History of Nissan CVT Transmissions
Nissan pioneered the integration of CVTs in their vehicles during the early 1990s, heralding a new era in transmission technology. The benefits were apparent, with improved fuel efficiency and lower maintenance requirements, making it a success for Nissan initially.
Outstanding Features of Nissan CVT Transmissions
- Low Maintenance: With fewer moving parts compared to traditional automatic transmissions, Nissan CVTs were designed for longevity and lower maintenance.
- Fuel Efficiency: Operating within the most efficient RPM range, Nissan CVTs offered better fuel economy and reduced emissions.
Common Nissan CVT Transmission Problems
1. Overheating Transmission Fluid
Driving a Nissan CVT may lead to a burning smell, indicating overheating transmission fluid. Regular fluid checks and using high-quality synthetic fluid can mitigate this issue.
2. Shaking and Shuddering
Shaking and shuddering in Nissan cars with CVT transmissions could result from damaged belts, a clogged filter, faulty torque converter, or low transmission fluid. Swift resolution is crucial to prevent further damage.
3. Transmission Slip
Some Nissan CVTs may experience excessive slipping, possibly due to a faulty solenoid or internal transmission damage.
4. Acceleration Problems
Despite technological advancements, Nissan CVTs may face issues like delayed shifting, loud noise, and increased fuel consumption during sudden acceleration.
5. Humming or Whining Noise
Strange noises emanating from the CVT transmission could be caused by faulty bearings, gears, or issues with CVT belts or transmission fluid.
6. Premature Failure
Certain Nissan CVTs may fail prematurely, attributed to manufacturing defects or inadequate quality control.
Nissan CVT Transmission Recall
Due to the impact on driver experience and safety concerns, Nissan initiated recalls for specific models, addressing CVT-related errors:
- 2012-2017 Sentra: Recall issued in 2018 due to a defect leading to transmission failure.
- 2013-2014 Pathfinder: Recall in 2014 for CVT-related defects.
- 2013-2016 Altima: Recall in 2016 addressing CVT transmission issues.
- 2015 Murano: Recall in 2016 for specific CVT transmission problems.
If your Nissan vehicle falls under a CVT transmission recall, contact your local dealership for a free repair and stay updated on future recalls.
Nissan’s Response to CVT Transmission Problems
Nissan acknowledged and took steps to address reported CVT transmission problems:
- Extended Warranty: Nissan extended the warranty on certain vehicles with CVT transmissions to 10 years/120,000 miles, covering specified repairs.
- Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs): Issued TSBs providing guidance to dealerships and mechanics on diagnosing and repairing CVT transmission issues.
- Improved Design: Enhancements to CVT transmission design, including the use of stronger materials and improved cooling systems.
- Settlements and Buybacks: Offered settlements or buybacks to customers facing significant CVT transmission problems.
- Customer Assistance Program: Established a customer assistance program with a hotline and website for filing complaints, obtaining information on recalls, and addressing safety concerns.
Understanding Nissan Altima’s CVT Transmission
Types of Transmissions
Understanding the transmission options helps buyers make informed decisions. Nissan Altima, a popular mid-sized car, comes equipped with a CVT transmission since 2007.
- Manual Transmission: Requires manual gear shifting using a clutch and shifter.
- Automatic Transmission: Common for over 20 years, it automatically shifts gears based on driving conditions.
- Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT): A newer technology, utilizing a variable belt system for smoother gear transitions.
Nissan Altima’s CVT Details
Nissan switched Altima’s transmissions to CVTs in 2007, offering benefits such as smoother rides and improved fuel efficiency.
Identifying a CVT
To confirm if a Nissan has a CVT, consult the owner’s manual or observe the RPM gauge. In a CVT-equipped vehicle, the RPM remains constant, unlike automatic transmissions where RPM fluctuates when nearing a gear shift