Nissan sentra's cvt not working properly in cold weather

nissan

#1

my 2012 nissan sentra when I first start to drive it in the morning when the temperature is below-5C does not “shift” properly. At 40 km/hr it runs at 2400 rpm. I drove it this morning to work and the whole 2 km distance it ran at 2400 rmp. The dealer says that this is normal until the car warms up, which is strange as the car only started doing this in January of this year. Coming home at -6C , I drove it for 3 blocks, it ran at 2400 rpm at 40 km/hr. Stopped the car, shut it off, restarted it and then drove home with the transmission shifting properly and rpm down to about 1500 rpm at 40-50 km/hr. Any suggestions out there od do I just give up and trade it in as a learning experience, even though when the car is working properly my wife loves it for we normally were getting about 400 km per 40 liters of gas, now it is down to 200-300 per 40 liters of gas(for in town driving).


#2

2012? Warranty? Dealer just shrugs. It sorta works. Customer is not happy but car moves at least. If it fails, big whoop, dealer will replace trans. IF it fails. I bet dealer really does not want to touch cvt trans. They hope car works ok so customer stays out of service dept.


#3

You are not complaining enough, it can’t be normal if it does this sometimes and not others and if it just started doing this after a year. Give the dealer another chance but tell him you want to drive a similar model and see if it acts the same way.
If you get no satisfaction, look in your owners manual and go up the ladder with your complaint, probably the zone rep. Take advantage of any consumer protection laws or agencies you have in Canada.
CVT transmissions are very expensive to replace and I have not heard of anyone repairing them.


#4

I own a 2007 nissan maxima with same transmission and it’s totally normal. Mine is up at about 2200 rpm when it’s cold. It’s won’t shift normally until engine is at normal running temperature.


#5

It is unlikely the dealer can tailor this to meet your specifications. It is not unusual for vehicles with a conventional transmissions to experience delayed upshifts and overdrive lock out during cold weather warm up. The same should be expected with a CVT to reduce vehicle emissions. This has nothing to do with transmission operation, rather to reduce tail pipe emissions.


#6

The fact that the transmission is not upshifting as usual combined with the drop in gas mileage makes me suspect that the engine is not warming up normally, possibly due to a stuck open thermostat, or a failed coolant temp sensor. A failed coolant temp sensor doesn’t let the computer know when the engine is hot, so the computer keeps adding extra fuel trying to warm the engine up, resulting in lower gas mileage.

The car seems too new for a stuck open thermostat. You might just try replacing the coolant temp sensor on the chance that it is the culprit. It shouldn’t be expensive and that might do the trick.

One way to diagnose this is to take it into a shop with a scanner and ask them to check how long it takes for the fuel management system to go into “closed loop” mode, which it should when the engine gets hot. If it does not go into closed loop mode, for example because of a failed coolant temp sensor, it will stay in “open loop” mode and continue to burn excess fuel trying to warm the engine up. If the shop tells you it won’t go into “closed loop” mode, that’s the problem. Then you have to figure out why…most likely a bad coolant temp sensor.

I’m guessing that once you figure out why the engine is running cold, or why the computer “thinks” the engine is running cold, it will fix both the fuel economy and shifting issues.


#7

I doubt any car could reach operating temperature in 2 KM unless it was over 100F outside.