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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2002 Xterra XE 3.3 V6 has 229000 miles on it. I rebuilt the engine eleven years ago and since everything has worked perfect.
Today I got in it to move it out of the shop. I started the engine and put it in Drive and it hesitated and then moved. Never done this before today. Reverse works perfect. I move it all the way down to Low and it goes quick. Only when I drop it in Drive does it hesitate, Like 2 or 3 seconds before it will move . I am testing it while engine is idling and you can feel the hesitation when dropped in Drive only.

Transmission didn't slip when I drove it last week. I also didn't notice the hesitation when I drove it about 150 miles last Friday. It has been sitting in my shop since. No leaks shown on floor where it was parked. None in the shop where it sits most of the time . I bought another vehicle two years ago and use this one as a spare only .

I checked the fluid and it shows on the first mark which I assume it needs a little. I really don't need this truck much anymore but I would like to find out what might be causing this. I really don't think its low on fluid enough to cause a slight delay in drive only but I will wait and see what others think.

This vehicle hasn't been drove much in the last year. I only put 1000 miles on it since last January and never showed any problems until today when I went to move it out of my shop .

Fluid didn't smell burnt and looked good. I sure don't want to change the fluid as its never been messed with in the 21 years I have owned it.
Any tips on what to look for ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Put it in 2, which will allow you to operate in 1st and 2nd automatically. If it drops in normally, then you may just need to adjust the cable. If you haven't already, download the FSMs for free:

Nissan Service Manuals - NICOclub
It works fine when I put it in 2 . I will see if I can adjust the cable or check it anyway. Thanks for the manual. I will read up on it.
You think a transmission shop could connect a scanner to it and see if a solenoid might be going bad ?
I do remember several years ago when it was real cold outside and this only happened this one day. The engine would go dead as soon as I put it in reverse to back out of driveway. I tried it many times that day trying to get to work. I let the engine warm up and the engine didn't go dead anymore . It hasn't done it again but like I mentioned I don't drive this vehicle much anymore. I still want it to work in case I need it though. Again thanks for the information.
 

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It works fine when I put it in 2 . I will see if I can adjust the cable or check it anyway. Thanks for the manual. I will read up on it.
You think a transmission shop could connect a scanner to it and see if a solenoid might be going bad ?
I do remember several years ago when it was real cold outside and this only happened this one day. The engine would go dead as soon as I put it in reverse to back out of driveway. I tried it many times that day trying to get to work. I let the engine warm up and the engine didn't go dead anymore . It hasn't done it again but like I mentioned I don't drive this vehicle much anymore. I still want it to work in case I need it though. Again thanks for the information.
Lack of use; hot and cold; plus the age of the transmission fluid is not in your favor and will very likely attribute to the symptoms you describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So are we to assume that you changed the transmission fluid since you dropped the pan to look at the screen?
No I didn't change the fluid. I drained the fluid in a clean container and put it back. Before I removed the pan I drove it for 10 miles and when it was hot the fluid level showed perfect. Pan back on and fluid put back. Its working good enough for what I used this vehicle for . I did put a new pan gasket on it . :rolleyes: There is no delay in drive when it gets warm and not enough to worry about when cold. It sits most of the time in my shop anyway.
I know that's not the way to repair things , I was hoping maybe something simple might be wrong but my guess now is the seals have gotten hard over the years.
 

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No I didn't change the fluid. I drained the fluid in a clean container and put it back. Before I removed the pan I drove it for 10 miles and when it was hot the fluid level showed perfect. Pan back on and fluid put back. Its working good enough for what I used this vehicle for . I did put a new pan gasket on it . :rolleyes: There is no delay in drive when it gets warm and not enough to worry about when cold. It sits most of the time in my shop anyway.
I know that's not the way to repair things , I was hoping maybe something simple might be wrong but my guess now is the seals have gotten hard over the years.
The fluid chemistry changes with heat and time. Elements burn off and the fluids performance falls off. The fluid is not just a lubricant. In automatic transmissions the fluid chemistry matters. New fluid can change the shift characteristics of the transmission drastically. Sounds like you are happy with close enough. Hope it holds up for you.
 

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The fluid chemistry changes with heat and time. Elements burn off and the fluids performance falls off. The fluid is not just a lubricant. In automatic transmissions the fluid chemistry matters. New fluid can change the shift characteristics of the transmission drastically. Sounds like you are happy with close enough. Hope it holds up for you.
I have heard mixed opinions on this matter, and i would like to know what yalls take on it is.

1. Don't change the fluids-changing the fluids will stir up debris and components will have a short dry spell, causing a premature failure.

Have heard people claim there trans when out right after fluid change, but haven't seen it personally.

2. Change the fluid like any other fluid, to extend the life of the tranny.

I personally haven't changed mine due to not having any issues.

Now argue it out !
 

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I have heard mixed opinions on this matter, and i would like to know what yalls take on it is.

1. Don't change the fluids-changing the fluids will stir up debris and components will have a short dry spell, causing a premature failure.

Have heard people claim there trans when out right after fluid change, but haven't seen it personally.

2. Change the fluid like any other fluid, to extend the life of the tranny.

I personally haven't changed mine due to not having any issues.

Now argue it out !
1. This is BS
2. Yes, for sure!
Personnaly you are asking for trouble. Would you not change your engine oil because you are not having any issues?
 

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How often should it be changed?

Guy before me "said" he had it changed but I had my doubts, as he also said he had a new timing belt and water pump, but the pump went out two days after. So IDK.

I check and Maintain my fluids religiously, and the Tranny fluid smells and looks fine. But I will probably replace it with some synthetic ATF in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The fluid chemistry changes with heat and time. Elements burn off and the fluids performance falls off. The fluid is not just a lubricant. In automatic transmissions the fluid chemistry matters. New fluid can change the shift characteristics of the transmission drastically. Sounds like you are happy with close enough. Hope it holds up for you.
It will be fine because I just don't use it enough and I have a large shop to store it in.
The transmission shifts out fine. Just that small delay when I drop it in drive and only that gear. It don't do it when warmed up. If I need to use it I will just let it idle and warm up before I go.
If it was my everyday vehicle then yes I would probably pay someone to flush it for me and add new. Just draining the pan to me is not enough.
This engine was ran hot 11 years ago. My sons wife was about five miles from home with a young child when it ran hot so she just drove it home. I bought it from them back then and rebuilt the engine . I know running an engine hot is not good on the transmission but so far this one has worked great. My guess is the seals are getting hard and need replacing but I am too old for that . I called the local transmission shop whom I used to do business with when I ran this shop. He said they stopped working on Nissan's years ago. He said they had too much trouble with them.
At one time I used a product called TransX and it was the best I ever used. Not sure its the same now . That was 40 years ago when I last used it.
 

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How often should it be changed?

Guy before me "said" he had it changed but I had my doubts, as he also said he had a new timing belt and water pump, but the pump went out two days after. So IDK.

I check and Maintain my fluids religiously, and the Tranny fluid smells and looks fine. But I will probably replace it with some synthetic ATF in time.
Setting a specific change interval is tough to nail down because people drive their automatics in such a varied number of ways. If you are having no performance issues, I would recommend doing a drain and flush once a year. A drain and flush, if you are not aware, is draining fluid from the pan and refilling with new fluid to normal proper running levels. My experience has shown that this involves 2 to 3 quarts of fluid but can vary from vehicle to vehicle. This serves to refresh the fluid with new fluid chemistry added to the overall mix. I have found that this practice goes a long way to provide good service life in both new and older transmissions. If you get to the point where you are experiencing transmission performance problems, then I would proceed to do a full flush of the transmission fluid that includes the torque converter. Getting the fluid that is normally trapped in the converter out, can be a major influence on correcting performance issues. Doing the full flush is something you can do at home and therefore limit your expense to the cost of the new fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Setting a specific change interval is tough to nail down because people drive their automatics in such a varied number of ways. If you are having no performance issues, I would recommend doing a drain and flush once a year. A drain and flush, if you are not aware, is draining fluid from the pan and refilling with new fluid to normal proper running levels. My experience has shown that this involves 2 to 3 quarts of fluid but can vary from vehicle to vehicle. This serves to refresh the fluid with new fluid chemistry added to the overall mix. I have found that this practice goes a long way to provide good service life in both new and older transmissions. If you get to the point where you are experiencing transmission performance problems, then I would proceed to do a full flush of the transmission fluid that includes the torque converter. Getting the fluid that is normally trapped in the converter out, can be a major influence on correcting performance issues. Doing the full flush is something you can do at home and therefore limit your expense to the cost of the new fluid.
So you are saying drain out two or three quarts of fluid and add to the greater amount left in transmission ? I would say that's just mixing old with new . Sort of like draining half your engine oil out and adding some new to what's left of used oil. This transmission works great once warned up and not sure if this changing fluid thing would help me but again I will wait until I hear what you have to say. I still like to learn even though I am old. :)
 

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So you are saying drain out two or three quarts of fluid and add to the greater amount left in transmission ? I would say that's just mixing old with new . Sort of like draining half your engine oil out and adding some new to what's left of used oil. This transmission works great once warned up and not sure if this changing fluid thing would help me but again I will wait until I hear what you have to say. I still like to learn even though I am old. :)
Well, the logic of changing all of the engine oil at one time seems to be natural for most people but there are an amazing number of folks out there that lose all sight of that logic when it comes to an automatic transmission. The partial drain and refill scenario doesn't make good sense for a transmission that hasn't seen fluid service for an extended number of miles and time. That transmission needs a full flush and fill. I find that the drain and fill scenario can make good sense when the probability of the owner taking the effort or justifying the expense to perform a full transmission fluid service change is slim to none. The point is, replacing 2 or 3 quarts of transmission fluid is better than doing nothing at all. Yes,like you say, it's just mixing old with new, but the "new" is the key. The new fluid is fortified with the proper chemistry engineered to support the proper performance of the transmission components. An automatic transmission is far more complex than a base engine being lubricated by motor oil, but yet it receives far less respect when it comes to maintenance.
 

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No matter what, you can't go wrong exchanging old for new. The new fluid will not damage the transmission. If it did, then new transmissions would ship with old, worn out fluid.

I agree with getting as much out as possible. The only downside to flushing is that GM will not warrant their transmissions if it has been flushed, no matter if it was with a professional machine or by refilling it while it pumps itself out of the trans cooling hose. I'm not sure how Nissan feels about it, but of the 2 methods, the 2nd seems more plausible to me because YOU have skin in the game are are in full control.
 

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No matter what, you can't go wrong exchanging old for new. The new fluid will not damage the transmission. If it did, then new transmissions would ship with old, worn out fluid.

I agree with getting as much out as possible. The only downside to flushing is that GM will not warrant their transmissions if it has been flushed, no matter if it was with a professional machine or by refilling it while it pumps itself out of the trans cooling hose. I'm not sure how Nissan feels about it, but of the 2 methods, the 2nd seems more plausible to me because YOU have skin in the game are are in full control.
I use method #2 with great success. I don't buy GM products anymore so I don't care what they warranty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How did you do the full flush ? and how much fluid would I need ? I guess after almost 22 years it couldn't hurt even though I don't think it will fix that slow going in drive when its cold. It sounds like the shift solenoid might be sticking but there are no codes but that is only a guess. I don't remember it doing this this past summer but like I mentioned I haven't drove it much in the last few years. Since the weather has got really cold is when it starting doing this slight 1 to 2 second delay thing. Anyway I am willing to give it a go.
 

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How did you do the full flush ? and how much fluid would I need ? I guess after almost 22 years it couldn't hurt even though I don't think it will fix that slow going in drive when its cold. It sounds like the shift solenoid might be sticking but there are no codes but that is only a guess. I don't remember it doing this this past summer but like I mentioned I haven't drove it much in the last few years. Since the weather has got really cold is when it starting doing this slight 1 to 2 second delay thing. Anyway I am willing to give it a go.
Could be from the lack of being used that caused the solenoid to stick?

Could be healthy to drive it a little?
 
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