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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
214,015 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

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 #57

Jun 182014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
When my Xterra was idling in park or at a stop light, the car was overheating. Also while accelerating, the car was shuddering when changing gears. Upon taking the vehicle to a repair garage, I was informed that this particular model Nissan is notorious for faulty radiators being installed which caused coolant fluid to leak / mix in with transmission fluid, thus damaging the transmission, possibly to the point of having to be replaced as well as the radiator. My car is sitting at a garage now waiting for the radiator to be replaced and try to run the vehicle to see how bad the damage now is to the transmission.

- Phillipsburg, NJ, USA

problem #56

Jun 092014


  • 72,000 miles
Transmission cooler, located in radiator, cracked and allowed mixture of coolant and transmission fluid. This caused internal damage to transmission. Vehicle had power loss during a merge onto a state highway, nearly causing an accident and potential harm to my wife and 4 year old son. Nissan settled a class action lawsuit which clearly acknowledges there is a manufacture defect with the radiator. No safety recall was made which has the potential to injury others who experience this failure. Research has shown this is a large scale issue and settlement is unacceptable, Nissan has a responsibility where manufacturer defects can cause harm to their customers.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #55

Jun 072014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Antifreeze in transmission causing smoke from under hood and transmission failure.

- Winthrop, ME, USA

problem #54

Oct 252013


  • 148,000 miles
Engine coolant started mixing with transmission fluid due to broken line from transmission to radiator. Now my car shutters when your push the accelerator and is having problems shifting gears. Jerks at times when it gets hotter. Company is doing nothing about it because it has over 100K miles even though they knew of the defect. This should be a recall definitely!!!!

- Benton, LA, USA

problem #53

Feb 032014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 102,820 miles
Vehicle did not shift smoothly and was overheating. Mechanic determined that the transmission fluid and engine coolant were intermixed due to a leak in the transmission line in the radiator. Both radiator and transmission must be replaced due to the fluid mixing.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #52

May 022014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 117,700 miles


When the vehicle is traveling 45-50 mph, there is an occasional and sometimes violent shake in the driving over rumble bars. Also some loss of power while accelerating and hard shifting. This is from transmission failure due to cross contamination between the radiator and the transmission.

- Waverly, NE, USA

problem #51

Apr 152014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Radiator fluid leaked into the transmission. The only fix is to replace both the radiator and the transmission at a cost of approximately $7,000. This is a known issue with several Nissan models, years 2005-2010 and class action has been taken. The settlement provided no help to someone in my situation with over 100,000 miles on the vehicle and provided very limited financial reimbursement for those who qualified. This is a known, catastrophic issue and recalls or reimbursements were the proper, safe, ethical solution. This was not done, and now I am stuck with a fix that will cost 90% of what the car is worth. There was no solution given that could have prevented it, so I really had no option here but to wait for the failure and get stuck with the $7000 bill. Fortunately, I did not experience any known safety hazards with this failure, but a failed radiator and transmission could potentially be dangerous.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #50

May 072014


  • 86,500 miles
SUV started vibrating badly while driving at speeds near 60 mph. This happened for about 3 months. Took vehicle to sheehy Nissan in annapolis, md to have investigated and was told coolant had mixed with transmission fluid due to a failure in radiator. I was told that a costly repair is my only option, and that while I can drive it now, a total failure at "some point later" is imminent. How can I drive this vehicle on the streets knowing that at any moment the transmission could fail??/

- Annapolis , MD, USA

problem #49

Feb 202013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Radiator cracked and leaked coolant into the transmission. Both radiator and transmission damaged.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #48

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 #47

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 #46

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 #45

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 #44

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 #43

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

problem #42

Aug 012013


  • 101,000 miles
Bought 2006 Nissan Xterra used on August 1st, 2013, had problem the evening after I bought it. Transmission was not changing gears properly and was causing high RPM's. took it to Nissan dealer and they said the transmission and radiator would need to be replaced due to anti-freeze mixing with transmission fluid cause by broken cooler tube.

- Coeburn, VA, USA

problem #41

Sep 272013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
My Xterra experienced the dreaded " cracked radiator leaked into transmission" problem that many other Nissan trucks have experienced. It happened all of a sudden while driving through a parking lot, and the car down shifted and would no longer excel. Because it happened at a little over 92,000, I had to pay the $3000 deductible that was determined from the class action lawsuit earlier this year. That money covered a "reman" transmission (not even a new one) and hopefully a new radiator (it was not specified). The radiator should have been a recall from the get-go.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #40

Sep 212013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle came to a complete halt as all the warning lamps illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 83,400 and the current mileage 83,487. Updated 11/13/13 the consumer stated while driving, the transmission went into neutral and the vehicle stopped moving. All the indicator lights on the dashboard began flashing. He shut off the vehicle and re-started it. The vehicle began moving, but it was stuttering badly. He stopped put it in reverse and backed up and the lights began flashing. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. An inspection revealed an extensive repair was needed. A new transmission was needed as well a computer. Updated 11/19/13

- Ashburnham, MA, USA

problem #39

Sep 032013


  • 120,000 miles
The transmission is failing due to the transmission cooler inside the radiator allowing coolant to get into the transmission causing a catastrophic failure. It is my understanding that this is a common problem and that Nissan knew it was from a defect in the radiator. I've seen online that many people with a 2005-2010 Xterra, frontier and pathfinder with the 4.0 V6 engine are having this problem

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

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