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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will start off by saying that my family loves our 2014 pathfinder platinum. It has been a good SUV despite the many minor things I have had to repair on it. It has just over 100k miles on it.

Now the sad stuff... We bought a travel trailer that weighs 3300 dry. I did a lot of research and I thought even loaded it seemed like the weight was well with the pathfinders 5k towing capacity. Used a weight distribution hitch, made sure the brakes were working properly and used tow mode. I live in the south in pretty flat conditions. First trip, we took the trailer camping only 15 minutes away, went great. A month later took it and a hour and half away, got back and we now have the dreaded CVT shudder. It can get bad enough where we have to let up on the gas or it will just keep shuddering. Took it to Nissan and they said it is 7.5k repair.

We are quite disappointed. If we had never took what I thought was a reasonable load well within the pathfinders specifications, we would still have a solid family vehicle. Now we have to decide on a repair that costs more than a used car, or just getting rid of it.

Has anyone had a similar experience, is there anything I can do? Is the pathfinder not actually designed to tow 3-4k pounds? If I repair the transmission am I going to just blow another one towing?

I love this SUV, but I really don't know what to do!

Thanks!
 

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I'm willing to bet that towing had nothing to do with your shudder. You are just lucky that you got 100,000 miles before the shudder appeared. It will appear for just about everyone eventually, towing or not. Did you have any of the CVT recalls done when they were available? It may need just a valve body replacement. I'd get a second quote.

Your dilemma is one faced by many here. Only you can decide whether the repair is worth it or not.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good info. Yes, all the CVT recalls have been done. The second quote is a good idea, I'll take it to a transmission shop rather than Nissan.

I understand that only I can decide whether it is worth it or not, but I was hoping for some confirmation bias where someone says "I fixed my CVT and towed for over 50k miles!" but it seems unlikely. Digging through these forums it looks like people can barely get the a CVT replacement to be shudder less without towing.
 

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2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV 4x4
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Like @JayArras said, the shudder can happen to any 2013+ pathfinder at any time.

Has any fluid/filter changes been done to the CVT in your 2014? This won't necessarily prevent this problem from happening, but it won't hurt either.

Doing a fluid change now most likely won't help.

I would shop around if you do decide to have a remanufactured CVT installed. A reman'd CVT through Nissan is about $3K. Figure on about $1500 in labor then fluids, supplies, etc.
 

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2019 Pathfinder S, 2002 Pathfinder SE 4x4
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Changing the CVT fluid made huge improvement in performance in my'19, changed at 32k miles. Definitely recommend doing so often with these trannies.
 

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We have a 2014 platinum as well. Had the transmission replaced years ago under warranty for the shudder problem. We have towed our Flagstaff A-Frame throughout the mid-west. I wouldn't plan to try through the mountains. So far so good with the camper. But I agree, we're in that spend money to fix or replace. I'd certainly get a quote from "real" transmission shops before you decide. Good luck to ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just a followup to my own post here for others that are dealing with this same issue. We went ahead with a local transmission shop that was able to replace the transmission for just over 5k. Nissan dealerships were quoting 7.5k at least, while local shops were in the 5-6k range. So far so good, our mileage went from 11 mpg to 16 in the city, so that was a good piece of evidence that the transmission was definitely having issues. I'm scared to tow again, but I guess Nissan warranties their transmission replacements for a whopping 1 year... so hopefully if we tow and it has issues we can get it taken care of in that time. Otherwise I am definitely selling this thing and never getting a CVT again and likely not a Nissan.

I did mention the valve body replacement to multiple shops, and they all but laughed at the idea. They have done it in the past and it has apparently never fixed the issue, and they always end up replacing the whole CVT. Its also crazy how many Nissans these shops go through, they are well versed in the garbage CVT.

We are camping in a couple months, so hopefully all goes well! Thanks everyone for the advice.
 

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Just a followup to my own post here for others that are dealing with this same issue. We went ahead with a local transmission shop that was able to replace the transmission for just over 5k. Nissan dealerships were quoting 7.5k at least, while local shops were in the 5-6k range.
I guess it depends on your location. My Nissan dealership quoted just under $6k.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here is the screenshot from my diagnostic and pricing. This came with a list of "repairs" needed that added up to 16k. I may have rudely laughed in their face telling me to spend more then the value of a vehicle on repairs.

The dealership in my area pretty much has a chokehold on the area and provide garbage service, so maybe I could have looked in another city.

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