Radiator fails and dumps coolant into transmission fluid destroying the transmission on Nissan Pathfinder

Average mileage: 118,876 (64,000–190,000)
Drive Trains affected: 2WD, 4WD, Automatic Transmission
5 model years affected: 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, more2008
57 people reported this problem
39 people shared problem details
This is happening to thousands of mostly 05 and 06 pathfinders. Nissan denies the problem as it usually occurs after the 80,000 mile warranty period. If your transmission still has bright red transmission fluid get it to a garage quick and request that they add a transmission cooler and eliminate the cooling loop thru the radiator. If your transmission fluid is pink then just go ahead and have the transmission rebuilt and a cooler installed. Nissan will charge you up to 6,000 for this job so go to your local transmission shop instead. Google pathfinder problems and join the list of people ripped off by Nissan, never buy another nissan product and join the class action suit against Nissan. They installed a defective radiator in these cars and refuse to take responsibility for it.
2007 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD125,000
In 2/2007 after driving my 2007 Pathfinder SE Off Road for only 3 miles, it started to slip while shifting and making loud clunking sounds. I pulled off to the side of the road and saw an odd colored liquid leaking from the coolant overflow tank. I left the car and called for a ride home. A few hours later, I went back to the car with some coolant and water, expecting that there was some sort of coolant leak. Upon opening the radiator cap and the overflow tank, I found a sludge like pudding consistency liquid. The car was towed to the local repair shop and I was told that there was a leak and the coolant system and the transmission fluid had combined. They said they see this with many Nissan trucks. I had the radiator replaced and the the transmission flushed several times until there were no remains of the sludge in the transmission. ----Cost $1,300.00 I drove the car for about a month without a problem at all, until while driving up my street the car lost all acceleration and had no forward or reverse gears. This time it went to a transmission shop. A complete rebuild was required. And, it was also suggested that we add an external transmission cooler. However, I was told the transmission computer was still ok. ----Cost $3,350.00 After receiving the car back, I drove it approx 75 miles and experienced the same loss of acceleration and no forward or reverse. Back the the transmission shop it goes. The transmission shop takes the entire transmission apart to learn the the transmission computer is bad now, which is located in the transmission. ----Cost $1,200.00 Nissan is aware of the problem - It's a design flaw. The same design is used in other trucks they make. I'm aware of the "Class action law suit" however, it doesn't help anyone who has a truck with over 100,000 miles, and considering that is when the problem develops, I find Nissan's fix ridiculous. I have now spent $5,850 to fix a problem that Nissan should have issued a full recall for. I will never ever buy another Nissan again. I've made it a point to let everyone I know to never buy a Nissan product. It's truly amazing how my local Nissan dealer wanted no part of helping me.
2007 Nissan Pathfinder- 2WD114,000
Coolant mixing into transmission. Dealer asking 6,000 to repair. What a rip OFF!!! I want buy another nissan.
2006 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD88,000
Had to put 3400 dollars in for a rebuilt transmission last year at 88,000 and just learned my radiator is spilling crap into this new one. Just passed my 100,00 mile mark. Single mother that has just recently been laid off.
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD80,300
I am still paying for a car that has been sitting in the driveway for over a year.
2006 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD68,000
Had Radiator rupture and mix coolant into transmission, destroying both of course. Noticed the issue when I drove at around 50-80 mph. Experienced hard grinding like vibrations and hesitation when this happened. Drove this way for a weeks then took into a Nissan dealer. Was told they couldn't find the issue. A mechanic rode with me to see if he could experience what I did, but would check again when I rescheduled. Meanwhile during that ride along I mentioned what I suspected it to be because I did search on the internet about the symptoms. This exact same thing is what I read people were having. Rescheduled the appointment Tuesday of this week and within an hour and half they called to inform me what I told them it could be. Radiator ruptured and leaked into transmission destroying both. $7,600 repair but luckily it was covered 100% because I purchased the 5-yr warranty 2 years ago.
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD64,000
Break in the radiator dumped coolant into the transmission and ruined it. Required replacement of both radiator and transmission. Also had timing belt on its way out when I got the car to the shop and that also required replacement. Also had a fuel gauge that wasn't working and required replacement for that. Total cost >$4800.00. Radiator/Transmission problem was a few months out of the time for full replacement and it cost me a healthy "deductible" to have it fixed - plus all the other repairs. At the time, there was less than 64000 miles on the car.
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD120,000
About 5 months ago, my pathfinder transmission started shuddering and slipping, took it to the dealership and of course they didn't have a clue what was wrong. We continued to take it to different dealerships to try and figure out the problem, after no progress I started searching online and found all these websites about the rad leaking into the tranny, well that was the problem and Nissan admitted that it was a"known"defect but since my car was past the mileage, it wasn't covered. So I got stuck with the bill and got it fixed. It's now Oct.9th/2015 and I'm starting to have the same symptoms.. I'm fed up with Nissan, their attempt to resolve the situation was pathetic, since most people who have this defective part, don't notice it until it's past the 80k mile coverage, even if it wasn't you still have to pay the $3,500 co-pay!? I will NEVER buy a Nissan again, they do not care about their customers or the quality of their products. Steer clear, Dustin
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD129,000
Had to replace transmission
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD101,000
Car overheated. That's how I found cross contamination. Waiting to here from nissan for assistance
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 2WD170,000
I have had to have mine rebuilt.
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD130,000
I have a nissan pathfinder. I never had any major issues until I notice loss in power of the vehicles and studdering while driving at 40 to 45 miles a hours. My rator had crack and contamined the transmission. There was no way of seeing this crack because it is internal. He quted me to have the whole thing replaced at $6,000. I only replaced what was broken at the time. I had to pay Nissan to get the transmission flushed and rator replaced which was close to $2,000. I asked if it was a factory default and they told me no. Now I have my check engine light going off warning me about my catylic converter. My truck is now at 130,000 miles.
2007 Nissan Pathfinder- Automatic Transmission156,000
Jus found out there was oil inside my coolant and it went inside my tranny n had a bad vibrating in the rear end I didn't fix it yet... Gonna call dealer asap
2003 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD136,000
Driving uneventfully until power loss and no power w/ engine running. Towed and diagnosis was ruptured transmission coolant line in radiator. Required new radiator and rebuild of transmission. $2K+
Tranny shuddering at speeds of 40-60 mph. My mechanic requested I take it to transmission shop for flush and fill. Walked away with $4700 bill to rebuild tranny and new radiator +. Nissan settlement closed claims in 2013. No correspondence was ever received by Nissan on this.
2006 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD113,000
found oil in rad. and recovery tank and trans oil level low.
2005 Nissan Pathfinder- 4WD180,000
We had to replace thr transmission and radiator.
In addition to the radiator replacement and transmission rebuild, it damaged the transmission module which could only be obtained from and programmed by the dealer for an extra $1300.00. Total $4500ish.
2008 Nissan Pathfinder- 2WD165,000
I have transmission problems due to leaking coolant into the transmission.
2006 Nissan Pathfinder- 2WD162,000
I had overall work done in March 2015, 2 months after having timing chain replaced, 4 catalyst convertor change, brakes done, tires done the truck starts vibrating at 40mph. We take it back to the dealer that did all the work and now he says we need a new transmission $4k. We don't have that kind of money when we just spent $4k on the work that was done.
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