Nissan Pathfinder CVT Towing

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2,116
Location
Texas
I certainly wouldn't purchase one with the intention of towing anything heavy with it. CVTs are light duty transmissions and they seem to do reasonably well in light vehicles. Most of the problems people have had with CVTs are in heavier vehicles like the Pathfinder. There were at least a couple of year models of the newer FWD/AWD Pathfinders (and Infiniti QX60s) that had a HUGE number of CVT failures. Furthermore, CVTs run hot, and many of the failures have been blamed on transmission overheating. Nissan has been accused of installing inadequate transmission cooling systems in their CVT equipped SUVs. Towing exasperates transmission cooling problems. Perhaps Nissan has upgraded the transmission cooling system to such an extent that they feel confident in specifying a 6000 lb towing capacity, but don't count on it.
 
Messages
1,038
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by wag123
I certainly wouldn't purchase one with the intention of towing anything heavy with it. CVTs are light duty transmissions and they seem to do reasonably well in light vehicles. Most of the problems people have had with CVTs are in heavier vehicles like the Pathfinder. There were at least a couple of year models of the newer FWD/AWD Pathfinders (and Infiniti QX60s) that had a HUGE number of CVT failures. Furthermore, CVTs run hot, and many of the failures have been blamed on transmission overheating. Nissan has been accused of installing inadequate transmission cooling systems in their CVT equipped SUVs. Towing exasperates transmission cooling problems. Perhaps Nissan has upgraded the transmission cooling system to such an extent that they feel confident in specifying a 6000 lb towing capacity, but don't count on it.
CVT never did well in engines above 2,000cc they weren't designed to handle torque or high hp, in fact you never found them in motors of 2,000cc or higher, now they "claim: that those problem have been resolved, well maybe, but not with my money.
 
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Messages
858
Location
Alberta
Quote
CVT never did well in engines above 2,000cc they weren't designed to handle torque or high hp, in fact you never found them in motors of 2,000cc or higher, now they "claim: that those problem have been resolved, well maybe, but not with my money.
You found a CVT in the 3.5l Murano from 2003 onwards. 15 years is "never"? From Wiki: The first generation Nissan Murano was unveiled in production form for the model year of 2003, at the 2002 New York International Auto Show. It was powered by a 3.5 liter (VQ35DE) V6 producing 245 hp (183 kW) and 334 Nâ‹…m (246 lbfâ‹…ft), also used in several other Nissan models like the Altima, Maxima, and Nissan 350Z, but specifically tuned for use in the Murano. Available with standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel-drive (AWD), the Nissan Murano is one of the largest vehicles utilizing a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy was rated at 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (same mpg FWD and AWD on the new EPA specifications).[3]
 
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Messages
12,450
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted by tcp71
Quote
CVT never did well in engines above 2,000cc they weren't designed to handle torque or high hp, in fact you never found them in motors of 2,000cc or higher, now they "claim: that those problem have been resolved, well maybe, but not with my money.
You found a CVT in the 3.5l Murano from 2003 onwards. 15 years is "never"? From Wiki: The first generation Nissan Murano was unveiled in production form for the model year of 2003, at the 2002 New York International Auto Show. It was powered by a 3.5 liter (VQ35DE) V6 producing 245 hp (183 kW) and 334 Nâ‹…m (246 lbfâ‹…ft), also used in several other Nissan models like the Altima, Maxima, and Nissan 350Z, but specifically tuned for use in the Murano. Available with standard front-wheel-drive (FWD) and optional all-wheel-drive (AWD), the Nissan Murano is one of the largest vehicles utilizing a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy was rated at 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (same mpg FWD and AWD on the new EPA specifications).[3]
And the V6 Altima and Maxima
 
Messages
933
Location
Arizona
Once you are moving doesent the CVT lockup? If it does it should be OK. Just dont get stuck in stop n go traffic and change out the fluid more often if it you do work it hard.
 
Messages
967
Location
SE PA
Nissan, CVT and towing - these 3 things just don't go together. Nissan makes some of the worst, if not the worst CVT transmissions out there I wouldn't use it for towing.
 

CKN

Messages
5,309
Location
Utah
Well...some half-ton trucks are rated to two 12,000 plus pounds-and as someone who tows frequently through some of the highest passes in the West, it's also foolhardy to max out a half-ton rated that high. So Nissan isn't alone in that regard......
 
Messages
2,116
Location
Texas
Nobody that I am aware of uses CVTs in trucks. Nissan doesn't even use a CVT in their own lighter duty Frontier which maxes out at 6700 lbs towing capacity in some 2WD V/6 configurations. I have a friend who owned a Nissan Murano and pulled a small/light popup camper behind it. She got rid of it after the second transmission failure.
 

JTK

Messages
12,864
Location
Buffalo, NY
Every 4th gen (2013+) Pathfinder I've ever seen came with a trailer hitch from the factory. At least that way, they can't complain too loudly if the CVT cooks from towing. The other ok thing is these CVTs are easy to do drain, fills and level checks on.
 
Messages
227
Location
Central US
Originally Posted by Kawiguy454
Once you are moving doesent the CVT lockup? If it does it should be OK. Just dont get stuck in stop n go traffic and change out the fluid more often if it you do work it hard.
CVT chains NEVER slip, unless they have failed. I know that Subaru uses a torque converter for starting from a stop.
 
Messages
25,022
Location
ON, Canada eh?
Nissan has enough trouble towing the weight of the vehicle/passengers, without the CVT's breaking down let alone an additional load of 6,000lbs which would add a lot more friction and heat to the unit. I wouldn't tow with it if it were my vehicle considering their checkered past and the fact that CVT's are expensive to replace. My aunt with a fairly recent Nissan Juke puked the CVT with about 90,000km on it.
 
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Messages
6,128
Location
New England
I wonder if people who tow get lucky or maybe follow severe schedule. I remember people pulling pop ups with the "glass" automatics in Dodge Caravan and Honda Ody and never issues.
 
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