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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. What a pain this looks like. We want to change the transmission fluid in our 2013 due to the high mileage. Questions.

1. How much fluid do we need to have on hand? I can't find any info on this car!

2. I looked at the dipstick. There is no real dipstick. Just a short metal wand with no measuring marks on it. How do I know how much is enough without a dipstick?

3. We purchased NS2 by accident but cannot find NS3 which is what this vehicle requires. What is the difference?? Do we need to get this fluid from Nissan?

thanks for any info you have on this.

Thanks!!
 

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Altima 2013 CVT Fluid check / change

Altima 2013

Your question struck a nerve with me. I also do not like how Nissan has handled CVT maintenance.

The Owners Manual has little info and should at least reference the "Service and Maintenance Manual" which is also in your glove compartment. There is no CVT dipstick installed in the tube -- even though the ACTUAL Shop / Service manual (page MA-43) shows one.

The Service and Maintenance manual (page 13) states: "replace the fluid every 60,000 miles OR request the dealer to inspect the fluid deterioration data using a Consult. If the deterioration data is more than 210000, replace the CVT fluid."

The "Owners Manual" brushes off checking the CVT fluid and on page 8-13 states: "When checking or replacement of CVT fluid "IS" required, we recommend your NISSAN dealer for servicing." The Owners Manual gives no idea as to WHEN that "May" be required. It should at least give a reference to the Service and Maintenance Manual, but it does not. Note that engine oil maintenance IS in the manual of course. No mention of a CVT fill tube with or without a dipstick is mentioned OR shown anywhere in the Owners Manual. (The tube does exist - just without a fill gauge.)

The Nissan Service Manual gives conflicting ID of parts / location of CHARGING PIPE. See Service Manual page TM-82 / TM-210 / MA-43. Page MA-43 also shows a CVT level gauge -- BUT the Service Manual is in error and there is actually no such level gauge installed. -- I was told by a Nissan Service Manager that the dealer has a gauge, but I was not shown one and would NOT hang my hat on it.

In my opinion It appears Nissan and other MFR's did not install a dipstick/gauge in order to help prevent owners from installing the wrong CVT fluid OR overfilling. --- However you have no way of knowing "IF" your fluid is low -- maybe you don't notice that little oil leak in the years to come. You ABSOLUTELY MUST use the PROPER fluid. Note that later Nissan model's use different CVT fluid than previous models. You MUST refer to the owners manual for your car year to be sure the correct fluid is used. The Shop / Service Manual Section "TM" page 82 gives details including temperatures for changing the fluid.

I know that I will be having MY CVT fluid replaced at or before 60K (maybe at about 40/50K). It is expensive but still cheap CVT insurance in my opinion.

2013 2.5 Engine CVT 7 7/8 US qt (7.4 Liter) **NS-3 Fluid ONLY**
2013 3.5 Engine CVT 8 5/8 US qt (8.2 Liter) **NS-3 Fluid ONLY**

As RETAIL price of CVT fluid is APROX $20+ a quart having a "trusted" Nissan dealer change fluid may be the better option.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the reply. Eventually many will share our frustration. You're right, there is a measuring stick at the dealer. I want one! Anyway, as far as the amount of fluid that goes in these things, how exact do they really get? 7 and 7/8 quarts... What will happen if we empty 8qts into the CVT? If it was an even liter I would understand being a foreign vehicle and all but 7 7/8 qt = 7.4 liters... nothing is even rounded to the half!

Anyway if the fluid change is at least reasonable at the dealer, maybe we're better off letting them do it.
 

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I've been looking into changing the CVT fluid of my 2007 Altima. I bought the care from a dealer (Toyota dealer) with the vehicle having 66K miles on it. Only recently, now that it's about 1K miles to hitting 120K have I thought about changing the CVT fluid.

An excellent write up can be found at this link, it's for a 2007 though. I can't imagine that the procedure would vary much but I would still suggest looking for one for your Altima's generation.
- http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/f-q-2007-2012/296033-procedure-pictures-3-5se-cvt-fluid-change.html

I might tackle changing my CVT fluid and possibly performing a coolant flush this weekend.
 

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Nissan Altima 2013
Following documents CVT fluid capacity.

Note that it is VERY important to use the correct fluid AND not to NOT overfill the CVT during fluid changes. I guess that is why NISSAN makes it more difficult for a owner "do anything" as in "top-off" incorrectly - But we can't even easily check "IF" the CVT is low on fluid. - minor leak. Nissan wants to use a Nissan "Consult" computer to check the fluid - at your cost?

NISSAN ALTIMA 2013 Service Manual dated JUNE 2012 (Shop Manual)
CVT FLUID CAPACITY AND TYPE

(P) MAINTENANCE - SECTION MA - Page MA-20

Engine Model QR25DE (4 cylinder)
RE0F 10D CVT Fluid Capacity - Approx 7.4 liters ( 7 7/8 Quarts ) NS-3 Fluid ONLY

Engine Model VQ35DE (6 cylinder)
RE0F 10E CVT Fluid Capacity - Approx 8.2 Liters ( 8 5/8 Quarts ) NS-3 Fluid ONLY

CAUTION
*Use only Genuine NISSAN CVT Fluid NS-3. NEVER mix with other fluid.
*Using CVT Fluid other than Genuine NISSAN CVT Fluid NS-3 will deteriorate in drivability AND CVT durability, and may damage the CVT, which is NOT covered by the NISSAN new vehicle limited warranty

SECTION / Page TM-216 (for QR25DE) and TM-420 (For VQ35 DE) reiterates above capacity etc.
 

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Hi everyone. What a pain this looks like. We want to change the transmission fluid in our 2013 due to the high mileage. Questions.

1. How much fluid do we need to have on hand? I can't find any info on this car!

2. I looked at the dipstick. There is no real dipstick. Just a short metal wand with no measuring marks on it. How do I know how much is enough without a dipstick?

3. We purchased NS2 by accident but cannot find NS3 which is what this vehicle requires. What is the difference?? Do we need to get this fluid from Nissan?

thanks for any info you have on this.

Thanks!!
NS3 must be used. We fill transmission from the bottom with a charging pipe and pump at a temp of 114 degrees F.
 

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Altima 2013

Your question struck a nerve with me. I also do not like how Nissan has handled CVT maintenance.

The Owners Manual has little info and should at least reference the "Service and Maintenance Manual" which is also in your glove compartment. There is no CVT dipstick installed in the tube -- even though the ACTUAL Shop / Service manual (page MA-43) shows one.

The Service and Maintenance manual (page 13) states: "replace the fluid every 60,000 miles OR request the dealer to inspect the fluid deterioration data using a Consult. If the deterioration data is more than 210000, replace the CVT fluid."

The "Owners Manual" brushes off checking the CVT fluid and on page 8-13 states: "When checking or replacement of CVT fluid "IS" required, we recommend your NISSAN dealer for servicing." The Owners Manual gives no idea as to WHEN that "May" be required. It should at least give a reference to the Service and Maintenance Manual, but it does not. Note that engine oil maintenance IS in the manual of course. No mention of a CVT fill tube with or without a dipstick is mentioned OR shown anywhere in the Owners Manual. (The tube does exist - just without a fill gauge.)

The Nissan Service Manual gives conflicting ID of parts / location of CHARGING PIPE. See Service Manual page TM-82 / TM-210 / MA-43. Page MA-43 also shows a CVT level gauge -- BUT the Service Manual is in error and there is actually no such level gauge installed. -- I was told by a Nissan Service Manager that the dealer has a gauge, but I was not shown one and would NOT hang my hat on it.

In my opinion It appears Nissan and other MFR's did not install a dipstick/gauge in order to help prevent owners from installing the wrong CVT fluid OR overfilling. --- However you have no way of knowing "IF" your fluid is low -- maybe you don't notice that little oil leak in the years to come. You ABSOLUTELY MUST use the PROPER fluid. Note that later Nissan model's use different CVT fluid than previous models. You MUST refer to the owners manual for your car year to be sure the correct fluid is used. The Shop / Service Manual Section "TM" page 82 gives details including temperatures for changing the fluid.

I know that I will be having MY CVT fluid replaced at or before 60K (maybe at about 40/50K). It is expensive but still cheap CVT insurance in my opinion.

2013 2.5 Engine CVT 7 7/8 US qt (7.4 Liter) **NS-3 Fluid ONLY**
2013 3.5 Engine CVT 8 5/8 US qt (8.2 Liter) **NS-3 Fluid ONLY**

As RETAIL price of CVT fluid is APROX $20+ a quart having a "trusted" Nissan dealer change fluid may be the better option.
As per a mechanic at Planet Nissan Las Vegas, 2014 Altima CVT fluid level is checked with engine running in P / N, fluid warm, by loosening the service plug in the CVT casing (not the drain plug in the pan)....fluid should be just about even with the plug and thereby slowly dripping out...............add NS3 fluid (low viscosity blue) if required by removing the charging cap (former dipstick cap) with a dental pick or similar sharp-pointed object. It's hard to see but you have to use the pick to disengage a plastic retainer tab from a square slot in the bracket attached to the tube, then pull straight up.
The AllData online
manual says to observe the fluid temp with a Consult tool and service via a special tool fitted to the service port.........but the mechanic at Planet did none of these things. I plan to remove the pan and clean the two magnets inside at my post break-in 1 year / 5000 mile mark, then reservice as indicated (about 5-6 QTS I understand). I plan to drain via the plug and refill annually since the dealer 30k service is prohibitively expensive and I have heard various horror stories about doing it via the cooling lines. It appears that Nissan NS3 can be purchased online for much less than $20 a quart.
 

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Since the OP needs NS-3, I'm assuming his procedure is similar to mine. The dipstick is accessible with a screwdriver, right? And there's a drain plug, but where is it? Any updates on the new xtronic cvt calling for NS3, and can you use castrol CVT as that's cheaper and is spec'd to NS3 as well now on the back.
 

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Nissan Altima 2013
Following documents CVT fluid capacity.

Note that it is VERY important to use the correct fluid AND not to NOT overfill the CVT during fluid changes. I guess that is why NISSAN makes it more difficult for a owner "do anything" as in "top-off" incorrectly - But we can't even easily check "IF" the CVT is low on fluid. - minor leak. Nissan wants to use a Nissan "Consult" computer to check the fluid - at your cost?

NISSAN ALTIMA 2013 Service Manual dated JUNE 2012 (Shop Manual)
CVT FLUID CAPACITY AND TYPE

(P) MAINTENANCE - SECTION MA - Page MA-20

Engine Model QR25DE (4 cylinder)
RE0F 10D CVT Fluid Capacity - Approx 7.4 liters ( 7 7/8 Quarts ) NS-3 Fluid ONLY

Engine Model VQ35DE (6 cylinder)
RE0F 10E CVT Fluid Capacity - Approx 8.2 Liters ( 8 5/8 Quarts ) NS-3 Fluid ONLY

CAUTION
*Use only Genuine NISSAN CVT Fluid NS-3. NEVER mix with other fluid.
*Using CVT Fluid other than Genuine NISSAN CVT Fluid NS-3 will deteriorate in drivability AND CVT durability, and may damage the CVT, which is NOT covered by the NISSAN new vehicle limited warranty

SECTION / Page TM-216 (for QR25DE) and TM-420 (For VQ35 DE) reiterates above capacity etc.
Can you use Castrol CVT fluid which is now spec'd to NS3? Valvoline only is spec'd to NS2 so that's not OK but what about castrol? Draining and filling every 30k is better than flushing, right? Thanks.
 

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2014 Sentra 24k miles.
I just bought the car.
I pulled the plug on the pan CVT.... only about a quart came out. I expected way more. I looked typical brownish not blue.

Ideas anyone? How much NS3 to put back - or should there be a flush process first? Guy at dealer said they sell no parts but fluid - no filters or nothing --- cvt goes out they replace the whole thing.
 

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They replace the whole thing.
That's generally true. Nissan doesn't want the techs opening up the CVTs. Nissan has had so many CVT issues with so many swaps they have had to set up a dedicated call center to handle all the issues and replacements into the customer's cars. Huge #s of CVT replacements, various ones multiple times on the same cars.

The techs have a process they are to follow when changing the new NS3. They have a special adapter that moves the fluid from a tank through a hose to the tranny. There is an angled port that is to be opened when the CVT is at 114' (as I recall); when fluid runs out that port at THAT temp, then the CVT is adjudged to be properly filled. Even the techs can't measure fill status (other than that).

The consumers don't yet fully understand what Nissan has done to them without the CVT dipsticks and without the ability to check, adjust, change their own tranny fluid.

Folks need to know this. Beforehand.

It will catch up to them.
 

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Official Service Manuals

Hi guys, you can download the official Nissan service manuals from this site: http://diyservicemanuals.com/
Find you correct car model and year and download the file.
The files are downloaded as RAR archives so you need to extract them with WINRAR if you use Windows, or RAR Extractor Free is you use Mac.
After you extract the file, you will see about 50 different documents, open the file named "MA" (Maintenance), and you will find official fluid capacities and other technical details.

As for the CVT fluid, I contacted Valvoline and Amalie support and they both have the NS-3 specification (check the files I attached). These are the fluids:
Valvoline CVT Full Synthetic Fluid
Amalie Universal Synthetic CVT Fluid

I am currently changing the fluid on a 2013 Nissan Sentra with CVT, I'm using the Amalie fluid mentioned above. I'll let you guys know how things turn out.
 

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I recommend extreme caution with Amalie fluid.

I just had my 2010 Sentra's fluid switched out a few weeks ago with fluid from Amalie that was supposedly up to spec.

I began having some transmission problems almost immediately and in getting it checked out I learned about the possibility (I don't know yet) of actual long-term damage to the transmission as a result.

I'd recommend staying away from that stuff.
 

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Hi everyone. What a pain this looks like. We want to change the transmission fluid in our 2013 due to the high mileage. Questions.

1. How much fluid do we need to have on hand? I can't find any info on this car!

2. I looked at the dipstick. There is no real dipstick. Just a short metal wand with no measuring marks on it. How do I know how much is enough without a dipstick?

3. We purchased NS2 by accident but cannot find NS3 which is what this vehicle requires. What is the difference?? Do we need to get this fluid from Nissan?

thanks for any info you have on this.

Thanks!!
From what I have heard you will need to measure the amount of fluid that comes out of the transmission when you drain it. Then, replace it with the same amount and maybe just a little more but not too much as I hear overfilling may damage the tranny.
 

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So a few years ago I bought a 2013 Altima with around 60K miles. I travel a lot for work and the car has been very reliable so far, right now the odometer reads 139k miles, obviously the car has no warranty. I have been looking at youtube videos of people replacing the transmission fluid themselves, I'm not an advanced mechanic, but basic stuff I can handle by myself and the videos didn't look difficult at all. The dealer quoted me around $250 for the job, buying 5 quarts of the authentic Nissan CVT fluid from Amazon will cost me around $85, whereas the Valvoline equivalent I found 5 quarts at Walmart for $38. Considering the longevity of my car is this something I should just take care of myself with the Valvoline and not spend the $250 at the dealer or it's way too risky???
 

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Risky as in what or why? You are asking us to make a judgement on your skills there, we hardly know you.

You are the only one with an accurate answer to that question.
 

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Risky as in what or why? You are asking us to make a judgement on your skills there, we hardly know you.

You are the only one with an accurate answer to that question.
Risky as in what or why? Risky as in mixing new Valvoline fluid, with possible 140k mile old Nissan fluid, and just doing what I saw people doing on YouTube, which was basically just get under the car, drain the fluid, measure how much fluid came out, and refill the same amount with new fluid.
 

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For peace of mind I would go with the OEM Nissan NS3 cvt fluid. I would not recommend taking a gamble on the Valvoline cvt fluid, Valvoline coolant for your engine yes but cvt fluid NO! ITS JUST NOT WORTH THE RISK?‍♂
 

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You can buy the dipstick on ebay rather cheap. I believe its from the 12 altima 2.5. (Match your engine and trans) this allows you to check before befire and after.

Drain. And refill. Ns-3 check ebay for deals.

Catch and measure if you want. Should be 3.5 qts. (About half)
Fill and recheck

This method is done on a regular basis. Every 30k. Much like a diesel big rig. Over time you are cycling out the old oil by frequently adding in new.

Opening the side port mentioned above does work. However i have met multiple people doing the simple drain and fill 3.5 qts above with over 300k miles and no problems with their cvts. Myself included.

Important thing is to not neglect it and use ns-3. Pay a little more. Your cvt is not cheap to replace, but your fluid is.
 

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Here's a really good video on how to correctly perform this service on any 2013-2018 Altima's. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to invest in a good scan tool that's capable of reading the transmission temperature.

 
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