CVT fluid change

I have a 2008 Jeep Compass w/a Jatco (Nissan) JF011E CVT transmission. According to the manual, it can go extremely long distances w/out changing the transmission fluid; it doesn’t mention intervals for normal operations and it doesn’t even have a dipstick.

I want to keep this vehicle for a very long time. Can a CVT really go over 100,000 miles w/out changing fluid?

It problably could with a conservative approach to your driving style. Or so could most traditional torque converter automatics. It’s too early to tell what the best maintenance interval is; right now most automatic service shops will shy awy from CVTs. The dealer will REPLACE the transmission as soon as something goes wrong.

If I were you, I would still want to change the fluid and a possible filter at about 50,000 miles, just to be sure. And I would either use the dealer or very knowledgeable independent. An AAMCO style chain would likely wreck it in the process.

I put about 30k/year on my car, entirely highway miles. I’ve been meaning to speak with my mechanic regarding it but I have a hunch he’ll refer me to the dealer. I’m very meticulous in terms of vehicle maintenance (I used to be mech infantry, so I’m a bit OCD about PMCS), so I’ll probably have it done early – I just hate throwing money away, if it truly is a sealed/disposable unit… It just seems odd that it doesn’t even have a dipstick.

I’m slightly paranoid because that because I have a 2" hitch on my vehicle, that if I ever do go after a Lifetime Warranty claim, I might be accused of operating it under severe operation (which instructs to change at 60k intervals). I’ve never towed anything with it but use the hitch a few times a year with a cargo rack or bike carrier. Other than that, I’m very gentle with the car and have about 95% highway miles on it.

Just the fact that you have a trailer hitch on your vehicle means that they will in fact use that excuse on you. Make sure you have the dealer change the CVT fluid before 60k miles.


I would go along and do it at 50,000 miles! GM sealed their transmissions for a number of years; no dipstick. They had a lot of failres. The people who should be able to check the fluid level, i.e. Jiffy and others, usually forgot or did not have a clue. As a result the units often ran dry and self-destructed.

I will personnally not buy any vehicle of wich I can’t check the oil level or the transmission fluid.