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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve searched this forum high & low but so far I haven’t seen a solution to be able to change the CVT ”gear ratio”. There has been some mention of similar problems but they were addressing other issues with the CVT.
I know CVT’s don’t have gears but describing my problem is best when comparing it to driving a standard (stick shift) transmission.
I have a 2007 SL FWD. Been driving it for about 16 months. It now has approximately 177K miles.
Starting from a dead stop, it seems to shift from 1st to 3rd or 4th gear. In other words, it always seems to be lugging at around 10 - 15 mph to about 30 even on a slight incline. If I were to compare it to riding a 10 speed bicycle, it feels like your starting off in too high of a gear so you have to strain more to get going. If I have to start off on an incline, I will frequently start off in D (or sometimes L) then shift to Ds, then back to D. If I’m level or going on a downward incline, I don’t worry about it.
I recall one of the trusted moderators (there are several) that says this is normal but I still don’t like the lugging feeling. It seems to me that the strain is not a good thing even with having the power of a 3.5L engine behind it. Is there a sensor that can be checked, replaced or adjusted? Assuming this is tied to the TCM. I can’t speak knowledgeably about these matters, but I can grasp the concepts when explained and can follow instructions to fix it. Since owning this vehicle, I’ve become quite mechanically inclined, mostly out of necessity. Although I still like driving it in spite of all the problems (mostly due to normal wear & tear).
Thanks for your input.
 

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First getting the codes if any read are important. That will let us know if there is some problem the TCM sees. Next I have questions. (1) is this the original to the car transmission? (2) How often has the fluid been changed. If it is original count yourself lucky that is good for a CVT. The fluid change is important the fluid gets a lot of tiny metal in it and can cause valve and valve body problems that could be part of the problem if there is one. Something else I was looking in a parts book online for the 2004 I'm working on and found this and if yours has it the number maybe different. Part Number 31726-1XD02 transmission oil filter and looks like its inside or integral with the external oil cooler or warmer what ever they designate it as. So if there is a filter there very important to change that especially after such high miles.
 

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I'd suspect possible issues with the valve body too... The speeds the lugging is occurring are in the range where the torque converter locks/unlocks. It needs to be unlocked at speeds below the low 20s MPH for smooth operation at low speed and when stopped, and locked above that speed for fuel efficiency. A fluid change as suggested is a good idea. I'd also drop the pan and check to see what may be in there... While the pan is off, clean the internal filter (or replace). If a significant amount of debris is found consider replacing the external filter as well.

Definitely check for CVT error codes. You can use this inexpensive Android app, CVTz50:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First getting the codes if any read are important. That will let us know if there is some problem the TCM sees. Next I have questions. (1) is this the original to the car transmission? (2) How often has the fluid been changed. If it is original count yourself lucky that is good for a CVT. The fluid change is important the fluid gets a lot of tiny metal in it and can cause valve and valve body problems that could be part of the problem if there is one. Something else I was looking in a parts book online for the 2004 I'm working on and found this and if yours has it the number maybe different. Part Number 31726-1XD02 transmission oil filter and looks like its inside or integral with the external oil cooler or warmer what ever they designate it as. So if there is a filter there very important to change that especially after such high miles.
I believe it is the original CVT, nothing I've seen on the CARFAX indicated that it was ever replaced or serviced. I have to assume it had been serviced at least once or twice. I did a drain & refill (5 or 6 quarts) a year ago but didn't remove the pan nor was I aware of any filters at the time. There were metal particles in the drained fluid. I will check to see if I can find the part number you referenced for the filter. I will have to look closely to see if I can differentiate the filter from the cooler. Do you think it will look obvious? If I did the oil exchange a year ago. Do you think I can service the filter separately?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd suspect possible issues with the valve body too... The speeds the lugging is occurring are in the range where the torque converter locks/unlocks. It needs to be unlocked at speeds below the low 20s MPH for smooth operation at low speed and when stopped, and locked above that speed for fuel efficiency. A fluid change as suggested is a good idea. I'd also drop the pan and check to see what may be in there... While the pan is off, clean the internal filter (or replace). If a significant amount of debris is found consider replacing the external filter as well.

Definitely check for CVT error codes. You can use this inexpensive Android app, CVTz50:

I have an iPhone. Is there a App suitable for it? Also, since I did a fluid exchange about a year ago, I might consider tackling the drain pan but probably won't be in a rush to do it. How much of the fluid will I need to drain in order to remove the pan? Will it need to be completely drained (all 10 or 11 quarts)? If so, provide me some instruction to do so.
Also, If anyone in Dallas is reading this, let me know if you have a reliable Indy shop for future reference. Maybe I can get them to run the codes for me.
Thanks again.
On a side note, I just ordered a borescope (havent received it yet), not particularly for this application, but just to have. It has a front and side lens so I should be able to see quite a lot. I've got an engine oil leak likely on the upper pan I sure would like to fix but from what I've heard, it would be expensive and likely to major of a repair for me to do. It seems to drain a quart pretty quickly, then it stabilizes.
Thanks again,
 

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The part number may not be correct for your car. It is for a 2004. And the cost listed was $229.84, I am thinking the filter is much less expensive and fits in the unit listed. I don't know. I have not crossed that bridge yet.
If there where metal particles then there very likely is a valve body issue, the metal wears the valves and bores they fit in and also can stick them. You are probably the only one that has ever changed the fluid. You can not completely drain all the fluid, that is not possible.
The torque converter may hold 4 or 5 quarts that can not be drained. Fluid idemitsu type N is NS-2 they supply the Nissan fluid, about $10. per quart.
 

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I have an iPhone. Is there a App suitable for it?
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CVTz50 is only available for Android phones... You can purchase an Android phone fairly inexpensively, or check with friends that may have an Android phone they no longer use... That, along with $5 for CVTz50 and the following inexpensive Bluetooth dongle provides you with a very good tool for reading engine and CVT error codes. Also consider adding Torque Pro for live data, etc.

 

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Can you down load that ap with out giving out personal information? No emails etc. number 1 reason I have never down loaded an ap.
 

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Can you down load that ap with out giving out personal information? No emails etc. number 1 reason I have never down loaded an ap.
A Google account is required to download an Android app.

In reality, there is no privacy these days... And, it's hard to imagine ever again having the degree of privacy we enjoyed in the past...
 

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Since the android runs on google op system, there should be no joining anything, it should be automatic. I will just not associate my email with the cell phone I use.
 

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From the theory I've read regarding how both work, shouldn't CVTs allow a more instant response than a standard automatic, not having to downshift? And shouldn't they provide truly optimal acceleration being able to just hold an engine within its powerband? How do they end up actually providing a worse driving experience than automatics?

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From the theory I've read regarding how both work, shouldn't CVTs allow a more instant response than a standard automatic, not having to downshift? And shouldn't they provide truly optimal acceleration being able to just hold an engine within its powerband? How do they end up actually providing a worse driving experience than automatics?
Before having this 2007 Murano (FWD), I had a 2008 Altima SL. It got totaled by an uninsured hit & run driver, then I bought the MO. It had a 2.5 L engine & CVT tranny. Never had any problems with the CVT but I also maintained the car very well. It was extremely peppy all the way to the end of its 150K mile life. I never actually tried to burn rubber with it, but I would regularly get some chirps from the tires if I was in a rush even without trying..
 
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