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:
107,355 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 engine problems

engine 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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Jul 042014


  • 137,000 miles


Driving down the road and car started shuttering and over heated got out of car and there was milky trans fluid every were.

- Proctorville , OH, USA

problem #38

Jun 302014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
There was recall for vehicles similar in year as my car. The recall was # 10V517000 and was for the "intelligent power distribution module (ipdm)". I called Nissan America, and although many vehicles of my year and make/model were affected, my VIN # was not included. I should have been included on this recall because this is exactly what part was defective and exactly what I had to pay for to get fixed. I was even driving when it stalled out on me numerous times and I am thankful it was not on the freeway. If possible I would like to be acknowledged and potentially be reimbursed by Nissan.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #37

Mar 302014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
While on a business trip away from home noticed the heater stopped blowing warm air. A few minutes later engine temperature spiked but then returned to normal. 50 miles later heater started working again. Took the car to a local mechanic and discovered transmission cooler within the radiator had failed, allowing the radiator coolant to mix with the transmission fluid. Paid for the replacement of the radiator/transmission cooler, system flush. Had the system flushed again 1 week after radiator replacement. Transmission now acting erratically, particular when shifting between 3rd and 4th gear. Initial assessments by mechanic suggests transmission and transmission computer require replacement. Cost of replacement exceeds the value of car even though the rest of the car is in excellent condition.

- Dobson, NC, USA

problem #36

Apr 012014


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was coasted to a safe location. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the ECM relay was replaced. In 2011, the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V517000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact had not previously experienced a failure at the time the vehicle was repaired under the recall. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #35

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 #34

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 #33

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 #32

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 #31

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 #30

Jan 282014


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

- Wallkill, NY, USA

problem #29

Aug 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Premature wear of the secondary timing chain guides could lead to engine failure durring use and incurs expensive repairs well before the end of life of the timing chains which is much longer than the useable life of a belt.

- Denville, NJ, USA

problem #28

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 #27

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 #26

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 #25

Nov 082013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 100,014 miles
Filled up with gas. Drove approx. 5 miles and service engine light came on.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #24

Oct 312013


  • 105,000 miles
I was coasting on the freeway at around 50 miles, was in low RPM about 2500. I hit the gas to change lanes and as soon as I did, I have no power to the back wheels. My engine RPM shot up and felt as if I was in the neutral. Eased off immediately and tried gassing it very lightly. I was able to make it off the freeway; however, I could not gas it past the 2500rpms. Very scary on the freeway, lucky I have great reflexes to avoid an accident. Took it into the shop and verified it is a leakage from the radiator to transmission problem.

- Saugus, CA, USA

problem #23

Sep 272013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
My 2006 Nissan Xterra's transmission has been significantly damaged due to the issue of contaminated transmission fluid / radiator fluid. It started to exhibit symptoms shortly after reaching 100,000 miles, which is just out of reach of the extended warranty.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #22

Sep 252013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Transmission was having hard time to engage, took it to jb automechanics in des plaines, ill to find out that transmission fluid is mixing with coolant on the radiator and had possible transmission damages.

- Mount Prospect , IL, USA

problem #21

Apr 242013


  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that coolant leaked into the transmission, causing the vehicle to stall while driving. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The dealer stated that the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The contact did not have the transmission or the radiator replaced. The failure mileage was 152,000.

- Violet, LA, USA

problem #20

Aug 132013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 137,221 miles
Noticed a coolant smell, loss in power and rumble vibration type feeling coming from the center of the vehicle. Went away and came back. Researched some Xterra forums and came across the radiator issue leaking coolant into transmission. I opened cap, saw a reddish river. Drained a 1/4 cup and its the strawberry color showing the mix.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

Read the next 19 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?