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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all. I'm a newbie with a 2014 Versa Note SV with 3700 miles. My car since new has what I think might be a transmission abnormality. I've driven other brands of CVT cars and doubt this is just a "CVT thing." Please let me know if your car acts like this too.

My car seems to "leerch" or "creep" forward when stopped at lights in drive. I was hoping it was something part of the brake in process, but fear its not, after 3700 miles and 4 months. The car's RPM fluctuates up a couple hundred rpm and it makes the car want to go. I notice it most when the A/C is on, and may be in conjunction with the A/C fan clutch cycling on & off. Any similar experiences???

I also just read an article stating there have been a few other similar reports for the Sentra & Versa and Nissan in regards to brake & transmission issues. The DOT has opened an official investigation. :frown Maybe I'm one of these people?
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/05/200000-nissan-vehicles-safety-investigation.html
 

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Hello to all. I'm a newbie with a 2014 Versa Note SV with 3700 miles. My car since new has what I think might be a transmission abnormality. I've driven other brands of CVT cars and doubt this is just a "CVT thing." Please let me know if your car acts like this too.

My car seems to "leerch" or "creep" forward when stopped at lights in drive. I was hoping it was something part of the brake in process, but fear its not, after 3700 miles and 4 months. The car's RPM fluctuates up a couple hundred rpm and it makes the car want to go. I notice it most when the A/C is on, and may be in conjunction with the A/C fan clutch cycling on & off. Any similar experiences???

I also just read an article stating there have been a few other similar reports for the Sentra & Versa and Nissan in regards to brake & transmission issues. The DOT has opened an official investigation. :frown Maybe I'm one of these people?
200,000 Nissan Vehicles Under Safety Investigation » AutoGuide.com News
mine used to do this when new, but since i hit the 15,000 mile mark it seems to do it less when the AC is on and not at all when the AC is off, i just put my foot into the brake more when it tries to do it so it's not really a problem to me as long as you are paying attention to your driving. my take is that it's the AC taking a little to much pressure away from the brake booster, but the more the AC is broken in the less it does it. regardless im gonna keep an eye on it as well to see if the investigation says anything about it.
 

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I experience the same thing you are describing, but there is NOTHING WRONG with the car. The way to fix this is apply a slightly higher pressure on the brake pedal when you are stopped at idle with the AC turned on to prevent the car from moving when the AC compressor cycles, similar to something you would do if you are stopped on a slight downhill incline.

As you already observed, the engine RPM at idle kicks up a bit (approx 100-200 RPM) when the AC compressor kicks in, and returns to the original speed when it cycles off. I think the Nissan engineers felt it necessary to do this for a good reason (I would guess to achieve acceptable A/C performance and get more power from the engine at idle speed). Keep in mind that the AC compressor is about a 5-10 HP load to your engine, a fairly small engine which puts out a measly 109 HP MAX. I don't have a power curve chart but I would guess power output at idle is roughly 1/3 or less of max. Obviously if you are used to a larger displacement engine, this load will be less significant and not noticeable in most cases. Also, significant difference in acceleration rates can be felt with and without the AC turned on.

BTW, this is not a CVT issue (since this can also happen to conventional automatic transmission equipped car) but an AC idle speed strategy issue.

The DOT investigation, from my understanding is about brake pedals sinking to the floor, which I have never experienced and I don't think is related to this.
 

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I experience the same thing you are describing, but there is NOTHING WRONG with the car. The way to fix this is apply a slightly higher pressure on the brake pedal when you are stopped at idle with the AC turned on to prevent the car from moving when the AC compressor cycles, similar to something you would do if you are stopped on a slight downhill incline.

As you already observed, the engine RPM at idle kicks up a bit (approx 100-200 RPM) when the AC compressor kicks in, and returns to the original speed when it cycles off. I think the Nissan engineers felt it necessary to do this for a good reason (I would guess to achieve acceptable A/C performance and get more power from the engine at idle speed). Keep in mind that the AC compressor is about a 5-10 HP load to your engine, a fairly small engine which puts out a measly 109 HP MAX. I don't have a power curve chart but I would guess power output at idle is roughly 1/3 or less of max. Obviously if you are used to a larger displacement engine, this load will be less significant and not noticeable in most cases. Also, significant difference in acceleration rates can be felt with and without the AC turned on.

BTW, this is not a CVT issue (since this can also happen to conventional automatic transmission equipped car) but an AC idle speed strategy issue.

The DOT investigation, from my understanding is about brake pedals sinking to the floor, which I have never experienced and I don't think is related to this.
same thing i basically meant by the whole "pay attention to your driving", you did forget one thing though...the AC compressor under heavy engine load will shut itself off temporarily when you are asking for maximum engine power so as to not impede your acceleration. other than that, what you described to do is what i've been doing all along since i got the car lol...just had to adjust to the way this car behaves is all. wouldnt really call 109HP measly either when it's just hauling around a hair over 2400lbs. :) one of the greatest selling sports cars of all time (miata) had just 115HP and was just under 2200lbs. when it came out...of course that car was never meant to haul around cargo though either lol
 

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same thing i basically meant by the whole "pay attention to your driving", you did forget one thing though...the AC compressor under heavy engine load will shut itself off temporarily when you are asking for maximum engine power so as to not impede your acceleration. other than that, what you described to do is what i've been doing all along since i got the car lol...just had to adjust to the way this car behaves is all. wouldnt really call 109HP measly either when it's just hauling around a hair over 2400lbs. :) one of the greatest selling sports cars of all time (miata) had just 115HP and was just under 2200lbs. when it came out...of course that car was never meant to haul around cargo though either lol
Sorry I had to call it "measly". Just got carried away since I've never owned a car with so few horses. You are right, it all depends on how much weight you try to push around (or in this case "pull").

My point is, this is my first car since my 1972 Toyota Corolla with a 1.2L engine that AC load is a substantial/noticeable drag on the overall performance of the car. As you go up in engine size the AC load becomes insignificant.

BTW I did not realize the AC cuts out at heavy throttle. I wonder if it ever kicks back in when you are going up a long grade, say going up Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Typically there is a timer to allow the AC to go back on so the customer would not complain about AC not working.

I'm sure Nissan considered simply setting a single higher idle speed when AC is selected (and a lower speed when not selected), instead of having the idle speed change depending on the state of the AC compressor. That way you eliminate the "lurch forward" feeling. Maybe they were just trying to squeeze the very last drop of fuel they can.
 

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All normal, try this experiment, on a level road preferably where the speed limit is 35 MPH maintain that speed and get the compressor to kick on, the load the compressor puts on engine can actually maintain the speed of the car until the compressor shuts off you don't even really have to apply the gas pedal. It's a rather nifty trick but it gives you understanding of how the compressor puts a load on the engine.

Make sure your seating position is such that when you are in Park you can fully press down on the brake pedal all the way and same for the gas pedal. I use to have issues described in the original topic and surprised how by moving the seat closer up most of these issues were significantly reduced because I could put more pressure on the pedals.



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All normal, try this experiment, on a level road preferably where the speed limit is 35 MPH maintain that speed and get the compressor to kick on, the load the compressor puts on engine can actually maintain the speed of the car until the compressor shuts off you don't even really have to apply the gas pedal. It's a rather nifty trick but it gives you understanding of how the compressor puts a load on the engine.
I don't quite get this. I would think the car will slow down slightly when the AC kicks in. Unless you are in cruise control and the engine will automatically try to maintain the set speed.

Make sure your seating position is such that when you are in Park you can fully press down on the brake pedal all the way and same for the gas pedal. I use to have issues described in the original topic and surprised how by moving the seat closer up most of these issues were significantly reduced because I could put more pressure on the pedals.
Yes, I suppose this can help.
 

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Sorry I had to call it "measly". Just got carried away since I've never owned a car with so few horses. You are right, it all depends on how much weight you try to push around (or in this case "pull").

My point is, this is my first car since my 1972 Toyota Corolla with a 1.2L engine that AC load is a substantial/noticeable drag on the overall performance of the car. As you go up in engine size the AC load becomes insignificant.

BTW I did not realize the AC cuts out at heavy throttle. I wonder if it ever kicks back in when you are going up a long grade, say going up Eisenhower tunnel in CO. Typically there is a timer to allow the AC to go back on so the customer would not complain about AC not working.

I'm sure Nissan considered simply setting a single higher idle speed when AC is selected (and a lower speed when not selected), instead of having the idle speed change depending on the state of the AC compressor. That way you eliminate the "lurch forward" feeling. Maybe they were just trying to squeeze the very last drop of fuel they can.
from my observations of going up some of the mountain passes here in southern california, the AC will cut out for a short time and then kick back on once every few minutes to keep the cool air flowing into the cabin. the feeling that results is that the air coming out when the AC is on under those conditions is that the air is cool, but not quite cold like it is under normal engine load so it strikes a happy medium between keeping the AC compressor going and giving the engine the power it needs.
 

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I don't quite get this. I would think the car will slow down slightly when the AC kicks in. Unless you are in cruise control and the engine will automatically try to maintain the set speed.



Yes, I suppose this can help.
It does at low speeds and cruise is not even on, that's why when you come to a stop sometimes the car jerks forward if the compressor kicks on. It's revving the engine up a bit.

I can use that slight amount of engine load to get the car to hold it's speeds when the compressor kicks on at low speed like 35 MPH on a level road, although the car has to have less weight like when the fuel tank is below the half way mark. It's acting as a counter balance, if you ever drive at 35mph and notice how low you can get the engine RPM to drop if you feather the throttle it's really low now imagine letting off the throttle and the compressor raise the RPM itself,it pulls just enough RPM to maintain that speed, key is a level road.

I know it sounds crazy but it does. The slight increase in RPM caused by compressor acts like you are feathering the throttle to hold 35mph on a level road. It's a load on the engine yes but that load is accelerating the engine slightly.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm glad it's not just me. I'm in my 30's and this is my first "new" car. I dread dealing with Stealerships and do all my own maintenance when possible. I had concerns about Nissan's CVT reputation to begin with, and really only chose this car simply for the MPG ratings. I know the Versa's resale won't compare to a Honda or Toyota in the long run, but thats fine if it lasts 10 years. Overall I think Nissan is under rated and over shadowed by other brands. This car is a great value as long as it stays reliable.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm glad it's not just me. I'm in my 30's and this is my first "new" car. I dread dealing with Stealerships and do all my own maintenance when possible. I had concerns about Nissan's CVT reputation to begin with, and really only chose this car simply for the MPG ratings. I know the Versa's resale won't compare to a Honda or Toyota in the long run, but thats fine if it lasts 10 years. Overall I think Nissan is under rated and over shadowed by other brands. This car is a great value as long as it stays reliable.
overall, yes Nissan is an under rated company, but my feeling is it's more because of their franchised dealerships than anything else as you are hard pressed to find a Nissan dealership that actually cares about the customer and that's to bad really because otherwise Nissan would be a great brand, but you do find good dealerships every now and then such as the one i bought mine from who have taken care of me and made sure everything was to my satisfaction from day one. As for the resale value...just looked up the current value of the Note on kelly blue book and they are actually doing really well, even with the 16,000 miles i have on mine it is still being valued at almost $16k for private parts value and almost $15k for trade in value, so for the time being i have a feeling that the Note will retain it's value much better than Nissans of the past.
 

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.... As for the resale value...just looked up the current value of the Note on kelly blue book and they are actually doing really well, even with the 16,000 miles i have on mine it is still being valued at almost $16k for private parts value and almost $15k for trade in value, so for the time being i have a feeling that the Note will retain it's value much better than Nissans of the past.
One of the things I researched before buying my Note is comparing the 3 and 5 year residual/resale values of Nissan to Toyota and Honda. Considering the legendary reputation of high resale values of Toyotas and Hondas, I was surprised to see Nissan within +/- 1 to 2% of the competing brands. My conclusion was: there is no difference. No 10 year data was available though.
 

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Jas32 already covered this, but this is a A/C idle strategy. It's much easier to keep the engine operating stoichiometrically (proper Fuel/Air mixing) at higher idle RPM. But manufacturer try to keep the idle as low as possible for fuel/emissions benefit. So, it's a balancing act.
 

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One of the things I researched before buying my Note is comparing the 3 and 5 year residual/resale values of Nissan to Toyota and Honda. Considering the legendary reputation of high resale values of Toyotas and Hondas, I was surprised to see Nissan within +/- 1 to 2% of the competing brands. My conclusion was: there is no difference. No 10 year data was available though.
Same thing I've noticed over the years, as nissan quality has gone up so have their resale value and they typically don't lose much value over a 5 year period on the newer models. Hell even their high end sports cars don't lose much as a 370z still is valued at over 20k even for the first year 2009 models
 

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brake pedal going to the floor is either an excessive amount of vacuum being pulled on the booster, the cars left the factory with air in the brake lines, or faulty master cylinders. Those are the only places where a there can be a brake issue like that without visible leaking fluid.

CVT's get a bad rap because folks don't understand the way they work. At this point its not much more expensive than repairing/replacing a good automatic trans. Obviously a manual will be cheaper.

A dealer, or service with access to Consult III software could tweak the idle boost under A/C load. Of course if not done by a dealer, that could void warranties.
 

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......A dealer, or service with access to Consult III software could tweak the idle boost under A/C load. Of course if not done by a dealer, that could void warranties.
rstolz, you sure about this? Typically, idle speed control is hard coded on the Engine Control Module because changing it affects emissions and FE. In my experience, if there are customer complaints relating to idle speeds or similar issues, a Technical Service Bulletin is released to the dealer after proper emissions/FE testing is complete. Once the TSB is released the dealer can then re-flash the released software to the ECMs of customers coming in for that specific problem. Sometimes the OEM will even release a "customer satisfaction recall" if the problem is widespread.

I'm not familiar with Nissan service procedures so I'm a bit curious how they address issues like these.
 

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not 100%, but my experience with other makes leads me to believe that if you had Consult-III, you'd be able to tweak that value.

While you're right that base idle control is written into the fuel maps, a function such as idle boost due to A/C function would typically be found at a higher level, accessible to the Consult software. If the idle boost isn't a switchable function, then I'm inclined to believe that the idle boost, as seen here, is a result of other inputs, including engine load and current draw, and is not switchable at all. Basically, in order for the alternator to maintain pace with the draw being requested, load and speed must be increased.

In the end the result is the same, but control over that result is either
1. the ECM increasing idle speed because you hit the A/C button, which should be switchable,

or 2. The ECM responding to increased engine load resulting from increased current draw requirements, or something similar (minimum speed required for A/C compressor to reach minimum efficiency).

I have been surprised by the lack of knowledge surrounding the Consult Software and its uses. I know for a fact that with the German makes (VW, Audi, Porsche) it's almost a requirement in the tuning community to purchase VAG-Comm, which is their version of Consult.
 

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not 100%, but my experience with other makes leads me to believe that if you had Consult-III, you'd be able to tweak that value.

While you're right that base idle control is written into the fuel maps, a function such as idle boost due to A/C function would typically be found at a higher level, accessible to the Consult software. If the idle boost isn't a switchable function, then I'm inclined to believe that the idle boost, as seen here, is a result of other inputs, including engine load and current draw, and is not switchable at all. Basically, in order for the alternator to maintain pace with the draw being requested, load and speed must be increased.

In the end the result is the same, but control over that result is either
1. the ECM increasing idle speed because you hit the A/C button, which should be switchable,

or 2. The ECM responding to increased engine load resulting from increased current draw requirements, or something similar (minimum speed required for A/C compressor to reach minimum efficiency).

I have been surprised by the lack of knowledge surrounding the Consult Software and its uses. I know for a fact that with the German makes (VW, Audi, Porsche) it's almost a requirement in the tuning community to purchase VAG-Comm, which is their version of Consult.
The lack of knowledge on consult is more due to it being very expensive to purchase and also because nissan keeps a very tight set of restrictions on being able to purchase it from them from what I've heard
 

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true it's expensive, but the copy of Vag-Comm I own was also $300. I bought it at a time when I owned 2 VW/Audis and my brother owned another. An invaluable tool for DIY.

you can buy a base model consult-III for $160 -
Nissan Consult 3 III Professional Diagnostic Tool - US$159.00

Of course adding things like Immo service, or access to a few halo vehicles (GTR, LEaf) are expensive add-ons. As is the reprogramming card.
 

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true it's expensive, but the copy of Vag-Comm I own was also $300. I bought it at a time when I owned 2 VW/Audis and my brother owned another. An invaluable tool for DIY.

you can buy a base model consult-III for $160 -
Nissan Consult 3 III Professional Diagnostic Tool - US$159.00

Of course adding things like Immo service, or access to a few halo vehicles (GTR, LEaf) are expensive add-ons. As is the reprogramming card.
That cannot be the whole Consult III, is it? I thought it included the laptop, software, modules, etc. and costs over $3000 and only authorized Nissan dealers have access to updates. Even the generic scan tools I know are in the thousands $$. Do you know what this thing can really do aside from just doing diagnostics? $160 seems to be quite a deal if it has some capabilities.
 
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