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Nissan Xterra Manual Transmission Problems



  • 05 Xterra clutch went at 33k, dealer replaced it under warenty, now it has 49k clutch is gone again. Same story, I've driven manuals for 20 years, I do light driving , no towing. Dealer wont pay to fix this one, so I'm talking to regional Nissan, it's been over 2 weeks, still no decision. I'll let you know what happens.
  • We have the same problem on an '08 Frontier with 34,000 miles. Same deal, it's "misuse" and Nissan will not cover it. They are trying to charge us $1800. We've driven manuals for 25 years - it is definitely not misuse. We would be intersted in a class action lawsuit. This can't be a coincidence.
  • I get people contact me directly on I encourage them to register on this site (Edmunds). Truth is, we are the tip of the iceberg. How many people ditch the X because they cant drive stick or thought they couldn't. I am sick of Nissan. My Wifes jeep is going strong and left me behind in mileage. We are both English and living in Canada. In 65 years of combine driving we have owned one automatic. No Nissan, it isn't wear and tear.
  • I have to admit two things. I have been drinking tonight and also I am not completely satisfied with my Nissan driving experience since I went to the Jim Wolf tech clutch and flywheel. I find myself holding my breath when I shift. It is so grabby. I should of got an automatic. Hell, the sacrifices we make in this new age corporate world we live in where the bottom line dictates quality. It is an unclean world.
  • After a month of phone calls to Nissan, they are paying in full to replace my clutch for the second time. First one at 33K this one at49K.
  • 2006 Xterra needed a new clutch at 20,400 miles. Replaced at no cost. Now, 37,000 miles later it is gone again. Nissan agreed to knock $200 off the cost of replacement.
    They said "Take it or leave it". Very professional.

    I've been driving a manual for 47 years. My last car, a Jeep Cherokee, had 170,000 miles on the original clutch when I traded it for the Xterra. My local mechanic tells me that the Xterra clutch is undersized for a vehicle of it's weight.

    Nissan had better solve this problem before I buy another Xterra.
  • degenerationx,

    What number did you call? To whom did you speak? I have fewer miles on my clutch and they only agreed to pay $200. Thanks for any help you could give the rest of us.
  • I own 2007 Xterra and today it went to the dealer for the clutch replace. They told me that they have to take it all apart before they can tell me if it is covered by the warranty or me abusing the clutch (otherwise it will costy 2K to fix it :mad: ) My SUV has only 20K miles and I have been driving manuals for 12yrs and never had any problems with the clutch. So I keep my finger crossed now and later when they replace so maybe it will least for the rest of the car life.
  • I've been driving manuals for 47 years. My '06 Xterra needed a clutch at 20K & Nissan replaced it free. Now 37K later I had to replace it again last week. Dealer's quote was $1100 & Nissan agreed to knock $200 off the cost but I had to pay the dealer $46 to diagnose the problem before Nissan would knock off the $200. After replacing the clutch it now rattles and I feel a vibration in the clutch peddle as I depress it. The clutch is either undersized for a vehicle of that weight or the materials are faulty or both. I've owned three Nissans and they had better fix this problem or I'll not buy another one.
  • agatkaagatka Posts: 4
    Hello Everyone. If we all complain going to ( about aything that is wrong with our SUVs we may end up having a recall. So far there is only 1 complain about the clutch in 2007 model so we have to team up and post more complains.
  • Everyone here should file a complaint, I lost total power durring lunch time rush hour traffic - not safe. Send a complaint to Consumer Reports. And finally TRADE IN YOUR BELOVED XTERRA for either an automatic if you can still stomach nissan or something else.
  • hey everyone I have a 06 Xterra Off-Road and i think my clutch is going too at 48k ive looked around and found another after market clutch in addition too jim wolf they are made by a company called Spec. has any one heard of them it looks like they mostly cater to race cars but they list a clutch for the 2nd gen Xterra (prob because of the Z) but they are a little cheaper then wolf and have many different clutches to choose from all for different applications. if anyone has used these guys please post and share your experience. I dont think there clutches are bigger like wolfs but it looks like they used better materials then nissan (prob not too hard to accomplish) they say their clutches are for high heat and torque anyway ill keep you posted
  • I have a 2008 Nissan xterra X. I purchased it brand new. 3000 miles differential had to be replaced, almost ever since I bought it clutch felt so annoying and weird, it feels worst and worst, told nissan about the problem, always said that they can't see anything wrong. I had standard cars before, prior to this one I had a Honda S2000 (great car btw), never had any problems. It's last time I buy a nissan. I just wonder what can we do because so many people have the same problem and nissan won't agree with the issue.
    Also I work for a car rental company, and we have nissans, and we always have problems with: tire sensors, brake, fuel level will not show the right amount, sometimes nissan versa will not crank, company just bought 2010 nissan altima's and with only 200 miles I smell antifreeze , look under the hood, and it leaks from the block.... seriously, what's wrong with nissan????
    As I said, last time I purchase a nissan and hopefully nissan will do something about it :sick:
  • I am really glad to hear that Nissan is paying for your clutch replacement. I bought a brand new 2006 Xterra and the clutch burned out at 4,666 miles. They replaced this one since it was under warranty but did say that it was defective. At 18,000 miles the clutch burned out again. My mechanic looked at it and said that there was a problem with the pressure release. Of course, though, I had to go through a Nissan Dealer and Nissan Consumer affairs because it was a month after the warranty expired. I have yet (after 6 weeks) been able to actually speak with a person from Nissan Consumer affairs. They leave messages to call them back with no further information and, when I do call back, have not been able to get through to a person. I feel that I should not have to pay for this replacement given the low mileage. Also, I have been driving manual transmissions for 16 years and have never had to replace a clutch (100,000 miles on a Civic and 80,000+ miles on a Saab). It's very reaffirming though to hear that there are so many problems with the clutch and it's not just a malfunction in the one lemon that I bought.
  • I have had my 2006 Nissan Xterra in the shop for 6 weeks waiting for a decision from Consumer Affairs. Like you, I have driven manual transmissions for 16 years and never had to replace a clutch. With my Xterra, the clutch burned out at 4,666 miles and now, a month outside the warranty, it burned out again at 18,000 miles. The worst part is that I've called Consumer Affairs every day for the past 3 weeks and have not been able to speak to my representative once. :mad:
  • Did any of you guys have this issue with the manual 6 speed Xterra/Frontier???
    When I drive it in 1st gear / 2nd gear even 3rd, shifting is rough, i mean it feels like it doesn't grab right. You start in 1'st and change it in 2nd and you can't get a smooth shifting. That's how mine does it all the time. I went to the nissan service and they are telling me that that's normal.... I find that hard to believe. Any of you experience the same problems???
  • It's not normal on my '06. I do get a slight grind if I don't press the clutch peddle all the way to the carpet.
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    My '06 6-Speed continues to shift very well at 27,500 Miles -- good gearbox and good clutch action. Time will tell though. I've driven manual trannies for 30 years and have never replaced a clutch in any of our vehicles with over 200,000 Miles on each. If my Frontier fails, I'll be very upset.
  • After having early clutch problems in my 2006 Xterra Off Road it was working great, all of a sudden while in third gear on a country road at about 30mph my rpms started reving up from ~2000/2500-4500/5000 through no action of mine, as if the computer was doing it, i was cruising along windy country road in gear, the truck also felt as if it was lurching or the tranny was slipping as this rpm increase occured, luckily i was within a 1/8 of a mile of driveway i left, i was able to turn around and "limp" back to the drive way, still in third gear, with rpms still randomly reving up, upon returning to driveway, i engaged clutch and was able to shift fine, but there was obviously something seriously strange occuring, i turned the vehicle off, smelled the horrible clutch smell ever so slightly, i turned vehicle off for about 10 mins, restarted, fired right up, and engine was fine, no strange rpm jumps....however, THE TRANSMISSION WAS COMPLETELY DISENGAGED from the motor....i could rev the gas all day long, but the motor was completely separate from the transmission. The clutch had been working wonderfully for the previous 37K, (my vehicle has just over 50k miles).

    Upon delivery of my new 6 speed off road 2006 Xterra in march of 06', i was in love with it immediately (i had learned stick on an old jeep wrangler, and moved onto 1995 Nissan Pathfinders, and i was completely devoted to the pathfinders, but in '06 they were over ten years olf, so i decided that i was going to invest in the xterra of my dreams. At around 1000 miles the clutch was working one second, and the transmission was disengaged the next. Nissan confirmed that there was a manufacturers defect and replaced clutch free of charge. This second clutch felt a little awkward, but i easily adjusted. About 6,000 miles later clutch was fine one second, and gone the next. The dealership said that when the original clutch was replaced it was done incorrectly, causing premature wear, and they replaced a second clutch free of charge. About 6,000 miles further, once again, clutch is just gone....this time, nissan said it was a wear item and i had to pay the 2500$ in repairs, i fought this with nissan under the circumstances, and they eventually ruled that because there was mud and debris on the bottom of the vehicle, it had been driven off road, and thus abused and the error was mine. I never was refunded. This clutch actually was quite wonderful, it performed with precision for 37,000 miles, and was as precise 5 minutes before faultering as when it was installed. I, obviously, through my own experience, and now with all of these posts, feel strongly that there is definately more than meets the eye with these 2005 and up (second generation, i suppose) xterras and their clutchs. Ive got a quote of $1926 for repairs, obviously not under warranty because its a wear item, and i bought every warranty under the sun! I certainly am going to fight this until my truck is operational again, ive grown to absolutely love the vehicle, (especially in the last 37,000 miles), with the exception of the clutch problems...this will be the fourth clutch in 50k...whats up with that? What can we do? hopefully nissan will take care of a true believer in there off road vehicles. Also, due to the clutch being a wear item, and not covered under warranty, i should be able to replace with an aftermarket higher quality clutch? tribco kevlar or something of the sort, ive just randomly seen some info in the posts, ive not done any research? Does the theory of the clutch being designed for a 165HP motor, when in fact the '06 6 speed pushes around 235HP hold any water? that theres to much torque and it destroys these clutches....any responses or feedback would be wonderful! thanks ~James....
  • The ranges of cost from dealer to dealer is quite broad. My dealer quoted me $1100 to replace my clutch. I got Nissan to agree to knock $200 off that price but they insisted that I get a diagnosis of the problem from the dealer and that cost me $46. Ended up costing me $950. I expect the clutch to fail again within the next 30,000 miles and if it does I hope to find an aftermarket HD clutch to put in. I love the car but if Nissan can't admit they have a problem and solve it I won't be buying a 4th Nissan.

    Get estimates from other dealers.
  • 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.
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