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:
84,997 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.

2006 Nissan Xterra cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2006 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #8

Nov 182014


  • 198,400 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, a grinding noise emitted from the front end as the transmission overheated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the radiator fluid penetrated the transmission causing the transmission to fail. The transmission was not replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 198,400.

- Belleville , IL, USA

problem #7

May 122011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
My 2006 Nissan X-terra transmission and radiator failed radiator cooling lines for transmission failed and leaked into transmission causing complete failure of transmission.$4,000 to repair.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #6

May 092011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I have a 2006 Xterra that the radiator leaked into my transmission. The only solution from the Nissan dealership was to get a new transmission ($5500), rebuild or trade vehicles. Apparently this is a widespread problem that Nissan is aware of but won't do anything about. They should have issued a recall on this so this problem could have possibly been avoided.

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #5

May 012009


  • 58,000 miles


2006 Nissan Xterra. Consumer states dealer has not properly repaired vehicle the consumer stated at 58,000 miles, the radiator began leaking coolant into the transmission. The transmission was replaced under warranty and the radiator was replaced as a goodwill gesture. A year later, the same thing happened again, but this time there was no warranty. Nissan Corp. Was not willing to pay for the repairs. Updated 10/22/10

- Sterling, CT, USA

problem #4

Jul 082010

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Nissan Xterra. Consumer complaint against manufacturer regarding faulty radiators the consumer stated the transmission cooler is inside the radiator and it is leaking, allowing anti-freeze to enter the transmission and vice versa. When the anti-freeze leaked into the transmission fluid, it destroyed the cooling system and consequently the radiator and transmission needs to be replaced.

- Saint Johnsville, NY, USA

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problem #3

Jun 072010


  • 140,000 miles
1: 2006 Nissan Xterra started having shifting problems and started leaking milky rainbow colored oil. 2: happens in first gear all the time now. Took it in to shop when it started. 3: repair shop said it needs a new transmission because radiator has leaked into the transmission. $7000. Got a quote for $5700 and will be taking it there tomorrow.

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 122010


  • 70,000 miles
I bought a new Nissan Xterra from sloane Nissan in 2006, after 70+ miles, the car vibrates at around 40mph while shifting automatic gear (I did not know why it was vibrating). Finally aft 80+ miles, I took it to the dealer to only find out that the radiator blew the transmission. That is a shame, I just finished paying for the car and now I have to spend more money to fix it. It seems to be a very common problem with Nissan Xterra, pathfinder & frontier. The radiator is junk and needs to be recalled.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #1

Apr 212006

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,577 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that he has taken his vehicle to the dealer four times or more regarding the air conditioner not working. When the A/C was activated in April of 2006, hot air blew out. He took the vehicle to the dealer who stated that the A/C system was never charged. The dealer charged the system and stated that it should work. On May 9, 2006, at 2,128 miles, the contact returned to the dealer because the ipdm controller was not allowing the A/C to remain on cycle and cool the vehicle. On June 19, 2006, the A/C was not producing enough cold air and the vehicle was taken to the dealer once again. The dealer stated that there was minor engine failure. Two seals were replaced for the high and low side from the previous visit because they were not placed back on during the previous visit. On July 17, 2007, at 10,753 miles, the compressor was short cycling and shutting on and off too quickly. The dealer discovered that the system was a half pint low on refrigerant and they replaced the O-ring. The contact believes there is a leak, but the dealer stated that there was not. The current mileage is 10,760 and failure mileage was 1,577. The consumer provided repair invoices pertaining to the defect and also legal documentation in reference to the incident. Updated 09/05/07

- Middle Village , NY, USA

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