If you’re looking for a great off-road ready SUV, you can never go wrong with a Nissan Xterra. The car manufacturer stopped its production in 2015. The best thing for you would be to find out about the problems that this car can present, so we recommend you to know the common faults of the Nissan Xterra .
The SUV continues to be a top choice among used vehicles thanks to its affordable price, heavy-duty off-road suspension, and innovative cargo features. The Xterra’s resale value is also great, with its 2015 model only depreciating 32% after five years.
How good is the Nissan Xterra?
The Nissan Xterra scores above average in major reliability ratings. Consumers gave it a score of 3.9 out of 5.0, while other owners gave the SUV a 3 out of 5.
The 2015 Nissan Xterra received an above average rating for reliability and resale value . It also scored well in driving ratings, making it a top contender in its segment when it was first released.
Common failures of the Nissan Xterra
Although the Nissan Xterra is certainly one of the most reliable SUVs around, this doesn’t mean problems won’t develop as mileage accumulates. Here are common Nissan Xterra failures through model years:
1. Fuel level sensor problems
Many Xterra owners have reported inaccurate fuel gauge readings (for example, the gauge reading shows the tank is half full when running on empty) due to a failing fuel level sensor. This often causes the engine to stall, increasing the risk of road accidents.
This problem is common among many 2001-2011 Nissan Xterra vehicles . The automaker has recalled specific units of the 2006-2008 Xterra to resolve this fuel gauge issue
2. Radiator leak problem
Owners of many 2005 Nissan Xterra have reported radiator leaks. According to the drivers of the affected vehicles, the leaks can persist even after the radiator cap of their SUV is screwed on tight.
If this problem is caught early enough, it may only be necessary to repair the lower intake manifold to fix the problem . However, radiator leaks that are not fixed immediately can lead to engine overheating and eventually transmission failure.
3. Transmission failure
Transmission failure is another major problem with many 2005 model year units. This is usually the result of a radiator leak . When engine coolant mixes with transmission fluid, it creates a discolored, milkshake-like mixture. Mixed fluids accelerate corrosion in the transmission, causing it to slip or overheat.
Transmission replacement is complex and expensive, so it’s best to keep an eye out for radiator leaks to avoid this problem. Nissan did not issue any recalls related to this issue, but the automaker extended the model’s radiator warranty. Unfortunately, many owners were unable to take advantage of the extended warranty, as most transmission problems appeared well after 75,000 miles.
4. Problems with the distribution chain
The long list of common 2005 Nissan Xterra failures wouldn’t be complete without mentioning timing chain issues that plague some units of this model year. Drivers of affected vehicles have reported noticing a hissing noise coming from the engine before the component stopped working.
If left unchecked, problems with the Xterra’s timing chain tensioners, guides, and shoes can lead to engine noise and acceleration issues. In the worst case, they can even contribute to engine failure.
This problem was so common that a class action lawsuit was filed against the automaker. Nissan agreed to cover $450 of the total cost of repairing this problem. However, this only covered Xterras with less than 100,00 miles.
Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to replace your timing chain or the entire engine to resolve the issue. Repairs can cost upwards of $2,000 in parts and labor.
5. Fuel injector failure
Drivability problems due to faulty fuel injectors are also common on various Nissan Xterra model years. Faulty fuel injectors can cause engine failure.
You may notice a decrease in your engine’s performance, hesitation when accelerating, and excessive vibrations when one of your vehicle’s fuel injectors begins to misfire.
In most cases, the check engine light comes on once it detects problems caused by a bad fuel injector . However, it may not turn on if a corroded or clogged connector inside the fuel injector caused the problem.
The fuel injector failure affected many units belonging to Nissan model years 2000-2004. Replacing the faulty part resolved the issue in most affected vehicles.
6. Clogged EGR valve problem
Several 2000 and 2002 Nissan Xterra owners have also complained of engine misfiring due to a clogged exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.
The affected valves were often clogged with carbon, causing moderate to severe engine misfiring under acceleration. Cleaning the EGR valve and valve passages usually solves the problem.
As long as you know and are aware of the potential problems you may encounter with your Xterra, buying one should be low risk and satisfying for you.