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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,100 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.

2008 Nissan Xterra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Dec 202015

Xterra

  • 175,000 miles

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

I have a 2008 Xterra that has suffered a transmission failure due to the well known problem with these models - namely that the radiator cracked, transmission fluid and coolant mixed, thus destroying the transmission.

- Spencerport, NY, USA

problem #21

Aug 052016

Xterra

  • 110,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into the transmission which resulted in unrepairable damage to the transmission which require the entire tranmission to be replaced at a significant cost. Not sure when the radiator began leaking fluid into the transmission there were no warning signs incidating that something was wrong until the damage had been done.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #20

Jun 052016

Xterra

  • 109,000 miles
Cracked radiator leaked coolant into the transmission cooler destroying the transmission, transmission cooler, and radiator at about 109,000 miles in traffic. Apparently, this is a know issue with 2005-2010 Nissan Xterras, frontiers, and pathfinders. As part of a settlement to a class-action lawsuit, Nissan offered an extended warranty up to 10 years / 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (although an internet search says the average mileage at which this problem occurs is 95,000 miles). Nissan nor its dealership never notified me of the defect or the extended warranty so now I'm trying to decide if I fork out $6100 for the repairs or trade-in the vehicle.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #19

Feb 072015

Xterra

  • 103,000 miles

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

I took our 2008 Xterra into a local shop to have the all the fluids except the oil serviced (already had it changed at a Nissan dealer) on Feb 7 2015. When the shop called, they told me there was oil in the radiator and what they suspected and told me I should take it to a dealer. When I looked at the radiator fluid it had what looked like oil and the overflow tank looked like a chocolate shake was in it. I took it to the dealer on Feb 9th 2015 and waited for 1/2 day to find out that it needed the radiator and tranny replaced, but they couldn't do it that day. Having researched the problem online I had seen the stories about the vehicle seizing up on the highways/roads. I expressed my concern and asked that they contact the aftermarket warranty insurance and discuss what Nissan would cover and what maxcare would cover. I was then put into a rental for almost 2 weeks while it got repaired. Now less than 2 weeks after getting it back it has a smell, is leaking from the front right corner under the hood, and has a clanging noise from the same area. Upon popping the hood and I found a dark oily substance in the radiator and foamy 'stuff' on the radiator overflow cap again. It appears the problem is not fixed or bad remanufactured parts were used, or it wasn't completely cleaned out prior to putting it back together. I don't understand how an issue that can make a vehicle seize up on the roads can not be considered a safety issue. All of this after purchasing the Xterra Oct 31 2014 at our local carmax facility. Carmax supposedly does a thorough job of checking over the vehicles they sell but they sure dropped the ball on this one. Now just after the 12 month 12000 warranty on the replaced parts, the transmission fails again, 5 days without the Xterra and still waiting for maxcare to approve the repairs. Wondering about keeping it after this repair is done.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #18

Oct 152015

Xterra

  • 97,200 miles
Engine over heated because of coolant lost, with possible trans damage, the vehicle ws being driven when the heating problem occured.

- Harvard, IL, USA

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problem #17

Sep 172015

Xterra

  • 50,000 miles
The radiator on the Nissan Xterra has a crack, found commonly I guess and it leaks into the transmission destroying the transmission

- Georgetown, MA, USA

problem #16

Jun 202015

Xterra

  • 125,000 miles

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

After noting a repeated noise that sounded like driving over rumble strips, we discovered from our mechanic that we were facing a $6,400 repair for a issue that was well known and documented but only covered by Nissan up to 80,000 miles, which our car has exceeded. The entire transmission, radiator, transfer case and other parts are destroyed by a leak of the radiator into the transmission. We were never alerted to this major defect and now have no recourse back to Nissan to cover the repair. What a tremendous lack of accountability and disregard for potential safety of drivers by Nissan.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #15

May 152015

Xterra

  • 128,000 miles
My 2008 Nissan Xterra starting shifting rough over the past couple weeks. I dropped it off to the Nissan dealer this morning and recevied a call stating radiator and transmission needs to be replaced due to engine coolant leaking into transmission. Was told this was a familiar issue so I researched and see there is pending claim open since June 11 2012: How many vehichles are needed before the recall is passed. I was just quoted $10,000 to replace radiator and transmission. I do not have 10K and I rely on my vehicle for work as I am a hospice nurse. This is causing me serious stress as I need my vehicle for work. See below : NHTSA defect investigations for the 2008 Nissan Xterra the Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2008 Nissan Xterra, both ongoing and closed, are listed below: Transmission failure (atf contamination)NHTSA defect investigation #DP12004 status: Open date opened:June 11, 2012 date closed:pending recall:possible recall component(s): Power train power train:automatic transmission power train:automatic transmission:control module (tcm, PCM) power train:automatic transmission:cooling unit and lines power train:automatic transmission:torque converter summary: ODI received a petition requesting investigation of transmission damage attributed to contamination by engine coolant.the source of the contamination is a cracked atf line that runs through an engine coolant chamber in the radiator.ODI has received (512) five-hundred-twelve consumer complaints between August 2005 to May 2012 regarding transmission problems.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #14

Feb 072015

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 93,405 miles
I took our 2008 Xterra into a local shop to have the all the fluids except the oil serviced (already had it changed at a Nissan dealer) on Feb 7 2015. When the shop called, they told me there was oil in the radiator and what they suspected and told me I should take it to a dealer. When I looked at the radiator fluid it had what looked like oil and the overflow tank looked like a chocolate shake was in it. I took it to the dealer on Feb 9th 2015 and waited for 1/2 day to find out that it needed the radiator and tranny replaced, but they couldn't do it that day. Having researched the problem online I had seen the stories about the vehicle seizing up on the highways/roads. I expressed my concern and asked that they contact the aftermarket warranty insurance and discuss what Nissan would cover and what maxcare would cover. I was then put into a rental for almost 2 weeks while it got repaired. Now less than 2 weeks after getting it back it has a smell, is leaking from the front right corner under the hood, and has a clanging noise from the same area. Upon popping the hood and I found a dark oily substance in the radiator and foamy 'stuff' on the radiator overflow cap again. It appears the problem is not fixed or bad remanufactured parts were used, or it wasn't completely cleaned out prior to putting it back together. I don't understand how an issue that can make a vehicle seize up on the roads can not be considered a safety issue. All of this after purchasing the Xterra Oct 31 2014 at our local carmax facility. Carmax supposedly does a thorough job of checking over the vehicles they sell but they sure dropped the ball on this one. I'm not sure who I am more upset with, Nissan for not taking care of their customers by voluntarily doing a recall, or carmax for selling something that certainly wasn't checked over very well or they would have noticed the fluids.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #13

May 252014

Xterra

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving at a low speed, the transmission hesitated to shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic, where it was diagnosed that there was transmission fluid in the radiator, and the radiator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. However, the failure recurred and the service engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to another independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the valve body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Denville, NJ, USA

problem #12

Feb 112014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 157,000 miles

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

Without warning the transmission failed and car was smoking (overheated) due to a radiator leak into the transmission. I was nearly killed on the james river bridge. I bought the car brand new and have kept the maintenance schedule.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #11

Feb 052014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I have a 2008 Nissan Xterra that I purchased a year and a month ago. I started noticing a faint burning smell in the cabin in the car. I look under the hood and notice the smell alot more and that it smelled like clutch fluid. I made an appointment with the dealer, auto nation. As I was making my way there the truck stop on me. I was stranded on the interstate, I called the dealer and they didn't have the means to Transport me to the dealership. I had to provide my own tow service. After I had gotten it towed and the mechanic there took a look at it he said that the clutch went out on it as well as the fly wheel. The estimated cost of the repair would be around 3K. I was appalled. He also said that none of the repairs is covered under warranty. As of now I am looking for a mechanic that would charge me less and also going to trade the truck in because I've read alot of reports of this happening and no longer want to pour money into a fairly know truck. I would advise noone purchase these trucks and that all of the 2008 model Nissan Xterra's need to be recalled.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #10

Dec 092013

Xterra

  • 112,098 miles
While driving through the intersection, my vehicle suddenly lost power causing me to get rear ended. Very minimal damage to my vehicle but my daughter was in the car with me. Upon further inspection at a shop it was concluded that the cause of the loss of power was due to a failure in the teams fluid cooler causing radiator fluid to enter the transmission.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #9

Oct 222013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Timing chain.I would like to send out a letter of complaint on my 2008 Xterra. I'm one of the hundreds with the premature wear of the timing chain shoe and tensioners mentioned in your 2009 service bulletin EM09-007; ntb09-128; Nov. 16, 2009. Substandard parts. Your customer service was no customer service.

- Roanoke , VA, USA

problem #8

Apr 132013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Cross contamination on transmission/radiator coolant causing transmission slippage. I will join the class action suit currently on going....I hope Nissan gets hit with a huge penalty for this travesty.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #7

Apr 072013

Xterra

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the vehicle shifted out of gear independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for a diagnostics, who stated that there was a cooling fluid leak and a transmission fluid leak, which caused contamination of the transmission. The failure was reported to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 82,000. The current mileage was 83,000.

- Brooklyn , NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 252013

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan X-terra. The contact stated that the transmission shifted out of gear independently. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who found a cooling fluid leak in the radiator and a transmission fluid leak. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure was not reported to the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 105,000. The current mileage was 105,357. Updated 7/1/13 updated 07/17/2013

- Quincy , WA, USA

problem #5

Apr 112013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Smelling radiator fluid and now the transmission is not working correctly.

- Windsor, PA, USA

problem #4

Apr 242013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My Nissan Xterra is a victim of the manufacturing defect where the coolant in the radiator mixes with the automatic transmission fluid, due to a leak in the transmission cooler, causing complete transmission failure. My transmission slips and driving is erratic, causing unsafe driving conditions. The repair is quoted at $6,000 dollars and is not considered a recall item. Nissan has extended coverage on vehicles up to 100,00 miles only, but this is starting to happen to newer vehicles over 100,00 miles. A radiator replacement would have prevented this problem. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed soon!

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #3

Oct 292012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
I own a 2008 Nissan Xterra (4X4 4.0L 6cyl 5 speed automatic transmission) with vehicle mileage of 114K. Im the sole own of the vehicle. In late October of 2012 I had to have the radiator replaced along with the transmission, due to the a interior crack in the radiator causing the coolant to leak into the lines of the transmission fluid. This resulted into complete disaster, as my vehicle was not shifting properly, the transmission began to slip in which the transmission had to be replaced along with the radiator. The two mixed fluids inside the transmission appeared coffee mixed with cream like, the color was a creamy/light brownish inside the transmission. I'm writing to you in hopes this can assist towards the on going investigation and in hopes of a reimbursement with my total repair costs& rental costs, or a vehicle replacement. I hope my story helps the hundreds of others who have similarly been affected in the costly matter. Thanks

- Orlando , FL, USA

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