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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year ago, I bought a 2013 SV with 134k miles for my teen to drive around town. The maintenance records were sparse so we’ve been steadily bringing it up to speed. We’ve had the sway bar links replaced and fixed the brakes, and it’s a big improvement already. The car has definite transmission problems, however - the engine squeals and sounds like it’s spinning if it’s cold or if you push too hard on the gas from a stop - and I thought that changing the transmission fluid would potentially help. However when I took it to a mechanic, he said it’s a sealed transmission system and that you don’t need to change the fluid. I know very little about cars, so can someone tell me if this is true? I can’t find clear information in the owners manual.
 

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you can change the fluid.

there is a drain plug and a filler plug to perform this operation, better to be performed at a dealership because you need to replace gaskets and use a specific type of fluid etc etc.

You have a sedan?
 

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In this case, I'd recommend bringing it to the dealer to be diagnosed rather than fluid changed. The fluid service will cost more than diagnosis, and you need to know if the belt has slipped, which can be found out by reading the codes in the transmission. Noises won't get resolved with fluid changes on these. In my experience, once they start making noise, it needs to be replaced, since it's either a bad bearing, pump, or belt/pulley problem. The only exception is if the fluid level is low from a leak.
 

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About a year ago, I bought a 2013 SV with 134k miles for my teen to drive around town. The maintenance records were sparse so we’ve been steadily bringing it up to speed. We’ve had the sway bar links replaced and fixed the brakes, and it’s a big improvement already. The car has definite transmission problems, however - the engine squeals and sounds like it’s spinning if it’s cold or if you push too hard on the gas from a stop - and I thought that changing the transmission fluid would potentially help. However when I took it to a mechanic, he said it’s a sealed transmission system and that you don’t need to change the fluid. I know very little about cars, so can someone tell me if this is true? I can’t find clear information in the owners manual.
That's definitely not true, at least not for Nissans. Perhaps it's different for your 2013, but my 2016 SV states in the owners manual to change the fluid every 60k miles under normal driving conditions. You might have to change it more frequently since driving around town involves a lot of stop and go traffic, and puts more stress on the transmission. It is possible to do it yourself, although it is a bit of pain because you have to remove the battery and battery plate to access the transmission fluid fill hole. If you do it yourself it will cost you about 50-60 dollars if you already have all the tools. All you really need is a ratchet and socket set(metric). Here's a video showing you how to do it.

I also had the same problem with squealing when the engine was cold, and squealing when accelerating from a stop. Changing the serpentine belt solved the problem. It's not an expensive or difficult fix. Here's another youtube link showing you how to do it:

Best of luck to you
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to update, I took it to the dealership and here’s what they said:

“the transmission does have a code in the past for the auxillary gear box, which is indicating the system is picking up failure of the transmission.”

However they offered no other explanation other than to say that fixing it will be $4200 plus tax. At the moment I plan on getting a few second opinions and saving up for the potential repair. Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider getting it fixed but cars in similar condition and mileage are selling for $10k to $15k here. The pandemic has not been kind to the used car market.
 

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Just to update, I took it to the dealership and here’s what they said:

“the transmission does have a code in the past for the auxillary gear box, which is indicating the system is picking up failure of the transmission.”

However they offered no other explanation other than to say that fixing it will be $4200 plus tax. At the moment I plan on getting a few second opinions and saving up for the potential repair. Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider getting it fixed but cars in similar condition and mileage are selling for $10k to $15k here. The pandemic has not been kind to the used car market.
That sucks, but it is a 10yr/old Nissan that likely had little/no preventative maintenance done to it, which seems to be pretty common pre COVID scenario. It's probably $2K just in labor and incidentals to R/R the CVT I personally would not be willing to put ~$4500+ into a replacement CVT in this particular vehicle.

My 2015 Versa base model sedan has the pretty rare 4spd conventional automatic. I've changed the ATF on it a few times since we bought it used in 2020 w/40K miles on it.
 
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