Wednesday, 15 June 2016


                Transmissions systems vary in design and their variation in design brings about diverse operation and performance-which is always experienced as a quality in drive feel, take-off response and gear-shift feel. One of the latest Transmission designs that challenged the performance of other transmission system in Vehicle R&D is the XTRONIC CVT by Nissan. Just think of a transmission system that combines quick acceleration response, ‘intelligent’ Torque Converter Lock-up, all-speed-range converter lock-up, expanded gear ratio and seamless gear shift. This is called the XTRONIC Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) a transmission with an enhanced transmission feel that provides a higher fuel economy at all gears.

Vehicle that utilize the XTRONIC CVT are now everywhere in Nigeria, most especially the 2013 Nissan Almera, Altima and 2014 Nissan Sentra Saloon Car, Nissan Murano, 2015 Nissan Micra. Various engine sizes (1.5L L4 up to 3.5L V6) when combined with this performance boosting transmission will deliver more in term of take-off, speed and overall performance. As this Vehicle are now the current taste of most CEOs and executives, let’s highlight some important factors to be considered in the proper utilization of such vehicle and its required maintenance.
1.       Use of the Specified manufacturer’s enhanced Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for the Transmission system is paramount and top on the list. A transmission system with Seamless shifting only infer one vital fact-Non-stop operation of the Driver and Driven shafts, steel transmission belts, and other transmission components. This means that things are bound to really get hot during continuous and long time operation; introduction of a wrong transmission fluid specification will cause a quick breakdown of the fluid and the burning of Fibers, bands and other delicate components in the transmission system will occur. Nissan specified its Genuine Nissan CVT Fluid NS-3 for such Transmission systems.
     Take note and insist on the use of manufacturer specified products for your vehicle as the use of any other fluid can result in a permanent damage to your intelligent CVT system
2.       Accurate gauging of Transmission fluid quantity/level is very essential for your Nissan XTRONIC CVT. Many would actually think that “more ATF should mean better Performance”, but this is not so;  in reality, more ATF, above the Maximum level, mean more friction as a result of viscous drag, fluid friction, splash and collision of excessive fluid with some undesired parts e.t.c. This will result in high Temperature build-up and quicker breakdown of ATF, making it loose its protective, lubricating and, cooling and conductive properties. Xtronic transmission has a required range where the ATF should be gauged to if Transmission is overhauled or fluid change is done, and precise gauging is only possible with the aid of an Enhanced Generic Diagnostic Tool or Nissan's Specialized Scan Tool- Consult III.
     Anything below the set level will result in ‘undercooling’ and anything above the set level will cause ‘overheating’. This transmission requires great caution and care and services done on it should be by specialized Technicians and not a Fitter.
3.       CVT produces a seamless or stepless Transmission gear shift with a quick response time; the XTRONIC CVT on the other hand produces a much quicker response and off course the seamless shifting of gear as well. The result of this two is a swift take off and quicker acceleration time. What else do you need than to be safe?
     Safety features have been equipped with a lot more intelligent design to enhance Brake Assist, Braking and Precise Cornering. But the challenge with 80% of Nigerian Vehicle user is poor maintenance. The Xtronic CVT is designed and built to have a longer service life than the regular CVT, but with a poor Brake System maintenance accident could be eminent. Vehicles with good drive and powerful speed delivery like those with the XTRONIC CVT should ensure their brake system are good both electrically (functional ABS system, without ABS fault and warning lights ON)  and Mechanically (Correct Brake Fluid specification, thick and good brake pad material, functional brake calipers). With this in perfect shape you will have the ability to change gears and accelerate seamlessly and come to halt as desired.
4.       Finally, the Xtronic CVT is known to be more intelligent than its predecessor this means there are more sensors, actuators, Solenoids, Bands, clutch and Fibers embedded within it. With the presence of increased number of electrically operated components, the Xtronic CVT has become more electronically intricate than before.
      This means that any electrical malfunction or wrong repair or unnecessary alteration carried out on the Transmission could result in the failure of the Xtronic CVT. Several complaints abound within our shores of Nissan products been to electrically complex; and my perception is: more complex means more performance and easier repairs. As an Automotive Technician you would be able to carry out a proper electrical diagnosis and repairs on the Nissan Xtronic CVT with the required tools i.e. Digital Volts and Ohms Meter (DVOM), Power Probe, Load Tester e.t.c. and more than this you will need a Wiring Diagram (WD). This will be prerequisite for a proper repair. The focus is this, since the Nissan Xtronic CVT is as intelligent as it is and electrical communication exist between the Electrical Control Unit (ECU), Xtronic CVT, Engine, Transmission Control Module (TCM) and other Vehicle Systems, messing with a single part could cause a malfunction in the other components. Knowledge is very paramount in its fixes.
Your Vehicle and its XTRONIC CVT can actually serve you for as long as you desire. But this is determined by your Maintenance Choices. Patronize a Fixer and Not a Fitter; Stay Safe!

1.       NISSAN Motors
2.       Robbins Nissan Blog


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