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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,563 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #49

Dec 042016


  • 110,000 miles


Nissan timing chain needs replaced, Nissan has not published tsb's about the issue. Costs are 4000 by Nissan. Bought truck used. If Nissan has not published any tsbs, why should a consumer have to shell out thousands of dollars to fix the issue.

- Enid, OK, USA

problem #48

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 #47

Aug 012016


  • 138,500 miles
Transmission is binding due to coolant leaking into transmission. Fluid is bubbled and looks like poached egg causing overheating. Transmission color is not correct, same problem as under investigation

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #46

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 #45

May 182016


  • 124,062 miles
I have a cracked radiator that is leaking coolant into the transmission of my 2006 Nissan Frontier. When the 2 fluids mix it creates a mixture called toxic hell stew that is irreversible and will eventually kill my 5-speed automatic transmission.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #44

Oct 012015


  • 100,000 miles
Timing chains guides and tensioners used by Nissan were known by Nissan to be faulty resulting premature failure and extremely costly engine repairs

- Lindale, GA, USA

problem #43

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 #42

Sep 202015


  • 120,000 miles
I bought my 06 Nissan Frontier with 95000 miles great truck loved it when it got to 118000 miles the radiator messed up causing me to replace the rad and trans flush 500$ two weeks later no reverse one day headed home from work going up lick hill second gear gos out causing me to get rearened then there's 200$ for towing and a smashed up truck just spent 8000 on the truck and can not afford to put 4000 more in it what the hell this is a joke my truck will rot to the ground before I spend 4000 more I hope this is taken care of nobody should have to deal with this now I a piece of just that's not worth 2500 Nissan U suck

- Boyers, PA, USA

problem #41

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 #40

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 #39

Aug 292015


  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that the vehicle would start independently with the key in his pocket and when depressing the brake pedal, the engine would fail. The contact also stated that when he disconnect or reconnect the battery, the engine would start up without the key in the ignition. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000. Updated 04/14/16

- Gillette, WY, USA

problem #38

Nov 182015


  • 86,700 miles
The vehicle has 86,700 miles, I always took care of it, changing oil at 3000 mile intervals, never towed with it, etc., etc., while driving the trans slipped out of gear, luckily I was able to pull over and nobody was in back of me, when I got it to the dealer, they said the timing chain and guides needed replacement plus the radiator leaked and the trans cooler contaminated the transmission and they both had to be replaced and it cost me near $5000 for total repairs.

- Carlstadt, NJ, USA

problem #37

Sep 252015


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. After taking the vehicle on a trip, it was witnessed that the vehicle was leaking transmission and radiator fluid. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that water was mixing with transmission fluid, which resulted in engine failure. Details of the repair were unavailable. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,000. Updated 1/21/16

- Kerhonkson, NY, USA

problem #36

Jun 012015


  • miles
Whining noise coming from timing chain or timing chain tensioner when engine running (both during idle or running on highway). The video below is the exact sound coming from my engine. Https://

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #35

Oct 182015


  • 77,900 miles
Bought the truck used at a Nissan dealership. Had under 50K miles. 2 months ago check engine light came on and heat was not working. Had it looked at several times spending money each time but they could not find problem. Last month truck started running rough. Found out this week it needs a new transmission/radiator due to a problem that Nissan has known about for years. There was a class action lawsuit about the problem. They said my truck is too old to qualify for help. According to sites I see we do qualify and I need some help. It overheated today and broke down on highway and is not drivable. I need someone to help me with this.

- Rollinsford, NH, USA

problem #34

Sep 272015


  • miles
I was informed that there was a cracked radiator in my truck that was leaking fluids into my transmission. This was on Sunday 9/27/15. The employee of my local dealership informed me about this. The following I was informed by the service department that I would need to replace the radiator and transmission. I was told that this was an "ongoing" issue going on with vehicles that match my make and model.

- Wailuku, HI, USA

problem #33

Jul 152015


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the vehicle independently switched into four wheel drive as the vehicle lost power. The four wheel drive light illuminated. The engine warning light also illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the ECM (engine control module) needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was 124,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 272015


  • 130,000 miles
The transmission on my truck suddenly went out with no warning during my morning commute in heavy traffic on the 202 loop in phoenix. Shifting to a different gear had the same effect as stepping on the gas, which was that the engine revved with no increase or decrease in speed. I had to coast across 4 lanes of fast moving traffic. It was an incredibly dangerous situation. I am told by the Nissan dealership that transmission fluid mixed with coolant and that it was a catastrophic failure. I have received no notices of any kind from Nissan and was shocked to learn that this is a known, commonly occurring defect and that the defect manifests instantaneously and without warning most of the time. Nissan should be held accountable for the defective system and for not notifying me that I should have the dealer fix it before they put my life and property and that of every person around me at risk. Updated 09/15/15

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #31

Feb 012015

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Weather turned from rain to icy. South bound on street that overpass interstate. Truck spun around several times first in South bound lane hitting guard rail on West side, went over the curb and median into North bound lane spin again before coming to rest against 4ft high concrete divider on bridge. The driver side air bag is the only one that deployed. My wife was in passenger seat. No other air bags deployed. This truck had dual stage supplemental front air bags and Nissan aabs.. thankfully our seat belts were probably what protected us from being thrown from the truck. As I stated only the air bag in steering wheel deployed. This should be looked into with all the recalls going on. I had not received any notice about this problem. I went to emergency room the following Tuesday to get xray of chest because of pain. My wife went to her dr also.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #30

Nov 282014


  • 80,000 miles
In eight years I have changed two ZD30 engines in my Frontier, because of burned out pistons and bad cylinder heads, eight burned out pistons in total, and as of today December 3/2014 my Frontier lost power sending blue smoke from the exhaust and oil, my mechanic says the engine has to be opened again. My fuel pump went bad soon after the warranty was up.sent it over seas to be repaired, at a cost of $1500 the dangerous part is the steering going loose, lucky for my wife and self I was in traffic driving at 10 mph. The local dealer disclaimed everything. I am about to lodge a complaint to our local bureau of standards.

- Castries, FL, USA

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