Trans fluid leak after recent fluid change (2008 Altima)

paqman

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Dunno man...

I think that the level drops a bit while running due to the transmission fluid being pulled into the converter... That's also why we are supposed to go through all the gears right before checking the fluid level while it is hot and running. And it does drop a bit in my car while hot and running and having gone through the gears right before checking it.

The fluid level in my car hot and running and having gone through all the gears it is at the top of the cross haired area. And the level is actually is a bit higher than the second notch and cross haired area if it is cold and has not been running.

It was that exact same way the first time I pulled the transmission fluid stick out of my car. Cold equalled a not above the second notch and above the cross haired area... Running hot and through the gears... The level was at the top of the cross haired area.
Good to know, thanks.
 
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Yeah no problem...

Your CVT is different than mine I'd bet... I have the 3.5 L VQ motor and transmission.

I'd bet though the fluid levels and how they are hot and cold are likely the same.

I will take pictures of mine tomorrow cold and hot and put them on here... Though that fluid will be hard to see :LOL:
 

paqman

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Yeah no problem...

Your CVT is different than mine I'd bet... I have the 3.5 L VQ motor and transmission.

I'd bet though the fluid levels and how they are hot and cold are likely the same.

I will take pictures of mine tomorrow cold and hot and put them on here... Though that fluid will be hard to see :LOL:
Ha yeah this fluid is pretty fresh and was hard to get in the pic. I've got the 3.5 in my Maxima, I changed the cvt fluid in that one about 5k miles ago, now I'm curious to check the levels on that one. I tried earlier tonight, but after struggling to get the stupid dipstick out for 5 minutes I gave up lol.
 

paqman

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Just a little update. I haven't added any more fluid yet, but checked the level this morning so I know it's been sitting all night and the engine is definitely cold. So it is basically the same as the pic I posted above with the engine off. To the second notch, just touching the hash marks. But if we are supposed to check it with the engine on, then I should probably add some fluid back in. That being said, there is another nice little puddle of fluid on the cardboard under the passenger side again. Guess it's time to start searching for the source.
 
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Just a little update. I haven't added any more fluid yet, but checked the level this morning so I know it's been sitting all night and the engine is definitely cold. So it is basically the same as the pic I posted above with the engine off. To the second notch, just touching the hash marks. But if we are supposed to check it with the engine on, then I should probably add some fluid back in. That being said, there is another nice little puddle of fluid on the cardboard under the passenger side again. Guess it's time to start searching for the source.
That's not something you should be unsure about, nor asking here. It needs to be checked exactly as the manufacturer tells you to do so. If it's not in your owner's manual it would be in the service information. Either way it must be done in strict accordance with how they tell you to perform the check.

Also there's not one correct method that applies to all vehicles and all manufacturers. They can all be different.
 

paqman

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That's not something you should be unsure about, nor asking here. It needs to be checked exactly as the manufacturer tells you to do so. If it's not in your owner's manual it would be in the service information. Either way it must be done in strict accordance with how they tell you to perform the check.

Also there's not one correct method that applies to all vehicles and all manufacturers. They can all be different.
I agree with you, I should not be unsure about this, however, the only thing it says in the owners manual is "When checking or replacement is required, we recommend your NISSAN dealer for servicing." Obviously I'm a do-it-yourself kind of guy, but also am having a hard time trying to make sure this fluid is exactly right. Since it's not in the owners manual, I am reduced to the internet and this forum at this point to try to get the most accurate information I can find. I would love it if someone had a link to official Nissan documentation stating the proper way to check the fluid, but for now, I'm trying to rely on you kind folks to help out.

Just doing the best I can with the resources I have. I could have paid Nissan $200 or more to do this fluid change, but it's a very easy fluid change to do, and I'm not made of money. Obviously I didn't watch my levels as closely as I should have, and that's my bad. So now I'm just trying to remedy it the best I know how.
 
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The weird thing is those levels were taken within minutes of each other. The first one was engine off. Definitely not hot, but it was still a bit warm from driving around the block a whole ago. The second pic was literally 30 seconds letter while the engine was running. I just always thought the level should be higher while it's running.
Never check the fluid level with the engine off. Always check the level with the engine running and in park.

Since you do not have a scan tool to check the actual fluid temp, take the car for a 20-30 min drive that consists of city and highway. When complete, check the fluid level immediately without any time for cool down.
 

paqman

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Never check the fluid level with the engine off. Always check the level with the engine running and in park.

Since you do not have a scan tool to check the actual fluid temp, take the car for a 20-30 min drive that consists of city and highway. When complete, check the fluid level immediately without any time for cool down.
Thanks! I do have a scan tool (just a bluetooth one, but I will get the correct pid to monitor the temps for this). I think I read else where it should be checked when the temps are about 122° to 176°F? And when it is running and warm, then I should be measuring up into the middle of the hashed area correct?

Edit: Just saw your other link. That's awesome, thank you!
Edit: your doc says 70c - 80c, (158F - 176F) thanks for that info. this is very helpful. Leak be darned, at least I will get the right level of fluid in there first.
 
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This document describes the correct fluid level check procedure:

So important. My experience has been that you can get just about any dipstick level you want if you deviate from the manufacturer's procedure. For example on my old Sienna the engine must be running, but on the Honda you check it just after shutting down. The lower notch on the Sienna dipstick is for cold and turned off, but only to get you in the ballpark so that you can make a proper check once it warms up (and is running).
 

paqman

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So important. My experience has been that you can get just about any dipstick level you want if you deviate from the manufacturer's procedure. For example on my old Sienna the engine must be running, but on the Honda you check it just after shutting down. The lower notch on the Sienna dipstick is for cold and turned off, but only to get you in the ballpark so that you can make a proper check once it warms up (and is running).
Agreed, super grateful to have that doc.
 
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It may be that the correct procedure is to check it hot while running.
On my Mazda 6, the cold level with the engine off is about an inch higher than the high mark (at summer temperatures).
When it is hot, and checked when running, the level is exactly in the middle between the low and high marks. This, of course, is where the happy warm fuzzy feelings occur.

Mazda6ColdLevel.jpg
 

paqman

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So I took it out, drove it for a bit, used a laser thermometer to measure the temp of the cvt fluid pan (not super accurate, but couldn't find the right pid for torque pro) and it showed about 158 degrees F. It showed just below the hash lines at this point so I slowly added a bit more, shifted through all the gears, and got it just about right I think:

20200806_130928.jpg

Thanks for the help getting the right process for checking the level. Since I did not know when to check it properly before, I don't really think it was that much overfilled. I ended up adding back in almost the same amount I pulled out last night.

Now I gotta see if I can track down that leak. Either way I can't imagine it's going to be in a place that's simple to fix lol. I don't imagine these seals are diy friendly. Yay
 

paqman

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paqman

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Just an update if anyone is interested. I couldn't find where the leak was coming from, and at this point I was tired of trying to track it down, so I took it to the dealership today to have them try to track it down. I know, here goes all that money I said I don't have lol. Good news and bad news. Good news is it's not cvt fluid that's leaking. It was red, and I had just changed the cvt fluid, so I made an assumption. Bad news is it's power steering fluid. The high pressure hose was leaking, and the high pressure sensor needs to be replaced. To make things even more fun, my CV boots are cracked and leaking. Weird thing is I specifically inspected those when I checked out the car and they looked ok to me, however they said they are cracked and flinging fluid. Am I being too trusting in the dealership here? I'm pretty sure you have to remove at least one of the axles to replace the power steering stuff, so are they taking me for a ride? May never know.

So yeah, power steering, and CV axles, here we go. Those are things I wouldn't really want cheap autozone parts on, and the OEM parts are so freaking expensive, I just decided to let them do it. (I'm $160 into it for the diagnostic fee anyway.) By the time I bought oem parts, and spend a full day doing all that, who knows how much I'd be into it anyway.

Anyway, I'm pleased that there wasn't a major issue with the transmission or something. Honestly, I got this car at such a steal, after this work, I'll be into it for about market price now anyway, so I guess that's one way of looking at it. Thanks for all the input and resources, if anything, I learned the proper way to measure the cvt fluid, and got to know this car a bit better.
 
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To make things even more fun, my CV boots are cracked and leaking. Weird thing is I specifically inspected those when I checked out the car and they looked ok to me, however they said they are cracked and flinging fluid. Am I being to trusting in the dealership here?
They might be slightly cracked where the clamp is and are just seeping grease. Not uncommon.
 

paqman

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They might be slightly cracked where the clamp is and are just seeping grease. Not uncommon.
Yeah, I definitely didn't do a deep dive on them. I felt them a bit, and didn't see any immediate cracks and called it good. Oh well. I'm just glad there aren't any serious tranny issues right now. CV boots and power steering hoses are kind of expected to need replacing after a while. And in my state, 12 years is enough to make any rubber rot.
 
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