Notes: In a very limited selection on small pickup trucks, the Frontier is one of the best options except -- and I cannot emphasize this enough -- for one problem that makes it an avoid-at-all-costs pain in you know what: the radiator ruptures and leaks coolant into the transmission, killing it. Such a buzzkill.

This problem affects most 2005-2008 (and maybe beyond) Frontiers.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,399 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2005 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 272011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


I have a suffered a transmission failure due to a faulty radiator in my 2005 Nissan Frontier. Coolant has entered the transmission due to radiator failure, thus ruining it. I have had my 2005 Nissan Frontier in the shop for five weeks and it will cost $4,500 to repair.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #4

Mar 102008


  • 59,994 miles
3/10/08-transmission is slipping and clunking, took to dealer-turn away, 59994 miles. 4/21/08-62,597 miles returned to dealer and again was told no problem. That day took to local mechanic and he drained transmission fluid. Resembled a milk shake and he diagnosed the problem as a broken transmission line in the radiator. Returned to dealership and they once again turned me away refusing to acknowledge the problem. Local mechanic flushed transmission and repaired radiator. Transmission still slips and clunks and is presently parked.(not drivable) received a letter from Nissan admitting to this very problem and they still rejected my request for repairs. Believe engine may have been damaged as a result of this problem. Burns oil and stalls as well. Made many requests to national Consumer Affairs and totally rejected my concerns.

- Alliance, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 012010

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Had been getting some noises from the transmission for a little while, but mechanic never caught the real issue. Transmission failed while driving 100km/H, overdrive and 4th gears no longer worked. Was able to make it home and do quick internet search where it became obvious that my problem was related to engine coolant getting mixed with transmission oil due to failed cooler inside radiator. Opened up radiator cap which confirmed this fact, tranny oil floating on top of the engine coolant. Costs for rebuilding transmission over $5,000, hooked up oil to external cooler already in the truck, therefore saved cost of replacing radiator (bypassed this cooler). This is obviously a manufacturing or design defect, nothing do with normal wear and tear. Nissan will not reimburse the repair.

- Edmundston, New Brunswick, Can, 00, USA

problem #2

Apr 212010


  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated when traveling at speeds of at least 45 mph, the vehicle would exhibit unusual shaking and hard vibrations. The dealer advised the coolant was leaking into the transmission and both the transmission and the coolant system would need to be replaced due to cross contamination. The vehicle was no longer being utilized. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were 91,000.

- Clover, SC, USA

problem #1

Jan 162010


  • 70,000 miles
Nissan Frontier 4.0 SE crew cab fuel sending unit is defective. There is a service bulletin but Nissan should be forced to do a recall. Any amount of research on the engine code P0463 will turn up 100S of problems. Mine has stopped working making the gas hand slow to respond and must be replaced. Nissan has issued a new part with the service bulletin so maybe replacing it will last, but still should be a recall. The trucks also have a problem with the radiator leaking coolant into the transmission which can lead to failure and a possible safety issue, I haven't had the full extent of this but its starting to show symptoms of the problem.

- Flower Branch, GA, USA

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