Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2005-2007 Xterra appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

The same defect exists in the Pathfinder & Frontier as well. And according to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,994 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 Xterra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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

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

2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 3 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #282

Jul 122015


  • 143,200 miles


Was driving and vehicle transmission stopped moving vehicle. Engine was running and I could see the rpms increase as I gave gas but the drive train stopped working. Had the car towed to a transmission shop. The diagnosed the problem as transmission cooler problem. Explained that it is a common thing with this vehicle. Then discovered through the internet that this has been going on for years and Nissan has not recalled for the defect. Repair shop told me it will be $4500 to repair.

- Windham, NH, USA

problem #281

Jun 152015


  • 109,000 miles
My Xterra won't move when in gear, drive. I was coming out of my driveway and pulled out into traffic slowly, when I went to accelerate to pull in front of other cars coming my way the Xterra just stopped accelerating. The engine reved up high but the car would not move. Cars almost ran into me as I had to move to the shoulder with this dead car. I put the car in park and then drive again, stepped on the gas and the engine reved but did not move. I put the car in lower gear and then drive and was able to limp on back home very slowly with the engine reving high. I got in my garage, checked the tranny fluid and it was rusty looking with shards of metal in it, it almost was like scrapes of metal in it. The car is stuck in my garage and won't go anywhere but backwards.

- Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #280

Mar 222015


  • 79,032 miles
Car has broken down 3 times in the past month. Cause: Radiator and transmission.

- La Quinta, CA, USA

problem #279

May 282015


  • 105,900 miles


Vehicle has unwanted vehicle acceleration up to 30 mph without pressing accelerator. RPM's suddenly increase and then decrease during gear change. Memphis wolfchase Nissan service center (901) 255-3800 advised radiator fluid leaked in automatic transmission and has corroded transmission.. transmission replacement repair bill will be in excess of $5,300.

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #278

May 262015


  • 112,000 miles
Confirmed diagnoses of vehicle damage of radiator assembly & transmission are due to Nissan's defective radiator assembly which allows coolant to pass through into the transmission rendering the vehicle unsafe to operate. Nissan is unwilling to assist with the repairs of damage caused by defect. I was not notified of this manufacturing defect. This is a safety issue, a damaged transmission due to coolant entering it has rendered the vehicle unsafe to drive, a known defect, yet the manufacturer will not even compromise to assist with repair of this defect. A manufacturer should assist with repair of any defect that renders the equipment unsafe to operate - no matter when that defect decides to show up! Nissan should assist in all repairs due to their known defect to let the consumer operate the vehicle in safety.

- West Chester, PA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #277

May 212015


  • 23,160 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While driving at 35 mph, the vehicle seized and smoke emitted from the engine. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, where it was diagnosed that the transmission, radiator, and another component needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 23,160.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #276

Apr 152015


  • 108,321 miles


I was starting to drive my Nissan Xterra 2005 and heard a noise like metallic rattling. The mechanic told me the transmission oil is mixed with coland fluid. I was told, to fix will cost $5000 to replace the transmission and the radiator and cooling system. In the internet I found out many complains about Nissan's cars for this catastrophic failure. This is a manufacturer defective product. Damage to the transmission as a result of the defective car. Nccc (North Carolina consumer council) has received a number of complaints from consumers in regards to sudden, catastrophic transmission failures in 2005-2010 Nissan pathfinder, frontier and Xterra vehicles. All of the vehicles experiencing these failures are not within the time period specified by the extended warranty, but are often beyond the mileage limit. So, why should I pay for somebody (Nissan) mistakes and never try to correct them? I never get from Nissan an advise on this potential failure of my car. Nissan has been aware of this problem since 2007 and has undertaken no preventive measures to protect consumers from failure. Nissan didn't warn consumers that the transmission could fail. Any honest company will at least warn consumers of the consequences to the transmission defect. But this rip of company do not care about their products nor their customers. I do not recomend to buy a Nissan car ever !!! Nissan motor corporation is a rip of company that lacks honesty !!!

- Durham , NC, USA

problem #275

Apr 192015


  • 182,367 miles
Transmission coolant line cracked inside the transmission, causing the transmission to be destroyed. Was quoted a repair cost of 5,500, because the vehicle is 4X4 and the repair they would have to make to the coolant system. The vehicle is not repaired at this time due to the fact the vehicle is only worth 3,500.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #274

Apr 202015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle vibrated and shifted gears. The vehicle was diagnosed by an independent mechanic who stated that the failure was caused by a mixture of transmission and radiator fluid that affected the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #273

Apr 252015


  • 105,334 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle failed to shift gears and the service engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator, transmission, and coolant heater hose needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacture was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,334.

- Maui, HI, USA

problem #272

Apr 282015


  • 84,765 miles


My Nissan has the defect that brought a lawsuit against Nissan motor for a failure in the oil cooler that caused my transmission and radiator to be completely rebuilt/replaced because coolant had leaked into my transmission. I ended up with a bill for $3941.46, and now, I can't even file a reimbursement form or get a hold of any one at Nissan to help because all 3 numbers listed in letters and paperwork are no longer in service.

- Reno, OH, USA

problem #271

May 012015


  • 148,000 miles
My car oveheated and began to buck -- mechanic stated transmission and radiator have failed - I still owe 1 year on this car and Nissan wont fix it - can you help in any way published on Apr 18, 2013 video of what happens to the radiator/transmission fluid when the transmission fluid radiator fails and a cross connection happens between the two fluids that don't belong together. Nissan settled a class action lawsuit in January of 2013, but this doesn't mean that you still can't file a complaint with the national transportation safety administration. If you have experienced this problem or no someone that has, file the complaint. Also call the state attorney general and the federal trade commission and file a complaint against Nissan. We bought the car used, but there is no way to check for this problem. If we had known the problem existed, I assure you we would not have purchased the vehicle. If I knew there was a potential problem after we purchased the vehicle, we could have replaced the transmission coolant radiator with the safer replacement type to prevent this from happening. I think it should have been the federal government's responsibility to notify the public of the problem and they should force Nissan to address the issue. They made Toyota step up with recalls and Toyota did to my recollection. Should have purchased a Toyota.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #270

May 152007


  • 500 miles
I purchased a brand new 2005 Xterra 1/2006 with 10 miles!!!! I paid 28,000 for this vehicle and worst vehicle I never had!!! I only service this vehicle at the dealership!!!! I had so many issues with this new truck!! the check engine light keeping on at from the very beginning and when I took it to the dealership said nothing was wrong! over time, this was a complete lemon!! the vehicle had to replace a radio, 6 batteries, 3 alternators, hoses leaking, oil leaking within 3 years purchasing a new truck, fuel sensor replaced, fuel pump replaced, 1 cal.conventor replaced, and worst of all transmission issues!! the truck will not go up hills and when I took it to 2 different places said that the radiator was leaking into the transmission and Nissan knew about this and never said nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I only took my truck to the dealership and they never said a thing! I could replaced the radiator long time again to avoid the transmission going out!! 5,500 repair job!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is poor quality truck with all the issues I had since I brought it brand new !! my Acura have 241,000 and never had any of these issues that I purchased used!! I contact the Corp office and they will never do anything! the Nissan dealerships around the country knows the issues with these Nissan cars and never say a thing!! I will never purchase a another Nissan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they will not stand behind their product!! 4 of my friends with Nissan (Xterra, pathfinder, and maxima) the transmission went out within 6 months of each other!!!

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #269

Apr 172015


  • 80,000 miles
I was informed by a friend who has the same make and model car that there is a defect in the radiator that causes radiator fluid to leak into the transmission, thus ruining the transmission. Therefore you need to then replace the transmission.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #268

Mar 122015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Driving on freeway at 65mph car started stalling and loosing speed, I stepped on the gas but car would not accelerate. I was a few yards from exit, so I exited and when I reached the bottom of the exit, car stopped and it accelerated in reverse. Very scary and strange. I pulled the emergency brake and turned the engine off even though it seemed to not be running. I towed the car to a mechanic and I found out that the problem was a design flaw in the car that Nissan has acknowledged but did not recall the vehicles. I find myself with a $6,000 repair estimate. I called the dealer after finding out what caused my car to die and they were aware of the problem as well and informed me that Nissan had extended the warranty on the car with a $3,000 co-pay. The problem is not only expensive to repair but a real danger if the car goes into reverse while on heavy, fast traffic. I'm completely aghast that Nissan and the dealers have known about this problem but have not notified car owners nor will they own up to the design defect and repair the vehicles which should not be needing new transmissions with less than 100,000 of driving. I don't know what you do with these complaints, but Nissan needs to do the right thing and repair the vehicles free of charge. The class action lawsuit that they settled is a sham. When we buy cars we expect them to run well, and not have major flaws that would render the cars useless if you don't have the huge amounts of money that it takes to repair them. What does the law allow Nissan to do in this case. They've already ripped us off by selling us faulty vehicles and now they want to rip us off by having us pay for repairs that should not have been incurred to begin with.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #267

Sep 292014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
We have a 2005 Nissan Xterra and were never told about the trouble with this models trouble with the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission and causing damage. Nissan extended their warranty with a deductible up to 100,000 miles and ours leaked at 106,000 miles causing $5600 in damages that Nissan refused to acknowledge. Had there been a recall this never would have happened.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #266

Mar 192013


  • 99,634 miles
My 2005 Nissan Xterra transmission went out as I was driving across the causeway and almost ended up in the marsh. I searched online and this is a common problem with the radiator leaking into the transmission. Nissan was involved in a class action lawsuit but it's to late for damages. I think this is a safety issue and Nissan should have recalled these vehicles before someone is killed.

- St Simons Island, GA, USA

problem #265

Feb 202015


  • 115,000 miles
Transmission failure due to defective valve unit. Very dangerous situation as the vehicle loose complete power. This is happening to a lot of Nissan Xterra 2005 owners.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #264

Jan 302015


  • 140,000 miles
The class action lawsuit that is going on, this is what happened to my vehicle. My coolant leaked into my transmission, now my transmission is now destroyed as well as my radiator, and the estimates are $5500 to fix. I almost crashed and got hit by an 18 wheeler when this happened, I need to report this because I hope Nissan steps up and fixes this once and for all, instead of letting there customers hang out to dry.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #263

Jun 252014


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle decelerated and the rpms increased without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission oil cooler failed and caused water to enter into the transmission. The transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?