Engine bucking while driving

2016 Nissan Juke, 62,000 miles, purchased used, took possession July 19. Passed NH state inspection on Tuesday. No issues until yesterday.

Driving to work in the am (25 miles), mostly highway driving, car seemed a bit sluggish at times when accelerating, blamed it on the heatwave we’re having.

Driving home, highway driving but slow as there was a lot of traffic, noticed issues when accelerating again, not constant but enough to be worrisome, and more enhanced from the earlier drive.

Tachometer going up and down very fast at times when accelerating on the pedal, but vehicle not accelerating appropriately.

1/4 mile before getting home the engine started bucking pretty wildly. Made it home and shut it down. It is not safe to drive.

Any ideas?

Cvt trans? Does it have a 30 day warranty?
Does it idle ok? Seem to rev ok?
A engine miss is one thing. A trans issue is another.


If the yellow check engine light is not on, then it is unlikely an engine problem. Given all the problems these Nissans have with their CVT transmissions… agree with @Cavell it sounds like a transmission problem. If this car has a warranty USE IT NOW! Transmissions are expensive.


+1 to Mustangman’s comments, but I want to add that if the yellow CEL is blinking/flashing, the engine should not be started, and the car needs to be towed to a mechanic’s shop.


Yes, CVT transmission, and this is my fear.

Yes, still under the 30 day warranty.

No dash warning lights are on.

I live in NH but purchased it in MA, so by law they need to pay for the tow and the repairs, minus $100.

The drive home was about 30 minutes, it didn’t rev normally for half of the trip, but sporadically. The strong bucking started less than a mile from home, and stopped for the last minute so I was able to get home, instead of having to pull over.

Does the check engine light work ?

Does it come on when you turn the key to run and then turn off when the car starts ?

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I suspect you’ve found out why the car was sold in the first place…

Yes, definitely take advantage of any and all available warranty on the vehicle. These Nissan CVTs can be an expensive nightmare.

Good luck.


I assume original owner did not have access to extended trans warranty. It would be fixed otherwise. Or maybe it was.

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Symptoms seem pretty consistent with some sort of transmission problem. First step in the resolution however, @It_s-Me suggestion above. Even if problem is determined to be the transmission, could still be something relatively simple, like fluid level or electronic solenoid.

There’s been some issues w/the transmission fluid cooling system it appears. Ask your shop to review NTB 15-013 .

Is your Juke AWD or FWD?

Good suggestion, thank you! I rant out and checked. The service engine soon and CVT lights do come on when I start the car.

They do not stay on.

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Thank you, George. It’s AWD.

No lights are on at all, and I confirmed they work when starting the car. Neither the service engine soon or the CVT lights are on. Perplexing.

Not that is a big deal but it not nessasary to answer each persons posts . Your replies are seen by everyone on the site .

This means that the transmission is slipping. If you purchased a warranty with this used car, now is the time to use it. If not, time to see a reputable transmission shop, and be prepared to spend thousand$ to rebuild the transmission.


It’s still under the 60 day/2,500 mile warranty.

Would the CVT slipping cause the CVT light or service engine soon light to come on?

How can I insure they’re going to do the right thing to fix this and not try to screw me?

If you want to rule-out transmission problems, go to an independently-run trans shop (NOT a chain-run joint like AAMCO, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or Lee Myles) and have them take a look. You will have to pay for that service, but if they say that the trans is still healthy, at least have them change the trans fluid in order to ensure somewhat longer life for the CVT.

Just call the dealer and tell them what it is doing . If the warranty is any good the problem will be fixed . Or maybe they might let you trade for something else . Without seeing your warranty papers and talking to the service people I would not even try and guess what will be done . You are at the mercy of this dealer and the warranty .

This sounds like a warranty through the dealer itself. Just bring the car back to the dealer, explain that the transmission is slipping, and ask that they repair/replace the transmission. If that is not possible, then ask that they give you a different vehicle of similar value.

Thank you everyone for your help.

I had the vehicle towed to the dealership this morning. Secured a loaner vehicle.

Service manager just called me, they pulled codes that indicate it’s the transmission valve body.

If the check engine light never came on, how are they able to pull codes?

They made an appointment with Nissan for tomorrow to have it fixed, as they are not Nissan experts. He said he believes the transmission is covered up to 150,000 miles, which doesn’t sound right?

He said if Nissan won’t fix it and cover it, they will, at the Subaru dealership.

It’s 7yrs or 84k miles. Or is it 86k?
Warranty may be extended based on vin.
Which means your car may not be covered.
Subie dealer does not know Nissan warranty details.
They said they would fix your car on their dime.

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