Nissan and transmission issues can sadly go hand in hand. Nissan’s recent slew of parts issues has overshadowed the quality of the cars they produce. Many Nissan drivers still love their cars, and are loyal to the brand, and rightly so, as there is still plenty that their vehicles offer. With this in mind, in this article, we will take a closer look at Nissan’s transmission, learn more about the system, and how to detect issues in your own car.
Traditionally, there are two kinds of transmission: automatic and manual. Automatic transmissions change gears automatically by the car’s computer systems with minimal driver input. Manual transmission requires the driver to change gears using the clutch pedal and gear selector.
Just under a decade ago, Nissan released its first line of cars that use CVT transmission. CVT transmission stands for Continuously Variable Transmission. It provides simplified and more powerful delivery, making the transmission conserve fuel economy. This makes for a seamless gear shift, which the driver shouldn’t notice at all.
Many Nissan cars now feature CVT. Listed below are some of the most common lines that feature this transmission, though of course this is not an exhaustive list.
While designed to increase performance, for many Nissan models, the addition has had the reverse effect. Many drivers experience loss of power, jerky gear changes, transmission slippages, and leaks of the CVT coolant hose as well as CVT error messages. This not only brought Nissan intense scrutiny but also outrage from drivers who found their cars were suddenly unsafe.
In response to this, Nissan undertook a mass recall of the most concerning models and has doubled the warranty on all CVT models to a whopping 10 years/120,000 miles. This extended warranty covers all repairs, replacements, and towing needs. If you drive a Nissan with CVT, it’s worth checking if your car has been recalled or qualifies for a warranty extension. You should also treat your transmission with extra care.
Now that you know why you may need to pay extra mind to your Nissan’s transmission, next, let’s look at the signs and symptoms you should look for to detect transmission problems:
Changing gears should be effortless and unnoticeable by drivers. Therefore, any sounds heard when shifting gears should be treated as a sign of an issue with the transmission system.
Gear changes should happen immediately. Therefore, any delay or hesitation should be seen as an issue worth investigating.
An acrid or burning smell is commonly caused by the transmission fluid either leaking or overheating, but it can also be the transmission unit overheating too.
To change gears successfully, your Nissan uses pressurized transmission fluid. If there is a leak in the system, then this pressure won’t be achieved, and your car will struggle to change gears.
In manual cars, you will be able to feel that the gears are grinding against one another. Whereas, in an automatic transmission, gear changes will feel rough or jerky.
As mentioned, any noises from your transmission should be seen as a warning sign, and hearing noises when in neutral is a signal of low fluid levels or fluid that is expired.
Lights such as your check-engine light can illuminate because of transmission problems and definitely shouldn’t be ignored!
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