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Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems



  • alisonlalisonl Posts: 30
    Here is the proof that calling into the National Highway Safety Commission is needed in order to gain attention on these transmissions.

    I just flipped my 2 Wheel Drive 2005 Pathfinder on December 30th in Pa. It was a 2 wheel drive, rear wheel and I was not aware of how awful it was in the snow. I am not sure if the VDC worked, I was in 3rd gear on pure snow (they werent plowing) and fishtailed, hit both walls and a car....saved the car, 4 days later, hit a snow drift going about 40,mph, fishtailed, went into snow bank, flipped it. It is now totaled. After this ordeal with the transmission, the bad fuel pump, the failed CD player, the faulty paint job, the bad O2 sensor....I am not surprised that it drove like hell in the snow and tipped so easily. The frame did save me, however, I crawled out alive and not one cut. Good luck with this vehicle. It was a journey with that pathfinder. Amazing learning lesson on cars and corporate companies, how they work!!!
  • I've been looking for another way to get the news out that is big. I found this page and not only is is growing but Nissan is paying attention to it. Not trying at all to stop using this great forum but just another way to push how bad this company is:
  • bmoon1bmoon1 Posts: 2
    I received the settlement letter also. Did I understand it right. That if it had over 100000 miles on it when it was fixed they won't reimburse you at all??? Mine had 131000. If so this is so unfair because its still Nissan's fault no matter how many miles were on it when it was fixed. Should I get my own lawyer? Any advise?? Thanks!!!
  • mona12mona12 Posts: 1
    YES!!! We got our claim forms in the mail today, finally it will be all over!! Eat that Nissan!!
  • katraykatray Posts: 7
    Long story short, this car literally ruined our lives. We received papers today about a class action suit to fill out. Can anyone tell us if this is legit and a way to recoup some of the money we spent on this disaster of a car? It's hard to know who to trust anymore. Thank you, Kathy
  • My wife and purchased a 2007 Nissan Pathfinder with 104,000 miles on it. The second day after purchasing it, the vehicle wouldn't start and we were 2-1/2 hours away from home. After having it towed to the nearest Nissan dealership, some 30-minutes away, the service technician informed us the transmission and engine coolant had mixed causing the vehicle not to start. After the initial cost to diagnose the problem, he estimated the repair cost at $8,000, which probably translates to around $3,000 to $4,000 without all new parts including using the same transmission housing. He also informed us Nissan has had several problems with the issue involving 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinders as well as other Nissan products during this manufacturing time period. Many people pay tens of thousands of dollars on vehicles every year and expect to vehicle to last more than 48-hours, not to mention being fair in maintaining the vehicle. It is amazing to me how the agencies who are suppose to protect both the consumer and the manufacturers, allow such problems to occur and continue at the cost to the consumer especially when the manufacturers are at fault. And Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA or "nit-suh") has been aware for some time of this issue. Something as simple as repair and/or re-routing the transmission and coolant lines to insure this issue doesn't repeat. Is that so difficult for Nissan to compute? :mad:
  • Yes, the class action suit is for real and has been settled. It is just awaiting closure in the court in the next few months. I believe if you go the website you will find information on the suit. The paperwork was part of the settlement agreement with Nissan.
  • The papers are legit....
  • My god people~ This is a no brainer... just install a seperate transmission cooler (small radiator)... then there is NO WAY for the antifreeze and transmission fluid to mix. Case solved.
    Now.... if..... you can get Nissan to pay for it, so much the better. But the point is to fix it so it will not happen again. Case closed, just do it already.

    Reminds me of the "nails on the road" story: nails are all over the road... people can't drive...solution: pick them up... or... find the truck that had a box of nails break open and make him pick them up... problem: while you waste time tracking down the offender... your tires keep going flat... so... just pick them up... fix the problem once and for all... and go on with your day.
    Look: these are veryvery good vehicles. Don't let this simple to fix problem "ruin your day". Unless that is your idea of fun.
  • katraykatray Posts: 7
    My God, unless you live under a rock or work for Nissan or maybe just not paying attention. Most people with this problem had NO idea what was happening to their car when this began. We almost all spent hundreds of dollars in the beginning having tires rotated, u joints replaced, alignments done. etc. etc. Until some of us broke done on the highway 100s of miles from home. Nissan did not admit a problem at first! That is why there is a class action law suit. Simple? Ruin our day? Ruined more than our day! How about knowing what your talking about Mr."nails on the road" Nissan are not good cars and more and more people are finding that out. Also Karma is a wonderful thing.
  • Nissan wants to kick the can down the road. If they were interested in doing the right thing for their customers they would have issued a recall and replaced the faulty components with a redesigned part.
    I'm in the process of trying to sell my Pathfinder and the two people that have come to look at it both knew about the defect and low balled my price by $2500. For those of you owning one of these defective models... Good luck trying to sell them. Resale value has fallen like a rock.
  • katraykatray Posts: 7
    We had the exact same problem. Fail safe. Towed twice, once it cost us $476. Everything the 05 Pathfinder cost us went on a credit card and we never recovered.
  • novalax6novalax6 Posts: 2
    edited January 2013
    Just for those of you that replaced your tranny and radiator after the seal broke destroying them. If Nissan did not properly flush the coolant system your engine hoses will eventually get soft and become comprimised by the petroleum base in transmission fluid. I had to get all of my hoses replaced and my new radiator was all gooed up with a substance a thick as was the material that had been disintegrated from the rubber hoses. Keep an eye for this as it takes about a year to manifest after your transmission gets wrecked. Oh and for the record, the guys at hilltop Nissan in NJ when mine went a couple years ago "claimed" that the situation was unusual and not a defect. Bunch of liars.
  • phxmotor is clearly connected to Nissan. Disgusting to even reply in this way with this dangerous huge problem. As you wrote the majority of us had no idea of the problems until they happened. I am warning people now. There is a woman who works downstairs in this office building. I had no idea which office and because her hours were different from mine I never had a chance to see her. I was tempted to leave my business card on her car with some of the information just to forewarn her. I finally ran into her one day and asked her to email me. She did and I sent her this site, the lawsuit info and more. She is so grateful. She has three sons who just received their permits and the intention was to let them use the Nissan Path for training. As she said there is no way they would be able to control the SUV if it lurched like ours did in traffic. All that saved us while going over 40 in heavy traffic was my husband quick reaction and great driving skills. phxmotor (motor???), you picked a lousy place to spout off on. Kick us when we're down already. Great way to PO all the thousands even more. Pathetic POS!
  • If the settlement is approved, which clearly shows Nissan admits they know this is a huge problem no matter what they try to claim in the lawsuit settlement, then why are they waiting for failures instead of fixing the problem. Are they waiting for someone to die? And if it is so easy to fix as phxmotor claims then why isn't Nissan doing it?
  • Gas gauge stopped working, O2 sensor causing check engine light, tire pressure light won't go off... worst of all, my drive shaft cracked while I was driving it, which caused the transmission to crack. Pulled over immediately. waited 3 hours for tow. Nissan dealer said its not covered under my warranty. Insurance is only paying $10,000 for it, as it was a total. Still owe lender $4000.
  • Ok but if you make adjustments to your car like that does your warranty get negated? I feel like Nissan would take every opportunity to cancel your warranty if they can.
  • I bought a new Nissan Pathfinder in 2006. Nissan has had the reputation of building quality products in the past, and that was a huge factor in my decision. At about 55,000 miles, my fuel gauge stopped working and the check engine light came on. I researched the problem and found that this is a common problem. Nissan had issued either a warranty extension or some sort of recall, but never notified owners of the faulty fuel sending unit. I had to purchase a new one from the dealer at an expense of $100.00 + labor.
    Soon after that repair, the check engine light came on again. This time the code was for a cam sensor, again not covered by warranty. I am only acknowledging this repair to show the pattern with this vehicle.
    Next was the catalytic converter. This was at around 80,000-85,000 miles. I started to wonder if the years of building top level vehicles was over at Nissan.
    Which brings me to the problem I have now. Nissan apparently noticed a pattern of transmission cooler failures causing coolant to mix with the transmission fluid causing failure in the transmission as well. There is no external leakage, so if you don't know about the problem from another source, the only sign will be when the truck breaks down. I took my Pathfinder to a repair shop and was told $2000.00 to repair the transmission in addition to the new radiator and trans cooler.
    There are numerous forums online with people having this same problem. Nissan extended the warranty for the radiator, but not the transmission. They also deny any manufacturing defect and I received no notice about a warranty extension. Consumers have to be made aware of these bad business practices because manufacturers will not change if we are ignorant of their tactics.
  • 2005-10 Nissan Pathfinder, truck, and any other similar problematic automatic transmission.
    My wife’s Pathfinder just had the “Shudder” problem. With only 76k miles on it I was surprised that anything was wrong. My wife described the problems EVERYONE has complained about on the blogs.
    I was able to recover our Pathfinder without much problems. Now I only have basic mechanics know how but enough to not pay an mechanic for SOME things—I am not a transmission technician!
    However, I want to make sure everyone knows how to correctly FLUSH YOUR AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION with better then average success hopefully –this is what I did and have found:
    1. After the radiator has been cooled (actually cold. You can get burned if you open the radiator cap when hot – caution!)
    A. Open the radiator cap and see if there is any contamination of any kid. Big or small contamination should be noted. Flush your radiator and related items (over flow) thoroughly and add new anti-freeze (50/50). Make sure you use “green” anti-freeze to distinguish between other liquids.
    B. I replaced the radiator cap. If it is defective the coolant will not have the pressure inside the radiator to circulate the water cooling properly and may run hotter than normal or over heat. Now food for thought. If the water over heats, will this cause the transmission heat exchanger’s o-ring to break giving you transmission/coolant contamination? Stant part number “10233” only cost me $8.55 with tax. Good insurance at a low cost! I have seen other people replace on a vehicle’s water pump, belts, ratidator, anti-freeze to only find out the problem was the radiator cap that they needed when the vehicle would over heat. Trust me the quality of Nissan’s original cap is at leat questionable. When you see the replacement you will see the difference.
    2. Drain your Transmission fluid (screw available).
    3. remove Transmission pan and oil filter replacement. There is aprox. 16 #10 screws on the filter.
    4. Look inside the transmission pan for metal filing or similar –take a picture for future reference.
    A. If it looks sort of silky it is ok or I should say it is normal to have real fine silk like material at the magnet area located at the bottom of the pan. You may be in good shape to continue with the process and “probably” be ok (silky). This is what I had.
    B. If you have “metal” filing small and of big sizes. Ouch! Probably evidence of major problem. How can I give you a picture on the difference? Remember in high school science class with the metal filing and a magnet, if the metal filing are similar to that or bigger you may or may not benefit from the flush. I would save the used transmission fluid and I would filter it with a lint free cloth or similar for use just in case (you don’t have anything to loose).
    Note: I have read and heard that if the transmission has less then 80k miles you may do a flush with NEW fluid without any “slippage” problem. However, if you have over 100k miles and never done a transmission oil change that you are better off not doing a flush. But you should remove and water out. I would save the old oil for reuse if there is slippage. How do I do this (moisture removal)? Let it sit in a transparent container (dry 1 gallon water contianiner is what I used) and the water will fall to the bottom or slowly boil the water out. Use Sea Foam may be better.
    Notice even if you have just a bit trace of some mixture-- remove.
    5. Carefully replace the transmission filter with a new one (save that one for future reference if you are to take it to the mechanic). Mine was NOT clogged I reused it. (Clean it first though).
    6. Replace pan gasket and fasten the screws. Actually I reused my factory gasket, but recommend a new one—at least on the last flush.
    7. Place an external transmission oil cooler if you are in an hot area BYPASSING factory radiator (junk) cooler or replace radiator. Note: It is a known fact that the cooler the transmission oil is the longer the transmission will generally last.
    8. Now the most important part to me with THIS transmission (or contaminated xmission) is that you have other goodie that most transmission do not have—more on this later. I have read all sort of GOOD advice about the transmission/anti-freeze mixing (contamination) and their symptoms—get familiar with them! But I have not seen (or I missed it) on what to do if you have contamination OTHER than flushing or I should say IN ADDITION TO flushing for this transmission!
    Well it is important to remove ALL humidity out of the transmission system, including the torque converter, valve body, etc. One important information that you should know about this transmission. The Transmission Control Module is located within the valve body. How crazy is that! A computer like device. One of the things that kills electronics is high temperature. Now electronics require connectors in order to communicate with other devices external to them. Water (anti-freeze or “contamination”) is another thing that is not good for comunications, so if water is in the transmission you need to get it out. Two ways to remove water out. 1. remove the transmission out and open it out. This is where I would pay a transmission technician for. Or 2. Chemically remove water out. I used SEA FOAM Trans Tune. Why? It is a conditioner, cleans gum and varnish, REMOVES MOISTURE, smooths rough and erratic shifting in automatic transmission, cleans and DRIES hydraulics. According to Sea Foam …”Trans Tune breaks moisture down into molecules and disperses it throughout the system to aid in faster evaporation”… There are other products, but I would only use a product that will concentrate on moisture removal primarly and I would NOT use stop leak additive since may cause other problems down the road!
    Now more on why moisture removal. You see this transmission has some electric contacts inside the unit and solenoid/relays in addition to TCM. This is an electrical/mechanical item may not work properly if contaminated. You may get intermittent shudder problems. Now if the relay activates, but may not move entirely mechanically speaking you may get intermittent shuddering symptoms. Maybe, just maybe this was partially what I had. No codes, just shudder at 5th with low load at about 40 MPH. If I accelerated, it would stop, same as other wrote on blogs…
    In my case I did have slight oil contamination in the RADIATOR (barely caught it) I did NOT SEE any in the bottom of the trans oil pan. Though it does not mean there wasn’t any inside the system! At approximately $4.50, good insurance not expensive.
    9. I added Sea Foam Trans Tune, and 5-6 quarts of transfluid with the addition of the oil cooler.
    10. After slow driving as low as 10 miles I noticed reduced shuddering and after 25-30 miles the shuddering problems had go away! I wanted to make sure I went some distance to evaporate any humidity in th
  • I had my 05 pathfinder fixed for this issue at around 75k at a local shop that is not a "Nissan Authorized" service center. I wonder if they will reimburse for the repairs since I was unaware of this at the time. Since the settlement didn't exist there was no way I would know it has to be repaired by a Nissan authorized center. Anyone heard of people getting reimbursement for this type of situation? -Doug
  • felomonfelomon Posts: 2
    Nope. i am in the hole for 6000 :P
  • bw1bw1 Posts: 1
    any new updates on who to send complaints to regarding this well known radiator/transmission problem with the 2005 Pathfinders? Just got the diagnosis on ours.
  • jgirl82jgirl82 Posts: 1
    Well, I haven't had the transmission completely shut down on me but I do have some serious vibration happening while sitting still idling. It's not constant but it's definitely noticeable when it happens. I just bought this Pathfinder about a year ago and it now has 83,000 miles on it. Planning on doing the bypass this weekend and probably replacing the radiator in a couple weeks. I called my extended warranty to ask them about covering it if it does go out (to avoid having to pay Nissans ridiculous and insulting "deal") because my deductible with them is only $100. Well, guess what.......they wouldn't cover it because Nissan is offering a "deal" to get it fixed. Are you serious Nissan?!?!? So, not only am I now riding my children around in a vehicle that could just stop working at any moment and leave my childrens and my life in danger on a busy road BUT you send me an offensive offer of $2500 now or $3000 later and now I can't even use the extended warranty I paid for because you are offering said deal!! So, how many more ways can you screw your customers Nissan?!?!? I LOVE my Path, this is our second Nissan. We were seriously becoming a Nissan family but NO MORE!! I refuse to buy a product that the makers don't stand behind. Something has GOT to be done about this. Nobody in this day has an extra few grand laying around. Nissan has been nothing but purely negligent in this matter. Somehow we have to hold them responsible and I'm sorry but that settlement offer is a slap in the face. To be honest...........My Camry has well over 100 thousand miles and I'm not saying that they haven't had recalls because it has BUT THEY RECALL IT and fix it at NO CHARGE to the customer. That's how it's supposed to be Nissan. How will you survive if you lose all those repeat customers?!? We were just talking about looking at a new Pathfinder in a few months but not anymore. Unless you all man up and fix this problem for the thousands of people on so many different threads I have been reading through. Not to mention that the blue book for these things have dive bombed and now we can't even get what we owe on it because no other dealer wants to touch it with a 10 foot pole!! I am just so outraged at the behavior of Nissan with this. There are people on here who have already had to pay, without a vehicle and can't get to work to pay for said repair, people almost getting into bad accidents and Nissan just sits there, with their thumb up their ......

    Sorry, rant is now over. :)
  • alisonlalisonl Posts: 30
    There is a civil case opened in New York. I was sent information the mail regarding the case. I had to send in my receipts from Nissan who replaced my transmission/radiator and THANKFULLY they had on the paperwork it was due to mixing...and such. The cost...make sure you keep every ounce of paperwork and very descriptive reasoning why the parts are being replaced.
    You'd have to go back in these replys to find the actual Law Firm but I know it's in New York. What I'm getting from it is that Nissan admits that "customers are unhappy" but do not admit to the faulty parts so they may just settle anyway because they are about customer satisfaction and happiness...sickening. but corporate lawyers for ya.
  • wesbcwesbc Posts: 9
    Experience a catastrophic failure of the transmission this Saturday where the hose clamp failed and spew transmission fluid all over the road. Vehicle lost power and would not accelerate past 30mph. We barely made it to a parking lot with smoke coming out of the engine bay. Dealer told me there was a bulletin to replace the hose clamp so how come owners were not notify. This is a safety hazard and I had my entire family in the vehicle.

    Currently they said they will only replace the radiator and hose but not the transmission which is unacceptable. The transmission has been compromised with running without fluid. I no longer feel safe driving the vehicle. Currently have a case open with Nissan.

    Add insult to injury, the dealer have damaged my NEW Pathfinder with a nasty dent on the rear tailgate. Apparently the car was rolling backward and they had to stop it immediately and when the push on the rear it dented it. And it's not just a small dent where you can repair with paintless dent removal, it actually cracked the paint with ripples on the body which require major body work and repaint. Who moves a nearly 5000lb vehicle without someone in the vehicle to apply the breaks if necessary.

    This car have less than 3500 miles, not even first oil service and already have a major failure and now body damaged by careless dealer.

    First Nissan and likely last.
  • My wife and I purchased the 2013 Pathfinder to tow a trailer, and drive through the mountains. It went up a steep winding mountain road with ease, we were very satisfied with it as far as that goes.

    When it came time to go back down we shifted into low to have the engine help maintain speed and to keep from overheating the brakes. The transmission never downshifted, we tried tow mode, everything we could think of to get the transmission to downshift. In the end on a 7 mile long road we had to stop 4 times to let the brakes cool.

    We called in to report our problem with Nissan, and they had us take it to the closest service center to have it checked out. The technician was very careful with his wording, and told me that it is "working as designed" which was true.

    Aside from the technician I can't seem to get anyone else with Nissan to understand the issue as none of them live anywhere near mountains.

    It is a serious safety issue, and I hope they fix it because I have always had good luck with Nissans in the past and I would hate to take it back over this because we really like the vehicle but as it stands we can not safely do what we purchased it for.
  • We experimented with our Pathfinder, apparently the transmission will not downshift below 25mph, when engine braking above 25 it will actually upshift at 25. At highway speeds it works pretty good for the size of engine it has, but if you find yourself on a tight slow steep mountain road it can still be pretty harry coming down.
  • How do I join n this lawsuit. I also have 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE with this intermix problem.
  • njkielnjkiel Posts: 1
    My 2008 Pathfinder is now in the shop for transmission and radiator replacement. Fortunately, it only has approximately 50,000 miles on it and the 6 year warrantee won't be up until July. I guess the 25 day wait on parts and service is because I won't have to pay. I do have a problem with the fact that they will be using a refurbished transmission that will only have a 12-month 12000 mile warrantee.
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