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2008 Nissan Altima Automatic Transmission Problem

Here’s my story guys…and gals

My cousin owns since brand new, a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5, automatic, 61k miles (90% of that highway)-immaculate condition. No longer under factory warranty.

Driving to the airport a few days back the car starts-every 2 minutes or so- bucking and almost stalling, although it never did stall. He flies off and upon returning 5 days later, while driving back home the car starts acting up again. The symptoms are more severe now and getting progressively worse: there is loss of motive power and the max speed is 15-20 mph. He takes it straight to the local Nissan dealer on the way home.
Nissan Dealer takes it in for diagnosys on the spot: leaking radiator internally, allowing coolant in the transmission. Total repair $5400-replace transmission ($2300), radiator ($548), thermostat and thorough flushing of the engine cooling system + labor.
Eighteen months ago he hit a deer @ 40k miles on the ODO, and the insurance company fixed the car. Among other things replaced, there was a new (but aftermarket) radiator. Now, this radiator failed and caused all this very expensive headache.

My questions:

  1. Does he have any recourse with the insurance company that paid for the repairs following the deer collision 18 months ago? To me it’s quite clear that the parts they used/approved were subpar. How can a brand new radiator last only 22k miles/18 months ???
  2. Should anything else be changed besides the mentioned parts, in order to bring the car to 100% health?
  3. Can anyone recommend a reputable/independent transmission shop in the Dallas-Ft.Worth Metroplex?

Many thanks in advance.

Do you have a regular mechanic?  If so you should have him take a look. 

Those prices seem high to me, but it is possible that they are fair.  I doubt if there is any chance of going back 18 months.

If it were mine, I would be asking my friends neighbors and family for a suggestion for a good local independent mechanic, that you can trust.  

Good Luck

It sounds like dealer costs in terms of labor. An independent can alleviate this.

The transmission you are stuck with a Nissan supplied part since it uses a CVT not conventional automatic transmission. So CVT part cost will remain similar as dealer.

The bucking and poor running is hopefully due to the CVT(transmission) and not an excessive overheat which means you were doing engine destruction.

I would contact the insurance company and body shop. Many guarantee the repairs for lifetime to the original owner. I am not sure if this guarantee would cover a component failure, but it is definitely worth a try.