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Nissan CVT transmissions

I heard that early Nissan CVT transmissions have reliability issues. They broke often and needed to be replaced. Has that problem been resolved? Or do new Nissan cars have the same CVT problems? I'm looking for a new commuter car and the Nissan Sentra is on my list. I'd prefer an automatic or CVT to a standard transmission. (Too much stop and go on my commute)
<br/> Any input is appreciated...


  • edited November 2010
    I have not heard of any problems with the Nissan CVT. It may make you feel better to know that Nissan has extended the warranty on their CVT's to 120,000 miles. here is the link.
  • edited November 2010
    I believe they were having a rash of CVT problems a couple of years ago but that problem has been fixed now.
  • edited November 2010
    The Nissan extension on the CVT Transmissions is only from '07 through '10 cars.
    The newer ones are not getting the warranty extensions, according to the website.

    The main things to keep in mind with the Nissan CVT transmission, and this is really, really important, so I'm going to put it in all caps below for extreme emphasis:


    Do not let Jiffy Lube sell you on a transmission flush.
    Right on Nissan's website it says that the transmission flushes sold by most companies contains harsh cleaning chemicals that will damage the CVT transmission.

    You must use the Nissan Spec transmission fluid, and so far there is only 1 company that claims they have a compatible fluid, but there isn't any point risking the transmission to save only a couple dollars difference than taking it to Nissan and having them use the right fluid from the start.

    As long as you use the correct fluid, and change it every 30k to 50k miles, the transmissions have had few failures since '07. The biggest complaints were related to bearing noises, but no actual failures. Nissan had just been removing the transmissions and slipping new ones in whenever someone complained to their service manager about the bearing noise.

    They appear to be quite robust and strong transmissions, as long as you don't let someone put in the wrong fluid, or try and perform a trans flush service.

  • edited November 2010
    Now to sort of hijack the post, considering potential of failure and expenses to fix, would the OP be better of with a non CVT transmission anyways.
  • edited November 2010
    Nissan has had a lot of re-programming on their CVT transmissions also. Make sure it is up to date on their campaigns [ recalls ]
  • edited November 2010
    The new generation Nissan CVT seems better than before, but hard to say how it will wear. You can't go wrong with a 2010 with the extended warranty. The new CVT is awe inspiring. Once you get used to it's quirks it's strong points will blow you away. I could go on all day about it but the most important thing to remember with CVT is that the torque is always there for you to accelerate, and you do accelerate every bit as fast as a regular automatic. You only get the sensation it's slipping or slow because the tach stays in one spot. Once you get over that, it's a thing of beauty. Especially in manual shift mode. The smoothest shift you will ever experience! And no harsh downshift and engine roar while passing in automatic mode! Just push down a little on the gas and overtake with ease!
  • edited November 2010
    Quote from MR.16DDT: "The new generation Nissan CVT seems better than before, but hard to say how it will wear." Unquote

    I like my standard transmission, a thing of proven beauty that makes me smile and will last far, far beyond 120,000 miles if it is like other standard transmissions that I have owned. I will leave it to other consumers to help with Nissan's CVT transmission development but it won't matter.

    If GM put out garbage like this, who would sing praises of their CVT transmission on Car Talk and Consumer Reports would crucify GM and the tranmission.
  • edited November 2010
    Sounds alot like any other CVT, only I consider those points more annoying than anything else. I rented a Dodge Caliber for a week a couple years ago. It had a CVT. Due to the low power of the Caliber, I was on the gas quite alot, The CVT kept the RPM's elevated at all times, which made for high noise levels. I don't mind hearing a nice sounding engine, but the wimpy 2.0L sounds more like a seal getting stabbed with a ball point pen moreso than racecar. So not only was it slow, but it was noisy. I would've rather had a traditional automatic. When you stepped on the gas you had to wait until the RPMs ran up into the engine?s meager powerband to get any noticeable forward progress. It was like the engine and transmission were connected via rubber band, which I guess they sort of were actually.
  • edited November 2010
    GM has been crucified time and again for bad designs.
    And they have also been praised for great designs.

    Quite a few people have suffered from the chevy built V-6 engines (2.8, 3.1, 3.4, etc) who have an uncontrolled desire to have coolant leaks into the intake system. Still do it to this day. How long has the engine been used for now?

    Nissan isn't a saint in comparison.
    The CVT is something new, and lots of people don't trust new things.
    Doesn't mean that its a bad thing.

    And I have yet to see an actual case where the transmission actually failed to the point that the car couldn't be driven. Doesn't mean that it has never happened, but I haven't seen it reported yet.

    So far, just people getting the transmissions replaced under warranty for noise complaints.

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