Nissan Frontier Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Nissan Frontier as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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13
Known Problems

The distributor shaft bearing can become rusty, and seize causing the engine to stall or not start. The failed distributor will commonly require replacement.

The 2005-2010 year model with automatic transmissions may develop an issue which is commonly known as the "strawberry milkshake".

The name is based on the color and consistency of the fluid found in the coolant reservoir, transmission, and radiator.

The radiator on these models has an isolated portion for cooling automatic transmission fluid(ATF) that is pumped in and out by the transmission. This area of the radiator is known to rupture internally, and the following occurs:

  • Transmission overheating warning light
  • Transmission slipping (engine revs high and vehicle moves slowly)
  • Jerking when accelerating
  • Engine overheating
  • ATF and engine coolant mix in the radiator, engine, and transmission

Engine coolant in the transmission can cause severe damage, and if not caught immediately may require replacement or rebuild of the automatic transmission.

To correct the situation, the radiator must be replaced, and the engine cooling system must be flushed thoroughly. Also, the transmission will need to be professionally flushed, inspected, and possibly repaired or replaced.

To prevent this from occurring, proactive replacement of the radiator is necessary and recommended.

The fuel level sensor can fail causing erratic or inaccurate fuel gauge readings. The Check Engine Light may also illuminate. Nissan has recalled 2006 - 2008 vehicles only for this fuel gauge issue. For more information on the recall, please click here»

The EGR valve can become clogged with carbon, which causes the Check Engine Light to illuminate. This can result in moderate to severe misfires on acceleration and the EGR valve and passages will need to be cleaned.

A whining or buzzing type noise may develop from the timing chain area caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. Nissan has issued a service bulletin (NTB09-128) regarding this issue. Replacement of both secondary timing chains and their tensioner shoes will be necessary to repair this concern. As part of this repair, the engine oil and filter should also be replaced.

The Check Engine Light may illuminate due to a defective charcoal canister vent control valve. The charcoal canister is a component in the Evaporative emissions (EVAP) system.  Our technicians tell us a failed vent valve will require replacement.

The fuel injectors can fail and cause drivability problems. Often there is no Check Engine light and the failures can be caused by corrosion of the connector, clogging beyond the point of cleaning, and/or internal failures.

The coolant outlet on the front of the lower intake manifold may develop a coolant leak.

Screws inside the intake manifold can become loose causing internal engine damage if they fall out completely. Our technicians report that using a strong thread locker on the power valve butterfly screws can help prevent them from becoming loose.