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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,297 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Jul 152012


  • 80,000 miles


After fueling the car, the fuel level indicator either shows the tank as empty or a random level (never full, although the tank was just filled). The level from then on is always unreliable and fluctuates at random levels; there is no way to know what is the level of fuel in the tank at any time. I am afraid that the car will run out of fuel without me knowing and stop the car in the middle of a highway or while crossing train tracks. This happens all the time, the indicator never shows full when I fill up the tank. It shows empty or 1/4 full and then after a couple of days the level goes up to a level that I know it is too high for the amount of driving that I have done.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 172012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
I was driving along and check engine light came on. Checked internet and found out that many people had this happen around 50,000 miles. This is supposed to be guaranteed for 50,000 miles and in practice most last a lot longer, but not in the case of the Xterra. Nissan has noticed the large number of incidents but although they have completely redesigned the system they refuse to recall it. Many of the posts here take about the engine conking out at speed which is an unsafe condition. The dealer admitted today that they have seen 4 this month, its becoming a real problem and should be recalled. Dealer quoted me $70 for the quote, $590 for the canister, and $90 for labor. I can't believe that Nissan would know about the bad design, engineer a fix for it, and withhold the fix from the customer, unless they are willing to cough up almost $800 to fix their mistake. This scares me as SUV accidents are usually pretty bad with far more rollovers than regular cars. Please take the appropriate action before someone is seriously hurt.

- Great Falla, MT, USA

problem #3

Jul 162012


  • 85,000 miles
I was driving my car after a long trip, I had about a quarter tank left. I parked my car and when I returned to use it to run an errand I began to drive. My gas tank needle went all the way to below empty then my check engine light turned on as well. I have looked up this issue and found out there were multiple complaints about the exact same thing that happened to me. This is a Nissan issue that should not be taken out of pocket from the consumer. Especially since there is a long history regarding this exact same problem.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #2

May 012012


  • 103,600 miles
May 2012. I was driving the vehicle to work, the day the "service engine soon "light initially came on. 30 minutes later, yellow fuel indicator light came on, vehicle was not out of gas, had approx. 1/2 tank. I was concerned about the fuel light, so I immediately drove to a nearby gas station and filled up to a full tank of gas. Afterwards, fuel engine light remained on and gauge still showed empty. Only after driving it for several days, fuel light finally went off, service engine soon remained on. Since this initial incident every time I put fuel in the vehicle, the tank still shows empty and takes several days of driving to show where I filled it up. I recently took the vehicle for a diagnostic test and it showed problems in the fuel sensor/fuel pump. I also visited my local Nissan dealer and they said, that I was not turning the gas cap enough after fueling up. I always ensure that I turn the gas cap several times at least 4 turns, until several clicks are heard when securing the gas cap after fueling. I am sure this was not the problem. I am very concerned as I drive a good distance to work, on graveyard shifts. This is the 1st major problem, I have had with my Nissan Xterra and unfortunately it does not show as a recall. I feel unsafe driving the vehicle as I do not know when it will run out of fuel particularly on freeways and busy intersections. I often have small children as passengers and this concerns me the most.

- Madison, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 262012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Xterra has experienced a fuel sending unit failure. After researching this problem online, I have found that this is a know problem for this year and model. Nissan does not recognize it as problem, nor will they cover it under warranty. This is such a problem that there is over a 2 week wait to get the parts to correct the problem. The gas gauge will alternately read different fuel levels. When the tank is full, it reads that the tank is empty and the low fuel light is lit. It will then correct itself, and only register to a 1/4 of a tank. After it reaches that level, it will no longer give an accurate reading and at times will once again read an empty tank.

- Corry, PA, USA

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