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  #1  
Old 07-31-2012, 07:45 PM
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Lightbulb 2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill

I just did a drain and fill on a '08 Altima 2.5 S CVT. I used this 07-08: How to Change Your CVT Transmission Fluid (Drain/Refill) - my6thgen.org - Maxima Forum procedure for the Maxima and a next-to-useless Haynes manual as references.

Here's what I found out. Nissan management and engineers are idiots who want to force you into the dealership for service. You'll need: 3 quarts Nissan NS-2 CVT fluid, some way to raise the front of the car, gloves, 10mm hex driver, ratchet, small flat blade screwdriver, medium phillips head screwdriver, shop towels, empty containers, and kitty litter.

1) Drive around till the car warms up and hit all the gear selections: P-R-N-D.
2) Drive up on ramps. I recommend jackstands or a lift to make accessing the CVT drain plug easier by turning the wheels to the left or taking the wheel off.
3) This step is idiotic. Start removing screws and pop rivets around the bottom left side of the bumper and wheel well splash guards using the small flat blade and medium phillips screwdriver. Remove enough to get your hand and a ratchet through.
4) Past the lower frame you'll see the CVT drain plug on the driver side of the transmission case towards the front. You would think it would be located in the back and bottom, but noooo ...
5) Slip your ratchet with 10mm hex driver through the obstructions and onto the CVT drain plug. It doesn't take much force to break loose. Yes, you will be reaching and contorting.
6 ) Position a large drain pan underneath and you can loosen the CVT drain plug off with your fingers. The CVT fluid will gush out all over.
7) Clean off the CVT drain plug and check that the rubber o-ring is still good.
8) Take the CVT dipstick out using the small screwdriver to push against the plastic locking tab, this was a surprising pain in the butt the first time (stupid Nissan design), and clean it off. More CVT fluid will drip out. Pour the used CVT fluid into containers to get a ballpark estimate for the re-fill.
9) Re-install CVT drain plug with rubber o-ring and tighten to 25 ft lbs, but you won't be able to fit most torque wrenches due to obstructions so "tight enough" will do.
10) Re-fill slowly with new Nissan NS-2 CVT fluid using a long small funnel, 2 quarts is a good start.
11) Measure fluid level by the inserting the CVT dipstick with the locking tab on the opposite side off the fill tube so you can pull it right back out. Slowly re-fill 1/3 quart at a time until it hits the Cold mark.
12) Clean everything up with shop towels, check for leaks, and re-install splash guards.
13) Drive off ramps and drive around a bit and making sure you hit all gear selections.
14) Park on level ground, turn off the car, and immediately check the CVT fluid level. It should be up at the Hot mark. Re-install the CVT dipstick with the locking tab positioned normally. I re-filled just shy of 3 quarts total.
15) Dump enough kitty litter on floor to soak up spilled CVT fluid.
16) After 4 years and 52k miles the factory CVT fluid was DARK! The new fluid was a light green (not bright green like coolant).
17) Check CVT fluid level and for leaks the next day after driving.

Was it worth it? Yes, it was! You can mail order Nissan NS-2 fluid for cheap. The dealerships and auto shops charge too much for labor and you know that you put new fluid in. The CVT no longer has hesitation at low rpm's and throttle response is effortless. It is smoother now compared to when we bought the car used. A full CVT fluid change is supposed to be done every 60k miles or 4 years according to Haynes, so I figure a drain and fill every 30k or 2 years miles should be plenty. NS-2 fluid is sold in 6 quart boxes so I have enough left over. I'm expecting mileage will climb quickly due to commuting.
Attached Thumbnails
2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1904-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1903-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1902-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1905-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1907-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1909-800x448-jpg   2008 Altima 2.5S CVT Fluid Drain and Fill-cimg1908-800x448-jpg  
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2012, 02:39 PM
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Nice write up. I was under the impression you checked the CVT fluid level with the car warmed up, on level ground and with the engine STILL running after you ran it through all the "gears".
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:22 PM
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Where did you get your fluid through mail order & what was the price?
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:16 PM
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Got it through ebay. First time bought 12 quarts for around $160.00 including shipping. This last time around noone else was bidding so got 12 quarts for just under $120.00 with shipping.
I'm currently at 83,000 miles and will do my next change out at 100K miles. So probably another six months out or so.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:43 PM
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Some of the altima cvt's have a drain plug in the pan. A drain and refill from that plug will remove 5.5 quarts. If you use the plug on the side you will not drain any of the fluid that is in the pan.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:23 AM
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I just used an $8.00 suction pump from Autozone with some plastic tubing. Ended up getting around 5-5.5 quarts out of the pan. Mine does not have a drain plug on the bottom either.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boland01 View Post
I just used an $8.00 suction pump from Autozone with some plastic tubing. Ended up getting around 5-5.5 quarts out of the pan. Mine does not have a drain plug on the bottom either.
It's time to do another CVT fluid drain and fill. Mine has a drain plug on the side instead of the bottom. That's idiotic Nissan engineering that is meant to force you into the stealership! I'll try a suction pump through the fill tube instead of using the drain plug.
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:04 AM
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I used a GoPro Hero4 Silver to record my recent CVT fluid drain & fill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JByqE-CSU4 I just want to complain, again, that this was way too complicated because Nissan omitted a drain plug from the bottom of the CVT fluid pan!

Last edited by KlubMarcus; 11-29-2015 at 06:06 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlubMarcus View Post
I just did a drain and fill on a '08 Altima 2.5 S CVT. I used this 07-08: How to Change Your CVT Transmission Fluid (Drain/Refill) - my6thgen.org - Maxima Forum procedure for the Maxima and a next-to-useless Haynes manual as references.

Here's what I found out. Nissan management and engineers are idiots who want to force you into the dealership for service. You'll need: 3 quarts Nissan NS-2 CVT fluid, some way to raise the front of the car, gloves, 10mm hex driver, ratchet, small flat blade screwdriver, medium phillips head screwdriver, shop towels, empty containers, and kitty litter.

1) Drive around till the car warms up and hit all the gear selections: P-R-N-D.
2) Drive up on ramps. I recommend jackstands or a lift to make accessing the CVT drain plug easier by turning the wheels to the left or taking the wheel off.
3) This step is idiotic. Start removing screws and pop rivets around the bottom left side of the bumper and wheel well splash guards using the small flat blade and medium phillips screwdriver. Remove enough to get your hand and a ratchet through.
4) Past the lower frame you'll see the CVT drain plug on the driver side of the transmission case towards the front. You would think it would be located in the back and bottom, but noooo ...
5) Slip your ratchet with 10mm hex driver through the obstructions and onto the CVT drain plug. It doesn't take much force to break loose. Yes, you will be reaching and contorting.
6 ) Position a large drain pan underneath and you can loosen the CVT drain plug off with your fingers. The CVT fluid will gush out all over.
7) Clean off the CVT drain plug and check that the rubber o-ring is still good.
8) Take the CVT dipstick out using the small screwdriver to push against the plastic locking tab, this was a surprising pain in the butt the first time (stupid Nissan design), and clean it off. More CVT fluid will drip out. Pour the used CVT fluid into containers to get a ballpark estimate for the re-fill.
9) Re-install CVT drain plug with rubber o-ring and tighten to 25 ft lbs, but you won't be able to fit most torque wrenches due to obstructions so "tight enough" will do.
10) Re-fill slowly with new Nissan NS-2 CVT fluid using a long small funnel, 2 quarts is a good start.
11) Measure fluid level by the inserting the CVT dipstick with the locking tab on the opposite side off the fill tube so you can pull it right back out. Slowly re-fill 1/3 quart at a time until it hits the Cold mark.
12) Clean everything up with shop towels, check for leaks, and re-install splash guards.
13) Drive off ramps and drive around a bit and making sure you hit all gear selections.
14) Park on level ground, turn off the car, and immediately check the CVT fluid level. It should be up at the Hot mark. Re-install the CVT dipstick with the locking tab positioned normally. I re-filled just shy of 3 quarts total.
15) Dump enough kitty litter on floor to soak up spilled CVT fluid.
16) After 4 years and 52k miles the factory CVT fluid was DARK! The new fluid was a light green (not bright green like coolant).
17) Check CVT fluid level and for leaks the next day after driving.

Was it worth it? Yes, it was! You can mail order Nissan NS-2 fluid for cheap. The dealerships and auto shops charge too much for labor and you know that you put new fluid in. The CVT no longer has hesitation at low rpm's and throttle response is effortless. It is smoother now compared to when we bought the car used. A full CVT fluid change is supposed to be done every 60k miles or 4 years according to Haynes, so I figure a drain and fill every 30k or 2 years miles should be plenty. NS-2 fluid is sold in 6 quart boxes so I have enough left over. I'm expecting mileage will climb quickly due to commuting.
was the drain plug about two or three inches above the bottom of oil pan?
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