hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,391 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.

2008 Nissan Frontier drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Aug 162016


  • 113,000 miles


This is in regards to an item already under investigation by the NHTSA. I am another victim of Nissan's leaking transmission cooler leading to a catastrophic transmissoin failure. My transmission locked in second gear upon accelerating from a stop sign. Fortunately I was 1/2 mile from my home on a side street and not on the interstate where such a problem could lead to an accident. Consumers need to know about this problem. The fix is relatively cheap before the transmission cooler begins to leak. Unfortunately consumers are unaware of the issue until it is too late, and the repair requires a new transmission and radiator costing $5000 to $6000. Although no wreck was involved in my incident, the potential for an accident is definately present if such a failure where to happen on a congested interstate.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #31

May 192016


  • 163,073 miles
Transmission cooler in radiator leaked causing engine coolant to mix with transmission fluid causing transmission to break down

- Danialson, CT, USA

problem #30

Jul 012016


  • miles
Transmission completally contaminated with coolant and car did not move anymore. Start slpping in overdrive. Ones I started and it has a weird sound and went home but in the way the car stops completally.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #29

Jun 282016


  • 52,000 miles


Radiator coolant leaking into transmission. Resulting in a failed transmission while driving. Very dangerous started slipping gears. Only 52000 miles on truck.

- Cogan Station, PA, USA

problem #28

May 182016


  • 110,300 miles
Radiator and transmission failure due to cross contamination of radiator and transmission fluid caused by cracked atf line running through engine coolant chamber in radiator.

- Chelsea, ME, USA

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problem #27

May 022016


  • miles
After the engine light went on on my Frontier, I took it to the mechanic. Mechanic states that I have a faulty coolant. Its a known issue by Nissan Frontiers. Basicly the coolant will leak into my radiator which then will mess up the transmission. This will cost me about $4000.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #26

Mar 012015


  • 79,000 miles


While vehicle is in motion and being driven down a city street or highway and making a turn the transmission goes from in forward motion (drive) to neutral (no motion, but acceleration of engine continues) for a period of 5-8 seconds, and then the transmission engages into forward motion (drive) with a large jerkking motion or thud. This happens at stop lights, and while in motion crossing highways, city streets, and when in motion making turns on highways and city streets, or from stoplights. Cause is unknown, have not found a mechanic who can diagnose the cause, have had transmission fluid changed with no improvement in the problem. This problem occurs at least three to five times per week.

- Farmington, NH, USA

problem #25

Dec 052015


  • 180,000 miles
The well known issue of radiator fluid leaking into the transmission which destroys the transmission rendering it useless. Many complaints about the same issue with these vehicles. My truck is dead and this issue has been well documented, a class action suit was filed, Nissan should be liable to repair these faulty transmissions. My problem began at low miles, I've spent $2000 at Nissan to replace the faulty radiator and flush the transmission 2X to try and save it. This is a well known issue that needs to be addressed.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #24

Nov 242015


  • 167,514 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 20 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not accelerate. In addition, the vehicle started smoking. The contact stated that the front driver's side air bag warning indicator illuminated continuously. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence where it was diagnosed by an independent mechanic that the radiator and the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 167,514.

- Uncasville, CT, USA

problem #23

Oct 102015


  • 135,000 miles
Radiator failed leaking antifreeze into transmission thus causing transmission to slip while merging into traffic.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #22

Sep 272015


  • 106,253 miles


While driving down rural highway (two lanes in each direction) in the right lane, truck suddenly began to buck and slowed dramatically. With a loaded bed in the truck, it was fortunate that there weren't too many people on the road at the time of the incident. Limped vehicle home on secondary roadways.

- Swansea, MA, USA

problem #21

Mar 042015


  • 82,000 miles
Trans slips on and off (specially with O/D on), when pulling without O/D is less noticeable, re engaging of speed becoming more and more and abrupt and stepped, dangerous and annoying.

- Purdys, NY, USA

problem #20

Apr 012015


  • 145,000 miles
Nissan has acknowledged that a manufacturer defect in 2005-10 Frontier, pathfinder, and xterra vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions have an internal crack on the oil cooler tube may occur leading to internal leakage of engine coolant. This defect has destroyed my transmission and many other consumers' transmissions, as evidenced by the class action lawsuits which have been filed against Nissan. Nissan offered customers an extended warranty for the radiators for vehicles with less than 100,000 miles, but never addressed the transmission issues, which range from $4000-6000 to rebuild. I realized I had an issue with the transmission while making a left turn on hwy 98 in Florida, where oncoming traffic is traveling at speeds of greater than 60 miles an hour. The transmission slipped while I was making the turn and was nearly T-boned by two oncoming vehicles. It is inconceivable that Nissan has not recalled these vehicles. Nissan is putting consumers lives in danger and costing hard-working americans substantial amounts of money by not recalling these vehicles.

- Navarre, FL, USA

problem #19

Dec 222014


  • 90,000 miles
Upon Pennsylvania state required inspection the inspector recognized that the rear seals of the axle were "leaking" fluid and that the fluid had saturated the entire braking assembly including the caliper, pads, rotor and emergency brake shoes causing the operation of the vehicle to be a hazard to the operator. When asked when this occurred the inspector said that it must have been this way for some time based on the amount of axle grease covering the braking mechanisms. For a driver of said vehicle there would be zero indications of failure of the seals due to high temperature when applying the brakes causing the oil to gel and/or burn away which would leave no visible signs of leakage on the ground. I feel that this causes an immediate danger to the driver and their occupants of the vehicle. The over all poor design of the axle shafts by Nissan engineering has allowed this situation to occur. A tsb currently exists for this issue and Nissan is aware of the problem.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #18

Mar 252015

Frontier 4WD 6-cyl

  • 88,779 miles
Heard a high pitched whining noise coming from the engine of my Nissan 2008 crew cab 4 wheel drive Frontier. Made an appointment to have the issue evaluated at the same Nissan dealership where I purchased the vehicle (Nissan of atlantic city - formerly admiral Nissan). I purchased the used Frontier in June 2011; approximate mileage was 40 - 41K. I also purchased an extended warranty at that time - 48 months, 48 thousand miles (expiration 6/15/15). After evaluating the problem, a Nissan service manager told me that the noise was coming from the timing chain and its components - cost of repair $1900 - $2000 plus 7% sales tax. I asked him if the repair was covered by the extended warranty I purchased. He said no! he informed me that my extended warranty had expired for mileage; I was over by a few hundred miles. This is an existing problem. Nissan had know of, and been dealing with this issue well before I purchased my 2008 Frontier in June 2011. However, this information was never made available directly to the consumer. When the engine whine first began it was low - barely noticeable, but the more I drove the worse it got. If I had been aware of the service bulletins sent to the dealers about this issue, I would have had the vehicle checked out before the warranty expired; the extended warranty had a $50 deductible. My final cost for the repair on 3/28/15 was $1974.16. Nissan of America is at fault and so is the dealership - Nissan of atlantic city. They are both responsible because they both had the information about existing timing chain problems and failed to disclose it.

- Brigantine, NM, USA

problem #17

Mar 032015

Frontier 4WD 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Transmission needs replacing.

- Welland, NY, USA

problem #16

Sep 072014

Frontier 4WD 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
My check engine light went on as I was driving home on a Sunday afternoon. With in an hour, and almost arriving home... the vehicle began to slow down and could not accelerate past 25mph. I stopped at a traffic light and felt a very large bang under the truck. As I tried to accelerate from the light I could only get up to 25mph. Then the truck stalled completely, in the middle of a busy street. Luckily no one was close behind me and I had my hazard lights on, otherwise this would have been a sure crash. I took it to a mechanic who checked and informed me that my radiator was faulty and had contaminated and ruined my transmission. I paid $2900 to have it fixed. No help, or money back from Nissan, not even an apology for their faulty parts.

- Berkeley, IL, USA

problem #15

Jul 282014

Frontier 4-cyl

  • 84,400 miles
I just had to have the radiator replaced and the automatic transmission rebuilt at a cost of almost $3,000 in my 2008 Nissan Frontier SE 4V 2.5 with only 84,000 miles because of the cross contamination. According to carcomplaint.com, the average owner is becoming aware of a problem at 94,565 miles. If Nissan would have recalled the radiators immediately upon knowledge of the defect, it would have saved them from dealing with numerous transmission replacements and customer satisfaction concerns. I brought my truck to the Nissan dealer and I was told by the service manager that the problem was not caused by contamination and I should get help from Nissan who later on denied help for me. The next day I brought my Nissan Frontier to a shop expert in transmissions and their diagnosis was that the failure in my transmission was caused by an "anti-freeze contamination, code 1751". Nissan knew that they had a faulty radiator and instead of recalling the radiator, they extended the warranty knowing that the majority of the cars would surpass 80,000 miles before they started having problems with the transmission. Now looking at high cost to fix the timing chain cover seal. Nissan knows about both of these issues and is not taking responsibility and won't help.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #14

Feb 032014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 86,525 miles
On the above date I first noticed that when the vehicle was idling the truck would not throw any heat. On April 26, 2014 the transmission would not shift out of overdrive. I shut the vehicle down, restarted and push the button to take out overdrive and vehicle was driven in fourth. On May 8, 2014 while driving the "check engine light" came on as well as the 4 wheel lo range light came on and I drove it 2 miles to my home, shut the engine down and it never restarted again.

- Clarion, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 102014


  • 102,355 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Frontier. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the transmission shifted erratically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission fluid and coolant were mixing. As a result, the transmission and radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 102,355 and current mileage 102,400.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

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