CVT Fluid recommendations

Messages
55
Location
Maryland
Thread starter
It's time to drain/refill the CVT fluid in the wife's 2011 Rogue. In the past I had this service done at the dealer, but it's a pricey service for what amounts to something no more complex than an engine oil change. Just about every brand of fluid claims NS-2 compatibility. The factory fill is ridiculously expensive, 2-3x as much per quart as Castrol, Mag1, Lucas, Valvoline, etc. Amazon reviews for Idemitsu CVT fluid claim it's Nissan NS-2 factory fill in a different package, but I'm not one to blindly trust an anonymous Amazon review. Amazon is not really the best place for this sort of info. Anyone have experience with any of these brand? Good experiences? Bad experiences?
 
Messages
24,807
Location
Upstate NY
I would go with Amsoil CVT if they spec if for your vehicle. Its not cheap either. Not that I am a super Amsoil fan but I do use their ATF and gear oils. Not engine oil.
 
Messages
1,879
Location
NoVA
For Nissan if it has less than 120k then use Valvoline. Its not a red CVT fluid like Castrol and some others. So less chance Nissan gives you any issues. If you have well over 120k, little to no chance Nissan will cover any CVT issues, then use the cheapest fluid that meets spec. Castrol is usually pretty cheap CVT fluid.
 
Messages
8,435
Location
Virginia
I have Eneos CVT fluid in my car now.... This fluid has quieted my car quite a bit. I changed the fluid 3 times in 6,500 miles... My car has 296,400 miles on it. I changed the CVT fluid starting at 283,500 miles.... The Eneos CVT fluid is another possibility for you to run.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,785
Location
The Motor City
I use Castrol CVT fluid that is NS-2 approved. Some months ago I bought a case for $6/qt because it was on sale, and so I stocked up for the next fluid change. I have 20K since the last change. The 2010 Nissan Murano runs fine on it.
 
Messages
55
Location
Maryland
Thread starter
Thanks everyone! Did you do a full flush or just drain the pan? Nissan forums say the Rogue AWD holds 9 quarts but only 4.75 will come out of the pan. The rest is in the lines and cannot be removed by gravity or via a dipstick pump. You can only pour more fluid in and flush the old stuff out. Since this car has 120,000+ miles and is way out of warranty, I'm not concerned about voiding anything. My Sentra is also out of warranty but has had 2 dealer CVT fluid changes and its at 98k miles. I don't think it needs another one for a while.
 
Messages
102
Location
Maryland
Originally Posted by Donald
I would go with Amsoil CVT if they spec if for your vehicle. Its not cheap either. Not that I am a super Amsoil fan but I do use their ATF and gear oils. Not engine oil.
Any trans or diff fluid Amsoil makes has worked perfectly for me, meaning no problems. The stuff is more expensive but it has probably saved me money in the long run. What I am saying is my local mechanic told me that everyone that came in with a trans problem never stated that they used Amsoil ATF. In my opinion, if you wanna use the cheap stuff you will have problems. Amsoil Gear Oil which I think is great has not caused any problems and there ATF is awesome.
 

JTK

Messages
12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
Per a Nissan tech I've chatted with elsewhere, you don't have to use NS-2 in an older Nissan. NS-3 can be used in it's place and is what his dealership does. Thus the aftermarket CVT fluids that are recommended for use where NS-2 and NS-3 are recommended.
 
Last edited:

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,785
Location
The Motor City
Originally Posted by Triplicate
Did you do a full flush or just drain the pan?
I did a full flush shortly after I bought the car from my friend. This included a pan drop and filter change. The car had 80K when I bought it and I believe the fluid was never changed. It didn't look that bad when I changed it. Either it had a change I didn't know about or this transmission doesn't have the clutch wear events that a regular transmission has, which sheds debris into the fluid. I'm not so sure CVTs need the 30K maintenance interval regular transmissions have. It might be okay to go longer. What is the experience from others?
 
Messages
260
Location
New Jersey
I've got a 2012 Nissan Versa with 72k. Cvt hasn't been touched. Autozone is currently selling cvt fluid (ns-2) for $10.00 a quart, very tempting. Owners manual says "use only Nissan ns-2 and not to mix fluids." After what I've read here I'm going to try the Castrol.
 
Messages
10,212
Location
USA
Castrol is usually the one at the best price, but it is red, which bothers some people. There is nothing wrong with it smile Valvoline CVT is amber. About $7/qt from Walmart. There are a couple green fluids on Amazon for about $6/qt, such as these two
 
Messages
1,518
Location
SW Ontario Canada
As I've said on other similar threads, Pennzoil Platinum CVT2 is the same as Nissan NS2, same green colour, same same but far less $$. The MSDS for Nissan NS2 shows it is made in USA by SOPUS. I respect that other oil formulators have cracked the NS2 code and make great alternatives for people that don't accept the ransom price at Nissan dealers.
 
Messages
260
Location
New Jersey
Thanks for the Pennzoil Platinum info. My next decision is where to get it done. I wonder if my local Nissan dealer would agree to using self supplied cvt fluid. How I dread going to the dealer for this. The proverbial can of worms.
 
Messages
19
Location
Australia.
Originally Posted by Aredeeem
Thanks for the Pennzoil Platinum info. My next decision is where to get it done. I wonder if my local Nissan dealer would agree to using self supplied cvt fluid. How I dread going to the dealer for this. The proverbial can of worms.
Do it yourself using the extraction method. The "easiest" (being less messy) is to extract the fluid out via the dipstick tube. Then pour in slightly more than you put in. You need to buy an extractor which you can use multiple times on this car and others. Youtube has instruction for this, no underbody access required.
 
Messages
8,435
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by Kestas
What is the experience from others?
283,500 miles on the original CVT fluid in my car.... A whole lot of highway cruising miles.
 

JTK

Messages
12,955
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted by Aredeeem
I've got a 2012 Nissan Versa with 72k. Cvt hasn't been touched. Autozone is currently selling cvt fluid (ns-2) for $10.00 a quart, very tempting. Owners manual says "use only Nissan ns-2 and not to mix fluids." After what I've read here I'm going to try the Castrol.
The hardest part on the Versii is getting to the recharge pipe and getting the stupid locking cap off of it. The pipe is in an obnoxious spot in an already tight engine bay. There is a removal tool for these, or you can use a pick or thin flat blade screwdriver and brute force if the O-ring is stuck to the inside of the tube.
 
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