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2015 Nissan Pathfinder SL Platinum owner. I've been doing a lot of reading on this site and have been keeping a close eye on the transmissions issues. We brought ours in for an oil change on Monday, and since we are 5 months from the end of our lease I asked if they could check the transmission as I thought it felt different (to be honest, I wouldn't have even thought anything had I been reading this site. Seriously no issues). They checked and it threw a code (P17F1) and they inspected the chain, which was good, so they are changing the valve body (I got you guys a part #!!! - Control valve kit: 3170E29X9C). I asked if it was the same part as the original and the service guy believes it is a new one, but I have an appointment to talk to a Nissan Master Tech (who has apparently done around 40 of these replacements) to discuss my concerns about future ownership. They also stated they are doing a cooling system flush and then going to retest to see if it throws another code.

What questions should I ask the tech? These guys seem pretty open and honest about telling me just about anything, so I believe I can find out some fun details.

Thanks for being awesome!
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Thanks for the kudos! It's hard being awesome, but we keeping trying! :)
I'm moving your post to the Technical Engine discussion area where you're more likely to get some feedback to your questions.
:welcome: to the forum!
 
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Welcome to the forum !

Ask him what was wrong with the original valve body, I bet he'll stumble on that...
Mention that there have been reported cases of up to 2 valve body replacements on the same vehicle, what guarantees that won't happen to yours once out of warranty. FYI, mine was replaced and haven't had any issues since.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will definitely ask what was defective with the original (pending whether or not the replacement is truly different). I will be asking about the reliability of the repair as well since this is going to be the deciding factor as to whether we buy it at the end or change to a different vehicle altogether.
 

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Like most, I have followed the CVT issues on this forum from the beginning so have a few theories

My 2 cents worth, the valve body is a temporary fix, it's probably a component in the valve body that begins to fail that starts the whole process.

If you start experiencing the shudder/judder, ever so intermittently, and happen to take to the dealer to check, then you are getting it earlier and limiting the repair to a valve body replacement (till the cycle repeats). If you put up with the shudder/judder, it will eventually start occurring more frequently, keep going and you risk damaging the chain and the pulleys - once this happens you need a new CVT.

My original CVT started shuddering at 5000km (valve body #1 failure), Nissan responded with a CVT replacement (valve body #2 ), this lasted till around 20,000km, when shudder first started again, went away, eventually started coming back around 29000km, by this stage Nissan were now updating diagnostic codes, and replacing valve bodies as a potential fix everyone was waiting for, at 34,000km Nissan replaced my valve body (Valve Body #3 ), shortly after the 50,000km service, shudder came back, ever so slight, but was back, Nissan did their inspection, told me needed another valve body.....

After dragging in the relevant consumer departments, i had them agree to replace the CVT yet again, currently is going on 5 weeks at the dealer, but this will now be the 3rd CVT in this car. (Valve body #4 )

So, i have no doubt it will sh*t itself again. I have no doubt anyone who hangs on to their pathfinder long enough will get a judder eventually.
Just depends on how much you want to gamble, supposedly this repair will be upwards $8k AUD.

Mine is a 2014, some facts
1) the current revision CVT they are putting in, is the same as the one they put in around OCT 2014
2) the valve body part number they put in 18 months ago at 34K is the current part number, so no revisions

So what causes initial issues with the valve body ? Maybe the step motor, maybe the metal on metal /pulley chain cause small metal dust/particles that don't always get caught in the filter magnet and block/clog valves ? Maybe the viscosity of the oil, causing pressure issues if it runs to hot. (oil cooler moved away from pulleys on the 17/18 models)

Also more and more people are starting to repair these now, so am guessing someone out there must now know the root cause

some good articles, that also show the internals of the pathfinder CVT, you will need to find the relevant ones to yours

Mine is a 3WX0E RE0F10E (JF017E) CVT8 (could not find any reference to CVT8HT anymore so guess they just go with the specific ones like JF017E)

Page 62 onwards
https://www.wittrans.com/catalogs/2018-WIT-CVT.pdf

Also Pg64 talks about the oil pump, and has this comment there
The Flow Control Valve is very prone to wear.
Sonnax offers a Replacement Valve &
Oversized Valve to correct this issue.


Could that be the issue ?????

Another one for parts - half tempted to send this Kiwi an email to see if he has some inside info to potential root cause
http://cvt-parts.co.nz/nissan-cvt/jf017-cvt-transmission-cvt-8/

Jatco brochure on their CVTs
https://www.jatco.co.jp/wp-jatco/wp-content/themes/JATCO/assets/document/jatco_products_e.pdf
 

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Was taking a look at the wittrans site, and they had a really great tear-down of a CVT, granted not the same as the Pathfinder, but interesting enough the detail he goes into about the vane pump and being the main cause of failure - interesting because the CVT catalogue does specifically point out this is also an issue on the RE0F10E (JF017E) CVT8 (Pathfinder CVT) (Page 62) and as you can see from the video, as well as the exploded transmission view, the pump is internal to the CVT, not something that will get touched with a valve body change nor something that can be inspected without removal of the pump, which your typical Nissan Dealer would not have the expertise to do.

https://youtu.be/uRu4Kk4TOrk?t=500

@yocase007 when you speak to the Nissan Master Tech, can you ask him about that please ?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alright, talked with the tech this morning. Asked about the valve body and apparently they are some changes to it. The tech mentioned the holes where the CVT fluid is pumped through have been bored out to allow more fluid through. So even though it shares the same part number it supposedly is a different part? I asked about multiple replacements people have had, and he stated when they started doing them in 2013 on the Pathfinder they were essentially just throwing new parts on but not making significant changes. He also says they were not aware of what to look for in the transmission, ie. which places scarring would show damage sooner.

I also asked about the pump and the valve within the pump and the tech stated that when they pull the valve body off they will inspect the rest of the transmission and apparently if they need to replace the subassembly (which is where the pump is?) the new pump comes with 2 sprayers with multiple jets instead of just 1 sprayer with 2 jets on it. Apparently this is what sprays oil over the chain? I only understand this stuff so far, but it appears the concerns mercina posted are something they are absolutely looking at even if they haven't found the correct fix yet.

I'll get a call in 1-2 hours after they drop the valve body off telling me if they find any scarring on the chain or on the mirrored surfaces. Even with their thoroughness I'm not convinced on keeping this vehicle long term (even though the dealership has a lifetime powertrain warranty included for free on my vehicle). Apparently the warranty follows me even if we move and any nissan authorized dealer can perform the repairs. Still not excited about the prospect of potentially having this problem every 30k miles. We love the vehicle, and I'm not excited about payments for longer, but the dealer we have in town has Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all at this one dealership. I have them quoting me a new Pilot and plan on migrating that direction.

Let me know if there is anything else I can get info for! I have no problem asking this guy difficult questions, and he doesn't seem to be hiding anything. Even he admits that they usually care a valve body on hand for how often they have been replacing them. Not inspiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, so now I've been sitting her thinking about this thing all too much and it appears like both the guy in the video and Nissan is admitting that the transmission issue is a lubrication problem (based on larger holes in the valve body, more sprayers for the oil, and an oversized valve recommendation within the pump). Is that really the only issue with this thing? It would make sense to be having wear and tear issues if there is a constant lack of lubrication. Any thoughts on this?
 

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Here are my thoughts

- When they update the valve body, they change the part number, they don't keep the same number, you can have a look yourself on https://parts.nissanusa.com the current part number for a valve body is 31705-29X0C (this is the one that went in for me 18 months ago and failed) you will see there was a 31705-29X0E that got Superseded to 31705-29X0C - so tells me they do update the part numbers.

- If you watch the videos, you will see there is no way for them to be able to check the valve in the pump, without removing the transmission from the vehicle and then removing the bell housing from the transmission and a bunch of other internal parts to get to the pump. Anyone that hasn't watched the full video from the start I suggest you do it, as it gave me a much better idea how CVTs work (seeing it pulled to pieces) - at this point in the video he talks about the pump being the main cause of issues https://youtu.be/uRu4Kk4TOrk?t=237

- The way i figure, is the pump is pushing the CVT fluid around the transmission and feeding/pressurising the valve body, the opening and closing of the variators (pulleys) is controlled by fluid pressure, so releases pressure to open up a pulley, increases pressure to clamp up the pulley and grip onto the chain (changing gear rations on the fly) - not enough pressure, won't grip completely and you end up with a chain bouncing around. So yes they may have increased the bore sizes in the valve body, which is the easiest part to remove without having to remove the whole transmission, but I think they haven't touched the pump, nor looked at it. It could be very well pump valve has been corrected in the 17/18 models, and hence not seeing the issues with these.

- Here is a video of the JF017E (pathfinder 13/14 with chain belt) but it is in Russian, so no idea what they guy is saying, however you can see the effort to get to the pump, and that the valve in question is not accessible from the valve body, around the 12:30 mark he is pulling the pump. https://youtu.be/3ooZMUnYVTE (any translators on the site would love to know what he is saying when he pulls the pump valve)

- The sprayers on the pump is a new one, haven't seen this in any tear downs. Again, i think its a pressure problem when clamping the chain rather than a lubrication issue.

I'm meant to be getting my car back today also, with a re-manufactured transmission - again. Same part number as the 2nd Transmission that went in, same valve body also - i hope, i should get them to check. I can only hope that as it was re-manufactured, they might have corrected the pump valve, but will know soon enough when i get it back what the manufacture year was for the replacement CVT.
 

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Another interesting perspective, from a Russian Site, so use google translate
13/14s
https://otoba.ru/transmissii/jatco/jf017e.html

WHAT ARE THE BREAKDOWNS OF THE JATCO JF017E VARIATOR
PUSHING WHEN SWITCHING
The very substantial expansion of the range of the torque converter lock-in is in order to accelerate the wear of its clutch and consequently oil contamination. And jam-packed solenoids, in turn, cause sensitive shocks when switching.

NOISY WORK
In this version of the machine there are already reinforced bearings of cones, so with them there are practically no problems. But the new oil pump of a reduced size wears out pretty quickly and over time an unpleasant rumble and vibration in the box work.

CRITICAL BREAKDOWNS
The first firmware of the variator was so aggressive that it regularly caused the failure of the hydraulic unit in the warranty period. After the engineers have adjusted the control unit towards the resource.



15/16s
https://otoba.ru/transmissii/jatco/jf019e.html

DISADVANTAGES, BREAKDOWNS AND PROBLEMS OF JATKO JF019E
While all the machines equipped with them are under warranty, there are no statistics

Judging by the topics on the forum, the problem with the pressure reducing valve is still relevant
 

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Even with their thoroughness I'm not convinced on keeping this vehicle long term (even though the dealership has a lifetime powertrain warranty included for free on my vehicle). Apparently the warranty follows me even if we move and any nissan authorized dealer can perform the repairs. Still not excited about the prospect of potentially having this problem every 30k miles. We love the vehicle, and I'm not excited about payments for longer, but the dealer we have in town has Nissan, Honda, and Toyota all at this one dealership. I have them quoting me a new Pilot and plan on migrating that direction.
Lifetime Powertrain warranty ??? Not sure how you got that but if I were you I'd keep that vehicle and run it into the ground. Man, I'd be passing it to my kids!
 

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Got mine back today, new/re-manufactured CVT - looks like its a 2017 build/assembled from the serial, so here is wishful thinking they maybe fixed the pump Flow Control Valve issue, which i am convinced is a contributing cause of the shudder issues.

Can't find anything on the new CVT8s for the 17/18s as yet, probably due to the lack of failure on these, but i did find a really interesting article from April 16 about the development of a Flow Control Valve-Less Vane Pump for new CVTs. Could this pump also be in use on the CVT8 in the 17/18's (and explain their lack of issues) ? Clearly its being used on the new revisions of the CVT7.

Have a read if your interested :5:
https://www.kyb.co.jp/english/technical_report/data/no52e/05_product_introduction_02.pdf

Also here is a link to the aftermarket Sonnax pump flow control valve, if anyone is interested
https://www.sonnax.com/parts/3848-pump-flow-control-valve
 

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Got mine back today, new/re-manufactured CVT - looks like its a 2017 build/assembled from the serial, so here is wishful thinking they maybe fixed the pump Flow Control Valve issue, which i am convinced is a contributing cause of the shudder issues.

Can't find anything on the new CVT8s for the 17/18s as yet, probably due to the

lack of failure on these, but i did find a really interesting article from April 16 about the development of a Flow Control Valve-Less Vane Pump for new CVTs. Could this pump also be in use on the CVT8 in the 17/18's (and explain their lack of issues) ? Clearly its being used on the new revisions of the CVT7.

Have a read if your interested

https://www.kyb.co.jp/english/technical_report/data/no52e/05_product_introduction_02.pdf

Also here is a link to the aftermarket Sonnax pump flow control valve, if anyone is interested
https://www.sonnax.com/parts/3848-pump-flow-control-valve
I just read this post and I have questions. Is the "pump" in question located inside the CVT or inside the valve body? I ask because my Valve body was replaced 6000 miles ago on my 2015 SV.
I am having second thoughts on this car since purchase because many folks have had valve bodies replaced only to have the issue resurface in 20000 miles. If this new pump is part of the new repairs, I have hope for a proper fix. If not, then it's more of the same judder/shudder dealer dance.
I am seriously considering cutting my losses now and going to lease to own a new Subaru Ascent.
 

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I just read this post and I have questions. Is the "pump" in question located inside the CVT or inside the valve body? I ask because my Valve body was replaced 6000 miles ago on my 2015 SV.
Its inside the main body of the CVT, valve body replacement doesn't fix touch the pump.

I also just this last weekend had a relative visit from Canada, i'm in sydney, and he is a mechanic has his own shop, mainly works on Toyotas but said he has seen a number of pathfinders, he said he always adds a bigger transmission cooler than the small stock one, he also said the big issue is material they use on the clutch plates, use off poor materials means it wears and you get particles then floating around in the fluid, which then scores the values in the valve body / pump etc

I have 1 year off extended warranty left, but will be getting rid off it once that is up
 

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thank. for the info. I had a feeling g the valve was in the CVT case. I bought certified pre owned, so the car has the 7 year 100,000 powertrain coverage, I have 3 1/2 years left on it.
However, just knowing that in about 15,000 more miles the valve body and torque converter may go again is a problem. They were both replaced at 22,000 miles. Potentially having to deal with this two times over the next 3 1/2 years is a deal breaker for me.
 
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