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I have a 2012 Nissan Altima with 150k miles (purchased around 110k miles) my car has gone into limp mode a few times due to the transmission getting too hot and I often hear the transmission whine when driving for longer distances/higher speeds in warmer temperatures. I decided that I wanted to get a transmission cooler and do the install by myself but this will be my first time so I had a few questions first.
  1. Is there anything I need to know beforehand?
  2. How difficult is the install?
  3. Do I need to top off the transmission fluid afterward?
  4. Should I replace the transmission fluid? (not sure when the fluid was last replaced)
  5. If I do need to replace the fluid, about how much would I need and which fluid would you recommend?
 

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1. You will need to install a thermostat inside the line that supplies CVT fluid to the cooler. You don't want the cooler on at all times so an inline thermostat would block flow through the cooler when fluid cooling is not needed.
2. Haven't tried it so I don't know.
3. Yes you will need to add more fluid after the installation.
4. You should replace the fluid and paper filter before installing the cooler.
5. It depends on how thorough a replacement you want to do. The total capacity of the CVT is nearly 8 quarts. If you replace only 4 qts then you have a mix of 50/50 old and new. Genuine Nissan NS2 fluid is the "gold standard" but you will be fine using Aisin ATF-NS2 which is what I recommend as it's half the cost per quart and might be the same as the Genuine Nissan NS2.
 
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