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 6 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #137

May 282010


  • 64,000 miles


My 2005 Nissan Xterra fuel gauge has stopped working and now the check engine light is on and will not go off. After research I have found that this is a common problem with the Nissan Xterra for many consumers.

- Kissimmee, FM, USA

problem #136

Jan 052010


  • 64,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra that I bought pre-owned. I haven't had any real problems with the vehicle, and have been keeping up with scheduled maintenance. I had my fuel sending unit in the vehicle malfunction, which has caused me to fail an emissions inspection and has caused several instances of running out of fuel as a result of a malfunctioning gas level indicator. After doing extensive research on the issue, it's apparently extremely common and Nissan has failed to recall the problem. They recalled it for earlier model years, but although they're still using the same weak part, have yet to recall it for the year applicable to me (2005).

- Portsmouth, NH, USA

problem #135

Dec 012009


  • 70,000 miles
The fuel gauge on my 2005 Nissan Xterra SE does not read accurately. When I fill the tank the display needle drops to below "E" and shows the fuel warning light illuminates. This began in November 2009 with about 70K miles on the vehicle. Nissan recently issued a recall for this very problem but limited it to model year 2006 and 2008 Xterra's. Nissan wants to charge me almost $600+ to fix the problem on my 2005. A simple google search of 'Xterra fuel gauge' will show many more complaints from people with 2005 and 2007 Xterra's. these should be included in the recall.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #134

Nov 012009


  • 39,000 miles


2005 Nissan Xterra experiences same problem with faulty fuel gauge sensor as numerous other Nissan cars/trucks manufactured between 2006 and 2008. These other models are currently experiencing recall, but Nissan has refused to issue a recall for the 2005 Xterra with the same problem. A complaint has been lodged with North american Nissan. When the fuel tanks runs to about half empty (judging from miles driven), the fuel gauge needle no longer reflects the true fuel level and remains stuck at around half, while the obd light comes on. Reading the obd code sometimes shows P0463 for fuel sensor circuit malfunction. Subsequently, when the engine runs to about 3/4 empty, the fuel sensor shows an empty tank. Upon fully refueling, the fuel gauge sometimes returns to 2/3 level at the first engine restart, and after driving a certain distance, returns to full. The symptoms are consistent with descriptions of the fuel gauge sensor failure in Nissan models named in the current recall.

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #133

Jul 102009


  • 75,000 miles
Fuel gauge in vehicle works occasionally. This makes it hard to tell actual fuel level. This is the same problem that happens in the same vehicle of other years, and a recall was issued for them.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

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problem #132

May 192010


  • 62,000 miles
Noticed fuel gauge sticking at current level when filling tank about last three fill ups. On my 2005 Nissan Xterra. Filled it up tonight and drove home 1/2 mile pulled into the drive way and noticed check engine light on. Used my obdii tester and got a code P0463 fuel level sensor circuit high input. I looked this up on the internet and found countless people with the same issue on Nissan Xterras and pathfinders. I also found the bad info on just what is involved in fixing this issue. I understand that this is not a life issue unless you run out of gas on the way to the emergency room. Or the emergency response team is in a Nissan ect. Its hard to believe that this is not a recall item.

- Sanatoga, PA, USA

problem #131

Mar 152010


  • 68,540 miles


My 2005 Nissan Xterra has experienced a failure of the fuel sending unit which causes the incorrect amount of fuel to be displayed on the gas gauge, causing the potential for running out of fuel on the highway and a significant danger to the driver and passengers. Nissan is currently recalling model year 2006 and up vehicles but has not yet included the 2005S. It is imperative that Nissan include the 2005 models as well.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #130

Mar 252010


  • 80,000 miles
Erratic function of dash fuel level gauge, gauge may go from one half tank to "below empty" and warning light comes on without warning. Check engine dash warning light also comes on and stays on, if codes are checked, only code stored is "fuel sending unit-low voltage". minutes later gauge may return to what appears to be normal function, but check engine light stays on. Gauge cannot be trust to display fuel level accurately and may result in a traffic crash if vehicle looses power while in operation. This issue has been documented by numerous 2005 Nissan Xterra owners but Nissan chooses to ignore the safety issue and refuses to recall the defective fuel sending unit.

- Hixson, TN, USA

problem #129

Nov 172009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the vehicle suddenly ran out of fuel. The contact called an authorized dealership and was advised that the fuel sensor was defective and since the vehicle was not a part of any recalls, she would be responsible for any repair expenses. The VIN was unavailable at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. The current mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #128

Apr 242010


  • 81,000 miles
I pulled into a gas station to fill up my tank 2 weeks ago and after filling up the tank left the gas station and realized that the gauge did not move. It was still stuck at 1/4 of a tank. I drove the car all week and the fuel gauge slowly went up to 1/2 of a tank however I kept track of the mileage and had to fill the tank again by the next week. The tank again was not working properly and my wife who also drives the vehicle does not keep track of the mileage as closely as I do and I am worried that she will have a problem with running out of fuel on a major highway during rush hour. After the 2nd week of the fuel gauge not working properly today I started the vehicle and the service engine soon light came on and stayed on for the entire 35 miles that I traveled to work. I did some research on the internet and found that many people have complaints for this same issue and found that it may be the fuel sending unit. I see that the 2006 Xterra's have been recalled however mine is a 2005 and wonder why it is also not being recalled? I fear for the safety of my wife driving this vehicle.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #127

Nov 202009


  • 57,000 miles


Summary: 2005 Nissan Xterra fuel gauge reading empty when full and slowly rising back to the correct display level then dropping to mid-level displaying incorrectly. Service engine light comes on and stays on sometimes turning off and on at odd times. This event happens everyday and I have now relied on the tripometer to tell my fuel level. Prior events leading to malfunction: I was driving on a 9 hour long trip during winter. I was about 4 hours into the trip and my fuel gauge oddly dropped to empty so I filled up but no change occurred. On the way up it started to work again so I figured it was a fluke and trusted the gauge. My car stalled about 8 hours in and I had to wait in the cold for 2 hours for aaa. Repairs made: No repairs were made but I have looked for quotes on the repair and I keep getting different answers to the problem. One said the fuel gauge sensor needs to be reset (200 dollar fee) and another said the fuel pumps need to be replaced (700 dollar fee). Similarities to common recall: The issue I have is so common to the NHTSA campaign id number: 10V075000 recall. This recall is on the 2006 and 2008 Nissan Xterra, frontier, and pathfinder. It involves: The molded fuel tank shells can deform, causing the fuel sender float arm to contact an embossment molded into the tank shell causing the instrument panel fuel gauge to show that the vehicle has approximately one quarter tank when the fuel tank is empty. I have no doubt that we 2005 Xterra owners are having the same issue, and online that is the consensus. Thank you very much for your time and work resolving this issue.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #126

Mar 172008


  • 40,000 miles
I have an 05 Nissan Xterra. The gas gauge shows the gas tank empty even when it contains fuel. The check engine light will come on when the tank reaches 1/4 capacity (based on odometer estimate) and will stay on for hundreds of miles (after refuel). Code returned: P0463. Why are 06 - 08 Xterras covered? even if the 05's issue is completely independent of the 06 and up (which I don't believe), it would seem that there have been enough complaints to warrant further investigation. Thank you.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #125

Nov 022009


  • 65,000 miles
I have 2005 Nissan Xterra. It has a fuel gauge problem. It is always giving me the wrong reading of how much fuel I have in my tank even after I completely fill up. This started to happen suddenly with nothing that caused it. This is a hazard because I am having to constantly estimate how much fuel I have left and constantly filling up my tank to make sure that I have enough fuel.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #124

Feb 152010


  • 64,000 miles
Fuel gauge stopped working.

- Alamo, CA, USA

problem #123

Apr 012010


  • 92,000 miles
We have a 2005 Nissan Xterra, one day we filled it at a gas station and noticed right after leaving the station that the gauge still said a quarter of a tank, so we pulled into another gas station a few miles down to see if it would take more gas and it only took $0.60 worth, so when we started the engine again, the service engine soon light was on. As we were driving down the road the gauge slowly started rising to the full mark. We had to fill it again before we got back from our trip and it did the same thing, didn't register our full tank and then slowly went up to the full mark, and the service engine soon light has stayed on the whole time. We cant tell if we still have fuel or not.

- Tulsa , OK, USA

problem #122

Oct 102009


  • 71,000 miles
Fuel sending unit failed while driving. Gas level measured inaccurately, and we ran out of gas. We were stuck on the side of a remote highway in the ozark mountains for hours with no cell phone coverage. Quite the nightmare.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #121

Feb 092009


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge was defective as it would indicate that the fuel tank was full and suddenly indicate that it was empty. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the fuel sending unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileages was approximately 76,000. The current mileage was approximately 100,000.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #120

Jan 012009


  • 40,000 miles
Inaccurate fuel gauge leading to inaccurate fuel readings; the gauge may show gas left when tank is actually empty or vice versa; all digital dash readings and components short out or completely stop working including mileage readings; have to continually fill up with gas to ensure I have enough to run the vehicle; I have run out of gas while traveling at 80 miles per hour on the highway several times, this is a very serious safety hazard; I have two small children traveling with me and do not need to run out of gas on the side of the highway. This vehicle has never been in an accident but has had this problem for over a year.

- Jacksonville, AL, USA

problem #119

Mar 152010


  • 73,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Xterra has a fuel gauge problem which causes the gauge to not display the correct amount of fuel in the tank. It can show empty after a fill up. It is impossible to know how much fuel is in the tank. This could cause me to run out of gas wile operating the vehicle which could lead to a crash.

- Grosse Ile, MI, USA

problem #118

Feb 192010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. While traveling at speeds of 35 mph, the check engine light illuminated on the dashboard and within seconds, the fuel level indicator dropped from one half tank to empty. The dealer replaced the fuel sending unit and fuel gauge. The failure mileage was 47,000 and the current mileage was 48,000. Updated 05/19/1. updated 06/03/10 updated 06/10/10.

- Spokane Valley, WA, USA

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