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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Nissan Xterra:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 9 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Apr 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


Transmission is failing because of defect in radiator that allows coolant in to the transmission.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #42

Dec 022002


  • 98,000 miles
In Dec 2012 I had to take my 2006 Nissan Xterra to the garage, there I was told that my radiator had cracked in 3 places and that I had coolant in my transmission. I had to replace the radiator and have the transmission flushed several time. Then on April 10 I was driving home. While getting on the interstate my check engine light came on and my vehicle did not want to go (like it wasn't getting any gas). Took the Xterra back to the garage and was told that I needed to rebuild or replace my transmission. I feel that so many people have had problems with this that Nissan needs to do recalls and reimburse everyone that has already had this problem. If they were any kind of "good" company that is exactly what they would do! very disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Atkins, VA, USA

problem #41

Aug 102012


  • 130,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into my transmission. This caused an entire shutdown of my transmission. I was told by Nissan that it would take up to $5,000 to repair. The radiator fluid leaked due to a defect that Nissan could have easily recalled and avoided. I have conducted research and found that thousands of other Nissan owners have experienced the same problem and Nissan is not willing to do anything about it. I was told that I would be responsible for the cost even though this could have been easily avoided by Nissan manufacturers.

- Loxley, AL, USA

problem #40

Mar 122013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle jerked as the check engine warning light illuminated. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle would fail to shift. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis where the contact was advised that coolant was leaking into the transmission. As a result, the transmission and the radiator would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 94,000.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #39

Apr 102013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 107,663 miles
Know radiator leak into transmission. Nissan refuses to pay on extended warranty to repair. My out of pocket expense is $7,300.

- Crown Point, IN, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #38

Apr 012013


  • 125,000 miles
I stopped at a stop sign, when I accelerated it was like my vehicle was not getting any gas. I almost got hit due to the lack of power. I took my Xterra to the dealership where they informed me that my transmission fluid and coolant mixed due to a crack in the radiator. The radiator and transmission are ruined. I was advised that it will cost around $8000 to fix. At least I didn't have a wreck, although it was close.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #37

Apr 012013


  • 124,500 miles


Same problem as many others. The transmission fluid and coolant mixed and it is all toast now. This is due to a crack in the radiator.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #36

Feb 202013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 107,900 miles
About 3 weeks ago my transmission started to shift hard. Took it to the dealer and they said my radiator assembly has leak into the transmission and they knew about the problem but wont fix it under warranty because I was out of warranty. I got a letter from Nissan saying the same problem with the radiator assembly and show the dealer it as well and they still wonżżT cover it for being out of warranty. So I asked them how much it would be to fix it and it would be $8000 to repair. The dealer suggested I call Nissan. So I call and tell them my problem with the radiator and tell said they wont cover it of being out of warranty. I asked Nissan what I'm supposed to do and they said that I'm out of luck. So I'm wondering why they didn't have a recall on a know problem with their vehicles.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 119,440 miles
The transmission fluid and engine coolant are mixing causing my transmission to lock in 1st gear.

- La Puente, CA, USA

problem #34

Apr 102012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 131,917 miles
I was traveling to work that morning. I live on top of a mountain so I was going down a mountain. I started to hear a grinding sound between 40-60 mph. Then the vehicle began to shake. When I would slow down it began to stop. I got to work and when the technician looked at vehicle he stated the coolant had mixed with transmission fluid. I am in the car business so I knew that this was major damage. I called a local Nissan dealer and to my surprise learned that this is a well know issue with this vehicle. I am very upset and this could have caused a major accident being on a mountain and having the transmission go out. I have taken very good care of this vehicle and am very displeased with the service. I wrote a complaint to Nissan North America and the only reply I received wa to tell me about an open recall on the vehicle. Well since the vehicle can't be driven I guess that recall will have to wait. I did replace the radiator and flushed the transmission several times in hopes that it would save the transmission but so sorry to say I still have the shutter and vibration at 40 -60 mph. The extended warranty that Nissan has come up with is a laugh! most complaint I have seen the consumer has problems well after 100000 miles and why should the consumer pay anything on a defected part that caused the damage. Shame on Nissan!

- Rising Fawn, GA, USA

problem #33

Jul 152012


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph the vehicle began to overheat. The contact shut off the vehicle but was unable to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for diagnosis where the contact was advised that coolant was leaking into the transmission. As a result, the transmission and coolant system would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 60,000.

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #32

Feb 192013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 156,037 miles
Like hundreds of other Xterra owners, our radiator line leaked coolant into our transmission and it totally destroyed the transmission, as well as the electrical component. All told, $4,000 to repair (and that was with a hefty discount from aamco). It happened on at highway speeds, and we were lucky not to end up in a wreck. In the two days it took aamco to fix our car, we spoke with two other people who had the exact same thing happen to their Xterra's. I am amazed that this is such a common problem and has not been addressed in a more satisfactory manner by Nissan. I hope this investigation helps drive Nissan to do a recall on these parts before someone gets seriously hurt.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #31

Feb 082013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 99,182 miles
On Feb. 8th my wife and I were moving into a new place just miles away from our old home. When cruising in between 40-50 mph the vehicle was experiencing extreme vibration in the rear end of the vehicle. It was then that I assumed it might be a universal joint and/or the drive shaft. So when I had the money I brought the vehicle to aamco transmissions to have it checked out. I had to drop it off but later that afternoon the mechanic called me and told me it was the drive shaft and the frontal U-joint. He replaced the U-joint and re-balanced the drive shaft. I thought the problem was solved but just a few miles down the road I realized it hadn't. so I brought it back and they took a second look and told me it may be two things. Either the torque converter is bad or the coolant hose busted and the antifreeze was draining into the transmission which would cause the transmission to blow out. They then told me to fix the transmission would cost me around $6,000 which to me is worth more than the actual vehicle. When I got home I did a little research and found that sure enough the antifreeze was leaking into the transmission. The antifreeze looks like a green apple milkshake if you can imagine. I don't know what to do because I know that there are no recalls for this issue nor warranty coverage. Hundreds of people have complained about this exact issue. I'm at a loss, and now there's absolutely nothing I can do with my only transportation.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #30

Dec 102012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I was driving about 45mph when my vehicle jerked and briefly lost propulsion. This has happened approximately six times on different occasions and at different speeds. I feared that it would happen while pulling out in traffic. About two months after the first incident my mechanic has diagnosed that the transmission has failed, which is related to this phenomenon.

- New Limerick, ME, USA

problem #29

Jan 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Told the timing chain tensioner plastic part failed; only indication is a whine sound from the engine. Nissan issued a tsb to their dealers about this issue, but nothing to the consumer. If the timing chain fails it will cause a catastrophic failure of the engine and a possible crash. An unknowing consumer has no idea about what this sound means (just sounds like a noisy engine) and might have little warning prior to a timing chain failure. This is a common issue on the type of engine in the Xterra, it affects other model also, and at a very low mileage 50-60K mi. Consumers need to be notified of this defect and to listen for the noise. Not everyone takes their vehicle to the dealer. Most mechanics know that timing chains are supposed to last well over 100,000 - 200,000 miles and would never suspect the defect. A safety recall or at least a notification to consumers would be advisable.

- Oro Valley, AZ, USA

problem #28

Dec 052012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 149,240 miles
Due to a cracked radiator, coolant leaked into the transmission system causing the transmission to fail. Luckily, was able to take vehicle out of service before more damage could occur, as a result the firth gear was deemed inoperative. The cracked radiator was replaced, and a new transmission will have to be installed. The vehicle is drivable, but gas mileage has significantly been reduced because of the loss of the fifth gear. I talked to numerous repair and transmission specialist, and this is a very common problem. Researching on the NHTSA website a active investigation was found under NHTSA action number # DP12004.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #27

Nov 132012


  • 116,000 miles
Due to a crack in the internal radiator, my transmission failed. I was almost side swiped pulling out of a parking lot because my Xterra wouldn't go into 1st gear. The crack in the coolant cord is a manufacturing defect, but Nissan refuses to pay for the cost of this product defect and correlating damages.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #26

Nov 012012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Transmission fluid leaked into the cooling system requiring the complete replacement of both major components. Total cost of the work was over $5000 after checking with numerous repair facilities. Apparently this is a known issue as every repair shop I talked to said this is an extremely common problem and that every customer has complained about Nissan's response.

- Maplewood, MO, USA

problem #25

Jul 012010


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while traveling 65 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated as the vehicle gradually lost power. The contact was able to merge to the side of the road. The vehicle was able to be restarted and was driven to the dealer where it was confirmed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was 54,000 and the current mileage was 82,000.

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #24

Oct 302012


  • 119,022 miles
Transmission failure. The transmission radiator failed causing coolant to leak into the transmission which destroyed the transmission. I spoke to the Nissan dealership and they acknowledged that this has been an issue with the Xterras. Nissan does have a program to rebate some of the repair ($4,500 dollars). This program has a cutoff at 100K miles. My vehicle has 119K miles. Nissan will not do anything to help with the cost of repair although they have acknowledged that is a problem. Nissan does not have to worry about having me as a customer in the future!

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?