2019 Nissan Pathfinder CVT drain/fill.

JTK

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I bought this vehicle a few days ago. It's first 9 months and ~22K miles were in rental service. I did it's first CVT drain and fill today. I do them cold and 4qts come out. Here's what the fluid looked like compared to new: [Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by Miller88
Wow - that's really bad looking!
Right? Thing is, color of these types of fluids/lubes really isn't an indication of much. When I did the first CVT fluid drain/fill on our Nissan Quest at ~33K miles (same powertrain), the factory fluid looked the same. It cleaned right up after 2 drain/fill cycles and stayed cleaner looking every ~20K miles after that. It's about $40-50 a pop to do a 4qt spill and fill with NS-3, but I have to think it's beneficial to the unit. There's no tow package installed on this Pathfinder. It is exceptionally clean for an ex-rental. Still smells and looks new, even under the hood. A few bumper dings, one small door ding and a missing trim piece on the rear wiper.
 
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When I changed the OE CVT fluid on my '15 Altima this past summer at 51K miles, the fluid draining out looked decent and even better on a clean rag. But, when the fluid was in a clear container(3.7qts) it too looked like what JTK is showing. I used/replaced with Castrol Transmax CVT fluid(RED) and all is well thus far.
 

JTK

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Char- Same deal. On a clean white rag, the fluid is a clean, greenish color. Poured in a jar or jug, it looks worse. There's zero visible solids in the fluid. My OCD would be unbearable that being the case. LOL
 
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In my experience it takes very little time for transmission fluid to darken to an extent, at least in a transmission that hasn't been through extensive flushing or ultra religious maintenance. Immediately after changing or doing a fluid exchange the atf would near always darken to an extent after a couple hundred miles (although in a not spotless transmission). The tint doesn't mean the fluid is bad, just that there are some contaminants that have become miscible within in. I'd be willing to bet the fluid looks very similar to the stuff that came out with the new fluid added.
 
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Yup I agree, the dirty fluid doesn't look that bad. I find the real indication is when you spread it out thin (or when it's draining as a stream), you can see right through it usually and it's a nice clear color, just a little bit of contaminants suspended in it is all. Now if it's so dark and burnt that the viscosity changes and you can't see through it at all...
 

JTK

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Agree on all points above. Like I mentioned, I've been through the same drain/fill regimen with our previous Nissan and the darkest fluid was the initial drain/fill which makes perfect sense. Successive drains didn't look as dark.
 
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So JTK you don't mess with all the CVT fluid temp checks that Nissan talks about when doing a fluid change? Using the overflow plug. So how do you know that that sump wasn't low to begin with? Or you just take it on your experience with other Nissans that 4 came out so 4 back in and all good. There's a youtube of a guy doing his Pathfinder CVT fluid and he used an IR temp gun with the overflow. I guess you had enough ground clearance with the Pathfinder, no raising vehicle needed? Have any issue getting "charging tube" plug off? NS-3, ridiculously high.
 
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I'm not sure it's as important as the manufacturers make it out to be. I imagine there has to be some thing taken into consideration for volume in the heat/cold , off camber, going up and down hills. Seems that as long as the fluid is at the same temp, it's easy enough to get it close enough that the transmission won't grenade because of the fluid change.
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by Sayjac
So JTK you don't mess with all the CVT fluid temp checks that Nissan talks about when doing a fluid change?
After I do the 2nd drain/fill in a week or so, I'll get it up to the recommended 104F (or what ever the fluid temp spec is) and check level with the level check plug. I have to use my IR gun and shoot the pan. I did that once on my 2016 Quest after a few drain/fills and didn't have to adjust level. I did forget to mention, the hardest part of this job was again removing that stupid locking cap on the refill tube. It took various flat bladed screw drivers, a pick, a pair of channel locks and some knuckle skinning to get it off for the first time. I then use a small file to neatly file off the plastic locking tab on the cap and apply some silicone grease to the O-ring so it doesn't stick inside the refill tube.
 
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Originally Posted by Char Baby
When I changed the OE CVT fluid on my '15 Altima this past summer at 51K miles, the fluid draining out looked decent and even better on a clean rag. But, when the fluid was in a clear container(3.7qts) it too looked like what JTK is showing. I used/replaced with Castrol Transmax CVT fluid(RED) and all is well thus far.
NS-3 is a low viscosity fluid compared to NS-2. If you look at manufacturers that has distinct NS-2 and NS-3 compatible product, you will notice the 40C and 100C temperature viscosity is different. So how could Castrol or anyone else come up with a NS-2 & NS-3 compatibility in a single product? https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/product/cvtf-type-n https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/product/cvtf-type-n3
 
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Your not going to get an accurate reading by hitting the pan. Keep the new fluid in the same environment as the vehicle...garage. This past summer I did a drain and fill on my Tacoma. I use a OBD reader to check the pan temp. The new fluid going in was already in the temp range I needed.
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by ARB1977
Your not going to get an accurate reading by hitting the pan.
I realize this. I figure I'm close and as long as I get some dribbling of fluid out of the level check plug and not an outright gush of fluid with my not necessarily accurate method, I button her up and call it day. Like you say, my main method is draining the unit ambient temp and refilling with ambient temp new fluid.
 

JTK

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I did the second 4qt spill and fill on it today. What drained is not quite as dark as the original fluid, but not discernible by picture. A clear greenish color on a white towel blot test. This blue fluid turns green as soon as it's put to use which is odd given the older version NS-2 is dyed green. Now that I've run 8qts through it, I'll let it be for a year.
 

MolaKule

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Originally Posted by reddevil
Originally Posted by Char Baby
When I changed the OE CVT fluid on my '15 Altima this past summer at 51K miles, the fluid draining out looked decent and even better on a clean rag. But, when the fluid was in a clear container(3.7qts) it too looked like what JTK is showing. I used/replaced with Castrol Transmax CVT fluid(RED) and all is well thus far.
NS-3 is a low viscosity fluid compared to NS-2. If you look at manufacturers that has distinct NS-2 and NS-3 compatible product, you will notice the 40C and 100C temperature viscosity is different. So how could Castrol or anyone else come up with a NS-2 & NS-3 compatibility in a single product? https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/product/cvtf-type-n https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/product/cvtf-type-n3
NS-2 averages 7.0 cSt; NS-3 averages 6.3 cSt; Castrol Import CVT averages 6.6 cSt. Do you really think a Delta of 0.24 cSt to 0.7 cSt is going to make a performance difference with the new base oils and improved additive packages?
 
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