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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,210 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 11 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Feb 012009


  • 65,000 miles


Fuel sending unit failure: Fuel gauge fails intermittently. Service engine soon light on at fuel level >3/4 and <1/4. will take a long time to register any level after a fillup.

- Barnhart, MO, USA

problem #36

Mar 032009


  • 53,000 miles
Fuel gauge problem and service engine soon light I just got back from the dealer w/ my 2005xterra SE. I have a similar problem. My ses light comes on and my dte gauge reads ---- when the fuel gauge gets down to 1/4 of a tank. The dealer told me it registered error code PO463 and that I need a new fuel sending unit. Since my Xterra has 56000 miles on it is not covered by warranty. They tell me approx $600 to fix. In my case the ses light resets after approx 300 miles. As long as I keep the gas more than 1/4 of a tank the ses light won't come on.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #35

Dec 282008


  • 45,000 miles
I filled the tank in our 05 Xterra only to find that the gas gauge was not acknowledging the fill up. A few minutes later the gauge dropped to empty, and then the fuel light and check engine light came on. Now, the fuel gauge does not work at all and the repair estimates are $675+. Nissan will not acknowledge this as a problem, yet much internet research tells me that this occurs on most Xterras. This Xterra is the primary vehicle for my wife and two children under the age of 3, and twice now they have run out of gas because of this.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #34

Feb 062009


  • 49,500 miles


I had 1/2 of a tank of gas and went to fill up. After filling up my gas tank, I turned on the car, at which point the needle did not register the full tank. After driving a couple miles, the check engine light came on. This has happened the last two weeks in a row. After doing research online, I came across many others who have experienced the same problem. Apparently it has something to do with the fuel sending unit. A similar problem was found on the 2000-2004 Xterra models and a recall was performed when the vehicle would stop after not getting any fuel, posing a great danger. It seems that something in the unit is faulty and will corrode over time. There is a general consensus that everyone who is having the problem is experiencing the same thing after having the vehicle for over 2 yrs and with around 39K-49K. If this problem existed in previous models, and it was recalled, the 2005-2007 Xterras, frontiers, and pathfinders should get this fixed at no charge to the customer!! why wait for accidents and possible deaths, especially since the problem lies in an integral part of the vehicle. Loyal Nissan customers should not have to pay for something that is clearly a defect on Nissan's part.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #33

Dec 052008

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 57,900 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While driving approximately 65 mph on normal road conditions, the check engine warning indicator illuminated unexpectedly on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and they concluded that the fuel sending unit failed. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 57,900 and current mileage was 58,500. Updated 03/23/09. Updated 03/29/09.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

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problem #32

May 312008


  • 47,000 miles
I started having problems with the fuel gauge on my 2005 Nissan X-terra at about 47,000miles. When I fill the tank the light does not go off and will not register a full tank on the gauge. Sometimes the gauge will read a quarter left. If this happens the next time I start the car it will so empty. Basically I do not have a fuel gauge, I have to remember my mileage otherwise I will be stranded.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #31

Jan 212009


  • 75,700 miles


Service engine soon light illuminated and obd code P0463 fuel level sensor circuit high input will not reset. Defective fuel level sending unit.

- Jefferson, GA, USA

problem #30

Aug 082008


  • 77,000 miles
Same fuel gauge problems other owners are complaining about and the lack of support from Nissan. Ours would read empty and low fuel light comes on below 1/2 tank of gas. Took it to a Nissan dealer and $741 later the fuel sender/fuel pump was replaced. This is my wife's vehicle and I would hate the thought of her being stranded thinking she had plenty of fuel and it runs out of gas. I guess Nissan does not think of this. There should definitely be a recall on these fuel senders and issue some kind of credit or check for the owners who have already had the vehicle repaired at their expense.

- Alvin, TX, USA

problem #29

Jan 152009


  • miles
2005 Nissan Xterra fuel system. I have complained to the Nissan dealership about squeaking from the moment I purchased this vehicle in 2005 (new) - but they claimed they could not hear it (??). now my ses light comes on indicating a fuel system (fuel sensor gauge) problem. As I know that I am one of very many Xterra and pathfinder owners with the same problem, it would appear that this item is defective. I also owned the 2000 Xterra - there was a recall on the fuel system and it was replaced. Why is there not a recall now - since Nissan is obviously doing nothing to remedy this situation.

- Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #28

Aug 102008


  • 30,000 miles
I filled up my gas tank and when I turned my car on, the gas gauge needle did not move to reflect how much gas was in my tank. The gas station attendant put another dollar worth of gas into my car. Upon turning my car back on, the gas gauge needle still did not move and my "check engine soon" light came on. The gas cap was secure. I called the dealer and took my car into their service department. The mechanic told me they could find nothing wrong with my car and reset the light. The same problem occurred the next time I filled my gas tank. Furthermore, about a month after the "check engine soon" light came back on the gas gauge will now drop below empty and my gas light will go on when I have about a half of a tank or a quarter of a tank of gas left. The "check engine soon" light remains on.

- Copiague, NY, USA

problem #27

Jul 172008


  • 47,000 miles


2005 Xterra fuel pump level indicator, module, check engine light issues. Almost everyone that has this vehicle is having the same issues.

- Warner Robins , GA, USA

problem #26

Jan 052009


  • 35,000 miles
2005 Xterra 35000 miles filled up at gas station gauge went to completely empty. The dte read ------. did some research and found that this is affecting all exterra which seems to indicate this is a real problem with several models, including Xterra's. now trying to find out why they apparently won't cover it. This needs to be a recall as this is affecting all customers.

- Redbank Nj, NJ, USA

problem #25

Dec 282008


  • miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra. Earlier this week I fueled up the vehicle and continued home. I realized that my fuel gauge was reading only 3/4 of a tank. So, I went back up to the gas station and tried to finish filling the tank (on.57 cents). Every day since then, once I start the car the fuel gauge reads bad. This past Monday the service engine soon light had come on. I then went out and purchased an obd II scanner to read the error code. It was P0463 (fuel level sensor a circuit high input). Did some research on the subject and found that it means that I have a faulty fuel sending unit. It seems to be a very common problem for 2005-2007 Nissan Xterra. This is a safety issues. If my wife is driving my daughter back to nyc and the car runs out of fuel and they are stranded in the middle of the New Jersey turnpike with people driving past them in excess of 70-80 mph.... that is far from safe.

- Windsor, VA, USA

problem #24

Nov 052008


  • miles
2005 Nissan Xterra. Fuel gauge is erratic and reads incorrectly 90% of the time. From owner's forum discussions, this seems to be a defect in the fuel level sensor unit.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #23

Aug 202008


  • miles
1. service engine soon light comes on when gas gets below 1/2 tank. When I fill the tank the gauge doesn't register the fill until vehicle is restarted. Or, the gauge drops to E and the light comes on. 2. occurs all the time. 3.the part required is a fuel level sending sensor unit.

- Gerrardstown, WV, USA

problem #22

Dec 042008


  • 41,000 miles
2005/06 Nissan Xterra fuel gauge sending unit failed. Common problem among this vehicle that should be recalled.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #21

Nov 032008


  • 45,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra - service engine soon light comes on, then fuel gauge drops to zero. Light goes on and off apparently in relation to amount of gas in the tank. Searched "service engine soon gas gauge" and top of the list were dozens of Nissan owners' complaints about the very same problem.

- Womelsdorf, PA, USA

problem #20

Nov 152008


  • 64,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra offroad. Service engine light on, fuel gauge not functioning, reads empty after a fill up and vice versa.

- Catalina, AZ, USA

problem #19

Nov 012008


  • 33,000 miles
Fuel gauge not working correctly everytime tank is refilled. Check engine light illuminates. See ntb07-069A.

- Quarryville, PA, USA

problem #18

Nov 152008


  • 58,000 miles
2005 Xterra fuel gauge failure. Gauge shows empty when full and check engine light is on. Dealer wants $550 to fix. This is a known defect and safety issue and should be subject of recall. If a woman was alone late at night and the gas gauge suddenly showed empty she would be forced to stop at the nearest station which may not be in the safest area. I know, because I work near an airport in a high crime area.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

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