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:
82,357 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 132013


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle shook. The vehicle was taken to a certified mechanic for inspection where the failure could not be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 118,000.

- Waterville, ME, USA

problem #6

Mar 192013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph or more the entire vehicle would shake. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure and current mileage was approximately 154,000.

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #5

Dec 212012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Just started moving after stopping at a light, and the engine stalled. Would not restart immediately, but when it finally restarted it was missing. Every time I have driven this car since then it has stalled, usually but not always after I have stopped or slowed to make a turn. I took it to the dealer this week (1/5/2013) and was told the problem is the transmission and radiator. The transmission is leaking fluid into the radiator and they both need to be replaced. I was told about the extended warranty and the $3000 co-pay. I have to fix the car but I don't know where I'm going to get $3000. I don't understand why Nissan didn't recall the part that fails which allows the fluid to leak into the radiator. That would have saved hundreds of people and Nissan a lot of trouble and expense. There shouldn't be any co-pay since Nissan could have prevented this.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 302010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


My husband and I purchased our 2005 Nissan Xterra, 17 miles young. Exactly one month after we purchased, the rear differential went out and was covered under warranty. No problems for a few years, until we noticed that the gas gauge was not giving accurate readings, we had to watch our odometer count to make sure we didn't run out of gas, which is a very scary thought when you have two young children. This happened when we had approximately 80000 miles on the truck and $600 to repair. Shortly after, the transmission was acting up and the heater wasn't working. No why wasn't that working? apparently, Nissan thought it would be a cool trick to have the radiator leak into the transmission.... brilliant business plan they have. Took the truck in and had to pay $5800 to have the transmission, radiator and computer all replaced. This financial hardship was in fact a hardship. One that shouldn't have had to happen had Nissan provided quality parts and provided stellar service. I will sue Nissan for this major safety issue, blog/facebook my little heart away about how insincere of a company Nissan is and never ever-ever-ever give them a positive recommendation.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 172011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated while driving 40 mph the vehicle began to vibrate. The contact stated, if they decrease and increase the speed the vehicle would function normally for a short time and then the failure would recur. The dealer replaced the front wheel bearings, the brake pads and rotors, but the failure continued to occur. The most recent repair was a field line drive vibration check, but that did not repair the failure. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of failure. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 110,000.

- Durham, CT, USA

problem #2

Mar 012006


  • 7,500 miles
Steering wheel shakes between 55 and 75 mph, inconsistently but always somewhere in that range. Customer service at Nissan is non existent. They do not return calls, and are not concerned about customer safety dealers are A-holes, they do not serve their customers, only want to charge a lot of money and then 1/2 the time will not actually fix what was wrong. At least the one in Maryland which I go to (jones) I have heard of them taking your car in and actually taking parts off of it to put on somebody else's car, then putting bad parts back on your car and releasing it to you as well as not doing anything and charging hundreds of dollars as if they did do something. Crooks.

- Whiteford, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 162010


  • 19,000 miles
2005 Nissan Xterra purchased in 2006 with 19,000 miles current mileage 59,000. After the purchase I noticed that when the truck hits ruts on the highway it will follow them. At times the truck feels completely uncontrollable. About two weeks ago the truck caught ruts that threw me into the other lane no amount of correction could stop it. Had there been a car next to me there would have been an accident. When I asked the dealer to investigate my safety concerns they wanted to charge me money rather than address my safety concerns. My research in 2006 showed a lot of complaints on Xterra web sites about steering issues but the owners wrote them off as being the nature of the beast 4WD. VIN available on request I do not have with me. I have owned a 2000 Ford F250 4X4 and two 4X4 Ford Ranger 02 and 04, none of them ever caught the ruts in the road. None of my other current vehicles have rut problems either with twice the mileage, 90 Geo 152,000, 92 stealth tt 150,000 and a 67 skylark 96,000, all have original front end parts.

- Denver, CO, USA

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