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Nissan Frontier Transmission Questions

sayansayan Posts: 2
does any one have transmission problems?
i can feel my transmission downshifting.
i get slight kick after complete stop.
there is a gap right before going from dead stop.
if going slow and lettig go of gas before change from 1st to 2nd clank noise.
car was @ dealer for two weeks and said car is supposed to do that.


  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I have an 07 Frontier Crew Nismo with the 5 speed auto. My transmission is practically seamless when shifting, the smoothest I've owned. It shifts beautifully.
  • sayansayan Posts: 2
    hey thanks for responding. i just sent nissan a very lengthy e-mail.
  • Hi all! for my 05 CC, when do i replacing the tran. oil? has anyone in here had experience in changing the tran.oil? pls share. How come nissan wont allow us to check for tran. oil level? :confuse:
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    If you have an LE, you have the automatic tranny. I have the factory service manual and it says to shift the truck into Park with the engine idling, so there must be a dipstick somewhere. Check your owner's manual and I'll bet there's an illustration in there.

    (I have the 6-Speed, so don't know what the automatic looks like.)
  • Shifting into 1st gear when stopped, and other gears when moving meets some resistance. Is this the clutch, or a transmission problem?
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    Reads like a tranny problem, but the first thing that crosses my mind is the tranny gear oil. As a sidelight, the current generation Frontiers have API GL-4 SAE 75W-85 or 75W-90 specified and the oil MUST be GL-4 only. Owners have been 'upgrading' to GL-5 gear oils and have reported sluggish shifting. Supposedly GL-5's also have friction additives which are hard on synchro surfaces in gearboxes not designed for such. Be sure you have the prescribed oil in your gearbox (I do not know what the '99s require).

    The season change has also brought cold mornings and I recall that my old Toyota was reluctant to get into gear when it was cold. When the tranny warmed up, all was well.

    Just some thoughts for you. Hope they might help.
  • hope you don't mind if i pick your brains, I have a 2000 frontier, 2wd desert runner. I'm having a similar problem to that posted earlier: alot of resistance when i try to put it in gear- reverse being the worst, then first. Mornings are the worst, but its also anytime the engine is is at a strong idle. Now also, even when i have the clutch pedal completely depressed and i'm first gear stopped at a light, i have to keep my foot on the brake because my truck creeps forward. any thoughts-might it just be oil viscosity? or does it sound like a bad master or slave? thanks for any help
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    I wish I knew more about transmissions. If your truck creeps forward even while the clutch pedal is depressed, I think you're right on your master or slave cylinder guess. Fortunately, they're both fairly easy to replace/repair (I replaced the master cylinder on my old car without trouble and I'm not a skilled mechanic).

    The reluctant shifter is more puzzling, but I'd take the cheap route first and replace the tranny oil and see if that helps. People often say 'oh, it's your synchros going bad', but unless yout truck has been abused or has a bazillion miles on it, I'd have a hard time jumping on the synchro bandwagon without more research. One last thought on this. My old '86 Toyota 5-Speed truck was shifting badly at one point and the dealer replaced a simple metal ring that the shifter handle assembly rested on. Over time, it had simply worn down. If lifting your shift handle a bit while you shift helps, you may have the same situation.

    Again, I wish I knew more. Thanks.
  • thanks for the pointers, i'll start with the tranny oil and go from there. and i too am not a skilled mechanic so hearing from you gives me the guts to try it out
    thanks again
  • Sayan,

    I'm having similar issues with my 2004 Frontier Crew Cab's very inconsistent in occurrence but is unfortunately getting worse. Sometimes when cornering the transmission will slip and once it catches the gear will slam on the drivetrain :confuse: . Just bought it...has only 32000 miles :mad: . I'm taking it in to the dealer tomorrow in hopes they will find a solution and hopefully one covered by either the factory warranty or extended warranty. I'll post my results...maybe it will help out other Frontier enthusiasts...

  • frstarfrstar Posts: 4
    How much do the torsion bars affect the ride. This is a 1999 Frontier 4X4 V6?
  • i have a 2002 nissan frontier auto v6. it shifts into overdrive to want maintain speed. it slows down when pedal is steady and shifts to overdrive and repeats over and over. only does it when warmed up. can fix it when turned off for awhile. want go faster than 65 when having problems (high rpms)4000 seems like want shift out of overdrive to 5th. causing sub 10mpg. with this mpg i could be driving a dodge duelly
  • lars284lars284 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Frontier 2wd and my problem is it shifts into 1 & @ 2nd ok but will not shift into any other gears. It was fine no shifting problems before this happened. I just shut it off and when I got back in then only had the 2 gears,. Any idea's.
  • I had trouble with the transmission making a crunching sound when I shift. After 4 trips to the Nissan dealer, they put in a new transmission. It still makes a noise and doesn't shift easy. Anyone else have this problem or any problem with their Frontier? Thanks,
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    The 6-Speed in my '06 shifts beautifully so far (18,000 Miles). The only obvious thing I can think of is the manual transmission gear oil -- it is ESSENTIAL that you use ONLY a GL-4 lubricant not a GL-5!

    GL-5's are synthetics and contain an additive package which eats into soft metal parts like synchronizers and is to be used only in GL-5 designated gearboxes. GL-5s are not an upgrade for GL-4 transmissions. I confirmed this with a petroleum engineer friend (yep, for real) and with personal experience with an old car I have and it too grinded when I stupidly changed to a GL-5. When I went back to a GL-4 (Royal Purple Max-Gear) in the old car the grinding immediately went away.

    Be sure that a previous owner or the dealer didn't screw up and put a GL-5 in the gearbox. Good luck!
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    I really enjoy reading your posts asa, very knowledgeable. I like to consult with you before deciding what to do. My frontier has 60k and running trouble free till' now. Recently, i have notice a constant rattling noise, especially when engine is cold(say, in the morning...or after a long day at work). I am thinking it's time to replace my trans fluid. After getting the trans flush package done at the dealer, the noise stops for few days and now it is back. Do you think i need to replace rear differential oil? :confuse: (By the way, i have not done my 60k servicet yet. I dont think it is necessary) in my manual, it states that this truck requires GL-5 synthetic. Do i have to take it to the dealer or is it a do-it-yourself task? Thanks for your advice. :) God bless
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    Is your rattling noise coming from the engine or the tranny?

    Some owners have reported failure of their timing chain tensioners, which then produces a rattle. If your dealer changed the tranny oil and it temporarily stopped the rattle, I'd ask them what gear oil they're using to be sure it's the right GL-4 75W-85 or 75W-90 for your 6-Speed. How does your clutch feel? Some owners have also reported premature clutch failures which result in a rattle.

    You are correct that the rear differential takes a GL-5, a 75W-140 Gear Oil. I've not needed to do this servicework yet on my '06, but Nissan's rear differential casing has drain and fill plugs, which makes it easy. You'll need to seal the threads with an RTV plug sealant. Permatex Utlra Grey RTV is suggested. Tighten the plugs to 36 FT/LBS.

    Rattles are aggravating and your sound may be coming from something other than the engine or tranny.

    You might also want to check things in your engine bay. There's an A/C line fitting up top, close to the firewall that can loosen and rattle against the firewall. Nissan has issued a Technical Service Bulletin on this one, but your dealer might not be aware of it.

    Good luck in your troubleshooting. :mad:
  • My military son just bought a 2004 Frontier club cab, auto 2WD, with 70K on it. Drove from Colorado to Chicago and it worked just fine. Now, when he shifted it to D, it went to reverse, and now must be in drive, cuz it won't start (obviously not in neutral or Park) Is there a pin or something tht may have let go that connects the shifter to the tranny? Is this easily fixable or does he need a dealer or tranny shop? Can a good reputable mechanic fix it? Any ideas. He needs to get to his next duty station and is on a limited budget.
  • I have a new 2009 Frontier 4x4 V6 with auto tranny. Have a strange problem - it looks like tranny doesn't like to downshift.

    Even at slow speed it stays in hi gear, so RPM goes down to about 1200RPM, engine looses power and starts pinging. Is there any way to re-program its ECU to make tranny willing to downshift at slow speed? I understand that it probably tries to save fuel, but I'd prefer it to be more responsive, right now it takes about two seconds after I bottom gaz pedal before it downshifts. It's not only annoying, but it could be dangerous when trying to merge or need to accelerate fast, since engine lacks torque at low RPM.

    The other problem I have (not sure if it's related) is engine is constantly looking for idle RPM. It goes too low and starts vibrating, then increase RPMs to suppress vibration, then go too low again, and so forth.

    It's a new truck and problem started from the beginning. I tried to reset computer a few times, but it didn't help. Tried to use hi-octane gasoline, but it didn't help either.

    Any ideas?

  • thomfthomf Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Frontier, 4x4 king cab, V6, 5 speed. In March I had the clutch replaced. Over the last month and a half the gear shift has started popping out of gear when I am sitting at an idle. It does not do this when I am driving. My shop says it might be the synchro gear but would have to drop the tranny to check it out. Oh boy. Is it possible for something else (less expensive) to be worn or out of adjustment, like something in the shifter assembly or something? Thanks
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    I have a (non-Nissan) book that shows these usual culprits - Worn Shift Fork, Broken Spring, Synchros.
  • Hi all.
    I have an 03 supercharged 4wd frontier with an auto tranny and just shy of 100k miles. As of late, it seems that whenever I am driving through town at a fairly even speed of 35-40mph, when I press or let up on the gas pedal, the tranny shifts up or down harder than usual. I don't notice it at any other speed ranges, and it doesn't throw me to the floor or anything,.. just enough that I notice. I did notice that my tranny may have a small leak underneath, but I check my fluids constantly and it's clear and pink and I've never had to add any.
    I don't have a reliable mechanic here in this small town, so when I take it to the big city to have it worked on, I'd like to have an idea of what I'm talking about. I've had enough experiences with repair shops to know that they will often take advantage of me since I'm a girl.
    If anyone has any feedback, I'd sure appreciate it.
  • thomfthomf Posts: 2
    Thanks very much for your reply. I will check those out.
  • bcjaxbcjax Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Frontier with about 90,000 miles on it. I have recently notice that when I push in on the clutch I am getting sort of a humming noise. When I release the clutch the sound goes away. The transmission seems to be running fine, I am having no problem with shifting. Also, it moslty happens in the morning after it has been sitting over night. Any thoughts?
  • Hi,

    New to the forum and have a question. I have a 2007 Frontier 4x4 Auto King Cab and last winter experienced a blood chilling whine coming from who know's where. It was so pierecing that we had to stop the truck as I thought a bearing had locked up or something. This noise has only happened twice and both on cold days -25 C to -30 C. The first time it happened I had been driving for a hour already. The noise would get louder slightly the faster I drove but would completely go away below 70 k/hr or ~45 mph. I took it into the dealership and they said they could not reproduce the noise and then said they found some obscure bullitin and something. I do not have the invoice on hand to let you know what they replaced, but I was sceptacle anyways. It happened again a few weeks later on a cold day but I was only a 1/4 mile from my destination (work). I pulled in and it has not repeated itself. Winter is fast approaching and I am getting concerned again. Any ideas out there would be appreciated. We have a old time mechanic at work and he has a idea that a pump is being starved at cold temps.

  • I had the exact same experience in my '05 Frontier KC 4X4 auto coming home from an out of town visit on Christmas Eve. It was -22 deg C (-8 F) and I'd been driving about an hour. Suddenly a loud, intense whine started as I was driving along, it almost sounded like the stereo was feeding back. I shut all the electronics off, and it seemed like it was coming from below the shifter on the centre console. It would get louder as I accelerated and quit altogether below 80 km/h (45 mph). Every time I sped up, it came back, scared the bejesus out of my wife. No variation in pitch as I adjusted throttle, it would just get louder or die away. Stopped and checked under and around the truck, everything seemed fine. Made it home, but whined the rest of the trip. Checked fluids today, and trans is full @ cold temp and looks fine. Also went for a drive today and no whine at any speed. Outside temp a bit warmer @ -12 C (10 F)

    If you have any followups to your pump starvation theory, let me know... it is unsettling to say the least.
  • huff70huff70 Posts: 1
    i bought a supposed 2000 frontier transmission from a salvage yard but im pretty sure it came out of a pathfinder. does anyone know if this will bolt up and work in my truck( 2000 frontier, 6 cyl, 2wd, 4door)? please let me know asap cause if not im gonna go back to that salvage yard with a gun and get my money back..
  • whats up dude, i bought my 09 frontier last year early january and since ive had that same problem. i hate this transmission so much, ive tried to explain to friends and family and even the dealership and no one knew what the hell i was talking about. i even sent an email to nissan about this and they never answered back, bastards. well at least im not the only one with this problem, i guess we are screwed with this situation.let me know if there is away to fix this before i go crazy. laters, take care.
  • I didn't drive my truck for a few months, will try to check with local nissan dealer about ECU software upgrade, I suspect it's a software issue.

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