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I still have years left of my warranty. I really really like this car, but technically and financially it frightens me to own out of warranty. I have about 10 years auto repair and restoration experience, even some late model cars/trucks. I am also not saying that this is just the MO; All modern cars are getting to the point that weekend mechanics just can't turn a wrench on em anymore. They are just too damn advanced and we can do more harm then good.

I would also never want to take an out of warranty MO with transmission problems to get repaired. (Can you imagine an out of warranty CVT repair at a Dealer or ... ~shudder~ AAMCO?) I can imagine a $4-5k repair cost and an even higher replacement cost, up to $7-8k I would imagine.

I dunno, do you see yourself taking your MO to 200-250k+ miles, or just moving on in 5 years when the warranty is up? Who knows, things may change, but at this point, I would just assume trade in when the warranty clock ticks down to 0 out of fear of the unknown...
 

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In general, Nissan has historically built pretty high quality vehicles (in Japan, not the US). I'm on my third one now 2 Maximas and the Murano.

I think we'll be OK on the CVT's as Nissan has recently said that the CVT is going to be in a lot more vehicles over the next few years. That tells me there's a lot less CVT failures in our Muranos than they forecast at introduction (despite the occasional failure we see on here).

I believe that they own a significant chunk of the CVT manufacturer (Jatco) and I believe there are other vehicle manufacturers that are buying CVT's from Jatco for their vehicles as well.

The CVT in some form has been around for quite a few years (although in smaller, lower powered vehicles).

I'm kind of gambling that by the time my CVT needs to be replaced, the cost will have dropped significantly as there should be several hundred thousand more vehicles running around the US and Canada with them.
 

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Well the claim, is that the CVT is less expensive. Stocking an unique part is not, however, so we'll see how that actually works out.

Nissan refers to Jatco as a subsidiary, which I only discovered lately while cruising through the patent office online. So in reality, they make the transmission for themselves... They used to own majority shares in Clarion too, who makes the Bose labelled radios we have.

Nissan also claims the CVT will be good for the life of the vehicle, so they're pretty confident about it's reliability. (Hopefully they expect the vehicle to last more than the warranty period.)
 

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I agree that the CVT is probably the main worry point regarding the long term reliability of the vehicle. However, with fewer moving parts compared to a traditional automatic, I have confidence that with frequent fluid changes, the transmission will hold up just fine. I plan on changing my CVT fluid every 30k miles.
 

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Eric L. said:
I agree that the CVT is probably the main worry point regarding the long term reliability of the vehicle. However, with fewer moving parts compared to a traditional automatic, I have confidence that with frequent fluid changes, the transmission will hold up just fine. I plan on changing my CVT fluid every 30k miles.
Eric,
what makes you think that frequent fluid changes will make a difference? I think that 'traditional' experience does not apply here. We need to change the way we perceive CVT's. Only time will tell how should we maintain this baby. We could do the FMEA but we do not know all the details. Nissan must know, and I hope they have reason behind not recommending replacement every 30 miles. i hope a good one too!!
 

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Nissan technically does not have any service interval for the CVT fluid, or for any of their automatic transmissions in other VQ35DE equipped cars either. They do call for 60k tranny fluid change under extreme conditions though. But essentially its the same service interval for the normal 5-spd automatic in other Nissans.

As such, I will treat my CVT like I did my other vehicles with automatics. Frequent fluid changes replaces the anti wear additives in the tranny oil and keeps internal parts well lubricated.

Is it overmaintaining? Possibly. However, even if I had a 5-spd automatic, I would still be changing the fluid every 30k miles.

Its like going to 7500 miles on conventional motor oil. Can it be done? Yes. But should it? Not sure.
 

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I understand your decision. And good luck.

I am planning to change it at 60k. No sooner. I have 100k/5 years warranty so if something goes wrong it is Nissan's responsibility.

However, my background is "telling" me - do the test! I train people in modern maintenance techniques and I found it hard to believe that we would need to replace this expensive fluid without testing it first for "remaining life". Anyway, I guess we hijacked the thread. Sorry...
 

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As expensive as the CVT fluid is, my long term maintence concern re the CVT is "belt" replacement.....I don't recall any cases of belt failure on the board...anyone have info on how long the belt should last and any replacement cost estimates?
 

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They replace the assembly, as I seem to recall, when the belt is in need of replacement so are the pulleys, etc... So the whole thing gets chucked out and you buy a new one. This is where the claim was that since it's simpler and costs less to make, it will be cheaper to replace the whole thing.
 

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I remember when I bought my 95 Maxima that it was the first V6 to use a timing chain instead of a belt. It also was "designed to be good for the life of the vehicle".

Coming out of Honda and Toyota vehicles, I was expecting $400-600 every 60k miles or so for timing belts, so I was skeptical. The dealer checked and said vehicle lifetime service and the product brochure said at least 200k miles.

Since then, there are a lot of Maximas exceeding 200k with the timing chain never being serviced.

That was the analogy I was mentally drawing when I first heard about the CVT. Granted, it won't be as cheap as a timing chain should it need replacement, but I figure since Nissan has staked their transmission future as it were on this part, they would naturally over engineer it to ensure it has minimal failure.

Nissan has always been know (since the days of the Datsun 510) for their power trains and I can't imagine they'd risk that reputation for innovation and power delivery.

"knocking loudly on wood desk"
 

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I certainly hope the CVT lasts longer than the warranty, because my warranty will be up this summer (nearing 50,000 miles now).

I do drive in a manner (and environs) that I would call extreme conditions, so I will change my fluid every 45,000 miles.

On the other hand, the way a lot of manufacturers define extreme use covers the conditions most vehicles see. Very few people can claim to be in the non extreme category.
 

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How long has Audi ben using the CVT? I know it's optional on their A4s. Also, how different is it from Nissan's? And has anyone heard anything (good, bad, udly) about Audi's version? I know Saturn's attempt turned sour, luckily it's not Nissan's technology.
 

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Audi's CVT, manufactured by ZF I think, uses a 24mm chain, as opposed to the 30mm chain in the Murano. It also uses a set of clutch couplings instead of a torque converter.

The JATCO CVT in the Murano was designed for "large vehicles" in the "3.5L class" and is rated to handle 245hp.
 

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I would have no problem driving the Mo way past the warrenty. That is why I bought it new. I know what kind of service and care I will bring to the vehicle and I expect it to last quite a long while. I bought my Saturn SL2 new in 1994 and drove it for 100,000 miles until it was totalled and I had to get rid of it. I never had serious problems with it because I knew that car like the back of my hand. I could get anything fixed on it as soon as there was a problem because I knew what the problem was. On another not, Saturn has used the CVT in the 4 cylinder Vue for many years now, so other manufacturers have used this tranny system, just maybe not at the horsepower/ torque that Nissan is using it in these cars.
 

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Ok, how long will you plan to keep the murano for real?

Some people will just sell it after 5yrs or so of ownership, just before the new model is coming out.

Considering the relaibility of nissan so far, I dont think I will be worried to have the murano for 5 - 6 yrs. I have only the basic warranty, it will be up in late 2006. Again, I dont worry too much on this one as the cvt is indeed not a new technology in general.

I also plan to change my cvt fluid at 60K miles.

For those who will keep the murano pass the 150K miles may need to prepare on some sort of tranmission overhaul, just like regular car, 200K is when transmission/engine starts to show some wear
 

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Eric L. said:
Audi's CVT, manufactured by ZF I think, uses a 24mm chain, as opposed to the 30mm chain in the Murano. It also uses a set of clutch couplings instead of a torque converter.
I seem to remember Audi's belt being a chain, but the Murano's belt is the push style, instead of pull, and is a series of metal plates held together with steel bands. The metal plates lock together under compression to effectively create a solid metal link from one pully to the other.

And the new Mini's CVT is the same style, so it's a technology that's being embraced, not avoided.

The chain style belts can't take the same forces, so you really can't use them as an estimate of how well the Murano's CVT will do.

I don't recall ever seeing a CVT transmission complaint on this forum or others, in the last two years, that was not electronics related, and even there, only two incidents come to mind. There was also a leaking seal problem a couple of times, again, unrelated to the CVT's stability and reliability.

My Murano's leased for 4 years, so I'll be into another vehicle, by late 2006. So far, so good. I'm not a high mileage driver, and I expect to only have about 55,000 miles on it by the end of the lease.

So I'm not worried, but I'm watching...:4:
 

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I purchased the Murano on a 6 year loan. I drive at least 40,000km (24,000 miles) per year, so I'll have 240,000km (150,000 miles) by the time it's paid for.

As far as normal autos go, my only experience was with my first Jeep, an '87. It lived to be over 400,000km (240,000 miles) last I heard, and was still on the original engine and transmission, and had never even had a tranny fluid change. It even survived me throwing it into reverse at 45mph at about 140,000 miles.
 

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jaak said:


I seem to remember Audi's belt being a chain, but the Murano's belt is the push style, instead of pull, and is a series of metal plates held together with steel bands. The metal plates lock together under compression to effectively create a solid metal link from one pully to the other.

And the new Mini's CVT is the same style, so it's a technology that's being embraced, not avoided.

The chain style belts can't take the same forces, so you really can't use them as an estimate of how well the Murano's CVT will do.

I don't recall ever seeing a CVT transmission complaint on this forum or others, in the last two years, that was not electronics related, and even there, only two incidents come to mind. There was also a leaking seal problem a couple of times, again, unrelated to the CVT's stability and reliability.

My Murano's leased for 4 years, so I'll be into another vehicle, by late 2006. So far, so good. I'm not a high mileage driver, and I expect to only have about 55,000 miles on it by the end of the lease.

So I'm not worried, but I'm watching...:4:

I put up a post with a PDF to the Mini's ZF CVT and there is a picture of the belt in that file. It looks identical to the Murano's so I assume the Mini's CVT is also a push type like ours. I do believe though, that the Murano's CVT is the "toughest" and most "well engineered" of the bunch.
 
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