Do you notice your Nissan CVT stuck in low gear?
It can definitely get frustrating, and the last thing you want is an issue with your transmission. After all, a faulty transmission is quite serious and can be costly to fix.
This is why in today’s post, we will look into the common causes behind getting stuck in low gear and what you need to do about it. Here we go.
Causes Of Nissan CVT Stuck In Low Gear
Transmission issues can be particularly troublesome, often requiring the expertise of a skilled mechanic for resolution. Unlike engine problems that may allow for some DIY fixes, transmission-related problems demand professional attention.
It is good to have a better understanding of the causes of this transmission issue, as well as the possible repair costs when you have a mechanic work on your vehicle. If your automatic transmission is refusing to shift out of first gear, there are several likely culprits, including old transmission fluid, a stuck solenoid, a worn clutch, issues with the valve body, a loose input shaft nut, or malfunctioning speed sensors.
1. Critical transmission fluid level
Similar to the engine, the transmission relies on its own lubricating oil to prevent the intricate mechanical components from grinding. While transmission fluid doesn’t require as frequent changes as engine oil, the exact interval varies among manufacturers, typically falling within the range of 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
Transmissions are sealed units, making it difficult for external contaminants to contaminate the fluid. However, over time, microscopic wear on transmission gears and components can introduce contaminants into the fluid.
It’s essential to also monitor the transmission fluid levels. Most vehicles have an additional dipstick at the rear of the engine, which is used similarly to the engine oil dipstick. Simply remove it, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and then check the transmission fluid levels.
A regular transmission fluid change is best performed by a professional to minimize the margin for error. Since the transmission is a sealed unit, if fluid levels are low, a professional should inspect it for leaks and determine the cause.
Authorized dealerships tend to charge the highest fees for a transmission fluid change, often reaching up to $200 in labor costs. On the other hand, independent mechanics generally charge much less, typically around $50 to $100. It’s worth noting that the cost of parts should not be overlooked, as a new transmission gasket, filter, and 8-13 quarts of transmission fluid will be required.
By seeking professional assistance for transmission issues, you can ensure a thorough inspection, accurate diagnosis, and proper resolution of the problem. While the costs may vary, prioritizing the expertise of a skilled mechanic will contribute to the long-term health and performance of your transmission.
2. Faulty transmission shift solenoid
The transmission shift solenoid plays a crucial role in determining the optimal timing for shifting gears based on the engine’s current load and speed.
When the solenoid begins to fail, it can result in rough and delayed shifting, as well as difficulties shifting out of neutral or first gear. It is important to address this problem promptly to prevent further damage to the transmission.
The cost of solenoids can vary, with prices ranging from as low as $20 to as high as $100 per solenoid, depending on the vehicle. Additionally, the cost of labor typically hovers around $300, although this can vary depending on the specific shop. Taking parts into account, the average total cost for solenoid replacement amounts to approximately $450.
3. Torque Converter Issues
Explaining the intricacies of the torque converter can be quite complex, as it serves the purpose of transferring power throughout the system. If the torque converter fails, it can manifest in various symptoms such as loss of acceleration, shifting problems, gears getting stuck, slipping between gears, and overheating.
Replacing the torque converter can be a costly endeavor, often exceeding $1000, especially considering the rise in labor costs. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done by oneself in this situation, and it becomes essential to weigh the repair cost against the overall worth of the vehicle.
Is a Transmission Rebuild Necessary?
Identifying the specific problem with the transmission may not hold significant weight, as an experienced mechanic will need to reevaluate the issue. Unless it falls under the category of the more affordable repairs mentioned earlier, a transmission rebuild will likely be required.
The cost of a transmission rebuild varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle, starting at $1,500 and potentially reaching up to $5,000. On average, the cost typically falls around $3,000.
When confronted with an unexpected expense in the thousands, it is important to consider all available options. One alternative is purchasing a new or refurbished transmission, which may prove more cost-effective, especially when factoring in the warranty and savings on labor associated with a transmission rebuild.
If you are driving an older vehicle with high mileage and low market value, investing a substantial amount of money into it may not be financially prudent. It is worth considering the current market value of your vehicle and evaluating whether selling it, combining the funds with the transmission rebuild budget, and purchasing a new vehicle would be a more worthwhile choice.
DIY Or Professional?
While many DIY methods for addressing transmission issues can save you money compared to visiting a mechanic, there are certain tasks that are best left to professionals, even if it means acquiring the necessary tools.
It is important to acknowledge that some transmission-related tasks are incredibly complex, surpassing the abilities of most DIY mechanics and even many professionals. In my personal view, the transmission represents the most intricate component of any vehicle, and attempting tasks such as changing the transmission fluid or rebuilding it should be avoided altogether.
You may come across other online resources that provide DIY estimates and emphasize the benefits of performing the job yourself, but pay attention to whether they actually provide clear instructions on how to do it. Rebuilding a transmission is akin to performing brain surgery, and only a specialized mechanic with expertise in this area should undertake such a task.
That being said, there are opportunities to save on transmission repairs and rebuilds. It is crucial to thoroughly explore your options, seek out reputable shops with positive user reviews, and consider extending your towing distance if necessary to find a shop with the most competitive prices.