Notes: Radiators are still cracking, leaking coolant and destroying transmissions. Which is a shame when you consider that otherwise, this would be a great small pickup truck.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,340 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.

2006 Nissan Frontier drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Nov 252012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


The transmission has been compromised due to a faulty radiator. The radiator leaked coolant into the transmission contaminating the transmission fluid. I noticed the vehicle would occasionally shudder and when I had it checked out discovered the problem. Hard to believe Nissan did practically nothing to notify owners of the problem because it sure was evident that the local Nissan dealership was aware of the problem as well as a couple of transmission shops I've visited.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #36

Jan 102012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 1,016,200 miles
Radiator failed causing antifreeze to enter the transmission, and transmission fluid to enter the radiator.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #35

Jan 132013

Frontier 6-cyl

  • miles
Hasn't happened yet, but from all the complaints from 2005-2010 Nissan pathfinder, xterra and Frontier owners concerning major transmission failures while driving due to cross contamination from a failed transmission fluid line running through the radiator, it's only a matter of time. This defect has been known by Nissan for years and as a band-aid solution offered extended warranty coverage for these specific components to 8 years/80,000 miles, knowing full well most problems have a record of occurring just after 100,000 miles. Class action law suits against Nissan for this defect are now pending in the state of New York. This defect and Nissan's lack of concern for preventative action placed this in the 2nd worst problem on top vehicle problem trends of 2012 list. As more and more of these model years approach 100,000 miles, more and more catastrophic failures with potential for injury and loss of life will occur. Repair after the failure is quite expensive; enough to warrant scrapping the vehicle for those that can't afford the repair bill. Time to hold Nissan accountable for the problem they have created and allowed the public to bear responsibility for. A recall of all affected models to install an improved automatic transmission line in the oil cooler or rerouting the line to a different add-on oil cooler is needed.

- Grantsburg, IL, USA

problem #34

Mar 152012


  • 96,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated the front end of the vehicle began to vibrate. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the transmission lines and radiator fluid leaked and caused cross contamination into the transmission. The mechanic suggested they cut the transmission fluid line so it would go directly into the transmission fluid cooler; however, it caused the rear end of the vehicle to vibrate. The contact stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 96,000. The current mileage was 102,000.

- Cynthia, KY, USA

problem #33

May 042012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2006 Nissan Frontier. Consumer writes in regards to catastrophic transmission failure. The consumer stated while traveling at approximately 45 mph from home, the vehicle completely stalled in the middle of an intersection. The vehicle was towed to a repair shop, where an inspection revealed radiator fluid and transmission fluid mixed together.

- Deansboro, NY, USA

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problem #32

Nov 012012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
I purchased my truck with about 1900 miles on it. I was a very proud owner, doing everything in my power to keep my truck dependable and reliable by getting all scheduled maintenance plus preventative care. However, one morning I tried starting my truck for work and it wasn't cranking. Unfortunately, I decided to take my truck to a small mechanic shop and I witnessed them start an engine fire that damaged the wire harness. I quickly took my truck out of this mechanics shop and towed it to the Nissan service department. I asked the service advisor to repair the wire harness and to find out why my truck is not cranking. The service advisor explained to me that there was a recall on my vehicle because of a problem of coolant leaking inside the transmission which will damage the computer component causing the truck not to start or crank. The service advisor then continued to tell me that my truck is no longer covered for the repairs because I exceeded the allowed mileage to repair the factory defect and I have to pay for the repairs out of pocket which total more then what the truck is worth. The service advisor also revealed that I should have received a letter with details of the recall, but I never received it because it went to the previous owner. I was confident in purchasing a Nissan truck and invested all of my money toward one hoping this would be my only vehicle purchase for at least 10 years but now I have less than a year of payments left and a vehicle that doesn't run. My only mistake is that I purchase my Nissan with 1900 miles and because of that I never received my warranty or recall information which I feel this problem could have been prevented. I am asking Nissan corporation to stand by their vehicle with me and honor the recall so I can get my reliable truck running properly again.

- Corona , CA, USA

problem #31

Nov 022012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 123,500 miles


Mechanic stated antifreeze is leaking into transmission. Replaced radiator, flushed transmission.

- New Castle, CO, USA

problem #30

Oct 282012


  • 220,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact attempted to restart the vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was pushed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing, which the mechanic advised that the transmission radiator and transmission cooler needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 220,000 and the current failure mileage was 220,000.

- Lacombe, LA, USA

problem #29

Mar 162009

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Clutch failed suddenly on an I-95 onramp, total failure including flywheel. Just this Monday, my transmission completely disconnected from the engine at about 70mph on I-676 in center city philadelphia as a result of another clutch failure. I've been driving stick my entire life and this kind of sudden failure without warning does not strike me as normal. Also, I have the fuel gauge issue where it fails to correctly register the amount of gas in my tank. I'm the original owner of this truck and I wish I wasn't.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #28

Sep 052012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles
My 2006 Nissan Frontier would not shift out of first gear in rush hour traffic. (latter it would not go into reverse.) I pulled off to the side of the road and turned off the vehicle, decided to try and nurse it in first gear until I got it home. It seem to work fine. My understanding after searching the internet there is a know problem with Nissan Frontier and coolant getting into the transmission.

- Stanford, KY, USA

problem #27

Aug 312012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 114,863 miles


I was making a left turn across traffic in my 2006 Nissan Frontier when I lost all forward momentum in the middle of the intersection. The truck felt like it was in neutral and would not go into gear. I was stuck in the middle of the intersection blocking traffic for about 15 seconds while cars honked and went around me. After about 15 seconds the check engine light came on and it jerked into gear. I had the code check and they said it was a fault in the transmission. I did some research and found out about the faulty radiator problem that could allow coolant into transmission. I checked my coolant for signs and sure enough I had grey sludge floating all in my coolant which is a sign of cross contamination. I called a local aamco (transmission mechanic) to ask him about it and he knew all about the issue and said he rebuilds at least one Nissan transmission a week due to coolant destroying the transmission. He recommended that I bypass the radiator cooler right away and change the transmission fluid in order to reduce damage. He said that since it has already shown since of contamination that it was just a matter of time it failed again and for good. He said a rebuild would cost between $3K & $4K, which is something I cannot afford. I am scared every time I have to cross traffic that it will fail and I will be in a serious accident. Why would Nissan ignore fixing this issue while it was minor and allow its customers the possibility of being in a serious accident much less making them pay thousands of dollars that many do not have to fix a safety issue.

- Elk Park , NC, USA

problem #26

Sep 062012


  • 92,000 miles
My Nissan was having issues so I took it to my mechanic. He informed me that Nissan was having an issue with a part that wore out and leaked coolant into transmission and transmission fluid into the radiator. I called my local dealership to see if it was recalled. They informed me I was a few thousand miles over my warranty and they could do nothing. I then saw the multitude of complaints about this issue and the dealership said Nissan paid for some vehicles out of warranty. That alone proves they knew about this issue. I paid for a new radiator ($600) and hoped for the best with my transmission. I am in the navy so I can't afford to replace the transmission. Now my luck has run out and I can no longer drive my vehicle. I have a 3 month old at home and need to have two cars for my wife. This is an issue Nissan knows about and it is due to a faulty part they installed. It could have been fixed ahead of time and solved a lot of issues. When is there going to be a recall" people are getting stranded and Nissan and the government knows. Does someone need to die for you to notice and act" it would seem that people being stranded and spending thousands of dollars because of a manufacturing defect is not enough. I need to know if I have to go try to buy another car or wait and hope my government protects us.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #25

May 012012


  • 103,000 miles
Coolant fron radiator entered transmission causing shuttering. Vehicle was brought to Nissan for repair. Engine coolant had entered the transmission causing failure to transmission. Coolant system was replaced and transmission was flushed. After 5000 miles the transmission had completely failed. The failure occured while attempting to accelerate from a stop sign in a dangerous intersection. The vehicle was stuck in 4'th gear. I accelerated from the stop sign but the vehicle would barely move leaving me exposed in a dangerous situation. A vehicle almost T-boned me as it came around the blind corner. Nissan has known about this defect for a long time. If I had known I could have replaced the coolant system before it entered the transmission. Now I am stuck with a bill of more than $5000 after already spending $2000 on a new coolant system and numerous transmission flushes. In my opinion Nissan neglect in notifying and remedying this defect is placing its custumers at great risk of injury and death due to this sudden loss of power.

- Cheshire, CT, USA

problem #24

Jul 192012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that while driving 38 mph, the vehicle began to shake. The vehicle was taken to a transmission shop where they stated that the core in the radiation failed and the anti-freeze had spilled into the transmission and destroyed it. Consequently, the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 130,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- South Paris, ME, USA

problem #23

Jul 302012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
My 5-speed automatic 2006 Nissan Frontier's radiator cooler tank ruptured forcing coolant into the transmission through the transmission cooler lines causing "catastrophic failure" at 92000 miles on the odometer (12000 miles outside the extended warranty on the faulty radiator). This is apparently an "uncommon", but known problem with Nissan truck and SUV models. I was traveling at 65 mph on interstate 70 near frederick, Maryland when the transmission failure occurred. I lost all forward momentum but was able to maneuver the truck to the shoulder before causing an accident. I had it checked by an independent shop in mount airy, Maryland and they quoted the replacement of the radiator and transmission at $4350. After making inquires with the Nissan dealership where I bought the car new in 2006, their initial estimate was between roughly $6000 - $10000 for replacement of the radiator and transmission! they were able to negotiate down with Nissan corporate and the final cost of replacement of the radiator and transmission was $3000. My transmission failed without any sign or warning at 65 mph on a 3 lane interstate - the financial burden to fix the problem hurts, but it could have gone much worse.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #22

Jul 112012


  • 127,000 miles
Transmission/radiator failure resulting in mixed transmission fluid and coolant. I have just discovered this since I was having transmission problems. This is a known problem and a quick fix if I had just known about it. Many are bypassing the transmission cooler due to this problem. A quick internet search shows this is a known problem and pervasive.

- Colorado Springs , CO, USA

problem #21

Jul 022012


  • 88,000 miles
Automatic transmission slipped when changing gears. Also it felt as if I was driving over groves in the road while driving. I took it to my mechanic who informed me of multiple problems with the radiator leaking into the transmission and that I was 4K miles over the extended warranty. I never even knew I had an extended warranty, I guess Nissan didn't want too many people to know even though my vehicle is registered with them. My mechanic said this problem was a known issue with the Nissan design and since it was past the 80K mile warranty it was not covered. Radiator was replaced. I called the Nissan dealership and they would not extend or honor any warranty. My mechanic told me to watch my transmission, because that will be the next to go. My only hope is Nissan does the right thing (forced if necessary) and repairs or replaces what is clearly a faulty design. This has the possibility of causing accidents at the worst and abandonment on the side of the road of a family at best. Get them to fix this issue and protect the drivers on the road please.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #20

May 022012


  • 84,000 miles
The truck began to vibrate and shudder intermittently while in overdrive at highway speeds (55-65mph). A couple weeks later transmission starting shifting really hard, with corresponding clunking sound every time it shifted between gears. I took it to my regular local mechanic who found coolant mixed in transmission fluid due to a ruptured atf line inside the radiator. He stated that he had inspected numerous trucks of same vintage that also had transmission failure due to the same radiator defect causing contamination of transmission fluid. He advised me that my radiator and transmission would need to be rebuilt or replaced at this point. He recommended I contact Nissan dealer regarding this common defect and information about warranty coverage. I spoke to 2 local Nissan dealers on the phone and was told warranty on radiator only had been extended to 80000 miles. At this time my truck has 86000 miles and parts and service to repair this problem would not be covered by Nissan.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #19

May 152012


  • 65,455 miles
I own a 2006 Nissan Frontier nismo with 65K miles. Took vehicle to dealer for routine maintenance and recall work. Dealer noticed left rear axle seal leaking which covered brakes and emergency brake with axle oil which in turns makes the brakes ineffective putting my life and child's life and many others in danger. There are many other cases just like this one regarding other Frontiers with leaking rear axle. Please investigate this issue before it is too late. Make Nissan issue a recall!

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #18

Apr 142012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My truck began to shake and tremble when I was trying to back into my drive way. The truck had been making noises and I had taken the truck in to be checked by 3 different mechanics. I was told that they could not find anything and one stated he heard the noise but did not know what it was. The truck continue to make the noise of a grinding and shuttering sound. Did not drive but to work and home due to the problems. The noise would stop when the overdrive was turned off. Lately the truck sounds like the transmission is going. The fuel gauge does not work. It was in a recall but Nissan would not repair even though I was mailed the recall after my mileage was too high for the repair which makes no sense to me because if they sent the notice out late, what does my mileage have to do with their negligence to repair their faulty vehicles" could not repair, the cost was over $600. Had to replace a wheel bearing, over $400. Tire gauge light on. I have had nothing but trouble with this truck. I will never purchase another Nissan product. When dealing with the Nissan recall people I felt as though they could care less. Working on a fixed budget and unable to pay for high cost of repair. What can you do when the big companies refuse to repair their trucks and cars" I was informed there was no one to help me. Have run out of gas several times due to the gas gauge. I have read other's complaints on Nissan and I am surprise that no one forces them to repair their vehicles. This is my only form of transportation and without the repairs, I will be riding the bus. Tired in Virginia. Thanks for listening.

- Hampton, VA, USA

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