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CarComplaints.com 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.

9.3

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,742.00
Average Mileage:
102,661 miles
Total Complaints:
217 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new radiator and transmission rebuild (80 reports)
  2. replaced radiator and transmission (34 reports)
  3. not sure (31 reports)
  4. replace transmission (26 reports)
  5. new radiator, transmission, and flush fluids (24 reports)
  6. buy new car (6 reports)
2005 Nissan Xterra transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #197

May 152014

Xterra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I'm supposed to be happy about "only" a $3000.00 deductible for the extended warranty from Nissan to cover this problem. Poor design, lost class action law suit, should have been a full recall from the company. This is my 2nd X Terra, and I was about to shop for the next one. Not anymore, lost respect for Nissan after reading all the stories on the web from the many with this same problem.

- , Harahan, LA, USA

problem #196

Aug 012014

Xterra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Last night my wife was stranded borrowing my Sentra when the battery died (I walk to work so my car gets minimal use; understandable) until a Samaritan gave us a jump after I failed to start it. She’s borrowing my car because her inoperable Xterra has been at the Connel Nissan dealership in Costa Mesa, CA for a week awaiting our pickup. We took our Xterra to a family-friend mechanic shop in August last year because of a vibration in the engine. He recommended replacing the radiator and flushing the transmission. The vehicle ran fine until recently when it would stop moving forward in the middle of the freeway, and eventually struggled to drive even after idling.

We took the Xterra back to the mechanic who said the transmission had finally given up. I had never heard of a car having this kind of issue with regular highway use, so I researched online only to discover articles on Nissan regarding class-action suits, investigations, extended warranties, and recalls. I found out Nissan extended warranties to 100k miles for our series Xterra and remembered that our radiator issue occurred at 98k miles. I took a chance and called consumer affairs hoping this vehicle could still be covered at 114k miles.

I kept hearing terms like “We’ll take care of it,” and “let us reach out to the dealer and handle it.” Words like that create a strong sense of hope for someone who works in customer service. Vance, in consumer affairs, had spoken with the dealership and emailed me for proof of the work done at 98k miles, which was not even taken into consideration in the end, creating more false hope. I found myself begging to get Vance to see my perspective of the situation when he said Nissan is denying my case because it is out of warranty, and when it was in the extended warranty, the mechanic was not a Nissan dealer.

You can imagine the frustration of not knowing of the extended warranty’s existence until now, so I asked Vance why I wasn’t informed. Apparently it is because the dealerships are responsible for informing customers of known issues with models such as this and only when someone comes to them, they don’t “reach out” to owners. When I explained that I am not a “Connel Nissan” customer, but a Nissan customer having owned nothing but Nissan my entire life, I asked why Nissan doesn’t inform us of such an expensive, dangerous defect as the one we discovered on our own through online research. That question was never answered. The rest of the conversation was filled with apologies from Vance and my expression of how disappointing this experience was.

Three promises were broken from Nissan: “We’ll handle it,” which was the promise made to me from consumer affairs. They heard my story, they made me feel valued, they seemed to empathize with me, yet somehow they had a change of heart for seemingly trivial reasons. The other two promises are in their business model: “We will respect your time,” and “We will market our products and services honestly.” The former promise was broken when it took 3 days of information gathering, for information that was not taken into account, or at least had so little leverage for my case that it could have been avoided in the first place. The latter promise was broken when as a Nissan customer – again, not a Connel Nissan customer, no one was informed of this serious issue. I received letters about the Xterra ECM module having a defect, and my Sentra airbag defect immediately! However, a known issue where Xterras stop driving in the middle of a freeway because they can’t switch gears was kept an insider-secret for dealerships and misfortunate online forum users to know.

I finally emailed several executives at Nissan (randy.parker@nissan-usa.com, takehiro.terai@nissan-usa.com, john.spoon@nissan-usa.com) none of which had any interest in contacting me back and just had consumer affairs call me again to tell me no again. This was an extremely pathetic example of customer service and leadership.

- , Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #195

Jun 022014

Xterra S 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

The coolant has contaminated and mixed with the automatic transmission fluid. The Transmission has completely failed, and the vehicle now requires towing and either a full rebuild or replacement of the transmission itself, and new radiator.

- , York, PA, USA

problem #194

Jun 022014

Xterra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,635 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I received a call from my husband on Monday June 2 indicating that something was wrong with his 2005 Nissan Xterra. He said it sounded like it was driving on rumble strips in the road. We went online to find that there have been several complaints brought against Nissan for folks experiencing the same issue.

We contacted our local Nissan dealer, Nationwide Nissan. I spoke with Steven Jones and he informed me that there is a known issue with 2005 Xterra's where the radiator fluid leaks into the transmission which will in turn cause the engine to cease. He then indicated to me that there was a class action law suit that settled back in January 2013 that if the vehicle was under 100,000 miles all would be covered except $3,000. Really, $3,000 is what we would have to pay to have this fixed knowing that this is a defect on the vehicle that Nissan has known about as it effects 2005-2010 Xterra's, Pathfinders and Frontiers. Yet it's us that has to pay out of pocket this astronomical amount of money. Anyone over 100,000 miles would have to pay in full which ranges $7000 - $10,000 depending on the state you live in. You cannot tell me that this is how a company stands by their name.

This was literally almost a total loss on this vehicle but luckily enough we were 300 miles under the 100,000 mark. How is this OK to charge folks these prices for something that is a defect on the Company. To date, we were never notified nor was a recall ever put into place. There are hundreds even thousands of folks filing complaints on this matter. We should not have to have this worry, how we will come up with this amount of money, and by all means we should not have to borrow from 401K's to afford what we rightfully did not damage ourselves.

I WILL NEVER, WE WILL NEVER purchase another Nissan again because they did not stand by their name. All we are asking is that something be done to return our money that we so rightfully should not have had to put out.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #193

Jun 032014

Xterra V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

We owe $5,800.00 left on the vehicle and it is projected to cost us $5,500 to fix. The car is pretty much totaled and we still have a few years left to pay it off. We are totally screwed. Out of a vehicle. Paying monthly still. This is borderline criminal. I feel Nissan stole from us. This is wrong.

- , Westbrook, Maine, USA

problem #192

Jan 152013

Xterra LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Same problem as everybody else -- radiator leaked into transmission, tranny dead, vehicle out of commission. Unbelievable that Nissan did not recall these when they KNEW this was a problem. Lots of people burned as evident here just by the few who know about this site.

Don't give up though! Check this out: http://www.nissanproblems.com/problems/transmission.shtml

"This step is crucial. Don't just complain on forums; The sites below actually manage your complaint in ways that allow useful statistics and they report dangerous trends to the authorities. Law firms often contact these sites for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough."

Let's get another class action lawsuit going -- not the minimal crap Nissan already slithered by with. This should be a RECALL situation, NOT BASED ON 100K MILES! That's a big way they slithered. Tell everyone you know who's been burned. Everybody here who hasn't, go to the above website and register your complaint. Maybe we can hold these #$@%$@#'s feet to the fire yet!

Make Nissan realize we will do everything we can do to put them out of business if they don't compensate those of us who have been burned by their KNOWN PROBLEM! Other motor companies have had to recall after slithering before. DON'T GIVE UP!

- , Bulls Gap, TN, USA

problem #191

Jul 162014

Xterra 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,960 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

this vehicle has been nothing but problems.It's been a real junkamobile. windows not working, a/c doesn't work, heater doesn't work unless it's at full blast,sensors always tell me tires have low pressure,Aagh !!!!!. It's a real piece of S----T. THANKS I NEEDED THAT

- , Montague, NJ, USA

problem #190

Apr 012013

Xterra S 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

even after replacing the transmission, the transmission gave out again after only a week. Turns out this was due to water leaking into transmission. I am now in the process of replacing the radiator, and, having much of the transmission rebuilt - again.

- , West Monroe, LA, USA

problem #189

Mar 282014

Xterra Off-Road V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I took my car into the shop because of a rumbling noise and shake that was happening while driving. It feels like hitting the safety strips on the edge of the road by the shoulder. The mechanics pulled things apart and identified that there was radiator fluid and engine coolant leaking into my transmission. There were also metal shavings mixed in with the fluids. Upon hearing this, I remembered the notice of class action lawsuit that I'd received about my model.

At that time, I was ineligible to participate in the suit due to the mileage on my vehicle (over 100,000) and am also ineligible for any extension of warranty. I called my local Nissan dealership (my very rude, very unhelpful, very uninterested in customer service Nissan dealership) to ask if there had been any further action taken since the initial contact. The gentleman said "no" and I had asked if, due to the increasing frequency of this problem with my model vehicle, Nissan was tracking this repair. He didn't know, and that was fine, but when I asked him if Nissan would only reimburse the (lawsuit and warranty eligible) vehicles with this problem if they had been fixed by a Nissan dealer his response was "Well, you COULD bring it to me if you WANT to." Hmm.

- , Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #188

Nov 212013

Xterra V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,400 miles

Found out about the problem and they wanted $2500 to fix. I was pissed because they knew it was a problem and yet did not warn us to prevent the damage. Hubby replaced radiator and did 2 flushes. So far it's okay but occasionally loses power going uphill after coming to a stop. Nissan screwed with us.

When we went to them for help, they were arrogant and demanded that we prove we were long time Nissan owners by providing all the VIN numbers of all the Nissan's that we had. And we had 24 hours to dig them up. We did it and they blew us off for a few days then they told us 'no'. Worst, most arrogant company EVER! I am never buying a Nissan again!

- , Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #187

Jan 152014

Xterra Sport V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I see that there was some relief from nissan if it happened before 100k...but my local mechanic said this is when it usually happens....I was hoping there could be another class action....the Nissan dealer wanted over$6k to fix....

- , Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #186

Mar 152014

Xterra V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This problem is a manufacturer's defect where the radiator cracks and leaks fluid into your transmission which then destroys your transmission. Nissan was taken to court for this problem in which they settled and extended the warranty to 100,000 miles or 10years whichever comes first, in which you then had to pay a $3,000 deductible to then get it fixed (how nice of them). The Nissan dealership charges $6,500 to replace the radiator and transmission, by the way. My car, however, is over this mileage and is not covered by this settlement.

When we spoke with an "executive" at Nissan, asking if they were going to stand behind their product, they said that they were very sorry we were having this problem, but they were "VERY GENEROUS" with the customers involved in the settlement and there was nothing they could do for us. My advice is, if you have a 2005-2010 Nissan Xterra is to get rid of it ASAP! That thing is a ticking time bomb.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #185

Oct 302013

Xterra S 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

There is only 73,000 miles on my 2005 Nissan Xterra. We were shocked to learn of a radiator leak that allowed fluid to enter the transmission. A hefty price of $3500.00 to fix the problem. What was even more shocking to learn was Nissan is aware of this problem that has occurred to many owners of their 2005-2007 models. Why have they not done a recall to save car owners this costly repair!! I am shocked and appalled at their customer service, or lack thereof. This will definitely be my last Nissan!

- , Haydenville, MA, USA

problem #184

Aug 092013

Xterra Off Road 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

Chalk up another one! The class action lawsuit settlement is a joke! The consumer gets jacked again and the big corporation makes out like a thief!!! Nissan should've, at the least, send out a bulletin to notify the consumer of a potential problem. Although they claim its not a safety issue and failed to issue a recall, I find it hard to believe that it's not a safety issue when your vehicle's transmission fails at highway speed. Sounds like a high speed accident waiting to happen to me!!!

I will never buy another Nissan vehicle again!!!

- , Barrington, IL, USA

problem #183

Oct 282013

Xterra SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,500 miles

I can't believe this issue is not covered under a recall. Having the customer pay any portion of the repair for an admitted defect is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!!!

- , La Habra, CA, USA

problem #182

Oct 232013

Xterra Offroad 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,497 miles

Brutal.. it's to bad.. I've had 3 Nissans.. 2 Pathfinders both got up to around 13yrs and 400,000km but finally age showed it's ugly side.. the xterra is 6yrs and now sits in the shop with a dead transmission.. This is the first car that has lasted less than 200,000 km.. and unfortunately for me.. my last nissan!

- , Toronto, Ontario, Canada

problem #181

Oct 162013

Xterra 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

Well it all started about a year ago, I noticed that when I would give it gas going down hill that the RPM's would rev up and I would have to let off the gas and push it hard to switch gears. Also last year I thought that my heater was going out because I would let it "heat up" in the mornings but the heater would not get warm until I got on the highway and was traveling at a steady speed. (Which I just read is a warning sign of this particular problem). About 3 months ago when I would get around 50mph my X-terra would start to vibrate when I had my foot on the gas. When I let off the gas and back on again it would stop. This past Wednesday (October 16, 2013) on my way home from work I was driving along and all of a sudden it just wouldn't go when I pushed on the gas. The next day I had it towed to a mechanic. It took him less than a day to contact me about what the problem was. I needed a new transmission and transmission oil cooler which was going to cost me $5718.92 and that is for a rebuilt one. Then he told me that wasn't all. He said while he was investigating the error message that showed up from the diagnostic, he found out that this is a common problem on this year of X-terra. He told me that the transmission oil cooler breaks down and releases Anti-freeze into the transmission lines in to the transmission. This contaminates the transmission fluid which over time breaks down the transmission and burns up the clutch. He said just go home and google it. So I did. I found out that Nissan had issued an extended warranty for this to 100,000 miles. Which of course I am past the cut off and I was never notified of. Had I known what the warning signs were and that this was a common problem, I would have taken it in a year ago when the problems first started.But now since I am past the mileage cut off I am just out of luck. Nissan is aware that there is a problem and they should do the right thing and fix it. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER NISSAN!!

- , Siloam Springs, AR, USA

problem #180

Sep 272013

Xterra S 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

My 2005 Nissan Xterra, which I bought used one year ago, just quit on me about 2 weeks ago. When I bought it, I was careful to make sure any recalled issues were performed. Now this radiator leaking into and ruining my transmission. I purchased an extended warranty with an outside company. However, since Nissan will "partially cover" this issue to the tune of $3000 deductible to me, my warranty company cannot and will not touch it. I am out $400 so far for the rental car so that I can go to work and school. As it is, I'm having to withdraw funds from my IRA at penalty to ensure I can cover the deductible cost and rental. This issue is all over the internet, and the original mechanic I initially worked with before realizing it HAD to go to Nissan told me this is and has been a known issue with the 2005-2007(?) models of Xterras, Pathfinders, and Frontiers but no recall? I'm furious and truly so stressed by this issue. I have taken good care of the vehicle and ensured proper maintenance, but none of that matters in this case. It is shameful that no recall has been forced as so many people have dealt, are dealing with, or will be dealing with this issue that is known to the Nissan corporation. I had an Altima that gave me no problems for the entire 6 yrs. I had it. This Xterra, as much as I love it, will be my last Nissan. I would rather walk than deal with this kind of corporate thievery.

- , Missoula, Montana, USA

problem #179

Jun 012013

Xterra V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 117,000 miles

We started experiencing some problems with our Nissan just a month or so prior to taking it in. We took it into Nissan 7/17/2013. There were just a few small things that were happening...cannot pinpoint but just didn't seem to run like normal. We thought it was the tires so we had the tires checked. Then the service engine soon light came on and then went off. Returning from vacation the cruise control wasn't working. Once we got home then the service engine soon light came back on. My husband made an appointment to take the car in. Within a few days my husband could only use 3rd gear. So we got them to take the car in immediately.

The diagnosis from Nissan: Radiator and trans mixed and contaminated which damaged the TCM.

Recommendation: replace transmission and radiator assembly, charge $6600

This was our first Nissan purchase and we have taken very good care of this vehicle. To lose the transmission at 117,000 miles is unbelievable to me. We were basically screwed, either repair or have no car. Never thought we would experience this problem at this mileage. To learn that this is a widespread problem and Nissan is not acknowledging is very disappointing. Sends a message they do not back up their product. We thought we were buying a quality product but now we have our doubts.

- , Bear, DE, USA

problem #178

Jan 012013

Xterra

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,635 miles

I work two jobs and I live pay check to pay check I'm the head of house and the only one in the family working at this time. I thought by buying this vehicle I would have it for a long time ,so I spent all that I had saved and I also borrow to get a down payment because I heard nissans were a very good car but now I see they are not reliable at all. Now I am stuck with car payments and paying the loan back. The loan I took out to get this car. What am I to do?

- , bridgeport, Connecticut, USA

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