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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Nov 012013


  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated the engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic test performed. The failure was located in the transmission where the radiator fluid was mixed with the transmission fluid. The transmission and the radiator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer advised the vehicle exceeded the 100,000 miles warranty repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 102,000.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #49

Sep 022013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 110,521 miles
Auto transmission not working, seems a lt of complaints and not recall.I called Nissan and was told that they are aware of the problem and the investigation going on, but will not pay for it since it is 10521 miles over their 100K warranty.I was told to send a complaint but is been 120 days and no respond what will it take for the NHTSA to order a recall " how many more complaints for them to start doing their job "

- Sacramento , CA, USA

problem #48

Sep 212013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 95,800 miles
Engine coolant got into transmission. Lost control of vehicle for a moment on several occasions. Felt like I hit black ice. Transmission was not working properly.

- Windsor, CA, USA

problem #47

Sep 022013


  • 137,541 miles


I have had the same problem described in your current investigation of these models. An atf line embedded in the radiator cracked, and atf fluid was allowed into the coolant, and coolant was forced into the atf. The card started slipping in gear, then it started shuddering under acceleration, then it started refusing to go into gear. I got it to a transmission shop, and when they opened it up, the guts of the transmission were rusted, and the clutches had de-laminated. The cooling system was nearly plugged up with oily transmission residue. The transmission had to be completely rebuilt, and the radiator and all associated hoses had to be replaced. All in all, a $5500 fix for a problem that shouldn't have happened.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #46

Jun 072013

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 133 miles
The transmission/cooling system has a manufacturer defect and should be recalled.

- Hueytown, AL, USA

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problem #45

Aug 282013


  • 88,228 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle exhibited a grinding sound. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, who stated that the transmission was defective. The contact then took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a second opinion, who stated that the torque converter was defective. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the transmission was replaced. The failure mileage was 88,228.

- Dundalk, MD, USA

problem #44

Aug 312013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 99,721 miles


Radiator and transmission repaired after failure caused by defective radiator allowing fluids to mix between coolant and transmission. Repairs were performed by dealer. Radiator and transmission failed again. The way the warranty is priced, I am paying the full cost of repair. Although I was able to identify the problem without risk, when the transmission fails it is catastrophic failure which could cause an accident.

- Glenmoore, PA, USA

problem #43

Jun 062013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My 07 Nissan Xterra has been out of commission for 2 months now and after many phone calls and emails Nissan still will not own up to their mistake. Their faulty radiator design has ruined both my radiator and transmission. The service center was well aware of the problem and yet never mentioned it to me the numerous times I brought my car in to be serviced by them. It wasn't until I was 5,000 miles over the extended warranty and had an issue that it was made known that this is a common occurrence. Also, they claimed that I was mailed out a notice about the issue last December of 2012, which I never received, but claim that they did what was required of them by mailing the notice out. As soon as they are at the post office it is out of their hands. For a car being only 6 years old I shouldn't have to pay half of the car's worth to fix it. I have only had this car for 2 years and it was bought for over $13,000, now my trade in is only worth $5,000. I know there is an investigation under way, but it was opened last year and there is no recent updates as to the progress. I am still waiting for a recall that may never come.

- Porltand , OR, USA

problem #42

Aug 022013


  • 100,150 miles
On Friday, August 2, 2013, approximately 5:40pm, the car started to have difficulty shifting (automatic), speed became erratic, slowed rapidly. I was on a service road next to a freeway during rush hour traffic in a busy area of scottsdale. I was near pinnacle Nissan and decided to drive there. I had a couple very busy intersections to go through to drive the 1 mi to pinnacle. The car would not accelerate more than 10 miles an hour and was not shifting out of low gear. I was very concerned I would stall or the car would cease driving in these intersections. Pinnacle Nissan service diagnosed the issue (8/3/13) as a cracked radiator cooling tube that caused coolant to mix with transmission fluid ruining components in the transmission. A complete new transmission and radiator is required to fix this now. This issue is not related to abusive driving, I do very little off road and no towing, and is not a lack of or improper maintenance. This is a know design flaw by Nissan. It appears there is a high number of Nissan problem SUV's, 2005 to 2010, that experience this same problem after roughly 80,000 miles. Based on my experience, this is a potentially dangerous safety issue especially if someone would be driving at higher speeds on a busy freeway.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #41

Jul 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Transmission downshifted on its own at 45 on a mild downgrade. Did it again later changing from one four lane highway to another, this time around 45-50 mph. Took the truck to local Nissan dealer for diagnosis as I took out an extended warranty with olympicare. The service adjuster was aware that '05-'09, even '10 models have a defect that allows radiator fluid to mix with transmission fluid, creating degradation of transmission and cooling system. After-market warranty is trying to dis-allow claim, citing Nissan's knowledge of this design flaw.

- Weeaverville, NC, USA

problem #40

Jul 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles


Own 2007 Nissan Xterra maintain care with all proper services since purchased new. Suddenly driving and check engine light comes on park car and wait for morning to take to dealership, try to start next morning wont start. Have car towed to cerritos Nissan and have them inspect it, they call me back a few hours later telling me that my radiator hose have leaked coolant into my transmission and destroyed my tranny. I asked why this could have happened and they explained that this is a manufacture defect from Nissan and explained to me since I was over 100K miles that it is not covered. Price for new transmission and radiator 5000 dollars. Ridiculous for me to pay for a defect from Nissan that is going to eventually happen to any owner of Xterra, pathfinder and frontier owners from 05 to 11. I do not think us as loyal Nissan owners should have to pay for a defect from Nissan that is bound to happen Nissan should have atotal recall on all those models affected by the shotty radiator that they manufactured. I have purchased 4 Nissan through the past 12 yrs and I will never purchase another Nissan after this incident. I had to pay 5000 to fix a defect from Nissan.

- Lakewood , CA, USA

problem #39

Jul 022012


  • 88,000 miles
My 2007 Nissan X-terra began suffering cross contamination of transmission fluid and radiator fluid around 88,000 miles. I have had to have the radiator replaced, the radiator lines flushed twice and I am still having a problem with the radiator trying to overheat due to the cross contamination. In addition to the radiator I have had transmission issues as a result of electronic module failures in the transmission. I contacted Nissan about this matter and they notified me the warranty had been extended but I was still outside the warranty extension and that it would cost me close to $5,000 out of my pocket to replace the transmission and radiator. I have already spent almost half that trying to fix this vehicle and continue to have issues. Nissan has a product defect and should have to stand behind this issue.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

problem #38

Jul 102013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 103,500 miles
In January of 2013, my car was towed to the kraft Nissan in tallahassee, Florida and there I learn that my computer/brain that makes my car function needed to be replace. However, I was told that my car could be at the dealership approximately 6 months or longer because the part is on back order. The part could not be found anywhere in the state of Florida or in the United States. I was told by the dealership service dept that the part needed to be reproduce. I inquired if this part was a deflect issue or a national campaign for deflected car parts, and was told no. I paid approximately 1800 dollars for the repair bill. While my car was in the shop, I received a letter that explained the coolant fluid in the radiator can become contaminated with the transmission fluid and cause the transmission failure. I was having a issue with my transmission; however, after the car was repaired I requested that someone from the service dept test drive the car and indeed they drive it and stated they heard nothing. Later, I requested it be driven by a mechanic; therefore we went for a drive and indeed I was told it was transmission problem, but it will cost me 7500 dollars for a new transmission because they are not honoring any letter I received according to the owners of kraft after showing the letter as proof. As of today, I was told the computer /brain was a defected part and Nissan should have replaced the deflected part along with the transmission; today my car is at Nissan for an oil change and still to this date I am being told that they are not aware of any national campaign for the transmission issues I am having even though they have confirmed today that the fluids are contaminated. Service rep quote me a extended warrant I can purchase for 3000 dollars since my car now have 103000 miles prior to it had approx 95000. I need help with this issue.

- Midway, FL, USA

problem #37

Jun 062013


  • 67,400 miles
Vehicle maintained meticulously. Fluids changed regularly. Drove mainly highway miles in the winter. At first it began having trouble starting. Then wouldn't start at all. Not a click, not a crank. Then took it to local shop with good reputation. Had it for 7.5 weeks before it was 'fixed.' Drove it for the first time in 8 weeks & transmission was thumping hard as it up-shifted & seemed not to keep up on down shift. Upon initial light acceleration tranny/gears began to slip making a loud/harsh vibrating/shuttering sound & feel. Took it home immediately. When I checked radiator the dreaded grey sludge poured out. Nissan has horrendous customer service. I'm told I need a radiator & a new transmission. Totaling over $6100! Nissan needs to for once do the right thing & do a full recall. This is my second Xterra. I had a 2005 as well. I also owned a 2005 maxima. That's brand loyalty but I also used to make $200,000/yr, live in my dream home, etc...thru divorce & illness I'm homeless just trying to survive. I had planned to sell the Xterra & buy an inexpensive fuel efficient car so I could bank the balance & begin trying to save again. I have no vehicle now or $6100 for repairs that R obviously due to a design flaw or flaws.

- Baltimore , MD, USA

problem #36

Jun 192013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Engine and engine cooling problem on the 2007 Nissan Xterra.

- Westbrook , ME, USA

problem #35

Jun 042013


  • 105,500 miles
About two weeks ago my car would not reverse and went into neutral when I was trying to back out of a parking spot. I took my car to a Nissan dealership/service center and the person knew exactly what was wrong with my car. Apparently it is very common for 2005-2010 Nissan vehicles to have a "faulty engine design" the service man said. The problem as it was explained to me is that the radiator fluid starts to leak into the transmission and ruins both parts. My car was bought 2 years ago for $14,000, the cost to replace the radiator and transmission is $8,000. For myself and I am sure for many, this is not an affordable amount. After researching online and reading the numerous complaints, I am surprised that no one has held Nissan accountable and that no recall has been issued. I am not sure how many complaint are necessary for this to move forward. Unfortunately I have a feeling that people need to die before something is done. I hope this is not the case and feel like Nissan is selling lemons to their unsuspecting consumers.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #34

May 292013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 100,816 miles
Was on the highway going down hill mind I ass when my 2007 Nissan Xterra began to down shift my its self. I can just imagine if I would have total tranny failure and caused an accident. After doing some search and asking around I was told that it may be my transmission. I then took it to a local transmission shop where they told me that my radiator would have to be replaced and there was coolant leaking into my transmission that is creating water damage. It's not the consumer's problem that they installed faulty components in their cars and trucks. There should be a recall for this item. Now I'm forced to pay for a radiator and for the tranny to be rebuild plus rental car price.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #33

Jun 062013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 41,587 miles
Hearing whining/whirring noise from engine upon any acceleration and increased rpms. Repair required is replacement of secondary timing chain and tensioners (guides).

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #32

May 102013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 67,671 miles
I participated in the Nissan campaign to replace a radiator and transmission, due to a defective assembly that caused tran failure. Dealership replaced the two main parts under the campaign. I received my vehicle, and only had it for 1 1/2 days before another issue related to the radiator / cooling system was experienced. I was yet again, on the highway heading to a job and overheated, thus disabling my vehicle. I stayed the interstate for 3 hours waiting on roadside assistance to tow me back to the dealership. I'm having an issue with Nissan not willing to cover what's clearly their problem to begin with. It's not the consumer's problem that they installed faulty components in their cars and trucks, that caused the major malfunctions. If I were a consumer (which I am); I would feel that they are not owning up to the full liability caused by their negligence in putting inferior parts in their vehicles that caused the malfunction in the first place. I'm not only upset at their response; let's not overlook the fact that on the two days my truck failed (first time when the tranny blew out on the highway, and the second time when I was on the highway again; and overheated); I was heading to job obligations I had for private clients of mine. I lost $1,375.65 on day one for missing my appt. On the first incident, and an additional $868.04 on the next incident. My truck's issue is that there needs to be a system flush of the radiator and the thermostat needs replacement... both are direct cause of the incident with their crappy radiator assembly they put in the vehicle in the first place. I don't have the extra money to do the maintenance, and I've lost money in the ordeal as well. I think it be "best practice" and good customer care; that nna cover the cost of the flush and the thermostat, caused from the mixture contamination of coolant and tran fluid.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #31

May 222013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
Driving at 65 mph and felt a clunk and a surge - check engine light came on and the car felt like it had been shifted into neutral. I pulled off the highway and had it towed to a repair shop. Turns out that the transmission failed due to a known radiator defect that allows coolant to leak into the transmission, causing failure. Nissan will not cover my car because I am beyond the specified mileage of their useless warranty extension, agreed to in a class action lawsuit. Repairs and rental car will cost me about $8,000. Nissan should have been forced to recall the cars for this defect and should reimburse the repair costs at 100%.

- Austin, TX, USA

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