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:
112,974 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #63

Jan 052017


  • 131,000 miles


Takata inflators timing chain and tensioner system.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #62

Oct 252016

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Complaint re: Transmission failure with my 2005 Nissan Frontier. Is locked in 3rd gear in automatic transmission. Overdrive gear was gone due to coolant mixing with transmission fluid. Had replaced radiator & flushed transmission 3 months ago hoping to buy me some more miles before having to replace transmission. Didn't work. Told by Nissan that I was sol due to over 100,000 miles. ## VIN passed ## Nissan Frontier V6 4X4 2005 ##

- Roxboro, NC, USA

problem #61

Oct 122016


  • 164,000 miles
Vehicle engine has shut off completely while at a full stop and while driving. Once while making a turn and once while in motion. Many Frontier owners have experienced the same. Took it to one of the best auto techs in Florida. Diagostic showed "no codes"

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #60

Jun 012016


  • 120,000 miles


Transmission oil leaking into coolant system and coolant leaking into transmission.

- Kelseyville, CA, USA

problem #59

Jun 152016


  • 112,000 miles
Radiator leaking fluid into transmission. Notices slight shutter at high speed, approximately 65 mph, in the transmission. Vehicle was checked by dealer at 89,000 miles without any issue at that time. Dealer would not replace radiator due to no problem at that time. Vehicle is at 112000 and now radiator fails. Nissan would not cover due to out of extended warranty. Faulty designed system and potential safety hazard in my opinion. Vehicle at my independent mechanic for new radiator and transmission flush out to see if it will fix problem. Major expense for poor design passed onto customer. I will not spend any more money with Nissan.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #58

May 162016


  • 99,000 miles
Radiator and transmission failure due to coolant leaking into the transmission. This poses a significant safety issue when I lose power on a busy interstate. The transmission loses power when trying to upshift. Inspection completed via an authorized Nissan dealership. Efforts to rectify with Nissan have failed. This issue has been known for quite some time and is marked as an open NHTSA investigation.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #57

Apr 132016


  • 94,000 miles


Vehicle shut off while driving on the highway. I was driving down the highway at 65 mph when the truck made a quick jerk and them completely shut off. I came very close to causing a highway pile up!! I had no power, no steering no nothing. Luckily I was able to get across 3 lanes safely. Cars were slamming on brakes and luckily I didnt kill myself or anyone else. Once I got the the side of the road I was able to get the truck going and safely get to an exit. I creeped home on a wing a prayer and now the truck is sitting in my driveway. I dont dare to use it and I need it. I am scared to drive it, ithas given me anxiety, it was horrific. My truck has 94220 miles on it.

- Wells, ME, USA

problem #56

Apr 122016


  • miles
Timing chain on 2005 Nissan Frontier. The engine makes a loud whining noise due to the chain contact. When the vehicle is stationary or motion it make the noise. When the vehicle in motion it changes gears at a higher RPM. I have sensors that were operable because of the timing chain issue.

- Gibsonton, FL, USA

problem #55

Mar 292016


  • 155,000 miles
Nissan transmission destroyed by engine coolant leak. Had no problem with transmission until one day, shifted into drive and transmission was stuck in higher gear. Thought it was electrical. Turned the car off then back on. Would not engage in reverse, but forward was back to normal. Took to aamco transmission repair and was told this was a common problem with Nissan in that the design flaw allows engine coolant to mix with transmission fluid and destroys the transmission. Cost to replace is estimated at $4100, can not obtain a used transmission because all the same transmissions have the same problem with engine coolant leakage. Vehicle has 155K miles, and did not have any warning signs of transmission problems. Nissan needs to be responsible for their design flaw. This truck which was running fine last week, will now be sold for scrap at a junkyard as I can not afford to repair for $4100. Aamco transmission said junk yards are full of same Nissan due to other owners with the same problem.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #54

Feb 132016


  • 102,000 miles
In 2013 I received a notice of class action about a Nissan vehicles related to possible radiator fluid leak into the transmission due a defect that permits cross-contamination of engine coolant and transmission fluid. It did not include vehicles before it happens. In 2013, I went to a authorized Nissan dealer to check if my radiator can be affected but they told me that in that moment the radiator was working well without given me the option of replacing it to prevent damages. At the time I was under the warranty limits, less than 10 years and less than 100,000 miles. Now in February 13, 2016 my vehicle began to have problems to move, had a harsh shift, it slowed down and did not drive at times. I clearly saw a transmission problem. I called united Nissan service for a diagnose. They check my vehicle and told me that my radiator leaked fluid into the transmission due the radiator defect. I couldn't understand why this class action did not include vehicles that will face this damage in a future. It did not include prevention of damages. Nissan did not released a recall for the faulty radiator. I know I am now outside the warranty limits, but at the time when I visited Nissan service to prevent this no one provided my help or information that would help in prevent such damage. The price for a new transmission is 6,000 dlls. The total cost of repair all goes up 9,000 dlls. Also I received a rude customer service by the service agents of Nissan service. Now I have to cover these costs by myself. My son was driven the vehicle when this happen. The good thing is that the failure occurred while he was driven on the freeway making it so dangerous. What will happen with people like us? the legal case was closed in 2012 but Nissan still having vehicles suffering this this damage. This is a negligence that pass the financial burden to consumers.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #53

Feb 112015


  • miles


My truck started shuddering every once in a while. Eventually it was pause when changing gears (would not accelerate and would lose speed), and then it began to make a clanking sound. Took it to a mechanic and he said on this particular model the coolant via a leak in the radiator combines with the transmission fluid. Repair estimate is $3,800 plus tax! vehicle was in motion and on city streets and highways.... generally at a speed of 40mph or higher. The issues began about a year ago and then slower progressed to worse. When it started is a guesstimate.

- Cave Creek, AZ, USA

problem #52

Jan 012015


  • miles
Tijming chain faulty and pullies

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #51

Dec 052006


  • 20,000 miles
Vehicle has severe electrical issue with position sensors on camshaft and crankshaft. Vehicle engine stalls suddenly. This is a very dangerous condition as vehicle will loose braking and steering control at high speeds or in a incline, hill on or off road. Nissan has faulty wiring on these sensors that control the engine power, a know problem that has never been recalled. Over 100 people have suffered injuries or loss of life due to this issue. Nissan dealerships are aware of problem and several forums online including newspaper articles outline the issue.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #50

Jan 012015


  • 118,000 miles
Bad timing chain and 2 idle pullies.. $2000 repair to be done Dec 2015

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #49

Dec 212015


  • 78,000 miles
Timing chain component failure

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #48

Sep 202015


  • 75,000 miles
Had to have timing chains and related parts replaced. Cost $1700 out of pocket, no help from Nissan.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #47

May 152015


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Frontier. While driving 50 mph, an abnormal noise emitted from the engine and the vehicle lost power. The vehicle was shifted into park and restarted. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- Athens, TN, USA

problem #46

Jun 032015


  • 86,576 miles
Engine coolant is leaking into the transmission and vice versa

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #45

Apr 272015

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
With no warning the truck would not start, and just stopped working. We hooked it up to the code reader and did some research online. What we found was really troubling. We bit the bullet and paid to have it towed to the dealer. The dealer looked it over and said that the radiator contaminated the transmission causing a failure in both. They would have to replace the transmission, all the seals and hoses, the radiator and the computer. These repairs were quoted to be $8,000. We just bought the truck which is worth $11,000 and now we are hit with an $8,000 repair bill" this is a major manufacturer failure and was already part of a class action settlement, but since you had to be a part of the class action suit before we even owned the truck we are just out of luck" Nissan needs to buy this truck at full value from us, instead they are trying to take us for another $8,000.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #44

Feb 232015

Frontier 4-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
My car starts and idle but do not accelerate the ipdm is not working perfectly.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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