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Nissan Murano CVT Transmission



  • mikev4mikev4 Posts: 11
    edited January 2011
    We can complain as much as we can, but Nissan do not care. There is nothing that can make them act. They just will ignore it until it will go away.
  • my case is cracked and info on the reimbursement plan. This should be a recall but from what undrstand Nissan doesnt wasnt to fit the bill

  • I have an 03 Murano, been a pretty reliable car since I bought it back in 2006 from a Nissan dealer in South Florida. I have approximately 130,000 miles on it. Recently, I had the transmission service fluid change since it was due. Even though I didn't have it done at a dealership, it was serviced by a specialist who used the fluid required (watched to make certain). For a few days everything was running normal, then suddenly the engine (RPMs) revs up and it lunges forward.. but doesn't move forward--almost as if i had the brake on holding it back from moving. It would lose power, but not stall out. Even when I depressed all the way down on the accelerator only then would the car begin to move.. very, very slowly pick up speed maybe not going past 40-45 on a highway after 10-15 minutes of driving.

    I found out that if shut off the engine and restarted my car it would operate as if nothing happened. Problem is, it does it all over again, I noticed this especially when it's warmed up. I took the car to a mechanic close by (not the same one who changed by fluid) since he had a former Nissan mechanic familiar with Muranos. My car had sat in my garage for 3 days so it was cold and during a 15 minute drive to drop the car off I didn't experience the problem I had been having.

    After they checked it he came back with engine fault code # P1778, which he explained was "step motor circuit problem". He said best to take to a Nissan dealership (aka, "stealership") since it might require in-depth ($$$) transmission work which only the dealership could do.

    After reading through the forum I was surprised to see all the issues which sounded so similar to mine--all revolving around the CVT transmission for my year Murano. I'm now going to have to tow my Murano into a dealership to have them look into the problem. From many of the post I've read on CVT transmission, specific to the 03 Murano's, I'd like any advice on what I should suggest/explain to the dealership when I end up towing it in. Below is a list of things I am going to point out to them to keep them from (ripping) overcharging me, or not misdiagnosing the initial problem as an inflationary sales tactic.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------
    1.check air intake piping has been performed (past recall) and the main breather hose is loose which might cause this problem.
    2. throttle position sensor problem (I believe this TPS is the sensor controlling the throttle body valve.) or maybe a TCM sensor issue. from what I've read the pressure sensor is located either on the CVT, or inside the CVT which is inexpensive itself, but expensive to replace since it means tearing apart the transmission.
    4. check out the transmission valve body that will goes bad after a while.
    5.crank sensor failure problem.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------
    Could this also be related in some way to having the transmission fluid changed and a sensor inside (TPC) and became clogged?? If so, is there an inexpensive way to fix it?

    What I want to avoid is the service (salesman) adviser to recommend to replace the transmission seals thinking it might do the job, (for about $1500) if not they would look deeper for something else (to bill me for..$$$)

    Any other suggestions, or help especially to which Nissan dealership I should take my car to who is honest, reputable and has experience (a tough task, I'll settle for 2 out of three) with this type of problem who is located in South Florida would be greatly appreciated.

    Of course, I will update my problem (good, bad, etc) with details to help others ( of which there might be many) out there who might find themselves in this same predicament.

    Thanks in advance for advice/help on recent experiences similar to mine would be appreciated!

  • I've had a the same problem as described many times in this forum. After driving at freeway speeds for several hours and then slowing way down for traffic or when exiting the freeway the throttle becomes very unresponsive. It badly lags and then's extremely annoying when stuck in traffic on the freeway. Recycling the ignition (turning the car on and off once) immediately fixes the least for the short term. The problem may or may not occur again on the same drive.

    My 2004 Murano has 119,750 miles so I figured I'd better get it in to be looked at after reading this forum. I dropped it off at 2 PM yesterday and they called me late in the afternoon saying they had tried to replicate the problem, but were unable to do so and asked if they could keep the overnight which was not a problem for me. They called me back this morning saying they were once again unable to replicate the problem but since the technician was familiar with the problems with my exact symptoms and it's due to the pressure sensor in the transmission. He said they don't repair this...they just replace the transmission.

    I should be picking up my 2004 Murano with a brand new transmission tomorrow (seems rather fast), so I'm very pleased with the dealer. I'm not a "loyal customer" to this dealer and I purchased the car used and it came from another dealer so I'm very pleased with the result. I'm also pleasantly surprised they will be replacing the transmission only on my story...I wonder if there are some other codes that they can see.

    Just thought I'd share my story. Thanks to the posters in this forum so I was alerted that this IS a problem in the transmission.
  • Thanks for the note, sounds exactly what my car is doing now. Did they repair your transmission for free? I have passed that magical number of 120,000 miles--so it won't be covered. I asked Nissan about the code which came up (p1778) and he confirmed it's the step motor---which means they replace the entire transmission at the "tune" of $5300.

    I'm not sure what to do, especially if they fix it and one year later it happens again--post warranty. I am checking around to see if I can find a reputable mechanic (possibly an oxymoron) and buy a rebuilt transmission and have him install it.

    Thanks for sharing. Anyone else with a similar problem/situation I would appreciate how you handled it.


  • I got my car back today from the dealer and there was no charge. It only took them 2 days to do the job. I really don't notice any difference driving it, but I was stuck in traffic on the way home from work tonight and the problem never happened. I think I will take a look underneath just to make sure there are some new shiny parts. I forgot to ask what the warranty is on the new tranny since i now have over 119,800 miles and that magical 120K will be here by the weekend.
  • My 2003 Murano is currently sitting at Nissan with a bad transfer case. Can't decide what the real options are. What reimbursement plan are you talking about? I've heard of the 120k free Trans replacement. We have 120,850 miles and they insist it is just the transfer case. They want over 3k and we can't find anyone else to touch it. Never, ever again will I buy a Nissan product!!
  • According to my information, the transmissions aren't rebuildable like the ones with planetary gears, etc.
  • Your story is almost word for word what is going on with my 2004 Murano about 70k miles. On starting up first time for the day it will not accelerate higher than 20mph for several minutes, making a loud noise and having a slight grindy feel on the gas pedal. It will gradually go up to 40mph and then sticks again. Dealer could not replicate the problem, car stayed overnight for another attempt to replicate on a cold start- no luck. I even went on a ride along with the technician who showed their diagnostic instruments were not picking up any trouble and he revved the engine and gave no indication he felt any lag at all. It's a daily problem for me and I don't know what to do.
  • It's the transmission.

    Trust me.
  • Don't be so sure it's the transmission. We thought the same thing and so did 2 dealers until one started taking the exhaust apart to get at the transmission and found junk falling out of the exhaust and realized the catalytic converters were both burnt out and blown and plugging the exhaust. The engine would rev like mad but wouldn't produce any power.
  • I feel your pain, nothing more frustrating with a car and you can't figure out exactly what the problem is. As much as I wanted it to be something simple (inexpensive) I had to go ahead and replace the transmission. I ordered one (used) from LKQ who is a broker for parts. I "think" I found a good transmission shop which is local, hard to find since not everyone wants to deal with a CVT transmission. I left town for a week came back expecting my Murano to be fixed and when I called the mechanic who installed he said they sent a bad transmission. I'm now waiting to see what LKQ will do to correct the situation.

    I'd have sh*t-canned my Murano had I known I'd have to go through all this to get it back in good running condition. Now, I'll have put about $5K into it for new tires (not cheap, as you all know) tune-up and having some other things fixed. I am hoping to get a working transmission in the next week and if all goes well hold on to the Murano for another year.

    Good luck with your situation, trust me this has been very aggravating for me.

    My best,

  • Wife called me this morning( 2004 Nissan Murano ) was not running right so she pulled over. Went and drove it home a mile away. The car idles fine runs fine until about 2000 rpm and the acceleration is non existant after 30-40 Mph and sounds like some considerable noise coming from intake manifold possibly. Hoping its nothing to do with the tranny.Any thoughts would help please!!
  • mikesmuranomikesmurano Posts: 118
    edited February 2011
    It is possible that your CAT has disintigrated. When the CAT's on a Murano overheat the ceramics that line the CAT crumble and fall down into the exhaust pipe.

    This will create excessive back pressure and eventually may crack the exhaust manifold. You don't want to run to long on a cracked mainfold because the pistons can suck cold air back into the cylinder which will cause you valves to burn up or your piston rings (major engine repair).

    If it is the tranny making noise, the damage is already done.

    Get it in and have it checked.

    Luck to you! BTW, if you get it fixed get rid of the car.
  • I havent heard any noise from the tranny so I was guessing it was the cat but the problem is that the Murano seems to have 3 of them. I appreciate the response and I'd much rather the cat be the problem over the tranny but definitely want to unload the car after I fix it after reading all these complaints!and thanx for your evaluation much appreciated.
  • I have a 2003 Nissan Murano and if I would have searched on reviews, I would have never bought a NIssan and never will again. They have CVT "transmissions" which means they are good on gas but if one goes bad you cannot repair with parts, you have to buy a whole transmission which I was just given an estimate for by Nissan Michael Jordan in Durham of $4300.00 - I have had to replace two catalitic converters!! piece of crap!! good luck with your problems I'M GOING TO BUY A HONDA OR TOYOTA FROM THIS POINT ON!! The transmission has a warranty of 120,000 miles -- this has been extended once! so that should tell you something there. My car has 125,000 they will not consider replacing mine! I'm pissed...
  • 17inches17inches Posts: 5
    Serial problems with the catalytic converters are typically caused by bad gas or something in the injection control. Worth a check.

    About Honda or Toyota, I owned a 2005 Honda Accord (brand-new) and sold the thing on 2007 because it had unforgivable squeaks, rattles and finishing problems that plagued it from the lot. It had the V6, which is some finicky unit as well (specially the ones fitted with VCM) , which is what made me choose a Toyota Sienna over a Honda Odissey back a few years ago.
  • jesseleejesselee Posts: 3
    Well turns out you were right. The cats are bad well at least one of the 3. Just gonna replace all three not cheap but better than the alternative. found all three cats basically a whole new exhaust for under $750 just gotta fork over money to have someone install it. thanks for your advice it was a savior.
  • rickyqrickyq Posts: 3
    Where did you get your exhaust parts from? I need to replace all 4 o2 sensors all the cats and the y pipe front section
  • Right off of ebay. Type in Nissan murano catalytic converter and there will be many to choose all mine shipped for $715 for all of what you need.
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