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Forums Nissan Models Altima Transmission wont go into drive when cold
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:47 PM
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Default Transmission wont go into drive when cold

2003 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL. On cold mornings I can back out of parking space fine, but when I put it in drive, nothing happens. It acts like it is in Neutral. I can rev the engine and let it warm up some, then it jumps in gear and works fine after that. Jumped me onto a curb the first time it happened. (2 days ago). Any suggestions?
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:41 AM
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It will not resolve your issue, but how cold is cold where you and the vehicle are?
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:51 AM
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It was about 38 degrees outside when it happened.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:13 PM
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How's the fluid level?
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:25 PM
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1998 Altima (250,000 miles and still going strong)

I am having the same problem. It was working fine until I took it in and had the transmission fluid flushed. Now there is a long delay going into drive, but only when cold. Also, when cold, the jump from Park to Drive is a rather strong jolt.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:01 PM
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Sorry to bring up such an old thread. But I have a 2003 that does this sometimes too...

Did you guys ever figure out what was wrong?

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:38 PM
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any answers to any of these questions. I've seen 3 threads with the exact same questions

I inherited a 2001 altima with my fiance. it started doing this 2 days ago after a radiator swap. I didn't do the radiator swap and perhaps I should have.

I'm thinking a fluid swap would help but I am leary of a 200K miles AT that I don't know the MX history of
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:48 PM
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My 2003 had this problem for a few months. My fluid level was always OK and it would only do it when cold.

Eventually while driving one afternoon, I came to a stop light. When they light turned green, I throttled to go and I wasn't going anywhere! They RPMs were climbing but the car was going nowhere. I was basically slipping all the way through first gear into second.

I limped home and then had my car towed to the dealership. They told me the transmission needed to be replaced and wanted something like $3400 to do it. So I had the car towed to a transmission shop.

The transmission shop took it apart and found that some of the 'planetary gears' needed to be replaced. They re-built the transmission for $2400.

I haven't had the problem going into DRIVE ever since the re-build. But, my transmission is starting to shift kind of hard from 1st to 2nd when driving slowly. The weird thing is, if I drive faster or more aggressively the hard shift from 1st to 2nd isn't there. It only happens when driving slowly like in a parking lot for example.

I will probably call the transmission shop that did the rebuild to have them take a look since it' still under their warranty.
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