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I'm looking at buying a used 2012 Nissan Versa S sedan. The owner has been very diligent with maintenance (every 6 months), but has not had any work done on the transmission. The first transmission died at 31,000 miles and they had it replaced under warranty, and now it's at 131,700 so that would be 100,700 miles on the 2nd transmission. I read that CVTs have an average life span of 100,000 miles so I'm concerned that the Versa would die on me soon after I buy it.

The dealership said that the transmission fluid is okay (so far) and no work needs to be done on it. Given that the transmission has never been opened and the fluid has never been touched, what's the likelihood of this car failing soon? Will a transmission fluid replacement fix the problem?
 

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CVTs can last longer than 100K with proper maintenance. That includes CVT fluid changes at 100K, but before you buy anything, get ready to so get an independent mechanical assessment before you put down a dime. Get ready to spend $100-200 to get a full written report of what condition this Versa is in. If it meets your scrutiny, get the seller to drop the price of a CVT change for the car and have it done immediately.
 

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CVTs can last longer than 100K with proper maintenance. That includes CVT fluid changes at 100K, but before you buy anything, get ready to so get an independent mechanical assessment before you put down a dime. Get ready to spend $100-200 to get a full written report of what condition this Versa is in. If it meets your scrutiny, get the seller to drop the price of a CVT change for the car and have it done immediately.
The car was checked at a dealership and it passed the 150-point inspection (including the transmission fluid) BUT the owner never had the transmission fluid changed or had any work done with the transmission. That means any future problems with the CVT is on me. Also the CVT would cost more than the car itself so if I'm gonna buy the car, it would be a bet on having the CVT last long enough for 2.5 years (that's all I need it for, maybe 5000 miles a year). My worry is that the lack of maintenance in the transmission (sadly, the owner was really diligent in preventive maintenance except for that one) would cause the CVT to go bad in a few months.
 

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Those 150-point inspections are biased as the dealership has a vested interest in selling the car. A real unbiased assessment should provide a written report about every mechanical section on the car. Yes, you have to pay for it, but it's well-worth the fee IMHO. Still, it's your money and purchase, so do as you please.
 

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Those 150-point inspections are biased as the dealership has a vested interest in selling the car. A real unbiased assessment should provide a written report about every mechanical section on the car. Yes, you have to pay for it, but it's well-worth the fee IMHO. Still, it's your money and purchase, so do as you please.
Ah, the seller is a private seller unrelated to the dealer (I asked him to have the dealership give an input on the transmission). Since the dealer won't be making any money if I end up buying the car from the seller, I think the dealership's 150-point inspection should be reliable. The question now is about the Versa itself -- how reliable would the transmission be if it passed the 100,000 mile mark without any work done.
 

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There's no way to know how long it will last. I've heard of them going out at 10-100K and have heard of a FEW lasting 200K miles. If it were me unless it's dirt cheap I wouldn't touch it. My '16 Versa SV was bought 2/19 with a rebuilt title and 10K miles for $5300. Even at that price and low mileage the CVT problems are always in the back of my mind. Mine now has 26K and has been trouble free. I plan to do a fluid/filter drain/fill every 30K miles hoping to keep it happy for several years. At the price I bought mine for a replacement transmission would cost almost as much as I have in the car. From what I've read the assessment made by Nissan on the fluid condition is just a reading from the ECU that show the amount of time the fluid has been overheated. Instead of wasting my money to have Nissan do a computer analysis I'm going to do my own fluid/filter on what should be a safe mileage timeline. At least I'll know for sure I have good fluid. Buying Nissan fluid/filter online and doing it myself will probably cost approximately $75-100. I think someone on one of the forums (maybe this one) said Nissan charged $40. to do their test.
 

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There's no way to know how long it will last. I've heard of them going out at 10-100K and have heard of a FEW lasting 200K miles. If it were me unless it's dirt cheap I wouldn't touch it. My '16 Versa SV was bought 2/19 with a rebuilt title and 10K miles for $5300. Even at that price and low mileage the CVT problems are always in the back of my mind. Mine now has 26K and has been trouble free. I plan to do a fluid/filter drain/fill every 30K miles hoping to keep it happy for several years. At the price I bought mine for a replacement transmission would cost almost as much as I have in the car. From what I've read the assessment made by Nissan on the fluid condition is just a reading from the ECU that show the amount of time the fluid has been overheated. Instead of wasting my money to have Nissan do a computer analysis I'm going to do my own fluid/filter on what should be a safe mileage timeline. At least I'll know for sure I have good fluid. Buying Nissan fluid/filter online and doing it myself will probably cost approximately $75-100. I think someone on one of the forums (maybe this one) said Nissan charged $40. to do their test.
Too bad then. I guess it's a real risk on my part. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Too bad then. I guess it's a real risk on my part. Thanks for the advice!
My wife is currently looking for a daily driver and we're looking at low mileage Versa, Sentra, Focus, Fiesta, Mirage, etc. with rebuilt titles because she wants a small car and doesn't want to put a fortune in it. The Versa, Sentra, Focus, Fiesta have all been plagued with transmission problems over the past several years therefore we're looking basically at cars in the 0-25K mile range, the lower the better. We drove about 140 miles today to look at a Mirage with a rebuilt title and less and 4K miles but they did such a poor job on the repairs we left it sitting even though we could have bought it for $5K. I did a VIN search online on the Mirage last night and the sticker price on it when new was over $17K. I've been buying/trading automobiles for 44 years and have never had a transmission go out on a car but I think transmissions used to be built much better than they are today. In my opinion any transmission should last 100K+ miles with minimal maintenance. Nissan's CVT issues has had them settling class action law suits for years and the last settlement only increased the warranty from 5/60-7/84. I'll admit when I bought my Versa it was on short notice and I didn't do my homework prior to the purchase but at the price/miles/condition I'd probably have take a chance on it but I'm still going to do everything I possibly can to try to increase it's longevity.
 

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I don't want to take this too far OT, but my '07 Versa SL was one of the first CVT-equipped Nissans. It's just had its 60K service with a CVT fluid change, and has never had a lick of trouble. True, it mostly does around town errands, but it cruises cross-country just fine and hadn't needed any major CVT maintenance until now. While I've read some stories on CVT problems, I've also heard of autos and even manuals breaking here and there. Could it be the differences between drivers?
 

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Could it be the differences between drivers?
I suspect part of it is driver related but with the number of failures I've heard and read about with the Nissan CVT's I think there are probably other factors also involved. The Mitsubishi Mirage uses the same JATCO CVT as the Versa. The Mitsubishi weighs a few hundred pounds less, has a 78HP engine as opposed to the Versa's 109HP and the transmissions seem to hold up much better in the Mitsubishi. I don't think the Altima with a heavier duty transmission has near the failures the Nissan's with the lighter duty transmissions have. Years ago I had a Mazda pickup that had to have some bearings replaced in the manual transmission at about 80K miles, on the other hand I had an Escort with a manual transmission that went 518K miles and never had a single problem. Same driver with the same driving habits but two separate transmissions types.
 

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CVTs can last longer than 100K with proper maintenance. That includes CVT fluid changes at 100K, but before you buy anything, get ready to so get an independent mechanical assessment before you put down a dime. Get ready to spend $100-200 to get a full written report of what condition this Versa is in. If it meets your scrutiny, get the seller to drop the price of a CVT change for the car and have it done immediately.
CVTs can last beyond 200k. I had a manual transmission Versa, so I can't attest to the durability of the CVT. I understand that NISSAN has had problems with their CVTs. I believe the older ones were made by JAZCO, sp? I wouldn't purchase it beyond 100k.
 

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CVTs can last beyond 200k. I had a manual transmission Versa, so I can't attest to the durability of the CVT. I understand that NISSAN has had problems with their CVTs. I believe the older ones were made by JAZCO, sp? I wouldn't purchase it beyond 100k.
JATCO has been a longtime supplier to Nissan. As for problems with the durability of their CVTs, I have one of the first CVT equipped Versas off the line ('07 HB SL) and have had no problems with the CVT for 14+ years.
 

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JATCO has been a longtime supplier to Nissan. As for problems with the durability of their CVTs, I have one of the first CVT equipped Versas off the line ('07 HB SL) and have had no problems with the CVT for 14+ years.
And according to a previous post in this thread just had it's 60K mile service. Not enough miles to convince me of reliability. Any automatic transmission should last 100K+ miles with little or no maintenance.
 
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