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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
The way I've done 4-5 different Nissan CVTs is first make sure you can get at the recharge pipe and get the locking cap off of it. It's simple to get to on VQ35 powered Nissans as it's right up top. Releasing the locking cap is a knuckle buster and can be done with a small flat blade screwdriver or pick. There is a specialty tool for this if you search online.

I then drain the unit cold, measure the amount that came out and refill with that amount.

There is also a level check plug off to the side of the transmission pan that you can verify level with with the vehicle idling on a level surface and a CVT fluid temp of something like 104f (need to verify that). I do it by shooting the pan and/or line to the cooler with an IR gun, but you should use a scan tool to read temp. Fluid should just dribble out under those conditions.

Obviously it's not the factory service way of doing a CVT service, but the above way works for me.
 

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Thanks for the info. When it got down to 10 deg my 2017 PF trans was acting up. It has 30000 miles. When letting off the gas instead of coasting it would slow down quickly like and engine brake. I drove down the road and warmers up and it worked fine. It acted up again this morning when cold and tonight it was 40 degrees and it seemed fine again.
Liverup please see the following thread. Apparently your issue is very common. It startend in my PF in the second season and is back again this winter, only on cold days. I bought my PF in January 2018 and it was not a problem that season.
I have had it in probably 5 times last year for them to take a look at and was told they cannot find an issue????

 

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Discussion Starter #24
I know my 2012 Subaru legacy and 2016 Forester, both with CVTs would keep the RPMs high by staying in a low "gear" if the ambient temp was low. This was done to warm the engine and emissions system. What you guys are describing sounds normal to me.
 

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This condition is like driving a manual trans in a lower gear and when you let off the gas the vehicle doesn’t coast. It slows down quickly without using any brake.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Yes, if it's like my Subaru CVTs were in extreme cold temps, they behaved like keeping your 5 speed manual transmission in 3rd until the vehicle warmed up some. It didn't do this often, only after extreme cold starts. Very cold fluid temperatures are as bad for a CVT (or any transmission) as very high fluid temps are.

Thanks for the above video link! I didn't realize our CVTs had that external filter until I saw this video clip. Very cool, except he didn't show the part number. I'll have to search for that..

Some misinformation in this video though. #1, the dealer told the guy a drain/fill is 6qts. It's 4qts. #2, you can absolutely use the "charge tube" (dipstick tube) for refilling and #3 NS-3 is blue. Not green.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks for that info on refilling!
I would make sure to have 5-6qts on hand in the event mayhem ensues and you spill some, etc. You never know. If you wound-up short on fluid you're kind of stuck and dealers charge like $20/quart for the stuff.

Oh.. The other thing the guy in the video got wrong is there are several aftermarket fluids that are "suitable for use" where Nissan NS-3 is called for. I know of many folks on another site who have used aftermarket CVT fluids in their NS-3 recommended Nissan. No issues what so ever. I hesitate to use them only because they are not dyed blue and I'm still under warranty.
 

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Ok guys you are scaring me.
so is Castrol Transmax CVT fluid recommended? are there concerns about doing this in warranty ?

says Nissan CVT Fluid NS-1, Nissan CVT Fluid NS-2, Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3,
 

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I strongly recommend doing all oil changes at the dealer while the vehicle is under warranty. If somethings goes South, you can easily prove you did all necessary maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Ok guys you are scaring me.
so is Castrol Transmax CVT fluid recommended? are there concerns about doing this in warranty ?

says Nissan CVT Fluid NS-1, Nissan CVT Fluid NS-2, Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3,
On another board I frequent, there are many later model Nissan owners there that have used Castrol, Vavoline, Eneos and Aisin CVT fluids in there NS-2 or NS-3 spec'd Nissans without issue.

Like mentioned above, my only hesitation in using these aftermarket fluids is most are not dyed blue like Nissan NS-3 fluid is. If you are still under warranty, I'd want to keep a blue fluid in there. If you did have an issue and red or amber fluid drained out, this would obviously complicate the warranty process.

The other issue is, if you are not comfortable doing this type of fluid change yourself, by all means contact a dealer or shop you trust and have it done for you.

As I've mentioned before, I buy my NS-3 online when I catch deal on it. Last week I purchased a 12qt case of Nissan NS-3 off eBay for $133 all-in. If I still own my pathfinder outside of warranty, I wouldn't hesitate to use an aftermarket suitable for use CVT fluid.
 

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If I still own my pathfinder outside of warranty, I wouldn't hesitate to use an aftermarket suitable for use CVT fluid.
Why?
Don't you think that after the millions of dollars Nissan/Jatco have spent on warranty repairs and buy backs, not only with the Pathfinder but many others like the Rogue's and Murano's, they should know by now which is the best fluid for these CVT's?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Why?
Don't you think that after the millions of dollars Nissan/Jatco have spent on warranty repairs and buy backs, not only with the Pathfinder but many others like the Rogue's and Murano's, they should know by now which is the best fluid for these CVT's?
The same company that allowed their vendor (Jatco) to use the same defective CVT parts for years?

Yeah.. They know best.

Why would the multi-million dollar corporations that make the "suitable for use" NS-3 fluids assume the legal risk of stating in writing that their product is suitable for use, when it's not? They're not going to do so. These products work where they're intended to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
@PoManzPathy
Sorry, you did not explain why do you think another fluid is better than the NS-3.
Which one and why. Please quote your sources.
Where did I say suitable for NS-3 use aftermarket fluids were better than genuine Nissan NS-3 fluid?

Sources?

All I have suggested is there are aftermarket fluids available for this application if you choose not to use the OEM product. What ever that reason my be; No Nissan parts counter nearby, don't wan't to pay the cost of Nissan NS-3, etc.
 

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Ok, so you would only be looking for a cheaper alternative. Point taken, I respect your opinion but do not share it.

Considering the CVT oil is replaced once every 3-5 years depending on use, does it make sense to try to save $20-$30 on the cost of the oil without knowing for sure if the alternate equivalent fluid will perform at least the same as the NS-3?
A big gamble to take on what we know is the weak component of these vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
jman- Yes, it's the cost and availability thing. Nothing more.

If you need CVT fluid and can't get your hands on genuine Nissan NS-3, or you don't want to pay $20+ per quart for it, there are aftermarkets available. Most are less than half the cost.

I can point you to countless threads over on another board I've been on for years where owners have used suitable for NS-2 and NS-3 use fluids in their CVT nissans for years w/out issue. They all went with it because of cost and most were able to catch the CVT fluids they used on sale for around $5/qt. BITOG is the site if you're interested and want to browse for yourself.

Like said, with my previous and present Nissan, I'm sticking with the OEM blue fluid because I'm under warranty and I buy it online when I can get it for $10-12/qt all in shipped. If at some point I can get an aftermarket alternative for half the cost when I'm out of warranty, I may go that route.

I do choose to do more frequent fluid changes on my vehicles than the owner's manual or dealers recommend. I know this way if I do have problems, it's not from lack of maintenance.
 

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Is it possible and desirable to put an inline filter in the cooler loop on this model ?
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Is it possible and desirable to put an inline filter in the cooler loop on this model ?
Thanks.
All Jatco units I've seen have a pleated element, canister style filter mounted in the case under the fluid heater/cooler housing, or If you get a chance, watch the video in post #22 in this thread. The later models have a filter housing mounted right on the case.

I myself probably wouldn't add anotherl filter, but it wouldn't hurt anything to do so.
 
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