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

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2006 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #79

Oct 092016


  • 146,000 miles


My timing chain has come loose and stretched out making loud noise and very hard to accelerate in motion.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #78

Sep 232016


  • 112,234 miles
The coolant leaked into the transmission, causing the transmission to fail. Vehicle was in motion on a highway. *recall transmission failure*

- Daphne, AL, USA

problem #77

Aug 012016


  • miles
Grinding noise - requested help from dealer but no avail. I am wandering why the department of justice is not stepping in especially that the problems has escalated to radiator leakage and destroying transmissions and Nissan bribed our lawyers in the class action. How about timing chains for gods sake. We're more hurt by Nissan than VW..

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #76

Aug 012016


  • 89,000 miles


Well known problem with the radiator coolant leaking into the transmission lines and thus into the transmission. Simple, inexpensive fix to replace the faulty radiator was not communicated to me and now it's too late to save the transmission. Nissan got away with murder and caused thousands of people money that they should not have had to pay for defective parts. These parts should have been recalled as they cause a major safety hazard while driving. Having your transmission fail on you while you're driving is a major safety concern. But because not enough people actually died from it a recall was not required.

- Union City, NJ, USA

problem #75

May 242016


  • 170,000 miles
Fluid leaked into the transmission from the radiator causing it to fail. Nissan estimated the repair to be $9400 the vehicle was in motion at the time of the failure.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #74

May 132016


  • miles
Owner 2006 Nissan Xterra while driving 40 mph the vehicle had shook the vehicle was then towed to a local mechanic and found issues with transmission and radiator

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #73

Oct 262015


  • 112,000 miles


In October 2015 I noticed that my Xterra was overheating and the transmission was slipping at times. When I removed the radiator cap to check the coolant, it looked foamy and milky, like a lime smoothie. I thought I might have a blown head gasket and took the vehicle to my mechanic, who told me about the issue with Nissan radiator and transmission cross-contamination. He told me that flushing the systems would not help and the entire cooling system and transmission would need to be replaced to the tune of about $6500, which I didn't have. He told me to contact Nissan. Unfortunately, at the time my Xterra was diagnosed, it had 112,000 miles on it, which was beyond the scope of Nissan's extended warranty which came about as a result of the class-action lawsuit. The only thing they did for me was give me a refund on a recall item for which I'd paid before the recall came out. They also offered me a "business associate's" discount on another Nissan--as if I'd buy one after this! because I am mobility challenged, I must have a vehicle to get to work, doctors' visits, etc. I was forced to buy another vehicle. The payments have me so strapped for cash that once I get my bills paid there's nothing left for groceries or pet food, much less putting gas in my car! I am so disgusted with Nissan for putting me in this position I can't even put it into words.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #72

Apr 222016


  • 82,000 miles
The dealer informed me after replacing my transmission that the timing chain tensions guides will need to be replaced. The truck has 82K miles and gets regular maintenance. I research the issue on the web and this is a chronic design problem. The engine could incur severe damage during use which could lead to a loss of control and severe accident.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #71

Apr 192016


  • 82,000 miles
The dealer informed me that the timing chain components are wearing and could break resulting in an engine abrupt stoppage. Many complaints on line about this condition. Nissan design defect.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #70

Mar 212016


  • 130,000 miles
Engine died on the way to work because of a recall unknown to me but shared with me after my mechanic found information on radiator and transmission

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #69

Feb 282016


  • 115,000 miles


At 115,000 miles my transmission died. In one week it went from a few jerky shifts to me crawling into the dealer not being able to go over 20 mph. Upon further inspection the transmission cooler leaked fluid into the transmission and basically shredded the transmission. Im now stuck with a 3700 dollar repair bill.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #68

Oct 162015


  • 111,642 miles
Coolent leaked into transmission. After pressing the gas pedal down several times, the car was not getting up to speed as normal. Immediately took to car repair shop, which informed us this was one of several Nissan cars they had dealt with recently and guessed correctly our issue. Transmission had to be rebuilt, very costly.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #67

Dec 132015


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the fuel gauge failed to provide accurate reading levels when the vehicle was refueled. In addition, the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #66

Nov 142015


  • 80,961 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled. After several attempts, the vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V5170000 (engine, engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,961.

- Lawndale, CA, USA

problem #65

Oct 222015


  • 108,500 miles
No problems in five years of ownership. The following took place in less than 7 days. Truck was fueled up at costco and 30 minutes later was shuddering when stopped, we thought we got a bad tank of gas. Truck had a check engine light. Misfiring cylinder, coil replaced. Two days later, check engine light. Replaced O2 sensor. A day or two later check engine light. Had a loss of power. Truck was in limp mode. Drove to the dealer and they diagnosed replacing the failed catalytic converter (right rear) and the timing chain, tensioners etc. Salesman said that we should have changed the timing chain at 60,000 miles. Which I have never seen listed in the maintenance. The truck was purchased used at 64,000 miles.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #64

Oct 012014


  • 130,200 miles
The accelerator started not switching gears as I was merging onto the freeway. Then, the transmission gave out. The fluid from the transmission leaked into the radiator and both need to be replaced. It is estimated to cost $4,000 to get fixed.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #63

Aug 172015


  • 117,400 miles
The first incident was a couple months ago when my car just decided to stop in traffic all the sudden. Just shut down. Then yesterday I was driving to work and a car in front of me decided to slow down. When I hit the breaks to slow down the car would not accelerate back up it decreased. I could not get it to go. I restarted the car and it turned on and went again. I looked at this website and saw all the complaints.I have had all the same issues with stalling, not starting, and no acceleration. I took it to a transmission shop and they could not detect anything wrong as no codes and of course it did not do it for them when they test drove it. I took my car to the Nissan dealership showed them the print out from this site and told them I am having all those problems within the last couple months. They told me since my VIN was not included in the recall they basically could not help without charging me $900 for a radiator plus the engine control module $78. I had to pay $100 just for them to look at it. They told me a whole new transmission would be $9000. This is a horrible problem this vehicle is having and is very dangerous for your car to just turn off while driving. I have a small child in the car with me. Very scary would could happen. I do not care what the mileage is on the vehicle. Nissan needs to include all Xterra's no matter what the VIN is for the time frame! all these complaints need action. I little to quinky dink they are all happening now! Nissan dealership told me they would recommend: ECM relay $78, radiator $740, plus some other maintenance stuff. When I went to leave after having them replace the. ECM I had a lovely letter stating they did a complimentary appraisal of my vehicle. They did everything to confirm it is the problem, but offered no help unless I fork out the $$$$$.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #62

Jul 272015


  • 144,000 miles
I was driving to a local city pool and the car appeared to lose power. I restarted the car and reached the pool. When I went to start the car, it wouldnt start. Thinking it might be the battery, I had someone try to jump start it but nothing happened. Had my car towed to a local mechanic the following morning and learned that the transmission would need to be replaced as the radiator fluid had mixed with the transmission fluid due to a faulty sensor. Now I have a perfectly nice vehicle that wont run unless I pay to have the transmission and radiator replaced. I just bought it in February 2014. It is not covered under the class action suit because it has 144,000 miles on it.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #61

Jun 242015


  • 116,500 miles
Cracked radiator hose caused coolant to mix with transmission fluid thereby ruining the transmission. Cost included radiator and transmission (used) replacement. This issue would have been proactively repaired / replaced the radiator prior to the issue occurring had Nissan notified me of it. Instead, it cost an extra $3500 to replace both radiator and transmission. A totally preventable situation, never mind the potentially hazardous situation had the transmission failed at highway speeds. No excuse for Nissan.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #60

Apr 012015


  • 150,000 miles
While driving and trying to enter a major highway at about 40 mph and trying to accelerate, I had to pull out to the shoulder because the truck wouldn't shift to a higher gear...I had to get out of the highway because the truck wasn't able to accelerate and remained on 1st shift struggling to get to 2nd and then 3rd....I got home and heard the engine or radiator make bubbling noise....after 3 or 4 hours I opened the radiator and saw all sorts of gunk like was still warm and it oozed out falling all over my driveway...I payed a mechanic $300 to change the radiator thinking it was the problem...only to find out it was much more and more money also....I looked for another mechanic and he said it would cost $4000 to fix everything... I've wasted more than $3000 trying to figure out what the problem is.. now the mechanic says that a new transmission module valve is many more trucks breaking down or complaints until this issue is resolved.... I was lucky that when I was on the highway no cars were coming full speed...because without being able to accelerate I would of caused an accident and gotten killed...I loved my truck and miss riding it...please look into this... thank you..

- Del Valle , TX, USA

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