Dont Laugh, first automatic

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Jun 11, 2004
For 27 years I have driven nothing but standard transmisioned Import cars and Domestic work trucks. Last year I got my first auto tranny in a 92 Dodge Cummins Diesel. When I put this tranny in drive I have immediate gear engagement, I can torque immediately. On my new Nissan X-trail, when I put this thing in drive, there is a 1.5 second delay before it engages in gear. 99 % time I wait patiently for it to delay before torquing. At a stop sign as I idle in neutral I engage tranny at green light and torque prior to this 1.5 second period of engagement accidentally. There is a slight jerk when torquing immediately after engaging in Drive due to fact the slack does not seem to be taken up in the engagement process. I find it hard to believe that everyone driving a Nissan auto always wait for the 1.5 second each and every time. I want a 5 speed in this thing, too late now. Automatic to me means exactly that, I believe an automatic tranny should work like my Dodge, immediate. Is this torquing prior to the full engagement of Drive harmful in a Nissan auto tranny? Cyprs
yep, (I think) the delay is the clutches engaging. Trying to move off before they are engaged is bad for them...having them disengaged/engaged every set of lights is bad for them When you stop at the lights, leave it in "D"...then it's truly automatic (no driver intervention)
Cyprs, I am 67 years old and since my teenage years I haven't owned any automatic transmission until quite recently. In my 20s I drove US Army vehicles, including the M-48 tank, with auto transmissions but none of my own since my teen years. I've driven from Florida to Alaska and back 4 times and many times to the Western states , all with manual transmissions. 2004 was the first year I drove across the county with an automatic transmission. I'll have to say I actually enjoyed it. Last year my 99 Nissan Sentra was passed 'down' to me by my wife as she went into an 02 Sentra with an automatic. I drive it frequently as well. Nether of these cars have a delay in engagement when we put the gear selector into Drive. It is an instantaneous shift into power. I can't imagine why you experience the 1.5 second delay you experience.
First of all you need to leave it in drive! You should not be shifting it out of drive at a stop! If you are constantly shifting it into neuatral and then shifting it into D as the light turns green that could be your problem. The transmission should never shift into nuetral on it's own so it shold already be in gear at the light while you are idleing! If it is not behaveing like I describe you need to take it toa good ASE certified tranyshop or the dealership if under warranty!
Many automatic trannys have a slight delay when shifting. This was problem with police vehicles because officers would occationally drop from reverse to drive and get on the gas before the shift took place. The trannys only held up to this abuse so many times before they quit. Unless you are going to back up or park the vehicle, there is no reason to shift out of drive. As a rule, the is very little use for neutral on an automatic tranny. The torque converter acts as your clutch. The only time you would need to shift from drive to neutral is for extended stops (like 3 minutes or more). This should be covered somewhere in your owners manual.
Quickest way to kill an M1 Abram'sbattle tank is to shift from reverse to drive or vis/versa while the tankis still in motion! I have a friend that does this to his daily drivers and he wear his transmissions out quickly like under 100,000 miles! But you can not tell him anyting! He is in too much of a hurry to go no place to bring the vechile to a hualt before shifting his transmission from reverse to drive!!
This reminds me of my time with LT1 Caprice vehicles. I always hated that lag-time between gear positions when you were in one heckuva rush... I was always happy with the way that the transmissions worked when it was in gear, but there were many times when I cursed that jolt when they were not as 'rushed' as I was..! And yes, I shift out my Dakota's automatic at red lights... John.
I have never heard of anyone shifting into N at lights with an auto. Kinda defeats the purpose of an auto IMO. Just put it in drive and leave t there till you get where your going. I have no idea if my autos do that, I never put it into N like that, and am not in a hurry when I first start out.
Thanks guys, my father also has a 01 Sentra, doesnt seem to have a problem either. I have to really dicipline myself on this X-Trail when starting off in Drive. I always thought one was to idle in neutral at lights to put less stress on tranny? I want a 5 speed manual again, if this X-Trail shifted into gear like my Dodge I would enjoy it too, once in drive and running it is a treat, especially now that I have the kick procedure figured in climbing hills, have to admit I prefer the manual downshift to keep from lugging. We bought the auto because my 15 year old son will drive this new Nissan, didn't want him driving a new drivetrain inexperienced with a manual, I may be doing more harm to this Nissan in my ignorance of auto trannys than my son would in ignorance of a manual tranny. I could have properly taught him to use a standard, I am in no mans land with auto [I dont know] . This thing has a couple thousand miles on it, will ask deaalership if they can set the tranny with little less play, may be a band adjustment or something? thanks all, Cyprs
Auto trannies must break in some too, it is while since original post on this X-Trail, go more k on it and now the tranny engages much quicker, not instant but no sitting and counting off anyway, must be breaking in, dont know, first one I ever had in a rice roller. [I dont know] Cyprs
Keep it in drive. The tranny will last longer. I'm 59 and since I started driving in 1969 I have always had an automatic and a manual in the driveway. At this point..I hate driving period and I could care less whether I am driving my 5 sp truck or my Sentra Auto.
Originally posted by Al: Keep it in drive. The tranny will last longer. I'm 59 and since I started driving in 1969 I have always had an automatic and a manual in the driveway. At this point..I hate driving period and I could care less whether I am driving my 5 sp truck or my Sentra Auto.
Oh man Al, that made me laugh good. With traffic, crater filled roads, and ****** off drivers everywhere, I agree!
I drive this new Nissan on our National coast to coast #1 Highway, the Trans Canada. I have dash noises now due to craters (pot holes deep enough for my dogs to swim) and deeply recessed worn expansion joints. Like driving your vehicle down the center of railroad tracks on the ties. All the joy of driving is gone, can't keep anything new or take pride in anything on drive conditions today here. (if our #1 Trans Canada Highway is in this shape, imagine what our secondary paved roads are like) I can drive grid roads here in Saskatchewan Canada and do less damage except for flying rocks from Darwin Experiments who wont slow down when meeting me head on. Will keep it in drive, thanks. Cyprs
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