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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to get some opinions, since I'm trying to troubleshoot what might be wrong with my Versa.

2009 HB, 1.8L SL automatic transmission. About 137k miles.

As per the title, when engine's cold, there is a screeching noise coming from the engine (checked drive belt but noise is not coming from there). Noise gets worse at higher rpm (2500-3000) but it usually goes away after 5-10 of driving.

Other symptom when car is cold, when accelerating after a stop, engine hesitates and then quickly tries to pick up, makes me think of engine misfire. No misfires at idle.

Owned the car for about 5 years, put about 60k miles since then, my wife mostly drives it but I don't recall changing spark plugs, pcv valve or drive belt in the past 5 years.

Would it be worth changing those or is there something else I should be looking at since I started having these issues at the same time?

Thank you
 

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Intake manifold gasket leaks can vibrate like a reed when air rushes past them and give off a screech or whistle noise like this. You'll get stumbling at idle and usually a lean code or misfire codes. Tends to happen during cold starts. Not saying this is definitely the problem, but I've seen it on other make/model 4 and 6cyl engines.
 

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I would try and focus on finding the noise first. Trying using a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels. Or make one from some loose carboard. Then stick your ear in one end and slowly move around the engine bay and try and narrow down the noise. It also might help to have someone keep the rpm's up to increase the noise.

And as always... Be careful working around the engine bay while the car is running!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quick update.

I spent some time today under the hood to figure out where the noise is coming from using a cardboard roll (thanks scarecrowdjinn for the suggestion).

Gently sprayed belt and pulleys with plain water to see if noise would momentarily go away, that didn't change anything.

Was not able to pinpoint specific component but I can tell the noise is generally coming from the middle of engine bay area, where engine and transmission meet. I don't have any signs of a bad transmission though, it properly engages.

Also, noise goes away eventually when warmed up, but it comes back when revving up over 2000 rpm.

I ruled out power steering because my model has EPS, so pump is out of the picture.

Also just to clarify the type of noise, it sounds like a screeching/grinding, and it's not a high pitched one you would expect from bad belt.

Still no CEL. I'll keep looking, thanks for your responses so far, feel free to comment other ideas.
 

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Interesting....
Other symptom when car is cold, when accelerating after a stop, engine hesitates and then quickly tries to pick up, makes me think of engine misfire. No misfires at idle.
Could this be the transmission failing? Here some things to try.....
First, check the transmission fluid after driving the car. Do you know when it was last changed? Check color, level, and rub it between your fingers.
When stopping, and accelerating with the cold car, look at your RPM's see if you see anything odd vs when the car is warmed up.
After stopping shift into park, then back into drive and accelerate, anything different?
Do the same listening test, but put the cold car, up on jack/jack-stands/ramps, and see if you can hear the sound better from underneath the car. And please be careful while doing this

And as slickVersa suggested, check for pending codes that might not be lighting the engine light.
 

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Again, given the stumbling when cold and the area you hear the noises. I'd investigate a vacuum leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, the car decided to quit on Saturday night, it seemed to be in Limp mode. Towed it to my mechanic and after scanning the computer they found some hidden codes. P0746, P0868, P1078.

746 and 868 are pressure errors for a solenoid in the CVT.

They suggested fluid change (with no guarantees). Worst case, to replace the whole transmission.

So, brought the car home and got the fluid change done myself. Also cleaned the 2 filters with brake clean.

Drove it in my neighborhood for about 15-20 mins and noise seems to be gone, acceleration is restored ano issues with switching between gear.

I will write a follow up later on.
 

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Hopefully that will buy you some time. Was this the first fluid change for this CVT? Did you find shavings in the filters?

You've probably read of what the typical issue is with them and has been for years. There's a pressure control valve (relief valve) in the trans where the piston on it scores/scratches up over time and sticks open due to the materials it's made of. Pressure loss causes belt slack. Belt slack causes slippage and metal shavings. The problem escalates until failure.

Newer units supposedly have a different setup for the pressure control. I've read that there's a titanium replacement for the original bad design, but I don't think remans/rebuilds necessarily come with the better piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for your insights PoMan. I actually haven't researched enough to come across the issue you describe here. I did find metal shavings in the filter, so I will definitely keep that issue in mind for the future.

This fluid change was most likely the first one given that I don't recall getting one since I owned it, and it had less than 100k miles when I bought it.

I went through a full tank of gas and my original issue seems to be gone for now.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions
 
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