Versa note 5 speed manual shifting issue - Nissan Versa Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-31-2018, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Versa note 5 speed manual shifting issue

I have a 2016 Versa 5 speed manual that I bought brand new in 2016. Over all I have been fairly happy with the car. it's been reliable, decent on gas and
has a reasonably comfortable road/highway ride. My issue is with the shifting and in particular the shifting from 1st to 2nd and occassionally 2nd to 3rd. To
put it simply its very hit or miss on getting smooth shifts and more often than not it shifts like sh*t..... ie roughly and it jerks or bucks. I am not new to
driving manual trannys, my first car back in 1993 was a 5 speed Subaru and I have owned several since then but this is the first one that I have owned/driven that
is so persnickety about the cluck pedal release,RPM's ect. It seems to me that if I want to get anything close to a smooth transition between gears I have to run the RPMs
to 3000 or above. Anything below that and it bucks or jerks. The clutch engagement/disengagement point on the peddle seems to be relatively high up
( you almost have to let the peddle all the way up to engage the clutch ) and having long legs I thought perhaps I was not cleanly releasing the peddle
however even so it should be a little more forgiving even with a less than perfect shift. Again I have multiplied thousands of miles
driving manuals but I have never had to pay so much attention to the minutia of every shift to get a smooth gear change, it should be an after
thought after driving this long but this is not the case with my versa. It seems to do ok in 3rd through 5th but the first 2 gears are rough " most "
of the time, sometimes they seem to shift super smooth. I just attribute it too a poorly designed manual transission/clutch by Nissan but i wanted
to get some other input before I go back to the dealership, who incidently was no help at all the first time I took it in. Thanks
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-01-2018, 01:09 AM
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You need to take it easier or use higher octane fuel. When you load up the engine its detecting a knock and retarding the hell out of the ignition causing it to buck, kick and such. Its worse with the ac on. I use 89 and its much smoother.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-01-2018, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ill try the 89 but it really should be smoother at all RPMs, it likes the higher Revs... 3000 to 3200... and shifts like silk when i rev it there most of the time. I feel a slight engine cut out when releasing the clutch peddle below say 2500 rpms. I think Nissan just laid an egg with these manual trannys. I have talked to one other guy who has the same car and he has exact same gripe as me.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-01-2018, 06:45 PM
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I have the exact same issue on my 2014 sedan. It is as if the clutch grabs between 1st and 2nd. It is annoying when people are in my car and their heads bob forward then buck back and forth when I shift to 1st or 2nd. And it is worse when I am in traffic and need to accelerate quickly. I too have driven standards all my life and never had this problem. It is difficult to find the sweet spot on the clutch for a smooth takeoff. I find accelerating slowly and releasing the clutch slowly helps, but this is not feasible in heavy traffic(people keep giving me the "happy motoring" sign for going so slow). I also agree racing the engine then releasing the clutch makes it smoother, but still a little rough. I wonder if a clutch adjustment would help? Or could it be the hydraulic pump? I also told the dealership about it and they said it would take a while to learn how they shift. Four years later and still the same.

Last edited by VersaBob; 06-01-2018 at 06:54 PM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-01-2018, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VersaBob View Post
I find accelerating slowly and releasing the clutch slowly helps, ...
Releasing the clutch too slow will "help" you to burn the clutch (you are extending the time of "when it starts to grab" or "barely grabbing").
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-02-2018, 12:12 AM
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Yeah, this engine really comes to life starting at 3500 to redline. It just pours on the torque as the revs increase. I normally go to 3500 to 4 grand before leaving a gear. 3rd gear I take to 40, then I just right to 5th unless I go slower than 35.

There is honda and the carolla for other stick cars. I think the carolla is stick only and honda a stick is an option so you can get a fully loaded one vs the base like with nissan.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-02-2018, 12:44 AM
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Releasing the clutch too slow will "help" you to burn the clutch (you are extending the time of "when it starts to grab" or "barely grabbing").




I agree. But mine tends to grab at the high end of the pedal travel even if I release it slowly. I am beginning to wonder if I should be raising engine speed.

Last edited by VersaBob; 06-02-2018 at 01:30 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-02-2018, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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You are correct Versa Bob, i also went to the dealer to ask if they could adjust the clutch pedal engagement point and after 2 hours they came back and said " oh this is a hydraulic clutch, sorry, nothing we can do to help you". Grabby is a good term and yes near the top of the pedal travel is where it happens. I think if it grabbed more towards the bottom of the pedal release it would help a lot with a smoother shift, especially for long-legged folks like me but I think we're kind of stuck. I managed to make it work most of the time but yes you do have to baby it to get it to shift smoothly. I normally shift between 2800 and 3200 RPMs. Normally the higher the smoother but I don't like the rev the hell out of it and kill my gas mileage. 3rd gear and above its a blast to drive. I also find that first thing in the morning when the clutch is "cold" it tends to be a little smoother.

Last edited by Bayctynote16; 06-02-2018 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Typos
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-02-2018, 12:12 PM
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I think peak torque is like 42 or 4800 rpms. You should try the current z car. Its peak tq and hp are both close to redline. Do not get me wrong I love torque down low, but seems diesels are a thing of the pass. I think you can get one with the Chevy cruse or equinox, but thats 30-40 grand for the vehicle and another 2 grand for the diesel engine.

I had a few 3 cylinder geo metros and their power band was also high. I found a timing gear modded to advance the cam 10 degrees while lowered the power band to 3 grand and it made a world of difference. I still have one of my suzuki sidekick. Not sure its possible with the dual vvt on these newer engine, but a tri y 4 to 2 to 1 header should help. The intake is already setup for tq production. I put one of those on the sidekick with its 1.6 4 banger and I can shift to 4th gear by 20 mph and still accelerate. Before hand I couldnt even release the clutch in 1st til I rev to 3 grand.

Try driving it without the ac on or some higher octane fuel. Im rather aggressive with the car dropping the clutch vs feathering it and its not that rough of a ride. Just got to use the tach to figure out your entry and exit points for gears so the speeds are matched when you make your engagement so less clutch wear. If you are idling the car along, try skipping a few gears. Try 1,3,5 if you are going 35mph. For 25 mph I do 1,3,4. Im not much of a fan of 2nd, but 3rd is great.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-04-2018, 10:27 PM
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I'm not sure that the Versa would benefit from 89 octane fuel, the engine compression ratio is only 9.8:1 It feels more like a throttle position sensor calibration issue. Mine did the same bucking and power cutoff in traffic last week, so perhaps the knock sensor is sensitive to engine heat.

I'll try a couple of tanks of 89 octane, that was what the old leaded gasoline was rated way back when and most engines back then were running 9:1 or less unless you had a muscle car and knock was more an issue.

2016 Versa Note
1.6 5 speed
Cayenne Red (NAH)
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