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Old 04-25-2016, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Transmission Issues- Radiator Coolant Leak?

Everybody,

I used to visit the site for my D21. As she got too rusty to keep on the road we parted ways and I miss her.

Anyways, I bought a 2008 Nissan Frontier about 3 months ago. 102,000 miles now, 4WD, 4.0 Automatic. As you can tell by the title, I may have an issue.

Going into overdrive around 40 mph the torque converter seems to have trouble locking up. Sounds like driving over rumble strips. This sounds familiar you may say to an issue many of us have apparently had. It happens once or twice a day, driving 20 miles.

My question is, my fluids seem pretty good. Checking the radiator the coolant is a little frothy but green, and my overflow is green as well. Checking my transmissions dipstick, the color is a little off-red however. Pretty much the same color as this emoji, maybe just a few shades more yellow:

Is the off-red color I'm seeing a sign of radiator failure, or was the routine fluid change skipped? I'm preparing for the worst and my local Nissan dealer is backed up for two weeks but I need some advice as I am not seeing milkshake of death from the radiator, overflow tank or transmission dipstick, but am experiencing some of the issues. Should I check for signs elsewhere?
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:52 PM   #2
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Does the trans fluid smell burnt at all? have your serviced the trans? fluid filter? if not may be a good idea to do so.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahardb0dy View Post
Does the trans fluid smell burnt at all? have your serviced the trans? fluid filter? if not may be a good idea to do so.
A little bit burnt. I plan on having the transmission fluid changed, but I just can't see old fluid causing torque converter lockup issues. Which leads to my fear of radiator failure, or long term damage.

I miss the five speed in my D21... *Sigh*
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:15 AM   #4
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that's why I won't buy another automatic, had the trans rebuilt 3 times in my former 87 hardbody, $2K each time ! never again.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:08 PM   #5
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Any other opinions? Light red, almost brown transmission fluid color? Is this a sign of radiator failure or could my issues stem from old fluid?
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:47 AM   #6
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the color change of the fluid is normal. as fluid ages, it turns colors from "washing" or cooling the clutch packs. the friction from the clutches operating is cooled by the fluid, and the dust is caught by the fluid where it goes to the pan to be filtered and reused.

i spent 15 years in the auto service industry. i got so many screwball looks when customers were told that trans fluid had an interval that it needed to be changed too.

dont fall for the gimmick of the pan and filter. have the transmission flushed. that is done be placing a machine inline that intercepts the old fluid and refills with new fluid. then have the filter changed.

as trans fluid ages, it also looses the foam inhibitor additive. it breaks down, and then the fluid starts foaming and that causes automatics to jump and surge and just feel strange.

watch this short vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVa_z7tAhM
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
the color change of the fluid is normal. as fluid ages, it turns colors from "washing" or cooling the clutch packs. the friction from the clutches operating is cooled by the fluid, and the dust is caught by the fluid where it goes to the pan to be filtered and reused.

i spent 15 years in the auto service industry. i got so many screwball looks when customers were told that trans fluid had an interval that it needed to be changed too.

dont fall for the gimmick of the pan and filter. have the transmission flushed. that is done be placing a machine inline that intercepts the old fluid and refills with new fluid. then have the filter changed.

as trans fluid ages, it also looses the foam inhibitor additive. it breaks down, and then the fluid starts foaming and that causes automatics to jump and surge and just feel strange.

watch this short vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVa_z7tAhM
Thanks CadillacDude. That makes sense to me, I am just surprised I'm having issues with OD torque converter vibration on lock up. I'm probably overthinking the issue, I'll post again once the issue is resolved.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
the color change of the fluid is normal. as fluid ages, it turns colors from "washing" or cooling the clutch packs. the friction from the clutches operating is cooled by the fluid, and the dust is caught by the fluid where it goes to the pan to be filtered and reused.

i spent 15 years in the auto service industry. i got so many screwball looks when customers were told that trans fluid had an interval that it needed to be changed too.

dont fall for the gimmick of the pan and filter. have the transmission flushed. that is done be placing a machine inline that intercepts the old fluid and refills with new fluid. then have the filter changed.

as trans fluid ages, it also looses the foam inhibitor additive. it breaks down, and then the fluid starts foaming and that causes automatics to jump and surge and just feel strange.

watch this short vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVa_z7tAhM
Smart damn dude right there ^^

johnber works on trannies too, and no, not the I don't know which bathroom to use ones....
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:03 AM   #9
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antifreeze will foam too when its worn out. you can get test strips at the parts store to check the electrolyte level as well as checking it with a glycometer to see if its still protecting for boiling and freezing temps.

if the trans has just recently started acting up, its probably going to be ok if you service it now. i would also suggest adding a quart of the lucas auto trans treatment additive. that is some good stuff.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:10 PM   #10
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Default Better but still there

Transmission service was performed yesterday morning at Hunts Auto in Ithaca, drove around for about 50 miles. The problem is reduced in severity and occurrence but its still at times vibrating going into OD lockup cruising at 40 miles per hour. Happened once this morning and twice yesterday after picking it up.

Next stop is a transmission specialist. Before I add Lucas Trans Treatment- Anybody have any clues from experience? Stuck solenoid causing vibration, something wrong with the torque converter, or should I drive around for a few days and see if the problem persists?
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