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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching, but I couldn't find a writeup on completely exchanging the CVT fluid. I don't want to do just a partial replacement with a pan drop. I'd like to exchange all the fluid. Is it as simple as the cooler line method? My 2010 Murano has 80K.
 

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I'd ask a service person at the dealer how much they charge and then ask how it's done. Ask if they connect to the cooler line.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why do you think the CVT fluid needs to be replaced at only 80K miles?
Because I work as an engineer for a bearing manufacturer, and I see many manufacturers of transmissions, differentials, and transfer cases subscribing to the troubling trend of going to fill-for--life fluids. I see what happens to these bearings after testing. They don't last long.


These applications have some of the dirtiest, debris-filled lubricant charges, and I see the bearings fail from debris denting after testing. Manufacturers are now asking the bearing people to step up the materials used to make bearings, which have been made continuously from 52100 steel, and are otherwise continued to be made from this steel.


Also, the engineer that handles the bearings for CVT transmissions told me that these bearings are not serviceable at the shop level. They need to be replaced at the factory.


I'm a firm believer that fluid should be replaced after break-in to remove the debris that is generated during break-in. The fluid maintenance schedule should then be continued to replace the fluid that has broken down from shear and oxidized from heat.


I will continue to replace the fluid on a timely schedule, because the $100 I spend on a complete fluid exchange will hopefully allow the transmission to last the life of the vehicle and I can save myself the expense of replacing the transmission. I keep my vehicles for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why do you think the CVT fluid needs to be replaced at only 80K miles?
Because I work as an engineer for a bearing manufacturer, and I see many manufacturers of transmissions, differentials, and transfer cases subscribing to the troubling trend of going to fill-for-life fluids. I see what happens to these bearings after testing. They don't last long.


These applications have some of the dirtiest, debris-filled lubricant charges, and I see the bearings fail from debris denting after testing. Manufacturers are now asking the bearing people to step up the materials used to make bearings, which have been made continuously from 52100 steel, and are otherwise continued to be made from this steel.


Also, the engineer that handles the bearings for CVT transmissions told me that these bearings are not serviceable at the shop level. They need to be replaced at the factory.


I'm a firm believer that fluid should be replaced after break-in to remove the debris that is generated during break-in. The fluid maintenance schedule should then be continued to replace the fluid that has broken down from shear and oxidized from heat.


I will continue to replace the fluid on a timely schedule, because the $100 I spend on a complete fluid exchange will hopefully allow the transmission to last the life of the vehicle and I can save myself the expense of replacing the transmission. I keep my vehicles for a long time.
 

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Kestas, your logic is sound. Earlier is better than later. Just be aware that Nissan's super-secret unobtanium-based transmission lube will cost a lot more than $100.
 

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Good points. But at only 12 years old and with only 118K of non severe miles on my 04 SE Mo, I'm confident that I have lots of life left in the OEM CVT fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found the fluid at Amazon for under $6/qt -- Castrol Transmax ATF Black CVT Transmission Fluid. It is "suitable for Nissan NS-1 and NS-2."


BTW, the "edit" feature for posting leaves a lot to be desired.
 

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Try the maintenance section. Lots of discussion on the matter. I have done mine at 80K. Now at 113k - 04 SE.
 

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Everything I've read online and my 2011 manual says change it at 60k miles. My new to me Mo had 62k on it when I took it in and had it checked. They said it had the original fluid but it was still pretty clean. I went ahead and had them change it, per what I had read, not per their recommendation necessarily.
For $250, the Stealership changed the fluid. For what I understand is potentially a $7k CVT, I'll spend a couple hundred bucks every few years to preserve it.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Are you sure? The manual for my car says to check it at 60K, not change it. You look for things like milkyness, darkening, or chunks.
 

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Are you sure? The manual for my car says to check it at 60K, not change it. You look for things like milkyness, darkening, or chunks.
My 04 FSM definitely doesn't say to change the CVT fluid at 60K miles. If I remember correctly, however (I haven't checked that part of the maintenance section in many years), if we subjected our cars to severe driving conditions, the FSM might have recommended getting the CVT fluid deterioration date checked at 60K. Under normal driving conditions, even the fluid check isn't required at that low mileage.
 

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Everything I've read online and my 2011 manual says change it at 60k miles. My new to me Mo had 62k on it when I took it in and had it checked. They said it had the original fluid but it was still pretty clean. I went ahead and had them change it, per what I had read, not per their recommendation necessarily.
For $250, the Stealership changed the fluid. For what I understand is potentially a $7k CVT, I'll spend a couple hundred bucks every few years to preserve it.

YMMV


Oil degrades from time and heat. It doesn't matter what it looks like. Driving a transmission for years and years, 50,000+ miles is naive, regardless of what the manual says.

If I still have ours at 30K it's getting changed.
 

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I heard that if your going to change it, don't use any of these "compatible" fluids, and only to use the real genuine NISSAN fluid, because these compatible fluids can cause problems too.

BTW, how much does NISSAN charge to change 100% of the fluid in our 2nd gen CVTs? I too is from the school of thought, that I rather spend a couple hundred bucks changing the fluid, then get hit with a giant bill of replacing the whole tranny cause the fluid failed!
 

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Any update on this for dealer cost and thoroughness on CVT oil change?
I am almost at 70k and am going to bite the bullet to have dealer do this service.
 

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Same question. Most Muranos run well over 100K miles before the fluid test (supposed to be the way you determine an actual need for a change) indicates that it's warranted.

If you simply have an itch to change something, check the transfer case and top it up. The tranny can wait, unless you have a specific symptom you are trying to address.
 

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Well, at almost 7 years, I think the fluid is getting worn out... plus I ask a lot of my transmission :)
I am up near Boston, used to go to Framingham Nissan, will probably go to Milford since my local mechanic doesn't do CVT work
 

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Well, "think" is neither a logical nor objective measure. If you want to spend the multiple hundred dollars involved, it's up to you. Just don't use anything but the Nissan fluid made of unobtanium.
 
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