had them inspect the transmission fluid to see if this issue was going on. They informed me that my was showing no signs of coolant in the transmission fluid. Rather then wait for this issue to eventually happen, I had the dealership install a new radiator ($700) which they assured me had a different design then the problematic radiators that were causing this problem. Low and behold, 3 years and 27,000 miles later I start experiencing vibrations that were mostly noticeable between 60-70 mph. I took it to my dealer who informed me that I had coolant in my transmission and that I would need a new transmission and new radiator, The price quote was $5200!!!! I called Nissan consumer affairs and they listened, but told me there was nothing they could do. They did offer me an employee discount if I purchase a new car but why would invest in another Nissan when they won't stand behind their product! What a way to treat your customers! You know you have a radiator issue that causes a catastrophic mechanical failure, and you hang your customers out to dry. I'm currently in talks with the service manager at the Nissan dealership that put in the radiator that was suppose to prevent me from having this problem, but have not yet heard back from them. I will update this once I see if they are going to do anything for me. Why hasn't NHTSA made Nissan do a recall & repair for this known issue????

- sthomas7, Germantown, OH, USA

problem #396

May 012016

Pathfinder LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I had never heard of the transmission/radiator problem until it happened to my Pathfinder recently...I purchased it new in 2005, you would think I would've received a notice that this was a major issue! Now, they're quoting me $6100 to repair....I can't afford that! I'm so screwed!!

Very unhappy and disappointed ...guess after loving my Pathfinder after all these years, it's going to leave me walking!! Very unfair!!

- teresiab, Bradenton,, FL, USA

problem #395

Apr 012016

Pathfinder 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I bought my 2005 used Nissan Pathfinder. The next couple days after my purchase I noticed there was coolant smell, shifting funny. Took the vehicle back to the dealer, they replaced the radiator for me, free of charge. No change in performance tho. It no longer smells as bad like coolant but the vehicle continued to run the same as before replacing the radiator. I noticed the problem slightly increasing, the sputtering during gear changes was becoming more frequent, and harder. So I took the vehicle to a CERTIFIED Nissan Dealer for service. At this point my vehicle estimate included needs new transmission, radiator replaced, oil pressure sensor switch replaced, and 2 of the threeway catalytic converters replaced because of "cracked radiator leaked coolant into the transmission" $7965.78 in repair cost. The warranty would not cover it so I took the car without any repairs done and paid $695.23 for a diagnostic printout. I took the vehicle to a local transmission shop to try and flush the transmission or have it rebuild. Mechanic attempted. took the transmission out and stated that the transmission would need completely replaced because of the damage done from "radiator leaking coolant in the transmission". I am currently trying to find a used transmission to put in the vehicle, which is difficult considering that all 2005 transmissions are most likely soaking in coolant. If I purchase a new one it will be more expensive than the price I paid, which I make monthly payments on!

- Rachel J., Linn Creek, MO, USA

problem #394

Jun 172015

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

The Nissan Pathfinder is crap, in addition to the horrible Nissan customer service experience at the dealership. They actually recommended fro me to pay them $10,500 to work on the transmission and claimed that there was nothing they could do about it.

There is no way on earth anyone that I know will ever buy a Nissan. They are horrible cars.

- Arthur I., Romulus, MI, USA

problem #393

Mar 182016

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

File me under complaint number 2000 on this horrible design. Transmission started stuttering. Checked fluid, milky white. Took to trans shop, charge was estimated at $4k. Car was only worth $4k. Traded it in on an Acura, given $2000. Just a horrible situation, took a huge loss, will never buy a Nissan again. I had a manual Pathfinder and loved it. Engine and body were perfect. Will always research here before I buy another car. DON"T BUY A USED PATHFINDER.

Update from Dec 10, 2017: just to update, the decision to sell the car was clearly wrong. We only got $2500 in trade, and fixing the car for $3000 would have been a much better option, since the vehicle is clearly worth more than $2500. Just an FYI, next time, we will bite the bullet and fix the trans.

- Peter C., Louisville, KY, USA

problem #392

Jun 052014

Pathfinder LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,596 miles

Cannot believe how unethical Nissan Corp was with this problem! Dealer charge me $216.18 months earlier to flush the radiator; What this did was extend the time before it failed to where Nissan wouldn't have to pick up the tab to replace the transmission!! So I paid hundreds to save them thousands and thousands!! And the dealer makes more $$ from me than he'd get from Nissan Corp as warranty work.

The absolute Gall! This was without any doubt a design and manufacture mistake of Nissan Corp - from which they choose to make tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars on, via repair and servicing, rather than incur 1/3 the same as expenses by taking care of their customers and showing them they own up to their mistakes.

I contacted Corporate Relations 9 times to get them to extend coverage and take responsibility; Numerous times I was told they get back to me within 3 days. Each time that never happened. I kept calling and calling. They stone walled me. I've bought new Infinity's; I've bought new Nissan's. Well Nissan Corp, never, ever again! Breaking my trust in such an expensive and cost prohibitive manner once is all you get. I tell my story of this incident as often as I can to friends and workers who specially mention they are in the market for a new vehicle.

The thing is, every single one of them independently forms their own opinion; Which is that they don't want to do business with a corporation like you. They don't want to do business with Nissan. Nissan is OFF their consideration list. Bottom line: Nissan's abandonment of the faith and trust that their buyers placed in them in the past has cost them new vehicle sales. I can only imagine a whole, whole lot of them. I can only hope (and assume) that other Pathfinder owners who got the same broken faith from Nissan are telling their story too - all over this wonderful country of ours.

My closing gripe: While at Nissan Corps service bay, reeling for how Nissan's design and manufacture mistakes is going to cost me, personally, big time, Nissan has their sales guys do the hard sell to trade me up to a new vehicle; seriously? No really, seriously? Like, by that point, the decision hadn't already been reached - nay, firmly, irrevocable entrenched: "Well Nissan Corp, never, ever again - y.o.u. a.r.e. d.e.a.d. t.o. m.e.!!!"

- whiterabbit, Cumming, GA, USA

problem #391

May 132010

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,880 miles

The dam truck started locking itself into 2nd gear and would not go over 30 mph. Took it to the dealer and they said it will cost to much to fix from what the blue book cost on the vehicle was worth. So they talked my wife into buying another one which I am still paying for $588.49 per month. Bad part is I had just paid the other one off. Now I'm into another 7 years of payments . I love the Nissan Pathfinder but the overall feeling I got was the company owes me $57,000 for not fixing a problem they know was happening. The people at the dealership were very happy when they gave my wife $350 for a trade-in that I just put $850 worth of tires on. I was out of town at a funeral and when I came home and my wife had a new Nissan Pathfinder in the driveway. Then I divocsed her over the hole dam thing and still have to pay for it. I feel like they should compensate everyone they screwed over and it's like they f'ed my life up. God bless America.

- dibertr, Sanford, FL, USA

problem #390

May 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

radiator and tranny need to be fixed......

- Ray M., Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #389

Aug 152015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Our mechanic asked $7k to replace the transmission and all other infected parts. Because of the coolant leaking issue, they would only consider using a brand new transmission, which have become difficult to find. A used transmission could already have the same issue and they would not warranty it for any length of time.

We traded the vehicle without repairs and were honest with the dealership about the transmission issues. It was not running at the time and had to be towed. We took a huge loss on the trade value.

I babied that vehicle since purchasing it off the show room floor in 2005. It never needed more than routine maintenance until this issue happened. At the time, I owned 3 other Nissans but because Nissan refused to address this problem, I am selling them off one by one and replacing them with other makes. I will never buy Nissan again.


problem #388

Nov 202015

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

The transmission remains in a single shift. In my case it stays in 3. The radiator cap is filled with transmission oil and coolant.

- grille, Carolina, Puerto Rico

problem #387

Oct 182015

Pathfinder LE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Radiator fluid leaked into the transmission and now it stutters. It is going to cost more than the cost of the car to get it fixed. Thought getting a second car was going to give our family some relief, but we are stuck with junk. It will be parked in our driveway till we can afford to fix it, if ever. This is such a hardship on our family. What a terrible design! I cannot believe there is not a recall for this issue!

- magdalina, Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #386

Feb 222016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

I wish that when I was purchasing this car a year ago I would have known for the poor quality was manufactured. I will do anything within my power to solicit the lack of interest Nissan has had shown with helping me resolve this issue. To my surprise it is known for this to happen with Pathfinders. That being said that the Nissan company has no interest in taking responsibility is baffling. I am so far in debt because of this issue, to say I'm livid is an understatement. I just graduated college and I am trying to start my career and I'm going to lose my new job because I don't have a car. All I wanted from Nissan was some empathy or a solution for them to offer.

- Katherine K., Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #385

Jan 012013

Pathfinder V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This vehicle financially ruined me. The transmission failed while I was still making payments on the vehicle. I couldn't afford to pay $7000 that Nissan wanted to fix it. They told me was a recalled item but since the vehicle was over a 100k I was out of luck. I am still being garnished from the credit union because they sold it for junk since it would not move or start because of the shorted safety switch in the transmission that also failed. Horrible.. just horrible Nissan needs to pay for this!

- bamabrigade, Kingsport, TN, USA

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