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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:16 AM   #1
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Auto trans downshifting hard when coming to a stop.

I am slowly getting the bugs worked out of this car. The whole time I have had it, I have had goofy trans problems. I got rid of a few of them by replacing the TPS last night.

I have had a problem for awhile where my car is downshifting hard when coming to a stop. Seems to almost drop into gear from 2nd to 1st. It's definitely harsher than it should be. I am aware it could be worse because possible worn motor mounts.

My trans also isn't a huge fan of tight shifting when under part throttle conditions sometimes and at WOT. I am beginning to suspect it's time to replace the shift solenoids but don't want to rush into anything without exploring other options.

Has anyone else dealt with the hard downshifts? What was the cause? I do have a TCM installed from a different Maxima at this point and don't seem to recall this happening before changing TCM's, but I may be wrong.

Thank you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:17 AM   #2
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How's your fluid looking?
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:19 AM   #3
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I forgot to mention that I did change the fluid when I got the car at about 119,000 miles. It looked like it hadn't been changed before, so I did the trick where you undo the trans fluid cooler and purge out as much gross fluid as possible.

Now that I think about it, I had better make sure it's not just a touch over full.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
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Yeah it's definitely overfull. Thanks for the headsup, I hadn't thought to check the fluid level for some reason. I guess I assumed I got it right the first go-round!
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240sxguy View Post
Yeah it's definitely overfull. Thanks for the headsup, I hadn't thought to check the fluid level for some reason. I guess I assumed I got it right the first go-round!
How's it shifting now?
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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Check your fluid. If it's dirty then do a few drain and fills.
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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I haven't dumped any out yet. I was at work when I posted this. Hope I can get to it after my son goes to bed tonight. I will update after I get that done.

Thanks

Edit; Ran late on time. Maybe tomorrow.

Last edited by 240sxguy; 02-20-2012 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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Did you drop the tranny pan by chance when you changed the fluid? If so, how did the magnets look?

If you didn't drop the pan look to do that the next time you change the tranny fluid. You can get a gasket for about $15 and don't need to change the 21 bolts (can reuse them despite what others may say).

FYI..if you go to change the solenoids you'll have to drop the pan and valvebody to gain access to the solenoids.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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Honestly, no I didn't drop the pan. I will correct the fluid level and then take it from there. I won't have time to do a pan drop for a couple of weeks I suspect. I will need to anyway, I suspect correcting the level isn't going to change my seemingly soft shifting.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Okay I dumped out some fluid tonight and got it at the correct level. No real change. Now, I do notice when downshifting that it doesn't seem like a firm and positive engagement. I also noticed that it feels like a harder "bump" when I have my foot on the brake (slowing down).

When I drop the pan (not sure when) is there anything I can do to visually inspect the valve body?

Evan
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #11
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you can clean the filter and magnets while you have the pan down...
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:06 PM   #12
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you can clean the filter and magnets while you have the pan down...
That was my intent, but could my symptoms be due to a clogged pickup screen? I kind of doubt it. Just not sure if I should wait until I can buy solenoids?
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:08 PM   #13
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solenoids are only 90 bucks if you buy the kit, it comes with everything you need with exception of the tranny pan gasket

I would make sure I needed it before I bought it though

check out this thread on how to get them for 90, just make sure you search by part number
http://forums.maxima.org/5th-generat...ease-read.html

Last edited by BigLou55; 02-21-2012 at 08:11 PM..
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:11 PM   #14
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That's not bad. I am trying to be somewhat systematic about the whole thing, so are solenoids the next logical thing? My old fluid was really nasty. I am sure it hadn't ever been changed.

Thanks BigLou!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240sxguy View Post
That's not bad. I am trying to be somewhat systematic about the whole thing, so are solenoids the next logical thing? My old fluid was really nasty. I am sure it hadn't ever been changed.

Thanks BigLou!
Most threads I have read have really be against flushing your tranny fluid if its never been changed. You would be better off doing drain and refills over time. Being you are dropping the pan you gonna lose about 3 quarts or so of fluid so that would count as your 1st drain and refill.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #16
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If the trans is trashed, it's trashed. Leaving burnt fluid in there isn't going to help in my opinion. The damage is (was?) done. That said, the fluid is new in my trans. I didn't power flush it, but I disconnected the cooler line and pumped out most of the old crap.

Now, realistically, is the trans beyond repair? or is this a solenoid problem? Does something else need to be addressed? I just don't know. I can live with the squidgy shifts and firm downshifts as long as I know I am not creating more damage.

Edit; My car was doing the exact same thing before swapping the fluid.. so at least it hasn't made it worse!!

Last edited by 240sxguy; 02-21-2012 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:35 PM   #17
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saying its beyond repair without a thorough inspection is a bit much. your "tight shifting" issue could be contributed to solenoids and/or tcm(don't know your tcm part # you swapped in). Have you read the TSB for the 5th gen shift issues? The downshift issue I am unfamiliar with.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:16 AM   #18
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BigLou, I drove the car to work today and the downshifts do seem a little better. I kind of wonder if the downshifting just feels goofy because of worn motor mounts. I do notice quite a bit move NVH than I would normally expect cruising down the highway. My mom had a 2001 AE car in 2001 that I drove pretty regularly so I have some vague memories of how it drove.

Are you talking about the solenoid TSB? I think I did read that, and that's where the idea of solenoids came from. I wasn't saying it was beyond repair, more thinking outloud. It still drives well enough for me to think this can be sorted out.

I don't remember which TCM I used. I will try to find the f/s ad.

Edit; I will just pull the dash tonight and see if I have a few spare minutes, maybe stick my old one back in just to see if there is any change at all.

Last edited by 240sxguy; 02-22-2012 at 05:21 AM..
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:53 AM   #19
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BigLou. Embarrassingly enough, when I posted in another thread I commented on rough downshifting after installing 31036-4y900 TCM. I feel like a moron. I will try swapping them back tonight.

Then that leaves the crappy upshifts. A lot of the problems I was having (car seemed to select the wrong gear) seemed to be fixed by my new TPS.

Evan
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:43 AM   #20
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That TCM you have have is noted as the problematic ones from the TSB you need a 31036-4y901, 31036-4y101(never seen one though), or 31036-4y960(most expensive but most up to date).
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:44 AM   #21
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Alright I will start looking for one. Thanks for the information, this seems like the best place to start.

I just ordered a used 31036-4y901. I will update this thread next week.

Thanks!

Evan

Last edited by 240sxguy; 02-22-2012 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:28 AM   #22
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Alright BigLou, seems the TCM pretty much fixed the downshifting goofiness. I haven't done any WOT to see how the shifting is from 1-2 but 3-4 still slips a bit without flaring. Seems to be a mechanical problem as of now.

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #23
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i am having a hard thud when downshifting coming to a stop on my 2000 auto maxima. i have read in a few places that it could be the solenoids or the TCM. i performed a TCM SELF-DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE (NO TOOLS), found in the fsm, and the O/D light stays on. the fsm says that this could be Park/neutral position (PNP) switch, overdrive control switch or throttle position switch circuit is disconnected or TCM is damaged. how do i distinguish what it causing my problem? any help would be appreciated.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:02 PM
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