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 1 of 4)

problem #65

Oct 252016

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 76,510 miles


Took SUV to woodbury Nissan, hearing sounds when driving and no heat. The radiator coolant leaked into the transmission. Both needs to be replaced. There was never a recall or any notice to me in the 9 years I have had this from new.I feel Nissan should have recalled this, and consumers should not have to pay for a defect they knew about.

- Barrington, NJ, USA

problem #64

Oct 252016


  • 97,000 miles
Leak from radiator to transmission

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #63

Oct 102016

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Another frustrated 2007 Nissan Xterra owner who's radiator and transmission had to be replaced. Three weeks ago noticed some tranny slippage while driving (normally 80 miles a day, 5 days a week and all on highways), checked fluid, no problem, no leaks or nothing, though maybe just drain and change fluids. Then 1 week ago today, I was at a stop light when my temperature gauge spiked to hot and radiator started to smoke, started to move on the green light to pull over to side of road from a four lane highway and I was in the second lane over, car started to chug and barely made it to the side of road before it quit, then a gray colored fluid started draining out of my radiator overflow all over the ground. Had to make the call to a shop and they knew exactly what the problem was before they came and got it. The car got towed to shop where they quoted me $5590 for towing, new radiator and rebuilt tranny. Wtf.

- Greenville, WI, USA

problem #62

Sep 262016


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #61

Jun 292016


  • 172,290 miles
My vehicle was driving perfectly without any issues at all until one day on the way home I stopped at a stop sign near my home. Then as I started to proceed down the city street the check engine light and 4WD lights came on in the dash and the vehicle would barely move. I just barely got it into the driveway of my home. After I turned it off I attempted to restart the vehicle it would not even attempt to turn over. I checked online to see what would cause these symptoms to find that hundreds upon thousands of other Nissan owners have had the same happen to them. It is a known issue of cross contamination of radiator fluid and transmission fluid due to a faulty design in the radiator. I had a mechanic check my engine as well and he confirmed that the grey sludge in the radiator and grit in my transmission fluid fit the symptoms of this issue. Now I am being told I have to pay over $5000 to have repairs done because of a design flaw that Nissan refuses to take full responsibility for. I am lucky that this failure happened in my neighborhood versus the interstate or it could have not only left me with figuring out how to come up with $5000 but how to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars for repair bills to other cars I might have caused to wreck do to this catastrophic transmission failure.

- Elizabethton, TN, USA

problem #60

Aug 072015


  • miles
Last year while driving my car I begin to notice a "jerking" motion. I took it back to the Nissan dealer and they said that I would need a flush and that this would take care of the problem. Fast forward roughly a month later and my car completely gave out while driving to work. No warning just stopped driving in the middle of the road. I had the car towed back to the dealer where they did a diagnostic and said that the transmission was "gone" because the coolant was leaking into the transmission. I simply can not afford to get the repairs done being a single mother. I have called Nissan and filed a complaint and was told that because my car was slightly over 100,00 miles they couldn't do anything for me. I feel as though this is S defect in the equipment that Nissan is seeking and the mileage should not matter. There should be some sort of resolution on the matter. As it stands my car has been immobile for the past couple months and I am still making payments. It's a sad situation and Nissan should be ashamed, something has to be done.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #59

Aug 092016


  • 115,000 miles


I was driving the vehicle on the highway, when the automatic transmission stopped shifting gears and the car decelerated. After it came to a stop, the car would not start again. After talking to mechanics, it appears that a defect in the radiator caused the radiator and transmission fluid to intermix, wrecking both the radiator and transmission.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #58

Jul 272016


  • miles
I own a 2007 Nissan Xterra with 116643 miles and was just told by the Nissan dealer that my coolant is leaking coolant fluids into my transmission. Upon research I discovered that Nissan settled a class action suit but the owner is still liable for repairs even though the radiator was defective. This leakage will eventually destroy my transmission.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #57

May 022016


  • 145,000 miles
I purchased a 2007 Nissan Xterra, following my graduation from college in 2007. It was the first and only new car I've purchased. I have been meticulous about the maintenance and upkeep of the vehicle the entire time I've owned it. Approximately 3 months ago, it stalled while I was driving, the check engine light came on, and I had to have it towed home. The Xterra was diagnosed with the very common (and seemingly criminal) coolant and transmission contamination. I was told it will cost $5, 500 to repair my Xterra, it requires a new transmission and radiator, it is non-drivable. I've spent $2,000 in rental car costs over the last 2 months, the diagnosis of the vehicle took 4 weeks by Nissan. I can't afford to pay $5,500 to repair my Xterra. The transmission and coolant contamination issue has long been a known issue by Nissan, previous class action settlements did nothing to help the consumer. I don't understand why governing agencies won't hold Nissan accountable. Nissan has knowingly sold consumers defective vehicles for years. This is fraud and should be punishable in a court of law. Nissan should be more proactive and do the right thing in addressing and rectifying this known defect in several of it's vehicles made over the course of several years. The consumers are suffering. We have to do the right thing, or else we are held accountable. I don't have any options at this point and it's not fair I did what I was supposed to, including paying $24,000 for a vehicle I can't drive and that has no trade-in value. Nissan, why do you knowingly hurt your trusting customers? unfair; pathetic you continue to be allowed to get away with your criminal behavior, and sad for the consumers who trusted your company and your product.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #56

Jun 182016


  • 1,700 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle stalled as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not able to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the radiator and the transmission needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 1,700.

- Lottsburg, VA, USA

problem #55

Sep 022015


  • 190,000 miles


Timing chain failed. Apparently Nissan was aware of the problem and issued a technical service bulletin to its dealers to repair the issue for those who came in, the bulletin is ntb09-128 date November 16, 2009. Nissan knew of the issue and did no issue a recall the fix it for all of those effected. I wan not notified of this bulletin by the dealer and was charged for the repairs.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #54

Jun 062016


  • 116,000 miles
Timing chain system is failing due to manufacturer defective chain guides. Nissan was aware of the problem and issued a technical service bulletin to its dealers to repair the issue for those who came in, the bulletin is ntb09-128 date November 16, 2009. Nissan knew of the issue and did no issue a recall the fix it for all of those effected.

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #53

May 282016


  • 119 miles
This car gave me no warning, I was driving and the car stopped and I was told I needed a new transmission due to a sensor in the transmission going out and mixing oil with the coolant which caused the transmission and radiator needing to be replaced. Now a family of 5 has one car living pay check to pay check and no way to finance another car ot buy one

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #52

May 062016


  • 123,000 miles
I have a 2006 Nissan Xterra and the radiator leaked. I had no idea that in 2013 they had a class action law suit against them for this very issue. The coolant leaks into the transmission and destroys it. I was driving with my child coming off of a highway onto a rotary and my car shifted down and I couldn't get my car to move more than 10mph while we were in incoming traffic. Nissan will not recall this problem and they settled the lawsuit extending the warranties with a $3000 copay. It's criminal.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #51

Apr 012016


  • 140,000 miles
The radiator started leaking coolant into the transmission. Car would start shaking while driving. Now I need an entire radiator and transmission. If this was known to Nissan, they should have to repair.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #50

Jan 162016


  • 81,000 miles
Transmission began failing at highway speeds. Car would intermittently slow suddenly and begin shaking as if riding on a very rough road. Nissan dealer informed us this was a known defect wherein the radiator fluid and the automatic transmission fluid became cross contaminated, resulting in transmission failure. Although Nissan knew of this issue, they did not inform us to have our car inspected for this problem. Nissan currently covers this problem up to 8 years and 80,000 miles, but we are just outside this limit.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #49

Feb 242016


  • 111,000 miles
Our 2007 Nissan Xterra had a leak in the radiator, that cost $500 to fix, but it leaked radiator fluid into the transmission which is going to cost $3,500 to $5,000 to fix.

- West Valley City, UT, USA

problem #48

Mar 032016


  • 180,900 miles
This complaint is in reference to a 2007 Nissan Xterra off road 4X4 with180,900 miles. The transmission began to spontaneously downshift to low gears while moving at speeds above 25 mile per hour. At one point, the transmission seized and locked up while traveling at 45 miles per hour, which resulted in a sudden stop in the midst of the traffic flow on a two lane road. I took the vehicle to the Nissan dealer for service immediately. Inspection revealed coolant had leaked into the transmission via a leaking transmission cooler assembly integrated into the main engine radiator. The transmission sustained substantial internal damage from the coolant mixing with transmission fluid and circulating through the transmission. The transmission and engine radiator had to be replaced in order to make the vehicle roadworthy again. Total cost of the repair with taxes was $4800. Nissan service manager and techs at dealership indicated this is a common problem for the Xterra and frontier model vehicles, yet no proactive action was taken during previous service appointments at 30,000 mile service intervals, routine maintenance appointments, and during yearly state vehicle inspections conducted at the same Nissan dealership.

- Purcellville, VA, USA

problem #47

Feb 022016


  • 62,000 miles
Engine makes a loud squeal at startup then whines at idle and during acceleration. I took the truck to Nissan for diagnosis and they explained to me the components of the timing chain need to be replaced. The cost for the repair is $2700. Mileage is very low at 62000.

- Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #46

Feb 012016


  • 115,000 miles
Timing chain and tensioner failure. Nissan knows about this problem in several of it models for years and refuses to repair as a known defect or issue a recall

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

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