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Whining noise and gasoline smell on cold start

7782 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Woogie
My V is a 2008 hatch with the CVT and about 63K. Just a few days ago, it started making a high-pitched whine on cold start. The noise begins about 5-10 seconds after I start the car, starting at a low volume and getting louder. It goes away immediately if I shift out of park. If I shift right back into park, the noise returns softer and finally fades. I haven't tried just leaving it in park to see how long it takes to go away on its own. I do not hear any strange noises while driving, nor is the drivability affected in any way.

I was thinking a squeaky serpentine belt or idler pully, but the immediate cessation of the noise when shifting out of park has me worried it might be the transmission.

Last time it was in for an oil change, the dealer recommended changing the transmission fluid. I know Nissan recommends checking the fluid at 60K, but doesn't have a hard and fast rule on when it should be replaced, so I was going to get a second opinion from the other dealer in my area, but haven't done that yet.

The other gasoline smell has been around a while longer, and I don't think the issues are related. There's a very intense smell of gasoline outside the car for a minute or two after a cold start. Can't smell gas inside the cabin, outside the car when it's parked, or after it's warmed up. No problems with starting the car or wonky RPM issues. I first noticed it about a month ago, but figured I would get it fixed when I took it in for the 60K service and the next oil change (which I was planning later this month).

I'm not a mechanic, I just want some ideas on what these problems might be and what a reasonable cost is for fixing them.
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I've spoken to many auto engineers. They recommend only adding to the transmission fluid. They say once you flush it, you break the seals and will have more problems. Actually, they say this about all fluids including radiator fluid. When the transmission breaks, then get a new one. Most cars will go a few hundred thousand miles on a transmission. You'll probably sell it or trade it away before then anyway. You might have a loose belt that needs replaced. I had a car that squealed at idle speed and it was the serpentine belt. Replaced it and the problem went away.
As for the gas smell, you might have an issue with the exhaust and that is what you smell. A pipe could be rusted or disconnected. There is leakage somewhere.
it could be a line under the hood too... you might want that looked at ASAP.
The Nissan dealership should be able to tell the remaining life of the CVT fluid from a consult obd2 read.

I would say that I would change out the fluid at 60k. The premium service guide says change out at 30k, which the Nissan rep I talked to said that 60k is a good number for the CVT.
Right after I made the post and set the appointment at the dealer, the squeaking noise stopped and hasn't returned.

I dropped the V off at the dealership last night so they could cold start it this morning to see about the gas smell. They said they couldn't smell any gas or find anything obviously wrong. It's been stinking hot here over the last few weeks, so I'm wondering if the heat hasn't caused whatever gap or crack it is allowing the smell to escape to swell shut. Guess it's something I'll have to pursue further when the weather cools off.

They said they would apply the diagnostic time if I wanted to get any of the maintenance done, so I just went ahead and had the CVT fluid changed (drain and fill), along with a coolant flush and oil change. Ended up being around $350. Hopefully I didn't get hosed too badly.

Sucks the problem is still unresolved, but at least I don't have to worry about the fluids any more.
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