What is a CVT?
A CVT uses a steel belt or pulley system to move gears in a continuous (ahhh), smooth motion. It’s a concept that the Washington Post says makes a lot of sense:
“The idea behind CVTs is easy to understand: a heavy-duty drive belt (or chain) runs within a grooved pulley system with hydraulic actuators allowing the affective ratio to be infinitely varied within a range of ratios, seamlessly.”
Transmission problems occurs on Nissan Altima occurs from 2010 to onward 2016 models, highest rate of CVT failure or problems occured in the 2013 to 2015 models, Such Problems are shuttering, jerking, fail at low mileage, over heating, find more in detail analysis about Nissan CVT issues.
List of CVT Transmission Problems Nissan Altima
Slow, Shuttering Acceleration, Jerking
- Owners complain about delayed throttle response and feeling a shudder or jerking sensation when accelerating. Some models have even had transmission failure.
- New transmission software is available for both the QR25DE four-cylinder and VQ35DE V6 engines, which can remedy some of these problems.
- 2016 Nissan Rogue transmission at 47k miles is starting to get jerky. As soon as it fails it’s gone.
Overheating transmission fluid
- It can cause the CVT to enter a fail-safe mode, which reduces engine power to prevent internal damage. Owners may experience this reduction in performance when driving in hot weather or climbing steep hills.
- Heat is a major player into what kills these CVTs. Poor design is the real problem but people should be seeing 100-150k not 50-75k like is becoming common.
- An external transmission cooler is available from Nissan to fix this condition, though prolonged damage may still require CVT repair or replacement.
Relevant: How to Fix Engine Overheating
It Fails At Low Mileage
- The most concerning issue is the all these problems lead to a short lifespan for the CVT.
- The 2011 Versa, for example, has an average failure of 64,750 miles. The very popular 2013 rogue fails around 60,167 miles.
- In fact the problem appears to be getting worse, because if you look at older model years with complaints about CVT failure they typically have a longer lifespan – like the 2008 altima which has a much more reasonable (albeit still frustrating) average failure over 120,000 miles.
More Info: Nissan Dashboard Symbols and Meanings
When Nissan CVT transmissions fail.
Reports from owners show that Nissan altima CVT transmission fail, on average, at about 64,000 miles. Worse yet, a replacement Nissan CVT doesn’t last any longer than that. So drivers can expect to replace their CVT transmissions several times during the car’s lifetime.