3 Most Common Nissan Frontier Problems Reported by Hundreds of Real Owners

The Nissan Frontier has long been the brand’s mid-size truck. And after nearly 20 years with no major updates, a new generation of Frontier finally arrived for the 2022 model year. Because this pickup truck has been around for so long, owners have had plenty of complaints. Most of these complaints do apply to the second-gen Frontier. So, do keep that in mind. 

What problems does the Nissan Frontier have?

As Nissan’s small truck, the Frontier has not been without issues. Over the years, there have been various owner complaints that impact different aspects of this vehicle. That is not to say that the Nissan Frontier is a truck that you should avoid. It’s usually cheaper on the used market than other pickups. But it is good to know what to look out for. 

This mid-size truck has a faulty fuel level sensor

According to RepairPal, 11 model years of the Nissan Frontier come with a fuel level sensor that is prone to failure. So far, 277 owners have reported the problem, with the latest report being for the 2010 Frontier. 

Nissan is aware of the problem, and 2006-2008 Frontier models do have a recall. So, if your truck is impacted by that recall, you can get it fixed for free. The fix likely involves a fuel pump replacement.

Abnormal engine noise

When it comes to trucks, you are likely going to have a louder vehicle when compared to something like an economy car.  But some years of the Nissan Frontier might be louder than they are supposed to be. And that is because this mid-size truck can develop problems with the timing chains. 

A Nissan Frontier drives on a trail, it has some complaints on RepairPal.
Nissan Frontier | IFCAR

If you notice a loud noise coming from the timing chain area, you should probably get your pickup checked out. The whining or buzzing noise is caused by excess slack in the secondary timing chains. And it looks like the problem is common around the 150,000-mile mark. 

Engine stall or engine failure

Rust is the plight of the pickup truck, and the Frontier is not immune. Certain models are prone to a rusty distributor shaft bearing. If this bearing gets rusty, it will seize. And that will cause the engine to stall or not start entirely. 

A yellow Nissan Frontier drives on a beach as a mid-size truck.
Nissan Frontier | IFCAR

The fix is often a distributor replacement. But that will be a case-by-case situation. A no-start diagnosis will likely cost you around $100 to have done. 

Is the Nissan Frontier a good truck?

Overall, the Frontier is seen as a decent mid-size truck. Used models are usually cheaper than something like the Toyota Tacoma, and you can still get it with a V6 engine. 

For 2023, every Nissan Frontier comes equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower and 281 pound-foot of torque. According to Car and Driver, the third-gen Frontier is a big improvement over the second generation. So a new Frontier does have that going for it. 

According to RepairPal, the Nissan Frontier featured here is a reliable mid-size truck.
Nissan Frontier | Nissan
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At the same time, the 2023 Frontier does have a starting MSRP of around $30k. So it’s not necessarily the cheap pickup truck that it was in the past.