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 1 of 2)

problem #25

Nov 272015


  • 125 miles


Transmission has been slipping. I heard of a recall on this problem and I called Nissan and was told I missed extended warranty buy 8 days, they admitted that they did have problems with this vehicles transmission.but refuse to do anything about it, also very hard to put gas in,

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #24

Dec 142015


  • 135,000 miles
Transmission has failed at 135,000. Fuel gauge does not work.check engine light stays illuminated, therefore I am unaware of any additional issues, and cannot pass emissions in atlanta, ga, therefore I cannot renew my tag.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #23

Apr 032014


  • 65,000 miles
Engine light came on. Took it to auto zone which yield a code referring to the fuel sensing unit.

- Clarksville , TN, USA

problem #22

Aug 012015


  • 116,000 miles


Nissan knows about this issue in fact it involves multiple years and models. The radiator cracks and leaks into the transmission ruining both. They entered into a settlement agreement but set the bar so high that it is impossible to meet. This car technically has low mileage for a 10 year old vehicle yet misses the top parameter by 16,000 miles. This is unacceptable.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #21

May 012015


  • 69,000 miles
Service engine soon light when fuel goes below half tank. The fuel gauge may not always show correct reading, makes it possible for car to stop in middle of highway, in middle of snow-storm, or other dangerous situation, the service engine light comes on when fuel level is below half tank and resets itself when fuel tank is full.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

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problem #20

Apr 282015


  • 84,765 miles
My Nissan has the defect that brought a lawsuit against Nissan motor for a failure in the oil cooler that caused my transmission and radiator to be completely rebuilt/replaced because coolant had leaked into my transmission. I ended up with a bill for $3941.46, and now, I can't even file a reimbursement form or get a hold of any one at Nissan to help because all 3 numbers listed in letters and paperwork are no longer in service.

- Reno, OH, USA

problem #19

Sep 012013


  • 110,000 miles


Fuel gauge registers empty to arbitrarily amounts of remaining fuel regardless how much fuel is actually in tank. Ongoing problem to date.

- St. George , UT, USA

problem #18

Apr 182013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Upon exiting a highway, where traffic was congested and slow moving, my 2005 Nissan Xterra suddenly refused to accelerate. Suddenly, smoke appeared to be emanating from the undercarriage of my SUV. Initially, it appeared that my vehicle had caught on fire. Two passing fireman assisted me and determined that I had a transmission issue because of the fluid that was leaked onto the street. Since the Xterra was not drivable, it was towed to a transmission repair center. It was determined that the transmission failure was caused by a malfunctioning radiator. Apparently, radiator fluid contaminated the transmission fluid and severely damaged the transmission.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #17

Apr 132013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 105,975 miles
Fuel gauge issue P0463 fuel level sensor is erratic, inaccurate, or inoperative. Nissan refused to accept this recall. NHTSA action number 10032627 service bulletin number 280480.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 262013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 55,455 miles
Just fill up gas and fuel gauge indicates almost empty. Cannot tell if I still have enough fuel. Dangerous situation if I'm driving and suddenly run out of gas.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #15

Mar 222013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


The Xterra fuel sending unit has gone bad/malfunctioned. Upon filling up vehicle the gas gauge continued to show Xterra was empty and diagnostic code P0463 was able to be read. I have heard numerous accounts of this issue with Xterras.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #14

Mar 132013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 81,300 miles
I noticed the service engine soon light come on 3/13/2013. Today, 3/15 I took it to the Nissan dealership that I get my vehicle serviced at and they told me that the fuel sending unit is malfunctioning and the price to fix it. They also mentioned that they have seen this problem a few times now with other Xterra models. I mentioned to them that I cannot afford the repair at this time and they suggested I keep it full and it shouldn't be a problem. I got home and looked up the problem with my vehicle and it seems that a lot of other people are having the same problem, and not only with Xterras but with pathfinders and frontiers as well, as they are all based on the same drivetrain. Nissan is not covering this problem even though it seems to be a common issue with its vehicles.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #13

Apr 062011


  • 74,000 miles
My fuel sending unit went out while driving and I ran out of gas on the highway and almost crashed and killed myself. This issue needs to be address and fixed by Nissan before something really serious happens!

- Ft Polk, LA, USA

problem #12

Dec 072010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge and the window motors malfunctioned. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the fuel sensor was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle had surpassed the specified mileage. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage and current mileage was unknown.

- Tallassee, TN, USA

problem #11

Oct 292012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
Last year, 10/29/12, I noticed my gas gauge showing empty when I had slightly more than 1/4 tank of gas, but needle moved once truck warmed up and started moving. Then last month the check engine light came on. Nissan is telling me I have to pay roughly $600 to fix the fuel level sensor (code P0463). My truck has not even 38,000 miles on it. Now I didn't pass inspection. I strongly believe that Nissan should be responsible for this repair and recall due to this part.

- Avenel, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jan 222013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While I am driving my vehicle the fuel gauge stopped showing the fuel limit properly and service engine soon light came on since then. I did not find any solution, Nissan has the faulty device and it should fix it. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 012012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 108,500 miles
Recently the vehicle has been turning off while in use (driving down the road) and we have to throw it in neutral, crank back up, then put it back in gear. This is not safe. Took it in to get it diagnosed and the scan came back reading the catalytic converters could be going out (2 on each side, pretty sure only one side is affected). Then were told about an ECM relay recall. Mechanics have told us that this can cause the cats to fail. Nissan said to take it to a dealership and see what they say. What?! of course the Nissan dealership is going to replace only the ECM component of the recall and say it won't affect the cats, while other mechanics at non dealer affiliated shops have more than a few times said it can be a direct effect of the ECM. So we have a "case" number with Nissan and Nissan will "investigate" and let us know if they are willing to pay any towards the repair, or if a recall is issued in the near future we'll get reimbursed for the repair... how about you just make a vehicle without faulty parts and if a faulty part contributes to another part going out, you repair the parts affected.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #8

Sep 292012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 66,700 miles
Vehicle fuel gauge abruptly dropped from approximately 1/2 full to completely empty with low fuel light illumination while traveling at approximately 55 mph in heavy traffic. Fuel gauge remained at empty with light on after refueling and maintained this status for the remainder of travel (approx. 1 hour, 50 miles). Vehicle was then parked for 1 hour and upon restart, gauge showed 6/8 level. Vehicle was again refueled to ensure adequate fuel and gauge level did not change. After approximately 10 miles gauge again abruptly dropped to empty and remained there.

- Magnolia, DE, USA

problem #7

Aug 092012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I was driving to work a few mornings ago. My car had over a 4th of gas. Then my gas tank drops to below empty then my check engine light turns on. Then it turns off and turns back on continues to move and turns back on all while driving. I pull into a gas station fill up the gas tank then proceed to go home. The car turns back on one last time and when I try and turn it back on it shakes and turns off. Had to tow my car to my home had multiple mechanics come to my home and diagnose my car. I have replaced the fuel pump and yet still does not work. My mechanic told me the problems is deeper and this car and this year is known to have staggering issues. This should be recalled and fixed by Nissan not the consumer. I have never had an issue before. Im putting more and more money into a manufacture defect.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 122011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I got on the freeway and my car stopped gassing. I was on fast lane and avoided an accident pulling to the shoulder. I was going about 65-70 mph. Found out later my fuel sensor malfunctioned. I had no gas in my tank where at the time of incident it showed a full tank.

- Riverside, CA, USA

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