If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,874 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Nissan Frontier drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Nissan Frontier:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #142

Dec 202013


  • 102,000 miles


Apparently a known issue with the radiator leaking into the transmission - causing an $3000 repair to a vehicle that was well-maintained. The transmission started slipping and after diagnostics was told by the mechanic this was an issue that Nissan knew about and never did anything about. Spent $3000 of my money to fix something that should have been prevented and fixed by the manufacturer. I liked Nissan, but after this; I may not buy anymore. Have documentation to prove the issue.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #141

Sep 012014


  • 150,000 miles
At oil cooler internal component of the radiator failed causing transmission fluid to go in to the radiator and coolant to go in to the transmission. Destroying.

- Bellevue , KY, USA

problem #140

Mar 012014


  • 116,000 miles
The transmission cooler line leaks coolant into the transmission causing a failure. Nissan has known of this problem for many years and has not notified owners of the need to replace the radiator.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #139

Jul 312014


  • 102,000 miles


On my truck I experienced a sudden loss in power and throttle response while driving without warning, as the transmission failed to shift gears properly. After spending $100 for a diagnostic from a mechanic it was found that my transmission cooler reservoir is leaking in my radiator and caused cross contamination between my antifreeze and atf. The antifreeze is getting into my transmission and boiling once the transmission reaches operating temperatures. The antifreeze vapor is then causing the transmission clutches and bands to not be able to engage correctly, and therefore not being able to shift up and down through the gears properly. I just about got hit trying to turn left out onto the road in front of cross traffic. I avoided an accident, but this happened with no warning. This fix is going to cost me anywhere from $500 to $5,000 to fix depending on the extent of the damage the antifreeze in my transmission caused. I just read that a few years ago Nissan extended the warranty due to this, and I am past that point, but this is still unacceptable at only 102,000 miles. Nissan should have recalled this and fixed it when it was just a couple hundred dollars for a new radiator years ago. Lastly, my truck without issues was worth nearly $8K in its condition, now Iżżll have trouble getting a dealer to pay anything in trade-in value if I choose to not fix the truck.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #138

Jul 212014


  • 120,000 miles
My transmission on my 2005 Nissan Frontier completely failed and left me stranded on the interstate highway. After towing it and a little research I found out that this was a problem that Nissan was well aware of and neglected to notify me or do anything about. The transmission cooler had cracked leaking engine coolant into the transmission. I learned that they extended the warranty to 90,000 miles with a $3000 dollar deductible which is laughable, considering that this was a problem that is going to cost about that to fix on my own. Nissan states on their website that they extended the warranty for customer satisfaction, in reality they got sued and that was the settlement. Nissan should have recalled these trucks years ago like a morally responsible company would have and I would not have to be running up credit card debt to fix it now.

- Arlington, TN, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #137

Jul 202014


  • 177 miles
If transmission in these trucks are not fixed then someone is going to have an accident due to it. I am lucky I didnt have one thank god for that we are safe. Raditor leak cause failer in transmission raditor was fixed a year ago and was still have some issues with it but was told they think it is normal to feel it slip gears when driving. I trusted them and lost my toque converter while driving on the highway going 100km an hour and had no pickup speed from it. Nissan told me as long as light is not on dont worry about it. While light didnt come on until I had no gears at all. I am not happy about risking my life my husbands life and the life of 2 small kids. One day if Nissan dont take fault for this someone is not going to be so lucky and get hit by another car before they can drifted to safety.

- Caledon, Ontario L7c2k5, MI, USA

problem #136

Jun 272014


  • 80,518 miles


While getting on the freeway, I accelerated to merge with traffic but was unable to gain speed so I got off on the first exit ramp. Had plenty of engine power but lost torque. First thought, must be the transmission slipping. Got home and checked the transmission oil level and it was fine, the oil did not look like transmission oil, it was discolored and had a different feel to it. Was able to get the truck to dealer and was told it needed a radiator and transmission. Coolant had leaked into the transmission. Did my research and found there have been many complaints about this problem. As for the warranty, by which I still have to pay over $2500, I believe Nissan should have had a recall on the 05 Frontier, pathfinder, and payed for the whole repair for their use of what I call defective parts. ( radiator & transmission cooler )

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #135

Jun 302014


  • 119,950 miles
Noticed transmission "rumble." Took vehicle to local dealership where I was told there was cross-contamination between the radiator and transmission. Apparently a known issue with this make and model. Informed it would be over $6000 to repair. I have owned the vehicle since 2005 and was never informed of the defect or the pending class-action suit.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #134

Feb 202013


  • 112,000 miles
While traveling 65 mph in 6 lanes of traffic during rush hour the truck lost power and rolled to a stop. I was stranded in the middle lane with cars flying by me. I am very lucky I 2 as not hit by traffic. Had the truck towed to transmission shop $4700 later was told it was radiator fluid in the transmission. This I later researched and is a common problem in these vehicles. Nissan is fully aware and does nothing about it. It's disgraceful to the name Nissan not to stand behind tour product. I have own 5 Nissan ' S and 3 of them Frontiers. These trucks have always had the reputation to run many many miles without issues. I will never buy another Nissan brand vehicle as a result of their careless attitude towards this problem someone is going to be killed at some point. Then will it make sense to recall it?

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #133

Jun 062014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 124,950 miles
I was at a stop light and when it turned green my truck felt like it was stuck in neutral and wouldn't get into gear. With hesitation, it finally jumped into gear but was very sluggish with hardly any power. It was quite dangerous with a line of vehicles behind me I thought I was going to get rear-ended. Thankfully I was only 2 minutes from my office where I was able to pull in the parking lot and unload my two children and call my wife to pick us up. I had to have my car sit there over the weekend because I didn't feel safe driving it. On the following Monday I had it towed to a transmission repair shop where they diagnosed it as a cracked radiator head with coolant leaking into the transmission causing this failure. I then had it towed again to the Nissan dealership where they diagnosed it and confirmed the first diagnosis. They said unfortunately I was over the mileage and to call the national Nissan dealership and petition for assistance. After looking up all the information I find it discerning that Nissan hasn't done the right thing and recalled this to make it right.

- Elbert, CO, USA

problem #132

May 292014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


A crack in the radiator has caused coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. This has resulted in catastrophic failure of the transmission requiring the replacement of the transmission and complete radiator replacement. I have been quoted a total cost of close to $5000.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #131

Oct 022013


  • 110,000 miles
Transmission contamination with coolant.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

problem #130

Apr 032014


  • 129,000 miles
At the approximate speed of 5 to 8 mph, and accelerating, the "service engine soon" signal light up. Immediately I had to turn 5000 rpms to reach a speed of 20 mph. I drove the vehicle approximately 5 miles to home and parked it their. Contacted my mechanic and took the vehicle to his garage the next morning for a total of 8 miles in addition to the 5 for a total of 13 miles driven while in warning. Upon completion of a diagnostics check, it was discovered that there had been a transmission radiator valve failure. This valve fails to operate, and does not allow coolant and lubrication of the transmission to continue. The valve is connected to the transmission radiator, located within the confines of the cooling radiator. The radiator was replaced, and upon test drive it was discovered that the transmission was deficient or had burned up 3rd and 4th gears. The totality of the repairs to include replacement of a transmission, radiator, fluids and labor was in excess of $4,000. A vehicle with less than 130,000 miles of highway use, with all maintenance performed as prescribed within the owners manual, service recommendations should not have failed. A single valve is/ was the responsible culprit. I have previously owned a Ford Ranger, took care of it as I have the Frontier, and had in excess of 200,000 miles on the Ranger upon trading it in. I never replaced a transmission in my life on any vehicle. Nissan needs to acknowledge the issue at hand and take the appropriate corrective action, respect the customers that have respected you over the years.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #129

Apr 302012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 91,551 miles
Improper shifting, sometimes major vibrations, or kicks out hard.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #128

Mar 262014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 73,850 miles
I was at a stop light, waiting for light to change. As light changed applied pressure to gas pedal but the vehicle would not move the engine would just rev up, finally moved slowly. I drove it like that for couple blocks then I parked for an hour or so, after that I was able to get home without a problem. I reserched online about it and found out that it is a common and known issue of cooland mixing with transmision fluid that ruins the transmision due to a defect on the radiator. Took it to the dealer and they confirmed that the transmision need it to be replaced as well as the radiator which it would cost over $8,000. The extended warranty (8years/80,000miles) was already expired for 8 months with only 73,800 miles on the truck, so I had to pay $2,500 copay which I found it outrageous for a known factory defect. At least they should let owners of these vehicles known that this could happend to their cars.

- Everett, MA, USA

problem #127

Mar 072013


  • 154,000 miles
Transmission coolin in the radiator ruptured causing complete failure of the transmission.

- Walnut Cove, Nc 27052, NC, USA

problem #126

Nov 012013

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
Vibration in motor like driving over grooved pavement - on and off again for months before realizing it was the radiator and transmission problem that occurs in these trucks and SUV's. I don't want to pay $6,000 to fix a defect. They should pay no matter when it happens.

- Wall, NJ, USA

problem #125

Nov 122013


  • 110,000 miles
Radiator leaked antifreeze into the transmission. Transmission has to be rebuilt/ replace and radiator has to be replaced.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #124

Mar 142014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 67,350 miles
I was driving along on a major interstate at 65 mph when my engine was revving up to about 3500 or 4000 RPM but my speed was dropping. I pulled over to the right hand side of the road, stopped and turned the vehicle off. Had I not been in the right lane of the major interstate when traffic was very light, I could have had a major accident. Everything seemed normal except the low coolant level in the reservoir bottle. There did not appear to be any problems with the engine so then I placed the truck into drive and moved the vehicle forward. As the vehicle picked up speed and at about the 35 to 40 mph the truck engine would rev up but the transmission was slipping and not allowing the truck to move any faster. When I took the screw off the transmission dipstick to see that fluid level was too high for the proper level in the automatic transmission. Also, I noticed that the fluid had a greyish milky appearance which is a clear indication of contamination with a water based material such as engine coolant.I find the fact Nissan clearly knew that was a problem and failed to notify me as the original owner of the vehicle annoying. They would rather pay to have vehicle repaired after the fact than take care of a potential safety problem before it occurs. This is extremely troublesome when a manufacturer places profits and the bottom line ahead of customer safety. Upon further research, I have learned that I could have replaced the faulty radiator with another product from koyorad for about $120 retail and prevented this problem. So for a couple hundred dollars, Nissan is willing to jeopardize my safety and all other Nissan owners safety. As the national safety Agency, I implore you act immediately and order a recall on these Nissan vehicles before people get hurt. It is your duty to protect the people of the nation from safety issues when manufacturers fail to do so.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #123

Mar 072014


  • 90,000 miles
Nissan knew a defect was in the transmission cooler built into the radiator tried to cover it up or at least not acknowledge the issue. Now 9000 miles after Nissan told me I was good, I have an issue where the transmission fluid is contaminated with coolant and vice versa. Nissan says this is a small percentage of vehicles. This will occur with all vehicles with the defective radiator. The cost of repair is ruining peoples lives and is a safety issue with seizing of transmissions while driving. Please address this NHTSA.

- Portland, OR, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?