Sup Mod keeping the peace
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: NJ (Philadelphia area)
Here's a very informative posting from SMJ999SMJ about radiator problems on certain models:
The problem with the 2005-2010 Pathfinders/Xterras/Frontiers radiators is a design flaw in the factory radiator made by Calsonic-Kansei. The problem is limited to North American vehicles (Pathfinders made in Spain don't have this issue) and seem to be most prevelant on 05 through 07 models, although there have been a few 08 models reported. The North American vehicles come equipped with an auxilary trans cooler mounted in front of the AC condensor. Many have simply bypassed the integral cooler of the radiator by re-routing the cooler hoses so that the ATF passes though the auxilary cooler and not the radiator's integral cooler. Most have reported no problems, although, if you tow with your vehicle or live in an area that experiences very cold temperatures, I wouldn't recommend it. For one, a liquid-to-liquid cooler is far more efficient than a liquid-to-air cooler. Also, the radiator's cooler tube not only cools the ATF, but also warms it up to operating temperature quicker and maintains it in the proper range (ATF should operate in the 175 degree F range +/-).
If you want to replace the radiator, you have three choices. You can use the countermeasure genuine Nissan radiator which MSRP's around $550. For roughly the same money, you can get an all-aluminum radiator from Griffin radiators. The third choice is an aftermarket radiator for a lot less money. For my 2006 LE, I went with a brand new, $92/free shipping/lifetime warranty I found on Ebay (Parts Express...it is now listed for $120, but there is currently one for $77.90 from Radiator Classic). It may be made in China, but it appears to be quality built and the fit was perfect; I've had it installed for 7 months so far. I also replaced the 4 foam seals, which I got from Nissan (one on the upper tank of the radiator, one on the lower tank, and the other two on the side brackets). If you prefer to buy a part made in North America, you can get one made by Spectra Premium of Canada for around $150.
KA-T for life, yo!