Nissan Pathfinder 2006 / coolant leak into transmission

Brampton, ON, Canada

I just recently had problems with my 2006 pathfinder where there was a shudder when accelerating, and when it hit the point to change to a higher gear it got really bad. At first I thought it was an out of balance tire, and since they were pretty much worn out I decided to replace them. This helped a bit but the shudder was still there. I decided to take it in to the Nissan dealer to have it looked at suspecting I was having some transmission issues. I went with a mechanic for a test drive and we did not go very far when he pulled over and told me he wanted to check something. He popped the hood and walked around to the passenger side and checked my coolant overflow reservoir. ( I thought this was strange). He then told me he thought he knew what it was and we went back to Nissan where I left the vehicle. Within a very short time I received a call and they told me I had Engine coolant mixing with my transmission fluid and that I would need a new radiator U-joint and shaft. They would also need to flush the transmission three times. The estimate I got was for $2500 ( ouch). I told them to go ahead and fix it, what else could I do. After 2 days of repair work I went in to pick it up. I asked about the warranty on the repair and was told 1 year 20, 000 Km. I also asked what are the chances of this happening again and was told it will never happen again because the New Radiator is no longer linked with the transmission, so there is no chances ever of the two fluids ever coming in contact again. It is apparently a Nissan design flaw for the model years [protected]. I decided to research this problem and found that there are hundreds of people that have had the same problem and the repair costs going as high as $10, 000 for a new transmission. I was also told at Nissan that I was one of the lucky ones with my bill only being $2500, lucky me. I also discovered that Nissan knows of this problem and are not taking the initiative to recall the vehicles or at least make people aware there is a problem. Some articles state that it would cost approx. $300 to replace the radiator before the leak starts. Nissan has elected to wait for failure to occur and then just charge their customers whatever the cost for the repair. This is my 3rd Nissan Pathfinder and I have typically loved the product and found them to be reliable up until this point. I just thought other Nissan customers should be aware of this defect and take the appropriate action to save them a ridiculous car repair bill. Also note the Xterra, Frontier, and Titan also are exposed to the same type of failure. I think I am done with Nissan when it comes to my next vehicle purchase.

Apr 07, 2013

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