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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't done any of these since I had the car back in 2011 I think and would like to get these done. Is it best to take it to a dealer to do it or should a regular mechanic shop be able to? The quoted price I got from Valvoline OIl Change place to do them is
$150 to 200 for Transmission
Radiator $110
Power Steering $80

I noticed some smoke coming from my car today and it looks like the coolant is really low almost empty so I'm wondering if now would be a good time to do the radiator flush.

Oh it's a 2003 murano 180k miles.

Thanks
 

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it looks like the coolant is really low almost empty so I'm wondering if now would be a good time to do the radiator flush.
Before worrying about all that other maintenance, you should make sure the cooling system doesn't have a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Before worrying about all that other maintenance, you should make sure the cooling system doesn't have a leak.
I don't think it does. I filled the radiator and holding reservoir back with coolant and have been watching the levels daily and they remain full on both ends. I'm not sure why they were low or empty. I have to take it by a mechanic because I'm getting a misfire code P0300 P0303 so if there is something else to hopefully the mechanic can find it. But back to the main question should any of those matter time wise? I would really like to do a transmission flush since I can't measure the levels and haven't done it since I had the car.
 

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I don't think it does. I filled the radiator and holding reservoir back with coolant and have been watching the levels daily and they remain full on both ends. I'm not sure why they were low or empty. I have to take it by a mechanic because I'm getting a misfire code P0300 P0303 so if there is something else to hopefully the mechanic can find it. But back to the main question should any of those matter time wise? I would really like to do a transmission flush since I can't measure the levels and haven't done it since I had the car.
I wouldn't do a transmission "flush" on an 18-year old car with 180k miles when you don't know the service history. If any servicing is done on the CVT fluid then I would also recommend doing a pan drop and cleaning it out along with the filter attached to the valve body--you can ask your mechanic about that when you bring the car in to diagnose the misfires.

Flushing the coolant and power steering systems should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't do a transmission "flush" on an 18-year old car with 180k miles when you don't know the service history. If any servicing is done on the CVT fluid then I would also recommend doing a pan drop and cleaning it out along with the filter attached to the valve body--you can ask your mechanic about that when you bring the car in to diagnose the misfires.

Flushing the coolant and power steering systems should be fine.
Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology. I want all the old fluid that has been in the car taken out and replaced with all fresh new fluid and cleaned out if possible. Is that "flushing" or is that different. From what you said about the CVT fluid that's what I want done to my car with all the fluids. I put about 2 or 3 bottles of CVT fluid in myself a few months ago when I was having car issues and found out that my CVT fluid was low. I have had the car since 2011 I believe and never added or changed out the transmission fluid so when I added some it corrected the acceleration issues I was having but I want to "clean out" everything so to speak fluid wise since I have the money now but I also don't want to spend a bunch of money on it since I'm saving up for a new car next year around this time as well. I just want this car to run for another good year and I'm good.

I am dropping off my car tomorrow to get this P0300 issue fixed. It was throwing catalyst codes a month or so ago and now it's just this code.
 

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Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology. I want all the old fluid that has been in the car taken out and replaced with all fresh new fluid and cleaned out if possible. Is that "flushing" or is that different. From what you said about the CVT fluid that's what I want done to my car with all the fluids. I put about 2 or 3 bottles of CVT fluid in myself a few months ago when I was having car issues and found out that my CVT fluid was low. I have had the car since 2011 I believe and never added or changed out the transmission fluid so when I added some it corrected the acceleration issues I was having but I want to "clean out" everything so to speak fluid wise since I have the money now but I also don't want to spend a bunch of money on it since I'm saving up for a new car next year around this time as well. I just want this car to run for another good year and I'm good.

I am dropping off my car tomorrow to get this P0300 issue fixed. It was throwing catalyst codes a month or so ago and now it's just this code.
The risk with replacing all the fluid or doing any kind of "flush" in an old transmission that may not have ever been serviced before is that over time, sludge, varnish, and debris can accumulate in the nooks and crannies inside the lubrication system and dumping a bunch of new fluid that has detergents can cause large chunks of that stuff to come loose and clog valves.

Ask your mechanic how much he would charge you to do a transmission pan drop to clean it out along with the magnets and valve body filter. That would require a single oil pan drain of probably 5-6 quarts (not flush or replacement) and would be a good place to start if you insist on taking some kind of proactive maintenance with your CVT. Your mechanic can also give you a good idea of the current state of the transmission based on what he finds--that is, lots of metal on the magnets, sludge in the pan, debris in the filter etc. would indicate the transmission was poorly maintained and you should prepare for the possibility that the CVT will not last another year, even with new maintenance.
 

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Also, if you had to add 2 to 3 quarts of CVT fluid, you have a leak somewhere... CVT fluid is not consumed like motor oil, the CVT is a closed system...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The risk with replacing all the fluid or doing any kind of "flush" in an old transmission that may not have ever been serviced before is that over time, sludge, varnish, and debris can accumulate in the nooks and crannies inside the lubrication system and dumping a bunch of new fluid that has detergents can cause large chunks of that stuff to come loose and clog valves.

Ask your mechanic how much he would charge you to do a transmission pan drop to clean it out along with the magnets and valve body filter. That would require a single oil pan drain of probably 5-6 quarts (not flush or replacement) and would be a good place to start if you insist on taking some kind of proactive maintenance with your CVT. Your mechanic can also give you a good idea of the current state of the transmission based on what he finds--that is, lots of metal on the magnets, sludge in the pan, debris in the filter etc. would indicate the transmission was poorly maintained and you should prepare for the possibility that the CVT will not last another year, even with new maintenance.
Ok. Is it better to take it to the dealership for this? Sounds like I should just leave well enough alone I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, if you had to add 2 to 3 quarts of CVT fluid, you have a leak somewhere... CVT fluid is not consumed like motor oil, the CVT is a closed system...
I didn't know really how low it was so I just added that much for good measure. I know from youtube videos and such the 03 Murano is notorious for oil leaks with gaskets and such getting into ignition coils and spark plugs. I'm not sure what my car will be but I will be doing some research on what car doesn't give you engine problems or oil leaks for sure lol
 

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I didn't know really how low it was so I just added that much for good measure. I know from youtube videos and such the 03 Murano is notorious for oil leaks with gaskets and such getting into ignition coils and spark plugs. I'm not sure what my car will be but I will be doing some research on what car doesn't give you engine problems or oil leaks for sure lol
It's probably not a good idea to add extra CVT fluid just for good measure... From what I understand, the amount of CVT fluid in the system should be a fairly precise amount to avoid issues with your very expensive to replace CVT...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's probably not a good idea to add extra CVT fluid just for good measure... From what I understand, the amount of CVT fluid in the system should be a fairly precise amount to avoid issues with your very expensive to replace CVT...
Thanks for the info. The issues I was having with my car a few months ago were transmission related and once I added the cvt fluid it drove normally. I couldn't tell how low it was from the dipstick so I just added 3 quarts. I was going to take it to the dealership to have them do the drain, clean and refill but my step dad said to just add the fluid. I was gung ho about trying to get everything up to date with the car back then but since I decided to just save up for a new car I'm just trying to make it last until then. Do you know if the current model of Murano's have these issues like the original ones do? I'm thinking of either volkswagen or Audi SUV if so.
 

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IMO, 3rd gen Murano have fewer issues, especially compared to 1st gen Muranos...
 
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Do you know if the current model of Murano's have these issues like the original ones do? I'm thinking of either volkswagen or Audi SUV if so.
Dude, if you're looking for a car that is low-cost to maintain/own, the last thing you want is anything made by a German auto manufacturer...
 

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I like the look and design of their SUV's. What car would you recommend that's low-cost to maintain?
Toyota, Honda, maybe Kia or Hyundai with their long warranties. Also Ford or Chevy, if you actually maintain them well and don't neglect maintenance.

The thing with German cars is this: they are designed to REQUIRE service at precisely set intervals. That is how Germans design their cars to function. If you don't operate and maintain the car exactly as they designed it to be done, then it breaks and it's your fault. If you wait 12,000 miles for a 10,000 mile service, things will break and the price for repair is high.

There is no slack for late maintenance. There is no allowance for abuse. There is no allowance for forgetting to do maintenance. That is not "correct," and German cars require the owners to operate them "correctly." The reason those German stereotypes exist is that there is a lot of truth in them.

The reward is that they are fantastic to drive. Nothing drives like a great German car.

If you service and maintain a German car as they design them to be used, they run practically forever and are very dependable. This is not cheap, but it's a lot less expensive than skipping maintenance and paying for repairs.

I've driven Audi and BMW cars for years, and never had excessive maintenance. They have also been relatively easy to work on and have not been unreasonably expensive, but I do much of my own work and I never take it to the dealer except for warranty work. I have a nice German gent about a mile away who understands German cars. But I NEVER ignore a service light, and I don't neglect maintenance.

Working on your own cars has benefits; on my BMW 3-series cars, I can do pads and rotors, front or rear, for about $200; a dealer would charge close to $1000. But an oil and filter change (using BMW oil and filters) at my local German car shop is $125, and at a dealer it would be more.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Toyota, Honda, maybe Kia or Hyundai with their long warranties. Also Ford or Chevy, if you actually maintain them well and don't neglect maintenance.

The thing with German cars is this: they are designed to REQUIRE service at precisely set intervals. That is how Germans design their cars to function. If you don't operate and maintain the car exactly as they designed it to be done, then it breaks and it's your fault. If you wait 12,000 miles for a 10,000 mile service, things will break and the price for repair is high.

There is no slack for late maintenance. There is no allowance for abuse. There is no allowance for forgetting to do maintenance. That is not "correct," and German cars require the owners to operate them "correctly." The reason those German stereotypes exist is that there is a lot of truth in them.

The reward is that they are fantastic to drive. Nothing drives like a great German car.

If you service and maintain a German car as they design them to be used, they run practically forever and are very dependable. This is not cheap, but it's a lot less expensive than skipping maintenance and paying for repairs.

I've driven Audi and BMW cars for years, and never had excessive maintenance. They have also been relatively easy to work on and have not been unreasonably expensive, but I do much of my own work and I never take it to the dealer except for warranty work. I have a nice German gent about a mile away who understands German cars. But I NEVER ignore a service light, and I don't neglect maintenance.

Working on your own cars has benefits; on my BMW 3-series cars, I can do pads and rotors, front or rear, for about $200; a dealer would charge close to $1000. But an oil and filter change (using BMW oil and filters) at my local German car shop is $125, and at a dealer it would be more.
Thanks for the detailed reply Pilgrim. When I first got this car I was still in college and dependent upon my parents for repairs and the such so if an engine light came on and they felt it wasn't necessary repair it wasn't done. Now that I'm not dependent on them and have a decent paying job I don't mind paying for mandatory maintenance. I'm not a gear head at all so I would love any insight you have on what services should be done at certain intervals. If I had the money at the time I would have kept up with the maintenance on my current Murano but I didn't. I personally like the designs of the Volkswaggen and Audi Suv's compared to the Toyota's, Fords and Chevys. I wouldn't be servicing the car at all as I have no know how or expertise in that area so it would either be a mechanic or the dealership. I try to do some of the stuff from youtube videos that don't require tools that I don't have but I guess I'll just have to be prepared to have a "car repair" fund set aside for those "surprises". So far I've been watching this guy and his videos on youtube, I'm not sure how correct he is but if you ever have any free time let me know what you think. Thanks again for your input. BTW my car is in the shop because of oil leaks getting into the spark plugs and having to replace "boots", valve cover and gaskets. I'm assuming boots mean ignition coils?
 

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You can't go wrong by checking the owner's manual and doing the services noted there at or before the recommended mileage.

Technically, I believe the "boot" is the rubber end on a spark plug wire. But with coils, it may be something else. Valve covers have changed over the last 30 years. They used to be metal and permanent, but they now house the coils and plugs, and are made of plastic. Their seals can fail or they can crack, and that's fairly predictable on many cars. IMO it's the drive to make parts cheaper, but we're stuck with it.

On a few cars, the valve cover seals can be replaced if the cover isn't cracked; this is not true of all makes.
 
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