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20' 5-speed RS5F91R whine

3826 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dagren
When I bought the car a couple months ago there was a slight whine while accelerating in 1st gear. Over time it has gotten louder and eventually started whining in all 5 gears. It does this also while decelerating, and the higher the gear the quieter the whine (for both acceleration & deceleration)

Correct me if I'm wrong but Nissan has used the RS5F91R in 5-speed Versas since 2012.

So for all the 5-speed owners, is this normal for this transmission or do I need to take it to the dealership?

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If I were you, I would take the car back to the dealership, and have the issue documented. The fact that the sound has gotten louder, and has moved from just 1st gear to all the gears may be an issue that needs to be addressed. By getting it documented, you will be on solid ground in the event that a problem turns up later on. Good luck!!!
OP, additionally to the excellent advice above, while you are at the dealership, try to find another manual Versa and take it for a test drive. This is to establish a base line in case they tell you "they all do that".
Thank you guys for the sound advice. Got it scheduled for the dealership to look at it tomorrow.

It's actually quite a bit louder than what you can hear in the vid. Out of all the manual transmissions I've driven (new & old) they've never sounded like this. IMO, it actually sounds like it's low on transmission fluid...which would be so bad that it's borderline comical that it could come off the production line that way.
Update: The dealership just called & told me they couldn't replicate the problem after driving it for a total of 9 miles....because of course they couldn't. So now, after work i get to take one of their technicians for a drive to help them identify the loudly audible whine that comes from the car.

Unfortunately, this particular dealership doesn't have any 5-speed Versas to test drive, but as pimperell stated I'll at least have documentation on the matter. There is another dealership further away that does have a couple if this dealership can't help me I'll be traveling to that one.
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Update: i had the service manager ride with me in my car and this was our conversation...

Service Manager: "this is a sound that's been on all of the new 5-speed Versas we've received."

Me: "so this loud whining noise is normal?"

Service Manager: "Nissan has told us yes"

Me: "the only time I've heard a manual transmission have this loud of a whine is if the transmission fluid was low"

Service Manager: "I know exactly what you mean and personally I don't think the sound should be there. The warranty procedures we have to follow: 1) check transmission fluid 2) check seals for damage/wear...we performed both of those & both checked out fine. In this situation, you, as a customer that just bought a car from them, have more power than i do in getting something to go further by calling Nissan and expressing your concerns...and if it turns out its a design defective they can order a recall to fix the problem. We have called corporate ourselves about this in the past and we were told it's normal...again, I personally don't agree with it, but since it's a warranty matter we can't do anything further like do a tear-down of the transmission without Nissan's approval."

I went to the other dealer that had two 5-speed models & test drove both....they both had the same whining was actually worse than mine with only 13 miles.

So I suppose my options are:
  • raise hell with Nissan
  • change transmission fluid to a possibly higher quality like Redline MT-85 synthetic to see if that helps
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Took a look on Youtube, and came up with this video of your vehicle. The guy mentions the whine in the transmission.

Yea, i've seen this video before but completely forgot about his comments on the whine...looks like I'll just have to deal with it. His other comments are interesting...the clunk in the steering is actually the plastic that surrounds the steering column, it gets shifted when doing large steering changes. I don't have the "A/C not turning off" compressor stays off & the idle behavior is different as well (~913RPM A/C ON, ~750RPM A/C OFF)

Chris, this sucks, but what's transpired so far for you is exactly how I would have figured it would go. If something isn't obviously broken or there isn't a code set or stored, nothing is going to happen. You can keep copies of the service visits and the visit may or may not get stored in the dealer's system. We have no control or say on that end of it.

What REALLY P's me off is when the service advisors or managers say stupid chit like "you have more power with Nissan than I do". Please... Our only window into the horrible world that is Nissan is through the dealer network. If you call or deal with 1-800 Nissan (or what ever the # it is), they'll ultimately only go by info fed to them by a dealer.

5MTs in this segment of new vehicle are basically non-existent today and there's probably very few Nissan techs if any that would know how to troubleshoot one outside of what a Nissan factory service manual might say. Nothing against the techs! It's just how it is.

I'd probably do fluid changes on it early and often. If it's not the gearbox itself, the slave cylinder setup and design sucks on this transaxle. I'd want an extended warranty if you plan on keeping the car to 100K miles or beyond.
What's interesting though is this transaxle (RS5F91R) is the same one that Nissan has been using on Versas since 2012. You'd think they'd iron this stuff out after 8 years lol. I plan on changing the fluid to Redline MT-85...i've used Redline on previous manual transmission vehicles I've owned and it helped with noise & smoother shifting. Dealing with Nissan at the corporate or dealership level isn't going to get me anywhere unless something is severely broken. One of the salesman at the dealership where I test drove the two 5-speeds didn't even know Nissan offered any Versas with a 5-speed...i had to keep correcting him.
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