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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have a 2015 Nissan Versa that she bought new back in 2014. The car has about 130,000 miles on it, and everything was great until about 4-5 months ago. We got it checked out, and the dealer said the transmission was bad and quoted us $3500 for a replacement. At that point, it is still drivable, so we continue driving it until this past week when the transmission finally goes. I proceed to call about 6-7 different places in our area and everywhere is between $3000-5000 to replace the transmission. The local dealer ends up being the least expensive at somewhere around $3350. Anyway, I think that’s quite a lot for another crappy cvt transmission. I even asked about swapping it to the manual or 4 speed auto, but apparently that can’t be done easily. What would you do? Would you sink the money into the repair or would you cut your losses and get rid of it?
 

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What would your Nissan dealer give you for a trade-in value as is? Did you ever do a fluid service on your 2015's CVT? Doing them regularly seems to help longevity. There's lots of info on doing fluid drain and fills on them online. I do drain/fills regularly on the CVT in our 2016 Nissan Quest for this reason.

$3350 is a ton of money to me, but isn't too bad to have a transmission replaced, especially if you could get another 4-5yrs out of the car if you wanted to keep it that long.
 

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If the rest of the car is in good shape and it's paid for it might be cheaper to fix this one than to buy another used car that you don't know any history on and it's definitely going to be cheaper than buying anything new. If it's not paid for and you trade it in on something else the remained of the loan on this one is just going to be added to the financing on the new car so you'll still be paying for it even though you're not going to own it and be using it. You know your car better than anyone here and should be able to make the best call about what to do. Anymore regardless of what you take a car into a garage for you're going to come out with a bill of at least a few hundred dollars and often over $1000. In the past I've been fortunate to have been able to do most of the work on my own vehicles but nearing 60 years old and having chronic back pain I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to keep it up. I've got a Ford Escort that needs a timing belt put on it that years ago I could have done in a couple hours, now I expect it to take me 4-5 hours because of having to stop and let my back rest and re cooperate from being bent over underneath the hood. On top of the longer time frame it will take me to do the job I'll probably pay for doing it by being in increased pain for a few days afterward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The car is paid for, and it has been for a while. We have two other vehicles as well. My wife was still using the Versa as a commuter to and from work since she has a long commute to work to save gas. I am just finding it hard to sink that much money into a car that would be worth $5000 max in great condition. Unless the reliability has changed with their CVTs, I am going to be hesitant to spend that much on a transmission that is notorious for reliability issues. My wife's grandmother had a 2013 Altima whose transmission failed at just under 60,000 luckily under warranty.
 

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Justin- I feel for you here, but again, was any fluid maintenance done on your Versa's CVT or the 2013 Altima? I realize Nissan does't really push servicing them, but the ones that had some fluid maintenance done on them from the 30-40K mile point on up seem to rarely fail.
 

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I can understand your point on putting that much into a car that's not worth a lot. Since you have 2 other cars and that's probably all you and your wife need I can see not putting the money in this one. I was just suspecting you'd have to either buy something else used or another new model. My 2016 has the CVT, I plan on changing the fluid about every 30K miles hoping to avoid the problem you have now of making a decision of whether to fix it or not. The problem with not fixing it is that unless you find someone with a good drive train and just need a body for it you're not likely to recover anything on the Versa. It might be worth it fix it and sell it depending on what you think you could get out of it as a used car with new transmission.
 

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Something you want to keep in mind if you decided to trade this Versa in at a Nissan dealer as-is; You can almost guarantee being a 2015, they aren't paying for a replacement CVT transmission. They'll get it covered under warranty somehow and get some/all of their labor costs reimbursed. Point being, don't let them extreme low ball you.
 

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Personally, I would fix it and drive it. I would rather drive a paid off car, than have payments.
At this point, if you did fix it you would still be ahead with the car. I am basing this on Versa prices in my area too.
2015's are averaging around $8500 in this area. 1st gen Versas are going from $3K to $5K around here, just to give an idea of the market here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Clean retail value is only around $5,000, so it's very hard to sink upwards of 75% of car's value into a repair.
 

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Personally, I would fix it and drive it. I would rather drive a paid off car, than have payments.
At this point, if you did fix it you would still be ahead with the car. I am basing this on Versa prices in my area too.
2015's are averaging around $8500 in this area. 1st gen Versas are going from $3K to $5K around here, just to give an idea of the market here.
Are those retail prices?
 

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It's a rough average between private party and dealer numbers around here.
 

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Clean retail value is only around $5,000, so it's very hard to sink upwards of 75% of car's value into a repair.
A car value is not that relevant if you intend on driving the same kind of car after repair. The replacement cost - the cost of repair vs. the cost of replacing your car with another one - that is relevant for determination whether to repair your car (the one with the known history), or to get rid of it and buy another one (with an unknown history).

This works for cases when you decide either to repair your car of replace it with a similar one. If you face another alternatives (like replace CVT car with MT one), this is another ball game.
 
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