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Nissan Pathfinder Transmission Problems



  • muttymutty Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info. I sure hope this hasn't started, but will be looking into it further. Problem is, I don't have a dealer within 200 miles of me which makes things a little more difficult. I'm guessing that they'd probably give me some grief if I do modify the tranny cooler and complain later about leakage even though it may have started before the modification. I will do it anyway and hope for the best. I am disappointed with Nissan's lack of response to this and a few other very common problems. I'm not sure whether I'll buy another Nissan due to their lack of integrity. Thanks again.
  • I would call Nissan North America. Tell them about your problem and that you don't have a dealer within 200 mi. If you have the beginning of a rear "rumble" chances are the fluids are contaminated and that it's too late for an aftermarket cooler. Ask Nissan what they can do for you. Maybe drive car to a dealer in the 200 mi radius and get a loaner from Nissan. They should repair the auto with the mielage you have.

    Good Luck.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    call the safety recall department, and the CEO of Nissan and ask them what are going to do about this re occurring problem with all 94-97 pathfinders and do they have this same problem with the Nissan Altima with the same engine? then go a step further and call your state attorney general and ask what are your rights in the situation with the better business bureau? :lemon: :confuse:
  • So I have a 2005 Pathfinder LE. 44,000 miles. Ive heard a slight noise like that myself. Not real bad. So was it a difficult procees? How did you do it? I want to get mine checked. Should I go to a local guy first and then the dealer with the results? Cause the dealership charges a fortune just to look at it.

  • Dealer was cool. . When I had my cooling system service, they told me there was a trace of trans fluid in radiator when it was flushed. I told them I heard a friction sound in rear.I thought it was the driveshaft hanging up. ( I was a mechanic in the Army).
    They said they would watch it.

    I forced the issue by:
    1- calling a local trans repair company- Pat Barrett Transmissions- who I use and trust. They told me that 2005's have a problem and to replace the trans and radiator. also told me that trans under warranty, but not radiator.
    2- called Nissan North Amer. Started process of trying to get warranty repair. called dealer who supported my efforts. Wound up splitting reduced labor charge with dealer--$450 for me and had radiator and trans replaced a week ago. Would have preferred not paying anything--but better than $5K-7K for repair.

    Still looking into separate trans cooler installation. Called Pat Barrett Trans. They told me that the best cooler installed-Trucool Heet Sink- would be $225. Will do it, 'cause I'm keeping vehicle.
    Don't settle. Push dealer and Nissan NA. Replace both. Have them flush trans thoroughly. Check all hoses for contamination. G ood Luck.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    flush tranns good and if the radiator dont leak yet just plug the line ends and mount an aftermarket trans oil cooler kit.
  • My 2005 Pathfinder has two transmission oil coolers. The primary one is inside the radiator and the auxiliary mounted outside in front of the radiator. I will use that to bypass the radiator cooler. Get this..... Nissan cautions the use of ATF other than their Matic J could cause damage and void the warranty. In the Service Manual CD, Sec. MA-11 note*3 the use of DEXRON lll and MERCON or other equivilant ATF may be used in Canada. I'll use these less expensive types to flush my transmission.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    MANUAL FOR THE USA pathinders say's or equivalant of Nissans which is the mercron 2 or 3.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    anyone own a 2 wheel drive pathy ,If so how do they handle and are they cheaper to maintain than the 4 wheel drive?
  • I have the same exact problem. Me and my wife just purchased a 2005 Pathfinder recently. When the SUV shifts between 3rd/4th gears (45mph - 60mph) it makes a rough noise (like riding over grooved pavement as you pointed out above). We did purchase a warranty program with the vehicle so I am hoping that everything will be covered under the warranty (tranny and radiator if both are needed). We really like the vehicle otherwise (SE model which runs on regular and the moonroof to boot).

    How long did the dealer keep the vehicle to change out the tranny/radiator?
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
  • Whole deal from start to finish (initial contact to final repair) took about 2 weeks.
    Very cooperative dealer (Hackensack Nissan, NJ) and shop I use, Pat Barrett Transmissions was very helpful in pointing out what I should do to get problem resolved. You should be covered by warranties. Make sure. Leave no stone unturned.Contact the dealer and Nissan North America. When the job is done make sure they also flush and /or replace all hoses including the small overflow hose (from radiator to tank.

    Pat Barrett Transmissions (here in Westwood, NJ) also reversed hoses from Trans cooler on car to bypass the radiator. They told me to ride on the HWY in cold weather and asked me to see vehicle feels like it's downshifting from fifth to fourth and if tach runs high (2500+). So far so good; but if this becomes a problem, they will just reverse hoses. These guys are great. They not only are trans experts , but do all types of other repairs and totally honest. When I picked up my car and asked for the bill, they said,"The keys are in the car. let us know what happens." Can't ask for better. Good luck.
  • I have a 2005 Nissan w/ 108K miles. Bought new in 2005. At 50K, I experienced the gas gauge fuel sensor flopping to 0. I dealt with that for some time but finally got it replaced, cost me about $500. Called Nissan HDQRTRS over and over and asked them how in the world its NOT a safety issue. They said noone had called in at that time and blah blah excuses excuses excuses.
    So, now, here I am driving along and vibration, vibration, vibration when Im going about 50-55mph and about 1500rpms to 2. I thought the same as I seen as others on here, that I was driving over gravel in the middle of the paved road! I notice it tremendously now, its getting worse. I downshift into 4, take it out of overdrive and it doesnt seem to do it that much. This week I planned on taking to York, Pa Nissan for a check up but now Im nervous! Im a female on top on that so of course they will think I dont know a thing. I have a father who knows whats up and he advised me but still! What is the warranty talk going on here? I dont think I have an extended warranty. But is there warranty on parts i dont know about? Is Nissan bailing out of responsibility here? this is terrible two major issues on a vehicle. Oh, and also, my ABS light and slip light are always on cause of a fuse that cost $400 to fix. Nissan said no worries but it wont pass inspection w/ them on. I have to go into the far country to get it inspected. Im not paying that much for a simple fuse. Its nuts!

    What should I do? Im going to call Nissan tomorrow but I cant pay 5K for a new tranny! Thats obsurd, might as well trade the piece of crap in for another Nissan crapper.

    Thanks all!
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    It seems like you have a stick shift, if you dont unfortunately they have problems with the 2005 and 06 with water going into the Tranny, the other problems aren't to bad but maybe a good shop that also does the inspection will be cheaper,
  • Ok, so I called local Nissan in york, Pa. Said oh yeah we are familiar, radiator replacement at $800-$900. If thats not it, then replace tranny. what???
    So, I called Nissan Nth America. They may assist in cost since my vehicle ALSO had the fuel pump problem and has been replaced.
    So I called National Highway Safety Administration to ask why no recalls were put out on the Fuel Pump problem OR the transmission problem. They said do a complaint online at

    THEN I called Lemon Law, Fed Trade Commission in DC. They opened a complaint for me...that number is 1-877-382-4357. Also, there is infon online about Lemon Law and other things for consumers.

    MY POINT IS..we need to be calling Highway safety and complain that this is a common problem for BOTH FUEL PUMP AND TRANSMISSION. Fed Trade Commission should do something about it because of the same issue amongst MANY MANY 2005 PATHFINDERS. If there is enough people complaining, they have to do something




  • Just submitted a complaint form online at I also contacted Nissan NA @ 800-NISSAN. They filed a complaint on my behalf, however, cannot send it to the Regional Specialist until I take the Pathfinder into a Nissan dealer to have it diagnosed (even though WE ALL already know what the problem is). I asked her if Nissan will be checking the vehicle out for me free of charge (I think she giggled; as to say "r u serious"). I told her that is exactly why I was calling her to complain today. I have to take my 05 Nissan Pathfinder up to the dealer to charge me x amount of dollars to diagnose the problem by which I already know what the problem is. I will be calling her back once I get the vehicle up to the dealer.

    EVERYONE - PLEASE SUBMIT A COMPLAINT AT WWW.SAFECAR.GOV IF YOU ARE HAVING THIS PROBLEM. It is probably the only chance we have (outside of a class action lawsuit being filed against Nissan)
  • Both Fuel pump and Radiator/Trans should be recallable problems. Maybe Nissan will act now that "TOHYOTA" has had a big recall. This is something that should go on network and local news The time is right now. I'm calling stations in NYC.

    As many of you know who read the forum, I had my radiator and trans replaced by NIssan for $450 labor (split dealer labor cost to Nissan). My local trans place, Pat Barrett Transmission, circumvented the radiator with the on-board trans cooler by reversing the hoses. So far so good. Keep complaining. Call your local radio and TV stations -- especially the "Help Me" reporters. Good Luck.
  • Its

    I also was told by York, Pa Nissan that I too have to pay for a diagnostic check. I said Y!!! They acted like well duh lady because the only way to know is through diagnostic.
    Bull!! I just had one run on it through a smal garage near my home. Nothing came back. I spoke to a place I used to take my car to in VA, tuneups and they are awesome people. Anyway, they said well, its an internal leak, you wont see anyting happen until ur transmission grinds and by then its too late, metal on metal. Coolant drys out the trans parts and destroys it.
    GREAT!! Just GREAT!!! This is garbage! Im so ticked off.
    Anyway, my point, its a given to these Nissan dealerships what is wrong but they want to play us all out and get every penny because they know theyll potentially lose money.

    Im calling North America again tomorrow to ask them to pay for the diagnostic.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COMPLAIN AND CALL FED TRADE COMMISION IN DC. Theyll open an investigation. Trade = Fair trade regulations in the United States. These vehicles are DEFECTIVE they are NOT what we thought we were buying, a reliable vehicle. This is not natural wear and tear.

  • I just paid $900.00 plus dollars to have the torque converter replaced in my wife 2005 pathfinder.According to tranny shop and their diagnostic scanner this should have fixed the problem. we are still having the same problem that alot of people are posting, vibration at 40-45 mph and its seems to happen when tranny was wanting to shift between 4th and 5th (OD) gear. tranny shop said transmission fluid looked good so it doesn't sound like the radiator problem. They now think that we have a broken transmission mount. we are going to give this a try and I hope this fixes the problem. Can't afford to put much more into this thing.With a son attending college at $10,000 per semester, things are getting a little tight.

    If this fixes our problem I will post a message. I hope all of those that have had radiators and transmission replaced actually needed it. This is the only nissan i have owned and it will be the last.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    If this fixes our problem I will post a message.

    Let us know as well if it does not work. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    this is a consistent problem with the radiators leaking fluid into the tranny cooling lines
  • muttymutty Posts: 4
    Finally did some preventive maintenance on my '05 through a trusted local shop. Did quite a bit of research on the raditor bypass for the tranny lines. I had the shop bypass the radiator as the Pathfinder has another, large, tranny cooler which is more than sufficient for the cooling. I live in a cold climate and do not tow with it. No contamination found yet in the trans fluid ( thankfully). My driveline vibration turned out to be a bad u-joint on the front driveshaft. *I noted that the vibration occurred in 2wd or 4wd-apparently the shaft spins regardless.
    My shop just replaced the fuel sensor so my gas gauge reads correctly and the check engine light is no longer kicking on.
    My airbag light recently went on now and I found a recall for the airbag sensor which is located behind the grill. The recall applies to northern states which use road salt. The salt gets into the sensor and corrodes the contacts.
    My tire pressure sensor light is still on and was fixed with a piece of black electrical tape on the gauge cluster. I give.
    Still no heat on the bottom half of my leather seats. No clue what's wrong.
    The cold air blowing at idle might've been just slightly low coolant. I filled it above the upper mark on the overflow bottle and it seems to be working better.
    E-mails to Nissan regarding the tranny and fuel sensor issues had been unanswered ( big surprise). I plan on keeping the vehicle for a while and hopefully no other problems develop. In the meantime I'll be looking for a more problem free vehicle or at least one that has acceptable customer service and stands behind their products. I will not buy another Nissan. Thanks to those who helped out with their information.
  • 99accent99accent Posts: 237
    you done the right thing, and maybe the pathfinder wont give you any more problems, because I bought a brand new Sonata and had it fixed several times and it wasnt out of my pocket but they finally find some sensors and transmission issues, now knock on wood this is the best running car you could ever want ,smooth as ever and powerful with 135.000 miles on it. My 2003 path finder runs very good with 31K on it so Im keeping my fingers crossed when its up there with mileage, good luck.
  • After replacing trans and radiator, had same thing done to mine by Pat Barrett Transmission. They reversed the line,bypassing the radiator. One thing to look for. when you're on the highway at 60mph+, keep an eye on your tach. it should read no more than 2000 -2300. if it's up at 2500 plus, the trans may be downshifting to 4th gear from overdrive. If this happens, they have to put the hoses back the way they were. Mine has been fine since the switch. Good Luck
  • I removed the splash plate under the radiator and the parking light grill. Blocked off the radiator running 5/16" hose between the two radiator in and out ports. Spliced a 5/16" butt connector joining the trans cooling lines through the auxillary cooler. Dumped the ATF. It was bad... carmel brown. Added 8 quarts Dextron ll to the safe mark. Ran the truck in gear wheels chocked and hand brak on for about five minutes. I guess there was 4 quarts entrained in the trans. Will dump again when the weather moderates. What a mess. Ckeck light still on.The CD Service manual I got on line is a great help. Want a Concult ll service tool? $7,000.00 will get you one.
  • My 2005 Pathfinder's radiator and transmission need to be replaced. As of yet...I'm not getting any help from Nissan NA. Truck has less than 21,000 miles on it. Less than 5,000 no-tow miles per year. Seems it's year that count, not milage.
  • Well, I felt the vibration, took it in and guess what! They said no mixing in fluid, my trans and radiator are fine and that the vibration was from cupped tires.
    Hmmm, not quite sure if I believe that. I have 109,000 miles on the 05 Pathfinder SE. 2WD. bought in Hawaii, Tony Nissan.
    They did flush it. that was it, I did not replace my tires and I seem to not notice the dreaded vibration now. Im just not convinced it was my tires.
    I can tell you that I threw the biggest stink with Nissan NA when I called because I thought it was the tranny problem. What got North America ears perked was that when I called the local dealership, they told me that YES, they are AWARE of the tranny North America seemed interested in knowing what that meant.
    Anyway, I was saved, for now! I feel for the rest of you! I would keep pressing.
    BUT my sensor lights are a mess, ABS and SLIP stays on and I did have my fuel pump redone at 50,000 which is bogus.

    I dont get it, how Nissan cant do a defective part recall. I would lawsuit.
  • qkj2qkj2 Posts: 14
    Great Information, Thanks!! I just filed my complaint with and will be calling the FTC on Monday to file a complaint with them as well. My truck needs both a new radiator & transmission and Nissan is refusing to honor the powertrain warranty since they say the transmission failed because of the radiator. Of course I am no longer under warranty for the radiator but I still have 2k miles left on my transmission. They even told me that they could not assist me as I am not considered a "loyal" customer with this being my first Nissan vehicle. I am livid and I refuse to give up and pay 5k to fix a problem that they are clearly aware of.
  • i have a 93 nissan pathfinder V6 4x4 stick shift. it is making noises coming from one of the bearings on the transmission. i dont have money to buy a new tranny or a complete bearing set, was wondering if anyone knew which one it was??? it makes a grating/marble grating type sound, it goes away when the clutch is pushed, it makes the sound while driving in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, not 4th... any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!!
  • muttymutty Posts: 4
    kyleky08- I'm pretty sure that is your "throwout bearing". Pretty common issue with standard trannies.
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