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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, guys, I'll be that guy. My 15 Mo is at 38000 miles. For the first time, I am gonna switch to NS3 specific but non Nissan fluid. The plan is to drain and fill every time I do oil change (6mon or 5kmiles). We will see how it goes.
 

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A 5k CVT drain/fill interval is overkill IMO...

Maybe share more information on why?
 
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So then it did not come with NS3? If not then that change is not a good idea. Idemitsu is one of the only other fluids to use,(they supply fluid to Nissan) that is what I used. I have read about others using Amsoil and I would probably trust that. I will never use Castrol in anything, they made some very dangerous machining cutting fluid, that ruined paint on a tool box and any painted tools. Worse coolant ever.
I trust nothing they produce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is NS3 compatible as it says on the label, just not from Nissan. Why? It's cheaper than the Nissan NS3 and because I can lol The whole 4qt jar is $34 dollars. And it drains and fills 3.25 qt. So the price is pretty similar to Idamitsu but this is immediate ready at the local Autozone. Nissan NS3 is $110 for 6qts

If this CVT is that sensitive, then more frequent change wouldn't hurt if not should help. So we will find out. I just did a few drives since I put the new fluid in couple days ago and it drives very smooth. Will keep y'all updated.
 

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Interesting that your container of Castrol Transmax has the word "universal" on it, where mine doesn't. I wonder if there are two different versions of this fluid, or if they perhaps changed the packaging recently (I bought my fluid last Fall). They both list NS-1, 2, 3, so it shouldn't be an issue.

My position about CVT fluid remains largely unchanged, in that I feel NS-3 may not actually be needed in order for the CVT to run correctly. Aside from a design flaw and heat build-up issues (or lack of adequate tranny cooling) I feel the greatest, potential damage and failure to the CVT is going to be related to driving habits and auto accidents. I used Dexron VI in my 2003 AWD Murano for about the last six years (and used lots of Marvel Mystery Oil in the CVT as well) without ever changing the fluid until around 180,000 miles of use. The minor cold morning issues I had started in the last two years, shortly after being clipped in the rearend by a drunk driver. You can search for my threads about this if interested.

In any case, with my 2021 AWD MO, I bought the Castrol Transmax around 25,000 miles just in case I felt like changing the fluid to preserve the warranty. I chose to wait and sample the fluid every 10,000 miles, and so far there are no metal shavings present. However, I think member chidog brought up a good point in a different thread about the chemical properties of the CVT fluid breaking down and becoming less effective.

Draining out maybe 75% of the old fluid and infusing new fluid at 30,000 will (I would think) help refresh the remaining 25% of old fluid to a point where it will have better properties to allow the system to function more effectively. Doing what I'm doing (waiting until 75,000 miles or more) before adding new fluid may result in the 25% remainiing fluid being seriously more compromised and unable to be more dynamically "refreshed" by the infusion of new fluid. For example, where changing the fluid at 30,000 miles may result in a final fluid rating/integrity of 8 (on a 1-10 scale) doing so at 50,000 or 75,000 may only provide a fluid rating/integrity of 5. Changing it can never hurt, unless you end up a with a bad batch of fluid or introduce dirt into the system during the refill.

EDIT: Additionally, changing the CVT fluid more frequently might allow the old and new fluids to better coalesce and bind together, creating a more unified stream of fluid which might play a key role as it moves through various parts of the CVT system. As I mentioned in a past thread, after draining and refilling the CVT on my 2003 a few times in a few months, the old-new fluid's initial appearance after the first new infusion and drain seemed to reveal the two weren't mixing together perfectly. On the second and third drains the old-new mixture was more consistenty colored. Given this, I probably will change the CVT fluid soon, maybe at 55,000 miles. Incidentally, with those three quick fluid changes on my 2003, each drain and refill made the car drive smoother and smoother. I was amazed at the difference after the first drain and refill, and was really amazed when things got even smoother after the second drain and refill. The car was already running so smoothly that it didn't seem that anything could improve. So, new fluid does seem to make a difference. I'm guessing that a more degraded old-new fluid mixture might result in turbulence or cavitation within the CVT system as the fluids are kind of separating instead of working as one, which might be the cause of a loss of some degree of smoothness.
 

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I think one of the things that may stress JATCO CVTs is accelerating from a dead stop. This puts the most stress on the belt/chain and the surface it mates to IMO.

Toyota has improved on this (IMO) with their latest generation CVTs, it has a conventional "launch gear" 1st gear before transitioning to belt/chain continuous variable mode.
 
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There is no universal one size fits all transmission fluid. I could sell water in a jug and say it is compatible with NS3, do the study, I have posted that fellow from Weber college that does a long series on transmission fluids. All the different brands of transmissions are different and have different requirements from the fluid used. Yeah use what you want, in the end you will pay the price, for the new or reman transmission good luck.

Something else, the fluid itself is part of the engineering process of the transmission design, and even more so with CVT transmissions. Example using a fluid like Dexron or Max Life in a CVT, will do exactly what is not wanted, as those fluids are designed to cause clutch slip, they don't have a friction modifier that will give the metal CVT belt and slick pulleys the grip that they need to properly do their job and not just slide over each other. That is key with transmission fluids and why there is not a one size fits all fluid.
Transmission fluids are all about the proper additive package and the ratio's of them. There is no such thing as "compatible" transmission fluid, it is either the correct stuff or it is not. That Weber guy on youtube does a great job explaining it all.
 

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EDIT: Additionally, changing the CVT fluid more frequently might allow the old and new fluids to better coalesce and bind together, creating a more unified stream of fluid which might play a key role as it moves through various parts of the CVT system.
Sorry Im laughing out loud at this. Nothing in that statement would pass muster for a chemist. ** shakes my head at its absurdity **
 

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Cryogenix1 said:
EDIT: Additionally, changing the CVT fluid more frequently might allow the old and new fluids to better coalesce and bind together, creating a more unified stream of fluid which might play a key role as it moves through various parts of the CVT system.

Sorry Im laughing out loud at this. Nothing in that statement would pass muster for a chemist. ** shakes my head at its absurdity **
Seems to me that as a lubricating liquid (such as CVT fluid) breaks down over time due to heat, friction and "old age" it loses its viscosity and ability to lubricate correctly. I would think the loss of viscosity, alone, might create more "drag" on metal parts as compromised fluids flow through the system, possibly causing some kind of micro-turbulence that might create some degree of vibration within the CVT system. I'm not saying there are multiple streams of fluid caused by an old/new mixture that are going to react wildy like when MacReady stuck the heated wire in a Petri dish contaiminated with The Thing's blood. I'm suggesting that, on a molecular level (maybe atomic or sub atomic - I don't know), various incidental chemicals that make up the entire body of fluid might deteriorate enough where they no longer serve their optimal function and may simply be coasting through the system, not doing much of anything, but possibly causing flow problems. Perhaps the degradation of particular elements might cause the fluid to become frothy or sticky or bubbly, where they could alter pressure through a line as expected volume flow collapses or obstructs proper movement. Perhaps highly degraded, worn out fluid can act like a sub-atomic pyroclastic flow, where tiny fragments of degraded, hardened, micro-crap is being forced through the system and causing micro-jams, abrasions and coating surfaces to prevent 100% closure or sealing of something, such as a solenoid valve. Maybe that build-up of pyroclastic crap over time is what's the real enemy of the CVT. Or maybe it's mixing 75% new non-Nissan NS-x with 25% old/existing Nissan NS-x that's the problem, where the two different brands of fluid just won't play nicely together.

I'm not a chemist. I have common sense and a great curiosity, coupled with a amazing imagination. It was just a "theory" and nothing more. Possibly a funny one? Apparently so.
 
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