The great tranny debate


#1

…no not that one! (just check the adam’s apple)
Howdy;
just picked up a 96 Maxima w/165k on it for $1500. Base model but has moon roof, Bose and alloy wheels. Interior near perfect, exterior is way above average for a 19 year old. Engine bay is spotless, electrics all work fine. It had the owner’s manual in glovebox which I found encouraging (and read). No service records though. First thing I did was change the oil and bought the Haynes manual. ATF looks ok and it shifts just fine. Do you guys recommend a couple of drain and refills over the next little while or am I better off leaving well enough alone? Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve read as much of the community boards as I could since I started shopping for a car and the amount of knowledge you share is an absolute blessing. Thanks again.


#2

“Do you guys recommend a couple of drain and refills over the next little while or am I better off leaving well enough alone?”

Definitely a couple of drains and refills over the course of a few thousand miles, including the trans filter–if it has one. And, be sure to use ONLY the exact specification of fluid mentioned in the Owner’s Manual. Don’t believe anybody who tells you that adding a magical bottle of additive to “generic” fluid will make it kosher.

There are old wives tales about transmissions dying because of a fluid change, but those tales are bogus. In reality, those transmissions were due to die as a result of lax maintenance, and would have failed around the same time whether the fluid had been changed or not.

Without trying to be disrespectful, “leaving well enough alone” is tantamount to telling an elderly person to stop taking his cardiac medication simply because he doesn’t yet have chest pains. In both medicine and mechanics, prevention is always better than trying to fix things after the fact.


#3

Just make sure you use the correct fluid for your Nissan.


#4

When dropping the pan for a drain and filter change, it only replaces about 30% of the old fluid.

The rest is held in the torque converter, valve body, and in the cooler and lines.

If you want a complete filter/fluid change as with the engine oil, the pan should be dropped to replace the filter, and inspect the debris in the pan for any metal particulates. If no metal particulates are found in the pan, replace the filter, connect the tranny fluid exchange machine and replace all the tranny fluid.

Now you have reference point at which the tranny fluid/filter should be serviced.

Tester


#5

Thanks VDC and texases. You guys, the same mountainbike, tester, ok12345, Mike in the Free State and the 10 people I just offended by not naming them are some of my favorites. I’m sincere when I say the amount of knowledge you possess and your willingness to share it is a great help to those of us that want to do the right thing by our rides.


#6

Sincerest thanks. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to think I might have helped someone.
It might be more accurate in my case to say that I’ve shared the LITTLE knowledge I have. The world is full of knowledge, and I’ve only learned a wee tiny bit of it. It gives me great pleasure to share it.

I guarantee that you too have knowledge in areas that I don’t, and your post tells me that you’ve shared it willingly countless times as well.

Have a beautiful evening,
TSM


#7

@Marconi

A wix transmission filter kit is decent quality, and will cost far less than a filter and gasket from the Nissan dealer

But I’d get the correct atf from the dealer . . . Matic-D, I believe


#8

On the cars I have owned and done pan removal and filter changes, I always seem to get 50% of the stated capacity out. Same thing with the cars with transmission drain plugs. I am not as proactive as some of our posters, I did drain and fills at 60,000 miles. Because of the rust here I have no hope of keeping a car over 10 years.


#9

I think that this bears repeating:
“I guarantee that you too have knowledge in areas that I don’t, and your post tells me that you’ve shared it willingly countless times as well.”

All of us have both strengths and weaknesses, and being able to share information about something where we have some knowledge is a good thing to do. And, when we need the help of others, it is always good that there are people who know more than we do on other topics.


#10

I found this link interesting considering someone from Pennzoil contributed to it .


#11

Thanks db and oldtimer. Will check out the Wix kit for sure. Matic D is what they call for in the manual. By the way, anyone who doesn’t have a Nissan owner’s manual can download one for free straight from the source: nissan-techinfo. I don’t advise downloading any of the “free” service manuals from third parties. Leaving copyright infringement aside, they could contain viruses or lead you to get tons of spam. Lastly, I do want to apologize for the lengthy description of my car. I guess my pride goeth because it’s fall…


#12

Apologize for going on at great length about a car you are proud of? This board is for car lovers, no apology needed as far as I am concerned


#13

@Marconi

You’re welcome

That website you mentioned . . . that’s actually one of my “favorites”

it’s how I knew which atf your transmission calls for. The footnote is pretty interesting, because it states that Dexron or Mercon would also be suitable. Considering how many different Mercons there currently are, I wouldn’t recommend it