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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my 2003 2wd X checked out at the dealer recently. They said my transmission fluid was "burned up" and needed to be changed. Figured this since I have been pulling a pop-up camper over the last year. Cost was $256. I decided to check around on cost since it seemed like a simple service. My X has 95k miles and cant remember ever changing the trans fluid. Firestone does not service the fluid after 65k if it has never been changed. Talked to a transmission shop and they said not to touch it. Apparently the new fluid will break down the sediment in the system, especially at seals, which can cause leaks and/or slippage. They recommended not doing anything. It could last another 50-100k miles without problems. I remember the dealer saying it would shift better with a trans fluid change. I find it odd that the dealer did not ask those critical questions. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
 

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I've never had issues with just a change but have always heard to avoid a flush/fill after you get above 80K miles or somewhere in that range because of the reasons the tranny tech said.

If it is burned up, I would definitely do a change. The viscosity diminishes over time and will result in delayed shifts and progressively leading to damage.

If you do a fill yourself, keep in mind that you will not need the specified 9+ quarts the manual says to use. The torque converter will retain somewhere around 4 to 5 quarts of the fluid. If you overfill, it can be just as bad as low/bad fluid. I think it took just over 4 quarts to top mine off after a change.
 

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I'm curious about this as well, I have know idea if mine has ever been changed or not and my X now has 74k on it. Should I go ahead and change it before it gets any further out or just leave it? I would really rather change it out, just a simple "drain and fill", not a "flush".
 

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I say do it. I'm about to do my 2nd fluid change and I'm at 92K. I'm just a firm believer in fresh fluids.
 

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I would do the flush, but I would also do a cooler and in line filter at the same time. Anything that you can do to lower temps is a good thing, and the filter takes about a min to install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Agree on fresh fluids. However, the transmission guy I talked to today says most respectable trans shops will not change your fluids after 65k if they have never been changed before. I'm not sure that is true, but Firestone said the same thing. Express Oil makes you sign a waiver. The guy told me that the new trans fluid is very aggressive and will clean up the whole system. The problem is over time without routine fluid change, you get sediment in the seals and other linings around internal clutches etc. New fluid will attack these areas (clean up) and cause leaks, slippage etc. I plan on doing some more investigating before committing. The trans guy did tell me that the X tranny is good, so I might get 50 or another 100k miles out of it. It really depends on how its been driven. Also, I'm a little miffed that the dealer did not ask if it had been change previously. I plan on calling them Monday and will post the response.
 

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You could always just do a drain and refill. Then drive it for three weeks or so. Then repeat. Keep doing it every three weeks or so until you have slowly diluted the old stuff with all new. Eventually you can drop the pan and clean it out real well. You can also add that BG trans service which rejuvenates the seals. I would not just leave the old stuff in there and hope for the best. Also, the Nissan transmissions are pretty tough and durable so I would opt in favor of changing out the fluid as opposed to not doing it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Talked to both local dealers. They recommend a drain/fill without the flush despite all of the mixed opinions/concerns. Also, they have changed the fluid in a lot of vehicles with high mileage and no previous fluid change without problems. I'm going to do the drain/refill. Doing nothing seems like a higher risk approach. Plus, I'm not having any transmission problems such as leaking, slippage, etc, so hopefully there is not a lot of build up or sediment and the seals are still in good shape. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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how many quarts does my 6 speed torque converter hold ;) hahahaha
 

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well Dr. Spencer, do you have an automatic or manual transmission
 

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If you do a fill yourself, keep in mind that you will not need the specified 9+ quarts the manual says to use. The torque converter will retain somewhere around 4 to 5 quarts of the fluid. If you overfill, it can be just as bad as low/bad fluid. I think it took just over 4 quarts to top mine off after a change.
read the thread next time:aufkopfhauen-big:
 

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What I have done in the past for a quick flush is dean and fill it. Run it for a few minutes and repeat four or five times. I think in my '01 X I used to get 3 to 4 quarts out on the drain.
 

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Soooooo, how long has it been since you did this fluid exchange and how many miles have you put on it since then and how are things going with your transmission?
 

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I did it every 30k or so until about 100k till I traded in. I never had any issues. I also used Mobil 1 synthetic. And it was an '02 and not '01 as I mistyped earlier.
 

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You could always just do a drain and refill. Then drive it for three weeks or so. Then repeat. Keep doing it every three weeks or so until you have slowly diluted the old stuff with all new. Eventually you can drop the pan and clean it out real well. You can also add that BG trans service which rejuvenates the seals. I would not just leave the old stuff in there and hope for the best. Also, the Nissan transmissions are pretty tough and durable so I would opt in favor of changing out the fluid as opposed to not doing it.
I know this is an old thread but figured I'd ask here instead of starting a new thread and cluttering up the forum with the same stuff, if this is not the right way to do it please let me know :)

Anyways, I just got my X and it has almost 126000 and I'm not sure if the ATF Fluid has ever been changed, I know between 90-126000 it hasn't been the owner before that I have no idea.

I plan to do it in the next week or so but I'm confused as to what to do with a high mileage vehicle. is there difference between draining and filling and drain/fill and dropping the pan? Seems like your suggestion makes the most sense to get the tranny used to new fluid. So as much as will come out on its own is about 1/2 anyways because I've read a few quarts don't drain correct?

Dropping the pan - can this damage the tranny if its done before doing multiple drain refills?
 

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The discussion is involving drain/refill vs a full flush. The full flush runs all of the old fluid out of the tranny and torque converter, while the drain/refill only gets about half of the fluid. You can drop the pan in either case, but the filter is not something that needs to be replaced, so not much is gained by dropping the pan.

Cliffs notes.....

High mileage, flush is not recommended if the trans has not been serviced before. Just do a drain/refill.

low mileage, or regular maintenance, you can flush with no problem, and that is the recommended way of servicing the tranny.
 

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I recommend doing a drain and refill a few times and you'll get most of the old fluid out. i.e. you get about half of the fluid out each time. Measure it (use old oil bottles) and put the same amount back in so you don't have to mess with checking the dipstick too many times. You'll then have ~50% new fluid. After a drive (same day, next weekend, whenever), do it again and you'll have 75% new fluid. Again for 88% new fluid. More if desired. It's the DIY way and will only cost about $60 to do three changes.

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