2004 Murano and Valvoline CVT Fluid - Nissan Murano Forum
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#1 Old 02-07-2011, 02:23 PM
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Question 2004 Murano and Valvoline CVT Fluid

I've seen some horror stories/opinions on using non-Nissan fluid in a Murano CVT. Thus, I am prompted to ask this question after I had my fluid changed last week at a Valvoline Instant Oil change place.

I was skeptical given that I've read many places are clueless as to the requirements of a Nissan CVT transmission.

However, our Murano has 95k on it and I was considering getting the fluid changed since we're in a city area and have rough driving conditions. As far as I know it had never been changed.

The Valvoline guy was knowledgeable about CVT's (he has a Honda or something) and was aware fully that my Murano needed the correct fluid.

He even showed me the bottle which was this stuff:

Valvoline Full Synthetic Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid

Says it is equivalent of Nissan NS-2 (for what it's worth).

Since he allowed me to inspect the bottle and I felt comfortable that they weren't ruining my transmission I had them do the drain and fill.

Was this a mistake to do or is the jury still out on Valvoline's CVT fluid? I can't find it on their website but I do find it for sale at various places.
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#2 Old 02-07-2011, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by comfreak View Post
Was this a mistake to do or is the jury still out on Valvoline's CVT fluid? I can't find it on their website but I do find it for sale at various places.
Actually, it looks like you are the jury.

If a year from now you post that your MO is running just fine then we will know it is plausible that Valvoline's CVT fluid is fine for the MO. However, if in a month or two you post that your CVT isn't shifting ratios properly then we will know it was not a good idea. Let's hope it is the former!

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#3 Old 02-07-2011, 03:38 PM
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Actually, it looks like you are the jury.
I was afraid of that.

So that begs the question, what should I be looking for in terms of performance? Jagged ratio shifting? Slower response?

Would you think if there was going to be an issue it would manifest within weeks, months or years?

Some of these probably can't be answered I'm sure.
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#4 Old 02-07-2011, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comfreak View Post
I've seen some horror stories/opinions on using non-Nissan fluid in a Murano CVT. Thus, I am prompted to ask this question after I had my fluid changed last week at a Valvoline Instant Oil change place.

Was this a mistake to do or is the jury still out on Valvoline's CVT fluid?
While in general it's better to err on the side of changing fluids sooner rather than later, to me the mistake was getting your CVT fluid changed when it wasn't needed. Unless, of course, the fluid appeared varnished or milky, or the Fluid Deterioration Date from a Consult-II analysis indicted that changing was needed. Even with stop and go (city) driving, 95K miles sounds too early to me to require new CVT fluid.
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#5 Old 02-07-2011, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nafddur View Post
Unless, of course, the fluid appeared varnished or milky, or the Fluid Deterioration Date from a Consult-II analysis indicted that changing was needed.
What should the fluid look like when it is clean?

The stuff they showed me coming out was fairly dark with a minor green hint I'd say.
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#6 Old 02-07-2011, 05:04 PM
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Hope it works for you. It is a little cheaper than nissan ns-2 but since you are still under the cvt extended warranty it would have been better to have waited till it expires before experimenting on a new fluid equivalent. I'm crossing my fingers for you.
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#7 Old 02-07-2011, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by comfreak View Post
I was afraid of that.

So that begs the question, what should I be looking for in terms of performance? Jagged ratio shifting? Slower response?

Would you think if there was going to be an issue it would manifest within weeks, months or years?
I really don't know. My best guess would be either belt slippage that would result in jerky acceleration or belt failure that would result in no movement at all.

The MO's CVT is similar to a conventional auto transmission in that it has a torque converter, valve body, and a single forward clutch (instead of multiple clutches for each gear) and uses the CVT fluid to transmit force, lubricate components and transfer heat. Regular ATF can take care of all that.

Where the CVT differs is the two variable-diameter pulleys and the multiple-segment push belt. The pulley-to-belt contact path has to be lubricated to prevent wear due to the metal-to-metal contact, yet no slippage is allowed otherwise power could not be transferred. The CVT fluid is designed to transmit force, lubricate components and transfer heat just like regular ATF but it also has prevent metal-on-metal slippage under high pressure. That is what makes it unique.

The engineers/chemists at Valvoline are fully aware of Nissan's CVT requirements. If they claim their CVT fluid is compatible with Nissan's NS-2 then maybe, just maybe, it really is. It was only a matter of time before a major oil manufacturer came out with an NS-2 substitute. There are too many JATCO CVT-equipped Nissans and Jeeps on the road for them not to come up with a viable substitute.

I really would not worry. However, if something bad were to happen to your CVT, remember I am just some loony guy giving out dubious advice.

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#8 Old 02-07-2011, 06:18 PM
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i would not worry about it, valvoline are highly respected in their field, if they claim that their oil will do the job then it will. I can't imagine that with as many cvt types trans out there now that mnf were just going to sit idle by and watch the oem type guys rake in the cash for this stuff. It was just a matter of time. What did they charge you , if i can ask?
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#9 Old 02-08-2011, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for the optimism. That was my feeling at the time that Valvoline would not state this on their product if they didn't believe it to be true. Otherwise it would be much more costly to be repairing CVTs which failed due to their product. Given njjoe's description of CVT mechanics, this is a fairly complex fluid to provide lubrication without slipping.

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Originally Posted by edmontonmurano View Post
What did they charge you , if i can ask?
$10 per quart (10 quarts) and then $17 for the service itself. Like $125 or so with tax. Not a bad deal which is why I caved.
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#10 Old 01-24-2013, 06:17 PM
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Valvoline CVT statement

I am looking to change my CVT fluid on my Maxima and Murano as per Valvoline web site their fluid is compatible with Nissan and a few other brand CVT's

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/cvt_fluid.pdf
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#11 Old 01-24-2013, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Philip View Post
I am looking to change my CVT fluid on my Maxima and Murano as per Valvoline web site their fluid is compatible with Nissan and a few other brand CVT's

http://www.valvoline.com/pdf/cvt_fluid.pdf
Why are you doing this? Have the fluid tested with the Nissan analysis tool and if it says you're OK, don't change it.

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#12 Old 01-25-2013, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by comfreak View Post
I've seen some horror stories/opinions on using non-Nissan fluid in a Murano CVT. Thus, I am prompted to ask this question after I had my fluid changed last week at a Valvoline Instant Oil change place.

I was skeptical given that I've read many places are clueless as to the requirements of a Nissan CVT transmission.

However, our Murano has 95k on it and I was considering getting the fluid changed since we're in a city area and have rough driving conditions. As far as I know it had never been changed.

The Valvoline guy was knowledgeable about CVT's (he has a Honda or something) and was aware fully that my Murano needed the correct fluid.

He even showed me the bottle which was this stuff:

Valvoline Full Synthetic Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid

Says it is equivalent of Nissan NS-2 (for what it's worth).

Since he allowed me to inspect the bottle and I felt comfortable that they weren't ruining my transmission I had them do the drain and fill.

Was this a mistake to do or is the jury still out on Valvoline's CVT fluid? I can't find it on their website but I do find it for sale at various places.
The problem is if you purchased an extended warranty with Nissan and you change the CVT oil with something other than Nissan's brand you have pretty much voided the warranty. Otherwise your choice and risk at the same time what transmission oil to replace the Nissan oil with.
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#13 Old 01-25-2013, 10:32 AM
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I agree with a previous response about how common the Jatco CVTs are used in most Nissans and in some Jeep cars, so maybe the Vavoline CVT fluid has been formulated correctly to work fine in the Murano's CVT due to proper testing done by Valvoline on a large number of test cars available. Time will tell if your CVT likes the Valvoline brand CVT fluid or not. I hope it works fine, so I can start using a less expensive fluid than the factory stuff.

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#14 Old 02-01-2013, 07:17 AM
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i was at a dealer asking questions about my cvt.it was acting up.i also asked wat fluid.do i have to use nissan cvt?he said no.as long as it is ns-2.as of now i think valvaline is the only company making the true ns-2 fluid.anywho.i did my own change,with the valvaline ns-2.it made it better.but ended up goin to dealer and was told bad cvt.needed a new one.the never questioned me about wat fluid i used.hell u can tell just by the smell if it is the right fluid.the stuff is nasty.but again anywho.i was told by dealer,doesnt matter the brand as lond as it is ns-2.and also they said do not fill it completely to the full make.they explained in long terms.that the cvt fluid expands 4-5 times more than regular auto trans fluid.so if you drive it 15 min and check and it is on the full make.when you drive it and hour it will be over full.thus can cause some issues as far as the tcm not letting the trans operate normally.long story but that is wat i was told.they said they only learned this 2 yrs ago about the cvt.so just tellin ya wat i was told.leave it a bit low if you travel long distances
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#15 Old 02-01-2013, 08:51 AM
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My problem, other than Sledge's unreadable post above, is how can the Valvoline fluid be compatible with so many different CVT's? If it said it was a replacement for just the Nissan NS-2 I would probably be OK with that. But because they look like they are trying to be all things CVT with this fluid, I would be a little skeptical.

It's been a year now since the original post, I wonder if the OP has any feedback on how the car has been running with the Valvoline fluid. I certainly would like to know there is an alternative.

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