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post #1 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Versa CVT Fluid Change

Hi guys,

This is my first post as I just joined the forums a few days ago. I just got a 2008 white versa SL hatchback with 105K kms. I really like the CVT and would like the car to last. The wife loves it so much so I think I'm losing the car to her in a few days time.

Anyway, I'm looking at the CVT maintenance and it seems like there's no solid answer. So here are my questions:

1. What should the original color of the fluid be? Red, pinkish or Green (almost clear). I almost %^*@ in my pants after seeing the fluid coz mine's pinkish. I thought the previous owner sent it in for quickie lubes and the guys topped it off with ATF. Hence I'm going to change it anyways...

2. Does the green fluid change to red as it oxidizes with time and usage?

3. I'm pretty set on getting the NS2 as the service manual recommends so I'm not considering other el-cheapo fluids. I am getting mine from

4. There's no set interval to change the fluid other than 48K kms as stated in the manual if you tow or have a roof box. Since I'm the 2nd owner, I think changing it out is good. Manual only says "inspect" but does not provide a reference on when to change it out depending on color.

5. The service manual indicates that after changing the fluid, you need to use the Nissan Consult-III to reset the CVT oil life. I believe it's set at 210K kms as the limit. I don't know how long I plan to keep the car but 100K kms until the light comes onto me is not a big worry. Everyone talks of the Consult-III to be a proprietary software with Nissan and I'm reluctant to send it in for a $200 reset. I don't have a generic OBD2 scanner yet. Any inputs on which one specifically can do this?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 09:19 PM
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I don't know much about the CVT's in our vehicle but keeping clean fluid in any transmission is very important. With that being said, there is absolutely no reason to use a universal or non-Nissan transmission fluid. Transmission or CVTs are very costly to replace so while the fluid may seem expensive, it can prevent an ultra expensive repair down the road.

At the auto place I used to work at (or any auto place other than dealers) we used Kendall transmission fluid. While we had 3 different barrels of it they were universal fluids which basically means it has a little bit of this and a little bit of that to meet the requirements of OEM fluid requirements. We did have a couple transmissions fail after performing this service.

In addition, you don't want any sort of grit or grime floating around in the CVT. No idea what kind of filter it has (inline, mesh, or permanent) but it can clog it up which takes more energy to force the fluid thru.
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 09:22 PM
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Hi Skootcha, I am going thru the same thing as well. I was at a Nissan Dealership for Service and they recommended I get the CVT fluid change too, since I am at 117,000KM's.

Let me try to answer your questions based on what I found out:

1. light greenish, not dark, mostly clear. Yes if you have pink, that is probably what happened and someone topped it with regular tranny fluid. You should definately get it changed as Nissan will void the Canadian 8-Year 200,000KM warranty on the CVT if other than approved Nissan Fluid is used. (NS2)

2. I am not sure about colour change, however I was told it can get a bit darker with age and use. Red might be a colour, but I think it would be more grey/blackish from use.

3. Yes, stick with Nissan NS 2 or you void warranty and maybe create more problems with the CVT down the road.

4. The FSM recommends a 96,000KM interval (non-towing vehicles). In speaking with a Nissan mechanic, she said that it's really a recommendation since the CVT's are fairly bullet proof, hence why Nissan will give such an unusually long factory warranty on them. She's known some people who never replace the CVT fluid, others who do it at the recommend mileage or around it. There is really nothing to indicate a need for a fluid change other than Nissan plugging in their computer (Consult III) to pull the details on the CVT, like the fluid deterioration date, or test the fluid. This is a method for Nissan to gauge the life of the fluid. So the official party line from Nissan is to change it every 100,000KM's, however it is a recommendation, not a mandatory service.

5. As you have stated and I just did too, yes Nissan has a specific process for clearing CVT codes. I am not sure if a standard OBD2 scanner will clear a CVT code, especially dealing with the fluid. I think the 210K KM setting shows the fact that Nissan considers the fluid change a recommended service, rather than mandatory. However, I am personally leaning towards getting the fluid changed as I plan on driving my 2008 SL into the ground.

The service is expensive because the fluid is like $30 per litre, and you need about 8 litres for this service. One dealer quoted me about $350 CDN for this, so I am going to wait a couple more months and get it done later this year.

I hope I've given you some more information to consider as you obviously have done a good amount of research already.

Dual Versa Sedan Family

2008 S 4-sp Auto
2008 SL CVT w/Sport Package
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-09-2013, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. I probably would just leave the consult-III as is and just change the fluid. Or i'll try and find a guy who has the consult-III. I imagine that someone probably has a copy in his computer installed outside the nissan dealership. I'm buying my nissan OEM cvt oil for about $12-ish/L shipped to the US.
Nissan Factory OEM CVT Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid - 999MP-NS200P : : Automotive Nissan Factory OEM CVT Continuously Variable Transmission Fluid - 999MP-NS200P : : Automotive

I guess they just jacked up the price... I called the local dealer, it's $38/L here in Vancouver...
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