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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I apologize for the lengthy post. I want to give as much detail as possible about the symptoms.

I have a 2002 Xterra 2WD XE V6 VG33E with an automatic transmission. It will not engage reverse. It has 240k miles on it. I got in it one night and I noticed a 1-2 second delay when shifting into reverse from park. It would roll forward and then engage reverse. The next night, I got into it and it would not engage reverse at all. I did not hear any odd sounds like grinding or a popping sound. I checked the fluid and the level seemed fine and I did not notice a burned smell or discoloration. I let it sit for about 30 minutes and it then went into reverse. I moved it and parked it. The reverse lights DO come on. I always park it with the parking break.

A day later, I had a friend who knows a little about transmissions come to get it. It engaged reverse for him as well when he picked it up. He took it to his house and changed the filter and fluid. Now it never engages reverse. He cleaned the valve body and it still will not engage reverse. He said that there were some shavings in the pan, but I don't know how bad it may have been. He also said that there were two screws in the pan. I don't know where they came from, but he supposedly put them back wherever they go. The SES light is NOT on and the overdrive light is not on or flashing. All other gears appear to be fine.

I have driven it over 100 miles now without reverse and have not noticed any issues with forward gears. He spoke to a friend of his that works at a transmission shop and they think it could be a sensor. I spoke to a Nissan mechanic that retired from a local dealership and he said it's the planetary gear. Another friend says it could be that the reverse band is burned out and needs to be replaced. I've also heard that sensors and solenoids are the same thing, which I'm not too sure is the case. I do not have a lot of money to throw at possibilities. I could replace the solenoids or sensors and still need a rebuild. I could have it rebuilt and still need solenoids or sensors. I'm hesitant to purchase a used transmission because I figure they will also have a lot of miles on them and I could be in the same position (transmission problems) a few months down the road. I'm looking for more opinions on what could be the issue or a way to possibly narrow it down. Thanks!
 

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Those things that came out probably belong to the solenoid and he said reverse band could be burned out? Nah man sounds like hes trying to make some money off you to be honest because the reverse is on the 3rd gear clutch pack and unless you slip in 3rd gear and are having problems in drive i wouldnt see it needing a rebuild and thats the prob with alot of tranny shops simple fixes turn into rebuilds because there answer to everything is its time for a rebuild... Id go for a used transmission though and flush it with fresh fluid seeing as how they are very stout. Mine pulled a 8 thousand pound boat for a while before the owner put it for sale for something more suited to pulling 8k pounds plus its seen plently of mudholes and wasnt driven lightly either (rev limiter in 4 low plus pulling alot of people out) Its only prob was a shudder into o/d fresh fluid fixed that and i havent had any probs with it at 180k And it shifts great. I doubt you would have any worry of getting a used one with less then 140k miles. So replace the solenoids and if it has problems shifting always go to the tps and make sure its in spec cause that controls the firmness and shift points too. I had big problems with mine and almost sold it over a 40$ sensor and maybe an hour setting it because i had the idle screw way out of spec too. Dont always assume it needs a rebuild. And if you go to any trans shop right now having 240k first thing there gonna say is rebuild. The ones down here are like a bunch of vultures and it irritates me because id rather ride mine to the ground before i handed them a dime of my coin. Hopefully your area may have a decent one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
More Questions

So, I've finally got the money to get this hopefully fixed thanks to my income tax return. I am still not 100% certain as to what the issue is. I do not have a lot of money to throw at various parts hoping that one of them will fix it. Just to recap, we have already changed the fluid and filter and cleaned the valve body. We are leaning toward an electrical issue that would not be resolved via a rebuild. The reasons for this: For one, I do not have any issues with any forward gears. I have now driven the truck over 1500 miles without reverse and there have been no further issues. The transmission will sometimes engage reverse to this day (3 months and 1500 miles later), especially in the morning the first time that I get into it. I was able to engage reverse a few days ago, with a 1-2 second delay, and back it up in the driveway. I feel like if it was a mechanical issue, reverse probably would not ever engage; once it's broken, it's broken. I also feel like there is a good chance that I would have some other issue with the transmission if it was a mechanical failure.

The parts shop, Wit (Whatever It Takes) Transmission, told my buddy that I should probably replace all of the solenoids if I'm going to replace any of them. I don't think I can afford to do that though, especially if that ends up not fixing the problem. I'll need money to buy other parts. I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with this and can answer a few more questions please.


  1. Given all of the information, which parts would be likely culprits besides a solenoid, and which solenoid(s) should I be replacing?
  2. Should I give up on buying parts and just look for another used transmission? I'm skeptical about finding one in decent shape with relatively low miles given the age of the vehicle. I don't want another broken transmission 3 months from now if I go with a used transmission.
  3. Is there any way that I can try to narrow this down? Neither the SES nor the O/D lights have come on to indicate a failure. Is there a computer in the truck (TCU perhaps?) that can be hooked to a machine or a reader to help determine the fault?
  4. Does the SES and O/D lights not coming on indicate that it may not be an electrical issue, or does that even matter?

I took it to a local shop, not a chain, to see if they could help diagnose it. I thought they had a computer that could read the TCU, assuming that is possible. They called me back and wanted $500 to disassemble the transmission and diagnose it. They also told me that I should not drive it as it would likely further damage the transmission. I laughed and declined their offer. I've driven it over 1000 miles since then without issue. I tried this method, which is for 93-01 Altimas but it doesn't appear to work on my truck. I went through the steps twice and the O/D light never blinked to indicate anything. I'm going to look around to see if there is a similar procedure specifically for my truck. Thanks in advance for any replies!
 

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Just out of curiosity, on the occasions that you have been able to engage reverse, have you attempted to drive it while in reverse for any meaningful distance to get a feel for what the issue might be? Notice any particular noise or vibration while driving it in reverse?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have not driven it further in reverse than to back it out of a parking space essentially. Other than the 1-2 second delay to get it into reverse on the occasions that it will go into reverse, I have not noticed anything else odd about it. I've noticed no strange sounds or vibrations at any point. One thing that I forgot to mention because I wasn't sure it was related is that the cruise control stopped engaging about 2 weeks or so before I lost reverse. The cruise light comes on at the dash, but pressing the button to engage cruise doesn't do anything. It may not be related, but I thought I'd mention it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was going to edit my previous post, but I can't find an option to edit. Anyway, I found a thread that is a little similar to my situation. The common problem I keep running into with other threads is that 99% of the time, the poster never comes back to the thread to conclude it and tell how they resolved their issue or even what the final diagnosis was. This other thread mentions that his cruise control stopped working, his reverse was going out, and that admin dejablue may have possibly linked an inoperable cruise control with loss of reverse and the speed sensor. Dejablue then chimed in that the speed sensor is unrelated to reverse, which makes sense to me. The poster says that his truck will "creep" into reverse; I'm not sure what that means unless he is referring to the delay when it finally engages reverse. He also mentions a blinking light, possibly the cruise light. No lights have blinked on my dash. The cruise light comes on and stays on but it won't engage. The O/D and SES lights have not come on at all, but the SES light did in the past with a previous transmission. My previous transmission caused a solid SES light with P0744 torque converter clutch. We replaced that transmission almost 2 years ago. The current transmission has not lit any indicators.
 

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This is a problem when no one comes back to give us the results we could really help more if only people posted back but unfortunately they take the information and run.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Going With Solenoids For Now

Well, barring any comments to the contrary, I am going to be picking up the solenoids today and will have my buddy install those. I'll be getting what is referred to as a solenoid assembly that contains 4 solenoids in one part I believe. I don't know a great deal about it, but I think it includes shift solenoid A, shift solenoid B, and the line pressure solenoid so people can know what I am talking about. I believe the remanufactured part is around $110 at Wit Transmission. Since he will already be in there, I guess I'll replace the torque converter clutch (TCC) solenoid as well. I think it's also referred to as a lock-up solenoid, but I'm not certain. It's around $50.

My main concern is that the O/D and SES lights have not lit up. There appears to be OBD-II codes for the solenoids. I'm looking at the service manual and it lists: P0750 shift sol A, P0755 shift sol B, P1760 overrun clutch sol, P0740 TCC sol, P0745 line pressure sol, etc. I'm worried that if the solenoids were malfunctioning, I should have a lit SES light. I have an OBD-II reader and I've checked anyway to be certain, but the only codes on there are for a knock sensor. :| I'm going to replace these solenoids, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. I really need this vehicle running. I depend on it for my job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The solenoid assembly did not resolve the issue. He installed it and said it seems to shift better, but it still will not engage reliably into reverse. The fluid and filter were changed around 3 months ago and he said there was metal shavings in the pan again, so he thinks it's time for a rebuild. So I guess I'm looking at either a rebuild or another used transmission. I'm leaning toward rebuild so I will at least know that I have a decent transmission. If I get a used transmission, it could possibly fail again in 3 months; who knows. My only concern is whether a rebuild will actually fix it. I'm worried about spending $250+ on parts again plus labor to rebuild it and then it still won't reverse. Could be that maybe it needs a replacement valve body or maybe there is a bad sensor or connector somewhere. I don't have the money to pay for a rebuild and have that not correct the problem. I'll keep this thread updated if anything changes. I don't want to have another thread about this issue where the poster never comes back and tells what they did to ultimately fix their problem.
 

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Had the same issue as you. Would only engage whenever it wanted too. Just went to the local mechanic and got a used one with a 7 month warranty on it. If you have to get another transmission, go with someone who is specifically trained for transmissions. After i got my Xterra back, it came back with loads of more problems than when we first took it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
compatibility if I go with replacement

I would not rebuild ,i dont know anyone that was happy. Get a low mileage downer same year .
Anyone know what is compatible or can point me to a way to determine this myself? Surely it doesn't have to be the exact same year. That would make it a lot more difficult to find one in good condition I'm thinking. I am thinking maybe 2000-2004 Xterra and maybe Frontier. That's a total guess though. Being that I don't know much about vehicle mechanics, I don't know if 4wd transmissions will work (mine is 2wd). Maybe Pathfinder transmissions work as well, but I don't know. Thanks for any info.
 

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I have a 2002 XE 4wd that reverse just went out on mine too. I've got 320k miles but runs/ drives like a top. No previous sign of trans trouble of any kind. I just had 4 new shocks put on and power steering hose & passenger side valve cover gasket replaced 2 days prior to reverse failure. (Was wondering if the mechanic could have accidentally knocked some wire connector loose?). I have previously (couple years ago) had the neutral safety switch act up, but resolved itself and never had to take any action on that issue.

Reverse failed after I was driving mine in 4 wheel low range. It backed up fine to turn around. I drove it back out to the road, put in neutral and shifted transfer case back to 2wd, and tried to back up to release the front hubs and had no reverse at all. No slip, no noise, nothing! Drove home and put in garage, and still no reverse at all. Next day started up cold and went into reverse just fine. (Didn't drive anywhere, just was curious if it'd go into gear). I too think the issue may be electronic, since it was fine one minute and completely without reverse the next. But have no idea where to start figuring out the source of problem.
 

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Holy smokes 320k! And i thought 200k was alot. Change your tranny fluid and filter. Probably valve body is nasty.
 

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Anyone know what is compatible or can point me to a way to determine this myself? Surely it doesn't have to be the exact same year. That would make it a lot more difficult to find one in good condition I'm thinking. I am thinking maybe 2000-2004 Xterra and maybe Frontier. That's a total guess though. Being that I don't know much about vehicle mechanics, I don't know if 4wd transmissions will work (mine is 2wd). Maybe Pathfinder transmissions work as well, but I don't know. Thanks for any info.
You can use a transmission from any 00-04 xterra or frontier. 2wd will work too but you will have to open up thr transmission to swap out the output shaft from your original and swap the adapter casing over. The difference with the 2wd is maybe just one less friction plate.

Tearing apart the transmission is pretty straightforward and easy.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
 

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I have a 2002 XE 4wd that reverse just went out on mine too. I've got 320k miles but runs/ drives like a top. No previous sign of trans trouble of any kind. I just had 4 new shocks put on and power steering hose & passenger side valve cover gasket replaced 2 days prior to reverse failure. (Was wondering if the mechanic could have accidentally knocked some wire connector loose?). I have previously (couple years ago) had the neutral safety switch act up, but resolved itself and never had to take any action on that issue.

Reverse failed after I was driving mine in 4 wheel low range. It backed up fine to turn around. I drove it back out to the road, put in neutral and shifted transfer case back to 2wd, and tried to back up to release the front hubs and had no reverse at all. No slip, no noise, nothing! Drove home and put in garage, and still no reverse at all. Next day started up cold and went into reverse just fine. (Didn't drive anywhere, just was curious if it'd go into gear). I too think the issue may be electronic, since it was fine one minute and completely without reverse the next. But have no idea where to start figuring out the source of problem.
Shift linkage out adjustment? Csnt see how it could be. But its and east check. The trans position sensor (inhibitor) is attached to the shift linkage and is what displays what gear you are in on your dash. checked your shift linkage and see if it's adjusted properly and is fully seated in the detent. Aside from that, the only thing I am thinking is fluid is leaking inside the valve body (stuck valve) which is not allowing full pressure to engage the clutch band reverse. I might be talking out my ass but I'm learning as I go with my rebuild.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It turns out that my reverse issue is due to a part that is apparently related to the pump, if I understand correctly from my mechanic. He said the part is called a "stator" and something is wrong with it. I guess it's partially worn out or something. Anyway, it's about $120 from WITT transmission parts. I've already installed the solenoid set (4 I think) and bought a rebuild kit from Rock Auto. He's going to go ahead and use the rebuild kit since he has it torn apart and I need to by the stator and replace it. He said there was some wear on reverse, probably due to the stator. He says the stator is definitely the cause of me not having reverse. I'll post back at least one final time here after he has it all back together. I don't know how common that issue is; I've never even heard of a stator before this came up. So it may not have anything to do with someone else's reverse issues if anyone comes here looking for answers, but I guess it doesn't hear to check it.
 

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It turns out that my reverse issue is due to a part that is apparently related to the pump, if I understand correctly from my mechanic. He said the part is called a "stator" and something is wrong with it. I guess it's partially worn out or something. Anyway, it's about $120 from WITT transmission parts. I've already installed the solenoid set (4 I think) and bought a rebuild kit from Rock Auto. He's going to go ahead and use the rebuild kit since he has it torn apart and I need to by the stator and replace it. He said there was some wear on reverse, probably due to the stator. He says the stator is definitely the cause of me not having reverse. I'll post back at least one final time here after he has it all back together. I don't know how common that issue is; I've never even heard of a stator before this came up. So it may not have anything to do with someone else's reverse issues if anyone comes here looking for answers, but I guess it doesn't hear to check it.
did this fix the issue for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, replacing the stator did fix my reverse issue. He also went ahead and rebuilt it using the kit that I bought.
The next thing on my list was to have a timing belt kit installed. Unfortunately, it jumped time about a month later after I got the transmission issue resolved. Now I'm hoping he can install a new belt and reset the timing and it didn't bend a valve or something. I guess that's another topic though. :(
 

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My Wifes Xterra is starting to do this. 2003 Supercharged 4WD. Sometimes it will go into reverse and sometimes it wont. It seems to be getting more and more common as time goes on. Today I actually messed with it for a while to get it to go into reverse. So changing the "stator" is the way to go? Is that part of the torque converter. Thanks
 
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