2018 Nissan Altima - When should I change my Transmission Fluid?

I have been told by my dealer that it is recommended that the transmission fluid be changed at 30,000 miles. But the regularly scheduled maintenance does not call for transmission fluid change at any time. What is appropriate time for transmission fluid change.

It is very frustrating when the dealer suggests work that the manufacturer does not deem necessary of helpful. You don’t have to do what your dealer suggests.

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In this case I agree with the dealer. Your Altima has a CVT transmission. Changing trans fluid between 30,000 and 40,000 miles is a good way to extend transmission life. Nissan CVTs have a deserved reputation for frailty and changing fluid can help. BTW, I changed the trans fluid on my Honda Accord with the CVT at 42,000 miles even though Honda CVTs seem to be more robust than Nissan units. It’s a small price to pay compared to trans replacement for extended life.


It’s far cheaper to replace the transmission fluid rather than the transmission.

Listen to the dealer.



I agree with @jtsanders. One more thing - make sure it’s the fluid specified for the CVT, not some ‘universal’ fluid. Having the dealer do it will handle that, even if it’s more cost than an independent shop.


Unfortunately many manufacturers fail to include/require transmission fluid changes.
In my opinion that came from marketing rather than engineering departments.
“Lifetime “ fluid, transmission warranted for 50,000 miles. 50,000 is lifetime?
30,000 is best.


I expect you are running up against the modern economics of selling cars. The manufacturer knows that car buyers use the total cost to own number when deciding which new car to buy. Buyers find that number for 3 or 4 make/models they are considering using Consumer Reports for example, then choose the make/model with the lowest number to buy. It is in the manufacturer’s advantage to specify infrequent fluid-change intervals. They figure , worse that can happen, long fluid change intervals results in transmission going kaput, & car being scrapped sooner; that’s also good for them, b/c they’ll have a chance to sell another car .

It’s up to you of course, but 30K trans fluid change intervals is probably in your own best interest.

+1 more for changing and having the dealer do it…

I would go with manufacturer recommendations. It’s so crazy it actually works.
There is not a shred of evidence that they are wrong.

At one point the bigger issue was the transmission overheating. You had to install a transmission cooler to prevent the CVT from over heating and having its life significantly reduced in anything more than casual driving.

Having one of the worst transmission failure rates might be considered somewhat of a shred of evidence… The manufacture didn’t do to good of a job in that department anyway… :wink:


You only hear about cvt trans that fail. I bet some don’t fail.
Oh wait, you said Nissan. I take that back

Well there is corporate marketing and there are the folks in the pit keeping cars alive. If a dealer sees a problem I’d listen to a good dealer but I change mine every 30,000. No such thing as forever fluids in my humble opinion. But if you don’t trust your dealer, go someplace else.

To rephrase Bing’s last sentence-your car, do or don’t do what you want.

It might be interesting to compare Nissan transmissions still on original fluid to those that get changed every few years, but i suppose there are so few of the latter that there is essentially no data.