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The Nissan Pathfinder is perhaps one of the automaker’s most popular vehicles. However, the SUV isn’t always reliable. There are some pretty common problems that have plagued many models of the vehicle. While the automaker has remedied many of those issues, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is still far from perfect. Here are the most common Nissan Pathfinder problems. 

Transmission failure is an issue

2005 Nissan Pathfinder in the woods
2005 Nissan Pathfinder | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/ va Getty Images

Some models of the Nissan Pathfinder have the dreaded transmission failure problem. Primarily, this impacts model years 2005 through 2010 with automatic transmissions. Cracks in the oil cooler tube caused this issue. Unfortunately, it causes coolant to leak into the transmission system. For the most part, these used Nissan Pathfinders failed around 90,000 miles. Though not many of them are sold these days, buyers should beware of 2005-2010 Nissan Pathfinders.

In addition to complete transmission failure, these models are subject to other problems. They experience shaking when driving, noises from under the hood, and deliver unpleasant drives. Unfortunately, the Nissan Frontier and Xterra models from around that time had many of the same problems, including transmission failure.

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder presented lawsuit level issues

2013 black Nissan Pathfinder on display also suffers from transmission failure
2013 Nissan Pathfinder | Scott Olson/ via Getty Images

The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder also presents some significant problems. Unfortunately, many of the biggest also have to do with the transmission. In particular, the models equipped with the FK-*k2 continuously variable transmissions. The impacted vehicles experienced jerking or shuddering when accelerating from lower speeds, which could be dangerous and cause accidents in certain instances.

These widespread issues for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder led to a class action lawsuit. In the end, Nissan settled, and it’s important to point out that the suit claimed the automaker knew about the defective transmissions. Impacted buyers got 24 months or 24,000 miles added onto their warranties. Former owners who had two or more transmission replacements got rebates on new Nissan or Infiniti vehicles.

The 2023 model isn’t perfect

2023 Nissan Pathfinder in blue
2023 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder delivers pretty good performance. Car and Driver reports that it has a 284 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine under its hood. It uses a nine-speed automatic transmission instead of the CVT. Unfortunately, regarding Nissan Pathfinder problems, the newest model is still pretty bad. It’s considered overall to be less reliable than other vehicles. One of the biggest issues some owners have had is that it randomly shuts off while driving. In addition, it experiences some heavy vibrating. 

There are also some complaints about the AC/heating in the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder. Some say the air will change from heat to cool or vice versa after running for about half an hour. Overall, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder problems aren’t as bad as previous model years, but it perhaps shouldn’t be a top choice for SUV buyers. 

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