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 1 of 8)

problem #157

Oct 282015


  • 100,150 miles


My transmission began slipping slightly and when the fluid was checked, we noticed that there was radiator fluid getting sucked into the transmission. Shortly after that was noticed, the transmission completely stopped shifting and left me stranded on the side of the road. It has 100,000+ miles on it so the warranty will do nothing for me and neither will the class action lawsuit that I've found some information on therefore, it has been sitting in my driveway for over a year because I cannot afford to have it fixed at this point.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #156

Nov 112016


  • 80,000 miles
While driving my 2006 Nissan Frontier the truck would not respond to the accelerator being pressed and then began jerking. The check engine light came on and it has been doing this for a couple of days. I took it to my mechanic and he said is was the radiator leaking into the transmission and destroying the transmission which Nissan knows about the defct but has chosen not to fix. If I was traveling at a high speed on the interstate and the truck did not respond to the accelerator and started to jerk a collision would have happened. The fact that Nissan knew about this defect and chose not to inform me of the problem causes considerable alarm.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #155

Oct 252016


  • 117,000 miles
The truck hesitated to move at a stop. (it dragged really hard and it was slow) per my son described, not sure if he was on the freeway or the street when this happened. I took the truck to my mechanic. On tue October 25, 2016. After diagnosed, he told me the transmission was failed. It needs to be rebuilt or buy a new one. The cost for a rebuilt one is $2,800 and a new one from Nissan dealership is $5,000. I decided to go for a rebuilt one. This happened on tue October 25, 2016. This truck I bought used in March 2016 at 114,674 miles for $10,000. I went on line to search for something related to Nissan Frontier 2006 transmission and I found out the website relating to the class action lawsuit. I did contact Nissan of North America on Wednesday October 26, 2016 and they told me to send in the invoice after the repair for reimbursement. Until the reimbursement takes place, I am still nervously waiting.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #154

Oct 012016


  • 144,000 miles


Driving on a trip transmission started slipping and jerking. Had to drive slow in third gear with it still slipping. Radiator fluid was foamy. Truck still in driveway. Four to five hour trip on highway with some hills didn't think I would make it home. A few years back we received a service notice of failed radiator. Took truck to Nissan and they would not replace unless there was a problem.

- Steele, MO, USA

problem #153

Oct 112016


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. While driving up an incline at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle jerked without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission and the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The radiator was replaced, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact stated that when the ignition was turned to the on position, there was an abnormal noise coming from the radiator. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 133,000.

- Ocala, FL, USA

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problem #152

Sep 012016


  • 133,000 miles
There is a recall on the 2006 Nissan Frontier coolin leaking in to transmission

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #151

Jul 012016


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle failed to respond. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that there was fluid contamination in the transmission. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #150

May 262016


  • 154,000 miles
The automatic transmission cooling lines were compromised in the radiator. Coolant contaminated the automatic transmission fluid and ruined the transmission specifically causing the relay in the transmission that is connected to the starter circuit to malfunction. There was therefore no warning that anything was wrong until the truck simply would not start. The quote from the dealership is $6,600. This is particularly frustrating because 6 months ago I paid for a full inspection of the vehicle and though this is a known issue that is preventable, there was no mention of it in the report.

- Tybee Island, GA, USA

problem #149

Jun 252014


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. While driving approximately 40 mph, the transmission gears stopped shifting and the engine revved and made a loud noise. The contact drive the vehicle in first gear to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact did not notify the manufacturer. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #148

Mar 012016


  • 130,611 miles
Transmission failure: Atf contamination. Radiator fluid mixed into transmission, therefore ruining both transmission and radiator.

- Signal Hill, CA, USA

problem #147

Jan 111991

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 107,500 miles


I bought the truck from a private party. As it was not registered, I have not tried. I subsequently overview, that the transmission was not normal. I looked at the worst default of the Frontier on the internet and I find that everyone has a problem radiator crack leaked into transmission fluid. I have been to the garage. They said there was coolant in the oil transmission. I had to replace the transmission and radiator coolant radiator bypass. It cost me $ 2,408 cad

- Jonquiere Quebec,Canadag7x7v4, DC, USA

problem #146

Apr 072016


  • 112,000 miles
According to the mechanic, the transmission coolant reservoir (which is connected to the radiator) collapsed causing water, antifreeze and transmission fluid to mix. These fluids then made their way into the radiator, transmission and coolant reservoir. This, in turn, caused extensive damage to my transmission. My transmission then required replacement/rebuild. The first possible sign of the problem was rough automatic shifting of the vehicle. I then noticed a leak of transmission fluid from the front passenger side of the vehicle (which was parked in my driveway). This was followed by a loss of power/drivability.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #145

Sep 182015


  • 90,340 miles
I bought the truck and less than a week later I noticed a weird rumbling noise at around 35-50 mph and 1-2 rpms. One time while I was by myself in the mountains scouting for an elk hunting trip, the truck would not go into reverse. This could have been very bad as I was isolated otherwise deep in Utah mountains in the fall. Took the truck in and found it was transmission failure just like everyone else had written about on the internet. Extended warranty replaced transmission for $100. 6 months later, I was still nervous about the issue and before a big trip I did some more research. People with similar problems were pointing at the radiator and warned to check it for transmission oil contamination. Checked it last night and the radiator is full of transmission oil. Truck is currently in the shop.

- Midvale, UT, USA

problem #144

Mar 272016


  • 135,000 miles
I purchased a used 2006 Frontier. The dealer told me they do not check for recalls on non Ford vehicles. After 5 months and five miles, the radiator apparently caused my transmission to fail. When it failed I was making a left turn in front of traffic and lost control of the vehicle and was almost collided into. The Nissan dealership says this is a recall that since the previous owner didn't have it performed, and the dealer didn't do anything that I'm liable for $5500 in repair.

- Woodinville, WA, USA

problem #143

Mar 292016


  • 147,000 miles
Transmission slips and the first gear so rough

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #142

Mar 142016


  • 1,325,000 miles
The transmission is shifting hard and I believe I have I have a similar problem that is common for this vehicle. The radiator fluid is foamy and dis-colored which I have found to most likely be tranny fluid getting into my radiator, and coolant getting into my transmission, which the way it looks, means I need to replace my radiator and transmission. I cannot contact the dealership I bought it from to help with repairs because they closed their doors... only had this truck since 2/8/2016

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #141

Jan 252016


  • 132,000 miles
Cross contamination of coolant and transmission fluid due to factory defect in radiator. Began with no heat suddenly in the middle of January. No check engine light to warn of issue. Changed out the thermonstat and noticed the strawberry foamy liquid in the radiator then search 2006 Nissan transmission problems on line. Vehicle also stops and starts very, very, slowly in intersections, on ramps.

- Bailey, CO, USA

problem #140

Jan 052016


  • 178,000 miles
Radiator coolant is leaking into the transmission fluid and causing it to overheat.

- Plainview, TX, USA

problem #139

Feb 102016


  • 135,000 miles
While driving down the highway at 60 mph, my 2006 Nissan Frontier suddenly was running very rough, it decelerated and I only had low gear enough to barely make it off the hwy and out of the way of high speed traffic. No dash/idiot lights came on identifying any problems, there was no warning at all. Truck was towed to Nissan dealership who said the transmission, and radiator, and thermostat all needed to be replaced!! they charged us $5,500. This truck only had 135,000 miles, and was kept in great condition, at time of it's failure. Nissan should be ashamed of making the consumer bear the cost of Nissan's faulty parts!! they are flat out lucky if no one's been injured, or killed due to this failure! had I been on the interstate as planned the very next day, in this truck, I wonder if I'd be here today. There should be no question or hesitation that this "transmission failure" is a safety issue and needs to be a full fledged recall. And we should not have to foot the bill for Nissan's screw-ups with our hard earned money. It is simply wrong.

- Fort White, FL, USA

problem #138

Jan 132016


  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle shifted out of gear independently. The vehicle decelerated and stalled. During the failure, the check engine soon light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the radiator coolant tank leaked fluid onto the transmission. The radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 154,000.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

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