Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2015 Nissan Rogue drags when coasting

Just got a 2015 Nissan Rogue Select. When I take foot off accelerator, the car does not coast freely as i’m used to. You can feel a slight drag. It’s not the brakes. And when going under 20mph, I can feel it “let go” at around 12mph to be feel more free. Is this normal?

I can’t give you a definite answer because I’m not familiar with this specific vehicle. You will have to forgive my memory as I don’t remember every detail. But I was working on a vehicle that had this feature. It was either an 06 Honda CR-V or a 2010 Ford Fusion. What I do remember is that this car had a feature that would somehow use the engine to help slow it down when going down a hill to reduce the dependance of using your brakes. I do remember learning that the ECU would use inputs from the speed sensor, throttle position sensor and other sensors to determine if this car was going down a hill.if it was, and the driver did not press the gas pedal in a certain amount of time, the ECU would activate some kind of engine braking. What I do not remember is how it did that. It might have been turning fuel off. It had variable valve timing, maybe it utilized that, I just don’t remember. All that just to say that I would say that it’s probably normal.

Just guessing here but the “let go” feeling might be the torque converter unlocking.
The rest, as far as not coasting, might just be a different feel from previous vehicles, or overdrive is not engaged or free-wheeling.

As a test, if you shift to Neutral, does it coast freely then?

Yes indeed it coasts normally in neutral.

It’s probably normal. I think these CVT boxes don’t freewheel the same way as a traditional automatic. The fuel injectors turn off when you back off the gas so you immediately get some engine braking. My Jeep does the same thing - you effectively end up staying on the gas a bit more to maintain a decent speed up to the next stoplight.
The “let go” feeling as you slow down is probably the injectors coming back on to stop the engine from stalling. You get used to it and just squeeze the brake a little bit harder to keep stopping smoothly.

1 Like

Yeah i’m wondering if it is indeed normal with a CVT transmission. It’s my first vehicle with this type of transmission. The fuel efficiency seems to be fine, it’s just that momentum when coasting, that’s kinda missing. I DO find myself on the gas more, but it’s ever so slightly.

This happens on flat terrain as well. Again, it’s minimal, but you can clearly feel that the coasting isn’t a total freewheel thing. It feels like a rubberband in providing friction ever so slightly when coasting.

However, I will add that it isn’t just CVTs.
My car has a “conventional” 5-speed automatic, and it exhibits the same effect. In addition to the fuel injector factor, as you coast-down to lower speeds, it will downshift, thus slowing the vehicle down even more. I had initially questioned whether this was normal, but by driving several identical models, I learned that this was indeed “normal” for that model.

Welcome to Nissan’s programming of its CVTs. Our 2008 Altima behaves the same way.

When I used to have 2012 Altima, it would coast trying to keep around the same speed where you let accelerator go, slowing down slightly faster than if you switch to neutral, it was from new, I considered it normal.
When researching the topic of Nissan CVT’s I found that factory programming tool allows to select this type of “controlled coast”, fully “free coast” and more energetic engine brake, but one needs a Nissan proprietary tool to get to that settings.
On a flip side, if you ever drive through the steep hills or mountains, the same setting actually engages the engine braking and keeps the speed quite close to where you let accelerator go, I found myself braking much less than conventional automatic (unless you manually downshift it).
It is normal for Nissan CVT in default settings.

If you’re not sure if this “symptom” is particular to your car, or instead just to the way Nissan’s CVT behaves (which seems a more likely explanation to me) , visit a Nissan Dealership and ask to take a test drive in one of their CVT equipped 2015’s on their used car lot.

Wow I really appreciate everyone’s input! I called a Nissan dealer and he didn’t mention the settings for controlled coast or engine breaking, but I’m definitely stopping in and mentioning it. It just seems like, on flat terrain, it should coast more free than it does.

The mechanic DID say that the CVT could indeed simply be what I’m feeling. But I can’t imagine more people haven’t brought it up more. That’s why I’m thinking something needs to be looked at.

A friend of mine recently purchased a CVT Corolla and thought something was definitely wrong with the way it was behaving, complaining of race car noises during acceleration and deceleration, but eventually decided there was nothing wrong, it was just not the way the prior’s car conventional automatic worked is all. Master Leonardo invented the CVT configuration, so there can’t be that much wrong with it.

Jason, as a suggestion from the person who had 2 Nissan CVT’s causing issues in my family, from the sample of 3 cars: make sure you stick to the “premium maintenance” schedule and replace your CVT fluid every 30K miles as it recommends.
These units are touchy for insufficient maintenance and for a lead foot on the gas.
I would worry more about longevity than about how it coasts.
If you feel it drags, it indicates it does not slip :slight_smile:

I strongly recommend that you not do any adjustments that would result in engine breaking.