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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last week, i have been trying to figure out why, they "lock" the Trans Fluid Dipstick. I do not think i have ever owned a car that does this. Only thing coming to mind it is an "anti-idiot" device, but that is a long stretch, to say confuse the oil with trans fluid. I also have never heard or seen a dipstick come flying out, and needs to be locked down.

So, is there a good reason for this, and if not, any reason i could not break the lock tab off, or keep the dipstick at the 180 point / flipped?
 

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You "hit the nail on the head"; it's an "anti-idiot" device. I would guess that over the years Nissan must have collected a lot of historical data about improper DIYs for "drain/fills of CVTs causing a lot of warranty service; lost pocket money?

The locking tab is very easy to push in with a tiny screw driver without fear of breaking it. I've pulled the dip stick out many times with no problem. The O-ring on the stick will sometimes be stubborn to release. Just keep wiggling it, it'll loosen. When you're done servicing the CVT, smear a little light grease on the O-ring so that next time it should come out much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When i did my pan drop, and flush on mine, the dipstick was a bit stuck, and lubed it up with Vasaline(?). But for me when doing the fluid top off, and such, it takes me a couple of days, for whatever reason, i can never read the stick right, when the tube still has fluid draining down, so i do a check each time i stop in a parking lot, and it was driving me nuts, to keep getting a screwdriver to push the lock.

Speaking on filters, for the trans, not sure if i got the wrong filter, since this time i let an employee at AZ look the part up, normally i show them the part number. Anyhow, the Duralast filter has a longer pick-up tube, about an inch to an inch and a half longer, and the tranny was making angry noises, even when full. i cleaned the old one, was not in real bad shape, but, i am old school, and if you drop the pan, might as well change the filter as well while there. Put the old one back in, and sounded happy, i think the pick-up tube was rubbing on the pan, or was going to far down, to get proper flow.
 

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Speaking on filters, for the trans, not sure if i got the wrong filter, since this time i let an employee at AZ look the part up, normally i show them the part number. Anyhow, the Duralast filter has a longer pick-up tube, about an inch to an inch and a half longer, and the tranny was making angry noises, even when full. i cleaned the old one, was not in real bad shape, but, i am old school, and if you drop the pan, might as well change the filter as well while there. Put the old one back in, and sounded happy, i think the pick-up tube was rubbing on the pan, or was going to far down, to get proper flow.
Nissan doesn't recommend ever changing either of the filters. Blowing out the metal screen in the pan never hurts, but it's a screen and will never really go bad. The paper filter under the beehive is there primarily to catch very fine break-in debris, and changing it incautiously could easily put some of that stuff back into circulation. So unless you're replacing the beehive for some reason, I agree with Nissan's recommendation to leave it alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once i seen it was metal, i had the thought of not changing it, i am used to seeing the foam/sponge type filter, and they get plugged up with the sludge.

is the "paper" and "beehive" above the valve body? i did not see it when i had the metal one off. i was shocked that i had no metal, just sludge. Since i did the flush, it is odd not feeling like the gear change, not sure if i like that it is too smooth. I finally gave it a full test yesterday going to work, and floored to pass someone, and did not feel the gear drop, it just got into the torque band, and i was gone LOL.
 

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is the "paper" and "beehive" above the valve body? i did not see it when i had the metal one off. i was shocked that i had no metal, just sludge.
The beehive is this guy on the front of the tranny:
Line Font Auto part Metal Nickel

The filter is a small cylindrical element underneath the hive on the outlet side. That's why you didn't see it with the pan down, it isn't in the pan..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did not see that while under the car, looks like a cooler, but, mine looks like it uses the radiator for the cooling, like normal. Although, i did see something i never seen before, it is round, and, i used it to flush the system, one side went to radiator, and forget where the other side went. Just so happy the fluid is a nice red again, that stuff that came out, was not only embarrassing, but it freaked me out. Last time i seen that color, was in my Javelin, from doing one too many N to D drops with high RPMs =).
 

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Yah, yours may look different, there are round ones and square ones. They all use heat exchangers in the radiator except for the early 2-ports on the 4-cyl models, there's a retrofit kit for those that uses a separate radiating cooler. The rest all use the radiator outlet tank for heat exchange. The round ones look like this and I think they don't have the paper filter:
Automotive lighting Microphone Auto part Gas Nickel




I'm pretty sure your '08 3.5 should have a square one, though. Should be right on the front of the trans:
Automotive tire Wheel Motor vehicle Rim Bicycle part
 

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PS - I assume you used Valvoline or AMSoil for the trans change? Those are the only red CVT fluids I know about, although my knowledge may be incomplete (obviously we use NS2/NS3 at the shop unless a customer requests otherwise).
 

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Since i did the flush, it is odd not feeling like the gear change, not sure if i like that it is too smooth. I finally gave it a full test yesterday going to work, and floored to pass someone, and did not feel the gear drop, it just got into the torque band, and i was gone LOL.
Yea, now your CVT is back to the way it's supposed to operate "smooth and not having a gear change feeling effect.
 

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Over the last week, i have been trying to figure out why, they "lock" the Trans Fluid Dipstick. I do not think i have ever owned a car that does this. Only thing coming to mind it is an "anti-idiot" device, but that is a long stretch, to say confuse the oil with trans fluid. I also have never heard or seen a dipstick come flying out, and needs to be locked down.

So, is there a good reason for this, and if not, any reason i could not break the lock tab off, or keep the dipstick at the 180 point / flipped?
I have a 2007 Altima. The dealer told me you never need to change the transmission fluid. I have not.
 

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No, the stick works fine but don't try to read it immediately after adding fluid. The fluid on the sides of the tube screws up the readings. The best course is actually to just add back exactly what you drained out. Use a transparent or translucent bucket and make a tape line on the outside after draining, then clean it out and add fresh fluid to the level of the tape. Use the stick only as a double check or if you suspect a leak. The main thing with CVT's is, if in doubt, err low. Your tranny won't even notice half a quart under-full, but half a quart over-full is a CVT death sentence.

The '07 4-cylinders also didn't come with factory heat exchangers, so if you really want the trans to last, consider adding an aftermarket radiating cooler like Hayden or Tru-Cool.
 

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Exactly what kind of transmission oil is recommended?
NS2/NS3 are very expensive, but my customers have had good luck with both Eneos and AMSoil. Lucas and Valvoline also have their fans, but I can't personally speak for Lucas and I have one customer who tried Valvoline but complained that it made his tranny whiny.

It's a six cylinder. SE. Where do I drain the fluid from? When I last looked, I couldn't find a drain plug.
Should be at the back left of the pan. It's 31305MB in this parts drawing:
World Slope Font Circle Art
 

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