Notes: The 2004 Nissan Xterra doesn't seem to have any problem trends. The only thing prospective owners should be aware of are the less-than-perfect (but acceptable) crash test ratings.

There are a very few transmission complaints, but nothing like the huge defect that shows up starting in with the 2005 model year.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,074 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.

2004 Nissan Xterra brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 262009


  • 55,000 miles


Follow up to ODI complaint number 10289404. Nissan completed replacing break line on 10/25/09. There were no events leading to first failure, nor events leading to 2nd failure. Vehicle picked up driven short distance home from dealer; parked, not used. On 10/26, started vehicle for trip to work, brake pedal sunk again, brake light on steady red. Brakes failed again. Brake fluid again leaking, took pictures. Called Nissan-1-800 # again. Called corporate office at area code 615 number. Called dealer, left messages with manager, mike keenan. No answer back. Receptionist said manager "too busy". vehicle not safe to drive, parked in driveway. As of this writing neither Nissan nor Nissan garage have called.

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 182009


  • 55,000 miles
There were no indicators or events to lead up to a catastrophic brake failure in my 2004 Nissan Xterra. Vehicle was purchased new from dealer, has only 55,000 mi of usage, for local driving/round trip to work. Brake line cracked, fluid leaked which was an extremely unusual occurrence. I do not drive on lunar landscape, I.e. pot holes, camping, or recklessly. This was sudden. Dealer ordered part, mechanic replaced part, entire brake line could not withstand pressure and more leakage ensued. Dealer wanted to 'seal" the leak, not replace part, which of course I feel is an inadequate repair. 2004 replacement part were not available at time of this writing. Car was inspected approximately 2 weeks ago and passed inspection. As of this writing vehicle has not been repaired. I believe this is a defective part and dealer is not forthcoming concerning breakage of brakeline.

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 152004


  • 90 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Xterra. The contact has experienced multiple failures with the braking system on her vehicle for the last five years. While driving 10 mph and applying the brakes, the vehicle jerks and continues to proceed. In addition, the brakes make a loud grinding noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not duplicate the failures. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and a technician determined that the ABS was failing and advised the contact to take the vehicle back to the dealer for further inspection. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, but the failures could not be duplicated again. While pulling into the driveway, the brake system failed. The vehicle crashed into a tree in the contact's yard. There were no injuries. The vehicle was inspected by an insurance adjuster, who determined that the ABS failed. The vehicle is currently being repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 90 and current mileage was 106,000.

- Partlow, VA, USA

problem #1

Mar 042009


  • 90,206 miles
1. front right lower A-frame (swing arm) fractured and released ball joint resulting in car collapsing onto the tire. Failure appears to be caused by metal fatigue due to rough edges of broken areas. Ball joint is in good shape and still grips a piece of the A-frame. There was no accident due to the fact the vehicle was being operated at a very low speed at the time of the incident. Had it happened at a high rate of speed would likely have caused a rollover crash with fatalities possible. Vehicle has not yet been repaired, all parts will be retained when it is. 2. left rear anti sway bar mounting clamp failed due to metal fatigue just days prior to this resulting in the anti sway bar bar pummeling the steel brake line until it sprang a leak. This resulted in a total loss of brakes. I replaced the broken clamp and brake line. Again no crash occurred due to low speed operation. I have the parts and pieces in my possession. 3. prior to this by a few weeks the left front free wheeling hub disintegrated while the car was being driven. I replaced the hub but have some pieces. I have no theory about what caused this failure, but it could have caused a loss of control and subsequent accident. We live in the foothills of the Sierra nevadas and many roads are perched along steep rocky slopes. A loss of control caused by any of these incidents could have proved fatal. This car has only 90206 miles on it and has been driven gently. I have since discovered on a user forum for Xterra fans that the rear sway bar has been a well known problem with them for quite a while with the result that they recommend removing the sway bar altogether and beefing up the rear shocks. This suggests that the Xterras should be recalled on the rear sway bar issue.

- Greenwood, CA, USA

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