gearbox problems nissan (2023)

This article provides detailed information on common Nissan transmission problems, their causes and symptoms. It will fix issues reported by Nissan owners such as: B. Loss of power, jerking and shaking while driving, slippery shifting, overheating and burning smell. In addition, possible causes for these problems, such as B. lack of maintenance or manufacturing defects are discussed. The article also provides information on how to troubleshoot and diagnose transmission problems, as well as the available repair or replacement options.

When a Nissan vehicle encounters transmission problems such as: For example, not shifting, showing power loss, not engaging, and not shifting when the transmission is set to drive, it is most likely due to a problem with the transmission control module, the transmission, or the vehicle body. Transmission Valve These problems can also be accompanied by the check engine light and transmission error message displayed in the instrument cluster. Other common causes of this problem include low transmission oil levels, faulty sensors or solenoids, and internal damage to the transmission. In order to diagnose the specific cause of these symptoms, it is important to perform a complete physical exam.Transmission control unit diagnostic scan, check the transmission oil levels and inspect the transmission for any visible damage or wear. In some cases, the transmission may need to be rebuilt or replaced.


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A faulty Nissan transmission can exhibit a number of symptoms including loss of power, juddering and shaking while driving, vibration or judder, slippery gears, transmission oil overheating, sudden vehicle deceleration, judder and judder when accelerating, sudden downshifts, gear changes, limited engine. RPM and power output, gear squeal, high engine idle speed, lack of power or acceleration, and burning smell. These symptoms can indicate a variety of transmission problems and it is important to have the vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic for a proper diagnosis and repair.

  1. Premature transmission failure:Transmission failures in Nissan vehicles can occur due to many factors including accidents, lack of maintenance and manufacturing defects. Symptoms of transmission failure include difficult shifting, slippery gears and loss of power. Causes can be improper maintenance, e.g. B. no change of transmission oil, or damage caused by an accident.
  2. Strange switching noises:Nissan cars can make unusual noises, such as B. moans, buzzes or pops. These sounds can indicate internal damage or low transmission oil levels. Causes can include low fluid levels, worn or damaged gears, or a defective torque converter.
  3. Motor acceleration:Engine revving when the vehicle is stationary can indicate a slipping clutch or a defective torque converter on Nissan vehicles. Worn or damaged parts, low fluid level, or contamination in the transmission oil can cause this problem.
  4. delayed acceleration: Acceleration lag can be caused by a number of issues in Nissan vehicles such as: B. a defective torque converter, a slipping clutch or worn or damaged gears. This problem can lead to poor fuel economy and reduced performance.
  5. Transmission overheating: Gearbox overheating in Nissan vehicles can be caused by a number of issues such as: B. Low fluid level, dirty fluid or a faulty cooling system. Causes can be improper maintenance, e.g. B. not changing the transmission oil, and damage from an accident.
  6. burnt smell:The burning odor from the transmission could be due to overheating or a fluid leak. Causes can be low fluid levels or damage to the transmission as a result of an accident.
  7. Vehicle hesitation or stalling: Nissan vehicles may hesitate or stall when changing gears due to various problems such as worn or damaged gears, defective torque converter or clutch slippage. Causes can be improper maintenance, e.g. B. not changing the transmission oil, and damage from an accident.
  8. Enormous and extreme:Shaking and shaking while driving can be a sign of a problem with the transmission or drivetrain in Nissan vehicles. Causes can be worn or damaged gears, a defective torque converter or a slipping clutch.

It is important to note that these problems can have other causes and proper diagnosis by a qualified mechanic is always recommended. In addition, Nissan cars have had transmission recalls; It's always good to check if your car is in one of these campaigns.

Do all Nissans have transmission problems?

No, not all Nissans have transmission problems. However, certain models and years have been known to have transmission problems. Some Nissan models such as the Altima, Maxima and Murano have been the subject of transmission-related recalls and class-action lawsuits. Also, many Nissan cars have a CVT transmission, which can have certain reliability issues. It is important to note that many transmission problems are caused by improper maintenance or accidental damage. It is important to have your car serviced regularly and after an accident by a qualified mechanic. It's also good to check if your car is participating in any of Nissan's transmission recalls.

Nissan Transmission Problems by Symptoms

1. Transmission is stuck in gear (emergency mode)

Older Nissans that use a traditional four-speed automatic transmission, designated RE4F04B, can have problems that put them in limp mode. In such a scenario, the transmission remains in a single gear and shifting is not possible. Depending on the problem, this happens right after starting or driving the car. In both cases, this activates the Check Engine Light.

Possible causes and solutions:

  • Let the gearbox cool down for at least an hour and it can work normally again.
  • Input or output speed sensor failure giving implausible data. If such irregularities are detected, the TCU puts the transmission into limp home mode as a preventive measure. A P0720 code will be stored.
  • Incorrectly connected speed sensors located side by side on the gearbox. Because the connectors are identical, it's not uncommon for mechanics to separate them after other repairs in the area.

2. Sudden gear changes or sudden downshifts.

Nissan Altima and Maxima using the Aisin AW55 5-speed automatic transmission share a common problem with gear changes. It manifests as intermittent shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear or hard downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear. This problem will only appear in the early stages when you are cold, but it usually gets worse over time. This will trigger a check engine light so that a corresponding trouble code will be stored.

Possible causes and solutions:

  • Excessive wear in the bores of the valve body due to the material of the solenoid valve being harder than the valve body itself. Depending on the valve and the wear position, this will result in fluid leakage, resulting in loss of pressure or obstruction of the valve movement. If there are signs of wear, the valve body must be replaced.
  • Like different variants, non-compatible control valves either have a control spring or not. This common mistake in transmission repairs can cause intermittent 2-3 gear shift problems.

3. Jerking when engaging higher gears

Larger Nissan SUVs and pickups with a RE5R05A 5-speed automatic transmission in rear-wheel drive configuration may experience severe jerks and harsh gear changes when engaging 4th or 5th gear.

In most cases, this problem will become more apparent once the vehicle has reached operating temperature. The problem does not affect shifting from 1st to 3rd gear and does not activate the Check Engine Light.

(Video) Nissan CVT Transmission Problems, What You Need to Know

Possible causes and solutions:

  • Excessive wear in the torque converter clutch control sleeve, causing loss of pressure in the valve body. This affects TCC engagement and makes shifting more difficult. In more serious cases, it can even lead to failures in the transmission exchange or TCC. Improved control valve kits are available on the market.

4. Rattling or vibration when accelerating

Many newer Nissans use one of Jatco's continuously variable transmissions, sharing a few common issues. One of the most common is the transmission squeaking or rattling only when accelerating. In some cases, this is accompanied by a slight shaking. No other symptoms or warning lights are displayed.

Possible causes and solutions:

  • Bearing damage which is a common problem with these gearboxes. To identify the source of the noise, shift into the gear that makes the loudest noise and downshift. If the primary pulley bearing is defective, the noise will increase. If not, the problem is most likely with the secondary pulley bearing. Improved bearings are available on the market.
  • Defective throttle solenoid valve causing low transmission oil pressure. In addition to rattling and noise when accelerating, this can cause skidding and poor acceleration.

5. I don't laugh

Models like Xterra and Pathfinder can have an issue where the transmission doesn't reverse. You could end up losing reverse, or it may take several seconds for reverse to engage.

  • Nissan's reverse problems get worse as the vehicle gets hotter. Sometimes a transmission cooler upgrade will solve the problem.
  • A possible cause is a defective range sensor on the transmission side.
  • Another problem could be a broken snap ring for the reverse clutches, or a broken reverse magnet could also be to blame.

If a complete transmission rebuild is required, it can range from $2,700 to $5,500.

6. Poor throttle and excessive engine speed

Nissans with Jatco continuously variable transmissions can suffer from a specific problem where the car seems to have trouble accelerating. In this case, the engine will rev faster than normal and acceleration will be slower. In some cases, engaging the clutch is difficult and can even cause the engine to stall. Usually this does not activate the Check Engine Light or cause other symptoms.

Possible causes and solutions:

  • Worn or leaking torque converter clutch shift valve causes pressure loss in transmission oil. The TCC cannot be activated due to insufficient force. Replacing the switching valve with an improved element will fix the problem.
  • A failed torque converter throttle will result in excessive engagement or delayed release of the TCC. As mentioned above, this causes trembling and stuttering. Replacing the valve with an updated item fixes the problem.

general problems

The following steps can help you troubleshoot and diagnose your Nissan Transmission problem. Please read each section carefully and determine if it applies to your specific problem.

1. Mal Solenoid

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Shift solenoids are mounted on the valve body in the transmission. Faulty shift solenoids can affect Nissan four- and five-speed automatic transmissions.gearbox problems nissan (3)

Symptoms of a defective shift solenoid include:

  • switching delay
  • No downshifting or engaging a gear
  • sudden change
  • No gears or stuck in neutral
  • I am not laughing

The common problem with Nissan shift solenoids is the piston getting stuck in the fluid due to dirt or the solenoid wires getting damaged.

Symptoms of a bad shift solenoid include the transmission engaging or excessive engine speeds. The vehicle cannot accelerate above 40 mph.

2. Low fluid level or leaks

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(Video) Why Nissan CVTs FAIL

If your Nissan or Infiniti jerks when shifting the gearbox,It is quite possible that the transmission oil level is too low.Late shifting is also another common symptom caused by low transmission oil levels. Move the shifter from park to drive.

If the transmission takes longer than four seconds to engage, check the transmission oil level first. Another sign that your transmission is low on fluid is your Nissan going into mud mode or getting stuck in gear under hard acceleration. Refer to your owner's manual for instructions on how to check the Nissan transmission oil level.

3. Faulty transmission speed sensor

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The gearbox speed sensor in the Nissan CVT gearbox may fail. This can result in no shifting, the check engine light coming on, or knocking when shifting from Park to Drive or Reverse.

This gearbox is installed on many cars, including Nissan Altima, Cube, Juke, Maxima, Murano, NV Cargo, Pathfinder and Quest.

4. Defective radiator/transmission cooler

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A defective transmission oil cooler installed in the radiator can cause the engine coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid. This allows engine coolant to enter the transmission and end up damaging the belts. You can take a small sample of the transmission fluid and send it to any laboratory that analyzes vehicle fluids for analysis.

Check the gear oil level

A low transmission oil level is often the cause of some transmission problems.

  1. Drive the vehicle for 15 minutes to warm up the transmission fluid.
  2. Park the vehicle on level ground.
  3. Apply the parking brakes and shift into park.
  4. Pull the hood release and open the hood.
  5. Locate the transmission oil dipstick.
  6. Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean cloth.
  7. Insert the dipstick back into the transmission. Make sure the gear is fully seated, then remove it.
  8. Look closely at the dipstick to determine the current level of the transmission oil. The level should be between the MIN and MAX marks.
  9. If the level is low, top up the transmission oil level.

If your Nissan doesn't move when you put it into drive mode or when you skid, your transmission may be low or low on fluid. If that's the case, don't drive the car to warm up the fluid or you'll burn the transmission. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual for checking the transmission oil level.

Read Transmission Trouble Codes (DTCs).

Nissan gearboxerror codesthey are stored in the Transmission Control Module (TCM | TCU). Because of this, transmission problems are unlikely to trigger your check engine light.

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use oneNissan-Vollsystemscannerfor reading and clearing Transmission Control Unit (TCU) codes. EITHERYOUCANIC Vollsystemtestercan read and deleteerror codesby each control unit in a vehicle.

  1. Park the vehicle and turn off the ignition; apply the parking brakes.
  2. Locate the diagnostic connector under the dash on the driver's side.
  3. plug in, yesOBD-II lecturer, then turn on the ignition without starting the engine.
  4. The scanner turns on. Let it communicate with the vehicle. Select Nissan and then your model.
  5. Select transmission control unit.
  6. Select Readerror codesno main menu

Avoiding Nissan Transmission Problems

If you only have transmission problems when the vehicle is hot, the problem could be overheated transmission fluid. This is often an issue on long drives or when towing, you may notice bumps, vibration, judder and lack of acceleration.

(Video) NISSAN CVT TRANSMISSION | why it fails and what you can do about it to prolong it's life

Nissan transmissions tend to get hot due to insufficient cooling of the transmission oil. Overheating can lead to premature transmission failure. If the transmission overheats, the transmission module will detect this condition and place the vehicle in fail-safe mode. Failsafe mode limits engine RPM and speed to prevent further transmission damage. If you let the car cool down normally, the car can run normally until the transmission oil overheats again.

One possible solution is to install a larger transmission cooler. Do not continue to drive your Nissan if you experience these symptoms as it could permanently damage the transmission.

Nissan Extended Transmission Warranty

A typical Nissan warranty is five years or 60,000 miles. Nissan previously extended the warranty on your vehicle due to problems with the automatic transmission. In accordance withUnited States2003-2010 vehicles equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) also have a 10 year/120,000 mile CVT Limited Warranty Extension.”

Affected models include:

  • 2007-2010 Altima (Plus Altima Coupe and Altima Hybrid)
  • Highs 2007-2010
  • 2003-2007; Murano 2009-2010
  • 2008-2010 Vampire
  • Seats 2007-2010
  • 2007-2010 reverse (1.8SL)

If your Nissan or Infiniti is experiencing transmission problems, contact your dealership to see if your extended warranty will cover your vehicle. In 2019, Nissan extended warranties on used CVTs in select US models to 7 years. The campaign includes more than 3 million vehicles sold between 2012 and 2017, including Sentra, Versa and Altima sedans, Karube said. Any further questions please contactNissan Customer Service Center at 888-388-0318.

review recalls

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write yourVINlocated in the lower left corner of the windshield.

Then visit theNational Traffic Safety Authoritywebsite and enter yoursVIN. This way you can check if there is a stream recovery. If your car has an open transmission recall, take the vehicle to the nearest Nissan dealership. If not, continue to the next step.

Software errors in the Nissan transmission module can affect shifting. Your local Nissan dealer may have a software update for your vehicle to improve shift points. A software update can fix certain problems. To do this, the transmission control unit is programmed in such a way that it changes the shift points.

Class Actions

Several class action lawsuits have been filed against Nissan over the years.

  • Waldo Leyva and Col. v Nissan North America, Inc.. - Demand: Sentra Xtronic CVTV Transmission Overheating Vehicles: Nissan Sentra 2012 to 2017

  • Batista x Nissan North America, Inc.- Lawsuit: Nissan installed CVT transmissions with known defects without notifying consumers. Vehicles: 2013 and 2014 Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti QX60/JX35 Result: Nissan has extended the vehicle warranty to 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first, and made a transmission software update available to affected owners.


Nissan makes very reliable engines, but transmissions are a different story. We see many Nissan vehicles with automatic transmission problems. Especially the first Nissan cars and SUVs equipped with continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) had many problems. Nissan transmission problems range from shifting lag, juddering between gears, not shifting or reversing, or staying in failsafe mode.

frequently asked questions

Are Nissan CVT Transmissions Reliable?

Early Nissan vehicles with CVT transmissions had a high failure rate. Nissan has drastically improved the reliability of the CVT transmission.

How much does it cost to replace a Nissan/Infinity CVT transmission?

Replacing a Nissan transmission at the dealership costs between $4,500 and $6,000. A cheaper alternative is to find a shop to overhaul your existing gearbox or install a rebuilt one.

How do I know if my Nissan has a CVT transmission?

You can use oneVINDecoder to report the exact transmission installed in your car. You can also call your dealer to get the informationVIN, and they will tell you if you have a CVT transmission. Or, if you know what a Nissan CVT transmission looks like, you can open up the engine and identify the transmission that way.

Can I drive with a gearbox problem?

If your Nissan can still drive, you can say: It's okay; I will drive it until I fix it. That's not a good idea. Get your Nissan transmission diagnosed as soon as possible.

Why is my Nissan no longer accelerating on long drives?

It's not uncommon for a Nissan with a CVT to go into limp mode after about an hour of driving. For example, a 2015 Nissan Rouge we tested went into limp mode after an hour and a half of freeway driving.

This is because Nissan transmission cooling is inadequate. Once the transfluid overheats, the transmission overheats. This is detected by the Transmission Control Unit (TCU), which puts the vehicle into failsafe mode by reducing engine power and speed. If you experience this problem with your Nissan, allow the vehicle to cool down before continuing your journey. Also consider installing an aftermarket transmission cooling system, especially if you are going to be making long trips.

(Video) Nissan Patrol Automatic Transmission Rebuild

We hope you find this Nissan Transmission Problems Guide helpful. check theseTroubleshooting and repair guidesfor more help with your Nissan.

(Video) List of Nissan models that have a CVT transmission problem


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