96 J30 tranny issue.

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whatchagonnado
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:42 pm
Car: 1996 Infiniti J30

96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby whatchagonnado » Tue Jan 19, 2021 3:55 pm

I have read a post on this forum similar to my problem but somewhat different. I am 3rd owner. Bought at 88,000 in year 2006. Basically sat in storage next 5 years. Been driving regular last 10 years. Mostly Grandson and Son. Current mileage 168,000. I had no history of Tranmission filter or oil change and I have not changed it in the 80,000 miles since I owned it. A couple months ago, car went down for some maintenance issues. About 6 weeks ago got in back on the road and been driving nearly every day. Maybe 4 weeks ago, temps dropped to about 30 degrees, I noticed some hesitation first thing in morning when I put it in reverse about 5 seconds to engage, about 10 seconds to engage when put into drive. Asked my grandson about it and he told me sometimes first thing in morning it might take 30 seconds to engage in drive.

I checked oil level engine warm and driven about 5 miles, oil level is just below high mark. Have let it warm up in driveway about 4-5 minutes and it seems to engage in R almost immediately and D within 5 seconds. When first starting for the day, ( 30 degrees) WITHOUT WARMING UP, it might take 30-40 seconds to engage in Drive. 1st, or second gear does not make any difference, it still just sits there. I also noticed that just as it is about to engage, there is a slight feeling of lunging as if the tires were trying to grab solid ground while stuck on a snowy surface.

Once the car engages in Drive, there are no more problems the rest of the day, shifting through gears or near immediate engaging once started again. I do not have a caution AT light on the dash but I also have not done a OBD because I have not seen a warning light.

I am thinking filter and oil change for 140 bucks or even doing it myself but hate the mess of dropping the oil pan. It the replies to this post suggest the tranny is near toast, well then === I just drive til it no longer gets me there and back. At 15 mpg around town it is okay to keep but not dumping $ 2100 into a new transmission.

All input will be appreciated.


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VStar650CL
Posts: 2679
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:25 pm
Car: 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL
2004 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Re: 96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby VStar650CL » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:07 pm

What color is the fluid? If it's still red, reasonably transparent and doesn't smell burnt, you can try changing it. If it's turned into A/T soup -- opaque brown and smelling burnt or heavily varnished -- then leave it alone until it breaks, a change is likely to make it quit working completely.

whatchagonnado
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:42 pm
Car: 1996 Infiniti J30

Re: 96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby whatchagonnado » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:25 pm

It is red, no burnt smell or frothing. Had issues with a radiator leaking water into the transmission cooler portion of radiator. Two transmission rebuilds until that problem was found.

Thank you for your reply post.

whatchagonnado
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:42 pm
Car: 1996 Infiniti J30

Re: 96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby whatchagonnado » Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:57 am

I need to clarify my previous reply.

The radiator leaking into the transmission oil cooler section was on a Windstar NOT this 1996 J30. I never had issues with my J30 until just recntly.

98_Q45
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:12 am

Re: 96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby 98_Q45 » Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:24 am

Not a J30 owner but...

I say put your money aside for now, and just let the car warm up. It could be something that is repairable, but people expect too much for a 10-20+ year old car to just lounge forward (or worse, backward) on a below freezing day.

I have to tell friends all the time: unless you’re in the summer in Arizona or Florida where it’s 100+ degrees, let your engine and transmission warm up for atleast until the temperature gauge starts moving...which can be from a minute upwards to 5 minutes in really cold climate. I have 2 cars with close to or over 300,000 miles on the transmission and engine, no rebuilds. Just a little preventative and proper cold starts....but I also don’t mind to push them to over 100 mph every once in awhile.

And someone told me, “I heard on the radio that modern cars don’t need to warm up”. Yeah, when they’re below 75,000 miles or it’s not below 32 degrees outside. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to.

That said: I would recommend a Vavoline or Castrol high mileage transmission fluid change. You can start with the drain and fill, then go with the drain/flush from cooler route later. I use those on my Nissan and Infiniti, and sometimes it can take a few hundred miles to start seeing the benefits of it. But not changing it isn’t going to save it any more than changing it.

I’ve never had a transmission go out after changing a fluid, and that’s been on cars from 96, 97 and 98. If changing it will make it go out, it’s not the new fluid that’s the cause (unless it gets under filled or overfilled in the process, which in my experience, even MECHANICS have under filled my fluids, hence why I do it myself personally). And unfortunately if fluid changes have been neglected or frequent improper warning up have occurred, I can’t guarantee it’ll “fix” it though.

whatchagonnado
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:42 pm
Car: 1996 Infiniti J30

Re: 96 J30 tranny issue.

Postby whatchagonnado » Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:54 am

Thank you for a full reply to a possible solution to my tranny problem. Everything you talked about, I fully agree with.

Question? You suggested oil change to start. filter also? It seems logical as long as pan is dropped. Then possibly a flush.

A 5 minute warmup at 30 degrees works pretty good but 10 minutes is like a new tranny when I put it in drive. Now I back my car into the driveway so I can wait on it to get into gear. Backing into the street and have to sit there 20-30 seconds does not make drivers behind me very comfortable.

I have called a few places and most are not doing oil changes, others are reduced crew or temp closed because of Covid. I might have to do it myself but not something I care to do without a lift.


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