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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
110,750 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. numerous replacements, hose, water pump, radiator (2 reports)
2004 Nissan Xterra cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 152014

Xterra 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Had vibration when shifting gears. Wasn't sure what it was until I asked some local transmission shops. They ALL told me about the radiator issue. I immediately put an external radiator on it and flushed the fluids at least three times. I think I "nipped it in the bud" as it hasn't gotten any worse and I've put 20k additional miles on it. VERY DISAPPOINTED IN THE NISSAN PRODUCT!

Dealing with another MAJOR problem now: Unwanted accelerating problem. Story below as of last night:

I purchased a 2004 Xterra 2 years ago for my son and his daughter (2 years old) to use. It has repeatedly had a problem of SUDDEN UNWANTED ACCELERATION. Last night it did it again on I-75. It was going past 90 MPH when he called me in a panic. I told him to put it in neutral and then apply the brakes. He did this. When we got there I started it up and it was still at a ridiculous high RPM. Like it was stuck wide open. I had it towed to the garage. It's a miracle he and his daughter wasn't killed and/seriously injured. I am extremely upset with this situation and expect Nissan to do something about this problem.

- Philip H., Hahira, GA, US

problem #1

Jun 112014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,500 miles

An ongoing problem with the engine cooling system. After numerous hose replacements, and a Radiator replaced for a combined total of $2500.00, my Xterra is once again in the shop due to the coolant leaking somewhere. This time I have to pull the intake manifold off to get to hoses below it. Nissan wants $1200.00 to do this job. I also have to pull all the belts off to get to a water pump leak. The Nissan dealer quoted me $1700.00 for this job.

For those of you who don't know these prices are ridiculously high. I paid the $128.00 diagnostic fee and will be replacing this stuff myself. It's a never ending story with this cooling system.

- xterraowner32, Fairfax, VA, US

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