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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Sep 022013


  • 95,000 miles


2006 Nissan Xterra with 95000 miles. Felt a vibration at 40 mph and after doing research online, took it in to have the transmission and radiator flushed. Found out that the radiator leaked coolant which found its way into the transmission and has all but destroyed it. Currently at the transmission shop looking at a $5K plus bill to replace the transmission and radiator. This has happened enough that the national transmission shop sells a package for Nissan vehicles to correct this issue. Not happy. Was recently considering buying a second Nissan but not anymore as they are failing to address this well documented issue.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #37

Aug 232013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 149,365 miles
Transmission started to slip abruptly and with imminent failure. Checked complaints and discovered a well known issue with transmission/radiator fluids intermixing due to a failure in the transmission cooler. Mechanic verified this was my problem as well. Nissan quoted $8500 repair. Service adviser at Nissan North (Ohio) confirmed that this is a very common problem. Apparently Nissan acknowledged this in a class action lawsuit settlement in 2012 but did not notify any of the owners of potential failure without any previous symptoms.I had my car serviced at the dealer 3 months prior and they did not notice/notify me of any potential issues. Transmission failed on a trip to New York. I'm looking at a repair bill that potentially exceeds the value of my automobile. Nissan has a moral and a implicit obligation to notify owners of problems such as this. This should have been a recall, as it would have prevented the failure and saved numerous owners outrageous repair bills and possible loss of vehicle.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #36

Aug 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 96,560 miles
My 2006 Nissan Xterra with 96,560 miles experienced transmission failure caused by a crack in the transmission cooler inside of the radiator.

- Cuyahoga Heights, OH, USA

problem #35

Jul 312013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


My transmission went....the coolant was leaking into the transmission and over time ruined it. Barely made it to the transmission shop who charged $3900 that I didn't have. This is a Nissan fault and I should be compensated, even though I'm over the absurd low mileage limits. Please help!

- Eldersburg, MD, USA

problem #34

Jul 292013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 104,025 miles
I was driving down the highway with my family in the car. The car was traveling at 65mph and suddenly started to jerk back and forth and swerve side to side. Then it suddenly slowed down and we were almost hit from behind. Then vehicle continued to do this until I was able to get the vehicle off the highway and on the side of the road. Im told that the radiator had catastrophically failed inside and sent transmission fluid into the radiator causing the transmission to fail. This is extremely dangerous and is my sons vehicle that he drives daily or at least used to.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #33

Jul 012013


  • miles
2006 Nissan Xterra. Consumer writes in regards to transmission problems. The consumer stated radiator coolant contaminated the transmission fluid, and now the transmission needs to be replaced.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #32

Jun 232013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles


My 2006 Nissan Xterra w/ 119,000 miles experienced transmission failure caused by a failure of the radiator. I understand this is an ongoing investigation and would like to have notice of where the investigation stands at this time. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Centerville, OH, USA

problem #31

Feb 172012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
About 61K miles the transmission felt like it was dragging while I was traveling at highway speed. When I got home I took it to the shop. The local shop dropped the pan and said the fluid was ok. The dragging didn't come back after a fluid change. However, later on, at highway I occasionally felt a vibration that stopped when I took my foot off the gas. I later got notice of an extended radiator warranty to 80K miles, but it didn't say anything about a transmission problem. The antifreeze never looked low when I checked the radiator, there was nothing in the driveway, so I put the sticker from the mail from Nissan on the manual and put it back in the glove compartment. On Saturday 6/8/2013 service engine light came on. At that time the car seemed to "drag". it seemed to need to rev at higher RPM than usual to get going. At one point in stop and go traffic it wouldn't move forward for a minute, and I hit almost 4000 RPM before it moved forward, very sluggishly. I took it to the shop the next day, they told me to see a transmission shop, since a code "1754" came up, indicating a defective control unit within the transmission. The transmission shop told me I needed a radiator, control unit, since the defective radiator had contaminated the transmission with antifreeze.

- Fanwood, NJ, USA

problem #30

Jun 032013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle shudder like rolling over rumble strip. Problem is related to manufacture defect with radiator.

- Suisun City, CA, USA

problem #29

Mar 262013


  • miles
In December 2012 the coolant in my radiator bagan leaknig into my transmission, which I had fixed in April 2013. Now in June 2013 all the coolant and transmission frluid has leaked out and leaving me with no car.

- Summerfield, NC, USA

problem #28

May 292013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 9,000,000 miles


My transmission was leaking into the radiator. I need a new transmission and radiator, over $4000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #27

May 222013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 124,234 miles
Transmission failed due to well known issue with 2005-2010 Nissan SUV/truck transmissions. Coolant leaked into transmission fluid through coolant line causing catastrophic failure. Dealer quoted $7000 to replace transmission.

- Nescopeck, PA, USA

problem #26

Apr 052013


  • miles
Cpsc: I1340159A. Nissan Xterra. Consumer stated the problem with this vehicle, is radiator fluid leaking into the transmission.

- Andover, MN, USA

problem #25

Apr 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
This 2006 Nissan Xterra problem has caused problems with stability of the vehicle, lurches in acceleration, near-stalls, and uncertainty about reliability of vehicle in taking trips. The problems continues to get worse and we have determined that it is caused by engine coolant leaking into the transmission and vice versa. There is very visible evidence of the coolant being in the transmission and transmission fluid in the radiator. I have checked both of these and there is no mistaking it. This problem has caused me to not be able to take two trips because of being afraid of the transmission completely failing and leaving me and my family stranded in a remote area during the trip, not to mention my everyday driving that is required.

- Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #24

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 #23

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 #22

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 #21

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 #20

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 #19

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

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