2016 CVT OVERHEATING

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RonBranam12
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2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Tue May 31, 2022 6:28 pm

I'm 500+ miles from home on the 2nd day of a planned 10 day road trip. Cvtz50 indicates CVT overheating. Don't know for how long. I have been monitoring it both days but was in traffic in Flagstaff and watching road signs. I assume the CVT is toast. Bad day in Flagstaff.

Will call AAA in morning. Seems I have two options: AAMCO or dealership.

Any suggestions?


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PalmerWMD
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby PalmerWMD » Tue May 31, 2022 8:51 pm

What are your symptoms other than an overheat indicator?

RonBranam12
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:18 am

Good morning. I lost connection last night. I have no other symptoms except cvtz50 shows the red for excessive slippage. It has shown that since I got the app a few months ago. Vehicle has 47k, <40k when I bought it in September. At that time I added an external transmission cooler.

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:33 pm

How bad was the overheat? I assume you mean it went into self-protection turtle mode?

RonBranam12
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Thu Jun 02, 2022 10:19 am

Sorry I'm just getting back. For some reason, I could no longer log in om my phone. Now I am using my laptop and wifi.

No, it did not go into protection mode. According to cvtz50, the max temp last month, this happened on 5/31, was 203 F. The indicator showed HOT.

Considering I am 500+ miles from home, on the 2nd day of a 10-day road trip, and I have a maintenance warranty I bought when I got financing, I decided to take it to the dealer in Flagstaff to get it repaired. Buying that warranty was the smartest thing I've ever done, car wise. I took it to a dealer so if anything should happen under the newly installed transmission's warranty, I can take it to my local dealer back home. Sure, it's completely messing up my travel plans, but I'll feel much more at ease on the way home, whenever that is.

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Thu Jun 02, 2022 10:59 am

Yep, 203F is pretty toasty. I was kind of afraid of that back when you first discovered that P17F0. The firmware is pretty good at knowing when something is seriously amiss, I guess it just took awhile to fully express.

RonBranam12
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Thu Jun 02, 2022 3:49 pm

Also, according to the cvtz50 charts, it overheated in March, April, and May also. Somehow I missed those incidences. March was when I finally got the ELM327/cvtz50 paired and working.

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Well, here's an update

Postby RonBranam12 » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:54 pm

I was finally able to pick up the Quest on Thursday, about noon with a Nissan rebuilt transmission installed. For the record, I dropped it off on Wednesday, 6/1. and picked it up on Thursday, 6/9. It only took a day and a half to install it.

To answer palmerWMD's question, it had symptoms and I didn't know it. Remember, I've only had the vehicle since September. Now that I have a good transmission, the first thing I noticed that, when stopped and in D or R, if I do not press the brake, it will creep. It didn't do that before.

After picking it up, I shot straight to the nearest I-40 West on ramp and headed west. That is, after making sure the cvtz50 was getting good readings. Here's some observations:

The speed limit on this section of I-40 is 75. If I tried to maintain that speed, the temp would climb, eventually into the orange, 198+. If I dropped speed to about 65, it would drop to about 176-180. Keep in mind the ambient temp was hovering around 100, maybe more.

When in Western Arizona, it was midafternoon and the ambient temps were 105-110. Each time there was a grade to climb, the temp would go up into the orange. I would shut off the AC and drop speed to 60 and it would go back down. It did this at least 1/2 dozen times.

I have always wondered why a Quest with < 40k miles would have the (can't remember) code and jutter. I think maybe I discovered why. According to CarFax, this Quest spent its first 6 years in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Hot climates with fast speed limits. I'm guessing it was driven hot and fast and without knowing it (no cvtz50), the drivers were cooking the transmission. So, those of you in these states, you may want to think twice about hitting 75-80 on a hot day. I wonder how many CVTs died just for this reason.

BTW: Is there a break in period for these trannies? If there is, I probably did not follow it. I put in 450 miles that first day. Flagstaff, AZ to Tehachapi, CA.

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Fri Jun 10, 2022 9:27 pm

If you do that much driving in very hot temps, you might want to consider going with a bigger cooler or putting a thermostatic fan on the cooler you have. You should also check your coolant mix and make sure it isn't more than 50-50 anti-freeze. Glycol is a crappy heat transfer agent, and high concentrations in hot climates will definitely load up your cooling system (and the CVT heat exchanger in consequence).

No official break-in period, but there shouldn't be anything untoward about a long run on the highway even there was one.

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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:36 am

The coolant never got into the orange or hot range. Constant 203-205. That drive was an extreme condition for me. I don't expect to do that again.

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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Fri Jul 15, 2022 10:06 pm

Here's an update with some more info.

I live in the San Joaquin Valley of California with the Sierra Nevadas just a few miles away. Today being a hot day, ambient temp 104+-, I decided to test it on a hot day. Less than 1/2 mile from my home is a highway (SR 168) that climbs directly into the Sierras. The first 25 miles or so is a gradual climb (<300' to 2000') through the foothills on a two-lane road. Speed limit 55 but rarely reached After that is a 4-lane section that climbs from 2000' to 4000' in about 12 miles, speed limit 60. By the time I got to 2000', the CVT was already in the orange, reading about 198. On the 4-lane, I set the cruise at 60. I didn't get 1/2 way up and the CVT temp was reading 214 - hotter than the coolant temp. I turned around to head back down.

Conclusion: The CVT sucks in mountain driving.

PS: On the f-lane, I counted 3 pickups towing trailers that were pulled over to the side of the road.

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Sat Jul 16, 2022 5:31 am

Steep hills and heat combined will definitely do it. The CVT heat exchangers work great as long as the engine cooling system isn't working too hard, but when it is, the radiator outlet tank temperature rises and the CVT loses its best friend. That's when an add-on radiating cooler will save your tranny's life. The only time the one on our Altie ever kicks in is climbing Mount Petit Jean or Mount Nebo in the heat of summer, but I can watch the H-valve open like clockwork about 3/4 of the way up. The roads up the Sierras are way longer than those climbs.

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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Sat Jul 16, 2022 6:59 am

On your advice, I had an LPD 4454 Transmission Cooler installed in November, shortly after purchase. However, I have not confirmed - other than verbally by the service rep. that it was hooked up when the CVT was replaced last month. How can I verify this?

How can I watch the H-valve open up?

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Sat Jul 16, 2022 9:15 am

I can see mine in the fluid temp. As soon as the H-valve cracks the temp stops climbing and levels out a bit below 200F. The cooler should be visible on the front of the A/C condenser and you can test it by doing a torque converter stall to artificially heat the fluid. Testing the ones with built-in H's is a little trickier than an external H because you can't just feel for flow out of the valve, but the fins on the whole cooler should get almost as hot as the hoses when the H opens, where they'll be a lot cooler than the hoses with the H closed. Make sure the A/C is on when doing the stall so there's airflow through the cooler. You do a stall by running the car in gear with your foot on the brake and raising the RPM to 1200~1500. That generates heat from hydraulic resistance in the Torque Converter, but since nothing past the turbine is spinning, it's harmless to the belt and pulleys. Standard H's generally crack at 180F and are wide open around 200F, so with your tranny hitting 214F, I suspect there's something wrong with the installation.

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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby RonBranam12 » Sun Jul 17, 2022 7:38 am

I suspect there's something wrong with the installation.
I suspected as much. I had little confidence in the installation at Flagstaff Nissan. :mad: :frown:

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phmichel
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby phmichel » Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:48 pm

VStar650CL wrote:
Sat Jul 16, 2022 5:31 am
Steep hills and heat combined will definitely do it. The CVT heat exchangers work great as long as the engine cooling system isn't working too hard, but when it is, the radiator outlet tank temperature rises and the CVT loses its best friend. That's when an add-on radiating cooler will save your tranny's life. The only time the one on our Altie ever kicks in is climbing Mount Petit Jean or Mount Nebo in the heat of summer, but I can watch the H-valve open like clockwork about 3/4 of the way up. The roads up the Sierras are way longer than those climbs.
Hi Vstar. How difficult would it be to route the secondary CVT cooling hoses to an aftermarket radiator cooler on a 2017 Quest?

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:39 pm

Taking the heat exchanger out of the loop and just using aftermarket is no big deal, if that's what you're asking. That's basically what Nissan did with the gen1 Rogues and early Altimas/Sentras that had no cooling at all. However, that was basically a stopgap, so you should be aware of a couple things. First, one advantage of the heat exchanger over a radiating cooler is that it works even when the car isn't moving, whereas a radiating cooler is entirely dependent on the fan when you're stopped in traffic. The ECM isn't looking at CVT temperature when it decides how fast the fan should run, so that can put the two systems in conflict. Second, if you do dump the heat exchanger, dump the H-valve too and simply install a big radiating unit. I think that's probably fine for you in a hot climate with mostly highway driving, and going oversize on the cooler will counteract the fan-dependency problem to some degree. Anyway, to do that simply requires disconnecting the heat exchanger and routing the two nipples on the beehive directly to the radiating cooler.

I've actually been putting some thought and experiment into this (we're having routine 100F's here in Arkansas lately too), and I think I may know why your Quest in the Sierras is heating up so much worse than my wife's Altie on Mount Nebo. I think it's an airflow problem arising from the very front-to-back-compressed engine compartment on Quests. The cooling loop for the trans won't be directly affected, but the indirect affect on the outlet tank of the radiator seems to be very large. On 100F+ afternoon today, I IR-checked the outlet temp on an R52 Pathy (also very crowded front-to back) versus a Maxima (somewhat more stretched) versus a gen5 Altima (very uncrowded 4-cyl) after running each several times up a steep incline at WOT. I found an enormous difference between the three, with the Pathy's outlet tank running a full 15F warmer than the Max, but the Max running only about 5F hotter than the Altie. With all the hardware crammed-in over the top of the tranny, that can't be good for dumping excess heat into the passing air, either. Now I'm wondering if "engine squish" isn't responsible for D1Dad's Rogue running hot on a long trip too. So I think I'm about to change my advice for coolers on heavily-squashed CVT vehicles like yours, or any SUV or cross. Unless you live in a cold climate, skip the H-valve. The over-cooling in winter will be far less destructive than the overheating in summer.

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phmichel
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby phmichel » Thu Jul 21, 2022 10:44 am

VStar650CL wrote:
Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:39 pm
Taking the heat exchanger out of the loop and just using aftermarket is no big deal, if that's what you're asking. That's basically what Nissan did with the gen1 Rogues and early Altimas/Sentras that had no cooling at all. However, that was basically a stopgap, so you should be aware of a couple things. First, one advantage of the heat exchanger over a radiating cooler is that it works even when the car isn't moving, whereas a radiating cooler is entirely dependent on the fan when you're stopped in traffic. The ECM isn't looking at CVT temperature when it decides how fast the fan should run, so that can put the two systems in conflict. Second, if you do dump the heat exchanger, dump the H-valve too and simply install a big radiating unit. I think that's probably fine for you in a hot climate with mostly highway driving, and going oversize on the cooler will counteract the fan-dependency problem to some degree. Anyway, to do that simply requires disconnecting the heat exchanger and routing the two nipples on the beehive directly to the radiating cooler.

I've actually been putting some thought and experiment into this (we're having routine 100F's here in Arkansas lately too), and I think I may know why your Quest in the Sierras is heating up so much worse than my wife's Altie on Mount Nebo. I think it's an airflow problem arising from the very front-to-back-compressed engine compartment on Quests. The cooling loop for the trans won't be directly affected, but the indirect affect on the outlet tank of the radiator seems to be very large. On 100F+ afternoon today, I IR-checked the outlet temp on an R52 Pathy (also very crowded front-to back) versus a Maxima (somewhat more stretched) versus a gen5 Altima (very uncrowded 4-cyl) after running each several times up a steep incline at WOT. I found an enormous difference between the three, with the Pathy's outlet tank running a full 15F warmer than the Max, but the Max running only about 5F hotter than the Altie. With all the hardware crammed-in over the top of the tranny, that can't be good for dumping excess heat into the passing air, either. Now I'm wondering if "engine squish" isn't responsible for D1Dad's Rogue running hot on a long trip too. So I think I'm about to change my advice for coolers on heavily-squashed CVT vehicles like yours, or any SUV or cross. Unless you live in a cold climate, skip the H-valve. The over-cooling in winter will be far less destructive than the overheating in summer.
Our Quest can hit 190-200 on steep mountain grades at 90+ ambient. Can take a while to cool. CVT fluid is fresh and coolant level is correct. Would it do any good to change the T-Stat to say 180 deg? Is that even an option?

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VStar650CL
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Re: 2016 CVT OVERHEATING

Postby VStar650CL » Thu Jul 21, 2022 11:24 am

Considering the climate I don't think a 180 would hurt anything, but as I explained above, the best idea might be to just ditch the H-valve cooler and install a big open-loop cooler like a Hayden 1405. It's what I would have recommended in the first place if I'd known the squashed engine box had such deleterious effects.


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