DIY Guide/Video for Versa CVT Fluid Change? Is there a test for CVT fluid? - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-01-2012, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Guide/Video for Versa CVT Fluid Change? Is there a test for CVT fluid?

Is anyone aware of a video online or process document for the Versa CVT fluid replacement? I'm not planning on doing this any time soon, just would be nice to see how complicated it is.

Also I read an article on another forum taking about the dealer "testing the CVT" fluid...does anyone know anything about that? What is the test all about, if it exists?

Is there is a not so obvious reason to have the dealer do this work when the time comes around?

Just wondering if the process is documented online.

So...if anyone on forum has changed their own CVT fluid, can they comment on process?

We bought a '12 Versa and everything so far so good. A lot to be said for the mileage.

I doubt changing the CVT fluid can be all that complicated when the time comes. Haven't gone looking under the hood to see if any specialty tools (example torx type fitting) needed to open CVT for example, and am not planning on it.

Just wondering if anyone has changed the CVT fluid themselves.

Buying it allowed us the downtime on the other car to do a lot of heavy overdue maintenance. I've swapped out the intake gasket on our GM engine several times, so no way it can be anyway as near complicated as that job...so complication is not an issue.

Thanks for your replies!
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 01:36 AM
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I've heard the tranny control module checks the status of the fluid and rates it on a scale. The shops use an expensive diagnostics scanner that connects to the OBD2 port, but you might be able to get it from a Bluetooth scanner and software on a laptop or smartphone.

You can drain and fill the fluid yourself, but you won't be able to do as good of a job as the dealer, since they have tools to completely flush the old fluid. A DIY job will always have some mixing of the new and old fluid since some of it remains in the housing.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-02-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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OBDC

Thanks for the info...I have the ELM 327 Bluetooth...will see if it has transmission code section support on the Versa

Here's the link if anyone wants to give it a go...some reviews give the ELM 327 a bad rap, but it has been very good for check engine diagnostics on our other old car

Amazon.com: Soliport ELM 327 Bluetooth OBDII OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner: Automotive Amazon.com: Soliport ELM 327 Bluetooth OBDII OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner: Automotive

Thanks
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woogie View Post
You can drain and fill the fluid yourself, but you won't be able to do as good of a job as the dealer, since they have tools to completely flush the old fluid. A DIY job will always have some mixing of the new and old fluid since some of it remains in the housing.
Really? Not what I was told last week when bringing in my Versa into the stealer for a very cheap oil change. My Versa has 43k miles and was advised to get the CVT fluid changed. I asked how much and was told $180. I then asked if that included a flush and filter change. Was told there is no filter, they do not flush and the service is just a drain and fill. $180 for that? Negative.

I looked through my trusty maintenance PDF files for the drain and fill technique and learned something. I also looked through the forum posts here and determined I will use OEM trans fluid. Even buying at full retail price it will be MUCH cheaper than paying $180.

Anyway, the procedure is to drive the car for 10-15 mins to warm things up. Remove the outlet hose from the trans cooler. While the vehicle is running at idle, let the old fluid drain out while new fluid is being put in. Wait for new fluid to start draining out.

I'm not sure how quickly how the fluid drains out, but this sounds like a 2-person job.

Thoughts?

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post #5 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 01:28 PM
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two persons job

Quote:
Originally Posted by V65 View Post
Really? Not what I was told last week when bringing in my Versa into the stealer for a very cheap oil change. My Versa has 43k miles and was advised to get the CVT fluid changed. I asked how much and was told $180. I then asked if that included a flush and filter change. Was told there is no filter, they do not flush and the service is just a drain and fill. $180 for that? Negative.

I looked through my trusty maintenance PDF files for the drain and fill technique and learned something. I also looked through the forum posts here and determined I will use OEM trans fluid. Even buying at full retail price it will be MUCH cheaper than paying $180.

Anyway, the procedure is to drive the car for 10-15 mins to warm things up. Remove the outlet hose from the trans cooler. While the vehicle is running at idle, let the old fluid drain out while new fluid is being put in. Wait for new fluid to start draining out.

I'm not sure how quickly how the fluid drains out, but this sounds like a 2-person job.

Thoughts?
It is a two persons job and a messy job at that. Will be pricy as well, since you will need several gallons of the juice...
have not done it on the Verta yet, but have on other vehicles.

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post #6 of 19 Old 12-03-2012, 02:36 PM
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I don't know anything about the Versas CVT but I am well versed in Honda auto trannies.

In my Honda, it is NEVER recomended to flush the transmission because like the Versa, it does not have a filter. Instead, it has a permanent screen (That I assume ther Versa would have too). Flushing it causes the mesh screen to become clogged and therefore cause the transmission to fail. On my Honda, I would simply do drain and refills using only genuine Honda fluid. I simply removed the drain bolt, clean off the magnet, drained the fluid, added 3 qts, drove 20 miles and repeated one or two times more.

If you remove a hose and add fluid while the old stuff comes out be warned it comes out very quickly and you should have another person to assist you.

On a side not, I would not recommend going to any shop other then the dealer to have the service performed. I worked at Firestone Complete Autocare and we only had 3 different "universal" transmission fluids. We did have problems with shift quality and even a transmission going out after such a service. Genuine tranny fluid might seem expensive but it is well worth the extra money to prevent thousands to replace a transmission.

It sucks to hear the service is $180....I have a lifetime warranty on my CVT and motor but I have to follow the service intervals.

Last edited by Versa12; 12-03-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 05:27 PM
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Excellent advice Versa12

Very sound advice from Versa12.

1. Don't flush it.
2. Drain and fill using only the proper Nissan fluid.

What is still missing from this thread is specific information on the drain and fill procedure for the CVT. Drain and fill sounds simple. However, it would be good to hear from someone who has done this. Some transmissions are considered "sealed" if you ask the manufacturer and it is not always easy to find a drain plug or obvious fill plug. Is the Nissan CVT this way? Using the engine to pump out the fluid while you try to pour the correct amount back in at the proper rate has an element of risk to a $4k transmission that I am unwilling to try.

I have nothing to offer regarding this as my 07 is the four-speed auto with an obvious drain and fill plug. Super easy and quick. I do a drain and fill once a year (approx every 10k miles). $32 for the Nissan fluid.

My only information to offer is to measure exactly how much fluid you drain out and put that much back in. Especially if there is no way to check the fluid level. I am not sure on the CVT.
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 02:23 AM
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Hi I can add my two cents to this thread as I watched the mechanic at the local dealership do the job today. I got chatty with him asking questions and I also asked to see the color of my fluid befor changing. It was very black and it is supposed to be a nice green. With 129,000km's on it, I knew I was overdue. Recommended change frequency is 100,000km's or so.

Basically, the guy put the car up on the hoist and unscrewed a drain plug from the bottom of the cvt. Let it drain completely, cleaned the bottom and put back the plug careful not to over tighten. There was no flushing involved. Then put the car back down and thru the cvt dipstick tube, refilled the cvt with I think 4 or so liters of Nissan cvt fluid. Then he started the car and ran thru each gear selector a couple of times. Then put back cvt dipstick, checked level and the did a road test.

I do feel a bit of a difference as it would sometimes hesitate slightly on mild acceleration after only a couple of minutes of running. I just put that to the cvt fluid warming up. Seems to be gone now but I will continue to monitor.

I am not sure if he reprogrammed anything or not to let the computer know the fluid was changed.

Hope this info is helpful. Cost wise, the fluid is $30 per liter here in Ontario and then an hour or so labour. It's about $350-$400 tax in for the job. A big pill to swallow but I figure once every 4-5 years its worth it.

Dual Versa Sedan Family

2008 S 4-sp Auto
2008 SL CVT w/Sport Package
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-25-2014, 06:31 PM
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The 2012 is way different in terms of a CVT fluid change. I have a copy of the Factory Service Manual for it and I can't say for 100% sure how to do it as I haven't attempted it yet, but it seems simple.
1) You remove the plug and overflow tube from the drain and let it drain.
2) Install a "charging kit" to push approximately 3L amount of fluid back into the transmission
3) Remove charging kit and quickly reinstall the drain plug only
4) Start engine and run through each gear for 5 seconds then stop engine
5) Remove drain plug and drain fluid once more
6) Reinstall the overflow tube and the charging kit and add approximately 3L of fluid again
7) Remove charging kit and reinstall the plug
8) Start the vehicle and run through each gear. Put vehicle back into park.
9) Check the fluid level by removing the plug (while idling in park) and watch to see if any fluid drains from the overflow. If it doesn't, add more fluid, if it does, wait till it slows to a drip.

Remember to use Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid only. Good luck finding a charging kit (PN: KV311039S0).


Last edited by xeon; 01-25-2014 at 06:43 PM.
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-26-2014, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xeon View Post
The 2012 is way different in terms of a CVT fluid change. I have a copy of the Factory Service Manual for it and I can't say for 100% sure how to do it as I haven't attempted it yet, but it seems simple.
1) You remove the plug and overflow tube from the drain and let it drain.
2) Install a "charging kit" to push approximately 3L amount of fluid back into the transmission
3) Remove charging kit and quickly reinstall the drain plug only
4) Start engine and run through each gear for 5 seconds then stop engine
5) Remove drain plug and drain fluid once more
6) Reinstall the overflow tube and the charging kit and add approximately 3L of fluid again
7) Remove charging kit and reinstall the plug
8) Start the vehicle and run through each gear. Put vehicle back into park.
9) Check the fluid level by removing the plug (while idling in park) and watch to see if any fluid drains from the overflow. If it doesn't, add more fluid, if it does, wait till it slows to a drip.

Remember to use Nissan NS-2 CVT Fluid only. Good luck finding a charging kit (PN: KV311039S0).

Good post. Like I said in an earlier post, it does not seem like too much effort to change cvt pre2012 fluid yourself. Important to emphasize you must use Nissan fluid only. Not another auto-type fluid. It's the fluid that is expensive. It is green when clean and will turn dark black over use time. In Canada, Nissan recommends changing every 100,000kms or depending on state of the fluid. I had mine done and it came out black.

So if the dealer is telling you to change it at 40-some odd thousand miles, ask them to show you a sample of the fluid and explain why. That seems too soon. Green is good, once any hint of green is gone, then time to change.

For my case, having it done once every 3-4 years is worth spending $400 ($100 per year if I break it down). Just means 20 less grande lattes per year.

Dual Versa Sedan Family

2008 S 4-sp Auto
2008 SL CVT w/Sport Package
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