Top 5 Problems for Nissan Xterra SUV 2nd Generation 2005-15

In this article, we are introduce 5 problems with the 2nd generation Nissan Xterra, which is available as model years 2005 to 2015, and also give you some tips for how you can fix those problems yourself. For more Nissan cases, please refer to Nissan Trouble Repair.


No.1 Fuel Level Sensor

The symptoms is maybe you go and fill up at the fueling station and you notice that the fuel gauge doesn’t necessarily go all the way up into full, maybe it sits three quarters halfway, maybe it comes up a little bit goes down. While you’re driving, might be a check engine light come up saying something along the lines of a PO463. Generally it means that you have an issue with your fuel level sensor. Here is fuel pump picture. It has a fuel level sensor on that.



Essentially the way that the fuel level sensor is supposed to work is as you fill up your tank, the little white bobble or float is supposed to come up.


And then it’s going to complete a circuit right along here, this is going to be where electrical current is going to go through and it’s going to let the vehicle know exactly how much fuel you have.


If the level sensor isn’t functioning and not sending the proper reading, you fuel tank might be full but the gauge might be reading very low.

If you have this problem what you’re going to have to do is go ahead and get inside of that fuel tank and you’re going to have to either replace just the fuel level sensor which is going to be very difficult. Or you can replace the whole sending unit as a whole assembly.


No.2 Faulty Transmission Coolers

The transmission cooler that’s located inside of the radiator.


On the side of the radiator,you’re going to find that you have an area where the lines are supposed to go into and on the inside what you’re going to find is something that looks a lot like this


Transmission fluid is supposed to come inside one of the ports


It’s going to travel through inside and supposed to help the transmission fluid get up to the proper operating temperature.

Essentially what could happen is as this goes faulty inside the radiator where your coolant’s all going to be inside this black area here


It’s going to create an area where coolant is going to be able to force its way inside your transmission system. As your coolant gets hot the fluid’s expand that’s what always happens with any type of fluid when it gets hot.


It’s going to force its way inside wherever the discrepancy might be inside this cooler. It’s make its way inside line and then into the transmission. As it makes its way into the transmission what could happen is you’re going to have coolant mixing with your transmission fluid or ATF,and then it’s going to cause a couple different symptoms things that you might happen to notice for symptoms for this,might be slipping when you’re trying to drive down the road, maybe you try to accelerate from a stop or even you’re just driving down the road and it seems as though the transmission just kind of slips when it seems like it’s supposed to be shifting gears.That’s can be very scary. Something else you might notice would be located right underneath the hood here


This is where your coolant overflow is going to be.The area around there is a completely pressurized system. If you were to carefully open cover up assuming it’s not hot and look inside,you had this issue, you might see something milky and kind of pink inside there. That means that you have transmission fluid mixing with your coolant or vice versa.Transmission fluid tends to swell rubber if you have o-rings or anything like that, that’s going to be an issue. Coolant is also cause issue with the belts that are located inside of your automatic transmission.The belts will be swollen or damaged in any way.

Essentially what you could try to do to fix this issue would be to drain out as much of that transmission fluid as possible and even flush the system. You want to make sure that you have brand new fresh ATF in there or transmission fluid. It will be a great idea to make sure that you replace the radiator. When you do this though we would also recommend replacing slash installing an external transmission cooler.


No.3 Secondary Timing Chain Tensioners

When you’re having an issue with your secondary timing chain tensioners, the symptom is you might be a whining noise coming from inside the front of your engine. If you’re having any of these issues it’s going to come down to those timing chain tensioner shoes.There’s going to be multiple timing chains on this engine. All of these are going to affect the runnability of your engine. You have to tear apart the front of your engine and get inside there to take a look at those timing shoes. Typically, when people try to fix this issue, they’re going to replace the timing shoes and then more than likely replace timing chains as well. And when you’re doing all this it really only makes sense to just go ahead and do an oil change with a brand new oil filter as well.


No.4 Coolant Leak

That is kind of hard to find. Maybe you check your coolant level and notice that it’s low


maybe you have a sweet smell in the air as you pop the hood. The next step we need to do is try to look for a coolant leak. You may see some moisture coming along the front of the engine but you can’t really determine where it is. Next thing that you would do to add pressure to the system or pressurize the system and try to find leak.

If you happen to look at your automatic transmission fluid dipstick and happen to see that it looks like it’s contaminated or even foamy or in any way, there is multiple problems with cooling on this, one’s internally could get forced into the transmission fluid , another one’w external and it could have to do with the lower intake.

No.5 Heat Issue

The symptom is ir’a nor blowing heat when you turn on the blower motor, even after the vehicle has been warmed up or even after you’ve been driving it for a while. When you start revving up the engine though you might have to notice that some heat comes out, it might bot be super hot but it is a little bit of heat. As soon as you go back down to idle of a sudden you lose your heat and it’s back to cold air again. Typically it’s because there’s going to be air inside the cooling system,even if it’s just a little tiny bit of air circulating through the cooling system. If it gets stuck inside your heater core which is going to be located behind your dash area, it’s not something that’s easily accessible and you especially can’t see the inside of it. Essentially it looks kind of like a little radiator.

Anyway, if an air bubble gets stuck inside there that air bubble isn’t be able to get as hot or as temperate as the coolant that’s supposed to be flowing through it. Generally, it may because you have a coolant leak someplace, so you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t have a coolant leak. If you do, fix it.

After that, you’d want to flush out the system and make sure that there’s no air inside there.  An easy way to go ahead and bleed this out is to go ahead and chalk those rear wheels,use your emergency brake and be in park, you need to jack up the front of the car.All the air bubbles rise to the top of the fluid,and that’s going to be up in the front where the radiator is. Once this happens you can burp out any air that’s inside the system.


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