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  #1  
Old 10-03-2017, 05:54 PM
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Default 2006 Sentra Manual Transmission/Clutch Advice

Hey guys, I was hoping to get some ponderings on my pondering...

I have a 2006 Sentra, base model, manual transmission. Original clutch at 271,197 miles. Car's been great.

A month ago, my shifter went slack. It would just rest to the side, and not spring back to the middle "neutral" position. I assume it was a shifter cable, or cables.

I could drive the car, but finding a couple of gears, most notably third gear, was an adventure at times.

So, I took the car to the local transmission shop, the shop that everyone in town loves, gives good word on. I figured that with the high mileage, I needed to get some definitive word on where the clutch and transmission are at this point.

It took them a while to get around to actually checking my car out, but I got a call today that they had two guys test-drive the car and found it to be old, loose, but not broken. They also said that when they scanned the system, there were no codes thrown back. In short, they basically said that the transmission is old, but not broken yet. They implied that I should just drive it until it's broken.

Now, I'm at a crossroads. To me, when I have to struggle the shifter into gears, that's not a good sign. Before the shifter went slack, I could find gears rather easily. When the shifter became loose, it was hit or miss to the point of not wanting to drive it.

Anyway, I'm thinking about putting a new clutch in, for now. I was told, and I will reaffirm with the shop again, that a new clutch with labor would be around $800.00. I figure that if a new clutch will get me even another year on the transmission, then it would have been worth it.

Now, if I let things stay as they are and the transmission goes out, won't I have to get a new clutch anyway? Granted, I don't know how much a new transmission would be, and by "new", I understand really means "rebuilt". I will go over these prices tomorrow with the shop.

I guess I'm coming at it from the angle that I was already prepared to throw down, worst-case scenario, $2500 for a rebuilt transmission, so $800.00 for a new clutch seems like a reasonable cost at this point.

What do you guys think? I know that's a lot of rambling, so thanks if you made it this far.

(Yeah, I understand the actual market value of the vehicle vs repair cost investment, but this car has been solid and if I can spend a couple of thousand and get two more years without a new car note, that's worth it to me.)
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:21 PM
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You could always try and find a reasonably low mileage, used transmission. Try Car-part.com.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:33 PM
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You could always try and find a reasonably low mileage, used transmission. Try Car-part.com.
Yeah, but I don't know that the transmission is bad yet. I see your point though. I looked on eBay and some other sites, and they have used transmissions for my car with low mileage (one was even at around 60,000 miles) for $6-800.00, shipped. I also recall, and I may be wrong on this, most transmissions coming with at least a year warranty.

So, I've kept that option in the back of my mind. My only concern there is if I would be able to find a shop to put the transmission in. I mean, wouldn't most shops refuse to put in a used transmission they know nothing about? I'm not sure how that would work.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:40 PM
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Generally, they'll be willing to put it in but won't warranty the labor due to a bad or failed replacement transmission that you supplied, if such an issue occurred. You can't blame them as they aren't making money on the part. Many will provide a limited warranty on a used transmission if they supply the part, however, you will pay more for the part in most cases. Still, it would, or should, be cheaper than a new transmission and may be a more practical option on a vehicle with almost 300,000 miles on it. You just need to confirm exactly what the problem is and consider the option that makes the most sense for you.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:46 PM
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Generally, they'll be willing to put it in but won't warranty the labor due to a bad or failed replacement transmission that you supplied, if such an issue occurred. You can't blame them as they aren't making money on the part. Many will provide a limited warranty on a used transmission if they supply the part, however, you will pay more for the part in most cases. Still, it would, or should, be cheaper than a new transmission and may be a more practical option on a vehicle with almost 300,000 miles on it. You just need to confirm exactly what the problem is and consider the option that makes the most sense for you.
Yeah, I imagine an actual NEW transmission, especially for a Nissan, would be well over three grand, before labor. So, that's not a reasonable option.

Rebuilding the transmission. That's a cost I'm interested in seeing, but I am picturing a couple of grand there.

Getting a used transmission would be my first choice. I'll keep your advice in mind with regard to seeing about a shop's own supplied used transmission. I imagine they go through a trusted supply chain where they themselves have some warranty that the used transmissions are somewhat reliable.
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:58 PM
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30-day warranty is typical and often they'll offer a longer warranty at an additional cost. The manual transmissions have been discontinued by Nissan, so that's not even an option, anyway. You just need to make sure it's not a linkage issue, because that's kind of what it sounds like. If you have the 2.5L, you'll have a dual-cable assembly which runs about $85 from online dealers. The 1.8L had a metal rod with bushings. Repairing either of those type of linkages, if it is the problem, would be a far lot cheaper and easier than replacing/rebuilding the transmission, obviously.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smj999smj View Post
30-day warranty is typical and often they'll offer a longer warranty at an additional cost. The manual transmissions have been discontinued by Nissan, so that's not even an option, anyway. You just need to make sure it's not a linkage issue, because that's kind of what it sounds like. If you have the 2.5L, you'll have a dual-cable assembly which runs about $85 from online dealers. The 1.8L had a metal rod with bushings. Repairing either of those type of linkages, if it is the problem, would be a far lot cheaper and easier than replacing/rebuilding the transmission, obviously.
Holy crap. Manual transmissions really are dying out. :(

I have the 1.8. I remember one of the techs looking under the hood while I shifted, and saying that the bushings looked good.

The linkage could be an issue on its own? Or would that be related to a clutch replacement?

I know something happened. The shifter obviously lost its spring and went slack. I am kind of surprised that the shop I took it to doesn't seem that concerned about it.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:38 PM
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The bushings are in the shift control rod, which, I noticed, has also been discontinued. They used to be serviceable on older models, but it looks like they are part of the rod assembly going by the part diagram (see link below). There is a spring in the diagram, part # 34573-4M500 (part code "34573" in the diagram), but it's impossible for me to say if that is your problem or not. You also have a socket assembly (part code "34553") with a bearing, spring and seat which could fail that can cause issues like yours. If you don't feel confident with the shop you took it to originally, you could always get a second opinion. If you can get the car to where you can get under, you could check to see if there is any noticeable play in those parts. Unfortunately, I can't really tell you much more without be able to check it for myself.

https://www.nissanpartsdeal.com/part...(2=QG18DE;5=MT)
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:59 PM
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Thanks man. I appreciate you looking all that up for me! I hope, at the very least, whatever it ends up being, that it's something serviceable.

I'll know more when I go back to the shop tomorrow. I trust this shop. Unfortunately, everyone else trusts them too, and they are usually backed up with vehicles to service.

I imagine that a second opinion is coming, on that note. Time or money, I need to get the car back on the road sooner than later. If I have to pay someone else a little more, it's worth it to me. We'll see. I won't do anything (too) crazy. I'll keep the the thread posted with both the highs and horrors of my Sentra.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:21 AM
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I agree that it is stricktly a shifter issue, and nothing to do with the transmission itself. Maybe the shop misunderstood the sympthom you had described to them and thought you were having trouble with the transmission.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:00 AM
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UPDATE: Well, I picked up my car today. Without prodding, they offered up everything they checked out. The bushings were good, the linkage is good, and the transmission isn't throwing codes or showing any danger signs as of yet.

I asked if replacing the clutch would fix the slack shifter issue and they were adamant that doing a clutch replacement would not help that issue. I also asked about a rebuild, if that would be an option down the line. They would not rebuild a manual transmission. I got the sense that rebuilding a manual transmission is either too complex and/or labor expensive for its own good.

They would put in a used transmission. That cost would be around $500 for labor, which doesn't seem bad.

They asked me if the transmission was making any noises. I haven't heard a peep from it.

So, I'm satisfied for now that it's just a wait-and-see. Driving home from the shop, shifting was okay. At one moment I had to kinda wait and feel for an opening to third gear, but once I find the gear, it stays locked in. Maybe I'm just not used to working such an aged transmission. I'm used to either "normal" or complete transmission failures in my previous experiences.

Last edited by Burnt Waffle; 10-04-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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