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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,232 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace timing chain and tensioners (4 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
  3. replace timing chail, tensioner, etc (1 reports)
2005 Nissan Xterra engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 022013

Xterra V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


had to pay dealer 2 grand to fix something that should be a recall

- , Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #5

Jan 122016

Xterra 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 183,452 miles

I haven't heard about any timing chain recall, but as soon as I got this thing out the shop for the Nissan milkshake transmission issue, right back in the shop it went after I started hearing a whining noise in engine compartment. Had to replace timing chains(all three), tensioners, synchronizer ring and front engine cover. I've had it with Nissan. It's a shame since they used to make a super reliable, quality vehicle.

- , Pamplico, SC, USA

problem #4

Mar 152013

Xterra S V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Nissan Consumer Affairs is a joke. They keep sending me emails saying my problem with them is resolved. That is patently false - this is not resolved by any means.

I have a Nissan service bulletin dated 2009 which shows that Nissan was aware of the timing chain problem with 2005-2007 Xterras. My service department elected not to make me aware of this, waiting instead for the warranty to expire and the whining noise to get loud.

I'm taking them to small claims court to recover the $1,049 repair bill, interest on my credit card, and any other expenses related to my claim. They shouldn't have ignored me when I offered to split the repair cost down the middle.

- , Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 122011

Xterra SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


On top of all things going wrong with my 05 Xterra, I was recommended to replace the timing chain on it, which by the way is no longer covered under the factory warranty.

- , Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #2

Mar 152011

Xterra SE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,941 miles

Theres a tapping noise coming from the engine. I think that I need a new engine. This car has turned out to be a lemon . It was not but two years old when I bought it.

- , Memphis, TN, USA

problem #1

Oct 292009

Xterra 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

At 68,000 miles my Nissan Xterra had a whining noise at about 2,000 RPM it would go away at idle but would be real noticeable as you picked up engine speed so I went to the nissan dealer and a service tech said it was a timing chain they said it would be 1750.00 to do the repair. I had bought the car because it had a timing chain and not a belt for lower maintainance costs overall so I had to go through Nissan to get the parts at cost and do the repair myself It's not a quick fix the problem is that the upper chain tensioners between the two cams the rubbing blocks wear through and the harden pin in the center contacts the chain and produces the noise the new ones are made from a better material I hope it lasts longer but Nissan acts like it is no big deal but in this recession 1750.00 is a big deal to an average family. No big deal for Nissan but it is a big deal when deciding not to buy another Nissan.

- , Riverside, CA, US

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