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Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems



  • I've been on the Pathfinder forum for two or more years now, so far that I've seen, Nissan North America has done absolutely nothing !
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    I hope your right on the 2003 is safe,if so I wonder what they goofed on the internal line in the newer models radiators?? :confuse:
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    I bought this 2003 pathy from my daughter and she tells me she left the 4 wheel auto on all summer and nothing happened , I read the manual and it say's to use it on slippery paved roads,[wet roads]? so which is correct , and should you take it out of automatic 4 wheels before you shut the engine off in park ,if I dont take it out sometimes I notice a little forward pull ,and then it slips right into park is this normal :cry:
  • was your radiator under warranty when this occured?
  • I just took delivery of my 06 Pathfinder LE. After going through this thread and reading in similar ones of the frequent occurrence of the failure of the transmission fluid cooler in the radiator mostly in the 05 models and a few 06s, I decided to do the bypass without wasting time. Fortunately, The line had not failed. The fluid was clear and kind of dark red but clear.

    The bypass itself was quite easy and straight forward without needing to buy anything. Plugged the long hose to other end of the radiator and connected the short hose to line where I disconnected the long hose from. Just a small quantity of fluid drained out mainly from the radiator line which I poured back into the transmission through the dipstick.

    We will see how it goes when I start driving it alot.

    To all 06 owners, I will suggest you don't wait to find out if 06s are affected as that would be costly. Judging from what is posted on the threads, it seems the failure is time based, hence 05s are affected now, I won't be surprised if more of 06 complaints are recorded in 2010 and beyond. Do the bypass and rely only on the factory fitted cooler installed in front of the radiator.

    I will keep you posted!
  • Hi, Can you give me a detailed step on how to do the bypass? I have a 2006 pathfinder and was going to do a flush on the 28th of this month since I have not done one in the last 30,000 miles. Maybe this bypass will be better for me for the long term . Thanks!
  • Hey, disregard the previous email. I just saw the Link u gave on the Bypass. thanks!
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    Hi I cant find the bypass link ,can you post it ,Thanks
  • I bought a 05 pathfinder used last December. I recently have had many problems w/ it. I needed a new fuel sensor and a cataltic converter! I also noticed my transmission was driving a little hard. Well turns out that the radiator went up and the antifreeze went into my transmission. I had the radiator replaced, and now I am waiting to here back from Nissan my car is 190 miles OVER warranty! I'm hoping that they will acknowledge that this is an on going problems w/ the 05's. I had a Nissan before this and had no problems so thats why I got another one! If I knew it was going to be so problematic I would not have purchased another one. Has anyone tried to call nissan after the car had gone over warranty to see if they would fix it? This makes me so frustrated because I have taken to place to see if they could tell what was wrong with it and they kept telling me it was driving fine! If someone would have took the time and done the job correctly I could have had this covered under warranty. :mad:
  • Sad to hear this.. I know how it feels... Its a common problem with Nissan. At what mileage did you purchase it? I have an 06' Model and luckily I figured that my Catalytic Converter is bad last month and I got it fixed under Warranty yesterday through the Nissan Dealership. I was this close not to get it replaced under warranty cause' my mileage is 78800.
    Check other forums online to see if some Folks got it fixed at the Dealership under warranty after high miles. Best wishes!
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    Warranties for really high mileage used cars
    If your car has high mileage, yes you can indeed get a warranty to cover your vehicle. Call NationWarranty directly for this at (866) 769-1773, you may prefer talking to a human who can answer all your questions about warranties. They have an "any year/any miles" program, no age limit, no mileage limit on your car. My Favorite part: You can also renew this warranty when it expires. NationWarranty can finance you like you would at the dealer, and with only 0% finance charge, no credit check, no fees, just zero interest. Doesn't get any cheaper than that.
    This named component powertrain program includes coverage within the engine, turbo/supercharger, automatic or manual transmission, drive axle assembly (front & rear), transfer unit, some seals and gaskets. Coverage can go up to 36 months or 36,000 miles from the time you added the coverage to your vehicle. It also has this very important benefit: All their contracts cover the manufacturer deductible: In the event of a breakdown of a component covered by this agreement while still under the manufacturer’s warranty, they will reimburse you for any required deductible up to $100 per occurrence less any deductible of your extended warranty. This is unheard of in the warranty world. It's transferable to the new owner when you sell your vehicle, which makes your car sell for more on sites like eBay. Buyers will pay more for a used car with a warranty. High mileage coverage is mechanical breakdown only, wear and tear is not covered. No company will cover wear and tear on high mileage used cars. Coverage throughout the U.S. & Canada: Any qualified repair shop can make authorized repairs. Trip interruption: Up to $200.00 for lodging & meal expenses. Most brands are covered Acura thru Volvo.
  • We have just taken our Pathfinder to be serviced for the same issues that many have experienced. The transmission was rebuilt and a radiator was replaced. We are now still having the same issues with vibrations between 2000 and 2500 rpm, and not shifting into gear. Does anyone know what else could the issue could be?
  • The "Service Engine" and "4WD" warning lights are on. The truck drives in 4WD only with a heavy THUMP when shifting between gears. The Nissan dealer did a Consult II diagnostic test which cost me $100.00. They found that the transmission cooling line in the radiator failed and leaked coolant into the transmission killing the TCM (Transmission Control Module). My truck was bought new October, 2005 and has 20,500 no towing miles on it. Of course the warranty ran out over one year ago. As the truck drives, should I consider an external cooler and flushing of the transmission before giving Nissan $500.00 for a new radiator and $4500.00 for a new transmission, or replace just the transmission valve body if flushing isn't enough?
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    this seems to be an ongoing problem with 2005 and 06 pathfinders, If you look back in these forums about 2 weeks ago you will see they have repetitive problems as yours, flush it twice to be on the right track ,and yes get a transmission cooler kit.
  • jk05mdxjk05mdx Posts: 16
    Hi, sorry I am just getting back to you now. Been pretty busy. Here is the bypass link you requested. r-bypass-42555/index7.html

    Goodluck and all the best!
  • i have a 1991 pathfinder SE 4X4.....transmission and torque converter have been replaced and no problems encountered until lately......approx 20000 miles since work........transmission fluid is leaking out at front of 'bell housing' where connects to engine......I have engine out now for repairs and am trying to figure where fluid might be coming from.....Upon removal of torque converter i noticed that the seal on front of pump is sticking about an 1/8th out on one side and 3/16's to 1/4 inch out on other side......QUESTION......should this seal be flush with end of pump housing when completely installed? And if so would this possibly be where fluid is leaking from? torque converter came out without problem so i do not beleive this seal was moved during this...... please answer as quick as possible before i spend several dollars rebuilding the engine and wind up with a lot to do to transmission.

  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    The torque converters have an inside an O Ring inside the torque converter , if any one installing it or removing it doesnt know what there doing it can split with one wrong move , you need a transmission jack and alignment tool to do this right, just a suggestion..
  • When I built my transmission, I found that the seal was flush to the pump when I took it out, so I put it in flush when I put the new one in. If it was cockeyed (like you found it) most likely that was the reason it failed. That should be the only place it could be leaking if it's coming out of the bell housing. Just remember to support the torque converter as you are putting it on the shaft in order to not stretch or tear your new seal. FYI, I also just looked at the breakdown of the transmission in the Nissan service manual again to make double sure I was giving you the correct info. I actually enjoyed building my transmission, so give a shout back if you have any other questions. Good luck!
    David :shades:
  • thanks......that was what i was hoping to hear......noticed the reply above yours mentioned an O ring inside the torque converter????? what about that?

    thanks again.......automatic transmissions are one thing i have never tried to figure out past the valve body....
  • picture is of transmission input shaft and does not resemble the one in my pathfinder.....mine has pump mounted in this area also..
  • This picture doesn't resemble mine either. Yours probably has bolts on the outer edge holding the pump and bell housing to the transmission body. Suffice it to say that the seal the torque converter runs on (the one in the front of the pump) and the small o ring on the shaft (in your picture) should be replaced.
  • will do that......and you are correct on the bolts.......thanks for the help...
  • I have a 2005 Pathfinder. Started hearing intermittant sound from rear like I was riding over grooved pavement. Brought car in for cooling system service. Was told that there was a hint of tranny fluid in radiator. Called reputable repair place here in Westwood, NJ, Pat Barrett Transmissions (who I have dealt with and they repair a lot more than just trannies). They told me that I should get tranny and radiator replaced.
    Called the dealer and Nissan North America. Dealer was gracious (Hackensack Nissan). Told me that Tranny under warranty, but radiator not; but they would try to get both done under warranty. Initial contact was this past Tuesday jan.4.

    Got word today (fri. Jan. 8th) that they would cover both items, but I had to split reduced dealer labor (about $450 my half) with dealer. I said OK, because:

    1. The job would cost about $5,000 just for tranny.
    2. My Nissan SE runs on regular gas and has a Moonroof. The new ones all run on premium and moonroof only available on highest end model. Keeping mine 'til we're buried together.

    So if you have similar problem don't take no for an answer, If your dealer not cooperative, call Nissan N. A. and deal back from them to dealer. Good Luck.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    have a 2oo3 with 52,000 on it , would I have the same problem down the road with the radiator and tyranny ,and will it be covered , I was told by my dealer the catalytic converter is covered for eight years,. :confuse:
  • Not sure of catalytic converters. Appears there's alot of stuff wrong on Pathfinders.
    My advice would be to log in complaints on "whatever ails ya" on the car, so it's on record with the dealer. Otherwise, if something comes up and dealer uncooperative or stalls, call Nissan North America and keep the homefires burning (persistance) until something is done to your satisfacion. In my case, I knew that $450 shared labor was the best deal I could get. Didn't expect Nissan to pick up whole tab for radiator and tranny. They did say that if this turns into a recall, I could recoup my labor charge.
    Hope I helped.
  • muttymutty Posts: 4
    I've owned 4 or 5 Pathfinders ( all pre-96) as well as several pickups and have had good luck with all. The '05 Pathfinder appealed to me and I recently purchased one for my wife. It has 80k. I've encountered several problems already since picking it up and now I'm not so sure I made the right choice here. What happened to Nissan?
    I first noticed a problem with the fuel gauge. Goes to "empty" when filling the tank and stays there for 50 miles or better. Can't trust it. Found out that a sensor is the common problem with a $400-$500 cost to fix?
    Next, for some odd reason, the heater blows cold air when stopped ( warm motor) ?
    Third is the tire pressure monitoring system. I'm not wasting money replacing the sensors. Is there any way to extinguish the indicator light?
    Fourth is a strange light vibration from 30 mph on ( brand new tires, etc).
    Fifth is my check engine light on for whatever reason. It did reset and go off briefly. Lastly and most importantly, I've heard that the '05 radiators are very prone to corrosion/leakage causing coolant to mix with transmission fluid and ultimately ruining the trannies. It seems as though there's been alot of people experiencing this and Nissan won't handle it out of warranty. This is absurd considering the amount of problems. As far as I know, mine's ok yet, but I'd like to do some proactive maintenance before it happens to me. I've heard that the radiator cooler can be "bypassed" by disconnecting the tranny lines and plugging their ports. An external aftermarket cooler mounted behind the radiator can be used in its place. Has anyone done this or have info on the size/type of cooler to use? Tips or suggestions? I've also heard of people just splicing the lines together without using a cooler and letting the second fluid cooler do the job. Is there a second cooler mounted in front of the radiator and would this be sufficient? I do not tow anything and live in a cold climate.
    Any info or suggestions on any of the above would be greatly appreciated. I hope I didn't make a huge mistake buying this Nissan. I do not have bundles of cash laying around to maintain it. Is anyone happy with theirs or have any positive things to say? Thanks for reading.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    I dont know why they changed there radiators since 2004 ,maybe you could request a new one or better yet an older one that wont leak into the tranny fluid?
    as far as yourself fixing it with a cooler mounted in front of the radiator is good idea JC Whitney company on the web has many kits for this under $100,oo.
    as for the tire monitors to extinguish the indicator light just place a cut piece of black electrical tape over it, Hey we have been doing fine without them for years..they are new troublesome and do not work in cold weather pluse making balancing and changing tires very difficult.
  • I've had times when fuel guage didn't register full after filling tank. eventually it did work. The one thing that stands out in your statements was," a strange light vibration from 30 mph on." Sounds like the beginning of a tranny problem caused by the reciprocal leakage of radiator fluid into tranny and tranny back. Ask dealer to check radiator and trans fluid for color. If there's a problem, start a dialogue with Nissan North America and be persistant. THis should have been a recall,but somehow, Nissan is keeping it quiet. It's really a danger to driver and passengers if tranny quits while on the road. Good Luck.
  • I bought a by-pass transmission cooler (10"X15"X3/4") and I find there is no room for it ahead of the radiator. A/C cooling radiator and the horn are here. Can it be mounted on the radiator ahead of the fan.
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