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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 murano with 127000 miles and found out this week that the transfer case has a leak. The dealer wants $1800 to replace the seals. Problem is that I can't find the transfer case to visually see and monitor leak and figure out how to check fluid level. How do I find it and the filler plug to check the fluid level? I've searched but can't figure out what I'm looking at from the pictures online.

Any advice on whether to replace the car or repair it? It also has a leaking power steering rack, and quote to replace that is $1900. I figure I can easily check and top off the power steering fluid, but am worried about getting stranded by the transfer case (or running it dry and needing to replace it completely), so I would like to know how to check fluid level and even just visually monitor the leak.

I was hoping to get 2 more years and up to 150000 miles out of the car.
 

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Take a moment and think. The transfer case doesn't hold a lot of oil, but that doesn't mean that even a small leak will cause failure. You can buy the needed oil and check it periodically, then keep it filled yourself. As long as you keep the level reasonably full, it will work fine.

This is the same concept as the crankcase - you can be a quart low before you need to fill. The transfer case won't tolerate that much loss, but it will tolerate some. And if history is any guide, those transfer cases often leak, but they don't leak very much or very fast.

The dealer's price quote is right on target - so that's not an attractive option. If you're willing to keep an eye on the transfer case, you can buy time as long as it's not leaking fast, and they seldom do.

There are posts on this forum that explain the check procedure, and the wrench set that Harbor Freight carries that has just the right bend to make it possible to remove the fill/check level plug, which on my 07 was next to an exhaust pipe so it needed to be checked when the engine was cool.

I'm short on time, but I can add info to this later. Do some searching on how to check and fill the transfer case - you should find what you need.

EDIT:

OK, here's a thread on changing transfer case oil: http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/68-maintenance/19679-how-change-transfer-case-oil.html

And another: http://www.nissanmurano.org/forums/82-1st-gen-2003-2007/69753-transfer-case-overfull.html

That thread mentions a Harbor Freight wrench set, but also a racheting wrench, and I think it's one like this:


A link to that set: https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-...-combination-ratcheting-wrench-set-60592.html

Here's an image of the wrench set I believe I have:


And a link to that set: https://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-metric-offset-box-wrench-set-32042.html

Hope that helps. Just make sure you have the right size wrench.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I have to say it's hard to find another car that I like as much as the Murano. Sat in a crv, and an outback and felt a little meh... nice but not awesome...
 

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I hope it works out for you. Unfortunately the transfer case is a weak spot in these vehicles. Mine eventually crunched, and I found a used replacement in a wrecking yard which an indy mechanic installed for me. Also, the seals on those transfer cases have a history indicating leaks are very common. It pays to check levels often, especially if you have a seep or leak.

I personally think the Mazda crossovers are potential competitors, but that's just visually - I haven't driven one.
 

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I hope it works out for you. Unfortunately the transfer case is a weak spot in these vehicles. Mine eventually crunched, and I found a used replacement in a wrecking yard which an indy mechanic installed for me. Also, the seals on those transfer cases have a history indicating leaks are very common. It pays to check levels often, especially if you have a seep or leak.



I personally think the Mazda crossovers are potential competitors, but that's just visually - I haven't driven one.


Turbo lag for starters.

My wife had an ‘09 Mazda5 that was perfect for 7 years. I would expect a very good car, made in Japan.
 

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I have a 2010 murano with 127000 miles and found out this week that the transfer case has a leak. The dealer wants $1800 to replace the seals. Problem is that I can't find the transfer case to visually see and monitor leak and figure out how to check fluid level. How do I find it and the filler plug to check the fluid level? I've searched but can't figure out what I'm looking at from the pictures online.

Any advice on whether to replace the car or repair it? It also has a leaking power steering rack, and quote to replace that is $1900. I figure I can easily check and top off the power steering fluid, but am worried about getting stranded by the transfer case (or running it dry and needing to replace it completely), so I would like to know how to check fluid level and even just visually monitor the leak.

I was hoping to get 2 more years and up to 150000 miles out of the car.
You realize these are only 120,000 mile cars. That's why when Nissan was extending the warranty for the CVT it only went to 120,000. If I was you, I would seriously consider trading the car. The CVT and transfer case are very expensive and it's not worth putting that kind of money into an 8 year old car with that many miles. As soon as my 2018 arrives, my 2012 is going bye-bye. And even with the 2018, I only plan on keeping it for between 50,000 and 60,000 miles.

Please replace it. If you like the car, look for a 2014 (same body style, etc. with some improvements over the 2010). You can find a low mileage 2014 pretty reasonable then drive it till you hit the 100,000 mile mark. Best of both worlds.
 

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I personally think that the engine and the vehicle are good for much more than 120K miles. There are plenty of CVTs out there with high mielaeg as well. I have reservations about the longevity of the transfer case, but there are plenty of them with high mileage.

Here's one way you can look at it:

If you have an 8 year old car, it's paid off. If you have taken good care of it, and then have to replace a transmission or transfer case, it's going to cost...what...perhaps $3000 to $4000. That's about twice the cost to rebuild a conventional automatic transmission, but it's about $36,000 less than a new car.

If the car is in good condition and you still like it (many of us get tired of driving the same car, which IMO is a primary reason people trade cars), you are WAY AHEAD economically to fix it and keep driving it for another 50,000 miles or more.

The concept here is that a well-maintained car will need repairs over 100K miles, but it's much, much less expensive to repair it than to buy a new car.

A car is always an expense. Unless you buy a 1955 Mercedes Gullwing that's going to live in your climate-controlled garage, a car is not an investment. Does it make sense to moderate that expense by driving the car as long as it's in good condition? You can certainly make a good argument for that.

Some folks prefer not to repair a car with over 100K miles, and will trade earlier. That's much more expensive for them than repairing their existing car, but it is certainly more convenient not to have a car in the shop for repairs. And they may simply get bored with the old car and decide to get something newer. That's fine, and it's their money.

My situation and example: I'm driving a 2008 BMW 328ix Sportwagon with 118K miles and a 6-speed manual transmission, which is the reason I bought it. It's almost impossible to buy that vehicle with a manual transmission, and BMW didn't offer the manual transmission after 2012, so if I wanted a new one comparably equipped, I could not buy it. It is still on the original clutch.

If the clutch goes out, I'll gladly pay the $3000-$4000 for a new clutch and drive it another few years. It's a blast to drive and I paid for it long ago. My maintenance costs on that car are under $1000 a year. It's a really fun, great looking car that's very inexpensive to drive compared to buying a newer model.

I just want to make the case that this is not a slam dunk. Cars last very well, and we don't need to sell them just because the mileage is getting up there.
 

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^^^ Yep. Buying a new car instead of a transmission is dumb.

I’m going to have our Murano driveline fluids changed every 30,000 miles and expect they’ll last a long time with proper maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still deciding what to do. Took a look at the BMW X1 (nice but too small), and the X3 (really liked it but too expensive new). Also I'm a little wary of BMW reliability and maintenance costs. I've had expensive to maintain cars before and that is no fun.

So, still hitting the dealerships. If I don't find anything I like as much as the Murano, I figure I'll put the money into the repair. My murano is otherwise in good shape, looks good, everything works, and until these expenses, has been trouble free with no major problems. I did get the cvt seals redone under warranty a few years ago.
 

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Still deciding what to do. Took a look at the BMW X1 (nice but too small), and the X3 (really liked it but too expensive new). Also I'm a little wary of BMW reliability and maintenance costs. I've had expensive to maintain cars before and that is no fun.



So, still hitting the dealerships. If I don't find anything I like as much as the Murano, I figure I'll put the money into the repair. My murano is otherwise in good shape, looks good, everything works, and until these expenses, has been trouble free with no major problems. I did get the cvt seals redone under warranty a few years ago.


It’s a lot cheaper to fix a good car than buy another. The problem is when people can’t afford repairs but somehow can afford more payments. If you can actually afford a tranny fix on your Murano, that tells me it’s the smart way to go. If not, honestly the car was too expensive to begin with. That’s my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Went to Nissan today and test drove a 2018 Murano. It is very nice!!!! A contender if I decide to replace.
 

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I'm wondering when (or if) Nissan ever redesigned this problem. If so, anybody know what year they changed?

Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Petepie, as I noted above, there's nothing wrong with buying a used car. The sweet spot is 2-3 years old with 20-30K miles. You get a great deal and the car is barely broken in. I'm not scared of a BMW that has been well maintained, but a Mazda would be a strong competitor for me.

IMO (and I'm biased) the secret weapon of cars that Americans have forgotten about is the small AWD station wagon. Audi, Volvo and BMW make outstanding small wagons with performance, handling, good mileage, and cargo room. They're a lot more fun to drive than a crossover SUV. Most of us don't need the room in a Murano, which is one big reason the Rogue outsells it anhually about 8 to 1. I'm not interested because I don't want another CVT.
 

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Most of us don't need the room in a Murano, which is one big reason the Rogue outsells it anhually about 8 to 1.

the rogue outsells the Murano because of $. if given the choice of either for the same cost, very, very few (e.g., just those that can't drive) would take the rogue.
 

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Petepie, as I noted above, there's nothing wrong with buying a used car. The sweet spot is 2-3 years old with 20-30K miles. You get a great deal and the car is barely broken in. I'm not scared of a BMW that has been well maintained, but a Mazda would be a strong competitor for me.

IMO (and I'm biased) the secret weapon of cars that Americans have forgotten about is the small AWD station wagon. Audi, Volvo and BMW make outstanding small wagons with performance, handling, good mileage, and cargo room. They're a lot more fun to drive than a crossover SUV. Most of us don't need the room in a Murano, which is one big reason the Rogue outsells it anhually about 8 to 1. I'm not interested because I don't want another CVT.


I have a friend with a 5 series wagon and he swears he’ll never let it go. I have another friend with a 5 series diesel and he loves his so much he took it 6 hours south to Atlanta to have a bunch of mods done and tuned. Great cars.
 

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Fair enough, and probably true. Big $$ difference.

I'm fond of saying that no one drives the car they need, they drive the car they want. (The two can be quite different or they can be identical.)

If we all actually drove the car we need, Checker would still be around with an AWD option. Most families would be well served with a big ole' Checker if it had AWD. :D

 

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That's a nice one!!

I wonder how many people here remember Checker....
 

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That's a nice one!!



I wonder how many people here remember Checker....


I rode in Checkers in NYC around 1982 at ~10 years old. Rode in a lot of cabs, and watched July 4th fireworks from the top of the Empire State Building. I also got to go to the Downtown Athletic Club with my dad and see Herschel Walker receive his Heisman Trophy a few months prior.

Checkers are American legends. I’m proud to have ridden on a jump seat in a Checker.
 

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I have a 2010 murano with 127000 miles and found out this week that the transfer case has a leak. The dealer wants $1800 to replace the seals. Problem is that I can't find the transfer case to visually see and monitor leak and figure out how to check fluid level. How do I find it and the filler plug to check the fluid level? I've searched but can't figure out what I'm looking at from the pictures online.

Any advice on whether to replace the car or repair it? It also has a leaking power steering rack, and quote to replace that is $1900. I figure I can easily check and top off the power steering fluid, but am worried about getting stranded by the transfer case (or running it dry and needing to replace it completely), so I would like to know how to check fluid level and even just visually monitor the leak.

I was hoping to get 2 more years and up to 150000 miles out of the car.
 
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