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Wow, 6 CVT swaps. 5 accidents. Thought it was the same CVT since you bought it. Man, that’s some luck.

When the time comes my 2004 se @137K CVT fails, I would not buy another murano. Still debating if I would get a replacement CVT or just donate the car when it fails.
 

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2003 Nissan Murano SE AWD
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Discussion Starter #22
The first six with four or five transfer cases were replaced under warranty by Nissan. The seventh was the driver's-front broad-side where the guy's insurance paid out nearly $24,000 in MO repairs in 2010. The last/eighth was on my dime for $1150, from a 2006 MO that had 120,000 on the odometer. The last one that failed was from 2010, and had given out around 2015 when a gear tooth broke off and began rattling around. I contend it was the act of having MO abused by the company that transported her cross-country, but I wasn't able to prove that.
 

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2003 Nissan Murano SE AWD
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Discussion Starter #23
Had some issues yesterday where I thought the CVT was toast, but it recovered and ran better than ever the rest of the day. It also ran great this morning. Getting ready to do a second pan drain to dilute more of the Dex6. I know I'm wasting money doing it this way, but it's an experiment...

 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
On the second pan drain, 5-3/4 quarts came out. I put in six new quarts and went for a short test drive.

 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
You actually check cvt fluid level while its idling and warm. Level ground. Not while on ramps.
Yeah, I know how to check tranny fluid. :) I was just checking to see if it registered the same (cold, unstarted, on ramps) as it did last time. Last time after the cold-ramp check and test drive, the stick showed lower by one quart. This time, doing the same thing, it was only lower by 1/2 quart. I found that interesting. The only thing I can think of is, the first time, I used L to go up the ramps, and this time I used D. I wonder if the torque converter releases or retains more fluid depending on which shifter position you end with when you come to a full stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
I've driven about 800 miles since changing the CVT fluid twice in seven days.

- Since the second fluid dilution a few days ago, morning over-taching has been reduced, higher-speed driving is smoother-feeling than ever.

- On Day 2 driving, I threw P1778 twice within 30 minutes, both times I was just starting up a small hill doing about 22MPH. Until today, I had not gotten any codes of any kind since Day 2. Today, I threw the P1778 code four times going below 25MPH and up minor inclines over the course of two hours. In all instances, the car was thoroughly warmed up. Driving and smoothness and RPMs and whatnot were fine...that code simply triggered.

- Day 6, while driving warmed up going 45MPH under cruise, I kicked off cruise as the speed limit changed. MO slowed to 40MPH and was headed down a small hill, when something "gave" and the engine braking ceased and it felt like I had placed MO in neutral and was coasting. Usually, tapping the brake pedal quickly and letting off will help produce strong engine braking. This time, it did nothing. The car kept coasting. I could accelerate when hitting the gas, so the CVT was still working. When I got to the bottom of the hill, I could hear that whining noise again that had disappeared days ago. When starting again from a stopped position, major over-taching and slacking occurred which continued over the next five miles stop-and-go driving. As I had done days ago when encountering something strange, I did a lot of shifting to S and L and D and over-revved and did engine braking, etc, to try to mix things up and get things to a different place, and it worked. The whining disappeared and MO drove fine the next two hours, without any overtaching. I'm leaning towards the problem being with the transmission speed sensor, as I've mentioned before. I might just buy a new sensor to see if that solves this problem. I can't find any used, because they always remain with the salvaged CVT, for obvious reasons.

- Day 7 - warmed up MO for five minutes, drove with pedal halfway down, everything was near-normal. During the day, no over-taching, and car is insanely smooth-feeling when variating and simply driving. I also noticed that the gas pedal position in relation to acceleration and "peppiness" has changed over the past few days. Now, when I just barely depress the pedal, MO launches confidentally. It now feels like there's something "behind" the pedal, meaning power. I'd put it this way... Before when pressing the pedal slightly, it felt like it was pushing into a loose rubberband. Now, it feels like the pedal is pushing into a wide, taut rubberband. And that's not to say the pedal is hard to push down. There just feels like something is there that wasn't there before. Instant power and responsiveness, even with the four P1778 codes.

But the "chirp" is still there, as is the sound of wind blowing over an empty water jug. The jug sound seems to be coming from the driver's-front area.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Day 8 - overtaching in the morning as high as 35MPH at 3000+ RPMs, but accelerated faster than usual. Did not do a pre-drive warm-up. Higher-speed driving was great. From stop to accelerate sometimes created some minor overtaching and slack/lag in acceleration, as did slowing down then reaccelerating. Had another issue with engine braking not working. Refer to video. This time, I noticed the tach dropped quickly below 1000RPMs when letting off the gas. It should increase a little as speed lulls/drops to aid in slowing down the car.

I found a used transmission speed sensor for $35 off a 2005 AWD MO at a local salvage yard. The CVT isn't working...hopefully not because the speed sensor is bad. I might gamble on it to see if it has any impact on the CVT issues I'm having.

engine braking issues

over-taching issues and CVT whine
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Day 9 - 10-minute warm-up, pressed pedal normally, MO accelerated perfectly...for the first 1/2 mile. Then I came to a stop and accelerated normally, and engine over-tached to 3000RPMs but I got beyond 25MPH quickly and the RPMs then dropped. Two miles later, stopped, accelerated, over-taching to 2500RPMs with a little lag in acceleration, etc. So, in this instance, the warmer the components got the more over-taching I got starting from a stop. Slowing and then accelerating was so-so, but overall good.

At least with the current over-taching, MO is forging ahead faster and the taching hasn't gone beyond 3500RPMs. The way it used to be on a cold start, MO would go to 14MPH fine, but between 15MPH and 20MPH, it was dead where the RPMs would go to 4000 yet MO wouldn't move very fast. Once I hit 20MPH, she'd go ahead normally. So, the fluid changes have definitely had an impact - some good, some bad. In general, it's better, but I don't like getting the minor over-taching and slack acceleration once everything's warmed up. It's not really making it difficult to drive, it just never used to happen before the fluid changes.

Engine braking was pretty much non-existent today, except for one time where I was going 45MPH before a steep, downhill turn, and I pressed the brake hard/fast (about halfway) then let go fast to reduce to 40MPH, and engine braking was strong for a few seconds, then tapered off. All day when letting off on the gas, the RPMs only dropped to as low as 1050, and it seemed that something was toying with the idea of kicking in engine braking, but it just didn't do it. Yesterday, the RPMs would plummet quickly to around 800-900 RPMs when letting off the gas. The day before, I accelerated from S a few times and noticed the CVT was inconsistent with its variations, sometimes allowing the RPMs to get out of hand before finally transitioning down to lower the RPMs. Today, I tried the same thing and gave up both times because the CVT simply wouldn't variate to allow the RPMs to come down and allow MO to zip forward.

Driving-wise, everything is still extra smooth and responsive. I threw two P1778s today under the same conditions as always. I'm wondering if the "wind over the jug" sound is the torque converter being randomly harmonic, for whatever reason. In thinking about the mix of old/new, Dex6/CVT tranny fluid, and remembering the way the fluid drained the second time, I think it's possible the two fluids aren't binding to each other. Watching the 2nd pan drain, it appeared that the brown fluid was streaming down around the perimeter of the red fluid; it didn't seem to be part of the red fluid. Could have been the lighting. If while driving the fluids aren't binding properly to create a durable, cohesive stream of fluid needed for various pressure-induced CVT variations, then maybe the fluids are kind of parting ways and causing volume issues, which could randomly affect the way things work. I'm especially thinking about the first drive in the morning where, when colder, things are working better (the opposite of what used to happen). As everything gets hotter while driving, certain aspects of the slower-speed driving experience seem to be changing for the worse. Maybe the new fluid heats up faster than the old fluid (or the opposite) and later that mis-heatedness causes glitches going through the system. When all is said and done, it's probably all boiling down to fluid viscosity. I don't think I've diluted the old Dex6 enough. Might be time for a 3rd pan drain...maybe with Marvel Mystery Oil as the next infusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Day 10 - everything ran/operated to near-perfection today. Engine braking is working fine again. S mode is variating correctly. 5-minute warm-up in the morning and MO took off fine with normal pedal depression, and on subsequent stop-and-starts did not over-tach. Didn't throw any codes. The only thing different was, during the first 20 minutes of driving while accelerating around the range of 25-40MPH, there was a sensation of micro-bumps in the acceleration. If almost felt like the CVT had variated twice in a split second. Perhaps this is what some owners have described as the CVT slipping. But, in this case, MO accelerated fine and with no hesitation/slack. It kind of felt like if you were to drive over a few small pebbles all lined up in a row. Very quick, minute micro-bumps. I want to say it was possibly gurgling tranny fluid running through a line that created that sensation. It never happened again. But there's always tomorrow...

Today, after MO sat for five hours outside in the cold, I decided to drive immediately up a routine hill without warming her up, and she went up with total ease. Before when cold for even three hours in Winter temps, I'd warm up everything for 10 minutes, drive around the parking lot to get things even more heated, then I'd hit that same hill, and about 75% of the time the engine would over-tach bigtime and I'd have to goose the gas pedal just to get to 20MPH so I could make it to the top before cars behind me caught up. Again, only on cold starts. Once thoroughly warmed up, there was never an issue of acceleration. So, once again, fluid changes seemed to have made a positive impact. And it does seem that the more miles I put on, the better things are getting.
 
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