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Change fluid regularly, and use only Nissan or Idemitsu fluid. Drive the car like a 90 year old would, these are not racing transmissions. Some folks may say add another transmission cooler too. Slow application of power when taking off from a stop etc etc. No high speed driving either. No towing a trailer.
 

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I'm of a slightly different opinion due to my own experiences with a 2003 AWD MO that I had for 18 years and 300,000+ miles, coupled with information I've read online from other CVT-based owners over the years.

- Frequently changing the fluid (say every 30,000 miles) has not been conclusively proven to positively affect or extend the life of the CVT. There are numerous examples across Nissan forums of those who have changed their fluid religiously, but still had CVT problems/failures. Changing the fluid shouldn't really hurt anything (it should, in general theory, help things) but unless there are metal shavings or sludge mixed in with the fluid, it's possible the fluid can last in excess of 100,000 miles of use. But if you have the time and money (and aren't looking to experiment with your car) you might as well just change the fluid.

- The brand and type of ATF/CVT fluid used may not really matter in order for a CVT system to function correctly. I had used the wrong fluid and Marvel Mystery Oil in my 2003 CVT for years, and put on nearly 180,000 miles with no ill-effects. And while in another thread I mentioned that mixing different brands of NS-x fluid MAY create a situation where the two fluids aren't completely working together to help the CVT, that's just a thought, not a fact. Understand that I'm not suggesting to anyone to use anything other than NS-1/2/3 fluid in their CVT. While I would feel fairly confident using normal ATF in my 2021 CVT, I'm not at a point in that car's life where I feel like experimenting TOO much...yet. However, I haven't followed Nissan's recommended intervals for the CVT fluid change, and although I've mentioned in a different thread that I might change the fluid soon around 53,000 miles (which I still haven't done)...i might actually wait until 75,000 and then send a sample of the fluid off to be tested.

- Aggressive driving and shifting, along with impatience in allowing the CVT to "settle in" after making a shift from P to D or D to R or R to D, etc., I suspect are the more common reasons why the belt starts to stretch, wear and fall apart, along with the bearings clashing and starting to create flat spots on each other.

It's my opinion that the most important ways to preserve and protect the CVT (aside from simply getting lucky to have gotten a good one off the assembly line) are as follows:

- After starting the car, keep your foot on the brake pedal as you shift from P to D or R, and wait two seconds for the CVT to variate and for the engine RPMs to come down and normalize before taking your foot off the brake and applying gas. Never change shifter positions while the car is in motion. So don't back up quickly and then shove it into D while the car is still moving. Again, let the CVT variate and the engine RPMs normalize before pressing the gas pedal. Same when backing up and having to go from R to D. Have patience.

- Avoid quick braking, followed by hard/fast acceleration, since those two ingredients might lead to belt scoring on the internal parts under those extreme circumstances, and which might also lead to bearing wear issues,

- Don't drag race from a stopped position. Press the gas pedal normally and let the car get some forward momentum before flooring it. I feel the biggest benefit is the torque converter will likely then be locked up or engaged, and so there won't be a serious jolt to the system. I have no problem with going 30 MPH and then pinning the pedal to the floor to acccelerate to 75MPH. As long as the torque converter is engaged the CVT components should be fine.
 

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Cryogenix1
Yes your sorta correct about even the fluid changes not a fool proof method of making them last. I wasn't thinking about the nice aluminum valves and valve body wearing out. Only thing to fix that is using the proper materials for those parts. If I was to offer any manufacture advice for there automatic type transmissions, I'd say make the valves and valve bodies like it was done in the beginning days of automatic transmissions. They lasted.
 

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Cryogenix1
Yes your sorta correct about even the fluid changes not a fool proof method of making them last. I wasn't thinking about the nice aluminum valves and valve body wearing out. Only thing to fix that is using the proper materials for those parts. If I was to offer any manufacture advice for there automatic type transmissions, I'd say make the valves and valve bodies like it was done in the beginning days of automatic transmissions. They lasted.
Were you the one who mentioned in another thead about the drum bearings? About how they should be pin-like (cylindrical or something like that) in shape, instead of being round? That does seem to make a lot of sense.

I go back and forth with this, but if the CVT fluid can't last 100,000 miles with the "detergents" still acceptable to help fight varnishing, then changing the fluid more often would be helpful.
 

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Yes the variator, and not really bearings, there are a stack of them like 4 (number varies ) in a groove, of steel balls, and 3 grooves they ride in. Their purpose is to key the parts and allow the varitors to slide.
I think on newer units they started to use pins instead of balls. The contact of a ball on that groove surface is negligible, the pins offer much more contact area. And yes that is a huge weak point and bad engineering, the fluid will not keep those balls and grooves from going bad. The huge down fall of these transmissions in my opinion is the choice of materials. The push belt and variators are both made of the correct material and heat treat, no complaints with them. They get messed up from the bad hydraulic system parts that wear out. All the gears are fine, there is an issue with a weak splined hub for the forward clutch if I remember correctly, but only a concern for people that want to extract crazy horse power from the transmission. Juke forms has a brilliant guy that has modified his CVT, he's an engineer and has done some very cool stuff. His fluid recommendation is Amsoil that he uses and has had good luck with, but it costs more than Idemitsu so?
 
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