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 #384

Dec 142015

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,500 miles

Adding to the long list of unhappy 2005 Pathfinder owners...Engine check light came on Dec. 2015. Spent $1,500 at repair shop to supposedly fix problems, but light came back on. Finally went to Nissan dealer where they said welcome to the club...Not really. They are trained not to say anything about the 100s of complaints about this problem. Fortunately I found this website because I was about to buy an Armada, which uses the same cooling system design.

This is my last Nissan ever...

- Eric B., Frisco, TX, USA

problem #383

Feb 022016

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Transmission went out due to coolant leaking in. Transmission rebuild, new radiator, Transmission cooler added. $5,000 repair cost. If the cooler has been added and the lines rerouted there are not issues.

- Matt S., Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #382

Oct 222015

Pathfinder SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

As a lifelong customer who has owned Nissans since 1995, I'm truly disgusted with Nissan, and how they didn't recall this radiator and redesign it to never leak INTO YOUR TRANSMISSION.

There is a leak in my radiator which as gone into my transmission rendering it inoperable. Mechanics recommend to replace the entire transmission due to this massive design flaw Nissan has been well aware of for YEARS.

I’ve spoken with my Nissan dealer as well as the dealer that looked over the car when I purchased it and both said it’s a massive problem and CUSTOMERS HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING IF OR WHEN IT COULD OCCUR, AND THEREFORE NO WAY OF PREVENTING IT.

Nissan says they can't help me. I’m reaching out to automotive agencies and new organizations to spread the word.

- arbabi, Danville, CA, USA

problem #381

Apr 242015

Pathfinder V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,261 miles

It took the Nissan dealership nearly 4 weeks to fix the transmission. They wanted to "rebuild" it and after arguing about putting a new one in, they ordered a new one overseas that took forever to be delivered. They flushed the radiator but never replaced it. I ended up paying around $400 for the transmission placement out of pocket after the extended warranty. Now it's January and the transmission has started to fail again! After reading online I found that this is a reoccurring problem.

- Phyllis B., Lore City, OH, USA

problem #380

Oct 012015

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Coolant leaked into transmission. Car was completely non driveable. Had to have it towed in. Was out of a car for 5 days. Also had to get a loan just to get this repair done. I don't understand if Nissan is aware of this why it was not recalled. It left myself and my kids stranded in the middle of traffic during rush hour. You buy a car thinking its reliable and then they have all the major issue. This car has been well taken care of and serviced on time. I think this should be on Nissan

- Alyssa J., Lawrenceville, GA, US

problem #379

Jun 012015

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Was told that this is a malfunction of the Nissan company! That this is something that Nissan could have prevented by putting a bypass hose under the radiator and not taking a chance of getting radiator coolant in the transmission! Nissan should have done a RECALL and took care of this a long time ago! We had no idea that there was a class action suit and now we are screwed! This is going to cost us $4000 for something that is Nissan's fault!

- Cynthia L., Elizabeth City, NC, US

problem #378

Apr 242015

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,889 miles

When I first learned that Nissan Pathfinders "might" have a radiator/transmission problem from my dealer and that radiator replacement was recommended, I couldn't believe it. Not having money at the time to do the major recommended corrections (at full cost to me), I decided to monitor the possible problem and make the repairs if needed. Last spring I got the news that the radiator cracked and the transmission fluid had been contaminated with the coolant. I replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission fluid in hopes that the problem will be corrected. Occasionally I feel the transmission slip or shudder so I'm afraid more repairs are down the road.

After researching the web and learning this is a major problem with many Pathfinder drivers, it ticks me off that Nissan hasn't been more proactive to take care of this problem that is the fault of Nissan. I have communicated with Nissan Customer Affairs and am waiting for a response from them. This is the first time I have had a major problem with an automaker. I have always enjoyed my Nissans but this experience has definitely given me a bad impression of the company. I'm hoping they will come through and show good faith support to remedy the expenses I have incurred.

Update from May 18, 2016: It's been over a year since I sent in information regarding the repairs made and the cost that I incurred. I have not even received a courtesy letter or response to my complaint and request for reimbursement. Nissan is showing no professional courtesy whatsoever. I am totally dissatisfied with Nissan Customer Service.

Update from Sep 2, 2016: I had to replace my transmission. I again filled my complaint to Nissan and finally received a phone call from a customer service rep. after well over a year (they had a wrong number down to contact me, even though they did have my address). They told me that since I did not have my transmission and radiator worked on at a Nissan dealership, they could not honor any credit requests.

- Charlie Z., Byron Center, MI, US

problem #377

Oct 152015

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,500 miles

Have the standard NISSAN Pathfinder/Frontier leaking radiator problem, that leads to transmission failure. Very sad because it's been a very good vehicle for 10 years. Now I have to spend close to $5,000 to get 3-4 more years (hopefully) out of it. Just turned over to 90,000 miles. Damn shame, I had very good luck with my 89 Stanza.

- Joseph C., Poquoson, VA, USA

problem #376

Oct 012015

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Apparently there was a known issue regarding a radiator leaking fluid into the transmission causing the transmission to fail. I bought my vehicle a year ago with 117k miles and no one bothered to mention the issue to me. I did buy the extended warranty, but according to them, I'm out of luck because the warranty doesn't cover the radiator and the warranty doesn't cover "corrosion". I am disgusted by the way I've been treated and I feel like I've been scammed.

- Brianne G., Los Lunas, NM, USA

problem #375

Nov 092015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,497 miles

I had taken my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder in to the dealership to find out why my transmission felt like it was slipping. The mechanic called me back and told me about the radiator fluid was leaking into my transmission and both would have to be replaced along with my Catalytic Converter. They tried talking me into buying another car but this one is paid off and I out of work so I can not make payments. I was then instructed to call Nissan main office and speak to someone there. I spoke with a nice gentleman and explained to him the same thing I told the mechanic that this was not wear and tear on my vehicle that this was a design defect that the company made. When I was younger I use to drag race and pulled motors out and place them back in and had never heard of this.

I am waiting for Nissan to get back to me with their decision what they planned to do. I love my baby and she and I have been through a lot together, I just can't afford $6400.00 to replace my babies transmission and radiator, I am not working and even if I was working this is not my fault. I should not have to pay for something that is out of my control. Nissan designed and manufactured this product and now that it is flawed the consumer has to pay for it.

This is my second brand new vehicle I purchased from Nissan, if they do not take responsibility for this I don't think I can buy another vehicle from them in the future. I also had to replace my UV joint in 2011 which cost me a lot and now I am reading about different recalls on this vehicle and it makes me so sick. Please can anyone help me?

- kglass13, Petersburg, VA, US

problem #374

Oct 162015

Pathfinder LE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I have a 1994 Pathfinder LE, 1996 Quest XE , Pathfinder Armada 2004 LE and this 2005 Pathfinder LE and this is the worst experience I had about Nissan vehicles. I will never buy any vehicle from Nissan any more. I heard this problem with Nissan vehicles have been going on and they should have a recall on all of them. It is not really worth having this repair for later on it will have the same problem again with the same parts being replaced. The warranty for the replacement parts is only good for 1200 miles or 12 months. Hope people who read this will be aware about the issue.

- Rosalino G., Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #373

Oct 132015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

Apparently this is a well known and catastrophic failure issue, yet Nissan has not recalled these models nor taken enough effort to contact owners. This should be a recall issue given that by the time it is found the damage is done and repairs may be greater that the vehicle is worth.. I am really passed off at Nissan..

- drdave, Sidney, BC, Canada

problem #372

Oct 072015

Pathfinder SE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles

Nissan so called warranty of 100,000 mile (really sad warranty) added to a 2005 Pathfinder. I just started at a 146,000 miles. They won't cover and want me to pay. I think not. I'm fighting this. I'm going to find a news reporter, who wants this investigation. It also turns out that my Nissan pathfinder was made in Tennessee. Please check your vin# for that information. I have paint chipping as well. After leaving the Meridian Family Auto center in Washington state. They told me, there is radiator fluid in the transmission and gave me the report. (upset, angry and beyond mad!)

- lewishoward, Graham, WA, USA

problem #371

Aug 152015

Pathfinder LE 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My Daughter drives a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that was given to her by her grandmother about 3 years ago after her grand father passed away... very sentimental to her. In August of this year the radiator cracked and needed to be replaced. This cost was just under $1,500 for which I have receipts for from a local mechanic that I have been taking my cars to for almost 20 years.

Within 2 weeks the transmission/check engine light came on and I took it to AMMCO Transmissions and had that checked out. The transmission needed to be rebuilt for $4,800! When I started looking into this problem I found numerous websites that stated there was a class action lawsuit against Nissan North America and they were agreeing to pay part of these cost due to a identified defect in their engineering of the vehicle. Unfortunately the suit was closed in 2012? and this leaves us with a large cost for which Nissan Consumer Affairs "specialists" yes me to death for 1/2 hour and say they are "sorry" they cannot help me!

Very frustrated along with out a lot of money...of course they could help with what I find to be NOT a coincidence by offering some sort of settlement...I will continue to call their consumer affairs department until I get some sort of attention and compensation for what they have created. In the meantime, I think I will put a sign on the Pathfinder to let others know that Nissan does NOT stand behind their products NOR support their customers!

- Bob D., Cranbury, NJ, USA

problem #370

Sep 012015

Pathfinder SE 4x4 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Took the Pathfinder in to Autonation Nissan Lewisville (Texas) 5 days ago (9/18/15) and the service rep told me it was a "known issue" and that the car was under full warranty due to the recall, that it was my "lucky day". This morning I get a call saying that the warranty ran out in July and they would not honor servicing the manufacturer's defect of the radiator/transmission issues. The quote is for a $6200 replacement of transmission, radiator, hoses, and an ECM relay.

- rjboltonhorns, Coppell, TX, USA

problem #369

Jul 212015

Pathfinder LE/SE/XE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,884 miles

In 2014 we purchased a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder from a private party in Virginia for our son who attended college there great price, awesome vehicle solved our problem. He drove this vehicle for 1 year and drove back to California from Virginia this past June.

Since our daughter is moving to the east coast we thought that giving her the Nissan was a wise choice due to inclement weather etc. 1 week prior to this move my daughter was driving the Nissan to Orange County to pick up a piece of furniture, when the radiator cracked causing coolant to be forced into the transmission. This happened while driving in LA traffic in the 3rd lane the car dies difficult to move to shoulder thank god she was not killed. After waiting on the side of the highway for over 30 minutes we had the car towed to a Nissan dealer in El Cajon.

The extended warranty on the vehicle expired 10 day prior and the cost to fix was $6500 (we bought this car for $8500) we never knew of this class action suit. We were told to call 1800nissan1 to see if they could help us. I called that afternoon gave them ALL my contact info etc. I was told some would call me back the next day. No one ever called. I them back the next day and I was told that "someone was going to call me but there was no contact information in the system." I calmly gave this information to them again. I was told that our case was elevated up and a supervisor level and they would call me back.

No one calls back now remember this is Nissan consumer affairs I am dealing with. Call again and again then finally get the direct number of a person named Jeff who is suppose to call. I called and left 5 messages for him and also call the 1800 numerous times. When talking to the 800 number on 3 occasions I was told that my contact info was not in the system. I ask to speak to a supervisor they don't have them I am told and no one else cam help me. By this time I have memorized the "script" that they use. So 5 days later this Jeff person calls back. He says I don't know who you were calling, I read him the phone number and he says oh that's mine. I started to log all calls messages etc after day one call.

I am told that even if the warranty expired by 10 days the mileage was over 100,000 which null and voids any warranty. He tried to get it approved under the Good Samaritan clause but denied. If this warrant was in place our out of pocket would been $3000 not the $6500 we are looking at. I am told that if I want to buy a new Nissan I could at the employee price which could be $700 to $1500 off. If you know ANYONE THAT OWNS A NISSAN please forward this message to them. By helping someone else in this same situation will make me feel better.

- suetca, San Diego, CA, USA

problem #368

Sep 042015

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,075 miles

Recall needs to be made!!

- Giovanni V., Carolina, Puerto Rico

problem #367

Mar 032014

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Bought this car new in 2005. The Transmission appeared to be starting to slip often just during regular traffic at a little over 65K miles . On acceleration, and sometimes even at higher speeds on the highway. Took it in twice, and the service manager said they could not find anything definite, but did tell me this model was notorious for leaking coolant into transmission, and he suggested that I sell the car rather than try to have repaired, as soon as possible. Am still driving it, hoping to hold out until all of the other problems it has can be evaluated so I can not lose money just "taking it over the scales"....the "service engine light" has been a major issue as well. Evidently the gas level sensor has gone bad, and it is buried in the fuel tank which requires a complete new fuel pump. Prior to the transmission issues. One brake shoe disintegrated and destroyed lines, etc. Required $850 new brake setup. Worst car I have ever owned. No more Nissans for me.

- Larry K., Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #366

Dec 172014

Pathfinder LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

The Pathfinder shut off when my wife was driving home. The Pathfinder shut off on me driving home as well.

- Toby L., York, PA, US

problem #365

Jul 092015

Pathfinder SE 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,681 miles

I was once a huge fan of anything Nissan until this purchasing my 2005 Pathfinder. Within the first 3 years we had to have all of the rear AC lines replaced because of a leak that was discovered when we brought it in to the dealer for the issue of it not providing heat unless the car was moving. The dealer (Gerald Nissan) tried to blame that problem on user ignorance despite the problem being demonstrated and witnessed by the repair manager. Needless to say (after several coolant flushes and fills), that issue was never resolved by the dealer. We simply had to add coolant every winter to have heat in our vehicle.

Now, $5k later, I know where all the coolant was going...into the transmission! I had the repair done at a transmission specialist (Bell Transmission) because my dealer couldn't even tell me when they could look at the vehicle. They were fantastic and my Pathfinder is up and going again. The day I picked up my Pathfinder, there was an Armada being towed in with the same symptoms as my Pathfinder.

Regrettably, this will be the last Nissan I will ever purchase.

- Justin B., Aurora, IL, USA

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