2010 Murano CVT fluid change question - Nissan Murano Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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2010 Murano CVT fluid change question

Hello to all! I appreciate and say thanks for all replies in advance :-)

So I am the proud new owner of a 2010 Murano LE with all the toys available at that time. It has 110K on the clock. So as part of the maintenance I do on any used car I acquire, I go to Nissan to have the trans fluid changed. Long story short, I get turned away based on the mileage and no history of prior CVT fluid changes.

So I do research and find you are supposed to check it every 30k and change every 60k. Assuming their concern is stirring up and recycling gunk back through the transmission possible causing failure.

This being the case, instead of just a dump and refill, wouldn't dropping the pan, cleaning out what's in the bottom of the pan, changing the pan gasket and trans fluid filter take care of the bulk of any accumulated sediment in the system and thereby reduce the risk of transmission damage? I know the trans cooler will have some gunk too but would that be a major concern?

I really want to change the fluid but not at the expense of damaging the transmission. What are everyone's thoughts? Please note I do not currently perceive any issues with the transmission at this time...this would be purely preventative maintenance!
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 03:46 PM
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just drain & refill what's in the pan and change the filter; the pan holds 4-5 quarts (roughly half of total system capacity). then in 15-30k, do a double drain & refill with filter change and continue same every 30-60k thereafter as it pleases you. drop the pan if you want, be sure to report back your findings. what was your cvt deterioration number?
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi surban1. I would have to have a dealer tell me the deterioration number. As it is, 2 dealers wont touch it! I was told the filter is inside the tranny...but I believe I saw pics of it online visible somewhere in the wheel well.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 04:20 PM
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I thought the dealer checked it and figured they gave you the deterioration#, oh well. there's a regular screen type thing on the pickup end in the pan but there's an external filter behind the driver wheel well cover. it's cheap, like ~$15. also, go with the Nissan fluid, don't mess around. good luck and kindly report back (with pics if possible) of what you find in pan if you do drop it.
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Nah, I just got the car Saturday and was gonna do brake flush, coolant flush and change tranny fluid. One dealer will drop the pan and add fluid but only if I sign something saying they are not responsible if the tranny craps out! They know the tranny is covered to 120k but say that Nissan wont cover it if I cant show proof of consistent fluid changes.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by thisismyyear View Post
Nah, I just got the car Saturday and was gonna do brake flush, coolant flush and change tranny fluid. One dealer will drop the pan and add fluid but only if I sign something saying they are not responsible if the tranny craps out! They know the tranny is covered to 120k but say that Nissan wont cover it if I cant show proof of consistent fluid changes.
Dropping the pan as you proposed is about the most you can do to reduce the chance of having problems, but have you tried taking a sample of the fluid through the dipstick tube? It might give you an idea of how good (or bad) the fluid in the system is. If you have an Android-based phone and a cheap ELM OBDII interface, you can buy the CVTz50 app for $5 from Google Play, which can do CVT diagnostics (including reading the deterioration value) and much more. The website is CVTz50 - CVT diagnostics with ELM327 (...the folks on the 3rd generation Murano forums rave about it--you can search for the threads).

BTW...did you buy the car from a dealership? If so, did they give you any kind of warranty?
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-06-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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@ i need coffee...thanks for that info. I will look into that adapter! I have an OBD2 adapter that just reads fault codes lol.

I purchased the car from a Hyundai dealer with no additional warranty. I know the tranny is covered for 10 yrs/120k...or in my case til next March or almost 10k more miles. I am planning to bring it to Nissan tomorrow to see if we can determine the condition of the CVT fluid. Will go from there...
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-08-2019, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by thisismyyear View Post
Hello to all! I appreciate and say thanks for all replies in advance :-)

So I am the proud new owner of a 2010 Murano LE with all the toys available at that time. It has 110K on the clock. So as part of the maintenance I do on any used car I acquire, I go to Nissan to have the trans fluid changed. Long story short, I get turned away based on the mileage and no history of prior CVT fluid changes.

So I do research and find you are supposed to check it every 30k and change every 60k. Assuming their concern is stirring up and recycling gunk back through the transmission possible causing failure.

This being the case, instead of just a dump and refill, wouldn't dropping the pan, cleaning out what's in the bottom of the pan, changing the pan gasket and trans fluid filter take care of the bulk of any accumulated sediment in the system and thereby reduce the risk of transmission damage? I know the trans cooler will have some gunk too but would that be a major concern?

I really want to change the fluid but not at the expense of damaging the transmission. What are everyone's thoughts? Please note I do not currently perceive any issues with the transmission at this time...this would be purely preventative maintenance!
Need to go to another Nissan dealership. I got the cvt oil changed for the first time on my 2012 Murano recently with 140K mileage. The service advisor was of the opinion that change wasn't required but I got it done for my peace of mind. It was a dump/refill and not a flush. Now I have 146K on the clock and the car drives smooth, fingers crossed. If you are handy then do it yourself. Just make sure you use the Nissan cvt fluid only. Good luck
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-11-2019, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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So as it turns out, I went back to the original dealer who gave me the hard time who said I'd need to sign a waiver for them to change the fluid lol...saw a different advisor and the CVT fluid was changed with no issues...along with a bunch of other stuff. Now I'll drive the car and see how the tranny behaves. If it craps out before next March I get a new one! 🙂
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-13-2019, 12:57 PM
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The transmission does have a filter. If it's like my 2010 model, it is located externally at the front left side of the transmission, best accessed from the wheel well. It cost around $15.

I completely exchange the fluid by accessing it at the cooler line. It's an iterative process of starting the car to pump out the old fluid and refilling through the dipstick, until the fluid comes out clean.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-13-2019, 08:21 PM
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The transmission does have a filter. If it's like my 2010 model, it is located externally at the front left side of the transmission, best accessed from the wheel well. It cost around $15.

I completely exchange the fluid by accessing it at the cooler line. It's an iterative process of starting the car to pump out the old fluid and refilling through the dipstick, until the fluid comes out clean.
The Nissan part number for the external CVT filter is 31726-1XE0A.

I wouldn't recommend a complete flush for a car with 110k miles with no history--just an oil pan drain/refill. I don't even think Nissan recommends flushes at all anymore regardless of mileage.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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I don't know why you would do only a partial change. I don't do partial changes with my engine oil. The fluid that came out didn't look too bad.

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post #13 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 12:49 PM
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There are different schools of thought about automatic transmission maintenance, and they are held by people with considerable experience.

One school says to do a power flush and filter change of a conventional automatic every 30K miles, and continue indefinitely. (One of my transmission gurus holds this opinion.)

Another school says that as the transmission ages, doing power flushes may break up deposits and plug passages. That school counsels just doing a fluid drop and filter change at regular intervals.

I think either one is a lot better than doing nothing, which is all too common. But when it comes to a CVT transmission, I'm not clear on how to interpret either one. If in doubt, it's probably not a bad idea to take the less aggressive option.

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post #14 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 12:54 PM
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I don't know anyone, including shops, that do power flushes on transmissions. At shops the machines simply exchange the fluid under the power from the transmission... no more forceful than operating conditions.

For a neglected transmission there may be some truth to loosening deposits.

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 03:23 PM
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I don't know anyone, including shops, that do power flushes on transmissions. At shops the machines simply exchange the fluid under the power from the transmission... no more forceful than operating conditions.

For a neglected transmission there may be some truth to loosening deposits.
You may not know of anyone, but perhaps you haven't asked? Or perhaps the terminology was different? Take a moment and enter "transmission power flush" in Google and you'll get about about 26,900,000 results (I did) with plenty of local options to perform the procedure.

I do know shops which do power flushes. I haven't had one done in the last 3-5 years, but I've had a number of them done in various cars, including Audi, Ford and Chevrolet. It's a very common procedure. I can also affirm that I've never ever had any problem or malfunction after having a power flush done.

A fluid change which did not include a filter change would seem insufficient to me.

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