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:
57,810 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 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Oct 282009


  • 40,000 miles


Fuel sensor in 2005 Nissan Xterra is giving faulty readings ---Nissan knows there is a problem and have issued a partial recall, but it does not even come close to the actual models involved. The first time this happened to me, I assumed I had gas as the gauge read 1/4 tank. I ran out of gas on the highway between towns, and had to call for help. Since then, if the gauge gets down to just under 1/2, the check engine light comes on and the needle falls to the bottom and reads empty. I have to track my gas usage by mileage, and on trips this is a huge pain.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #19

Feb 182010

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra-fuel sensor went out, therefore you have no idea how much fuel is in the tank. This causes the engine to quit even while driving. Crashes are inevitable with your engine dying. Parts and labor $600+.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #18

May 012009


  • 47,000 miles
Fuel level sensor has failed, and returns erroneous results misrepresenting the level of gasoline/fuel available. While not a highly critical issue to the vehicle itself, this is still a threat to vehicle occupants as there is a danger of running out of gas and being stranded in a remote location and/or in an unsafe environment with little or no warning.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #17

Dec 152009


  • 75,145 miles


Couple weeks ago my check engine light came on while I backing off my driveway. Then my battery died a week after so I thought the reason why my check engine light came on is because of my battery is running out of juice. So, I replace my battery but then the following day my check engine light came on again. That's when I went to my local auto shop and get my X get check. They told that is the error code P0463.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #16

Jun 012009


  • 75,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra; and a few months ago, the gas gauge stopped accurately reporting the level of gas in the tank. In addition, the "service" light came on (and stayed on) preventing me from passing inspection. After doing some research, I discovered that there are many other occurrences of this problem with various Nissan models in the "2005" (etc) year. This is a relatively expensive repair (approximately $500) for a fuel gauge sending unit replacement; and if not repaired, we who have this problem all run the risk of running out of gas, possibly under dangerous high speed road conditions! despite the fact that this is apparently a "faulty part" supplied by Nissan, the company has not offered to post a recall and/or pay for this repair. With the number of complaints, and the possible dangerous repercussions of not knowing when the vehicle will run out of gas, I believe that Nissan should replace this part at no charge to the consumer.

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

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problem #15

Sep 102009


  • 61,000 miles
Fuel gauge not accurate causing service engine light to go on. I can run out of fuel at anytime causing a dangerous situation on the freeway or roads.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Sep 022009


  • 59,357 miles


I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra, and after filling my gas tank my fuel light came on. Shortly after that the service engine light came on as well. After researching a little it seems to be a problem with the fuel level sensor. There are numerous similar complaints from other Nissan customers. Apparently Nissan will not cover this and there has not been a recall.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #13

Jul 012009


  • miles
2005 Nissan Xterra fuel sending unite/sensor corrosion causing malfunction of gas gauge and turning on service engine soon light. Possible recall was done on 2000-2004 models why not on 2005. Malfunction starts at 39K-47K causing distraction and panic to the driver.

- Nottinghan , MD, USA

problem #12

Jun 232009


  • 52,000 miles
I have a 2005 Xterra with around 50K miles on it. The down to empty mileage has recently not been calculating and last night when I went to fill up the needle wouldn't raise to a full tank. This morning my service engine soon light came on and hasn't gone off since. I have done some research online only to find that several other 2005 Xterra owners have had this same problem. It supposedly has to do with the fuel sensor unit. This has been recalled in prior models of the Xterra. I am hoping that I am not going to have to pay over 600$ to get this fixed considering it is dangerous and could cause sudden stops and/or fire.

- Sherwood, AR, USA

problem #11

May 212009


  • 47,000 miles
Fuel sending unit breaks at 47K miles, Nissan dealer is used to the problem and says it is $550 to replace. Nissan should recall units and fix them when they are faulty.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #10

May 132009


  • 55,000 miles


2005 Nissan exterra. Fuel sensor light needs to be replaced and will cost $350 to replace! will not pass inspection without repair.

- Pinehurst , NC, USA

problem #9

Apr 192009


  • 89,000 miles
Fuel tank sending unit. Nissan has had cronic problems with five different models over the past five years. Contacted Nissan with no sucess. This is a design problem that Nissan should cover.

- Mcminnville, TN, USA

problem #8

Apr 162009


  • 96,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra. I went to the gas station to fill up my tank when the pump clicked off I put the gas cap back on until it clicked. I proceed to start the Xterra and noticed the gas gauge did not move. Finally after driving 45 miles the gauge moved to the full position. I thought this was a one time occurance but it proceed to happen again and this time the check engine light came on. Doing reseach on the web I found this to be a common occurance on 2005 and beyond Xterras. Having made appointment with the dealer to get this fixed it appears that I will have to get fuel sending unit replaced at a cost to me of $600. Upon further research I found that a recall was done on 2001 - 2004 Xterras for the same problem at no cost to their owners. I fee that Nissan has not corrected the problem and that this recall should be extended to Xterras made beyond 2004. In today's economic environment every dollar counts and paying for something that was not corrected is unecessary.

- North Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #7

Mar 122009


  • 45,555 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra with 45K and the fuel needle goes to "E" and then fluctuates up to half then goes down again. The "service engine soon" light is on all the time. I can't tell what my fuel level is because it is not reading correctly. Even when the tank is filled up, the fuel needle reads empty! I have run out of gas on the freeway and had to contact a tow truck service for fuel. I have had the vehicle diagnosed and it would cost me $567 for the part (fuel sending unit) not including labor. I will not pay this ridiculous amount as I have found out through other Nissan Xterra owners that they are having the same issue. I have found this out through an internet discussion forum. There should be a recall for 2005 and newer models of Nissan Xterra's.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 182009


  • 51,114 miles
This complaint is about my Nissan xtera 2005. I had 1/8 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 service engine soon light came on even though my next service was not due yet. I went directly to the dealer and was told that it was a fuel sending unit/sensor problem and that it not in warranty. 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.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #5

Feb 202009


  • 79,000 miles
I have a 2005 Nissan Xterra. After filling up with gas my gas gauge read empty and after a few miles the service engine light came on and stays on. This is a fault with the fuel sending unit that is very common amoung owners of Xterras, frontiers and pathfinders. Cost to repair is about $600. This same issue was classed as a recall for the 2002 models however nmo recall has been issued for the same problem in the newer models. This can be very dangerous as the car could just stop running at any time. With the amount of owners having the same complaint and the fact that this was a recall on earlier models, we think that Nissan should issue another recall on our vehicles and fix the problem.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #4

Jan 292009


  • 44,900 miles
There was no specific event leading up to failure; I purchased my certified pre-owned '05 Xterra 4 months ago and drove it up until yesterday without problem. When I turned on my vehicle after work, my "service engine soon" light was on. I stopped to fill up with gas on my way home, and noticed my gas gauge would not pass the 3/4 tank position. Eventually, after driving about 50 miles or so, my gas gauge (sometimes) returns to its normal position. The "service engine soon" light always remains on. At this point, no corrective measures have been taken. But in doing my research, all signs point towards this being a fuel sending unit problem that is common in both 01-04 Nissan vehicles (for which there was a recall) and 05-present Nissan vehicles (for which there has been no recall).

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 012008


  • 48,000 miles
1. normal use of vehicle. City driving mostly. 2. fuel gauge needle does not correctly show the amount of fuel after initially filling up the gas tank. After some minutes of driving, the needle correctly shows a full tank. Then after about 3/4 fuel level, the needle drops back to empty. Additionally, the digital gauge does not accurately compute fuel miles left and mpg. This behavior repeats each time the fuel tank is filled. Without these functions I am unable to determine how much fuel I have left in the tank. Leaving the possibility for being stranded somewhere, if I do not accurately guess at how much gas is left. 3. nothing was done (yet) to correct the failure. A mechanic told me it the problem is probably caused by a malfunction fuel sending unit/sensor. I have also confirmed the diagnosis on I am awaiting to determine if these vehicles could be recalled by the dealers and/or Nissan, as it appears many people are having the same issue.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jul 152008


  • 61,000 miles
Check engine light comes on, gas gauge does not work. Vehicle only has 61,000 miles and just went over the extended warranty. Looking it up on the internet, sounds like a major defect as other numerous complaints.

- Brighton, CO, USA

problem #1

Jun 012008


  • 57,000 miles
Service engine light and fuel sensor sending unit failure.

- Belmont, NH, USA

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