Preventive maintenance?

I am buying a 2010 Nissan Versa with about 40,000 miles (can’t afford anything spiffier). It has a 4-speed automatic (not the CVT) and seems to have been well-maintained. I would like (need) to keep this car running as long with as little trouble as possible, starting with an oil change to Mobil 1. Is there any reason NOT to flush the transmission and replace it with Mobil 1 synthetic ATF and flush the radiator and fill with Peak Global Lifetime antifreeze, which purports to last the life of the car (obviously I’d still change it occasionally)? I note that the 30,000-mile service recommends inspecting these items, not necessarily replacing them. Does using synthetic ATF and long-term antifreeze cause any problems?

The only reason NOT to flush and replace tranny fluid with mobil-1 is cost. Just change fluid every 30k miles and you’ll be fine.

As for the anti-freeze…No way would I trust a anti-freeze in there for the life of the vehicle. In fact 5 years (as some recommend) is pushing it. I like to change mine out every other year.

Synthetic ATF won’t cause any problems…but not sure it’ll help either. Don’t get caught into the thinking that because you have synthetic oil…you don’t have to change it every 30k miles (read the owners manual for the actual mileage interval).

No, but they don’t solve any, either. Your car will last for many years if you use exactly the type of fluids specified for the car. Do a drain and fill of the transmission every 30-40,000 miles, and of the coolant every 50,000 or so, making sure they’re the correct replacement fluids. And if you’re changing your oil every 5,000 or so there’s no benefit (or harm) to using Mobil 1, unless you live in a very cold area.

My opinions:

You should assume maintenance hasn’t been done on this car, unless there’s written proof otherwise.

Synthetic motor oil not advantageous in an engine that doesn’t specify it and doesn’t operate in temp extremes.
More important to change it at least as often as the Owners Manual says.

Stick with the trans fluid Nissan specifies.
Don’t flush. Drop the pan and change filter, if applicable. Drain and refill every 30K miles.

It probably still has factory antifreeze.
I would get more Nissan antifreeze, drain and refill, don’t flush.
How often? Check the Manual!

Driven, your plan is sound. Costly, but sound enough. Go ahead and spend the extra bucks if it makes you feel more secure.

When buying another used car, I would rather spend my dough on the purchase of the Factory Service Manual than on premium fluids. If you want your Versa to last, this manual contains the information you need for proper maintenance. More important, it will enable you to make minor repairs yourself rather schlepping to the shop each time. You will be making a wise investment.

First read the owner’s manual and follow the recommended maintenance.

I suggest that unless you are operating your car under extreme conditions it will not make any difference what fluids you use, as long as they meet the specifications recommended by the car’s manufacturer.

Failure to follow the recommendations, and you can easily cause problems.

My guess is if you change your oil twice as often, you may gain 2-3% longer life from your engine. Change it half as often as recommended and it might decrease engine life by 50%

Remember many if not most cars have special maintenance schedules for cars that experience severe conditions, like high heat, lots of dust cold etc.

I whole heartedly agree with Jos. and most others. If you try to do more then what the manual recommends, two things will definitely happen. Your car will no longer be that great bargin you started with on a cost per mile basis and really won’t last much longer mechanically. If that’s the car you can afford, don’t blow anymore than necessary doing maintenance that isn’t needed. THat includes expensive synthetic fluids that aren’t recomended.

The only place you can’t over maintain, is the body. That you can do yourself. The better the body, the longer it will last for the least money and the more it will be worth when you get rid of it. Over doing oil changes is way over rated. The vast majority of all repairs have nothing to do with over maintenance. Tie rod ends, brakes, computer, suspention problems, tire changes and electric problems etc. have nothing to do with fluid changes and using this schedule with theses expensive alternatives uses money better spent on those repairs instead.

I guarantee, that come trade in time, the fewer the dents, the more rust free and the better the finish the more the car will be worth regadless of the number of times or type of fluids you use. And, it will be safer too. Do the gazintas the right way. Don’ t take cheap car and think you’ll save money by over maintaining it…My kids and I did minimum factory recomended maintenance but were sticklers on the bodies, on three Corrolla clones,Novas and Prisms that lasted when last checked, between 150k to 200k and 12 to 15 years with no rust in the rust belt. They were good enough to sell and trade in to the next owners who still got good solid and safe cars.

dagosa makes some good points.

Mobil 1 trans fluid is still “generic” meaning it is supposed to work in all auto transmissions and there isn’t any such animal anymore. I’d spend the money and buy the trans fluid from a Nissan dealer, that way you know it is made for the transmission in your car. Then I’d change the trans fluid every 30K miles from now on.

In a 2010 I’d expect the factory coolant to be good for 5 years, no need to change out coolant at this time. A waste of money. Go with factory recommended change interval, and while coolant type isn’t as fussy as auto trans I’d still buy Nissan Coolant just to be safe when it is time to change. Honda coolant has specific additives due to some exotic materials they use in their motors and other mfg’rs are doing the same.

Texases and uncle Turbo are correct. The best thing you can do for your vehicle is change fluids at regular recommended intervals using Nissan specific fluids.

I have a 2007 Versa S with the 1.8 L engine and the 6-speed stick. The engine in mine seems to be very tight. I change the oil at 3,500-4,000 miles, and even when I let it go to 4,000, it doesn’t really look that dirty when I drain it, and there is NO oil loss between changes. Unless your car is subjected to extreme conditions, such as sub-zero temps, I wouldn’t lose sleep over Mobile 1. This engine will likely last longer than the rest of the car on regularly-changed dino oil (key words here…REGULARLY CHANGED). My Odyssey has 135,000 miles on Valvoline and Castrol conventional oil and the engine is like new!

As for the ATF, I would stick with what Nissan uses/sells. Auto trannys can be picky about that stuff.

Ditto with the antifreeze. I would ask the dealer service tech what they use, but ask a tech, not the dingbat service writer.

BTW, no need to apologize for not driving anything spiffier. I like my Versa! It seems to be a pretty nice car.

Same-o; Same-o. Guessing that synthetic gives no benefit, though a Google shows that there is virtually unanimous agreement that synthetic oil is the first thing to do to guarantee no sludging.

irlandes; synthetic oil sludges less than mineral oil. However, if not changed often enough, even synthetic will sludge.

In another post we had a poster whose engine seized up at only 79,000 miles. He had bought it 3 years old, and we surmised it was a lease return, and had mayby been driven by the lessor with little or no maintenance.

Test done on various vehicles show that driving a car without any oil changes, just topping up, will cause the engine to seize at typically 60,000 miles. With Synthetic oil that may be longer, of course. A sludging type of engine such as some earlier Toyotas, would seize up much quicker.

I would avoid any “flushes”. At best a flush is only beneficial when there is a problem, with the one exception of the brake fluid. Your car, at 40k miles should not have any severely contaminated fluids, so a simple drain and refill is all that is needed, except for the brakes.

I have a Saturn with 240k miles using regular oil at about 6000 mile change intervals, and Saturn’s have a reputation for being sensitive to oil changes. I also have a Nissan PU with 170 k miles, oil changes every 7500 miles with Castrol Syntec. Engine is good.

You are due for a transmission fluid drain and refill, use the Nissan fluid, unless it is Dexron III. If that is the recommended fluid, check your owners manual, then switch to Dexron VI. It will mix with the residual ATF still in the transmission when you do the drain, that is OK. It will improve the life and the cold performance of the transmission.

Use the extended universal antifreeze. You do not need to use Nissan brand and if you flush, you can actually contaminate the system more than if you don’t. But in any case, absolutely DO NOT use any flush chemicals, they can and will eat up your system, especially the rubber parts.

Have the brake pads checked. If they have more than 50% life left, then consider a brake fluid flush. I recommend a flush because you do not want to take a chance on getting any air in the brake system. It is very hard to remove. If the pads need changing anytime soon, then have the flush done at that time.