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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,175 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2007 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jul 152013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


I have researched and found many other have had the same issue with the fuel sensor on 2007 Xterra. Last gen was recalled and they need to recall this year. I have ran out of gas twice already while driving down the highway. I am also having a loud wining noise coming from the engine due to a failed timing chain tensioner. Both these items need to be recalled before somebody gets killed.

- Warren , OH, USA

problem #24

Feb 192014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 119,863 miles
First noticed a stuttering when driving and a clunking sound when moving the shifter from park to reverse to drive in February. Also experienced no heat and over heating in March. Upon repair of thermostat, draining the radiator showed an accumulation of thick grey gunk in the coolant. Thermostat seal itself was melted. Had dealer evaluate clunking sound and they diagnosed it as intermix (the problem identified by the coolant) a manufacturing defect in the radiator/transmission cooling components that allows the coolant to contaminate the transmission fluid causing transmission damage. As a result of class action lawsuit, dealership explained that mileage was over the Nissan warranty limit of 100,000 even though the problem did not manifest until almost 120,000 miles. Recommended fix was in stages - 1) replace radiator and transmission flush $1200++ 2) if problem is not solved, replace transmission $4000++ have talked with Nissan corporate to no avail. Case # is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Woodland Park, CO, USA

problem #23

Dec 302013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I have a 2007 Nissan Xterra which started to "stutter" and hesitate when pressing the gas. The car almost felt like it was shutting off while on I-4 highway. The shuts down and wont start. I had the car checking and found out that there was a crack in my radiator and that the fluid had leaked over into the transmission. I had the radiator replaced, a few months later, transmission is still not working. I took the car to Nissan, they told me I would have to replace the whole transmission which would run about $5200. I called the Nissan headquarters and was told that there was nothing they could do because my truck was at 109,000 miles.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #22

Mar 012014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


Failed transmission cooler-engine jerks at speeds 40 mph and higher.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #21

Mar 142014


  • 117,000 miles
At 60mph and also 40mph the vehicle vibrates heavily and is slow to react to power inputs with no warning signs prior. This was determined to be caused by the known defect related to the radiator / heat exchanger, where the engine coolant mixes with the transmission fluid and gets into the transmission. This then turns into a "pink milkshake" consistency fluid and completely ruins the entire transmission and valve assembly. This requires a complete rebuild or replacement of the transmission and radiator to correct the issue. There is no warning sign and this affects these vehicles at different rates. This can cause cars to seize up unexpectedly in the middle of driving creating a dangerous situation. Since this is a known issue for Nissan trucks model year 2005 - 2010 this should be a safety recall. It is not a matter of if this will happen, it is a matter of when. In my personal situation I had no injury or immediate car shutdown, however I would have no warning if that did occur and has the potential to be dangerous, especially at highway speeds. This has to be investigated and is uncalled for to have a known defect and not disclose this to owners of these vehicles. Additionally, there is a perfectly good way to mitigate this issue by adding a dedicated cooler for the transmission and bypass the radiator, which is a cheap and easy fix to never have this issue.

- Havertown, PA, USA

problem #20

Feb 152014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I was told timing chain of vehicle needed replacement. The car only had 65,000 miles and this repair is an ongoing problem with Nissan that they are failing to address to consumers. Repairs costing 1,500 plus dollars for repair of engine chain. If ignored, this could cause an extreme safety hazard while driving at a moderate speed. There should be a recall on this service/part.

- Bardonia, NY, USA

problem #19

Jan 282014

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 108,260 miles


My cars coolant gage jumped straight to H out of nowhere. After pulling into a shell station for antifreeze, it was apparent what had happened. There was something mixed in with the antifreeze. It was the transmission fluid. After being told I would need a new transmission and radiator, I started researching and im not the only one dealing with an otherwise great body you can't do anything with and doubt I will be the last. After further research it appears that no recall has been approved and I believe there are many of us wondering why" this is a consistent problem with hundreds of cars and it's not even one make, it's many. 3 in my category. Does a recall only happen when it has fatality attached" this is a faulty system and Nissan approved these coolants in the transmissions and continued to even after complaints of the system. I was lucky to catch mine right away but still need $3000 to fix it! it won't be long until fatality is attached once someone's transmission goes out on a highway or in 5 O'clock traffic! Nissan needs to issue a recall!!!

- Hardy, VA, USA

problem #18

Oct 042013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My radiator went out in the starbucks drive-thru. I had it towed to a shop & was told it is a known design flaw by Nissan where the fluids are mixing & the only thing I can do now is replace the radiator & "hope" the fluids did not go into the transmission. Got the new radiator & had a trans flush 3 times & paid about $1800. It is now a month later & my service engine light is on. Today, I am told I need a new transmission which will cost $3800. This is our only car. We do not have the funds to pay for a new transmission. For safety reasons, we urge you to please issue a recall on this poor design by Nissan where the fluids are mixing & causing safety concerns to the consumers.

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Jun 072013

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

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

- Hueytown, AL, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Aug 052013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 58,400 miles
Witnessed loud whine from engine that increases due to acceleration. Was told by dealer that it was due to failed timing chain tensioner and could eventually cause complete engine failure without notice. Repairs would cost $1500 to $2000.

- Tahlequah , OK, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Jul 062013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 121,460 miles
Earlier last week, I went to southern cal to take care of some business. Upon returning home, I was in heavy traffic and traveling betw speeds of 35-40 mph. When traffic speed increased, I tried to accelerate but had difficulty. When I stepped on the gas pedal, the rmp"?S increased but my speed would not. Upon returning home I noticed that I had a light oily film on my back window. During the trip no warning lights came on. On July 5th that ??service engine soon?? light came on. I called for an appt and one was scheduled for me July 6th. I told the dealership rep. What I had experienced earlier in the week and what I was still experiencing. The rep made statement about leaky transmission fluid and he took my car for a diagnostic test. A few hours later, the rep called to inform me that my radiator failed. He then stated that as a result of my radiator failing that the radiator fluid mixed with the transmission fluid. As a result, I would have to replace both the radiator and transmission costing approximately $6800. How can this be since I get my car serviced regularly" this does not appear to be normal wear and tear on my vehicle. Through no fault of my own, I believe that this engineering / manufacturing defect where over time it allows fluids to mix from one chamber into the other. I truly believe that since this is an inherent problem with 3 generations on three separate models of Nissan cars, that it should be a recalled item. However, I want it to be made known that this is definitely a safety issue because when my radiator failed I was several hundreds miles away from home and on the freeway.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

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 #8

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 #7

Nov 012012

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Experienced intermittent fuel gage operation and inaccurate fuel level reading with check engine light on. Diagnosed as P0463 ECM error code (fuel level sensor). Nissan has confirmed the error code and refuses to repair/replace the fuel sending unit because vehicle is out of warranty despite previous recalls on other year models for the same issue.

- Avondale, PA, USA

problem #6

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

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