Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT

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Originally Posted by sabbates
Jeff-
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Hi All - I serviced a 2015 Altima with 80K miles. The CVT fluid was dark... We have heard about these CVT failures. I used 4.1 quarts of Valvoline CVT fluid. .
The Valvoline CVT fluid is an amber in color, right? But the Nissan NS-3 fluid originally in your car is green. With a drain and fill, didn't you effectively mix the two fluids? What color did you end up with? I'm thinking of doing a drain and fill on my 2017 Sentra with Castrol Transmax CVT, which is red. But I've heard you should not mix fluid colors, even if both are compatible with Nissan NS-3. Did you have any issues? Thanks, Sabbates
I would not use a red fluid if you are still under warranty. It could cause you some major headaches.
 
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Originally Posted by chunt
I would not use a red fluid if you are still under warranty. It could cause you some major headaches.
I have a 2017 Sentra, but it has 78k miles on it, so it's not under the 5 yr / 60k mile powertrain warranty. Is there a separate CVT warranty? Has anyone done the drain and fill and mixed colors on the fluid, assuming the fluids are both NS-3 compatible? I've heard people say you shouldn't mix, but it seems like people have done the drain and fill with different colors, which is the mixing them.
 
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I thought of posting this question: Will you choose OEM CVT fluid instead of aftermarket if the price is more of less the same after the warranty period? For engine oil or normal ATF, almost all drivers will not hesitate choosing Castrol/valvoline/amsoil etc over OEM (if OEM do produce one) as long as it meets the spec, even during warranty period. My thinking is that, Aftermarket oil needs to compete - it has to be provide smoother feel, last longer, protect better etc. If they compete on price alone and Nissan drop the price of NS-3, the sales of aftermarket fluid will drop overnight. But on the other hand, with CVT fluid, most manufacturer claimed that their fluid is lifetime - this means the fluid is engineered for longevity (whether it actual last that long is another question). Aftermarket fluid cannot make such claim and therefore do not need to engineer their fluid to last a lifetime. Does that mean that OEM CVT fluid is better? I am sure when ATF first became popular a few decades ago, drivers faces the same dilemma. What are your thoughts on aftermarket CVT fluid - is it technically better?
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by reddevil
What are your thoughts on aftermarket CVT fluid - is it technically better?
I don't think any of us have been able to conclude that. To me, the benefit is cost savings and even that seems to be minimal. I just bought a 12qt case of genuine Nissan NS-3 for just over $130 all-in.
 
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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I did 3 services. The original fluid was very dark brown, nearly black. 80K miles. The 2nd drain was much better; a lighter brown. Maybe 4K miles later. The 3rd was a lighter brown; much better. I had great results with mixing 3 fluids: original NS-3, Valvoline and Castrol. My guess is the color is added by the manufacturer. I think the Castrol will serve you well. Good luck.
Sorry Jeff, I didn't see until just now that you had responded. So you mixed colors, and had no problem. It makes sense that the fluid started turning light brown when using the Valvoline, as that fluid is light brown. Did it start turning red when using the Castrol, since Castrol is red?
 
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Thread starter
Originally Posted by sabbates
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I did 3 services. The original fluid was very dark brown, nearly black. 80K miles. The 2nd drain was much better; a lighter brown. Maybe 4K miles later. The 3rd was a lighter brown; much better. I had great results with mixing 3 fluids: original NS-3, Valvoline and Castrol. My guess is the color is added by the manufacturer. I think the Castrol will serve you well. Good luck.
Sorry Jeff, I didn't see until just now that you had responded. So you mixed colors, and had no problem. It makes sense that the fluid started turning light brown when using the Valvoline, as that fluid is light brown. Did it start turning red when using the Castrol, since Castrol is red?
I guess I don't really check the color. Sorry I can't be of more help... I do use a dipstick, from an earlier year, but I am mainly concerned with level. I think you wil be fine with Castrol or Valvoline. The car will feel stronger; give it a shot.
 

MolaKule

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[quote=dkryan The Valvoline link shows it covers both NS-2 and NS-3. I thought those two specs were entirely different. How can it be "all things" for two different CVT requirements? [/quote] NS-3 is simply an upgrade of NS-2 using more modern base oils and an improved additive pack.[/quote]
 
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Originally Posted by dkryan
Originally Posted by MolaKule
There are some good CVT replacements out there that cover NS-3: Redline CVT Amsoil CVT Valvoline CVT Castrol CVT
The Valvoline link shows it covers both NS-2 and NS-3. I thought those two specs were entirely different. How can it be "all things" for two different CVT requirements?
Valvoline has introduced LV (low viscosity) version in Australia which is specific for NS-3. The version above is now equivalent to NS-2 only. Valvoline LV Outside of USA, Eneos has N-plus which specific for NS-3 (it is called Eneos Import) while in USA it has ECO CVT which is for both NS-2 and NS-3. Eneos CVT N-Plus It is difficult to tell how much differences are there vs just having a different product for marketing purposes. But it is definitely expensive marketing since logistically you need to stock 2 different products instead of one like Castrol covering NS-2 and NS-3. But since Valvoline has gone that way, maybe...
 
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Another interesting question to ponder - can cars specified for NS-2 use NS-3? if answer is yes, why is the newer LV CVT oil do not mention being backwards compatible? If we based on engine oil, a car 10 years ago may require 0W-20 (SL) in the handbook (let say). Most Oil these days will be all SN rated at least. But you will still use 0W-20 (SN) rather then 10W-40 (SN) since the viscosity characteristic will be different. NS-3 has newer (or better) additives but the viscosity is different. So why not do away with NS-2 altogether if NS-3 is backwards compatible.?
 
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JTK

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Originally Posted by reddevil
Another interesting question to ponder - can cars specified for NS-2 use NS-3? if answer is yes, why is the newer LV CVT oil do not mention being backwards compatible?
I don't believe I've seen where someone put NS-3 in a NS-2 spec'd Jatco, or the other way around and the fluid itself cause an issue. I have read of unknown "red" fluid being used and bad things happened. It's a similar situation with Subaru CVTs where they have the standard green (or blue?) fluid and the high torque CVT version, which is dyed orange. Was it someone on BITOG who had a dealer put the wrong colored juice in and nothing bad happened? For Nissans, I just don't see the point in paying $8-11/qt for aftermarket CVT fluid when you can find genuine NS-2 or 3 online for ~$11/qt shipped to your door. Once I'm out of warranty on my Pathfinder, if I can find a proven suitable aftermarket fluid for $5-6/qt? I'd go for it.
 
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JTK, I believe I can speak for most CVT owners (especially Nissan) in simply asking for a "proven suitable aftermarket fluid..........."
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by dkryan
JTK, I believe I can speak for most CVT owners (especially Nissan) in simply asking for a "proven suitable aftermarket fluid..........."
All the aftermarket CVT fluids that are suitable for use in your application work without issue as far as I've read on the innerwebs. "Proven" is pretty tough to do given the track record of these particular transmissions. I simply haven't used them because any CVT I've serviced up to this point still had warranty remaining on it.
 
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JTK

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Originally Posted by sabbates
Originally Posted by JTK
To me, the benefit is cost savings and even that seems to be minimal. I just bought a 12qt case of genuine Nissan NS-3 for just over $130 all-in.
Where did you get that deal? The cheapest I found was $208 for 12qt NS-3 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nissan-Genui...words=ns-3&qid=1575659421&sr=8-5 Castrol Transmax CVT is $70 for 12qt: https://www.amazon.com/Castrol-0681...ansmax+cvt&qid=1575659583&sr=8-4
eBay. I browse listings for it and grab it when in need and I find a decent deal.
 
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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I had great results with mixing 3 fluids: original NS-3, Valvoline and Castrol. I think you wil be fine with Castrol or Valvoline. The car will feel stronger; give it a shot.
Thanks for your response. You are the first person I have found that admits to mixing the different colored fluids (all NS-3 compatible, of course). Several people have said the colors shouldn't be mixed, but no one has said they had a negative experience with mixing. I'll give it a try and report on the results.
 

JTK

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sabbates, Who said that the colors shouldn't be mixed? As said, the dyes mean nothing other than a marker of sorts for OEM fluids. My personal concern with using a different "color" fluid on my Nissan is I'm still under warranty and if I should have CVT issues, I don't want red or amber fluids to be present in the CVT.
 
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JTK

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Originally Posted by MolaKule
FWIW, please see post #5288604 about dyes here : CAM2 CVT is Green
Having done a bunch of drain/fills on 2 different NS-3 spec'd Nissans, I can attest this fluid drains out as a greenish color, even though it's blue when new. My point being, I doubt a Nissan service department is going to be able to tell the difference between using a green or blue recommended for use NS-3 alternative.
 
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