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Nissan Xterra Manual Transmission Problems



  • Thats how is goes, your crusin along fine in gear and all of a sudden the computer goes wacky and the rpms go crazy and then the transmission completely disengages, and then you need a couple grand before the truck goes can happen at any time...good luck. thanks for the about to start the battle with nissan, consumer affairs i believe, Im also hearing a rumor that consumer affairs are not very punctual or timely returning calls and such????
  • I waited, gathered information from this site and others, invited people to e-mail me at, compiled what I would consider signiifcant volume (not all dissatisfied users blog) and then I sent in my second snot mail to Nissan. If they ditch on me I will ditch Nissan and never buy another. I too love the X; I am 265lb at 6'3" a lot of vehicles just don't fit but I can't afford $2600 every 30k km.
  • My third clutch was installed in Dec. Now I'm having trouble shifting into reverse. Several times last week it took 2 or 3 tries to shift into reverse. One time It wouldn't go into reverse no matter how many times I tried. Back to the dealer today to see what he says.
  • Have them look at the adjustment rod from the pedal to the master cylinder, this needed adjustment on mine but has not needed re-adjustment after 15K. The service manager said he has had a couple of issues the same and thinks it may be set wrong at the factory. This would go some way to explaining why there are a significant number of clutch problems but not an overwhelming amount. Curiously he wanted to remain discrete, saying that Nissan can cause the dealership a lot of trouble if they rock the boat. Isn't this the tail wagging the dog?
    If we can get the evidence together, there are a lot of people that can get their money back including you and me. If anyone reads this blog, post here or e-mail me at
  • Curious.... now that you have sobered up and have had a few months on the Jim Wolf clutch - how are you liking it? I am trying to plan for my next clutch failure. Please respond...
  • 2006 Xterra "Stella Blue'

    I Posted the dismal tale of my 2006 Xterra and Its Clutch(s). Its been a couple mos since i posted, so heres a recap: Essentially; 2006 Xterra Off-Road 6-speed, 50,000 miles, recently (beg. of Jan) my cluture failed quite dramatically, luckily i was within a couple hundred yards of my departure point. This clutch lasted 37,000 miles and performed exceptionally up until failure. Upon Installation there was several minor problems/glitchs resulting in truck being towed back to dealership about 4 times. The "4WD Low" light was engaged, (transmission still in 2H), so it was within the computer or the actual display or something in between, after a couple trys they returned the truck and it worked WONDERFULLY up until failure 37,000 miles later. This "wonderful" clutch was actually the 4th clutch, and also the first one in which i had to foot the bill, due to the clutch being a "wear item". Im commiited to my Xterra and am going to see it through these problems. I have been doing a great deal of research since the most recent failure, and have come across, what i feel is the reason for my clutch problems, as well as many, many other owners of 2nd gen xterras who are having similar clutch problems, all with VERY LOW mileage. This is when the problem started, Nissan Upgraded the power plant by dropping the 350Z motor in, which makes for awesome performance, the amount of tourque produced by the truck is unbelievable. However, when Nissan made this change apparently they did not change the clutch to accomodate the extra power and tourque. The 1st gen trucks where 165 HP, the 2nd gen up to 265 HP. Apparently the clutch is rated for 165 HP motor not the 265 HP. WIth the awesome torque and power its not hard to understand why im destroying clutch after clutch. Im currently having Nissan repair using factory parts in hopes of getting them to pick up the tab, especially with the track record of my vehicle. Nissan acknowledged fault in all of my repairs with exception of the last clutch and flywheel replacement. Im hoping Nissan sees the big picture and covers my repairs, and especially since im standing by my truck and am super confident that with properly working equipment my truck will keep on rollin', anywhere, anytime.
    I would greatly appreciate anyone who has any wisdom or insight on this matter. Im currently having the repairs done at Nissan Dealership, out of my pocket for now, the initial feedback from Nissan is that the clutch is a "wear item" and thus not covered despite my warranties. Im having the repair done with factory parts and hoping to persuade Nissan to recognize this problem, and to come up with a solution, One that will hopefully cover the expenses this time, and also to have them look back and possibly refund me for the 2500$ out of pocket for the last clutch repair (assuming they acknowledge the problem as a result of their design). I am also preparing myself for the inevitable breakdown and failure of a new factory clutch and components. If Nissan still refuses to refund, i most definately will be outfittin my truck with optimal high performance components. Any Info anyone would care to share about high performance aftermarket parts (specifically clutch/flywheel/trans) as far as who makes them, whos are the best, as well as any modifications or variables pertaining to a High(ER) Performance Upgrade. Ive also seen a post or two referring to a class action lawsuit happening, specifically in reference to clutch failure in Xterra 2nd gens. Please Email me with ANY info regarding Nissan, High Performance Components, Lawsuits or any pertanent wisdom. Thank You so much for any assistance, Insight, or Wisdom, I greatly appreciate any help! (also; the clutch problems are not a result of "MY" personal operation of a manual transmission) I know there are others (alot) out there like me, hollah! -James.
  • I appreciate how much you like your vehicle, itis the same for me. I am a big lad, I can put the sit up all the way and pat myself on the head, not soemthing I can do in most vehicles...

    Your optimism is commendable but perhaps misplaced. I sent to Nissan 70 pages of comments/ experiences like yours as well as my own. They replied with "refer to the warranty disclaimer", despite, my articulation and evidence. They know they have an issue, but this is commercial politics. Don't they watch the news (Toyota)?

    I even have reports of Nissan paying or paying part. This is a dilution technique. It's time to involve a lawyer for me. If anyone has initiated this process let me know at
  • I have joined Just Peachy in trying to mount a collaborative case against Nissan for all of these premature clutch failures (mine went under 5,000). He apparently had no success after presenting Nissan with a compilation of cases, many from this forum. He has shared the data with me and I am going to have a lawyer look it over to see if we have a case at this point. IF YOU HAVE NOT PROVIDED YOUR CLUTCH FAILURE INFORMATION AT, PLEASE DO SO NOW so that we have the best case available.

    And yes - anyone with after market high performance clutch experience, please share that too as there are several of us who are seeking an alternative to another crappy Nissan clutch. Thanks! -Karen
  • Ive got my transmission apart at the dealer, fourth clutch in an '06, this one actually lasted 37,000 miles and is worn not exploded in shards liike the others. Im weighin my options between factory, NISMO, Jim Wolfe....any feedback on the JWT? id also be hookin with JWT flywheel?
  • hey there, i wrote a longwinded story of my clutchs on the message board. This last clutch actually made it 37,000 and about three years, limited driving though, had several people driving for i didnt have a license at time, no bad shifting, just a broader region of shifting on the clutch due to multiple drivers, however, i still was aware how she was performing, and went this last clutch went it was crazy, felt perfect until my rpms started reving up from ~3500-->4500, 5500 and my foot was not on gas, comp was sending messed up signals, luckily i was a couple hundred yards from departure point when this occured, i successfully swung it back around and into driveway, at that point i lost everything, tranny completely disengaaged from engine. anyway. My other 2 clutchs were purely defective, first nissan gladly covered at 1900, second was put in incorrectly, blew after 3-4000 miles, third one installed correctily and exploded into hairlike threads inside my transmission with only a few hundred miles on it, the tech who has my truck apart right now said he had to clean it all out from previous clutch,, BTW i had terrible experiences with Sheridan Nissan in New Castle, DE...i owe them a brick as far as im concerned, so i had bad service and bad nissan clutch, flywheel etc, ive currently switched to another dealership and have been dealing with an exceptional team....SO my trannys apart, i ordered factory clutch and need a new flywheel now, im rethinking the whole repair because i might have nissan for the errors in the past, but they very easily can say this clutch was worn...but in the world of a 2006 xterra a clutch with 37,000 miles of great performance is i wanna upgrade to JWT HP clutch and Flywheel which will run me about 935$, the factory parts were ~$300 clutch, and 780$ for flywheel, so JWT is cheaper, also a NISMO option for around the same price...sorry, im a longwinded individual at times...any insight about your situation and thoughts on aftermarket clutch/flywheel, etc. Also i have documentation of all my previous repairs, i got stuck paying 3000$ for the clutch that lasted 37,000 miles, and i should have not been liable, the previous clutch EXPLODED, and the debris was still in the tranny when they pulled it off, talk about horrible service! -so please keep my posted on your talk with your lawyer, and id be glad to get my name involved for class action lawsuit, or even try and go down the recall way, im sure nissan does not want mass recalls like toyota, etc, maybe theyll spring for our clutchs.....ALSO: some sound reasoning about the 165HP clutch in the 2nd gen forms the 'weakest link' so to speak, if anythings gonna bust, the clutch does and is the most inexpensive part to replace, and you especially dont want a 'stronger link' high performance clutch to cause the tranny to bust. I think im gonna go fo the upgrade tho, prolly JWT, maybe NISMO (variances in warrantys, both have 12mo/12,000 limited warrantys, but labor is not covered if anything were to go wrong.) anyway, hope you can share some insight, and id be glad to get involved in your battle with nissan! Sincererly, James Matheson.
  • Hey please pass any insight about these clutchs to me, my trannys apart at the dealer, this will be my 5th clutch in an '06 xterra, nissan covered first three, told me the last was my fault even though it exploded with only a couple hundred miles on it, the tech now had to clean the hairlike threads still inside the tranny from the previous clutch, i did get 37,000 miles of great performance on last, but it cost me 3000 and im pissed this keeps happenin'. also, its not me that is the reason for the clutchs blowing..this last one was pretty worn, so nissans not gonna cover, which opened up my ability to go aftermarket instead of factory so nissan could reimburse me with a fight, that was original plan, but i can go JWT and get the clutch and flywheel for a couple hundred cheaper than factory. Also theres a NISMO option for around the same price. SO my trucks apart at a new much less corrupt dealership, and ive gotta make the call of what parts to put on her....any insight would be greatly appreciated! sincerely, James Matheson (
  • tincanman,
    How do you feel about the Jim Wolf clutch at this point? Did you make the right choice? Couple more questions. What model clutch did you install and did you have to foot the whole bill or did Nissan pick up any of the cost?

    Thanks for any info.
  • Sorry, I haven't looked at the blog for a great while. As far as the jtw clutch and flywheel, I have only about 5,000 miles on it so far. It is touchy. I wish I could fast forward 40,000 miles and give you a decent heads up as far as durability but we will see. I have pretty much mastered it and it has been performing fairly well. It performed well off road. Let's put it this way. I am satisfied providing it last 80,000 miles or more. You know, I wonder if this is even a truck engine in my frontier. It revs so fast. The truck weighs 4,400 pounds. It aint a sports car but it kind of has a sports car engine. A 2,800 pound sports car might pair much better with Nissan's cheesy [non-permissible content removed] clutch. You might get 45,000 miles out of it. Whoopey. All and all, this is a corporation that has gone to the dogs. It is a shame on the Japanese people. You know their fearless leader has slashed and burned their R&D department.
  • yo, my trans is apart right now at the dealership, trying to decide what exactly im gonna do, factory clutch flywheel for around 1035$, JIM WOLFE TECHNOLOGIES has got a high performance clutch flywheel for 935$, and NISMO also has high end cluctch/flywheel for around 8-9$, search for "NISMO clutch"
  • gfg1gfg1 Posts: 1
    I just received a safety recall notice for my 2008 Xterra, NOT for their faulty clutch but for a bad fuel tank sender float arm which can cause the fuel gauge to indicate 1/4 of a tank on 06 and 08 Xterras when the tank is actually empty. According to Nissan, "If this were to occur on your vehicle, the vehicle could stall, which could create an unsafe condition which could result in a crash".
    It is obvious to me that many of the premature clutch failures described on this site, and mine, occurred suddenly and without warning and could create a similar unsafe condition which could result in a crash as Nissan described in the fuel gauge safety recall. If the clutch suddenly fails on a freeway or on a narrow country road without a safe pull-off space, this is clearly a major safety condition. I feel Nissan is purposely ignoring taking ownership for their clearly faulty clutch design on 6-speed Xterras and Frontiers, maybe because their parent Renault is having financial difficulties, or as we are seeing with Toyota, the Japanese car companies (except for Honda?) are no longer of the mindset that quality and the customer are the priority.
    Whatever the reason I feel I paid a lot of money unknowingly for an unreliable 08 Xterra that currently I cannot take on any trips since I am approaching 40k miles and expect the clutch to fail again at any time. I am very ready to join a class action lawsuit, and really hope someone such as yourself has the contacts to get something going.
    I noticed that for the 2010 Xterra base X model the 6 speed is standard, and still optional for the S, Off Road, and SE models, so Nissan continues to ship 6-speed Xterras and presumably Frontiers with the fragile and unreliable 350Z-based clutch that was designed for a lightweight sports car.
  • lchiltonlchilton Posts: 1
    i bought my 350 Z (2005) used. It only has 50K miles on it and the clutch, drive belts, flywheel, and bearing (sp?) all need to be replaced. The dealer is quoting me $3300. I am very interested in suing/joining a class action. I would also very much like any other reports/lawsuit records that anyone has access to. My mother is a lawyer and is going to help me with this so I want to start gathering as much info on other bad clutches as possible.

  • ruckuzruckuz Posts: 2
    Just bought my first Nissan... A 2010 X-Terra Off-Road.. manual transmission.
    My clutch died after ONLY 6000 km!! The dealer doesn't want to cover it!
    I've been driving a 2000 civic manual for the past 10yrs without ever having a clutch problem so I have serious reasons to believe it has nothing to do with my driving!

    I'm up for a collective lawsuit!
  • Sorry to hear that Nissan has had this problem since '06 and not only won't admit they have a problem but that they haven't done anything to solve the problem. My '06 Xterra is the third Nissan I've owned and it will be the last. :lemon:

    They obviously don't care about satisfied customers, and they also don't care about product quality.
  • I'm in. Are you in Canada?
    Keep e-mailing me with your strories. I am not finished with these clowns.
  • Correct me if I am wrong, but in order to redesign a heavier duty transmission for the X impacts everything else around it from a space perpective. The only way to get improved performance for the same design is to use higher performance materials to occupy the same volume. Higher performance for the same effective volume brings a cost penalty over and above the increase in duty. What Nissan doesn't want, is to be the next Toyota because the systematic annilation in the US is mostly politics. Nissan do make good cars but they screwed up. It is only human. However, their treatment of people in the handling of this is disgusting. I get quite a few e-mails from people that ask me if they should buy one??? Sure if you can afford to pay $2500 CAD a pop on some underdetermined frequency. I'm going for these clowns in Canada - anyone else want to join or tandem what we do in the US?
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