Changed the CVT fluid on my 2011 Murano SV with 51k miles over the weekend. Had the car since new and feels that it has lost some of its smooth and responsiveness after a few years. Wanted to see if replacing the CVT fluid would restore some of that new car feel!
Had some trouble removing the locking CVT dipstick, but after re-examining photos posted, realized I was pressing on the wrong tab! Once it was removed, I checked the CVT fluid and it was quite low. After 10 minutes of driving and shift into all gears, the fluid was still a tad below the MIN mark! Damn, shouldíve checked this sooner. The service manual said to only use lint-free paper to wipe the dipstick, so I did. On the paper it looks quite clear, with a hint of darkness around the edge of the mark.
Jacked up the car, took out my newly purchased 10mm HEX bit socket (always looking for excuse to buy new tools
), and carefully opened the drain bolt. The bolt was much larger in diameter than the oil pan bolt, and lots of dark fluid came gushing out. Although the fluid looked clear on paper, what came out looked pretty dark to me. About 4.3qt of fluid came out.
I filled with 4.5qt of Nissan NS-2 CVT fluid (clear water-like green color), the level is right around the low mark. With 5qt, itís a tad below the hot mark after 10 minutes of driving, and I left it there.
Now we came to the most important part of the post. Did I notice a difference? Yes, ABSOLUTELY! The car feels quieter, lighter, and more responsive. On local stop/go traffic, the difference is not as obvious, but as soon as I started accelerating, the difference becomes quite clear. The car responds a lot faster, and accelerates a lot more effortlessly. Wow! While I canít say itís good as new, I feel Iíve definitely gotten back some of that new car feel!
So, is $110 (5 qt of CVT fluid) worth it? For me, thatís a definite yes. After all, I do these things not because I want to save money, but because I want the car to perform well. So if you are contemplating whether to replace your CVT fluid or not, and you can afford the cost, Iíd say why not? Youíll prolong the life of the CVT, and likely gain some noticeable improvement in performance. Where else can you find such performance gain for $100 and simple work?
Anyway, here are some pictures:
CVT dipstick inserted 180 degree no locking:
10mm CVT drain bolt:
Almost done draining:
CVT drain plug (M??) [left] and oil pan drain plug (M12-1.25) [right]
CVT rubber gasket, oil pan crush gasket:
Now, the real question is, should I do this again? After all, only 50% of the fluid is new.
But at $100 a pop, I think I'll let the frugal side of me take over and ponder about this for a year or two.