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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been experiencing a somewhat odd behavior and just want to know if it's normal or not.

Basically, when coasting down long hills at around 35mph-55mph, I'll find that the CVT transmission seems to be searching. Essentially, what transpires is that the RPM needle waves back and forth visibly while the car has this mild lunge and slow, lunge and slow.

It's not a huge affect but it is noticeable. When I've mentioned it to the dealer they've expressed that the 2012 Versa utilizes engine breaking (don't ask me why, breaks are cheap to replace engine/CVT not so much, and I'd rather have every iota of fuel efficiency).

But has anyone else experienced a similar habit with their 2012 Versa sedan?
(video below)


 

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Yes engine braking is more fuel efficient than using the brakes. I have an 08 V with cvt and mine will hold steady at 3500 going down grade of 7.5%. It will hold the speed at 70 on the interstate with out having to use the brakes.

As for the surging of the you are experiencing, it could be a couple of things, one it could be that your car hasn't gotten through the brake in period and is still learning you driving style. second it could be the cpu that controls rpm gauge has a fault, third your cvt has an issue, or forth the new gen cvt is acting normal.
 

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My mom's Rogue uses the engine to slow down as well when going downhill, the CVT is essentially 1 gear, but the ECU has fixed ratio ranges to emulate conventional transmissions, so it might look like it's trying to gear down, and you aren't slowing down enough for it to gear down. This is all speculation as I rarely drive the Rogue.

Does it happen when switching to "L" or a lower gear?
 

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I have noted the same behaviour with my 2012 hatch, I did not consider it to be an issue. I noticed it by feel and did not look at the tach. This occurred at~60 kph (40 mph) on a relatively gentle incline on a curve with no acceleration. Give it some gas and the sensation disappeared.
 

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I have also noticed this while coming down the mountain pass. Doing highway speeds downhill causes the "engine braking" to begin, but it seems like it can't find a sweet spot so it is making the tach jump back and forth. Personally, i just throw it into neutral and take my foot off the pedals. Maximum MPGs!!! lol.
 

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My Versa Note tach doesn't fluctuate when going downhill like in the video but it does downshift by a lot. It drives me crazy. It will downshift by 1,000-2,000 RPM depending on the grade of the slope. It will downshift even when I leave the lever in "D" without pushing the "O/D OFF" button or shifting to "L".

My Versa Note is sensitive to inclines and wind resistance in general. When driving on the freeway going over a local street, it will downshift even if the slope is minimal. It will downshift when encountering slight wind resistance on the freeway. Also, when I take my foot off the accelerator pedal, it will have severe engine braking. The engine braking by itself is almost enough to bring the car to a stop at a stop sign or red light. That wastes gas and puts unnecessary wear and tear on the engine and CVT.

Even if downshifting is more fuel efficient than using the brakes, I'd rather have the peace of mind of using the brakes rather than engine braking. Replacing brake pads or shoes costs a fraction of the cost of the engine or CVT.

Anyways, I'm going to the dealer next week to see if they can do anything about the engine braking and downshifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE: I had been having some issues recently with shiftingat low speeds. Had dealer check it out. They noted some above average play in transmission and abnormally dirty fluid. Transmissionws replaced under warranty this month at 52,000 miles.

I do seem to be averaging about 1.5 better MPG now.
 

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If have a 2009 with a manual transmission and I have a similar effect going down slight inclines with the cruise control on. In my case I believe the real issue is the cruise control controlling the stepper throttle motor with too big throttle adjustments. Without the cruise on and keeping a steady foot on the accelerator it does not occur.

Frank 2009 Versa S sedan with 51200 miles
 

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TkO.... please post what the service dept has to say about the engine braking.
Not sure if this is correct, but the increase in RPM on slight inclines might be due to the fact that the CVT needs to increase torque and the CVT does it by changing ratios of the cone pulleys. ( increase in rpm)
 

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With respect to the original problem, that does not seem normal. When going down a hill my CVT spikes up a bit but then settles down to try to maintain somewhat of a consistent speed along with the engine braking.

Glad to hear they were able to solve the issue, please keep us updated if your new CVT is acting unusually.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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The dealer told me that engine braking while going/coasting downhill is normal. If I don't want the engine speed/RPM jumping up while going downhill, then I need to press on the gas pedal just enough to prevent the RPM from jumping, finding the "sweet spot". Well, I have not been able to find that "sweet spot"; when I press the gas pedal, even just slightly, the car will accelerate, gaining speed/velocity.

Personally, I just start from a slow speed/velocity when approaching a downhill slope, press the gas pedal slightly after starting to go downhill (right when I can sense that the RPM will start to jump up), and use gravity to gain speed to get up to the speed limit. Or, if I'm starting from a stop and am on a downhill slope, I'll shift it to neutral while at a stop and use gravity to gain speed up to the speed limit. I don't shift to neutral while the car is moving because that may damage the CVT.
 
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