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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone and thanks in advance for your help!
I'm just about to sell my 1998 Tacoma extra cab that has been very good to me. The reason I'm selling it is 1) It is completely gutless (4 cyl), and has no towing ability and 2) my wife and I recently had our first child, so my wife has to sit in the tiny back area while the baby rides shotgun in the carseat. Needless to say, this setup is not satisfactory for my wife.

I recently test drove a Frontier and it really fit the bill. I loved the the simplicity and the fact that it actually felt like a pickup, not overly refined like the new Tacomas, Colorados etc.
The Frontier I drove was an automatic. I liked the way it drove but I've always been very leery of automatics, Every car I've owned has been a manual. I also test drove a Pro 4x which was a stick and really fun to drive.
So my question to you is: How reliable are the transmissions in the Frontiers? Are there any inherent problems I should know about? I always think of automatic transmissions going out way before the engine.
I guess I should also ask if there are any major issues with the manual Frontiers?
Thanks again for your help!
Ben
 

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Pretty sure you'd be happy w/ either an auto or manual. Though, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this...but, if you're like me and some others around here whose very soul is blissfully stirred by rowing our/your own, then by all means get the manual 6-speed. I, too, went from a gutless 4cyl 5-sp manual to the 4.0 V6/6-sp and could not be happier.
The days of manual transmissions being offered are likely numbered, so if you tend to hold on to your vehicles for many years, then this may/might very possibly be your last chance.
$0.02
 

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The only automatic transmission issues frontiers had, was the same as tacoma and 4runners. They had a bad cooling line into the radiator that would split, causing the transmission fluid to mix with coolant. Obviously not good for the transmission. Nissan did fix this problem by 2010, so if you are looking at used look for one of these. If you go 2010 or newer or a manual, then you solve this problem. The older models can be fixed as well.

As for manual vs automatic, I have had less issues with Autos over the years than I have had with manuals. I find that if change the fluid regularly, at the service intervals they can run a long long time. No throwout bearings, clutch plates or slave cylinders to replace. I also like the lack of synchro gear issues that can plague many manuals. But something is awesome about rowing your own gears. Unfortunately in Canada we are no longer able to order Crewcab Pro4x leathers with Manuals so I am stuck with the auto.
 

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I too prefer a manual and in fact I have one in my car and my previous truck was a manual. But when I got ready to buy this Frontier I couldn't find a manual plus the truck I bought was available at a good price. So I bought an automatic and I am pleased with it, it seems to be a good transmission. I plan on doing a splash and fill of the fluid every 20K to 30K miles and I think it will last a long time. If you factor out the cross contamination issue, fixed in 2010, there really are not very many automatic transmission issues with Frontiers.
 

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I got a 07 frontier as my first car and its automatic the v6 does take off tho.
 

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dont know if new Frontiers with manual have that dbl flywheel thing going on. took me a little
adjustment to drive that vs high mass flywheel.

also, another consideration might be whether you think you'll be attending to the little one
while driving (pacifier, toy, cookie etc) and appreciating the convenience of an auto tranny.

i like the AT when I have my ChickFila in one hand and driving with the other (jest saying)
which can be a little trickier when I'm driving a MT. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input! You raise some good points, Raymond, about the kiddos/ ChickFila!
I'm stuck in traffic quite a bit, and I will also be towing a small camp trailer during the summer, so I guess those would be a couple other reasons to lean towards an automatic...It's just hard for me to get over my inclination to want a manual.
It's good to know that the autos in the late model Frontiers are solid and have very little issues.
I think it's going to come down to just finding the right truck at the right price.
 

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My first pickup was a Ranger with a 5 speed, and I seriously considered getting a manual in my 2003 Fronty- but before long I was glad I didn't. The auto is just super-easy for a daily driver, and it's nice having the option of remote start. When I bought my 2015 I didn't give it a second thought, it was auto all the way. Although to be fair, I do have a stick in my weekend vehicle. It'd be a shame to never to get to row through the gears...
 

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I've been towing a 4700lb RV trailer on 15 trips in 2yrs in my 11yr old 6spd manual Nismo, still original clutch. Don't feel that you need a auto to tow. But I feel that it would be easier and more comfortable to tow this size trailer with a full size truck.
 

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