New Transmission at 44,000 miles? Why?

This forum has had numerous discussions on the merits of buying a rental car. The replies against it (citing problems or bad experiences) are always dwarfed by those in support of it with good experiences.

The weak link in the OP’s problem is the CVT transmission.

Usually this isn’t the case, but sometimes the rental companies are the abusers, mostly due to corporate inertia–or the “not my job” phenomenon. I’ve had rentals that appear to have had the “change oil” indicator on for a long time, and when I checked the oil, it was pretty dark. I’ve also had ones that had obvious driveability problems. (a nearly new GMC pickup that would backfire when you stepped on the gas)

If the previous renters hadn’t mentioned the problem, the agency wouldn’t know it existed. And although I’m sure they have a maintenance schedule to follow, it’s only as good as the employees working there. “Hey, that car that came back yesterday, wasn’t it due for an oil change? Forget it, someone just rented it–it’s gone”

early design cvt trans were pretty trouble prone. they are becoming much more common on cars today. seems most have an additional extended warranty plan to cover the many failed trans and really annoyed car owners. usually the warranty for entire car stops at 36k miles or even 50k miles. but if you dig around you can find special cases of 75k mile warranties for the cvt trans. it usually has to be original owner and certainly not from vegas rental firms. hehe

I don’t think the rental car use is the main factor behind the tranny failure. It is simply a defective transmission and thankfully covered under warranty. As for being a “lemon”? I don’t think so, but the CVT transmissions are still in the 'debugging" phase for many manufacturers.

You really need to make sure the fluid in this transmission is the proper fluid for a CVT type auto transmission. Meaning do not EVER have the transmission serviced by a quickie lube place, or even a chain service shop like Sears, or Midas. I’d only let a Nissan dealer service the tranny. Don’t even let anyone add fluid to the transmission since they could add the wrong fluid and contaminate what is in the tranny.

CVT transmissions are new to the business and some folks don’t know what to do with them as far as servicing them. Once you have the new tranny in the car only let a Nissan dealer touch that tranny and it should last way longer than 44K miles.

One thing that people seem to have overlooked is that “certified pre-owned” does not mean “Nissan did a bunch of fancy stuff to it to make it ‘like new’…” From the buyer’s perspective, it means someone vacuumed the car, washed it, and stuck a “certified pre-owned” sticker on it. Any time you buy a used vehicle, you should have it thoroughly inspected by your mechanic before you sign anything. That’s not just my advice. I’m parroting Tom and Ray.

Something else to consider is that you ignored the symptoms, this might have worsened the damage that might have otherwise been fixed inexpensively. That doesn’t make your car a lemon, so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over this.

If, in the future, you ignore signs something is wrong for months at a time, you will find you have a “very expensive relationship” with just about any car you own.

…As I said before…I have only EVER let Nissan touch my car. I took it to a well established shop called Sun Devil Auto one time to get an oil change because Nissan was booked. I also replace the cabin air filter myself. But that’s it. All other things done by Nissan.

Now. This is completely off topic. But seeing as SO MANY of you posted to scold me for buying from a rental company, completely ignoring my transmission questions, I feel I must defend the poor cars from your illogical arguments. It is perfectly okay to buy a car that was previously owned by a rental company.

Firstly, I bought the car from Nissan. I did NOT BUY THE CAR from the freakin rental company in Vegas itself!! Nissan did.
I highly doubt Nissan would have bought one of its cars back from a rental company if that company had treated it SO badly! A successful car company does not buy their own vehicle back if they can’t sell it! Logic, people!
If I had bought my “previously owned by a rental company” Nissan from some No Name Joe dealership, yeah, that’d be kinda sketchy. Who knows what that Regular Joe is willing to buy.

But Nissan?? This ain’t their first rodeo. They can take it or leave it, and they took it. They bought my car.

I happen to agree with the guy that said rental companies keep their cars up better than a regular owner would. They have to! It’s their business! If a place like enterprise or national car rental starts having problems with their vehicles? There goes their reputation! You cannot have a good rental CAR company without good CARS.

My Cube was only a year old when I bought it. 25,000 miles. It’s not like the rental car company held on to it for 5 years or something! All you have to do from mile 1 to 25,000 is change the oil, the air filters, and maybe rotate the tires. Not that much for a company to keep track of. That’s why they sell the car once it hits 25,000 miles. Because the needed maintenance increases drastically from 30,000 to 40,000 miles, and they ain’t payin their technicians to do the complicated stuff. Like flushing the fluid of a CVT.

Where do you think those rental cars go anyway?? You think they just sit and rot after their 25,000 miles are up, because no one is willing to buy them? Heck no. All this “never buy a rental car” nonsense. Of COURSE you can by a rental car!
There is nothing wrong with it, and plenty of reasons right with it.

As for my car? It’s in the shop today, getting a new CVT. (It’s under warranty. I don’t have the option of choosing the type of new transmission I get. The unofficial recall was for the CVT anyway.)

I love the CVT transmission. It’s quite, it’s smooth, and makes it very easy to forget you’re even accelerating. Got my first speeding ticket in this car. Willing to bet you know why! =)

Unless you have something important to say about why I should be afraid to continue owning my car after a transmission has pooped out early?

Yeah, sometimes we get off topic and argue about stuff that doesn’t really help you with your problem.

I, for one, don’t care that it was a rental. I’ve had good experiences owning and maintaining former rental cars, and I’d rather have a former rental that was maintained than a used car with unknown history.

Nissan only cares about making a sale. If the car will sell, they’ll buy it. Keep in mind you’re dealing with a used car dealership, not the Vatican.

There is no reason to be rude. You don’t get to control the discussion that happens in this forum, even when the conversation veers off-topic or to a place you don’t like.

Manners … not everyone has them.

Rental cars … a lot of customers abuse them. Recognizing that is logical.

I originally went into Nissan for a brand spankin new car. A Versa. I found it’s safety ratings weren’t what I wanted because I am a nanny, and drive children in my car, and my job requires a safe vehicle.
SO I told my “new car salesman” and he showed me the Cube. I could not afford a brand spankin new Cube, and that is when he, the NEW car salesman, showed me the Ruby Cube that I own today.
They are not paid on commission. They are paid hourly, to give you the best service they can.

Sometimes transmissions fail irrelevant to abuse or easy owner. That is what the warranty is for.

I would not worry much and drive on. At least it failed in warranty not out.

The only other potential if CVT is wrong fluid was placed into it.


Wow. You might want to switch to decaf.

First, whether you were addressing me or not, I thought it was rude for you to say other regulars in this forum should keep their mouths shut, and I don’t like it when people are rude to my friends.

Second, I never said you don’t have manners. I was actually thinking of some of our regulars who have a tendency to habitually change the subject, but how ironic that you thought I was referring to you without me having actually done so.

Nobody here has “trashed” Nissan, or your car. I find it strange that you’re taking this so personally. Do you work for Nissan? If not, your brand loyalty seems overblown and naïve.

Now, having said all that, can we go back to being civil to each other?

I need to do my biology homework now. College education. It’s important.

Well, you won’t like this but you’re extremely naive about the way the car world operates. Do not take this as meaning that you’re stupid; just uninformed.

Nissan did not buy the car from the rental company. The dealer, a separate business entity, bought it and Whitey is correct about there being nothing more than a vacuum and wash job being done to it before applying a CPO sticker with the dealer saying a silent prayer.

"ok4450 Thats right! The dealer wholesales cars with obvious flaws, such as damaged paint, upholstery tears, etc. Those that run smoothly and are clean become theCertified` models. That does not mean that these cars are dogs; it means that you should still have an independent mechanic check it out.

My mechanic does this frequently and is AAA certified. He charges $94 for an inspection and gives you a list of things that need fixing (with estimate) and the condition of such things as brakes and how much life they may have left.

I have helped may people buy a used car, but I don`t pull the brakes or other intrusive stuff. I mainly inspect all items that are accessible and based on the mileage and the condition make a recommendation. I never OK a car that has had collision damage.

While I hope CPO means a little more than “someone vacuumed the car, washed it, and stuck a “certified pre-owned” sticker on it” it’s likely no more than checking for fault codes and a quick visual inspection of the mechanical bits.
Nissan (or any other carmaker) cannot tell for sure if a car has been abused without some substantial dis-assembly.

I bough a CPO Toyota at 1 y.o. and 8k miles.
Five years and 25k miles later the clutch started slipping, caught in the early stages.
My trusted indy mechanic showed me the charred clutch disk, discolored pressure plate and flywheel.
Apparently the original owner never got the hang of driving a manual in those first 8k miles.
The engaging springs became too weak.
There’s no way a CPO visual inspection could have caught that.
I wasn’t upset about the $700 repair bill because I had saved $4000 over the cost of a new car.

I don’t feel the “buying of a rental car” is a problem. Some rental drivers are tough on the cars, and other aren’t. Some drivers who own their cars drive them hard and don’t do the maintenance, so I won’t label a previous rental car as a “bad” car just on it being a rental.

Next, CVT transmissions are very good, but still relatively new technology. Therefore there is a learning curve and so far the failure rates on CVT transmissions is higher than standard auto transmissions in the first 100K miles. However the failure rates of CVT’s is improving in the '12 and '13 model years. In a current new car I think a CVT is likely to hold up as well or better than a conventional transmission.

Finally, a CVT transmission operates on a completely different principal than a standard auto transmission. This means the fluid inside the CVT is completely different from standard auto transmission fluids purchased commonly at Walmart, and auto parts stores. Putting even a little of the wrong fluid in a CVT to “top it off” can cause damage and make an otherwise good CVT transmission fail prematurely.

It seems rubycube is aware of the fluid issue and should be fine with the new transmission. Other owners of new cars simply need to ask what type of auto transmission their new car has. Increasingly the answer will be a CVT type transmission and if cared for properly it will last a long time.

I should preface this by explaining that I’m pretty blunt, and I call things like I see them. You have a number of misconceptions about the automotive industry, dealerships in particular, and about normal social interaction over the internet.

Let’s see:

..As I said before...I have only EVER let Nissan touch my car.

… Except when you haven’t, as you immediately admitted.

But seeing as SO MANY of you posted to scold me for buying from a rental company, completely ignoring my transmission questions,

No one scolded you. They told you that buying a car that was owned by a rental company is a crapshoot. It is.

It is perfectly okay to buy a car that was previously owned by a rental company.

Says who? Citation from an automotive expert needed.

I did NOT BUY THE CAR from the freakin rental company in Vegas itself!! Nissan did.

What difference does that make? It was still owned by a rental company and used by the rental company’s customers. It does not suddenly erase its ownership history just because you bought it from a middleman.

I highly doubt Nissan would have bought one of its cars back from a rental company if that company had treated it SO badly!

Then you need boning up on how dealerships work. They buy cars for small amounts of money and sell them for large amounts of money. I’ve seen cars with salvage titles being sold at new car dealerships, with the dealership trying to cover up their history. Dealerships are not automatically trustworthy just because a car company’s name is on the sign.

If Nissan thought they could make a profit off of the car, they’d buy it, no matter who the previous owner was.

… And they were right, btw. Because you bought it.

Oh, by the way, even non-commission dealerships have commission. They’re called spiffs:

They also have things like quotas, and bosses who are telling them to unload that damned Cube so they can get more inventory in. The dealership is there to make money, not to look out for you.

Who knows what that Regular Joe is willing to buy.

The same stuff the Nissan dealership is willing to buy, if either of them thinks it will make them money. Nissan dealerships are not corporate-owned. The used car lot at a dealership is still a used car lot, and the Nissan corporation doesn’t really give a rip what gets sold there, because they won’t see one penny of it.

I happen to agree with the guy that said rental companies keep their cars up better than a regular owner would.

So do I, because regular owners are notoriously bad at regular car care - yourself included, since you were good enough to admit that you detected a problem and then promptly ignored it for some months before you bothered to take it in and have it looked at. Parenthetically, you’re damned lucky they honored the warranty. I wouldn’t, if I knew that little tidbit.

Routine maintenance adherence aside, I’d rather buy a car that skipped a couple of oil changes than one that was joy-ridden in the desert jumping sand dunes. I’ve seen rental cars show up at public days at race tracks. I’ve seen them get hailed on while chasing tornadoes. I’ve seen rental family sedans bouncing down forest roads meant for 4x4’s. When people don’t own a vehicle, they often tend to not care how much damage they do to it. Especially since rental company damage waivers are cheap.

Where do you think those rental cars go anyway?? You think they just sit and rot after their 25,000 miles are up, because no one is willing to buy them?

No. People remarkably similar to you come along to buy them, and then post questions to automotive forums asking why they broke.

As for the social-interaction-over-the-internet bit, you’ve spent the better part of this thread angrily deriding people who have voluntarily given up their time, for free, to try and help you not only with this problem, but with the next time you buy a car. The only rude one in this thread is you.

Grow up.

I’d like to add something I forgot to add earlier.

Nissan U.S.A., Inc. and the dealership where the OP bought the car are two different entities. Nissan hasn’t owned the car in question since it was new. The dealership “certified” the car, not Nissan.

I’ll never forget the “certified” used minivan my mother bought. She discovered on the way home from the dealership that one of the rear seat belts was broken.

I’ll also never forget the “certified” used car my girlfriend bought. She discovered when she got it home that the windshield wipers didn’t work. Actually, I discovered it for her. I guess my inspection was more thorough than the dealership’s “certification” inspection.

“I need to do my biology homework now. College education. It’s important”.
Is biology your major? Please let us know your major and we can pick on you for that choice.

My son bought a 2002 Mazda Protege from Hertz outlet in Chicago. They showed him their criteria for selling a rental car at the outlet, and claimed only the best ones are sold that way. Those that had any serious problems or repairs are sold at auction.

It now has around 250,000 miles on it and has given good service. Repairs, of course, but not extremely so.

I don’t even know if Hertz still has those outlets any more.

Many years ago, I about a 2 year old 36K mile car from a Hertz used car lot

The car was in good condition, the price was fair, and it’s been one of the more reliable cars I’ve driven. My brother drives it now.