CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here?

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1125Altima3.5
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CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here?

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:30 am

Hi everyone - I was wondering if the Altima owners could help track down what seems to be a problem with Nissan/JATCO CVT transmissions.

Basically a number of the Nissan CVTs have been experiencing a variety of problems from small (rattling noise at low speeds) to large (surging and complete failure at 50-60k miles)

I myself experienced rattling noises in the CVT at 4k miles, which led to a transmission replacement. The noise went away, but came back 1k miles/3 weeks later. So I'm a little concerned and would like to get your help in judging the extent of the problem.

HOW TO HEAR THE NOISE:

Drive car at 10-15 mph, coasting in "D" while off the throttle. Driver window down, all other windows up. A/C and Radio off. Drive near a sound-reflecting surface on the left side like some parked cars or a wall. The sound is a rattling/chattering/grinding sound, kind of like the sound that bicycle gears make when you're coasting, except much more rapid and louder.

The poll has a couple self-explanatory options. Thanks for the help!

zer...age=1(Thread discussing the same problem in the Nissan Rogues with the JATCO RE0F10A CVT - same one in the 2.5L Altimas)

zerothread/273213(Thread discussing high mileage Murano CVT failures at high mileage - RE0F09A, JATCO JF010E CVTs, which are the previous version of the Altima 3.5L CVT)


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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby crayzitalian3 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:21 am

no rattling (yet?) but i know that when i let go of the gas and my car starts to slow down towards the mid to low twenties, it does a strong sudden jerk as if i just shifted into 1st. what the hell is that lol

i would bring it to nissan but my warranty is done.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (crayzitalian3)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:44 pm

crayzitalian3 wrote:no rattling (yet?) but i know that when i let go of the gas and my car starts to slow down towards the mid to low twenties, it does a strong sudden jerk as if i just shifted into 1st. what the hell is that lol

i would bring it to nissan but my warranty is done.
That sounds like engine braking - do the engine revs go up at the same time as the jerk?

It could be normal or you could be getting belt/chain slippage in the CVT, which is definitely not normal. I would take it in if you can reproduce the problem regularly (and make the tech ride with you while you produce it so you can document the problem.)

*******

THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSES!

Keep em coming please. Even if you have no sounds, please post a response so we can get an idea of how common the problem is. Once we get a few more poll responses I think we should try to get details on the cars with the problem (basic stuff like mileage, repair attempts, etc)

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby jdeb101 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:13 am

1125Altima3.5 wrote:
That sounds like engine braking - do the engine revs go up at the same time as the jerk?

It could be normal or you could be getting belt/chain slippage in the CVT, which is definitely not normal. I would take it in if you can reproduce the problem regularly (and make the tech ride with you while you produce it so you can document the problem.)

*******

THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSES!

Keep em coming please. Even if you have no sounds, please post a response so we can get an idea of how common the problem is. Once we get a few more poll responses I think we should try to get details on the cars with the problem (basic stuff like mileage, repair attempts, etc)
This thread is scaring the Sh*t out of me... My car does the same thing as crayzitalian3 and I just hit over 30K miles which puts me out of warranty I think!

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (jdeb101)

Postby sk8nix6 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:44 am

my car also does the newly found notorious jerk

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (sk8nix6)

Postby kerrton » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:34 pm

The jerk/surge is the torque converter unlocking when you decelerate, my Rogue does it too, very strong surge and it annoys me so consequently I don't coast to a stop too slowly and I don't experience this anymore. It is the way the CVT is designed and I wouldn't worry about it.

At 30,000 miles you still have plenty of powertrain warranty, take it to the dealer and they'll fix any problems relating to rattling in the CVT by replacing it. I have a 2008 Rogue FWD wit the same QR25 engine as the Altima and replaced the CVT with a newly designed 2009 model and the problem has dissappeared for good.

Just a note regarding the link to the 2003 Murano CVT problems, that design has been completely scrapped and the current CVT's are completely different. If I were you I wouldn't even read it because it's scary, the design is complete crap with lots of failures, I'd recommend looking at the Rogue if you want to gather more info since it has the same CVT. Also, the Jeep Patriot, Compass have the same CVT, but I have never found any complaints about it.

And as a side note, it would be helpful if you state the year of your car, because with the Rogue the problem was supposedly addressed with the 2009 model year, and all 2008's with problems were given a replacement 2009 CVT, I was one of them and my service manager guaranteed the new model would solve the problem, and after 12,000 km he is right, CVT is dead silent. Good luck you guys.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (kerrton)

Postby crayzitalian3 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:49 pm

hey thanks a lot for that Kerrton!!! kinda feel releaved now

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (crayzitalian3)

Postby kerrton » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:15 am

1125Altima, have you taken your car to the dealer regarding the CVT rattling noise?

If so, I'm sure they won't be able to ignore the sound and they'll replace the CVT. My service manager drove mine for exactly 30 seconds before he came back and said "yep, tranny is defective, we'll replace it right away". It took a few weeks to order the part, and then it was a half day job to swap in the new CVT. The nice thing about this tranny is that it's smaller, compact and completely sealed so it's much easier to swap out the old and install the new unit, so it's much less invasive surgery than you'd think. I've kept a close eye on mine for leaks etc since the install and listen like crazy for ANY noises and it has been dead silent, it'll be one year old this December and running flawless, so the promise that the 2009 CVT will solve the problem seems to be completley accurate. Good luck.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (kerrton)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:33 am

kerrton wrote:1125Altima, have you taken your car to the dealer regarding the CVT rattling noise?
Thanks for the well wishes, but I already had the tranny replaced once and it took all of 3 weeks/1000 miles for the noise to come back. The dealer did indeed verify that the noise is there, but they obviously didn't want to do another replacement because they started spouting some nonsense about my underdrive pulley being related to the transmission noise.

To be fair this particular dealer did more than any of the 3 others I saw, who either "could not duplicate" or blamed the problem on completely different things like the stock y-pipe or my AEM intake. Still, I have lost confidence in Nissan and its dealers.

The fact that about a third of respondents are reporting the same rattle doesn't help either. The CVT would be great if it all the bugs were worked out, but it's pretty clear to me that it needs a little more refining. Sure, I could just ignore the noise, but what if the CVT goes out in a 5.1 years/60,001 miles? I'll be driving around with kids by that point, so I'm not willing to take that risk (and I doubt Nissan is going to be really nice and replace the tranny anway)

And we haven't even talked about the random electrical gremlins (airbag system included) and unfixable sliding driver seat.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby kerrton » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:48 am

Sorry, I didn't review all of your posts, its hard to keep track sometimes.

I agree totally, I would never just live with a noise like that, or I'd never be comfortable accepting it anyways. In the Rogue forum a couple people had repeat failures, and a couple of seasoned Nissan Techs said this is common with tranny replacements if the Techs aren't familiar with the process of properly flushing the cooling system I believe, or the AWD transaxle in some cases, not totally sure of the exact details but the first step after removing the old CVT is to flush everything to remove the metal fragments and "crap" basically. If you don't do this properly and install the new tranny it can be destroyed if there is enough metal fragments left behind from the old failed unit.

This may be the case in some instances, but if your replacement failed so quickly I'd say it has to be some other cause, you'd think it'd take a ton of metal fragments to ruin a new tranny that quickly. My replacement has been great, what's the difference between yours and mind???

It is a mystery though, because the majority of owners have no troubles, or perhaps haven't noticed any noises yet. I've checked the Versa and Sentra forums relating to CVT, and no reports of problems at all, zero. And the Patriot and Compass have the exact CVT model and although they have LOTS of problems, none relating to the CVT that I can find. Also, the Ford Escape hybrid uses the Jatco CVT, and some Mitsubishi cars too, it's a pretty widespread tranny, if it had inherant design defects you'd think the company would either go bankrupt trying to honor all the warrany replacements or just because of cancelled orders from company's like Nissan. It's a mystery to me.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (kerrton)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:44 pm

Ok everyone, thanks for all the replies. Looks like a third of respondents have noticed the noise. Could those who answered "RATTLE" post the year, trim level, and mileage of their cars? Any transmission maintenance performed? Results?

Thanks again - this is very helpful stuff....exactly what NICO should be.
kerrton wrote:It is a mystery though, because the majority of owners have no troubles, or perhaps haven't noticed any noises yet. I've checked the Versa and Sentra forums relating to CVT, and no reports of problems at all, zero. And the Patriot and Compass have the exact CVT model and although they have LOTS of problems, none relating to the CVT that I can find.
I would guess it has something to do with sustained high torque put through the CVT in the problem Nissan applications. For the Rogue/Murano, the extra weight means you have to be on the gas harder/longer to get going. For the Altima, people just tend to drive more aggressively with the V6. Not sure about the Jeeps - maybe their TCMs are programmed to accelerate more gently?

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby philipa_240sx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:07 pm

Hello,

I'm Philip, the NICOClub Rogue Forum Moderator.

We have been tracking CVT 'rattle' issues in the Rogue forum for over a year now. I myself have had a slight rattle for nearly a year with approx 40,000mi on my Rogue so far. I've had zero driveability issues and no transmission failure.

A few comments:

- The cooling system on the CVT varies by model. ie. On the Rogue equipped with 'paddle shifters' there is an auxiliary fluid cooler that must be flushed when the CVT is replaced. On other models, the cooler is built into the transmission and does not require any service.

- I had a discussion with an Infiniti Tech about the CVT. Although he does not work on Nissan CVT's, he has not heard of any reported problems. In addition, the CVT cannot be serviced. It requires special tools to disassemble. The service tech's can do little except diagnose the problem and replace the CVT if it's found defective.

- The Murano CVT (at least the '03's) was a sore point. There were also issues with the AWD transfer case. This was fixed in later models. The Altima and Rogue CVT's are at least a 2nd generation, there is no comparison to the early Murano.

Finally, did you know Nissan surpassed 1 million CVT units sold worldwide by April 2008? I am sure the number has gone up since then.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (philipa_240sx)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:45 pm

philipa_240sx wrote:Hello, - The Murano CVT (at least the '03's) was a sore point. There were also issues with the AWD transfer case. This was fixed in later models. The Altima and Rogue CVT's are at least a 2nd generation, there is no comparison to the early Murano.

Finally, did you know Nissan surpassed 1 million CVT units sold worldwide by April 2008? I am sure the number has gone up since then.
How has the CVT been updated? The CVT that works great on one platform may be overloaded and prone to failure on another.

We should really get some Nissan or JATCO techs on here...the CVT is such a black box that everyone has to guess what's ok and what's not.


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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby Jose3.5 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:36 am

Ive got rattle but I always thought that was normal.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (Jose3.5)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:22 pm

Jose3.5 wrote:Ive got rattle but I always thought that was normal.
It's definitely not normal...

BUMP!

Can the people who have the rattle post their year, mileage and trim level?

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby philipa_240sx » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:02 pm

1125Altima3.5 wrote:
How has the CVT been updated?
This link may or may not work, but it describes the features of the Xtronic CVT's.

http://www.nissan-global.com/E...4.pdf

There are indeed different model no's, at least on Nissan's side.

'03-07 Murano: RE0F09A+ '08 Murano, +'07 Altima V-6, +07 Maxima : RE0F09B

I do know the RE0F10A transmission used in the Rogue, Altima 2.5, and Sentra 2.5 have several changes vs. the older RE0F09A. Most of this can be found in the document above:

- Wider gear range/ratio- More compact chain driven oil pump (as opposed to gear driven)- Enhanced CVT control programming: - Lower lockup speed for the torque converter. - Improved precision of the pulley control system allowing for lower hydraulic pressures. - 30% increase in shift speed/response - Enhanced engine braking - Engine speed rises linearly with speed (to a point) for a more 'natural' response.


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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (philipa_240sx)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:41 pm

philipa_240sx wrote:- Wider gear range/ratio- More compact chain driven oil pump (as opposed to gear driven)- Enhanced CVT control programming: - Lower lockup speed for the torque converter. - Improved precision of the pulley control system allowing for lower hydraulic pressures. - 30% increase in shift speed/response - Enhanced engine braking - Engine speed rises linearly with speed (to a point) for a more 'natural' response.
You know, I think the "more compact oil pump" and "lower hydraulic pressure" may have something to do with this sound. I'm only hearing this noise when the engine/tranny are cold, which leads me to believe that an oil pressure/flow deficit is related to the problem.

For me the rattle is present on startup, but goes away after 15-20 minutes at highway speed (the low-speed rattle disappears and is replaced by a high-pitched squealing noise that occurs when I hit the gas.)

BUMP FOR RESPONSES!

If you guys are hearing the rattle, PLEASE post your mileage, year and trim level! We really need to know how long people have gone on the 3.5s without serious problems, and this information will help anyone who (god forbid) needs to go in for tranny replacement.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby kerrton » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:22 am

Based on what Philipa reported, it is strange that any 3.5 Altima's would have a CVT rattle problem since they share the same CVT as the Murano and no Murano's have reported the CVT rattle issue that I can find - although some report other CVT problems usually resulting in poor drivability but I don't think it's common.

The CVT rattle issue seems to be prevalent just in the 2008 2.5 Rogue, so you'd think the 2.5 Altima's might have the problem (this problem is supposed fixed with the 2009 model year, slight re-design of the CVT as reported by many Nissan dealers including mine who replaced my defective CVT with a "new, redesigned countermeasure CVT now standard on all 2009+ Rogues"). The 08 Rogue CVT problem doesn't cause drivability issues, just a rattle/grinding noise at low speeds.

So based on this I'd expect only 2.5 Altimas to have this problem, very hard to guess what's going on here. But it seems like this is still a very rare problem, and if you do have it, the dealer should simply swap out the defective unit for a new improved CVT, only takes around 3 hours for the whole job, very simply as the CVT is a sealed unit.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (kerrton)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:19 am

kerrton wrote:(this problem is supposed fixed with the 2009 model year, slight re-design of the CVT as reported by many Nissan dealers including mine who replaced my defective CVT with a "new, redesigned countermeasure CVT now standard on all 2009+ Rogues").
The dealer isolated the sound to the transmission bell housing, which indicates that the chatter is in the torque converter. The auxiliary gearset in the next gen Nissan CVT might help address the problem. Who knows though.

I have started to notice a little jerkiness (seems like the torque converter is engaging very suddenly when I hit the gas from a dead stop.) Hopefully it doesn't get worse before the tranny is replaced AGAIN. The dealer was supposed to set up an appointment with a factory tech but surprise surprise, two days later and no response.

Will keep this thread updates as news rolls in.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby kerrton » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:37 am

I don't know why they care about the specific cause, since the only option to fix it is to replace the entire sealed unit, which includes the torque converter. Just as a side note, the "CVT surge" issue that you're describing is one that's been described at length in a lot of CVT forums, and it seems to be normal for the CVT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. Those conditions include conservative driving habits, where you're consitently very light on the throttle, causing the adaptive logic control to engage the torque converter lockup early and select a very high gear ratio early. This produces a minor surge and can also happen when slowing down gradually, when the torque converter unlocks you can occaisionally surge forward. I experience this with my 08 Rogue (new CVT replaced 10,000 km ago), and don't like it one bit so I drive a little harder on the throttle to eliminate the effect. But my point is that I don't believe it's indicative of a problem, but has a lot to do with the CVT programming which partially larns from your driving habits (adaptive logic control). If you get excessive surging in a broader range of circumstances and it is intense surging, then you probably have a problem, IMO. Interesting discussion anyway.....

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FN-QR

Postby LongBeachCoupe » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:40 pm

I may have a CVT issue... bringing it in on tue... i told my tech (personal friend) on the fone what I heard, and his first response was the transmission and he noted there were issues.

more details to follow...

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Re: FN-QR (LongBeachCoupe)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:44 pm

LongBeachCoupe wrote:I may have a CVT issue... bringing it in on tue... i told my tech (personal friend) on the fone what I heard, and his first response was the transmission and he noted there were issues.

more details to follow...
Let us know what kind of trouble they give you for your mods. Given that your friend is the tech you should be ok, but I've been given a lot of BS about completely unrelated mods causing the transmission rattle (loose exhaust hanger, loose intake, underdrive pulley).

I would really suggest that the guys with the rattle jump in and at least say how many miles they have. This could provide us with the info we need to make Nissan own up to the problem.

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Re: FN-QR (1125Altima3.5)

Postby kerrton » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:21 am

Regarding this problem with the Rogue, it has been widely reported that the problem shows up very early, usually within a couple thousand miles from new, or within a couple months of ownership. There were a few that noticed it later, after 10,000 miles but it could have been that they had the problem earlier and just didn't notice it, hard to say.

Bottom line, In my experience, it takes very little time after purchasing to notice if you have a problem, and after you initially notice it in the form of a minor, brief rattle/grinding noise, it gets progressively worse as you rack up the miles. After I got closer to 5000 miles the noise had gotten worse and would do it almost continuously at "parking lot" speeds. Also, this problem seems more prevalent with Rogue AWD models, however there quite a few FWD CVT issues too, mine included so it sounds like the same issue with the Altima 2.5

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby Micron » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:36 pm

Pushing 73K miles now after 1yr, 11mo... No issues to speak of.

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (Micron)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:04 pm

Micron wrote:Pushing 73K miles now after 1yr, 11mo... No issues to speak of.
3000 miles/month...are you a travelling salesman or something?

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Re: CVT Issues - Do we have a design problem here? (1125Altima3.5)

Postby Micron » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:30 pm

1125Altima3.5 wrote:
3000 miles/month...are you a travelling salesman or something?
LOL, nope... I own a triad of tech companies, with offices in MD, WV and KY.

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Re: FN-QR (LongBeachCoupe)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:55 pm

LongBeachCoupe wrote:I may have a CVT issue... bringing it in on tue... i told my tech (personal friend) on the fone what I heard, and his first response was the transmission and he noted there were issues.

more details to follow...
Any update on this? I bet there are a few people who are curious as to what ended up happening.

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FN-QR

Postby LongBeachCoupe » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:59 pm


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Re: FN-QR (LongBeachCoupe)

Postby 1125Altima3.5 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:04 am

LBC - you mentioned a couple months back that you had CVT issues and wee taking the car into the dealer. Could you give an update on what happened?

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Re: FN-QR (1125Altima3.5)

Postby kerrton » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:31 am

So that settles it, no problem with the CVT, Nissan is confident to point where they've given all of us a 10 year warranty - if the CVT was crap they wouldn't be able to afford to do that.


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