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 1 of 12)

problem #237

Jul 212014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 177,700 miles


Purchased my '05 Nissan Xterra in the spring of 2012 with about 160,000 miles. For the past 2 months I had minor issues like shuddering/vibrations randomly when I accelerated and the heat not working when I was at a complete stop. It was not until the other day when I was at a complete stop and my car would not accelerate properly that I knew I had a problem with the transmission. I took my Xterra to 3 different mechanics and each one explained to me that I would need a completely new transmission and from there they would see if I in fact needed to change the radiator (which they were positive was the original issue due to similar issues with other Nissan SUV owners). The repairs will cost me well over $4,000 and unfortunately as a college student, there is no way I can afford to repair the transmission and radiator. What was appalling to me was when I researched the issue online. There are hundreds upon hundreds of complaints online on various websites about this issue and Nissan has yet to issue a recall. The extended warranty excluded many people and put many more at an unfair disadvantage. I personally bought my Nissan, because of their reputation, but the fact that they will not come to the aid of their consumers speaks volumes of this company.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #236

Oct 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Check engine light came on then when I filled vehicle with fuel gauge went to empty and low fuel light came on. Gauge does not come back on U til vehicle is driven from 85 to 125 miles and then takes awhile to reach up to around 3/4 full. Never really sure how much fuel is in tank. Was advised to change the fuel tank cap and did twice but still not working. Have to rely on trip gauge to know if I have enough fuel. This seems risky for an almost 75 year old woman.

- Enumclaw, WA, USA

problem #235

Jan 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Gas gauge wont read, displays empty when full. Goes back and forth. 2006 and 2008 recalled for same problem and part # but Nissan wont pay to have 2005 fixed or do a recall. We but from roanoke Nissan dealer used at 57351 miles. They didn't offer warranty and we didn't get extended warranty.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #234

Dec 052013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


When driving at various speeds I began to notice the engine bogging down when changing gears. Upon taking it to my mechanic I was told that there was a leak between the transmission and engine coolant systems. The fix would require a replacement of both systems totally approx. $6000! apparently this is a "known issue" with 2005-2010 Xterras. Upon contacting Nissan I was told that since my vehicle was over 100,000 miles that there was nothing that they could do for me. If this is a known issue, and a rather major one at that, I'm not sure why there hasn't been any recalls or some kind of fix.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #233

Oct 052011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
Error code P0463 - apparently due to a malfunctioning fuel level sensor and requiring substantial shop time to drop fuel tank and replace sensor/pump unit (not to mention part cost, which is not being supplied by manufacturer despite the known, widespread flaw).

- Paso Robles, CA, USA

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problem #232

Sep 252013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Check engine light comes on and the trouble shooting number is P0463. Which I understand Nissan automobiles have a lot of trouble with this situation. I would like to informed when they are having a recall to repair this problem.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #231

Aug 102013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 45,600 miles


Gas gauge reads empty when the fuel tank is full or shows some quantity of gas when it is empty and variations in between. This is a known problem affecting several models and years that Nissan extended its warranty for, but did not recall, claiming it is not a safety issue (see The extended warranty did not advise owners to replace the problem sending units, it just provided for repairs if and when, subject to mileage and time limits, the vehicle manifested the sending unit problem. My low mileage vehicle developed this problem at 46000 miles, well under the extended warranty mileage limit but the timing was beyond the arbitrary extended time period. Following my opening a case with Nissan Consumer Affairs they denied coverage for replacement of the fuel sending unit as it was beyond the arbitrary time limit, although well below the mileage limit. Faulty fuel quantity readings are not just an inconvenience. They can result in hazardous overfilling of fuel tanks (or attempts to fill an already filled tank) when the gauge erroneously reads empty resulting in flammable gas spills, dizzying and environmentally unsound vapor emissions at the pump. On the flip side when there is little or no fuel in the tank but the gauge shows some quantity of fuel such as 1/4 tank or more, driving off on long commutes or trips results in running out of gas on highways. In my case this is in rural areas or back roads and highways out of cell phone range and far from services, and can occur in severe weather conditions. I believe this known problem is a safety problem that poses unnecessary risks to drivers and should have resulted in a recall, not just an arbitrary limited extension of warranty, and disclaimer beyond that.

- Chatham, NY, USA

problem #230

Jun 242013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 85,255 miles
Check engine light came up in my 2005 Nissan Xterra at 85,000 miles. Took it to the repair shop where I make oil changes, I was told transmission broke and radiator fluid contamination. Took it to the dealer, they confirm that the transmission failure, but they flat out refused the contamination, instead offer to replace both transmission and radiator for $5,500 to avoid future problems. I was not convinced. Immediately, another guy in the dealership offers to trade in for a new car. I took the car out and went to another transmission shop. Sure enough, they noticed radiation fluid contaminating the transmission fluid. Cost was around $3,750. Because, the deadline was early June'2013 and now is early July, they are telling me I cannot submit the claim. I hope the court does not approve the final settlement. Nissan should recall and pay for the repairs of defective transmission/ radiator.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #229

Dec 142012


  • 58,000 miles
The gas gauge goes from half full to empty and light comes on when the car is in idle. The gauge does not re-set until the tank is filled and drives for about 100 miles. I believe it is an issue with the sending unit. Is there are re-call?

- Graniteville, SC, USA

problem #228

Apr 172012


  • miles
Gas gauge has quit working...common problem with these automobiles...why no recall?

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #227

Jun 162010


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge was displaying an incorrect fuel level reading. The check engine was also illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised that the fuel sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 110,000.

- Fort Worth , TX, USA

problem #226

Mar 012011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Fuel gauge is not working, service engine soon is on all the time.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #225

Apr 022012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I had 1/4 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. I went directly to the dealer and was told that it was a fuel sending unit/sensor and that it was no longer covered after 30K miles. After returning home and doing research, I went online to after performing a search, 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. Cost of repair ranges from $300-600."

- Entiat, WA, USA

problem #224

Dec 112011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Fuel gauge reads empty when not. Also digital mileage is incorrect. Check engine light is on due to this problem. Fuel sensor??

- Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA

problem #223

Mar 272012


  • 60,800 miles
The check engine light went on and per inspection by the Nissan dealer it was due to the fuel lever sender (code P0463). Estimated labor/material will cost me $500.

- Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #222

Jan 122012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Fuel sending unit has failed. Service engine light has turned on; fuel gauge shows empty; received extended warranty for fuel unit for 72K miles or 6 years. I am at 70K miles but I bought it in 2005 so its past the 6 years. This is such a common failure and should be replaced by the manufacturer via a recall.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #221

Jan 162012


  • 90,000 miles
Fuel level sensor malfunction.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #220

Jan 112012


  • 97,500 miles
While driving, the engine cuts off without warning causing all systems to shut down, including brake assist and power steering causing a near collision twice, once while navigating a curve at low speed with a ditch on the right side and once while navigating a curve at higher speed and nearly coasting into oncoming traffic. The issue is due to a known defect in the radiator causing coolant to spill into the transmission. This is a major safety concern that appears in vehicles without warning in any circumstance at any speed. Please initiate a recall asap for our safety!

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #219

Jan 092012


  • 66,000 miles
The fuel level indicator is very unreliable. Sometimes it reads full and other times it won't move from empty even though there's fuel in the tank. After doing some internet research on this problem I found that it's very common in the 2005 Xterras! why hasn't there been a recall on the faulty sensor?

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #218

Sep 142011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Radiator corrosion leaking fluid into transmission. Replacing radiator and transmission. Replaced vaporizer solenoid and the ipdm unit (voluntary recall) which caused stalling while driving. Fuel sensor replaced. Mandatory recall on the ECM unit. No notification on voluntary or mandatory recalls.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

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