Notes: The 2005-2007 Xterra appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

The same defect exists in the Pathfinder & Frontier as well. And according to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,443 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.

2005 Nissan Xterra electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Oct 022006

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 36,800 miles


Fuel level sensor failed 800 miles out of warranty; causes driver to have no idea of fuel level. Creates dangerous possibility of running out of fuel on highways, in traffic, etc. Without motor running, power steering and power brakes do not work, creating even higher risk of accident. Very common issue on 2005 Xterra; should have been a recall.

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #12

Oct 212011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 89,700 miles
After my "service engine soon" light was activated, I proceeded to take my Nissan Xterra to the Nissan dealership in hawthorne, ca, to have it checked out. Nissan charged me $129 for a diagnostic test, which found an error code of P0463. That error coded indicated that the fuel level sensor was malfunctioning. I declined to pay $570 to have it repaired. In doing some research on the internet, I found that several Nissan vehicles, especially its trucks and SUVS, have suffered from this product defect. I would greatly appreciate it if Nissan rectified the situation by recalling vehicles or covering my charge for repairs.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 032011


  • miles
I have a 2005 Xterra service. Fuel tank was not 1/4 tank and filled it up - had to stop at the store anyway so I gassed up. Anyway, driving down the road, I looked down and my fuel gauge is on empty and the light on. Interesting, I thought. Then the check engine comes on later. I was thinking some kind of gas pocket or something so I got home and un did the gas cap, and disconnect the battery. Engine light and fuel level still on and the unit is failure to read fuel gauge.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #10

Apr 012010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


*** ipdm and double catalytic converter failure in 2005 Nissan Xterra *** my 2005 Nissan Xterra engine once shut down as I am driving on a busy street; I had to let the Xterra coast a short distance without power to pull over and stop my SUV to the side of a safer section of the road. I could not immediately restart the car. After waiting about 15 minutes, I was eventually able to restart and drive the SUV. The problem, however never went away. Periodically the engine will shut off without warning. It finally got to the point where the car would not start at all. I had to have the car towed twice, including a tow to a Nissan dealership in santa monica. The incident began in April 2010. In May 2010, the Nissan dealer in santa monica checked the problem and indicated that the ipdm had to be replaced. This was an expensive repair. Shortly after the ipdm was replaced, 1 of 2 catalytic converters in the Xterra failed and had to be replaced. 6 months later (December 2010), the other catalytic converter failed. I believe the ipdm issue is severe. I believe the ipdm issue is also associated with (and likely to be the cause of) the failure of catalytic converters in the vehicle. In my case, it is double failure since both catalytic converters failed 6 months apart from each other. Failure of the catalytic converter is an environmental concern.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 272010


  • 121,000 miles
Engine stopped while moving causing instant decelaration, cars following had to take evasive action found defective ECM unit by Nissan dealership

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #8

Jul 272010


  • 57,450 miles
Fuel gauge faulty. Reads higher than normal. Could cause driver to run out of fuel. Service engine code P0463 fuel sensor.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #7

Jun 122010


  • 72,000 miles


Fuel gauge stuck at 3/4 tank after fuel up. Needle will not move and is inaccurate. Several other report same issue related to fuel sending units on Nissan trucks and SUV's 2005-2008.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #6

Jan 012009


  • 40,000 miles
Inaccurate fuel gauge leading to inaccurate fuel readings; the gauge may show gas left when tank is actually empty or vice versa; all digital dash readings and components short out or completely stop working including mileage readings; have to continually fill up with gas to ensure I have enough to run the vehicle; I have run out of gas while traveling at 80 miles per hour on the highway several times, this is a very serious safety hazard; I have two small children traveling with me and do not need to run out of gas on the side of the highway. This vehicle has never been in an accident but has had this problem for over a year.

- Jacksonville, AL, USA

problem #5

Jan 212010


  • 59,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While driving 25 mph the vehicle shut off. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who stated that the main computer stopped working and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer denied the contacts request to cover the repair costs. The ECM is currently being repaired by the dealer. The contact is concerned about the safety issue since the failure could have caused a crash to occur. The failure mileage was 59,500.

- Hillside, NJ, USA

problem #4

Dec 182009


  • 59,000 miles
Fuel level sensor and the instrument panel control module. The truck die any where my truck in long island expressway(495) West in the left lane I believe that all Nissan 2005 Xterra the should call for this cane of problem is very dangerous.

- St James, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 102009


  • 42,000 miles


Hi I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra. These vehicles are having major problems with the fuel sending unit, located in the gas tank on the fuel pump. The symptoms are that one day out of the blue, with low miles on the vehicle, the gas gauge stops working or becomes inaccurate. On the odb II, it shows as PO463. Nissan will not cover and this is unsafe, as you have to "guess" by mileage how much fuel is left. Mine went out and I fixed it myself as I was concerned with safety of running out of fuel at a bad time.

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #2

Jan 292009


  • 44,900 miles
There was no specific event leading up to failure; I purchased my certified pre-owned '05 Xterra 4 months ago and drove it up until yesterday without problem. When I turned on my vehicle after work, my "service engine soon" light was on. I stopped to fill up with gas on my way home, and noticed my gas gauge would not pass the 3/4 tank position. Eventually, after driving about 50 miles or so, my gas gauge (sometimes) returns to its normal position. The "service engine soon" light always remains on. At this point, no corrective measures have been taken. But in doing my research, all signs point towards this being a fuel sending unit problem that is common in both 01-04 Nissan vehicles (for which there was a recall) and 05-present Nissan vehicles (for which there has been no recall).

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 152008


  • 61,000 miles
Check engine light comes on, gas gauge does not work. Vehicle only has 61,000 miles and just went over the extended warranty. Looking it up on the internet, sounds like a major defect as other numerous complaints.

- Brighton, CO, USA

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