hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,128 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Nissan Frontier Owner Comments

problem #15

Feb 122008


  • 6,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Frontier. While driving approximately 30 mph, there was a waddling noise coming from the passenger side of the engine. The vehicle stalled and the warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the timing chain tensioner failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #14

Nov 012016


  • 59,600 miles
My Nissan dealer told me today that the timing chain on the 4.0L V6 engine in my truck requires replacement. This truck has less than 60,000 miles on it and the dealer charges $2,140 for the work. Timing chains are normally expected to last for the life of the vehicle. Failure of the timing chain would destroy the engine and, if it occurred while the vehicle was in motion, could result in a crash. Nissan has known about a defective timing chain problem on this and related engines since at least 2004, yet they continued to use those defective timing chains until approximately 2010. Nissan should issue a recall and replace the chains under warranty.

- Mars Hill, NC, USA

problem #13

Apr 302016


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Frontier. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled with and all the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was able to restart minutes later. In addition, the service engine warning light and the flip error light illuminated continuously. The failure recurred six times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the cause of the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 61,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Port Aranfasa, TX, USA

problem #12

Oct 202015


  • 53,610 miles


1) $1473 to replace timing chain system @ 53,610 miles 2) Nissan had issued a service bulletin ntb09-128 revealing a knowledge of the issue on at least 3 models over a 5 year period of time 3) called Nissan Consumer Affairs to check on reimbursement since Nissan knew it was a problem. In fairness, they responded within 24 hrs. Only to take less than 1 minute to deny the claim 4) wrote 3 letters (1 per month) to Nissan Consumer Affairs until they contacted me again today 1/13/2016 only to deny the claim once again. I've owned only Nissan trucks since 1984 and been very happy with their products and quality. I bought this truck new in 2008 and only had 53,610 miles when this issue came up. I'm thankful I heard the noise and had it fixed before the chain(s) seized and caused major engine damage or even a wreck. I would have thought I had an uncommon problem (bad luck) if it hadn't been documented via the service bulletin. Nissan acknowledged the issue via the service bulletin that covered at least 3 models over a 5 year time span. They now refuse to accept any type of responsibility. A quick internet search reveals several class action lawsuits concerning the timing chain issue. I'm very unhappy with Nissan's lack of product support on what was was clearly a quality assurance problem. I will most likely not buy (nor recommend) a Nissan product anytime in the foreseeable future.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #11

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 #10

May 212015


  • 78,132 miles
Timing chain guides and tensioners need to be replaced. Also the timing chains [3]. if these fail on the highway, a severe accident could result. Nissan has published bulletins on this problem but has not notified owners about it. There are evidently class action suits filed against them. These part are defective in design and quality and pose a potentially hazardous situation.

- Cedaredge , CO, USA

problem #9

Feb 012015

Frontier 4WD 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


I have a 2008 Nissan Frontier with only 48,000 miles on it. I noticed that the engine started to whine and took it to a local mechanic. Come to find out that this is a known issue and it will cost $1,500 to repair. I took a look on the internet and there are a lot of people stating that they have the same problem. I think that Nissan should be pressured to send out a recall to pay for the repairs on these engines.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #8

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

problem #7

Apr 172014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I have the well documented problem with the radiator coolant entering and damaging the transmission. I am having it repaired a Nissan dealership. I will have to pay over 3200.00!. there was a settlement agreement that is ridiculous!. the problem does not even occur until over 80000 miles when Nissan will not cover anything. There are hundreds if not thousands of complaints.

- Lagrangeville, NY, USA

problem #6

Jan 212014

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 54,500 miles
All of a sudden I heard a whining noise that I had never heard in my 2008 Nissan Frontier 4.0 truck. The noise is new and over the last week or so, it comes and goes. Vehicle went out of warranty 2.5 months ago at 5 yrs 2.5 months old. 54500 miles on the truck. The whine pitch increases with engine speed. In neutral as you rev the engine you hear the whine noise go up and down with the rpms. Very disappointing to think I am stuck with a large $1500 timing belt issue with what I thought was a well designed vehicle from a company I thought I could trust high quality.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #5

May 092012


  • 89,212 miles


Trans cooler ruptured within radiator causing water/coolant to mix with transmission fluid destroying transmission.

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 142012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • miles
Engine intermittently flutters while in gear. I bought this vehicle while still under warranty; however, while it was being driven around the dealership for service, etc. It went over the 60,000 mile warranty. The dealer said they would still look at the problem and suggested that it may need a throttle adjustment. After speaking with the mechanic he said the throttle was within range and it was reported to him that all Frontiers and pathfinders have that problem. Someone should be able to force Nissan to fix this problem.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 152013

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
A whining or buzzing type noise has develop from the timing chain area caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. Nissan has issued a service bulletin (ntb09-128) regarding this issue. Replacement of both secondary timing chains and their tensioner shoes will be necessary to repair this concern. My 2008 Frontier has 89K miles on it (out of Nissan's 60K warranty) and has been whining for sometime now. Nissan knows of this problem per the previously mentioned tsp. It is my worry that if the chain breaks or fails while driving it the motor will instantly stop/fail and possibly lock up therefore putting myself and family and or others at great risk for injury.

- Northborough, MA, USA

problem #2

Nov 012012

Frontier 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I received a letter for a settlement offer from Nissan about the transmission cooler failure which leads to total transmission failure. I started to research what was wrong and what I can do about it seeing as my Frontier has 102,000 miles on it and is not covered by the settlement offer. As I did some research I found out about a symptom before transmission failure occurs which is at an idle you have a loss of heat until you rev the engine or start to accelerate and heat returns. I noticed that this had happened around November 2012 while I had left my truck running while parked for a few minutes which I normally do not do. I started to drive and the heat was working again so I thought it might have been a thermostat sticking and watched my vehicle for the signs of this to happen again. I did not notice anything happen again because I do not let my truck sit idle long enough until I tested it today and when I let it sit idle for a minute the heat stopped working properly and returned to normal function when I started driving it. I am trying to find a way to repair the problem before it gets worse but I do not know if I will be able to afford it. So as for the time being I will have to drive my only vehicle to work and hope the transmission does not fail completely and cause an accident or worse. Hopefully I can find a affordable repair or Nissan will be forced to repair it before someone driving down the road at highway speeds has this happen and us consumers suffer bodily injury or fatalities before they will do the honorable thing and admit their vehicle has faulty materials used in its construction and repair them. Only they will suffer in the end if they do nothing.

- Foley, AL, USA

problem #1

Nov 012011


  • 50,000 miles
Failed transmission twice due to leak of coolant caused by radiator leak. Occurred at 50K and 64K miles. First failure caused a delay after pressing accelerator allowing engine to rev before engaging when trying to accelerate from a stop. Both replacements covered by warranty.

- Beatrice, NE, USA

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