Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems



  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I am dealing with Nissan now on the radiator/transmission issues. I was told by the Nissan USA rep that they have not had any complaints with this in the past....that's not true! Then the manager left me a message and said "You know Nissan's stand on the issue. Call with any new messages." Nice customer service. My service advisor at the Nissan dealership agrees that my transmission should be covered under warranty and tried to get Nissan to take care of it to no avail. The dealer I brought my car into had someone in two weeks prior to me going in with the same problem. They got their repairs covered by Nissan. However, Nissan has recently suspended that claim (after the work was completed) and now the dealer is out the money. I have contacted the BBB and have an open complaint with them and am now collecting the needed paperwork to send to them. Hopefully they can help get this issue resolved and have Nissan pay for the transmission. My Pathfinder is an '07 with 59,000 miles on it. I am so disgusted with the lack of concern on Nissan's part. They are not standing behind their cars and clearly don't care about their customers!
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    Call Nissan USA and ask for the next level Manager. Keep going up the Ladder. Contact your Local TV Stations. There is usually a "Help Me" reporter. And tell him or her about Nissan's lack of compliance.
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    I feel as if they are trying to get me for as much as possible since they are covering the transmission at no cost. They quoted me $745 for the Nissan radiator and $280 for labor...I just want my truck back, it has been at the dealership for exactly 1 month today.
  • dcgonefishndcgonefishn Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    still have not taken pathfinder to tranny shop to have transmission mount replaced as recommended by them. As posted earlier, we had the torque converter replaced and we still are experiencing the vibration that so many others are having. Considering also doing the bypass tranmission cooler that some have recomended, but I am afraid that damage has already been done and this would be a waste of time.
    I may end up in jail with the complaint that I filed with today.I guess it would be worth it if it would cause enough customers to complain and finally get Nissan to admit they are at fault and do something about this problem. Any suggestions?
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    They're screwing you. Under an arrangement with nissan north america and my dealership i paid $450 (1/2 dealer labor cost) and it took about 2-3 wks for it to be done. It's time to turn into Satan and get on their asses.
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    I reported defect to department of transportaion, highway safety council. Do the same.
  • danscdansc Member Posts: 4
    That quote is high by 25% or so.

    I have in hand an invoice for that exact job (replacement of a radiator in a 2005 Pathfinder) it breaks down as follows:
    Labor $250.00
    Radiator $389.00
    Antifreeze $24.99
    Discounts $-66.40 (Parts + Labor)
    Sub total: $597.59
    Shop fees: $42.50
    Sales tax: $60.81
    Total cost: $700.90

    I’d be happy to email you a copy for you to go show to your dealer.

    My story summary:
    Transmission failed Mar 2009, I saw this forum and went "Uh-oh"
    Dealer replaced transmission under warranty (Under 60k miles)
    3 months later the radiator leaked into the transmission and ate the new one!
    Dealer replaced the transmission at their cost, but charged me for the radiator - Nisson wouldn't negotiate AT ALL with us.

    The rig is still running but I plan on replacing it next year. We will never buy a Nissan again.
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    I'm annoyed now...Initially they said I could go with an after-market radiator and with labor & antifreeze it would be $702. They then called me back and stated that Nissan will not cover my transmission costs if I do not use the Nissan radiator and thus came the crazy quote of $1025. I called parts today to get a price on a nissan radiator and was quoted $521.78, that is not the same $745 (radiator alone) I was quoted originally...I am beyond angry because I called to (1) find out the status of my truck (2) inquire about the differences in the radiator cost and the operator claims there is only 1 service advisor @ the shop today and kept me on hold for 36 minutes before I hung up.

    dansc if you could email me your quote, I would appreciate it. I am going to the dealership tomorrow prepared for all out war....Nissan will never get my money again!!
  • diyer121diyer121 Member Posts: 2
    I stumbled on this post yesterday and after further research I ran out to order a new radiator. My 2005 Pathfinder SE has 110,000 miles and I've had minimal problems with it, this is the best vehicle I've ever owned and though I do think it's shady on Nissan's part not fix something that is a known problem I will continue purchasing vehicles from them. I do appreciate the posts on here and will be doing my preventative maintenance today. Also I was able to find a PDF copy of the 2005 Pathfinder Service manual online for $20, This manual looks to be OEM and is easy to follow. If anyone wants to tackle this (assuming your transmission is still good) on their own you can reply to this and I'll include the link for the manual. Good luck to all.
  • maryellis83maryellis83 Member Posts: 4
    Just got my 2006 Pathfinder back from the mechanic, transmission fluid ended up in the radiator and vs. versa. It looked like chocolate milk. It cost me $1,500.00 and the shop isn't positive that the transmission is ok. The mechanic contacted a local dealer looking for a new radiator and heard from them this has been a common problem....I will contact and complain to the sources listed, but has anyone heard any news about a recall? Used to love Nissan's, now I'm not that thrilled!
  • maryellis83maryellis83 Member Posts: 4
    How did it work out? Just added my post to this mess, 2006 Pathfinder- had to replace radiator for $1500- crossing my fingers that tranny isn't shot, too. Did Nissan do anything to compensate?
  • todd03todd03 Member Posts: 1
    hi i have a 1988 nissan pathfinder with a plow on it i only use it to plow my driveway.when i am backing up it goes good but when i put into drive an start goin it feels like the brakes are on i took them all apart an they r free moving
  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I picked up my Pathfinder the other day. My service advisor told me Nissan called him and asked him why they would tell me about the other Pathfinder that was in with the same issues and that they (Nissan) initially agreed to cover everything. The service advisor said because it was the truth and he thought they would then be covering my car and he didn't want me to worry about it. Sounds to me like Nissan is hoping to keep this problem under wrap! I'm sure the BBB will be interested in hearing about that as well. So far, Nissan is not interested in doing any type of recall. They told me on the phone that nobody had ever complained about this issue. I trust my dealership and service department where I bought my Pathfinder from, but I certainly don't trust Nissan!!
  • lildavidjaxlildavidjax Member Posts: 68
    Can't believe that even a Nissan radiator costs that much considering it's made by another company. (most likely Toyo Corp) As for $280.00 for labor? I wonder what the "book" time calls for in labor. That sounds a bit high to me seeing how I can change mine in my driveway in 30 minutes. Though I don't have a 2005 Pathfinder, I've looked at one, and there is nothing special that should make the labor that high to replace the radiator. At least they are covering the transmission!
  • v53v53 Member Posts: 1
    I also am getting the proverbial runaround. I have had the Pathfinder for 4 years and have 54000 miles. Nissan NA has declined to honor their 5 yr/60K drive train warranty, even though I purchased an extended warranty at vehicle purchase (which covers the radiator but not the tranny). They say it is a third party extended warranty, and not theirs. The dealer made no distinction when I purchased. Shouldn't matter. Nothing in the warranty states there are "conditions" that would void it. This is clearly fraud.
    I have a call into the GM at the dealer where I purchased it but do not expect a call back. I intend to contact BBB, Hwy Safety Admin and Federal Trade Comm. In addition, there is a TV Consumer Advocate Reporter that lives in the neighborhood.

    Perhaps a Class Action Lawsuit will do the trick - ANY LAWYERS OUT THERE WILLING TO TAKE THIS ON?
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I spoke to a supervisor at Nissan last night who said the case is closed on their end. She told me to an option was to contact the BBB and seemed very surprised when I told her I had already sent in all the paperwork. I got the standard "I understand your concerns" speech from them. My response was, "No you don't. You're not the one out $7200." I'm waiting to hear what the BBB has to say about all this. I even included these blogs in my mailing to them to show a continual pattern with Nissan refusing to do anything. I encourage everyone to do the same.
  • matt188matt188 Member Posts: 2
    My gas gauge has failed and is triggering the check engine light. The dealer wants almost $500 to replace it so I have been tracking my miles to avoid running out of gas. I heard on the news tonight that Nissan is recalling some trucks and SUV's for faulty gas gauges. Does anyone know if the 05 Pathfinder is part of the recall?
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    You have to keep fighting, I did not give them any reason to believe that I was giving up on them covering the transmission. I requested to speak with managers and advised them that I would file complaints with everyone possible until they honored the trans warranty. I've gotten two different regional specialist at Nissan NA to confirm with me that they have seen other cases like this so don't let them tell you that your case is unique. I was able to get them to cover my transmission and I have 58,036 miles on my Pathfinder. I am still willing to do whatever is necessary to hold them responsible for both the radiator & transmission. I really don't think we should have to pay for replacing the faulty radiator, which I made them confirm before replacing that this "new" model does not have the same issues. Nissan needs to be held responsible!
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    I am so glad you posted this! I am having the exact same problem, dealer just called me back and big shocker, they are not covering the transmission (even though I have 56000 miles and it's covered up to 60,000) because of the radiator! My quote is $4500 + tax to fix both issues. I'm not sure where to go from here. I guess I'll call Nissan directly tomorrow (instead of just the local dealer where I bought it). I've seen quite a few of these complaints and yes they need to "own up" to their faulty radiator that led to the transmission problems in the first place!
  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I just heard back from the BBB Autoline. They will not handle this due to the age of my car. At the time I brought it in to the dealer it wasn't even three years old yet. I am so frustrated that Nissan is getting away with this. I'm now on to the news hotline. Maybe an investigative reporter would like this story due to the recent issues with Toyota. Right now it looks like I'm out the cash. Going up the chain at Nissan isn't doing any good for me.
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    Radiator caused the problem. Your dealer is full of it. Radiator leaked, contaminating trans. Trans fluid flowed bacxk into radiator, contaminating it. Keep fighting. Keep calling Nissan. Ditch your dealer and find another one if you can. Tell your dealer you're gonna spread the word that he won't stand behind his vehicle. call the local TV Radio stations. Make some damn noise. you will get results.
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    My husband had the same reaction, didn't make sense to him either. I don't know a lot about cars but I do know this is very wrong and Nissan needs to make it right. After reading all of these similar complaints, I am fired up and ready for the fight. I have no problem attacking this "head on". Bring it on! Thanks to all the advice on here, I have a lot of people to contact (BBB, Fed Trade Com, HWY Safety Adm, etc). Lets make them listen, this is legitimate!
  • homer028homer028 Member Posts: 4
    OK - so I got a notice about recalls and warnings for my Pathfinder, and stumbled upon this discussion. I am new to owning 4wd vehicles, but not to cars - have much experience in fixing, maintenance etc.. - besides slippage, and milky atf fluid - what are some of the other signs?

    I have vibrations in the car on the highway, but I got underneath last summer and found my u-joint bearing really loose- and haven't had a chance to replace it but here is what is happening right now:

    Driving - I get the rumble and shake in 2wd until I get up to the highway, then I switch it to auto (on the 2wd-4wd dial) and it takes care of the vibration while I am on the power. Once I let off the gas (on the highway) then I get the shakes until I power up again. When I get back off the highway I switch it back to 2wd. I have about 80k miles, and just agreed to buy out my lease. Hopefully it wasn't a mistake

    I HAD thought it was the u-joint and bearing until now.

    Like I said before I havent had a big suv, nor a 4wd, so am thinking these sounds and engine rev slightly higher are normal for this car/truck. How else can I check for this (hopefully potential, and not already) problem?

    BTW- had the fuel sender unit replaced back around 55k miles. Bought the part myself intending to put it in, got the dealer to do it when I was in there for a diff problem for around $100.

  • homer028homer028 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2010
    BTW my vin - 5n1ar18w15cxxxxxx for those interested. So my pathfinder was built in Smyrna, TN. Are others with this problems ones from the Mississippi facility?

    I also downloaded the service manual for $8.99 from a site called tradebit. It looks to be the entire service manual in pdf format. Personally I dont like looking at pdf's but if it will save me $$ I'll get over it.
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    There are two coolers. I think my tranny place took the hoses from the larger cooler and reversed them.
  • homer028homer028 Member Posts: 4
    just called the service dept here locally and was told it was an oil cooler, so that is why I modified my post.
  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I sent an email to Nissan letting them know even though they have closed my file on my end I am not done. I did also send an email to one of our local news investigators with the hope that they will be interested in this fiasco! I'm sending the president of Nissan USA a letter next.
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    Stacy20 - contact Nissan NA right away and have them open a file for you. I did this while I was still at the dealership as the dealership let me know right away that Nissan would not cover it. I refused to accept that and began my fight. It took 3.5 weeks for them to finally approve me but they fought back and denied me twice. They will argue that since it was the radiator that caused the transmission to fail that they don't have to honor the warranty. In the end they had me fax over the 30,000 service records (I brought the car @ 30, 386 so I simply contacted the dealer I brought it from and had them fax me over the used car inspection they did before I brought the car). Once they had that, I was approved but I spent way too much time on the phone with them arguing my case. My quote to fix was the same price ($4541) and I ended up spending $1025 for just the radiator once they covered the transmission
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    Thank you so much. I just got off the phone with Nissan NA and got my file number but have to wait for someone to call me back (they said Monday). This site has been so helpful, I appreciate it!
  • trentsteeltrentsteel Member Posts: 8
    In any class action suits or complaints about the transmission problems, don't forget the thousands of Frontier owners also getting screwed over. Nissan should be held accountable. 2&PID=3193543&kw=N&synpartner=edmunds&mktid=cj260233
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    Well, just heard back from Nissan NA, big suprise, they are not covering costs "at this time." Hmm, already filed with the BBB and contacted a lemon law attorney. Now I wait for a bit? I'm not sure where to go from here, I feel like I'm at a stand still. Wow is this frustrating!!! Did you keep calling Nissan NA and talking to the same regional specialist? I got nowhere with him...
  • tseyffstseyffs Member Posts: 12
    keep trying.... do not give up and be sure they know you filed a complain with the BBB. The BBB will contact them with regards to this.
    This needs to be listed as a defect at Nissan. Tell the regional specialist you do not wish to speak with him any longer regarding your issue and that you want to talk to his manager. Tell them you will fax over your BBB compaint and several examples of this same issue off edmuds and the highway and safetly administration. Persevere!
  • rmt8571rmt8571 Member Posts: 8
    I let our local "Watchdog" know about this and they contacted our US Senator's office who told her to have me contact them as they are willing to help. I'm just awaiting them to return my call now. The government is very interested in all of these issues in lieu of everything going on with Toyota. Hopefully they give Nissan a call and get it through their heads that they are to be held responsible for this. Also, contact the FTC and file a complaint with them. The more that are registered the better.
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    I spoke to woman who is based in Canada and, I think, handles the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic region. Try to go levels above the person you spoke to. Be a pain in the butt.

    Good Luck.
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    Stacy20 - don't just let it go...I did not wait at all, once she initially denied my claim I advised her that I needed to take this to the next level and speak with a manager. She advised me that she would re-review my file and get back to me so 2 days later she again denied but I called into the hotline again and requested one of the reps have a manager call me back. My case was handled by 3 different specialist as my initial specialist was out a few times so others would call me in her place. With each one I made clear that I was not taking no for an answer and would talk their ear off about how this was their responsibility as it is a known issue. You have to be persistent and let them know that you will not give up. They approve on a case by case basis so if they know they can defeat you, they will. Keep pushing and be sure to also file a complaint with
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    Ok, back at it again today. Filed a complaint with and called Nissan NA again and said I needed to talk to a manager instead of my specialist. A regional manager is supposed to call me tomorrow. I also asked how many complaints needed to be on file before they would issue a recall, he had no idea but I am wondering at what point they are either forced to recall or willingly issue a recall (must be a pretty high number because we've all complained and filed with several organizations!!). I think I've hit them all: Nissan NA, BBB, FTC,, and I even contacted a lemon law attorney (I talked to her assistant, seemed interested but haven't moved on that yet). Are there any others left to contact? If you guys don't mind me asking.. what exactly did you say that made them change their mind? Did you go after the faulty radiator that led to the transmission problems in the first place? They have since changed out the radiator, right? Trying to "get all my ducks in a row". Thanks for all the help!!
  • karenmichikarenmichi Member Posts: 2
    My two week old 2010 Pathfinder got stuck as I was picking up my child from daycare. The shifting mechanism would not move pass Reverse. Here are some of the few things I tried until it finally gave up. It has happen before but not like this. Has anyone experienced this before? The dealership says it is the first time they hear of this happening and perhaps I was too harsh with the shift. I felt somehow offended... This should not be happening at all....this is the car I drive my kids to school in. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    1. I tried applying the breaks all the way to the end to see if the car would release the shift and would allow for it to move to park.

    2. Tried taking my seatbelt off and putting it back on to see if this would create a reaction.

    3. Tried moving it to park position or seeing if it would move to Neutro or other but it wouldn't...It was stuck in Reverse.

    Please help! I am afraid this will happen....The engine felt funny afterward...just the ease of the car as you are driving...just felt like holding back a little. I am really worry about this as I take my kids to school.

    The guys said that perhaps I had applied to much strength to it...I wish they had been in the car with me to see how it all happened.

    Please help!
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    When they finally agreed to cover my transmission, they advised that I would have to cover the radiator myself and use a nissan radiator. I originally didnt want to as their radiator is what initially caused the problem with the transmission but they do claim that they have since been updated and no longer have the same problems.

    I simply argued that regardless of what caused the transmission to fail, it failed and I was still under warranty and refused to pay for a new one. I did point out over and over that they did install a faulty radiator in the 05 pathfinders and they need to cover that as well. I hope it goes well for you.....I am now having problems with my fuel guage not working and have opened a new file as apparently they are not covering the 05 models in the recall. Ugghhh I am so done with Nissan, this is so disappointing!
  • nbkzl68nbkzl68 Member Posts: 5
    Just wanted to update everyone on my situation. I own an '05 Pathfinder with the same radiator/transmission problem as everyone is noting on this thread. I purchased the vehicle in Jan. of this year with 62K on it. At the time of purchase, I also purchased a warrantly program with a third party company. Just 2K miles later (4 weeks later) I started noticing the vibration noise around 45-55 mph (sounds like you are driving over grooved pavement). Shortly thereafter, the car started acting up to where you would press down on the gas pedal and the car would struggle to go. We dropped the vehicle off at the Nissan dealer. At that time, they confirmed that something blew up in the radiator causing coolant fluid getting into the transmission lines. The radiator had to be replaced along with the transmission lines being flushed out. The warranty company covered the cost to replace the radiator (I had to pay for the flush as that is not covered by the warranty comp.). The transmission was flushed two times in an attempt to get all of the coolant fluid out. Two weeks later (Monday of this week), the same problem happened (press down on the gas pedal and the vehicle struggles to go). Dropped vehicle back off at the dealer. They are now saying that the transmission needs to be replaced. Warranty company is not happy at all because they just replaced the radiator. And now they have to replace the transmission. The warranty company is sending an adjustor out to the dealer today to further inspect the situation. Awaiting a call back from the dealer today to confirm that the warranty company is going to cover the replacement of the transmission. More to come....
  • cobra1994cobra1994 Member Posts: 3
    I purchase a used 2005 Nissan Pathfinder from a None Nissan Dealer (Townsend Chevrolet) without a Warrenty. After 3 years the vehicle Vibrates everytime you drive it. My mechanic put the dynostic hand held unit and it read a code, which meant that it was the Catalytic Converter on the Passenger Side, I replaced the Catalytic Converter, and that didnt fix the problem, the vehicle still vibrates when you drive it. After reading all the complaints, it seem to me what I have is a problem with the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission. I would like to know what are my rights on getting my vehicle repair, and who should I complaint to and where to send the letter. HELP PLEASE
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    Nissan is unbelievable. A $5,000 repair that is under warranty and they offer me $1,000 towards the transmission for "goodwill". What do they not understand about their own warranty?! Ugh! Waiting to hear back from a manager AGAIN! Hope they will decide to stand by their warranty soon so we can fix it and trade it in ASAP! Never again!
  • cobra1994cobra1994 Member Posts: 3
    :mad: I don't know what else to do. My problem is that I purchase the vehicle from a non Nissan Dealer and now I have this problem. I wish there was a recall on this problem ASAP. I cant even call it a Lemon Law, because thats for cars 2006 and over.
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    cobra1994 - I even purchased my 05 Pathfinder at the Nissan dealer, it has NOT made an ounce of difference! I am beyond frustrated with them and Nissan. I think they have me beat. I've called everyday and talked to specialists, supervisors, and tomorrow a manager is supposed to call me back. They were extremely matter of fact about not covering the transmission. The BBB is going to contact them next but he didn't seem too optimistic. It's amazing to me how this can happen, how on earth are they still getting away with this?!
  • blindfaith5blindfaith5 Member Posts: 1
    Sane problem everyone is complaining about. Coolant leaked into transmission because of faulty radiator. $7,000 fix with new radiator, rebuilt transmission, water pump and misc items. 84,000 miles, extended waranty ran out 8,000 miles ago. Dealer says tough luck. Can anything be done?
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    Call the Dept. of Transpotation or go to their site. Get the form and report the radiator, especially the trans as a safety hazzard because the tran could bind when you're on the road. The more people that report this problem, the better chance for a recall. I did it.Also call your radio and TV stations and tell them. The iron is hot now , with Toyota having all their problems. Good Luck.
  • stacy20stacy20 Member Posts: 15
    Talked to a manager at Nissan NA today and after ALOT of phone calls etc, they are finally covering the transmission!!! You all were right on the money when you said to keep calling and going up (specialists, supervisors, managers). Thank you.
  • gharpmangharpman Member Posts: 88
    Congrats. I told you, you just gotta wear 'em down. Hopefully others will benefit.
  • qkj2qkj2 Member Posts: 14
    So happy to hear that they are finally covering your transmission. Seems like the only thing that works is to keep at it, speak to as many specialist & managers as possible. They are not willing to cover at first but with persistence, they will we need a recall on the radiator so I can get my $1025 back!!!!
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