Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems



  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    It would never hurt, (in my opinion), to bypass the transmission cooler in the radiator, and not use it. Example- coolant in the radiator runs, at 210? What would the temperature of the transmission fluid be? Probably 200 degrees? Okay say you bypass the cooler in the radiator and put an aftermarket cooler on it.What then would temperature of the fluid be? My guess it would be no hotter than the outside air temperature! And guess what else? Your two fluids could never mix again! Your transmission runs cooler prolonging its life, and its not putting any extra heat into your coolant! :shades:
  • xtierraxtierra Member Posts: 55
    would you guys that have radiator failure post your vin#'s to try to determine the production time for your nissan.
    if nissan will not do a re-call, then we can begin to determine what manufacturing date the problem began at.
  • lunker2323lunker2323 Member Posts: 1
    Hi everyone, new to the forum.... I have an 05 pathy that i absolutley love. The problem is i was having some concerns with the tranny. On a cold start, the tranny would enter well into reverse, but when i put it in drive, you could feel the tranny kick in, and then about 1 second later, you could feel another lurch like it went into gear again. After several times at the shop with the "can't replicate" go away attitude, I took the head mechanic into my vehicle and did it for him. Long story short, not sure what's wrong, but replacing the control valve assembly (brains of tranny?) under warranty.

    Now my question....I understand a number of 05-08 pathy's have had to replace trannys as the radiator leaks into the tranny cooler and wrecks it all.

    Mine is still fine as my fluid is not contaminated, but I'm considering installing an aftermarket tranny cooler and bypassing the stock one entirely to avoid any possible contamination. I live in Alberta, Canada which can get some really COLD winters. Dealership recommended i NOT install one as the winters are too cold and would not allow the ATF to flow properly. They suggested changing coolant every 50,000kms so that it doesn't eat away at the stock cooler in the radiator

    Anyone install an aftermarket??? Anyone know what I'm talking about???
  • sweetlovesweetlove Member Posts: 1
    My 05 pathfinder had been slipping when lifting my foot off the gas to turn. We took it in and it took literally 2 days for them to find the hole in my radiator that leaked liquid into my transmission. They said the transmission was brown when they flushed it and continued to be brown. So they flushed it again. At this point they had no idea about the hole. Well I googled the problem to see if it was something everyone was experiencing and I found this forum. They charged us $300.00 for the radiator and as far as the transmission goes they want to charge between $2-4k depending on if we use new or used parts. I am so pissed. Called the dealer they said they hadn't heard about this before. I told them about this site they said these sites could be exaggerated. Yeah ok! So after only 70k miles I am basically putting a brand new car together. Never again will I buy a Nissan. I will tell everyone I know not to buy Nissan. They wont help me I wont help them. This car needs to be re-called!!!!!! Please let me know, anyone if there are any other options that I might have! Thanks.
  • trentsteeltrentsteel Member Posts: 8
    Based on the feedback from the forum, I want to check my tranny fluid. I'm having trouble finding where I can do this and the manual says see the dealer. So how can I do this myself and what should I look for? If I get my fluid changed, what should I request the mechanic look for?

    Also, how major is it to replace a timing chain. I need to get this done (under warranty), but am just wondering what my truck has to go through and if there are any long term risks.

    With the warranty soon up, I'm getting worried!
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    The dipstick is on the left side of the engine (facing motor, standing in front of the vehicle) it is up against the firewall (dashboard). Check in park or neutral with engine
    running and warm on level ground.You have a timing belt, not a chain, unless I am seriously mistaken. If you don't get the belt changed and it breaks, you can damage valves and/or heads. If the belt needs to be changed, (see manual on belt change interval)
    might as well change the water pump. I can't stress this enough, changing the water pump is cheap insurance! If your water pump leaks on your new belt, it will ruin it. (It will make it prone to drying out causing it to break.) :shades:
  • trentsteeltrentsteel Member Posts: 8
    Just got off to the phone with the dealer and my 2005 Pathfinder transmission fluid has been contaminated by coolant. They are looking deeper into the problem (says they haven't seen it before). I'm still with powertrain warranty so stay tuned...
  • 05nispath05nispath Member Posts: 1
    I have an 2005 Nissan Pathfinder that mixed coolant and transmission fluid due to the internal cooler in the radiator leaking. I noticed the problem when the transmission started to shift late at a higher RPM than normal, and it had a shudder in it when driving at highway speeds while in overdrive at low RPM's. I checked the transmission fluid, and found a strawberry milkshake when I pulled the dipstick. The dipstick is bolted down by a 10 millimeter bolt by the way, and when you are having your car serviced make sure they check the transmission fluid because my local quick lube was not checking it, even though their paper work said it was checked and okay. Since I am a shadetree mechanic, I replaced the radiator myself which cost about $200. I drained the transmission fluid and refilled it several times to try to get all of the contaminated fluid out of the transmission. Once the coolant was out of the transmission, the transmission shifted better and I thought I was out of the woods.... but that was not the case. The coolant/fluid mixing started at around 80,000 miles and at 98,000 miles, the trans slips so bad it is no longer drivable. After speaking to several transmission techs I learned that the glue used to secure the clutch material to the thin metal plates is water based and the clutch material will come off the plates after they absorb the water and coolant and circulate through the transmission- not good at all. I don't think I would waste my money on a flush again, I must have put $200 worth of fluid in it.

    A local transmission shop is about to rebuild the tranny at a cost of around $2100 including a remanufactured torque converter.

    This is obviously an engineering or manufacturing problem. The other thing i notice is that most of the affected vehicles are 2005 models.... I think Nissan should take some responsibility here, but it probably isn't going to happen. I think the main reason why Nissan refuses to warranty these transmissions is because they do not manufacture them. The 5 speed auto is actually manufactured by a japanese transmission company called JATCO. Nissan simply buys them and puts them in, and I am sure JATCO is not going to give Nissan a free transmission because their poorly designed radiator/cooler broke.

    From what I see just on this site alone, this has happened to way too many people.. Can you say class action? Sign me up!

    If you have one of these vehicles and this has not happened to you YET, have an external transmission cooler installed on your vehicle and make sure the fluid does NOT go through the radiator AND the external cooler. They work better than the factory setup and you will not have worry about this happening to you. At $75 to $100 the external coolers are cheap insurance.
  • boldinboldin Member Posts: 1
    My 2005 Pathfinder started to shudder at 40-45 MPH and Monday gave me an error code P1706 which is the PNP switch. 2 days later, it won't start because the computer thinks it's in gear. Now the mechanic tells me that the radiator has ruptured intot he transmission. He told me that there's a lot of this type problem with the Nissan products. I called Nissan Copr Affairs and complained but was told they will not assist in any of the repair cost.

    I've had at least one Nissan in my driveway for the past 25 years. Never again if this is the treatment from a loyal customer.
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8

    I guess i have the same issue as some of you with radiator fluid in transmission. Just found this out because of this page. ThX !!! Had issues with my 05 this past weekend, took in for diagnostic at nissan. Before I called for my results next morning my boss happen to log onto here and was able to tell me about these discussions going on. I then called Nissan and was told " you have tranny issues and there not good". I said "why cause there is fluid in my tranny"? Tech responded "how u know" LOL

    BUT..Now I have an issue as my warranty has expired and Im getting NO help from my initial conversations with Nissan Corporation , although I'm awaiting a supposed "goodwill" review, but know its all BS. With this not really being wear in tear I dont feel Im responsible. As seen on here Im not the only one dealing with nissan's faulty parts but what can be done without having warranty any longer?????? Has anyone heard anything as far as a possible re-call??? any advice help, appreciate it !! and Let's get Nissan to pay !!!
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    Same problem here !! I was told to replace enrtire tranny and radiator, looking at 5-7K !!!! Need to get enough people complaining to Nissan about this, so they can do something about it as I believe their radiatord were faulty, what else would breakdown the wall between the tranny fluid and coolant?
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    same thing happened here !!!! this was due to a faulty Nissan radiator, need to start making them know this issue is out there !!!!!!!!
  • xtierraxtierra Member Posts: 55
    i cant believe that the radiator is listed as a 36,000 mile warranty item.... it should be at least 100,000 miles on it.
    for those concerned, it seems that corrocion is what is eating the radiator inside so your coolant has to be pure and not worn or diluted over time with heat. you can find online cooltrak test strips.......... this will help everyone determine the purity of their coolant. i have personally flushed my radiator 3 times so far just to be safe.
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    I actually have a file/claim into nissan Corporation. has anyone else tried to put in a claim or called them on it. Im awaiting a call from them to see if they are willing to help with cost out of "goodwill".
  • jbaumerjbaumer Member Posts: 8
    I have an 06 Pathfinder, seems most or all the transmission/radiator problems listed are 2005 Pathfinders. Are the 06's or later having the same probllem?
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    haven't heard any 06 being part of this. Might be in luck.
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    fummy my dealer just suggested i go after my insurance on my water issue into radiator, they do know something is going on, but don't wanna fess up. I have a complaint into North american corp. Nissan needs to become liable!!!!!!!!!!!
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    anything new on this issue. I have the same thing going on im after warranty, but i do have ny car at Nissan. Im awaiting Northern Cal rep to get back with me on the goodwill policy.
  • jetawayjetaway Member Posts: 14
    Do you all have to replace your trans? The coolant should take a while to do damage to the trans.Why not try bypassing the radiator with an external cooler and then have the trans purge flushed.Unless you are already having major internal problems.
  • nissanvictimnissanvictim Member Posts: 1
    I have just discovered that I have the radiator leakage problem on my 2005 nissan pathfinder. Just wondering what steps I should take with this issue as my warranty is out.
  • sf05findersf05finder Member Posts: 8
    Sorry to say but just as I was told by Nissan SOL because warranty is out. I have since taken mine to a shop and I'm paying out of pocket. I have filed a claim with BBB (better business beurea). Hopefully we all can make Nissan aware of this issue and get them to re-call and pay for this s$#@$!!!
  • kswiss8879kswiss8879 Member Posts: 3
    i have a '93 pathfinder xe 6-cylinder, with 235,000 mi. i don't want to get rid of it if possible, but the reverse isn't working. it won't back up, but put it in drive and it will take off like nothing is wrong. any suggestions. the car pretty much as the orginal parts on it still, i just kept a oil change and a tune up on it.
  • rickm3rickm3 Member Posts: 1
    Hello and thanks for your help in advance. I own a 1995 pathfinder 6 cyl. 4WD . I have started hearing a noise when I slow down , (if you can imagine a tin can with a handful of marbles rolling around )
  • boonissanboonissan Member Posts: 9
    My advise, take it to the dealer and insist that they replace the transmission/radiator even through the warranty has expired. If the dealer says no contact Nissan directly. The number for complaints/problems is in your manual. I was told by Nissan that if I had taken my pathfinder to a dealer they might have paid for all or partial of the repair even through it was after warranty. "They look at them on a case by case basis". I was told that they would have still look at the vehicle even through it was pulled apart at another tranny repair shop. They told me they can't reimburse me for any of my cost (5,000) since a dealer did not look at it. Also, another reason to contact the main Nissan number is if there is a recall eventually you might be entitled to a reimbursement at a later time. You put your complaint/problem on file with them. Good Luck!!!!
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    Most likely it is what is called the "brake band". When you shift into reverse, a plunger clamps down on the forward clutch pack (like a noose) and "locks it up" causing the gears to rotate the opposite way (which is reverse). Suffice it to say, the band needs replacing, which isn't expensive for the part, (around $20.00 is what I paid when I built my transmission.) but does require pulling the transmission. I know that's probably what you didn't want to hear, but it is what it is. However there is an adjustment on the top right side of the transmission. (it's a nut and requires an allen wrench to tighten.) You can try loosening the nut, (If you can even get to it with the transmission installed), then rotate the allen screw in the nut clockwise thus tightening the brake band. The band itself has a friction lining which has probably worn off over the years, which means the metal of the band will be running on the metal of the clutch pack causing metal dust to go through the transmission. (not good). My advice is this:
    if you want to keep the Pathfinder, rebuild the transmission. Two wheel drive transmissions in these things are a cinch to remove if you have any mechanical knowledge. ( you never said two or four wheel) Four wheel drive transmissions are much harder to remove, but it can be done. At 235,000 miles, your transmission probably needs rebuilding anyway.I bought the manual for it on e-bay. Good luck! :shades:
  • kswiss8879kswiss8879 Member Posts: 3
    Thank You so much for that info. I have to admit that i was happy at the beginning of the message to know that it was probably something simple like the brake band, but of course i continued to read the rest and got depressed again. Well anyway i will certainly give your idea a try and see how much it would be to do all of that, i don't know how to fix cars like that. (i wish i did) and by the way it was a 2wd. I do want to keep it, but at the same time need to do something, keep paying insurance and tag renewal every year on a car that doesn't work. (it's been almost two yrs now). thankyou again "lildavidjax", i really appreciate it.
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    This just happend today I was in park running engine ,automatic , and stepped on the brake and near the shifter console a clik noise happends when I step on the brake ,then when I put it in drive its quiet, it sounds llike RELAY OR SELINOID click, anybody ever have this noise? thanks for suggestions a 2003 pathfinder only 47K on it
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    It's your shift lock releasing so your shifter will move. It's a safety feature to keep the shifter from moving into any gear without the brake pedal being depressed. It's always happened, you just probably never heard it before. my '93 has it too. Have a great one! :shades:
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    yes your right I never noticed it before because I always push the [non-permissible content removed] lock in the same time I step on the brake. It could have gotten a little louder but it does work
  • danscdansc Member Posts: 4
    From my comment on April 21st of 2009, and I quote:
    "So, I did not have the failed radiator issue and since my rig only has 57,200 miles on it Nissan is replacing the transmission for me at their expense under the original factory warrantee. I should note that I am the second owner on this rig, I’m glad that Nissan’s warrantees follow the vehicle and not ownership. "

    Guess what? Over the past week the rig developed a heavy shudder when at low RPM and driving on a slight incline, typically when the cruise control was active and running between 35-45 MPH.

    I took it back to the dealer service department and they have determined that the replacement transmission is bad, good thing it was still under the 12 month / 12,000 mile replacement warrantee. Get this - the radiator is leaking into the transmission fluid now (!!!) the dealer is covering the transmission but now wants me to pay $663 to replace the radiator (sigh). This is the original issue that I presented to them as my primary concern back in April.

    Once I get the rig back I'm going to drive it for another 12-18 months then get something else (Non-Nissan!) before the problem re-develops and have to to pay for it myself out of pocket.

    Anyone at Nissan paying attention? You are losing formerly happy customers due to this obvious issue!

    Is there anyone out there still driving an 2005 Pathfinder that hasn't developed any transmission issues (hard shifting, shuddering, lurching)? I strongly suggest that you might consider moving on to a new rig sooner than later.
  • matt188matt188 Member Posts: 2
    I recently bought a 2005 pathfinder LE with 2wd. Is this problem happening with 2wd and 4wd? Does anyone know if this was confined to a particular plant or manufacture date range? Mine has 45k, any suggestions on how to approach the radiator leaking into the transmission issue proactively?

    Thank you.
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    From what I have been reading in these forums, it is ALL 2005 Pathfinders. It seems that the company that manufactured the radiators obviously had a problem.I know you probably don't want to hear this, but if I were in your shoes, it would be a helluva lot cheaper just to change the radiator or bypass the the cooler in the radiator altogether by putting an aftermarket transmission cooler on it.Good luck!
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    Yes the other guy is right and its a lot cheaper to By pass the radiator and just plug to two tranny lines that were going through it so if they should ever leak internally at least the water wont come out . those bypass tranny cooler kits are on JC whitney web sites less than a $1oo.oo
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    what type and brand of fluids should I use in the rear end gear housing and the front drive housing on my 2003 path nissan LE V6 Automatic [Note] my first time 4 wheel drive vehicle, thanks any one :)
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    should you put the 4 wheel selector on a few times to circluate the oils or fluids when you drive in 2 wheel selection all summer say for 3 months ?
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    Any 90 weight gear lube will do.
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    Can't hurt! But it's NOT good to do so on a dry road, (unless it's dirt).4 Wheel is supposed to be used only on slippery (wet) surfaces or loose (sand and gravel) surfaces. Doing so on a dry paved road can cause gears to bind thus causing undue stress on the 4 wheel part of the drive train. :shades:
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    you mean [Its not a good] practice just to circlate the oils to put it in 4 wheel auto for about 3 turns around an empty parking lot ,if this is so what about the possibility that when it snows and you do use it you may have leaks or hard shifting? :confuse:
  • nissan_mannissan_man Member Posts: 2
    This past June I bought my first vehicle. It's a '95 Nissan Pathfinder SE V6 auto. I LOVE it! But one thing that concerns me a little bit is when I am backing up and am making a turn there is a slight popping feeling from the rear wheels. It seems to do it mostly when I'm turning, and it will do it on asphalt or on dirt. Also, very rarely when I'm pulling out while giving it a little more gas to get up to speed (Not flooring it or anything like that) there is the same momentary shudder or pop while it's pulling out.

    It doesn't seem to do as much anymore, but I still notice it now and again. It feels as though for a brief moment something is slipping somewhere. I'm wondering, is it possibly the transmission?
  • jan48jan48 Member Posts: 1
    I also have the same problem. Took in today. Will cost about $5,000.00 to replace transmission and radiator. Call Nissan North Amer. to file complaint. Now checking on starting a class action law suit for help. Anyone have more suggestion.
  • trentsteeltrentsteel Member Posts: 8
    What is surprising is the inconsistency with both the prices for replacement/repair and Nissan's response to the problem. Mine happened with just under 60,000 miles and first they replaced the radiator and flushed the transmission at no charge. Once the transmission started acting up again (after about 1,000 additional miles), they replaced the transmission, again at no charge. No excuses at all about the radiator causing the problem.
  • srexy1srexy1 Member Posts: 7
    Victim # 14,265,000..(kidding) Just put in the shop today. Service manager was surprised that I knew exactly what was wrong with it... Tells me it will cost $5,100.00. '05, 108,000 miles. I had it sitting in the driveway for almost a month before deciding to get a 'loan' to get it fixed. It would be nice if I could pay off a vehicle completely before dealing with issues like this. This is my second consecutive new Nissan product (out of warranty) with a major repair prior to paying off the initial loan. If anyone knows friends/family with this vehicle, direct them to this forum and warn them ASAP. My thought is that this will end up with lawyers and a bunch of unhappy customers. I think we are the initial wave of victims, and as others reach higher mileage totals, they too will have the same issue...
  • srexy1srexy1 Member Posts: 7
    Per someone's request on here, Vin number for my 2005 Pathfinder with the radiator/transmission issue is: 5N1AR18W95C712047

    Hopefully others will do the same.... Thanks...
  • larry141larry141 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 96 LE pathfinder--I think it has a sensor problem--While driveing after it warms up it sometimes goes into a downshifting mode and the RPM jumps up and after awhile it will shift back to a higher gear.It has gotten bad over time.I think it may be a heat sensor in the transmission but I am not sure.Has anyone had this problem--Sometimes it will change gears 3 or 4 times in a short time.Never does it when it is not warmed up Thanks
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    theres a speed sensor in the tranny usually on the side, let a good tran ny guy look at it and adjust it or replace it.:sick:
  • joseph12566joseph12566 Member Posts: 3
    The mechanic told you the right thing, I have 2006 pathfinder and it does the same on slope roads in terms of being in drive but it would role back alittle which is normal.I wouldn't shift gears on the slope or even park on it to be honest with you because the owners manual said that the pathfinder should be parked on even grounds.
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    What is your question the roll back or not shifting? :confuse:
  • srexy1srexy1 Member Posts: 7
    How's that class action suit coming? My issue with all of this is... If I hadn't done any searching about the problem online, I would have never known about it. I took it into service and already had it diagnosed for them. Nissan has obviously known about the problem for some time now. You would think they would have informed their customers about it so they could have the option to do some preventative maintenance, if nothing else. Even out of warranty. I would much rather have replaced my radiator, instead of the radiator and transmission. But wasn't given the choice...
  • 99accent99accent Member Posts: 237
    was this a radiator defect or the tranny :confuse: cooling lines iside the radiator defect?
  • jk05mdxjk05mdx Member Posts: 16
    As I understand it the main problem is not really with the radiator itself but with the transmission fluid cooling line within the radiator that is prone to failure. The solution is not replacing the radiator but by-passing the cooling line within the radiator so that even if the cooling line eventually fails the possibility of coolant contaminating your transmission fluid is completely eliminated.
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