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Nissan Xterra Manual Transmission Problems



  • ak_geekak_geek Posts: 1
    I've wanted an Xterra for years now, and now that I can afford one I've been obsessively doing research. I found an '07 6-speed sitting at a local used car lot in beautiful condition with only 24K miles, and I almost made them an offer on the spot. Boy am I glad I waited and did more research. I'm half tempted to print out all these complaints and see if I can't get them to slash the price to compensate for the impending clutch repair it would need.
  • Do it. Maybe if dealers knew they were losing sales because Nissan wouldn't fix their design problem maybe the dealers could apply a little pressure.
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    I bought my '06 Xterra new in 2007. At 7954 miles, the clutch gave out. Took it to the dealer, he repaired/replaced it and said they decided to use the warranty ( no charge ) because they figured it was NOT a "driver" issue, ie., a bad part/design. OK, last week, 27,000 miles ( and 2 months out of the Nissan warranty, it did it again. The clutch does not engage. Towed it to dealer, he said they have to replace the clutch again, but this time quoted me $2005. So, in less than 28,000 miles, I have had the clutch replaced twice. Don't you think they have a quality problem?
    Does anybody know how to get Nissan to cover this defect, even though it is two months out of warranty ? Judging from all these problems listed here, Nissan needs to recall this vehicle. Where do I send my first complaints? I live in California.
  • phin13phin13 Posts: 7
    edited September 2011
    Nissan ended up not paying for mine. The dealership seemed to support me, but when corporate started their "investigation" they decided it was normal wear & tear. at 46,000 miles - ridiculous. It seems Nissan WILL NOT admit this issue, and although I love my Xterra - if the clutch goes again I am selling the ********. By the way I am in California too.

    Good luck to you!
  • Sorry, Nissan doesn't care about product quality or customer satisfaction.
    I'm on my third clutch. My next one will be a Jim Wolfe Technologies clutch. It should last the life of the car.
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Thanks, man. I sent an e-mail to Nissan describing the problem and my dissatisfaction with their product. I haven't picked up the vehicle yet (haven't been called) but will start at the dealer with my complaints. I threatened to go to NHTSA, but I suppose they are in the car manufacturer's pockets, so ??? BTW, they originally told me the car would be ready 4 days ago, but left a message saying a part or parts was damaged in transit and they had to re-order. What part of a manual clutch assembly would be so weak as to be damaged during shipping.. they should be bullet-proof !!
  • phxjeffphxjeff Posts: 4
    No I don't drag race it. I baby my 2008 4X4 OffRoad Xterra. I am 70 years old and retired (no rush hour traffic). no competition, no sand, mud or snow. I have driven standard transmission vehicles all my life including some very high performance vehicles. Never a clutch problem. My last vehicle was a 2001 Frontier with 100K miles, no problems. I bought the Xterra new in March of 2008. 5K miles later the clutch went. The dealer replaced it. At 9K miles it went again. Same problem (seems clutch came apart). Dealer replace it again. At 11K miles I had the clutch wear checked. It had 70% left (not really very good for 2K miles). Yesterday I had it checked again at 15.8K miles. 15% left. The dealer quoted me $2300 to fix. I ordered a Jim Wolfe assembly. Dealer quoted $1100 to install it. I checked a local transmission shop. $300 and they resurface the flywheel. No more Nissan. Either the service/engineering is incompetent or the parts are inferior or some combination. I wrote them and received no satisfaction. I look forward to the Wolfe clutch assembly.
  • Hi everyone. We started a facebook page about this issue. I would urge you all to join it so that we can build our numbers and organize in such a way that it is easier to communicate and share information/updates, etc. I live in Maryland, and had an uncle who is a lawyer look into our problem. He took my specific case to his firm, who unfortunately lost interest in the case when they saw that I *may* have driven in the snow for 50 feet with my emergency brake on when my clutch failed. The sad part is I don't know if that was the case - I have never forgotten to take my brake off. Regardless, I mentioned it to the dealership and lost all chance at getting warranty coverage. I believe that at some point we will have enough numbers to be heard, and some lawyer or firm will see the merit in a class action suit against Nissan. So let's all keep in touch so we can mobilize when that time comes.

    Anyone who hasn't done it should definitely register their clutch failure on the NHTSA. There are dozens of complaints about that fuel gauge that failed and that is likely why it eventually got recalled. There are only a few clutch failure reports, so it looks like it is rare. I know from this site that it is NOT rare. Let's get the numbers up!

    Facebook page : I have a Nissan Xterra with a Bad Clutch

  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    I want to put my voice in with all the dissatisfied Xterra owners, but I quit Facebook months ago because of their lousy security and crass commercialization. Are there any other forums out there??
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Are there any other forums out there??

    Yes, there are and you're already here! :)

    And, yes, we'd prefer to stay on the topic of the Nissan Xterra clutch problem rather than discussing other automotive sites.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Cost $2106.28. The dealer gave me the 1-800 Nissan number to complain, which I did, and I am supposed to hear back within one business day. The arbitration with the BBB is the next step ( judging from what I hear here, Nissan does not give their customers their money back ). I test drove the car with the mechanic who did the clutch work, and he said the clutches should last 60-70000 miles. Doesn't sound like a lot to me. My Toyota pickup has 145000 miles, no problem with the clutch. Why would I have TWO clutches go bad in less than 28000 miles ? I have been driving manual vehicles for 40 years, and this is the first problem I have ever had. I'll keep you all updated...
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    edited August 2010
    A lady from (customer affairs??) Nissan called me less than 4 hours after I called in my original complaint, and took the same info the first guy (1-800-NISSAN1) did.She tells me she will contact me by next Wednesday (7 days) with an answer. I specifically told her I want to be re-imbursed for my $2100 ( until I mentioned this, she apparently had no idea?). I faxed her my original receipt from the dealer, and she acknowledged receiving my e-mail to Nissan North America yesterday. I appear to be in their system! I told her I intend to go to the BBB arbitration if I do not receive satisfaction from them. I am logging all this info, along with the stuff the dealer service rep and mechanic told me, just in case. I don't think a Class Action Suit is advisable, as the victims rarely get more than a $50 credit towards a new car, the car company never admits its mistake, and the lawyers on both sides get rich (cynical, I know, but....). I'll keep you advised.
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    A lady named Luann called. Her job is to politely make me go away without getting anything from them, I think. Who knows ? I may be surprised. But, I doubt it. I am in Riverside, CA.
    BTW, she gave me the same phone number, just a different extension. Thanks !
  • phin13phin13 Posts: 7
    Yup that's the same thing that happened to me. Did you join the facebook site? I will go look for you there and maybe we can chat about this there...
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Sorry, me and Facebook parted ways because of their lousy privacy and security. Besides, I think our moderators here want us to discuss this stuff on this forum. I can respect that..
  • phxjeffphxjeff Posts: 4
    edited August 2010
    I had my 2008 OffRoad Xterra stock clutch and pressure plate replayed this weekend with a Jim Wolf Tech system. Very nice. I did some measurements. The JWT clutch is 275 mm in diameter with 45 mm (wide) of clutch surface. The clutch material is 0.127" thick. I measured the stock clutch that was removed. Less than 0.020" left of the clutch material. The manual says it should be at least 0.031". This is with less than 6k miles on the clutch. The stock clutch diameter is 260 mm with 35 mm (wide) of clutch surface. This is significantly smaller than the JWT system. There was black dust in the rivets as expected, but also a lot of black fabric. When the clutch was replaced last time the whole inside of the bell housing was coated with that fabric. The flywheel was in good shape and did not need any work. The removed pressure plate has some slightly discolored areas, but nothing serious. The clutch would surely have failed in less than another 500 miles. It seems to me that Nissan engineer dropped the ball on this. For something as simple as the clutch, it should out last the rest of the vehicle under normal use. 3 bad clutches in under 16k miles on a new vehicle is a black mark for Nissan.

    Driving the JWT system is much more positive than than the stock clutch and so far I am very pleased with it.
  • Hey there. I too have replaced my clutch disc and flywheel with Jim Wolf Technologies ones at 65,000 kilometers. The clutch housing appears to be a nissan stock one. The clutch material eventhough much thicker, appears to be the same greyish material as the original that burnt at 65k so that worries me. I called JWT asking about my concerns but they said that it is a different(eventhouygh looks, chips the same), better compound.
    The flywheel is single mass. The reason i replaced it is because the original dual mass flyweehl appeared to be worn out (you can see an imprint of the old clutch grinding through metal) and as i was told non-polishable due to the nature of the flywheel. Ever since it was replaced, the car obviously feels jerkier, the smoothness is gone when switching gears. Yet, considering the JWT flywheel is half of the weight of the original, the truck is much more responsive, takes off quite rapidly.

    I am at 67k now, hopefuly JWT proves its value and lasts me a while.

    I wish they did not drop the ball and butchered this whole clutch situation. My next truck will be a Toyota.
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Got my call from the lady at Nissan whose job it is to sympathetically tell me "no." She told me "no." She was nice enough to give me the number to the Better Business Bureau (1-800-955-5100), but I will file on-line just for record-keeping purposes ( ). I told the poor gal I would hate to have her job, making angry customers even angrier, however, she stuck to the party line. Clutch issues are not covered by the warranty because they are "wear items." Not a problem, I told her, if the BBB doesn't make them do the right thing, I will never buy a new Nissan again, and bad-mouth them to all my friends. It may cost them thousands in new sales in the long run. I will also go to a non-Nissan mechanic for my extended warranty repairs as they come up. I'll let you know how I fare with the BBB, but I am not optimistic, of course. Who pays for their arbitration services ? Nissan ?
  • phin13phin13 Posts: 7
    And if there's any way for you to contact me through this site, please do as I would love to take advantage of the fact that we are both in California!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    You can mark your email public in your Profile and other members will be able to see it. Or you can set up your CarSpace mail.
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    my e-mail is I tried to put it in my community profile, but I don't know if it took...
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Just faxed off the paperwork to BBB, included some reports from and this forum reference manual clutch problems in Xterras. I called NHTSA ( ) and filed a safety complaint. They only have 3 other complaints in the data base at this time. Where ARE all you people ??? They will consider whether to open an investigation if the defect is severe enough. We need to send more reports !
    My next step, after the BBB finds in favor of Nissan, is to write a formal letter to the president of Nissan North America describing the problem and requesting a fix. When his assistant sends me the nice, flowery letter politely telling me the vehicle is not defective, it is time to get the media involved.
    How about this:
    Park the Xterra on the public street right at the Dealership and put signs in the window telling people not to buy Nissan because of their customer unfriendly ways. With any luck, a reporter will show up before the cops haul me off and charge me with a misdemeanor ( I guess). Maybe I will call up the local press first ? BTW, my Xterra is yellow, just like a lemon. This could be fun.
  • phin13phin13 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the info - I will do the same as you, and keep you posted on the progress. If it's ok with you I will also post this on the facebook page dedicated to Xterra's with bad clutches!
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    Go ahead and post. I left Facebook several months ago, if you learn anything we don't know here, please post it (with the indulgence of the moderators, of course).
  • richsmitrichsmit Posts: 15
    As you know, I had a manual clutch failure at 28,000 miles on my 2006 Xterra a couple weeks ago. This, after they replaced the original clutch after only 8000 miles 3 years ago. Nissan covered the first repair, but I Had to reluctantly pay full boat ($2100) the second time. I am awaiting an arbitration date with the BBB. Yesterday, the shifter would not allow me to select any gear at all. The clutch pedal goes all the way to the floorboard, but I cannot get into any gear. Towed back to the dealer this morning. The young service writer says it may be the transmission itself this time rather than the clutch. I don't think so. Way too much coincidence for this to happen two weeks after they replaced the whole clutch/flywheel system. I am sooo tired of has been out of service now for repairs for over 11 days in the last three years that I have had it for the clutch issue. I eagerly await the call from the Nissan service department. I will keep you informed. If nothing else, this makes my BBB arbitration look a little better....
  • I got a call from the Service department yesterday. They have determined that my Xterra's hydraulic clutch master cylinder and slave are belly up. Not covered by the warranty (either Nissan's or my useless extended one ). They wanted $602 dollars, before taxes, to fix it. I had it towed back home, where my son and I will fix it with the help of our Haynes manual. Maybe $200 tops for the parts. It seems, according to Haynes, that the master and slave cylinders have to be removed before replacing the clutch, which Nissan did two weeks ago. They were also removed 3 years ago when the original clutch was replaced. Do you suppose that has something to do with their failure ?? Nissan North America sucks in the " Customer Affairs " department. Waiting for my BBB arbitration date.....
  • Wow - that sucks. I cannot believe they won't address this as it is clearly a default with their parts, or that vehicle model itself. Please continue to keep us posted on your progress.
  • I got home from work Friday night, and there was a message from the BBB on my answering machine.The gal said that Nissan had the paperwork from my complaint, and was offering a settlement. I will have to wait until Tuesday ( Monday is a holiday in the U.S. ) to find out what it is. I hear a gentleman on this forum was just notified he was awarded full compensation for his case. I wonder if Nissan sees the writing on the wall ? I'll let you know.
  • I took them to Arbitration in Canada. I won they lost, have a nice day. I will be reimbursed the full amount over $2500. Do not be bullied. I bought two new cars this year, how much will Nissan see? zero.
  • Got an offer through the BBB from Nissan to settle for $500 "in a goodwill gesture".
    I gave it a day to think about it, and accepted, as I didn't know if I countered their offer with a higher amount, they may wash their hands of it and go to arbitration. My chances then would be unknown, maybe zero, so I felt it was better than nothing. Besides, it was just as good as taking my clutch to an independent garage for $1600 ( $2100 minus $500), PLUS, the repair is guaranteed by Nissan for a year or 12,000 miles.
    Anyway, those of you out there in my situation, stick to your guns and take them to arbitration. They seem to be reluctant to stone-wall owners who stick it out.
    On a funnier note, Nissan sent me a Customer Survey in my e-mail a week ago. It was only about my "dealer experience," but I called the dealer who did my work, and whom I had no complaint about, and told the service writer that I had received it, and would give them excellent marks IF I got a free oil and filter change and tire rotation. I had that done yesterday, and filled the survey out as advertised.
    To sum it up, the manual clutch in the 2005-2009 Xterra is too weak for the duty it is assigned, and problems result. Nissan will not accept ownership of the problem, and will blame the owners for not knowing how to drive a clutch. Pure B.S. !!
    If they don't repair it under warranty( which states that manual clutches are "wear items" and not covered, then I recommend you take it to a reputable transmission shop, have one of the many GOOD aftermarket clutches installed, then take Nissan to arbitration to get some of your money back. My regret now is, I still have a Nissan clutch in my wagon, and can't trust it past 12,000 miles or a year. Good Luck to you all.
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