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Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT #4556738 10/27/17 09:34 PM
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JeffKeryk Offline OP
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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 car was noticeably smoother. I will change it again soon due to the condition of the original fluid. Valvoline's Product Sheet states it can be used for NS-2 and NS-2. I would appreciate your real world experience and recommendations. Your thoughts? And thanks in advance. I really like this car; I got it as a gift for a friend.

And no dipstick? Please...

Last edited by JeffKeryk; 10/27/17 09:35 PM.

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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4556762 10/27/17 10:10 PM
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JohnnyJohnson Offline
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Originally Posted By: JeffKeryk
I got it as a gift for a friend.



Well that was nice of you. So where's your friends sign up list?


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4556827 10/28/17 01:13 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Not hogging this thread but, have a couple of Q's.

1) Was this an Altima 2.5L - 4 cyl?

If so, I have the same car and was considering doing the CVT drain & refill myself as I have done with all of my vehicles. However, I am concerned about the exact drain & refill procedure of this tranny. I understand that the tranny temp has to be monitored.

2) Does anyone know or can guide me in this direction?

Last edited by Char Baby; 10/28/17 01:15 AM.

Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
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'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: Char Baby] #4556861 10/28/17 05:03 AM
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chunt Offline
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Originally Posted By: Char Baby
Not hogging this thread but, have a couple of Q's.

1) Was this an Altima 2.5L - 4 cyl?

If so, I have the same car and was considering doing the CVT drain & refill myself as I have done with all of my vehicles. However, I am concerned about the exact drain & refill procedure of this tranny. I understand that the tranny temp has to be monitored.

2) Does anyone know or can guide me in this direction?


There is a service manual on line on Nicoclub.com.
http://www.nicoclub.com/service-manual?fsm=Altima/2015%20Altima/tm page tm-85

This takes through the official Nissan procedure for checking and changing the CVT fluid. Nissan uses a special charging tube to add fluid. You can and I have added fluid through the fake dipstick tube. The cap on the dipstick tube is hard to remove but it is plastic so it can be removed. Be sure you can remove this before draining any fluid.
As far as monitoring the temperature there is an app for that, CVTz50, that can be downloaded from the play store for about $5. You will need an ELM 327 OBD plug version 1.5 (note Version 2.0 and above will not work). I did have to try connecting several times before I was able to get the app to work.

A WORD OF CAUTION, NEVER REMOVE THE OVERFLOW PLUG WHEN THE ENGINE IS "NOT" RUNNING OR YOU WILL LOSE A LOT OF FLUID.

When checking the fluid the car needs to be fairly level. With my car on ramps I jacked up the rear and used jack stands to level the car, it doesn't have to be perfect. The on line procedure gives the drain/refill amount of appox. 3 liters or 2-5/8 Imp qts which is 3.2 US qts.


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: chunt] #4556894 10/28/17 06:46 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Thanks!
I have removed the tube cap and it is a bit tricky but, I know how to do it now smile

Thanks for the link as well.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #4556938 10/28/17 07:51 AM
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The car was from Hertz Sales in Santa Clara, CA, about 3 months ago. It had miles, almost 80K. I think it was $9K, or about $11K out the door, including another year of (expensive) CA registration.


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: Char Baby] #4556943 10/28/17 07:57 AM
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JeffKeryk Offline OP
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Yes, it was the 4 cylinder. I drained and refilled 4.1 quarts of fluid. The "correct" procedure is to get the trans up to operating temperature and remove the inspection fluid level plug. I did not do that. I have been working on cars for maybe 50 years. Kinda ridiculous if you ask me. The only reason I can think of is to get you to take it to Nissan for service. Gimmie a break...


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4556949 10/28/17 08:05 AM
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"The cap on the dipstick tube is hard to remove but it is plastic so it can be removed. Be sure you can remove this before draining any fluid."

Good point. This was the worst part of the job, and I don't understand why Nissan would use such a thing. I replaced it 180* out from the lock position. It ain't going anywhere...


2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
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2006 Acura TSX
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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: Char Baby] #4556953 10/28/17 08:10 AM
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JeffKeryk Offline OP
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While I cannot say if this is the best process, this is essentially what I did:

2015 Altima CVT Service

By the way, I am ordering the dipstick referenced in the Youtube comments...

Last edited by JeffKeryk; 10/28/17 08:20 AM.

2018 Tesla Model 3, Medium Range Battery
2018 Lexus RX450h
2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
2006 Acura TSX
2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: chunt] #4557006 10/28/17 09:05 AM
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JTK Offline
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Originally Posted By: chunt


A WORD OF CAUTION, NEVER REMOVE THE OVERFLOW PLUG WHEN THE ENGINE IS "NOT" RUNNING OR YOU WILL LOSE A LOT OF FLUID.


That's not how it works with the level check plug on the Pathfinder, Murano and Quest. You pull the level check plug with the engine off.


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4557018 10/28/17 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted By: JeffKeryk
"The cap on the dipstick tube is hard to remove but it is plastic so it can be removed. Be sure you can remove this before draining any fluid."

Good point. This was the worst part of the job, and I don't understand why Nissan would use such a thing. I replaced it 180* out from the lock position. It ain't going anywhere...


Yeah, I know on my 2016 Quest, it wasn't the locking clip part of the dipstick cap that was making it impossible to remove, it seemed to be the O-ring seal on mine. It was REALLY sticking to the inside of the tube. When I finally broke it free, I lubed it with some silicone grease.

Out of curiosity, what did you pay for the Valvoline CVT juice? Just wondering because I was able to buy Nissan NS-3 off eBay 6 months ago for under $10/qt shipped. It seems to be a bit more now. Probably a supply/demand thing.


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JTK] #4557246 10/28/17 12:10 PM
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Great tip on lubing the o-ring! I think you nailed the reason I had so much trouble removing the plug...
I paid $56 on Amazon for a 6 pack of Valvoline CVT. Heck, the same thing is $83 now.

I will check eBay next time, as that is a great price.
I really like this car.
It needs to last cuz I have been losing the "Dan the car killer" game for a long time.


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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4557327 10/28/17 01:35 PM
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^ Good price!

I've still got 4qts of Nissan NS-3 for another drain/fill. I cringe at the prices I'm seeing online for the stuff now. I hate to stock up on it, but if I see another amount in 4, 8 or 12qts at a good price, I may snag it. It seemed to be cheaper 6mo ago.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4557359 10/28/17 01:55 PM
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Amazon has the best price I've seen for NS-3. Maybe I'll get me some for next time.

NS-3 at Amazon - $12 per quart


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2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
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Re: Nissan NS-3 Equivalent - Valvoline CVT [Re: JeffKeryk] #4557494 10/28/17 04:32 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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Castrol CVT fluid is $35 for a case of 6 on Amazon. A few times a year, AAP/Carquest has it 2 for $11. Much better price than Valvoline smile

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