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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,743 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

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2005 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 10 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Nov 162010

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles


In November 2010 my transmission failed and had to be replaced. 3 months after having the transmission replaced I started having problems with the new transmission, I discovered I had to have the radiator replaced but it was too late. The new transmission has been ruin due to a faulty radiator install in the 2005 Frontiers by Nissan.

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #16

Sep 012011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Radiator failed/cracked and coolant leaked into the transmission and destroyed the transmission.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #15

Feb 052012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 82,800 miles
Was stopped at red light went to pull off transmission slipped and check engine light came on. Had engine checked and it had a code of P1754 for transmission solenoid. Check code on internet and saw where it was a problem Nissan had with a cracked radiator. Took to radiator shop and he said radiator was cracked and fluid from radiator and transmission was mixing together had radiator replaced and took truck to Nissan to have transmission check, they said transmission was damaged by antifreeze and it has to be replaced.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #14

Jan 122012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles


At 60mph on a slight grade, the truck began to shake. At first I thought it was chatter bumps, but the shaking increased over a couple of days and began to happen at low speeds. According to the mechanic, radiator was leaking into transmission and destroyed the transmission. Have attempted to fix by reparing radiator and flushing transmission. Neither has helped.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #13

Sep 152011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 116,500 miles
Experienced vibrations in the suspension at approximately 55mph. Over the next couple of months, the vibrations became progressively worse. I took the truck to the Nissan dealer for repairs. I was told this was a transmission failure caused by a design problem where the radiator fluid over time contaminates the transmission fluid. The Nissan dealer stated the repairs called for complete replacement of the transmission and radiator. The repairs were done at a cost of $5,375.28. Since this transmission and radiator failure was caused by a design problem, I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs to request that they compensate me for the cost of repairs. They refused to cover the cost of repairs, stating that the warranty period had expired.

- Lower Lake, CA, USA

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problem #12

Jan 122012


  • 120,000 miles
My 2005 Frontier started stuttering and not accelerating as normal. I was trying to get onto the freeway and my truck would not go past about 45 mph. I got off the freeway and took side roads back home. After numerous phone calls to Nissan to try to fix this problem I looked online and found out that the most common problem with this vehicle is transmission fluid mixing with coolant from the radiator and causing the transmission to fail. I took my truck to a Nissan dealership where they told me there wasn't a problem with my transmission fluid and it was fine. I then took my truck to another mechanic who told me the problem was the mixing of the two fluids. This problem could have potentially caused an accident on the freeway, as my truck's maximum speed was 20 mph less that the speed limit, and my truck could have potentially stopped all together. I'm just glad none of that happened, but I'm sure someone else is not going to be so lucky.

- Carpinteria, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 202011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Truck would not shift into drive after backing up. Had been having trouble with the od for about a month. It would vibrate or rumble at speeds of around 60mph. Stopped using the od and it seemed ok until yesterday. Checked coolant for transmission fluid like everyone else with the same problem and there it was. This is very obviously a manufacturers defect with so many people having the same trouble.

- Ramsey, MN, USA

problem #10

Nov 012011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 145,136 miles
On 1 Nov 2001 I was coming back from ajo AZ. When my engine overheated as I was trying to pass a vehicle. About even with the other vehicle transmission started slipping and I noticed that the engine was over heating. I let off the gas and stopped as soon as I could and was almost rear ended.after stopping I discovered no water in radiator.I filled it from a 5 gallon can of water and made it to a gas station.the mechanic on duty told me that the radiator failed internally and that I had water and antifreeze in the transmission.mechanic told me that he had several pathfinders and a few Frontiers with the same problem. I got on line and found hundreds of people with Nissan had the same complaint. I called the Nissan dealer and they said that that was not the case that they would replace the radiator and flush the transmission and it would be good to go. On line peoples complaints that I found said they were told the same and the transmissions still failed. Can I expect a recall to fix this problem?the waranty was up at 98,000 miles.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #9

Aug 112011


  • 80,000 miles
Nissan has not stood behind their product once so ever. Radiator fluid leaked into the transmission causing it to go out. Nissan knew about the problem and did not send out a recall for the problem and never did till this day. Although they choose to on other problems. Its a saftey issue as well and Nissan does not seem to care at all. They went on selling cars like normal and choose to leave there past consumers in the dust. Not working with or caring about us. I work hard for this truck and Nissan does not want to help and wont help one bit. Even though its completely due to a manufacturer flaw by Nissan as a company and they know it! please help!

- Pinson, AL, USA

problem #8

Oct 062010

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Whining noise from front of engine. Diagnosed as timing chain tensioner failing. Numerous complaints online. Dealer covered 300 dollars but after 20 days and 13 phone calls, Nissan usa refused to participate in repair or discuss the issue. Concern for transmission failure due to coolant leaking into transmission. Nissan extended warranty to 80,000 which does very little for those of us that keep our vehicles a long time.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #7

Sep 232011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 101,471 miles


The transmission cooler built into the radiator failed causing coolant and transmission fluid to cross contaminate and cause possible overheat of motor and failure of transmission. Tried contacting Nissan North America about help fixing it but they refuse to do anything about it because it is out of warranty. Getting the radiator and transmission replaced will cost about $5,000.

- Burlington, NC, USA

problem #6

Sep 022011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 116,135 miles
I drove the Frontier to work that morning, then in the afternoon I began my 62 mile commute home. I came to a stop at a traffic light and then when I began to drive again the engine would rev high and accelerate slowly. I made it to a service station where the code P1754 was read on the onboard computer. I was told by the service station that it needed to be looked at, since he didn't see any mechanical issues. The code was cleared and I was able to drive it home. The next morning thinking the problem may have been a glitch in the computer I attempted to drive it down the road, approximately 2 miles into the drive a violent jerk of the truck and I could not accelerate, it was as though the vehicle was in neutral. I made it home and had the vehicle towed to the dealer I bought it from in 2007. They informed me that the transmission cooler had cracked and cross contaminated the radiator and transmission fluids and it would be a $6300 dollar repair. I contacted Nissan after reading online about multiple issues with this and they said that they had sent a letter out in December notifying owners of the issue. The letter stated that the warranty had been extended to 80,000 miles. Due to the fact that neither the dealer nor Nissan had taken the time to update the vehicles info showing my ownership, I never received a letter and am beyond the 80,000 miles as are many of the other owners experiencing this issue. Nissan admits that the transmission cooler is suffering catastrophic failure in the transmission and radiators, but only on the phone. When you let them know that the transmission fails while on the highway in the middle of traffic, they only offer what seems to be the typical "I am sorry." This problem needs to be corrected and not at the owners expense, since it is a faulty transmission cooler that was used that caused all of the damage.

- Tappahannock, VA, USA

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

Apr 062011


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that the vehicle began vibrating extremely hard as it overheated. The contact checked the fluids in the vehicle and found that the coolant, oil and transmission fluids were mixed together in the transmission. The vehicle had not been inspected but the contact believed that the seals fractured on the engine when the vehicle overheated, allowing coolant to enter the transmission. The failure and current mileage was 71,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #3

Jan 172011

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Frontier. During the recent cold mornings I have noticed a buzzing/whinning noise when I started my truck. I took the vehicle into the dealership and later found out I needed a new timing chain. This was a huge surprise since I followed all of the maintenance requirements and only have 59,000 miles. I also found out that this is a known problem with my model year and unfortunately I was less than 20 days outside of my warranty period and Nissan would not pick up the cost which were estimate to be $1,300. I called Nissan corporate to see if they would still honor the warranty since it was a known problem, however, they said they were strict with their warranties and since I was technically outside of the warranty they would not pick up the costs or help out. The service I received was terrible and after doing some research it sounds like there are many other people out there that have had some same issue with the model year vehicle I have. All Nissan told me I could do was save my receipts incase there was a recall in the future.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #2

Oct 142008


  • 72,000 miles
Gear oil leaking past both rear axle seals resulted in inoperative parking brake and minimal regular rear braking. Accident was cause when car rolled into homeowners garage door after being left running with the parking brake applied. Repair is to clean oil from all contaminated surfaces, replace both axle seals, replace parking brake shoes on both sides, and main brake pads on both side.

- Spirit Lake, ID, USA

problem #1

Oct 242008


  • 50,000 miles
I had to have emergency service to the U-joints. Strong vibration under driver seat, afraid to drive any further. Peruzzi Nissan refusing to reimburse a warranty part.

- Yardley, PA, USA

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