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Slight slipping in transmission

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Old 08-10-2017, 11:49 PM   #1
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Slight slipping in transmission

My '99 Maxima GLE 3.0 V6 with 180k has been a great car but lately I've noticed when taking off from a stop the tranny seems to slip a little bit, then grabs. Nothing really bad but definitely noticeable. Fluid doesn't look too dark or smell burnt but it's never been changed. Would a fluid/filter change (no flush) @ 180k be a good move or would it be detrimental. Thoughts and opinions, please.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:40 AM   #2
 
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I know it might not help much but this was my experience -


On my previous car(not Nissan), a shop recommended I change my transmission fluid after they noticed slipping on a test drive following unrelated work. Mind you, this was a sealed transmission with no dipstick or any way to assess the fluid condition/level.

That's the only advice I can offer, unfortunately. I generally trust that shop and their opinions but never noticed slipping myself so maybe they were out for a quick buck. I declined the fluid change but the transmission went on to suffer sudden catastrophic failure a couple of months later. I am not convinced that fresh fluid would have prevented that failure.

Last edited by plat; 08-12-2017 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:19 AM   #3
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I feel for you.

Take a look at the following article about changing fluid, they make some very good points to consider.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...-atf-oxidation

Several years ago I purchased a used I30 with well over 200,000 miles. The transmission fluid was almost black like old motor oil. It was some of the worst that I've ever seen. I don't recall any slipping but the transmission was shifting in a crazy manner.

I was able to carefully change transmission fluid by just draining and refilling the pan over 200+ mile intervals to keep from shocking the transmission with too much new fluid. I definitely would not have a transmission flush on an old transmission.

That worked and the transmission clutches didn't disintegrate.

Unfortunately, I had another case on a Nissan RWD where the transmission fluid had not been changed in approximately 115,000 miles. After changing the fluid and filter in that car, a few weeks the transmission came apart.

ChrisFix provides an interesting video on changing transmission fluid where he takes apart a Maxima transmission.

Note his comment in the video where he states "it is what it is" so if the transmission has damage and does not properly function, you cannot reverse it without an overhaul. Note there could be other components like electronic solenoids and resistors that cause a transmission to shift irregularly.


I've been lucky using this fluid in Maxima transmissions with over 200,000 miles. The filter is a wire mesh screen. I have not seen many Maxima owners change the screen. Personally I have not changed the filter on any 4th gen to date.




Last edited by CS_AR; 08-12-2017 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:23 PM   #4
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nissan matic d for my max only.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:32 AM   #5
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Add a transmission cooler.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:42 PM   #6
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@evintho If the ATF is at the proper level, that tranny is a goner with or without the ATF change.
Here's my Maxima slushbox experience:
I purchased my Maxima 3 years ago with 113k on the odo.
Looking through the service records I could not find any evidence of ATF change. The old ATF was a dirty red, not grey or burnt.
I installed a tranny cooler, a filter on a remote filter base and did a return line flush with the Valvoline Maxlife ATF from 3 years ago (It might have changed formulation since, but I did buy 8 or so gallon jugs at the time).
At 150k I did a drain and fill of the ATF with Maxlife again. The fluid I drained looked great.
I'm at 164k right now with no transmission issues, other than the 1st to 2nd hard shifting at times.
I would not hesitate to use the Castrol IMV that Craig pointed out.

Last edited by marianm; 08-25-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:08 PM   #7
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"filter on a remote filter base"

can you go into more detail on this?
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:17 PM   #8
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my max shifts nice and smooth after i replaced that trans shifter thingy next to the air box. plus, i fixed all of my intake issues and driving back from the shore she ran great!!! generally, i only change out the front few quarts of the trans fluid every 3 to 4 years, trans runs with no issues.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskus View Post
"filter on a remote filter base"

can you go into more detail on this?
Infiniti Q45s use an external transmission filter in the fluid cooling line like the one in the picture below. Unfortunately, they won't stop a transmission from failing if the transmission fluid is not changed. In fact, they can restrict fluid flow if they pick up particulate over time and become clogged.

I've learned over time that the best approach is to periodically drain and refill your transmission fluid to keep it fresh. I think changing the transmission fluid on our cars is easier than changing the oil and filter.

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Old 09-11-2017, 11:06 AM   #10
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but, i've also been told that if the trans shifts smoothly and the fluid looks ok than you leave it alone. my one trans guy said, " you don't want to open up a can of worms" meaning you don't want to fix it if it ain't broke.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:40 AM   #11
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Once a transmission is on the path towards failure, mechanics don't want to mess with it.

Changing the fluid at that point might fix the problem, but might also cause transmission failure sooner rather than later.

They don't want to be blamed.
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JvG View Post
Once a transmission is on the path towards failure, mechanics don't want to mess with it.

Changing the fluid at that point might fix the problem, but might also cause transmission failure sooner rather than later.

They don't want to be blamed.
yeah, but they do it all day and i've done enough tranny's that i know there's some truth to that. especially when i know flushing even a lightly slipping tranny can cause it to fail even faster.
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:51 AM   #13
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In these cases, I use this expression "it is what it is".

if it's on the way out, I would rather know sooner than later. Hopefully, before I go on a long trip out of town on the interstate.

Back in 2011, I had a torque converter on a Q45 RWD transmission disintegrate while driving 70 MPH down the interstate. That sent shrapnel into the planetary gears. That sounded like putting a hand full of silverware down a kitchen disposal.

The next planetary gears disintegrated and locked up the transmission like it was in Park. It's a life changing experience to be rolling down the interstate at 70 MPH when all this happens and both rear wheels lock up solid like the car is in park. Fortunately, I was able to skid onto an exit ramp where I blocked traffic until a tow truck came along.

While the previous owner took excellent care of the car with regard to oil and filter service and scheduled maintenance trips to the dealer. However, they neglected to change the ATF after 60,000 miles. So when I got the car at 115,000 miles I could tell the fluid was long overdue for a change. It had grunge build up in the bottom of the transmission pan. I changed the fluid, cleaned it up. then a few month later the torque converter disintegrated.
It had a slight slip between 2nd and 3rd gear that I didn't like. Changing the transmission fluid fixed that. In the end, I suspect the external filter had become clogged with particulate over 19 years without a change. That clogged the cooling line passage that resulted in the transmission being fluid starved and allowed it to over heat and caused the torque converter to disintegrate.




The bright side to the whole transmission adventure was a fellow member of the Q45 club had a custom built transmission from Level10 Transmissions in NJ that he gave me. It needed a clutch refresh since it had been used in a lot of drag racing. So we sent the transmission back to Level10 for a refresh. Level10 installed new Kevlar clutches (basically overhauled it) for less than it would have cost for me to have a transmission overhauled by some local AAMCO shop. So I've been running that transmission for over 6 years now. You can bet I change the transmission fluid on that baby with every other oil change. So it gets a drain and refill at approximately 8,000-mile intervals. If something happens to that transmission, that will be the end of that 27-year-old car. There is no replacing that one.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskus View Post
"filter on a remote filter base"

can you go into more detail on this?
I installed something like https://derale.com/products/filtrati...-cooler-detail
in the transmission cooler return line. If you use a filter with a bypass valve you don't have to worry about clogging it. But clogging should not be an issue for an ATF filter, unless you add coolant or who knows what to the ATF. Even if it would clog and you use a filter without a bypass valve, the filter media would just tear as the torque converter keeps sending fluid.
IMO, the best place for it is right after the ATF exits the tranny and before it gets to the cooler.
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