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Nissan Murano CVT Transmission



  • Like many of you, in spite of maintaining my 2003 Murano faithfully, the transmission failed to the tune of $5000. The transmission had been noisy for a while and failed abruptly. I had to fix it as the car was worthless otherwise (not that it's worth much now anyway). Like everybody else in this forum, the dealer claimed that they had not heard of transmission failures with the Murano. Likely story! They replaced the transmission with a rebuilt one, which failed immediately. All together, my car was in the shop for 2 weeks, but at least after the replaced transmission failed, I got a loaner car. The warranty on the replaced transmission is 1 year or 12000 miles.
  • jess5138jess5138 Posts: 7
    My 2003 has 53400 miles on it. I had to replace transmission around 45000. It is now in my driveway because I can't afford to fix it again. It needs Valve cover gasket, oil cooler o ring, drive belt bracket w idler pulley and a new thermostate also rear brake pads. Took to my Nissan dealership and got $1819.42. Of course $455. was for the 60000 mile checkup and something called EFI for another $140.00. so without all the extra crap I am still at $1213.32. So can't afford this and trying to decide if i just want to park and buy something cheaper until I get the Murano paid off or keep bumming rides....
  • sman615sman615 Posts: 1
    Vanessa have you considered a class action lawsuit instead?
  • jgraminskijgraminski Posts: 6
    Can anyone tell me how to turn off the auto lock feature on an 09? I've read the directions and cannot get it to deactive.
  • kardlarkardlar Posts: 5
    It happened last year for the first time, in the middle of Death Valley! Accelerated and nothing happened for a few seconds before it eventually lurched forward. Made for a very stressful trip out of the desert, not knowing what was going on. The problem disappeared after stopping for gas, and I persuaded myself that I must have filled the vehicle with the wrong gas. That was around the 100k mark (2003 model). Almost a year later to the day, the problem is back - the car is with the dealer at the moment, and they are quoting $5500 for a new transmission. That's how I ended up here. I've made my complaint on the 'nhtsa' site and will happily work with others to get Nissan to fess up.

    Nissan ate the cost of actually replacing the whole engine on my vehicle at around the 75k mark, so it's been far from troublefree, but I really like the car in principal.
  • wkp0000wkp0000 Posts: 6
    My problem was the same as others discussed here about loss of power,rpm dropping , no acceleration.

    My mech. replace the mass air flow sensor last summer and running ok since.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    they are quoting $5500 for a new transmission

    On what basis did they recommend replacing your transmission? What diagnosis did they perform?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kardlarkardlar Posts: 5
    They said the 'valve body' needed replacing, at $2000, but that doing that was just a 'bandaid' as the transmission would need replacing anyway soon, which includes a valve body anyway, so the $2000 would be wasted. The diagnosis was based on the service code - the service engine light had been on, but had disappeared. They gave me a copy of the 'NTB05-084A' technical services bulletin quoted elsewhere in this thread. I told them I would just live with it for now.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    $2,000 for a valve body seems VERY expensive - even including labor. I would try to get a second opinion on the matter.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • moparman44moparman44 Posts: 2
    i was a a light and there was no power and it seems to do in the heat any way took it to the Nissan dealer and 1800 for a new valve body. so i call my uncle and he is a mechanic he says to change the trans fluid w/ full synthetic and replace filter and see if the problem is still there. can i get some input on maybe other options or what to do.
  • usedmuranousedmurano Posts: 7

    I too have had the acceleration issue and also agree with moparman44 that it might be a heat related phenomenon. Only reason I believe that is because it seems to happen on hot days (90+ F) in traffic where there is less air flow to help cool off the engine bay.

    Anyways, there was this recall notice on the Muranos that came out today. This may be the cause of it all, though the description only says, "ENGINE MAY STALL INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH." That doesn't completely explain the symptoms that we're all describing, but it's a start, no? Here's the text of the recall:

    Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
    NISSAN / MURANO 2003-2007
    Manufacturer: NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC. Mfr's Report Date: MAY 14, 2009
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V169000
    NHTSA Action Number: N/A
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 362891
  • kardlarkardlar Posts: 5
    Based on the advice in this forum, I put in a call to the Nissan support line. I got the same vibe as you get from telephone banking - you are talking to someone who is reading from a series of prompts, and doesn't really understand what you are saying. We had a bizarre exchange where she was insisting I state exactly what I wanted Nissan to do - I'm guessing that's one of the scripted prompts. I couldn't quite understand what she was getting at though, so she eventually said "well, would you like Nissan to pay for a new transmission for example", so I said sure.

    I assumed that would be the last I heard, but someone else from Nissan rang a couple of days later to say she had been assigned my issue and would have an answer for me by the end of the week. Count me mildly surprised.

    Then, my local dealer rang to say Nissan had contacted them and would be paying for all parts and any labor over $1200. In other words - the new transmission is going to cost me a maximum of $1200.

    This isn't the first time Nissan have done the right thing for me. I love my Murano, but it has given me grief over the years. Every time I get to the point of thinking it's time to dump them, Nissan step up and actually do customer service. I wish the Murano had been problem free, but Nissan have done a good job in keeping me happy.

    The new transmission will be installed next week, once the part arrives.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    That's great! I get really miffed with telephone support in general but once in a while it does work. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • moparman44moparman44 Posts: 2
    we got the trans flushed and it seems to be running as good but only time will tell if holds up. that day it had acceleration problems we drove a little way and it could barly make it up the on ramp. so we pull of and poped the hood and it seemed to be very hot or hotter than normal. and it was a 90+ day that day too. so now we are lookin for a reliable car to buy any ideas we look at some audi an a ford edge any ideas or thoughts. :sick:

    and i hope they recall the trans on them too :)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You may want to post that question in What's the best vehicle for my needs?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • aggies01aggies01 Posts: 2

    This is sooo new to me. I have had my nissan and no problems.Now i feel the transmission problems. How should i address this issue to Nissan so the outcome can be just like yours ...FREE REPAIR?

  • kardlarkardlar Posts: 5
    Hi Soph,

    It came to $710 in the end - that was just the labor, as Nissan picked up the parts costs. As for why Nissan paid? I don't know. The dealer said is was a customer loyalty thing. All I can tell you is the steps I took:

    1) Dealer quoted me $5500 and advised me to just live with it if possible.
    2) I made a complain at the Office of Defects Investigation:

    3) I complained to the Nissan Consumer Support line
    4) The person logging my complaint had a script to follow, so couldn't really answer questions, but she did ask me whether I wanted Nissan to pay for a new transmission, and I said 'yes'!
    5) A couple of days later someone else rang (from Nissan) to say my complaint is being investigated and they would have an answer by the end of the week.
    6) Then on Friday the dealer rang to say Nissan and contacted them and would be paying the costs for a new transmission. We had to pay labor up to $1200, but it only came to $700 anyway.

    Hope that helps,

  • eleratorelerator Posts: 7
    I had a "no power" issue with my '03 Murano once where it wouldn't accelerate no matter how far I pushed the accelerator pedal. It turned out to be a battery issue. The ground on the battery wasn't tight and caused the transmission electronics not to work properly. Once that was tightened, there were no more problems. Given that a lot of you are talking about the heat under the hood on these hot days (I live just north of the Florida line), the battery may be a culprit worth looking into.
  • kaizen2kaizen2 Posts: 1
    Living in Charlotte, took my 03 Murano to the dealer and was told they had no idea. They didn't charge me, but informed me that I would be okay to drive it! Thanks for posting, I will email my write up to you as to add to your case. I am curious, when they replaced the value body did that make a difference? I am a single school teacher and I am without vehicle. I wanted to do more research before I made a decision to replace the transmission for $5K. I can afford to pay for the valve body replacement and then fight this case afterwards. My main concern right now is getting my car up and running. Thank you for your post and for fighting this issue.
  • wkp0000wkp0000 Posts: 6
    Since the valve body replacement everything has been back to normal with no problems for almost 12 months and 18,000 miles.
    Do still get concerned when I continue to hear of transmission problems from other owners.
    Will not buy another Nissan.
    I have ywt to get any notice of recall for anything from Nissan.

    Good Luck
  • aggies01aggies01 Posts: 2
    Hey Karl

    Thanks again. I call the consumer line. You are right.. its a script!! I complained about the acceleration. She told me that needed the truck to be taken in for a diagnositc check. If i'm not satisfied i shoud call them back. I will schedule it for next week. I do have a file number.

    Also i saw the recall but my car is not on the list. Is that normal? I have the 04. Im very concern about my safety.

    Thanks again. I will keep you posted.

  • Today in hot weather 100+ here in phoenix, my 03 murano would hesitate a few seconds before moving forward in traffic, and running sluggishly overall. About a year ago, it would fail to accelerate at traffic lights like i'm on neural gear, then suddenly move forward in a dangerous manner. This seems to happen more often in hot weather. and I really think nissan should recall this, as it seems to be some design flaw with the number of people experiencing this.
  • angrymanangryman Posts: 1
    My transfer case is broken like an eggshell and undriveable. These idiots want me to take it to a dealer for diagnosis. I told them it didn't take an expert to diagnose a part that was broken in half and leaking oil. They suggested I "make arrangements" to get it to the dealer. I suggested that they make the arrangements and pay for the tow and pay for the part and stand behind their crappy products. I suggested that they would find themselves in a class action suit and that they, the "help line", was doing a terrible job.

    No more Nissans, ever, or their uppity cousins, Infiniti.
  • 03victim03victim Posts: 3
    It's really unfortunate that we had to find out the hard way. Nissan isn't taking responsibility for their defective product (Nissan Murano). My advice, from experience, is if the vehicle is still drivable..take it to a dealership and trade it in for a different car. That's what I had to do. Nissan wasn't even going to think about taking responsibility for selling me a car with a crappy transmission. Getting rid of it was the best decision I ever made. No more Nissan vehicles for this consumer - Nissan vehicles are a thing of the past!!
  • Nissan is the pits, they do not stand behind their products. I had a 1994.5 Nissan Sentra Limited Edition none the less, and at 60,100 miles (100 miles over warranty) oil started to leak, it was the head gasket, which meant most likely a cracked motor, they did agree to pay parts, but only for the head gasket, my fear was the motor was a total loss, so I traded it in on a honda in 1997 and called it a day.

    Husband got a 2004 Nissan Murano in 2006 against my better judgement. Guess what, cracked transfer case, guess what, Nissan told me they could not help me "financially at this time." "Mark" kept repeating this, I felt like saying I'm not asking you to make my mortgage payment, I'm asking you to stand behind your defective product. Unbelievable, we owe $7,000 on the car, we put down $10, and paid around $24 when we purchased it used at 24,000 miles. Basically it appears they (NOT NISSAN) will give us $7 on a trade but we are somewhat out $10K. I was really hoping the Nissan would last beyond 72,000 miles, even a Dodge lasts 100,000 miles for Pete's Sake. My parents had a dodge rampage that lasted 120,000 miles before it caught on fire! At least then you get insurance money!

    The car is only worth $10 - $12 and to incur a $4,300 repair bill is ridiculous.

    I am so angry, I will never buy Nissan again. Only Honda and Toyota. BTW I love my Acura.
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    The real issue is not that you need a new transmission at 89k - it happens- but that it costs over 5k to fix. I would get a bid from at least one/two reliable independent transmission shops and one/ two national transmission shops. Since nissan is washing their hands of you - you don't need to patronize them. Buying the first year model year of any make is risky. If you are happy with your car in every other way -- bite the bullet and keep it another 89k miles. The only transmission I ever replaced was a 96 chev lumina sedan at 63k miles. It cost $1950 rebuilt. Still strong at 140k when I donated it to salvation army.
  • bigeasy51bigeasy51 Posts: 7
    Hi Vanessa & Others!
    I too am a NJ resident, up in Long Valley. Have owned an '03 Murano since June of that year. Currently have 89,000 miles on it. More than a month ago I started having accelleration problems while in stop-and-go traffic - after 30 minutes or so when stepping on the accelerator I would get nothing for 3-4 seconds and then it would lurch forward. Next morning all would be fine. But then after a few weeks of this, the "CHECK ENGINE" light came on. At my (Nissan trained) mechanic's shop the computer code displayed was DTC P1778 Step Motor function. He said it appearred the trans was going. Once reset the trans worked perfectly at all other times except when in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
    I notified Nissan and started a file with a Customer Service Specialist. My file number was 6516386. I indicated to her that one of the reasons we had purchased the Murano was because the sales folks told us the CVT was a sealed system and NEVER needed service! She was very helpful & very personable to start with. She showed empathy and seemed genuinely eager "to see how Nissan could help you!" (Her words not mine!) She seemed very anxious to help us. She had me go to a Nissan dealership (Lynnes in Stanhope,NJ ) who repeated the computer test and had their master mechanic look the trans over. They confirmed that the trans needed replacement. Cost would be $3450 for CVT Assembly; $1501.50 for labor (14.3hours); $300 misc for fluids. Total $5251.50 The Service Man even made a comment that while the 60 month portion of my extended warrantee had expired in May 2008, the milage portion (100,000 miles) hadn't still been reached - but that it was unfortunate that I wasn't still covered!! (His comment actually gave me hope that this might be the "reason" Nissan would help me out on replacing the transmission!)
    I reported the results of the Dealership inspection to my Customer Service Rep at Nissan. She indicated she would review the report and advise me in a couple of days. A few days later another woman from the same office called me and said she was calling for my original Rep. She said she would be dealing with our file from now on. She said that Nissan had decided that "at this time they would be doing nothing to help us." I was shocked! I asked why there had been such an abrupt change? I also asked if Nissan understood that I was a three time Nissan purchaser and they ran the risk of alienating me by not assisting in any way? She just kept on saying "Sorry - we're not in a position to do a thing for you."
    After hanging up the phone I sat there stunned for a minute. I was actually amazed. Nissan had just blown me off after I'd spent nearly $100,000 on 3 vehicles with them since 2003!! What a crocK!
    What do you suggest I do Counsellor?
    Thanks for letting me vent!
    Best regards,
    Ken Johnson
  • bigeasy51bigeasy51 Posts: 7
    Thanks Jayrider,
    I appreciate your input - and I truley understand the logic. Of course you are absolutely correct....since I do love the Murano except for this reason, I should simply replace the transmission. Yours is the unemotional response of an uninvolved outside observer.
    Unfortunately, for me and hundreds of other respondants to this Forum, we are not unemotional and not uninvolved! And while speaking for only my own financial situation, at $14.00 an hour I'm looking at over 2 months wages to pay for the replacement!
    When do the HUNDREDS
    of us - from this forum alone - who spent generally over $30,000 for a 2003 Nissan Murano, get Nissan to admit that they bear at least some financial repsonsibility for the ONLY model year the CVT has been independently judged to be a failure? Do we need to wait until people are killed like they were in the Pinto case, for Nissan to admit it screwed the pooch in this instance?
    Don't get me wrong jayrider, I'm not angry at you, but you start to sound like a rich politician who tells the rest of us that "we need to do the patriotic thing" and spread our wealth around!.
    Speaking again personally - I don't have $5000 or even $3000 to give a Nissan. I'll probably have to "park" the vehicle until I can come up with the dough! So it really isn't as simple as you put it for all of us! "Biting the bullet" as you put it, means the "bullet" may be all I have to eat for a couple months!
  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,602
    I absolutely agree that my comments are objective and made without all the feelings of outrage you have in this regard. But as you said -- you have several choices. Only you can decide what's best for you -- good luck. I would still check other repair options -- costs you nothing to get estimates. Just because nissan said you need a new transmission doesn't mean it's true. They don't want to do anything but a full replacement. Maybe it's just a sensor or other part that will allow you to put it back on the road. An independent shop can also look at finding a used transmission from a wrecked murano -- not a very likely option but worth consideration. I would also bet that if you spent some time you could trade your murano for a decent ride. I'm talking about a used vehicle. But you will have to decide -- parking the car while you save up the money may be the best option for you. One thing for sure --venting against nissan will get you nowhere. They won't pay and they don't care. Taking action to revolve your problem will get you moving in the right direction.
  • krpaplhamkrpaplham Posts: 2
    I have a 2004; had the same issue around 70,000. It would hesitate in stop and go then suddenly take off, even had some slowing and then accelerate on freeway.

    Took it in and Nissan said needs a new trans; took it to another dealer and had the trans fluid flushed/changed for about $160 total and it ran fine. (Someone suggested in e-mail on edmunds a couple of years ago) Spoke to a mechanic off site and he said there is a "sensor"(?) in the CVT and when it gets dirty it causes the delay in rpm response. Ran it to 103,000 and started to feel it hesitate a little again, had it flushed and it is working fine; been about 5,000 since last flush. (Nissan won't power flush CVT so mor like a drain and replace)
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