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Changed the CVT fluid around 100k with Nissan fluid and have always treated the car well. Car is currently running great. However, saw somewhere that average CVT life in my model is around my current mileage 120k. Had hoped to drive this car for 200k until I found out about CVT issues.

Anybody have an original CVT with high mileage? Is it just a m of time before it leaves me stranded on the side of the road?
 

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I am at 75 K and very concerned.
 

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To enhance longevity, the CVT fluid should always be replaced every 30,000 mi. When the fluid stays in too long, the chemical properties of the fluid get compromised and it can no longer provide that cushion that's so needed between the steel belt and the cones. You can generally deduce that by looking at the fluid; if it's very dark brown and has a burnt odor, it's shot!
 

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If it’s not acting up I wouldn’t be to concerned. I would however do spill and fills every 10k for awhile. I’d even do another right away since they probably only replaced 5qts in a 12qt system. new fluid is key to prevent a mechanical failure, it won’t however fix a mechanical fault in the cvt. My nissan tech has over 300k on his 08 coupe and ran every kind of fluid imaginable including lots of castrol red fluid. Nissan fluid isn’t some magical elixer and they even changed the wording in my wife’s 2018 OM to “equivelant”. I know over the years that SOPUS, idemitsu and eneos have produced oem fluid for Nissan. I’ve used all 3 in addition to valvoline and castrol and the only issue was an 09 that my former dealer said didn’t need changed due to the consult number. That cvt was replaced under extended warranty, but it was also overfilled from the factory, which that same dealer said was no big deal. Yeah I don’t go to them anymore.
 

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I treated my Altima about as best you can living in a major city. Didn’t beat the crap out of it, as it is a 2.5 and there would be no point to treat it like a sports car. My CVT went at just under 110k. I have been on tons of these Nissan forums as well as spoken to far too many dealerships who purposely find another task to take up. That led me to calling a transmission shop I used to use back in the hay day of American cars. They have always been good to me back when I was swapping T-5’s to T-56’s. What I had been told is as follows. The forum member a few threads before me is absolutely correct. That transmission fluid breaks down over time, and is further accelerated by excessive heat. Then just as said before, the bands and cones wear down. And mechanical failures take over. There was a recall on the 2010 Altima, Murano, and maybe Rogues...? Nissan very hesitantly offered about $1,000.00 toward repairs. Unfortunately that might just be enough to drop the trans for inspection, then it’s up to your pocket book. Again, just repeating from a reputable source; Nissan really didn’t want to admit fault. So they ducked and dodged when they could, and sparingly paid out when they had to. Allegedly the reason Nissan has been so shy about this is the stock trans cooler did not cool its capacity down quick enough, especially on hot summer months. The fluid was more often than not overfilled during maintenance by the techs, or the fluid change all together ignored by the owner. This caused the fluid to heat up and foam and lose all its abilities as a lubricant as well as not cycle through the underpowered cooling system correctly, as it was no longer a fluid, but a foam mess. So there a majority of us sat on the side of the road wondering what the “eff” just happened. Most trans shops quote according to damage done, and can range from $1,400-$3,200. There’s also CVT specific shops that sell HD enhanced CVT’s and that as well puts it up near 3K before installation. To my rescue, my brother has a bunch of friends that work for “HOONIGAN” Motorsports in California. They said they have heard of the problem and devised a “Band-Aid”. And “Band-Aid” it is as it’s not a permanent fix. They found by mounting a moderate size external transmission cooler it will extend the drivability for a “roll of the dice” style length of time. This helps if your just running around short distances and gives you a an extra hour or so before the car is whining, losing rpm’s and basically falls on its face. Upon hearing this, I was able to convince some of the guys on their off time to extend the cooler to a remote location. In fact, instead of just having them install a universal trans cooler and mount; I went the extra distance and used a front mount inter cooler roughly the size of an SRT 4’s. In addition I had a push/pull fan installed behind it to further aid in the cooling of this engineering failure. It did ACTUALLY give me a decent to reasonable extra amount of drive time. But the mechanical damage has been done. There’s no getting around that. To help keep me posted on how much heat is still collecting inside the trans, I ran a little engine oil thermostat into the return side of the inter cooler. I bought an A pillar pod and mounted the oil temp gauge. Therefore I knew when it was time to cut it short. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT AND ULTIMATE DECISION I MADE; was to trade it in to CarMax when the fluid and engine were warm enough to pass a shallow trade in exception. I loved that car, it killed me to get rid of it, but in the end, it’s Nissan’s shortcomings in the engineering of those early CVT’s as well as failing to resolve the problems of thousands of CVT equipped cars. I know this was long, probably sounds like a fairy tale, but unfortunately I’m telling the truth. I wish you all the best, and I hope my CVT themed novel can at least help even a little bit.
Cheers! Sincerely, a disappointed ex CVT owner.
 

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Changed the CVT fluid around 100k with Nissan fluid and have always treated the car well. Car is currently running great. However, saw somewhere that average CVT life in my model is around my current mileage 120k. Had hoped to drive this car for 200k until I found out about CVT issues.

Anybody have an original CVT with high mileage? Is it just a m of time before it leaves me stranded on the side of the road?
I have a 2010 Nissan Altima with the same transmission mine has 128500 miles on it so far so good 👍
 

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I have a 2010 Nissan Altima with the same transmission mine has 128500 miles on it so far so good 👍
Don't gamble on not replacing the CVT fluid. To enhance longevity, the CVT fluid should always be replaced every 30,000 mi. When the fluid stays in too long, the chemical properties of the fluid get compromised and it can no longer provide that cushion that's so needed between the steel belt and the cones. You can generally deduce that by looking at the fluid; if it's very dark brown and has a burnt odor, it's shot!
 

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Don't gamble on not replacing the CVT fluid. To enhance longevity, the CVT fluid should always be replaced every 30,000 mi. When the fluid stays in too long, the chemical properties of the fluid get compromised and it can no longer provide that cushion that's so needed between the steel belt and the cones. You can generally deduce that by looking at the fluid; if it's very dark brown and has a burnt odor, it's shot!
Im currently at 112k On my '13 Altima Coupe. A fluid change has never happened. Is this something I still should do at this mileage or leave it alone? I have done plenty of fluid replacements or drain and fills on regular automatic transmission. On a regular automatic, if you do a complete flush, you will run the risk of ruining the transmission if the clutch packs are shot. Does this also apply to this generation Altimas CVT? From what I understand there are forward and backward clutch packs.
 

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Don't gamble on not replacing the CVT fluid. To enhance longevity, the CVT fluid should always be replaced every 30,000 mi. When the fluid stays in too long, the chemical properties of the fluid get compromised and it can no longer provide that cushion that's so needed between the steel belt and the cones. You can generally deduce that by looking at the fluid; if it's very dark brown and has a burnt odor, it's shot!
Im going to check it out next time b 4 I drive it, Thank U 😇
 

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Don't gamble on not replacing the CVT fluid. To enhance longevity, the CVT fluid should always be replaced every 30,000 mi. When the fluid stays in too long, the chemical properties of the fluid get compromised and it can no longer provide that cushion that's so needed between the steel belt and the cones. You can generally deduce that by looking at the fluid; if it's very dark brown and has a burnt odor, it's shot!
Thank U I will surely take ur advice and let u no how its going on here next time I will check b 4 driving the stick has like notch u have to push with a screwdriver or pocket knife to open and pull out 🥰
 

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That stupid plastic retainer has broke off every cvt I have and had. It won’t hurt a thing, but if your cars under warranty it lets Nissan know you’ve been there. They actually have a special tool they use but they still broke it when I had my rogue serviced and even tried charging me for a new one. I told them “reuse the old one”. The tech even acknowledged that being locked is not needed.
 

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Changed the CVT fluid around 100k with Nissan fluid and have always treated the car well. Car is currently running great. However, saw somewhere that average CVT life in my model is around my current mileage 120k. Had hoped to drive this car for 200k until I found out about CVT issues.

Anybody have an original CVT with high mileage? Is it just a m of time before it leaves me stranded on the side of the road?
Well when it comes to cars regardless of transmission. If the car is running well and stay on top of plug changes, oil changes, if all thats cool. If i was u try to change all the sensors start with the ones that links to exhaust pipe from the front to back. I think theres four. sensors start going bad bout that time . And theres no rush save a lil bit and get one when possible cause the can get expensive. cheaper online. I know they say "if it any broke dont fixs it " i say i like to prevent it breaking down. Cause when it breaks down u mite not have the money to fixs it. They your screwed!! Besides they put on football helmets for perverting brain injuries. Why not be the same way with the car ...plan ahead. Works great
 

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Im currently at 112k On my '13 Altima Coupe. A fluid change has never happened. Is this something I still should do at this mileage or leave it alone? I have done plenty of fluid replacements or drain and fills on regular automatic transmission. On a regular automatic, if you do a complete flush, you will run the risk of ruining the transmission if the clutch packs are shot. Does this also apply to this generation Altimas CVT? From what I understand there are forward and backward clutch packs.
Absolutely. There’s a guy on bob is the oil guy who’s pushing 400k with his Altima coupe and didn’t do his first drain and fill till 280k. He got lucky obviously. I know he did several drain and fills after. Warranty is of no concern to you so use the cheapest ns2 compatible fluid you can find. It’s usually castrol, but I scored 2 cases of valvoline on Amazon for $2 a quart. I’m at the point with my 09 that every 3rd oil change I dump 4.5 qts and 4.5 goes back in.
 

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Absolutely. There’s a guy on bob is the oil guy who’s pushing 400k with his Altima coupe and didn’t do his first drain and fill till 280k. He got lucky obviously. I know he did several drain and fills after. Warranty is of no concern to you so use the cheapest ns2 compatible fluid you can find. It’s usually castrol, but I scored 2 cases of valvoline on Amazon for $2 a quart. I’m at the point with my 09 that every 3rd oil change I dump 4.5 qts and 4.5 goes back in.
Sorry a 2013 takes ns3, which castrol and valvoline cover. also eneos at napa can be had for under $9 a quart and the last data sheet I saw was who was manufacturing fluid for Nissan.
 

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I have an '08 Altima 2.5 with 168k on it. Did a drain and refill at around 100k. Fluid looked fine. Dropped the pan and changed both filters at 160k. Nothing alarming in pan or filters, fluid looked fine. Used Amsoil CVT fluid both times, took 7 quarts. Car still runs fine.
 
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