I had such bad luck with the 2003 AWD CVT that I'm somewhat determined to see if it was my style of driving that was a primary cause of those failures or something else. Due to so many CVT failures so quickly, regular fluid changes were never the issue, so that shouldn't factor into their demise. It's either a poor design, aggressive driving or auto accidents (major and minor) that are the key problem for them. Remember that I put something like 185,000 miles on the last CVT without ever changing the fluid (and I used DexVI instead of NS-1), and it ran great until getting P0868 and P1778 the last two years (and those codes and problems appeared not too long after being clipped in the rear by a drunk driver). Here again, a minor auto accident that bumps/jolts to the CVT components. Even while having that cold start issue during that period, the car still performed beautifully. The cloggerd CATs were the biggest problem.With automotive lube oils its the additive package that "wears" out, you won't see metal from that. Remember the fluid, especially for a CVT is an integral part of the transmission, it is just as important as any other part inside that aluminum box. Why play a costly game? Go to a casino and put a few hundred down that is a cheaper gamble than your transmission, and with that you have a chance to win something, gambling with your transmission is a lose, lose game with zero winnings.
Anyway, to that end, I've been extremely careful driving this 2021 with regard to the transmission, and I want to see if it can make it to 100,000 miles without needing the CVT fluid changed. I fully understand about the lubing additives breaking down over time (particularly within the scorching environment of the CVT) but I still feel that CVT fluid isn't as punished or likely to become as degraded as motor oil, and I think it has a far longer life than Nissan is letting on. And it's not about my time or the money involved. Changing the CVT fluid is easier than changing the engine oil. I'm just curious to see what I can get away with. The moment I see any significant change in the way the CVT performs, I'll consider changing its fluid.
I do plan to send 3-4 CVT fluid samples to Blackstone to compare properties. I'm curious to see how the used fluid compares to new fluid. I'm assuming there's a detailed breakdown of how various additives are holidng up and what their levels are within the fluid mixture. I thnk it would be very telling if very used fluids came back with numbers that closely resemble those of new/fresh fluid.