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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Nissan Xterra:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 4 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #177

Dec 202010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Fuel gauge went inop at approx 90,000 miles. Nissan had extended the fuel gauge warranty to 72,000 which is ridiculous considering most Xterra's, pathfinders, and frontiers have this problem. This should be a recall, not a warranty extension. This is a safety issue. Running out of gas on the highway is dangerous.

- Keller, TX, USA

problem #176

Jan 012009

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I have been experiencing issues with my fuel gauge on my 2005 Nissan Xterra. I can no longer place trust in the gauge, since I have run out of gas twice now, while the gauge still showed fuel available in the tank. The error codes on the computer module state it is the fuel sending unit. I have spoken with Nissan and they refused to rectify this issue.

- Chelsea, AL, USA

problem #175

Sep 272010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Check engine soon light illuminated. Gas gauge inaccurate. Gas light illuminated when plenty of gas is still in tank. Dte feature no longer shows numbers only dashes. Only 66,000 miles on vehicle. This problem started around 64,000 miles.

- Wrightsville, PA, USA

problem #174

Jun 012009


  • 53,000 miles


First problem - when I had 53,000 mi on it, it was still under warranty, it started cutting out and wouldn't accelerate at all, had to have it towed to the dealer to find out that the transmission was bad. They said that he radiator leaked, flooding my transmission with coolant and ruined my transmission. They refused to honor the warranty stating that "the tranmission did not fail - the radiator did (which was not covered under warranty) therefore the transmission was not covered". I had to let them replace the radiator and flush the transmission 3 times - it cost me $1,400 out of pocket - now here I am 30,000 miles later and my reverse will not work at all, my transmission needs replaced. So I had paid 1,400 just to buy myself an year & a half and now I need a new transmission. 2nd problem - I have the fuel gauge/sensor problem, also. I filled up one day, got in my car and gauge read empty & check engine light was on. I had a rip-off mechanic charge me $170 to replace the sensor - nothing ever changed, gauge is still broke and light is still on. Nissan is so wrong for not handling their problems, consumers deserve to be treated fairly. There should be a class action suit against them - just read these complaint boards. Somehow I have both of the most common problems with these vehicles.

- Saltsburg, PA, USA

problem #173

Aug 102009

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 60,098 miles
Fuel sensor goes bad on Nissan Xterra causing vehicle to run out of gas and stall, when it appears vehicle has plenty of fuel (according to the gauge.)

- Hanford, CA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #172

Jan 012009


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. After refueling the fuel gauge displayed a reading of empty. The check engine light also began to illuminate on the dashboard. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the fuel sending unit would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure continued to recur intermittently after refueling. The failure mileage was 65,000 and the current mileage was 118,000.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #171

Oct 312010


  • 77,000 miles


I drive a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The service engine light turned on after I filled my vehicle with gas and the gas gauge read empty.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #170

Oct 202010


  • 46,050 miles
This '05 Xterra had a thorough check out & diagnostic. Then 500 miles later, at around 46000 miles, when the fuel indicator was at 1/2 tank- the needle suddenly plunged to below empty, a light came on and the service engine soon light came on. This was all very alarming, and we were stuck in bumper-bumper traffic in a bad part of phoenix when it happened. It wasn't hot out, just a big traffic jam in 5:00 rush, and we were nowhere near a gas station. It was terrible, and we were very scared to be stranded. After that we bought a huge gas can, and just drove around with 10 gallons of gas just in case. That is terrible, to have to drive wondering if when you'll actually run out of gas, vs. Just being told you are out of gas.this started happening during the beginning of our cross-country trip to the coast and back. It was an issue the entire time, and very nerve wracking. Nissan should fix this, since I've returned from our trip and found that 100's of people are having exact same problem! this is a faulty part, and it makes me wonder what else will go wrong. This is the first Nissan our family has had, and I am afraid we might not be buying another one, and telling others to steer clear of Nissan.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #169

Oct 272010


  • 75,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra SE, fuel sending unit is erratic and doesn't read proper amount of fuel in tank. This could be a serious safety concern for anyone who actually uses their truck out in the desert thinking they have more fuel then is indicated. Quite often the gauge will drop down to empty and I've gone to fill the truck up just in case and end up putting only a few gallons of fuel in the truck. This has happened multiple times, although its not a safety concern I do believe that the gauge showing the tank is at 3/4 or more then dropping down to 1/4 tank (the actual amount of fuel) is one. My biggest complaint is that Nissan has issued a recall for models earlier then the 2005 and the models from 2006 forward. Why is it that these models get the recall and not the 2005 models? the component that is failing in both the earlier and later models is the exact same part.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #168

Oct 202010


  • 64,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra fuel level sensor malfunction. Apparently its extremely common and Nissan isn't doing anything about it.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #167

May 302009


  • 70,000 miles


No specific events leading to failure. Standard use of the 2005 Nissan Xterra and the failure has occurred at approximately 70K miles on the car.. the failure is the fuel sensor gauge which causes the gas gauge to be inaccurate at all times. It will go from full to empty in 1 second while you are headed down the road. Other times it will show half tank when the tank is empty. It happens every time we are in the car. Consequences could be fatal if we had not caught on to the issue. At any point we run the risk of running out of gas due to an error in the way the gauge is reading.. we are forced to track miles on the odometer each time we fill up. Nothing has been done by me at this point. Nissan has acknowledged the issue by recalling 2006+ models and extending the warranty to 72K miles on the 2005 models. Our car now has 90K miles on it so we do not meet either of their "safety" fixes.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #166

Oct 172010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 50,105 miles
The fuel sending unit on my 2005 Nissan Xterra failed at 50105 miles. This appears to be a common problem and it is under recall not for my year/VIN). This is a manufacturer's defect and Nissan should extend the recall to cover all 2005-2010 Xterras. Observed problem: 1. service engine light 2. code: P0463 3. fuel gauge no longer working (filled tank showing half filled).

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #165

Jan 052006

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 150 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra purchased new in 2006. It looks new still and I take very good care of it. I reported many times about the gas gauge not working correctly to the dealer and they said it was O.K. when checked. They since sold to someone else. It has gotten worse, a light stays on all the time to check maintenance because of it and I cannot pass state inspection until I pay several hundreds of dollars to repair it. I have talked to many people I see with them, many car sales people and dealers and sometimes people will come up to me while getting gas, compliment on the condition of mine, and ask if I have the problem and many of them has a newer vehicle and/or older vehicle. This is a problem that consumers should not have to pay for to get repaired and there should be a recall. I really do not have the money to pay this and make my monthly payments also. Can you help me and the many others? you fill up with gas and the gauge goes to empty until such time it goes back to reading something and a couple of times has caused us to run out of gas.

- Delta, PA, USA

problem #164

Mar 152008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While the vehicle was parked, the contact started the vehicle and noticed the fuel gauge was not working properly. The contact stated that when she first fuels up the gas gauge works fine. She stated that the fuel gauge stops working between three quarters of a tank and a half of a tank. The failure had been on going for two years and three months. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but the contact refused to pay for the diagnostic. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 100,800.

- Reading, CA, USA

problem #163

Aug 232008


  • 52,000 miles
Fuel tank sending unit fails at 1/4 of tank/then check engine light come on.

- Cottonwood, AZ, USA

problem #162

Aug 122010


  • 68,025 miles
In the past month I have experienced a series of anomalies with my fuel gauge. I initially noticed this when I completely refilled my gas tank only to notice that the gauge showed 7/8ths full. It seemed odd, but I didn't think it was an issue as the pump may have automatically shut off prematurely. Turns out to not be the case. On my next trip to the gas station, upon refilling the gas tank, my gauge only read a half tank. Upon my next trip in the vehicle, the gauge read properly. However, subsequent trips the gauge read sometimes more than it should and sometimes less than it should. For example, after going 78 miles the gauge still read "full", and then after going 96 miles the gauge read "half full". after refilling the gas tank this last time, the gauge read 3/4 of a tank. The next trip the gauge read "full". subsequent trips the gauge reads sometimes more than it should and sometimes less than it should. The last couple of trips the gauge showed the same amount each time even though I have driven more than 60 miles. I took my vehicle to the nearest Nissan dealer (where I've had service performed before) to check for a recall as I had heard there were vehicles with this same issue. Apparently, Nissan has issued the recall for "some" models and years but not for mine. They offered to "diagnose" the problem, for their usual shop fee naturally. You should be aware that this issue is not limited to the model years allowed in the recall. I have been reading on online forum with many 2005 Xterras that are experiencing this same issue. I am less than pleased with the response from the dealership. I should not have to pay to diagnose a known problem; much less pay to have it fixed. I am issuing this complaint in hopes that you will do the right thing and realize the extent of this problem and include the 2005 model year in the existing recall.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #161

Aug 012010


  • 72,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra that has an issue with the fuel sending unit. The gas gauge takes a long time to register that the tank is full and now the service engine light is on. I have read many forums where people with both the Xterra and pathfinder are having the same issue. They did a recall on the 2001-2003 Xterra for the same problem. How is this not a recall. This is an expense that owners should not have to bear as it is a very common problem. Consumers need help with this issue.

- Ridgefield, CT, USA

problem #160

Jan 102010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While the contact was driving approximately between 60-65 mph, the "check engine" warning light illuminated with the fuel gauge displaying an inaccurate reading of a half of a tank. The fuel gauge reading fluctuated from empty to half full at various speeds. The failure became progressively worse. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for a diagnostic testing. The failure was related to the fuel sending unit. The contact ordered the part and informed that he would repair the vehicle. The failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Ashville, OH, USA

problem #159

Aug 182010


  • 84,000 miles
Filled up gas tank & check engine light came on. Autozone did a diagnostic & found PO463. My wife has noticed erratic fuel-gauge operation for some time, but only mentioned it since the check-engine light came on. She has also noticed the mileage displayed has not agreed with the displayed fuel-level, which she thought something had happened that changed her gas mileage...which had not. We drive this vehicle mainly on the freeway, as my wife is a college student in the rn program. In our location, she drives along with may semi-trucks going to/from Canada. Having our vehicle run out of gas on this freeway, with the amount of trucks per hr could be devastating, if attempting to get to a shoulder safely. We have owned this vehicle since new. This is unacceptable that we must rely on faulty factory instrumentation. Other years have this same defect & have been recalled. Are we waiting for the death toll to increase before acting on something that is such an obvious problem that can fail & cause the vehicle to stall at highway speeds? this is an obvious problem that requires recall & repair.

- China, MI, USA

problem #158

Jul 142010


  • 69,000 miles
The fuel sensor/sending unit on my 2005 Nissan Xterra has failed and now my gas gauge does not register a full tank and my service engine light remains on. This is apparently an extremely expensive and common failure for the Xterra and this same part was recalled on the 2004 model.

- Dallas, TX, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?