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

Transmission questions

Old 12-11-2018, 10:49 PM
  #1  
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Transmission questions

I have a 2001 Maxima that I've been kinda restoring after an accident. Everything is working fine right now.
But the auto transmission has a moderately hard shift from 1st to 2nd, not so hard it jerks you or anything but it's very noticeable and not really a great feeling. I've done some research and found its probably either the drop resistor or the engine/transmission mounts. I checked the resistor and it read 12.7 Ohms which is within spec (10-15 Ohms) so I'm thinking its probably the mounts especially considering the car has almost 200K on the clock and they're still OEM. I haven't had a chance to take a good look at them but I'm also not sure what to look for exactly. I'm also planning to unplug the electric ones and if needed replace them with the non-electric as they can apparently short out and fry the ECU, which has already happened but because of the IACV valve. What's the deal with these cars and minor components destroying the computer?! Anyways I've also dropped the pan and cleaned the magnets and done a second drain and fill with max life, I'm planning on another this spring. Do you think I should add lubeguard? I've heard a lot of good things about it both as a preventative maintenance item and a dirty fix. But some people have said to add lubeguard black to make the generic ATF like max life have the friction characteristics of the original Nissan Matic-D fluid. I was planning on using the red anyways but if black (the heavy friction modifier) will be better I will use it. What do you think? Also, will it be ok to wait to replace the mounts (assuming they are bad) until spring/summer? I don't exactly relish the idea of working on them for several hours in sub-arctic temperatures.
Also, just a random bit, would anyone be interested in seeing a write up of how to drop the transmission plan? I took pictures and documented the process when I did it.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacob42 View Post
I have a 2001 Maxima that I've been kinda restoring after an accident. Everything is working fine right now.
But the auto transmission has a moderately hard shift from 1st to 2nd, not so hard it jerks you or anything but it's very noticeable and not really a great feeling. I've done some research and found its probably either the drop resistor or the engine/transmission mounts. I checked the resistor and it read 12.7 Ohms which is within spec (10-15 Ohms) so I'm thinking its probably the mounts especially considering the car has almost 200K on the clock and they're still OEM. I haven't had a chance to take a good look at them but I'm also not sure what to look for exactly. I'm also planning to unplug the electric ones and if needed replace them with the non-electric as they can apparently short out and fry the ECU, which has already happened but because of the IACV valve. What's the deal with these cars and minor components destroying the computer?! Anyways I've also dropped the pan and cleaned the magnets and done a second drain and fill with max life, I'm planning on another this spring. Do you think I should add lubeguard? I've heard a lot of good things about it both as a preventative maintenance item and a dirty fix. But some people have said to add lubeguard black to make the generic ATF like max life have the friction characteristics of the original Nissan Matic-D fluid. I was planning on using the red anyways but if black (the heavy friction modifier) will be better I will use it. What do you think? Also, will it be ok to wait to replace the mounts (assuming they are bad) until spring/summer? I don't exactly relish the idea of working on them for several hours in sub-arctic temperatures.
I used to have this problem, and I fixed it by multiple D&Fs (drain & fill) and by installing a grounding kit.
With this background, here are my recommendations:
  • Forget the engine/transmission mounts for the time being - they have little impact on your 1st->2nd shift.
  • Buy yourself another 3 or 4 gallons of Valvoline MaxLife ($18/gal at Walmart) and keep doing D&Fs every couple months or so until the shifting improves. The goal is to clean up the transmission, incl. the internal passages in the valve body. Do not use any additives - MaxLife is just fine as is!
  • Our cars are controlled by a computer. The computer takes actions based on sensor voltages. Make sure these voltages are as accurate as possible by: a) Checking and cleaning all grounds; b) Installing a grounding kit.
  • Clean the Revolution Speed Sensor and the associated connector (it provides an essential input to the AT computer).
Finally, re. your electronic engine mounts: Disconnect them, but read the document about ECU failure prevention first (link in my signature, below).
I suspect you don't need to replace them (I haven't, still on the originals at 155k ).
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:09 PM
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Thanks @maxiiiboy that write up is really good! Thanks for sending it my way. I can't wait for the weekend to get all of that done!
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Old 12-26-2018, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by maxiiiboy View Post
I used to have this problem, and I fixed it by multiple D&Fs (drain & fill) and by installing a grounding kit.
With this background, here are my recommendations:
  • Forget the engine/transmission mounts for the time being - they have little impact on your 1st->2nd shift.
  • Buy yourself another 3 or 4 gallons of Valvoline MaxLife ($18/gal at Walmart) and keep doing D&Fs every couple months or so until the shifting improves. The goal is to clean up the transmission, incl. the internal passages in the valve body. Do not use any additives - MaxLife is just fine as is!
  • Our cars are controlled by a computer. The computer takes actions based on sensor voltages. Make sure these voltages are as accurate as possible by: a) Checking and cleaning all grounds; b) Installing a grounding kit.
  • Clean the Revolution Speed Sensor and the associated connector (it provides an essential input to the AT computer).
Finally, re. your electronic engine mounts: Disconnect them, but read the document about ECU failure prevention first (link in my signature, below).
I suspect you don't need to replace them (I haven't, still on the originals at 155k ).
is someone still selling the grounding kits? or is there a thread that isn't full of broken links that lists where to put all of the extra grounds? i saw one thread for the alternator area and that was it.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
I'll have one up by Sunday. I'll be sure and get plenty of pics and a rationale for each power lead. I'm no EE but let me know what you think! Stay tuned for "Engine Grounds".
the engine grounds made since but, i think there were some interior grounds as well or something. from what i can tell by reading old threads the car may actually benefit from extra grounding i know the engine grounding actually improved voltage but, i've seen other warning lights SOMETIMES through after the ignition system kicks out extra surges when a coil goes bad or something like that and trips the trans/TCU sensors warnings.
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Old 12-29-2018, 09:39 PM
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For more info on grounding points see the FSM EL 18-29. Link provided for the 2001 maxima.
I couldn't find a grounding kit made specifically for our cars and frankly was not impressed with the price of the others that are available. So I made my own, it's really quite easy, I used the crimp on style connectors and some old wire. I used one of the transmission coolant line mounts, and the main engine grounding point and just ran both right to the battery. You can ground many more points but for now I decided to just stick with the engine/trans. If you really want you can put grounding wires all around the car if you do the easiest way would be to have them all run to a central point like a strut mount then to the battery, that way you don't have a bunch of random wires all trying to fit on one battery terminal.

Full FSM download
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Old 12-30-2018, 11:29 PM
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I have used Lubegard Red in my 99 Avalon before... it shifted better after adding it. Mind you, I was using off the shelf Dex III/merc, and I did 3 drain/fills with 1000 mile intervals before adding it on the last fluid change. I don't know how it would help in an A33, which sounds like it has a very particular kind of fluid.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:27 AM
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I would take it to the stealership and let them do a flush and oil change on your tranny...it's about $120
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