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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
159,149 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 6 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #103

Mar 212014


  • 152,000 miles


Transmission failure due to contamination by engine coolant. The source of the contamination is a cracked line that runs through an engine coolant chamber in the radiator. Resulting in having to replace radiator and now the whole transmission. Current there is a recall however I was never notified of recall. My car is under 8 years old and has approx. 152,000 miles, hence, does not fall under the settlement of class action suit ordering Nissan to reimburse repairs. I am now out $4,000 even though Nissan is aware this is a pure mechanical error on their part. I was driving with my young daughters in the car and almost caused a pile up! shame on you Nissan!

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #102

Feb 142014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 76,693 miles
I have warranty extension notices sent out by Nissan. They are for a leak in the radiator they may go into the radiator was replaced because the dealer said it had a leak. There was no fluid in my garage or driveway.. now my transmission had to be replaced 76993 miles. After dealing with customer service they told me it was not a related problem..there has been a class action in against Nissan for this problem.the cost was $4500.if you need any other question answered please call me at [xxx]..I am looking for reimbursement for the cost of tranny repair..all work was done by mike barney Nissan 3676 sheridan drive amherst, NY 14226. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #101

Nov 042013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Transmission damage attributed to contamination by engine coolant. The source of the contamination is a cracked atf line that runs through an engine coolant chamber in the radiator. Resulting in having to replace radiator and now the whole transmission. Current there is a recall campaign # 10V517000, however I was never notified of recall. My car actually is 8 years old and has approx. 105,000 miles, hence, does not fall under the settlement of class action suit ordering Nissan to reimburse repairs.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #100

Feb 242014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 86,500 miles


Nissan will not step up and fix their mistake, our car is at 87000 miles and the coolant is leaking into the transmission due to how Nissan configured their system from the years of 2006 - 2009. When I spoke with [xxx] at Nissan Consumer Affairs he intimated that Nissan is not aware of this being a major issue, but interestingly enough stopped using this configuration in 2010. They claim that it will not happen to every Nissan, we need more consumers to come forward, so that this will become a "recall". the system is faulty it may not happen at 80,000 / 90,000 / 100,000, but count on it happening at some point. This is a very expensive repair. If Nissan had communicated to us that the warranty covering this transmission failure was extended to 80,000 but of course why would they admit to a faulty system, and let their valued customers know. Simple they do not value their customers, they lost this group. Way to go Nissan, somewhere down the line this will hurt you. Signed-disgusted information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #99

Feb 012014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • miles
Transmission failure.

- Jasper, AL, USA

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problem #98

Mar 142013


  • 150,000 miles
Started over a year ago that while driving the motor would just stop running, would have to coast to the side if the road without power steering or brakes. I took it into the shop and they couldn't find out the problem. Now that my transmission is starting to shake and make noise, I took it to the dealer. They told me that my radiator is making into the transmission and that makes the motor quit and loss of power. I am informed that I need a new radiator and transmission. Looking online I see that there are a lot of people with this sane safety issue and that there is no recall. I think that there should be a recall because it's safety alone! I almost hit a car and a pedestrian while trying to steer off the road and stop. Please help with a recall!! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Menan, ID, USA

problem #97

Feb 182014


  • 109,000 miles


The transmission started to slip, turns out the atf was contaminated by the radiator failing and leaking coolant into the transmission. This was determined by the dealer and of course it was out of warranty. I replaced the radiator and the transmission is being worked on by a transmission shop to the tune of several thousand dollars. The contamination ruined at least all clutch plates, the bands, and the torque converter.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #96

Jan 152014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
While driving in traffic, automatic transmission slipped out of gear causing loss of speed and near collisions from following vehicles. Diagnosis was a flaw in the radiator that allowed coolant to enter the transmission causing the transmission to fail.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #95

Feb 012014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Transmission went out. While driving on highway, rpms went up and car would not move. Diagnosis was new transmission and radiator. Seems to be a problem with 2006 Nissan Xterras with low mileage.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #94

Jan 202014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I have a 2006 Nissan SE Xterra 4.0 4X2 automatic -I started noticing when gets speed up to 45 miles it is making a hard shifting and when slowing down making a hard down shifting as well. I mostly notice this when the vehicle is already warmed up and stop and go traffic is when it starts acting up, like a clunk noise and feel like it is loosing power in the transmission. It was a cold day and when leaving work and I backed up and then put in drive and started to move forward all of a sudden the service engine light came on and it felt like I had lost power to the transmission. (bogged down feeling) I had to press further down on the peddle to get the Xterra to drive. I drove home slowly with my flashers on praying to god I would not break down within the 7miles. The next day I drove 2 miles to oriellys to pull the code P1754 with several others.I drove to a transmission shop and was given a "worse case scenario" charge of about $3300 -I still owe $6000 for it! I started to investigate the issue online with all of the forums/parts/rebuilds and such and found that the transmission is the issue with the coolant line in radiator cracking and leaking atf into transmission causing problems with corrosion in the valve body and transmission (O rings/seals) causing to be replaced which is (faulty engineered/manufactured highly expensive defect) at around 100,000 miles and cost is $1100 for body valve, rebuilding transmission ($2800-($5000 for new) and replacing the radiator $ $260 and lets not forget about the labor at about $110 an hour for around 13 hours. Who has this kind of money for this repair?? I love my Xterra but not at this cost since I found out that every 100,000 I will have to replace the $1100 transmission valve body (solenoids failing)!! I am very disappointed with Nissan.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #93

Sep 052012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 106,673 miles


The transmission in my vehicle began to slip. I had aamco and Nissan investigate the problem and both companies determined that the coolant from the radiator had leaked into the transmission. This caused the vehicle to become inoperable.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #92

Jan 282014


  • 164,000 miles
Transmission failure on highway. Car stopped working going 65 mph. Radiator fluid leaked into transmission.

- Wallkill, NY, USA

problem #91

Jan 102014


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle began to violently shake and was hesitant to shift into the next gear. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the torque converter needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 95,000.

- Arcata, CA, USA

problem #90

Jan 022014


  • 137,000 miles
My transmission began slipping all of a sudden and I lost all ability to accelerate despite my ability to rev the engine. Luckily I coasted into my local "kwik kar" at the end of the street. They looked at the car and informed me that they believe the radiator is leaking into the transmission and that both the transmission and radiator would need to be replaced to make the vehicle functional again. Had this occurred on the highway my life would have been in serious danger.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #89

Dec 302013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 103,949 miles
We noticed a higher pitch noise from the vehicle in August 2013 during all running times (cold start, warm running, etc) in my pregnant wife's car with about 90,000 miles on vehicles (inspected fluids, belts, and engine area without notice to any issues- assumed it was the sub-freezing temperatures ~5-16). Regular maintenance has bee conducted on the vehicle since purchase (original owners), had the heater core repaired and vehicle inspected at Nissan dealer in Texas in 2011 without knowledge of transmission problems (heater core is leaking again 2yrs later). There was no impact to driving at the time. Figured it would only need a tune-up back from Colorado to Georgia before finally getting it checked and was diagnosed with transmission and engine coolant cross contamination requiring $4,500+ in repairs (now at 103,000 miles -Dec 2013). Automatic transmission was completely flooded/contaminated with engine coolant ruining the internal components. Mechanics stated that is a known problem with Nissan Xterra's and other models, that they didn't know how our transmission didn't already fail with the amount of exposure, and it would be a short time before the transmission becomes completely in-operational. After some research, we have discovered that many people have had a similar issue across Nissan models, and we do not qualify for the class action law suit (which you had to claim by Jun 2013 and have document/diagnosed transmission contamination >100,000 miles). Nissan should be required to recall/fix their design flaw and safety hazards for protection of the consumer!

- Harlem, GA, USA

problem #88

Nov 252013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 94,673 miles
The vehicle would stall or rather the transmission would not shift mostly out forth to fifth, or even third to forth. The engine seems fine. Pull the transmission dipstick, the fluid is dark and smells burnt.

- Broken Bow, OK, USA

problem #87

Dec 162013


  • 80,600 miles
Driving South on the Florida turnpike, our Nissan X-terra would not change speed at 40 miles per hour and it appeared that the transmission could not change. The slip indicator light went on. This situation happened approximately three times, after each incident we had to stop on the side of the highway. Finally after the third attempt the vehicle picked up speed. When we got home, I checked the transmission fluid and it had what appeared to be water. I checked the radiator cap, and instead of liquid the mixture seemed to be a creme paste, like it had oil. Searching in google, I found that there was a lawsuit brought again Nissan for this defect. However today at bill seidle's Nissan in miami, I was told that there is a co-payment of $2,500. This is outrageous, since the problem was created by Nissan and not by the owner of the vehicle.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #86

Feb 122011

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 96,347 miles
I really do not know where to begin. My truck would not start 8/26/13. I learned that the dreaded radiator coolant leak had finally destroyed my transmission computer system and transmission. I first learned that this could become a problem in February of 2011 when my vehicle was at about 96,300 miles. The Nissan dealership gave me a number to call, I did and was told at that time that I could pay $6000 out of pocket and possibly be reimbursed later as my vehicle VIN was not in the current list of vehicles being offered the "special warranty coverage". I was given a case number and told I would be mailed information about all future matters regarding this problem. I did not have $6000 then, I do not have $3000 now. That is the amount of the deductible the Nissan dealer says I would be responsible for paying if Nissan honors the time I initially reported this problem to them. I need some help. My husband is active duty navy and I kept this vehicle serviced and did everything I was supposed to do to make sure this vehicle stayed in great condition and now I have a vehicle that is no longer working. I hope you can help us.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #85

Dec 062013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 99,950 miles
On December 06, 2013, while merging onto the highway, my gray in color, 2006 Nissan Xterra, completely lost all motive power & failed to shift gears, simply revving out in 2nd gear. It should be noted, my 2006 Nissan Xterra is the 4X4, automatic transmission & had around 99,950 miles at the time. The incident put myself, my wife, and my eight month old baby girl in danger due to the fact we had no where to exit the highway & were quickly slowing down in traffic. This incident almost caused an accident because I was unable to accelerate to get out of the way of the faster highway traffic. It has since come to my attention that Nissan is aware of this issue and that it is caused by the radiator leaking coolant into the transmission causing the transmission fluid to mix with the radiator fluid, effectively destroying the transmission. I was able to slowly work the rpms up & get the transmission to shift up a few gears so we could make it off the highway. I then contacted my local Nissan dealer who advised that Nissan was aware of the issues and have extended the warranty to 100,000 mi. He informed me that to replace the transmission & the radiator it would cost approximately $7000, however, if I was under 100,000 mi, I would only have to pay a $3,000 deductible. Because I had passed the 100,000 mile mark by driving my vehicle back home, I was no longer eligible for this extended warranty. I've owned my Nissan Xterra for over 6 years & have made sure to stay current on all the routine maintenance. The fact that Nissan is not only aware of these issues (which have allegedly affected thousands of Nissan owners), but also that they have failed to take any corrective action, is simply unacceptable & also downright dangerous. It is one thing for Nissan to not stand behind their product, but it is wrong for them to knowingly allow their product to put people's lives in danger.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #84

Dec 062013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
As I was driving along the highway, I felt a jerk from the vehicle. The vehicle then over heated. Pulled over and let set for a minute. Restart and limp to work place. After calling dad found radiator fluid in transmission. The rest is history!!!!

- Saucer , MS, USA

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