Transmission Hard Downshift - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-18-2019, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Transmission Hard Downshift

Hello all,

Started experiencing a jerk or a feel of hard downshift when slowing down.

It's happening between 30km/h to maybe 15km/h.

It feels like the car shifts from 3rd gear down to 1st gear. We get that spike from around 1k RPM to a little higher, then drop below 1k RPM.

Is there something wrong with my transmission or something else?

Car is 2015 and about 50,000KM.

Thanks

Last edited by fortesquieu; 04-18-2019 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Added car mileage
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-18-2019, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fortesquieu View Post
Hello all,

Started experiencing a jerk or a feel of hard downshift when slowing down.

It's happening between 30km/h to maybe 15km/h.

It feels like the car shifts from 3rd gear down to 1st gear. We get that spike from around 1k RPM to a little higher, then drop below 1k RPM.

Is there something wrong with my transmission or something else?

Thanks
Mine was doing something similar. It did it some days and others it did not. Not sure what the reason for it was. I ended up turning off the engine brake via CVTz50 app and an OBD dongle. Now problem is gone.
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post #3 of 28 Old 04-18-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Mine was doing something similar. It did it some days and others it did not. Not sure what the reason for it was. I ended up turning off the engine brake via CVTz50 app and an OBD dongle. Now problem is gone.
Oh yea, it does feel like engine braking too.
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-18-2019, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by vortex View Post
Mine was doing something similar. It did it some days and others it did not. Not sure what the reason for it was. I ended up turning off the engine brake via CVTz50 app and an OBD dongle. Now problem is gone.
Oh yea, it does feel like engine braking too.
I'm not sure about your case, but in my case it seemed to be software related to the engine braking. As soon as I disabled it, the CVT smoothed out completely when coming to a stop. Even at coasting the car feels much lighter and not as bogged down by the engine braking.
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-18-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure about your case, but in my case it seemed to be software related to the engine braking. As soon as I disabled it, the CVT smoothed out completely when coming to a stop. Even at coasting the car feels much lighter and not as bogged down by the engine braking.
Would there be any safety concern without engine braking?
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by vortex View Post
I'm not sure about your case, but in my case it seemed to be software related to the engine braking. As soon as I disabled it, the CVT smoothed out completely when coming to a stop. Even at coasting the car feels much lighter and not as bogged down by the engine braking.
Would there be any safety concern without engine braking?
That's for you to answer for yourself. I didnt engineer the car so I cant speak for the safety features of it. You'll have to decide for yourself. I personally have always driven cars that did not have engine braking. My personal preference is to be in full control of my brakes. If I want more braking power, I press down harder. I dont need an engine to help me slow down just to stop randomly and let me take over from there on...
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 08:18 AM
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Yeah, the engine braking is annoying, but it's not a feature I would want to disable. I have just learned to ignore it.

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post #8 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 08:48 AM
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While on this topic. I find my transmission is much much quieter when I'm coming to a stop. It seems like the engine braking would cause it to slow down too quickly and it would whine a bit until the engine braking stopped. Im no engineer but to me it seemed like the CVT was put to allot of work every time I came to a stop. Now it no longer whines. Could the engine braking be putting extra stress on the transmission and wearing it down faster? The CVT belts getting tightened up hard to assist with the braking?

Might be a reason why these things fail so quickly...

I don't know, but like I said, to me it seems like my CVT does much less work without this feature. I can tell just by listening to it when slowing down using my brakes. No longer whines and no longer feel any jolts......
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by vortex View Post
While on this topic. I find my transmission is much much quieter when I'm coming to a stop. It seems like the engine braking would cause it to slow down too quickly and it would whine a bit until the engine braking stopped. Im no engineer but to me it seemed like the CVT was put to allot of work every time I came to a stop. Now it no longer whines. Could the engine braking be putting extra stress on the transmission and wearing it down faster? The CVT belts getting tightened up hard to assist with the braking?

Might be a reason why these things fail so quickly...

I don't know, but like I said, to me it seems like my CVT does much less work without this feature. I can tell just by listening to it when slowing down using my brakes. No longer whines and no longer feel any jolts......
I find it strange that you would feel the engine brake engaging when coming to a stop. Engine braking engagement requirements are a 5 to 7 degree slope down and speed above 20 - 25 mph.


I come down a 10+ degree hill almost daily. SL is 35 mph and I usually let off the gas at about that point. EB holds the speed to under 40 mph all the way down. If I happened to hit a red light on the way down, EB cuts off as soon as I hit the brakes, and won't resume until I hit about 25 mph and then I can feel the car start to drag if I don't hit the gas.


I would reset the EB and go to the dealer and take a ride with a tech under hilly conditions. On a hill, from a dead stop, you should be able to take your foot off the brake WITHOUT touching the gas pedal (Coasting up to speed.) and feel the EB engage at about 20 - 25 mph. Anytime sooner, then there is an issue with the CVT's EB function. This is also something you might want to do before going to the dealer to confirm that the system is NOT working as it should.


Under no circumstances would I tell anyone at the dealership about using CVTz50 on your Murano.


Hope this helps you out.


Have a good day.
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 07:39 PM
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I think some definition of terms is needed here.

I define "engine braking" as the drag the engine exerts via the drivetrain when it's given no gas. In that condition, the engine slows down and in doing so, slows down the drivetrain, and therefore, the vehicle. This effect is much more pronounced in vehicles with manual transmissions since there is a direct mechanical connection between engine and the drive wheels.

It sounds from the discussion above like there is an assumption that "engine braking" includes application of the brakes in some fashion. This is not within the capabilities of most vehicles as I understand them.

I do know that in some vehicles, when cruise control is engaged and one goes down a long steep hill, the vehicle may physically apply the brakes to slow the car down and bring it back within the speed variance from the cruise set point which the cruise control system is designed to tolerate. But this is not engine braking, this is application of the brakes by the computer systems in the car.

I'm asking in the interest of establishing clarity of terms and meaning.

Does the discussion above assume that the vehicle is applying the brakes, or that it is slowing down solely because of the engine's resistance to turning when no fuel is being given to it?

Paul, I'm especially interested in your thoughts, as you clearly have the knowledge to help us define these terms. It also sounds from your post like there may be a system involved which is not familiar to me.

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post #11 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 08:54 PM
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I think some definition of terms is needed here.

I define "engine braking" as the drag the engine exerts via the drivetrain when it's given no gas. In that condition, the engine slows down and in doing so, slows down the drivetrain, and therefore, the vehicle. This effect is much more pronounced in vehicles with manual transmissions since there is a direct mechanical connection between engine and the drive wheels.

It sounds from the discussion above like there is an assumption that "engine braking" includes application of the brakes in some fashion. This is not within the capabilities of most vehicles as I understand them.

I do know that in some vehicles, when cruise control is engaged and one goes down a long steep hill, the vehicle may physically apply the brakes to slow the car down and bring it back within the speed variance from the cruise set point which the cruise control system is designed to tolerate. But this is not engine braking, this is application of the brakes by the computer systems in the car.

I'm asking in the interest of establishing clarity of terms and meaning.

Does the discussion above assume that the vehicle is applying the brakes, or that it is slowing down solely because of the engine's resistance to turning when no fuel is being given to it?

Paul, I'm especially interested in your thoughts, as you clearly have the knowledge to help us define these terms. It also sounds from your post like there may be a system involved which is not familiar to me.
No brakes are involved in EBing of the Murano. Strictly controlled by the transmission and fuel system.


As the Murano reaches speed and angle, two things happen:


1. Torque Converter stays locked up. Now the drivetrain is dragged down by the engine speed. Normally, when letting off the gas on the level ground, TC disengages to allow coasting.


2. Fuel injectors are shut off totally, no fuel. Now the engine is acting as a brake. This is why you will still get a slight increase in speed as you go down a hill. Normally, fuel injectors are always on.

My understanding is that there's no Jake brake as in a diesel engine, which will hold the down the speed better on a hill.


This was taken from a tech bulletin that I read back when I was researching the 2003 CVT no go issue. I've been looking for it to link to, but too much time as passed and I can't find it now.


Have a good day.


PS Also, I believe the variable valve train comes into play, increasing cylinder pressure by having the exhaust valves open a little later in the exhaust stroke.

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Last edited by PaulDay; 04-19-2019 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Rephase fuel to injectors Add PS
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-20-2019, 08:18 AM
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In my case, when slowing down, meaning pressing on the brakes when coming to a stop. I feel an additional force of braking happening in the background. So if I let go of my brake pedal, I still feel the car slowing down drastically from about 30km/h to 15km/h before it releases and then the car goes into coast. This happens on flat roads everytime I'm coming to a stop. I dont know the technical term for this but in my opinion, this is engine braking as the cars engine is slowing down my vehicle. This is the exact feature that I disabled. I do find when In cruise control, my car still adjusts its speed via engine brake as on a dark road I do no see the brake lights activate but the car is slowing down when the car ahead slows down a bit.

So just to clarify the confusion. The festure I turned is the additional to my brake pedal slowing down of my vehicle when I was coming to a stop. Flat road, down hill, up hill....
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-20-2019, 08:24 AM
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Further to my above post. The below link is the feature I disabled. Its a Nissan video explaining their Active Engine Braking. It doesnt mention anything about only working down hill, so I cant speak for that. Appears to only emphasize that it is used when slowing down. So in assuming flat roads as well..... check out video below and you'll know exactly what I have disabled.

Notice in the demonstration of braking in a straight line. This is what I hated. The engine braking would assist me with braking so I didnt need to press the brake pedal hard. This is demonstrated as the yellow line. Then when the engine braking stops, you have to press down on the brakes a bit harder. This is that small red line near the end.

https://youtu.be/UKy263GM-QY
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-20-2019, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by vortex View Post
In my case, when slowing down, meaning pressing on the brakes when coming to a stop. I feel an additional force of braking happening in the background. So if I let go of my brake pedal, I still feel the car slowing down drastically from about 30km/h to 15km/h before it releases and then the car goes into coast. This happens on flat roads everytime I'm coming to a stop. I dont know the technical term for this but in my opinion, this is engine braking as the cars engine is slowing down my vehicle. This is the exact feature that I disabled. I do find when In cruise control, my car still adjusts its speed via engine brake as on a dark road I do no see the brake lights activate but the car is slowing down when the car ahead slows down a bit.

So just to clarify the confusion. The festure I turned is the additional to my brake pedal slowing down of my vehicle when I was coming to a stop. Flat road, down hill, up hill....
Does CVTz50 show the torque converter locked-up at the speed you're observing the above engine braking?

I only see the torque converter lock-up at speeds above ~25 mph (~40 kph) for my Murano. I would think that engine braking can only occur when the torque converter is locked-up...

My 2003 had more aggressive/noticable engine braking, and the torque converter unlock was more noticeable. To me the 3rd gens are much smoother, other than the silly programming that keeps revs at 1000 rpms during steady cruising at around ~25 - 45 mph (~40 - 72 kph)

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post #15 of 28 Old 04-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vortex View Post
In my case, when slowing down, meaning pressing on the brakes when coming to a stop. I feel an additional force of braking happening in the background. So if I let go of my brake pedal, I still feel the car slowing down drastically from about 30km/h to 15km/h before it releases and then the car goes into coast. This happens on flat roads everytime I'm coming to a stop. I dont know the technical term for this but in my opinion, this is engine braking as the cars engine is slowing down my vehicle. This is the exact feature that I disabled. I do find when In cruise control, my car still adjusts its speed via engine brake as on a dark road I do no see the brake lights activate but the car is slowing down when the car ahead slows down a bit.

So just to clarify the confusion. The festure I turned is the additional to my brake pedal slowing down of my vehicle when I was coming to a stop. Flat road, down hill, up hill....
I would reenable the EB and use CVTz50 to monitor the TC unlock speed when letting off the gas pedal. From your description, it sounds like it's not disengaging at the proper speed, which should be between 20 and 25 mph, depending on all conditions.


Watching the video, I did notice that it was a 2nd gen Murano. I'm not sure that the 3rd gen is as aggressive using the EB system. I see at the end, the EB enabled car slowed drastically, same as the non-enabled EB which showed brake lights. I can see the EB causing an issue when it's that aggressive in a corner and a car is following closely, not seeing any brake lights come on, but the distance is rapidly closing.


At the beginning, I'm not seeing the point of hitting the brakes three times instead of just a steady pressure coming up to the light on the non-EB part. I would only do that when coming down a long hill where holding the brakes will over heat the rotors.


Yes, my 2003 Murano was more aggressive on the EB going down hills, but never noticed it when slowing down.


Have a good day.
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