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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,495 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.

2007 Nissan Xterra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #130

Aug 012015


  • 146,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while attempting to shift, the vehicle started to shake violently. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the radiator was leaking coolant into the transmission. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 146,000.

- Falmouth, ME, USA

problem #129

Sep 032015


  • 120,000 miles
Left my house garage and suddenly I notices that the car was loosing the power, so I went back to the house after few miles driving. And next morning, I was going to take my car to the mechanic, the engine didn't start. So I called aaa to tow my car to the mechanic. According to the mechanic, car wouldn't be function due to the transmissmission and computer failure. My car is still in the shop, so I dont know the exact odometer.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #128

Jul 292015


  • 127,000 miles
Transmission slipped and couldn't accelerate, my 16 year old daughter was driving, about ran over by trailer. Researched and found out this is a known problem that Nissan isn't taking care of.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #127

Apr 032013


  • 105,000 miles


The engine coolant leaked into the radiator and the transmission and radiator are ruined. I am a single mom raising 2 kids trying to save money to get it fixed. I have seen several complaints on this exact problem.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #126

Feb 182015


  • miles
Transmission over heats due to radiator hose corrosion.

- Highlands, TX, USA

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problem #125

Apr 012015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. While driving at 45 mph, there was a grinding noise coming from the front of the vehicle. In addition, the contact felt a vibration in the steering wheel and the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that there was a cross contamination of coolant between the engine and the transmission. The mechanic diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was confirmed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- York, PA, USA

problem #124

Apr 242015


  • 132,000 miles


A hesitation in the vehicle's acceleration began occurring frequently upon depressing the accelerator after a full stop at a stop sign or red light, but not at any other time in driving the vehicle. The problem was first noted when departing the dealership after which a new timing chain had been replaced. When reviewed by the dealership upon return to the service area (another appointment had been made at later time), a loss of over one quart of transmission fluid was detected (over what time period was unclear), but no known source of external leakage was found. This led to the conclusion that internal leakage was very likely occurring. Due to the many instances of radiator cracks and toxic mixing of fluids among similar year models (mid-2000 model years of Nissan Xterra), the dealership recommended that the radiator be replaced and the transmission thoroughly flushed, which might prevent the transmission from requiring a complete overhaul in the future - although there are no guarantees. This work was completed for a total of $1500 including discount; the incident occurred well after the extended warranty provided by the manufacturer for resolving issues that had been experienced by others, hence the dealership's charges. A request was nonetheless made to get reimbursed by the manufacturer (Nissan), currently under review. It is possible that this issue was dealt with at a very early stage and might therefore result in a lower probability of transmission problems in the future, which could cost several thousand dollars ($6-7,000 or more). Other drivers/owners have typically experienced more severe issues, such as shaking/stalling vehicles and/or illuminated dashboard lights indicating engine problems.

- Palm Springs, CA, USA

problem #123

May 302015


  • 89,533 miles
Transmission has coolant in it due to a Nissan known problem. Transmission line goes into bottom of radiator develops a crank inside and leaks coolant into the transmission resulting in transmission failure.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #122

Apr 202015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that there was transmission failure and there was a component that fractured without warning, associated with fluid leaking from the radiator into the transmission. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced due to a crack in the atf line that flows through the engine coolant chamber into the radiator. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA action number: DP12004 (power train). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 8/10/15

- Shippensburg, PA, USA

problem #121

May 012015


  • 169,000 miles
Water from the radiator got into the transmission and I had Nissan replace transmission and radiator at the cost of $4700 dollars when they should have had a recall bad business.

- Rockholds, KY, USA

problem #120

May 132015


  • 87,000 miles


Our 2007 Xterra at 87,000 miles left my wife and 2 kids stranded on the road with a destroyed transmission due to a defect in the radiator cooling lines that support cooling the transmission. The coolant mixed with the transmission fluid and the resulting pressure caused the radiator pressure cap to blow when the engine overheated. This strawberry milkshake looking fluid leaked all over the ground and was difficult to clean-up this is a known Nissan defect issue and should be a recall before someone get hurt or further environmental pollution results.

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #119

May 042015


  • 82,107 miles
I had brought the Xterra to the mechanic on May 4th for intermittent vibrations ( which I attributed to the rough roads S/P winter as it occurred at the same points on the same roads ) over 2 month and a new intermittent thumping noise heard when the vehicle was shifting gears in the last 2 weeks. Nothing came up on the computer system showing any issues other than the known alert for the gas level part that shift the bed 6 months ago and I refuse to pay $400 for a $40 part that should have lasted the lifetime of the vehicle, ( another issue Nissan is aware of as it comes up on the computer to the mechanic that this a known defect but won't replace it free of charge) end result, transmission fluid and radiator fluid were mixing due to a known issue by Nissan and defective parts. There is no recall. The radiator and transmission cooler needed to be replaced costing over $1600. I have read on complaint websites regarding this known issue and I am aware this cost is much less than what other Nissan owners have paid as some customers have needed to replace their transmissions or have needed to junk their vehicles as Nissan refuses to take responsibility and suck up the cost to fix this significant mechanical problem on their vehicles !!!!!

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #118

Aug 012014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
The radiator used in my 2007 Nissan Xterra is a faulty product which caused a leak of the radiator fluid into the transmission fluid system. When the transmission heats up during longer periods of driving, the radiator fluid also heats up and effectively ruins the internal transmission parts. This has caused several issues in the shifting of the vehicle, and often times in very dangerous situations where acceleration is key to avoiding accidents.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #117

Dec 042014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the vehicle experienced transmission failure. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission and the radiator needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 126,000. Updated 7/14/15

- Mechanicsville , VA, USA

problem #116

Apr 162015


  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle hesitated when the accelerator pedal was depressed and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 127,000.

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #115

Jul 152014


  • 125,000 miles
I have an automatic and noticed that my 07 Nissan Xterra was struggling to change gears. When it did not go away after several months, I took it into local repair shop. They found that the radiator was full of a brown milk shake substance. They determined that transmission fluid had leaked in the radiator and mixed with the antifreeze. The shop replaced the radiator. Flushed the antifreeze system and the transmission fluid. 6 months later, the transmission started stuttering when it was changing gears at 45 - 50 and 65-70. I took the car into a local aamco. Once I advised the service rep what type of car I had, he laughed and said they that had already rebuilt over 30 Xterra transmission. They checked the transmission and advised that it needed to be rebuilt and provided me with an repair estimate of $ 4200. They advised to call Nissan Consumer Affairs to see what they would offer to do. They also advised of a class action lawsuit against Nissan for this known defect. I have been unable to find any information on this lawsuit.

- Riverside, MO, USA

problem #114

Apr 172015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Vehicle abruptly stalled without warning when making a left hand turn. Oncoming traffic was forced to stop. A serious, possibly deadly, accident could have occurred if the oncoming traffic had not stopped. The vehicle had shuddering during acceleration prior to this incident but had never given any indication it would stall unexpectedly. The vehicle had been maintained by Nissan and no issues were brought to my attention during this service. When Nissan diagnosed the vehicle they found that the transmission cooler had leaked and allowed transmission fluid and engine coolant to mix. This lead to transmission damage and unsafe, unexpected failure of the transmission. Nissan also said they had known about this common failure for many years. I was never informed of this dangerous design flaw.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #113

Apr 152015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
We just discovered our 2007 Nissan Xterra (117,000 miles) is one of the many Nissan to have the radiator crack and leak coolant into the transmission and transmission fluid into the cooling system. The car now needs around $6,000 in repairs to fix the transmission, radiator, etc. We bought a warranty from the dealer when we bought the car in 2010. The warranty covers the transmission up to 120,000 miles. We have taken the car to the dealership for the last five years for regular service and was never informed about this design defect. The dealer will not fix the transmission as covered in the warranty.

- Silverthorne, CO, USA

problem #112

Mar 272015


  • 120,000 miles
Transmission cooler ruptured, ruined the cooling system. Appears to have damaged the transmission

- Divide, CO, USA

problem #111

Apr 032015

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
My car began shuttering bad enough that I was afraid that it was going to stall or that I would get into an accident. Thankfully, I didn't I found out that a faulty radiator leaked into the transmission. Apparently, this is a well known problem. I am being told by Nissan that it will cost $7,000 to repair/replace the radiator, hoses, transmission etc. My mileage is just over 106,000 miles so, like everyone else, I will get no help from Nissan in making these repairs. I can't afford to fix it at this time so it will have to sit and wait while I will pray that there is a recall soon.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

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