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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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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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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. I might gamble on it to see if it has any impact on the CVT issues I'm having.

engine braking issues
 

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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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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
I tried out the $11 v1.5 carXtruck OBD2 reader and got a lot of great info via free Torque software. Besides simply knowing the code (P1778), it provided details about a DCC solenoid. So now, when searching with that code and "dcc solenoid" I was able to get more information about the possible issue with MO.

Probable causes...
  • Malfunction of damper clutch solenoid valve
  • Damaged harness wires and connectors
  • Malfunction of the A/T-ECU
At least I have more to go on...though it somewhat still points to the step motor, which I already knew...but it could be issues with the torque converter.

Code: P1778

System: Powertrain (Covers functions that include engine, transmission and associated drivetrain accessories)

Definition:
Acura: A/T Lockup Solenoid Valve 'C' Circuit Malfunction
Alfa Romeo: Input/Turbine Shaft Speed Sensor "A" Out Of Range High
Audi: Valve 7 Electrical Fault In Circuit
Mitsubishi: Malfunction of Stepper Motor (CVT)
Nissan: Step Motor Circuit Malfunction

Symptoms of Torque Converter Problems
  1. Slipping. A torque converter can slip out of gear or delay a shift its fin or bearing is damaged. ...
  2. Overheating. ...
  3. Contaminated Transmission Fluid. ...
  4. Shuddering. ...
  5. Increased Stall Speed. ...
  6. Unusual Sounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
It's really interesting how random the cold CVT start thing is. I have super-smoothness, great pedal-to-power response, and cold start driving has shortened. Yet, this morning, even after warming MO up for ten minutes, I got some some high (but previously normal) over-taching that I haven't seen in awhile, but MO got up to speed quickly and the over-taching vanished. The prior morning, barely any over-taching.

Last night, I decided to throw in a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil (the CVT is back to being overfilled), and I fired up the engine and let MO idle in D for about fives minutes to circulate the fluid so I could be ready for the next day. Earlier in the day, I had gotten some over-taching around 35MPH upon reaccelerating from a slow-down. I then came to a full stop, tried to accelerate, and the over-taching was around 3000RPMs, not unlike a cold start. Again, I was able to get up to speed fine, albeit with a little slack in acceleration. Later, while slowing and going up a long hill and then reaccelerating (as a test), there was slack again, so while still in motion up the hill I quickly turned the ignition off and back on, everything fired back up and I pressed the accelerator and the slack was no more. I've been trying this technique out the few times I have any slack acceleration when the car is already warmed up. It's more convenient than having to pull over, place MO in P, stop the engine, etc, etc. Apparently, the system just needs a quick jolt to get everything reset and back to normal. I'm doing stuff like this to try to get a better picture of what's going on with everything and what the actual problem is. People have replaced step motors, pan filters, valve bodies and even entire CVTs, only to sometimes have success that's short-lived before throwing the same P1778 code or having the same driving problems. Obviously, there's something else that's going on that's unrelated (in some instances) to the actual CVT or its fluid (old, new or wrong type) being the root of the problem

I've ordered a gallon of Liqui Moly transmission cleaner. I was going to do a third CVT pan drain and refill it mostly with kerosene to clean out and hopefully de-residue any flow ports and exposed parts, but I decided I'd rather use an actual transmission cleaner. I'm also going to remove the secondary speed sensor and clean it up, and I might try to bypass the CVT cooler altogether, in case it's causing some kind of flow problem. I have some ideas that I'll do methodically and let some time and miles go by so I can determine if anything is happening, good or bad.
 

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Question: Can MMO be added to continual variable transmissions (CVTs)?

Answer:
No, MMO cannot be added to continual variable transmissions (CVTs). Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and recommended fluids for these transmissions.

FAQs | Mystery Oil Motors

You really need to stop dumping random crap into your CVT as you're tempting fate. You've been getting improvements from the Castrol NS-2 fluid so stick with it. Do another oil change, but also drop the pan, clean it out real well, and clean (or replace) the filter screen on the valve body. Don't bypass the CVT cooler--just buy some transmission cooler cleaner on Amazon and flush it out followed by compressed air.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Question: Can MMO be added to continual variable transmissions (CVTs)?

Answer:
No, MMO cannot be added to continual variable transmissions (CVTs). Consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and recommended fluids for these transmissions.

FAQs | Mystery Oil Motors

You really need to stop dumping random crap into your CVT as you're tempting fate. You've been getting improvements from the Castrol NS-2 fluid so stick with it. Do another oil change, but also drop the pan, clean it out real well, and clean (or replace) the filter screen on the valve body. Don't bypass the CVT cooler--just buy some transmission cooler cleaner on Amazon and flush it out followed by compressed air.
Actually, MMO can be added to the CVT, since I did it. Dex6 wasn't supposed to be used, but I've used it for nearly 5.5 years without anything crippling happening to the drivetrain. I've read about others trying the other normal things, and it hasn't always worked. So, why not try something different? Do you not get that I'm experimenting with this car to see what happens? If I don't reach 300K, I really don't care. If MO dies tomorrow and goes to a junkyard, I really don't care. I'm doing these things out of pure curiosity to see what we MO owners might be able to get away with and what might actually help...and what might actually hurt. So far, nothing I've done seems to have hurt my car, as MO is driving exceptionallly well, barring a few minutes of cold CVT driving and some minor/rare warmed-up over-taching.

In any case, while I appreciate your concern, I'm not looking for any advice or guidance in the matter. MO's improvement has plateaued with regard to the fluid dilutions, and before I consider doing a full flush of the system, I want to try a few things to see if they make a difference.
 

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Then I completely misread your intent. I thought you were trying to reach 300k miles. The manufacturers of MMO wouldn't just put that in their FAQs unless they were reasonably certain that putting their product in a CVT may do harm (or at least more harm than good). Otherwise, they would be excluding a potentially profitable market given the wide use of CVTs by automakers these days.
 

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Then I completely misread your intent. I thought you were trying to reach 300k miles. The manufacturers of MMO wouldn't just put that in their FAQs unless they were reasonably certain that putting their product in a CVT may do harm (or at least more harm than good). Otherwise, they would be excluding a potentially profitable market given the wide use of CVTs by automakers these days.
I agree. Many of the oil additives have made their business by specifically not excluding any wacky thing buyers want to do with their product.
 
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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Even though it wouldn't bother me if I'd done so, it's not like I added 100% MMO to the system. You're talking one quart mixed in with something like 11 quarts. My trials usually start off conservatively while I wait to see what happens. I'm not trying to kill MO, but I'd like to see if various things can positively affect or correct the current cold CVT problems without doing things the usual way. It's not going to be much fun if I simply drive to 300,000 miles without trying some new things. I'm shooting for 300K only because that's what milestone coincides with the annual inspection and new car registration fees. It would be cool to hit that mark, but if I don't...meh. At least I'm using a product made for cars. I was considering filling the CVT with Coke to really clean out everything...

EDIT: And you guys should know that the makers of MMO aren't going to open themselves up to liability claims by saying their product can/may work in overly sensitive CVTs, and then people use it and start blaming them for the failures. It may be that the company hasn't really tested out MMO thoroughly (or at all) in CVTs because it's not something they see as worthwhile, so they're defaulting to "no, you can't use it in CVTs." However, MMO is merely an oil-based fluid, just like motor oil, gear oil and transmisison fluid. I really don't get why you guys seem so opposed to using anything that's not NS-2. How much would you be willing to bet that I could fill the CVT with motor oil and it would run just fine? Based on stories I've read, I don't think the fluid is the problem. I think clean fluid can help the CVT, but I have my doubts about what actual fluid type really needs to be used in order for the CVT to work. CVTs keep failing, even with the proper NS-2 fluid and frequent changes, so...
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Hey, guys, do me a favor... Just let me update my thread in peace, without injecting all the negativity, nay-saying, etc, because your remarks have the potential to undermine any positive results I might achieve and post about, since it may seem that I'm doing so for spite. So when today I say that MO has driven the best she ever has since the first CVT pan drain, do you believe me? I hope so, because today was the single-best day I've had driving MO. I've tacked on about 270 miles since infusing the MMO less than 48 hours ago and things have gotten even better, particularly up steep hills that I couldn't make it up 5-6 months ago, and with regard to the tach gauge needle moving more smoothly, especially during engine braking deaceleration and down-variating on steep hills. The variations are more certain and there's little bouncing around and searching for the right groove. And not even a hint of over-taching or cold start issues. Things seem to be starting to click. However, I did get pending P1778 and P0420 codes at some point during the day, but they never fully triggered. The windy jug sound is still present, but the chirp is now gone. The possible CVT whine was noticable for about 20 minutes this morning, then vanished the rest of the day.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say the MMO (in and of itself) is the reason for today's improvement. It could simply be a result of further dilution of the old Dex6/CVT mix, or even the simple act of overfilling the CVT, that caused things to change. I noticed that everytime I did a pan drain, the driving experience would change over the course of 2-3 days. So, given that, it may purely be the act of adding any new fluid to the system (even if it were a liter of Coke) that would account for such change. I'll drive an additional 300-500 miles without doing anything else to see what happens. I've yet to get back-to-back days of no cold start problems.
 

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If you don't like comments, why post? This is an interactive forum... You may not like the answers, just ignore them if you choose... Others are reading this, and it's good to hear all viewpoints IMHO, especially due to some of the unorthodox stuff you have posted thus far...

If all you want to do is hear yourself ramble, maybe search out a read-only forum?
 
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Discussion Starter #40
I don't mind comments, but Coffee is just a broken record with his/her "you can't do that" mentality. I get it...he/she does things by the book. I don't. I've been working on cars for more than 40 years, and I've yet to harm any vehicle. I don't just do things willy-nilly. And I post because it seems MO owners are spending hundreds/thousands of dollars on repairs and sometimes the repairs aren't working longterm. I'm trying to see if there's a way to work with a problematic CVT to drive it rather normally, or at least spend very little money to get some improvemensts that may last. I'm going on six years with this used CVT that was filled with Dex6 for the first 5.5 years. By everyone's account, my car shouldn't be moving. Obviously, something unconventional I'm doing is working. But as I've said in other posts, it seems that not everyone has exactly the same issues with a troubled CVT. There seem to be subtle differences, so maybe my troubled CVT (or whatever component is being affected) is unique to my car only, and so my "fixes" might not be applicable to anyone else's car. If so, then this thread is absolutely pointless, unless you like to read.
 
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