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 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Mar 272013


  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that a grinding noise emitted from under the hood area. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection and the failure was located at the radiator cooler unit, which was determined to be fractured and causing coolant to penetrate the transmission. As a result, the transmission failed and would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 71,000.

- Monument , CO, USA

problem #29

Apr 012013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
Vehicle had total failure on highway. Nissan dealer says it is from transmission contamination. Tcm totally failed, no power.

- Rochester, IL, USA

problem #28

Aug 052010

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Started making noises coming from underneath and jerking, so was taken to dealership and they said it was the rear end which they replaced under warranty, but still made noise and slight clunking. Took into another dealership Nov of 2012 and they flushed the transmission and said everything was fine at approx 119000 miles. Then today at 129,000 miles said my rear end needed replacement and my transmission was bad and the fluid was milky from cross contamination, which is a known issue with these type of SUVS. Said they will not cover it cause its over 100000 miles now.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #27

Mar 272013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving 68 mph the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The contact was informed that radiator fluid had leaked into the transmission and both the transmission and the radiator would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified but stated that due to the mileage of the vehicle, they would not assist in the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 113,000...updated 04/18/13

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #26

Sep 152012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Antifreeze leaking into transmission from faulty radiator.

- Summersville, KY, USA

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problem #25

Jul 272012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 102,138 miles
Oil cooler tube broke causing contamination to transmission fluid. Radiator had already been changed at 80,000 miles. Called Nissan to make a claim just as soon as Xterra started to shift funny. They informed me that they had extended the warranty to 80,000 miles. I asked then if they knew about this problem before, I was told yes. They also told me I had no recourse since I had 102138 miles on my vehicle. Then the extension comes for 100,000 miles, and now 2138 miles over, no coverage. Please, if I conducted my business like this I would not have any customers (or is that what they are looking for). I will never buy a Nissan vehicle again, and I will let everyone I know that Nissan knew about this and refused to help their customers.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #24

Feb 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


While accelerating, merging onto a major highway, and without warning the vehicle lost power lunged forward and started making a loud grinding noise. I was nearly hit from behind by a vehicle having the right-of-way before I could get to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to and was diagnosed by a mechanic as having "cross contamination of transmission fluid and antifreeze due to transmission intercooler failure". this incident has been reported to and dismissed by Nissan as not being a frequent problem for them.

- Avondale, PA, USA

problem #23

Feb 202013


  • 82,715 miles
Driving my vehicle, the transmission started to drag, I then called the dealer and brought it right in and found that the radiator was leaking into the transmission and it was going to cost 6,600 dollars to repair. I complained that it was too much money. The dealer brought it down to 2,500 dollars to fix. Then I find out if it had happened before 80,000 miles it would have been covered. This is not right as Nissan knew this was an issue with these vehicles because of a poor design on there part. As a consumer I feel I was taken. What would have happened if my vehicle stopped working in the middle of a highway or a deserted road. Please have Nissan own up to the product they are selling.

- Dracut, MA, USA

problem #22

Feb 112013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 92,161 miles
My 2007 Nissan Xterra began to experience a rumble strip like affect apparently due to a defect in the radiator having a leak into the transmission and causing a transmission to begin to fail. This seems to be a common problem and should be a recall on Nissan part I was forced to pay 3000 dollars for a co-pay to fix this problem and it seems this should be a recall as it is a known defect.

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #21

Mar 092013


  • miles
I do not have an incident to report-but feel someone else needs to know the potential for one. I just read the class action settlement against Nissan and the outcome. I am appalled that Nissan does not think that the transmission going out is not a safety issue and now find out my Nissan is one of those vehicles that has coolant in the transmission. This is going to cost $2500 as the mileage is over 80000 now. And this is the car I entrusted my 17 year old to drive. I will have to take it off the road and decide whether or not to fix it and trade or take a huge loss and trade it at the dealer but don't want another Nissan. Shouldn't something be done to protect us from this? I can only hope by writing that this will help me and others in some way to force Nissan to say they used a faulty radiator that leaked and could potentially cause transmission failure and in turn an accident. I will be using all tools available to get this resolved-I cannot believe that my family and I are being cheated and it looks all legal according to what I read. Not sure how that happened...the consumer did not win anything but a large bill that most middle class people cannot afford. Thank-you for taking an interest.

- Moundsville, WV, USA

problem #20

Mar 042013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


Vehicle has been shuddering at around 50mph. Approx 2 weeks ago, it wouldn't shift, so I couldn't drive faster than 25-30 mph. I had the oil changed and transmission flushed, and it seemed ok, although it was still doing the shuddering. Yesterday I noticed a strange puddle on the garage floor, so I checked it out. There is a leak that is causing coolant to leak into the transmission. I began doing some research on the internet and found that this is apparently a fairly common problem in 2005-2010 Nissan. I never received any notice of the warranty extension. When I called the local Nissan dealer, the service guy knew exactly what I was talking about when I described the problem, and estimated that to repair would be $4000-5000.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #19

Feb 062012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 87,700 miles
My transmission starting slipping. The problem was that the radiator cracked and allowed anti-freeze to leak into the transmission. Our winters are very snowy, icy and cold leaving me without heat and in a dangerous situation in wintry conditions.

- Somerset, PA, USA

problem #18

Feb 132013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
At a stop sign started to drive then stopped the vehicle jerked forward and started to vibrate more than normal. I called Nissan about the bad radiator that wrecks the transmission. They told me to bring it in to be checked over. Why don't they recall the radiator and not put my family at risk for a bad know part.

- Ramsey, MN, USA

problem #17

Jan 042013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
After my vehicle was making shuddering noises between 40 and 50 mph I decided to bring it to the nearest dealership to be checked. I was told the radiator leaked coolant into the transmission. I was also told this has been an issue for Nissan so they would cover part of the repair and I would be responsible for $2500 of the repair since I was 1300 miles over the limit. I was notifies the radiator and transmission needed to be replaced. I told the service representative I did not have the money at my disposal and asked if there was anything I could do. I was told when I get the money to call and they will repair it, but to also hurry because the transmission could lock up anytime and cause a major accident. I was shocked they would even let me leave the dealership. I immediately called Nissan customer affairs and explained my situation. They told me I was they would not be able to assist me in any way and suggested the same as the dealership, to quickly get it repaired because I can cause a major accident. I was appalled they would allow their customers be in danger and endanger other drivers on the roads especially when Nissan admits to this being a quality issue that a majority of their consumers are having.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #16

Jan 232013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 91,143 miles
Coolant mixes with transmission fluid and causes car to shudder and fail. This causes a situation in traffic that could cause a crash.

- Pa, PA, USA

problem #15

Jan 102013


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while traveling 40 mph, the vehicle vibrated violently. The contact also stated that when the vehicle down shifted, a loud thumping noise was heard. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 85,000. The VIN was not available.

- North Haven, CT, USA

problem #14

Jan 152013


  • 104,000 miles
I took my Nissan to the dealership for inspection for radiator/transmission defect. The dealership indicated no way of knowing if my vehicle is one of the ones where this part will fail. Is this true?

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #13

Nov 012012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 99,953 miles
Strong vibration and noise from the transmission and the transmission slips for time periods up to 10 seconds. Happens repeatedly. Upon later examination by the dealership, they say that radiator leaks coolant into the transmission causing it to be destroyed and requiring replacement.

- Venetia, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 212012


  • 124,000 miles
I've noticed that Nissan has been under investigation for receiving a number of complaints from consumers in regards to sudden, catastrophic transmission failures in 2005-2010 Nissan pathfinder, frontier and Xterra's. well I am writing to tell you that my 2007 Nissan Xterra has fallen victim to this. It has been diagnosed with the problem of the transmission fluid cooler located in the radiator assembly that allowed coolant to mix with and contaminate the automatic transmission fluid, resulting in damaged internal transmission components and a damaged internal transmission computer. I had no warning signs leading up to or just prior to the failures. What is Nissan going to do about this"??? recall ?"

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 222012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,500 miles
Last month the car seemed to start slipping gears when I got up to around 40 miles per hour. It was sporadic and once I let me foot off the gas for a second it seemed to clear and be ok. I started to see a slow leak of what I thought was oil in the garage where I parked the yesterday. When I mentioned the leak to a buddy and also told him that my heater was not working, he said we should check the coolant in the radiator. When we opened the radiator cap, there was a slimy brownish sludge all over the bottom of the cap. That afternoon, I brought the car to the mechanic across the street and he said that I had a radiator failure of some that has caused radiator fluid to get into the transmission. This is where the brown sludge has come from. He said the car needed a new radiator and the transmission had to be flushed, dropped, and serviced and it would not guarantee that the transmission needed to be replaced sometime soon after. The entire thing he quoted me as costing $3K. I called my Nissan dealer where I had purchased the car from new in April 2007 and the gentleman in the service department seemed quite aware of the issue and informed me that the radiator replacement is under and extended warranty from Nissan, but I would still be out of pocket for at least a $2500 co-pay for the replacement of the transmission.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

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