Universal ATF/CVT fluid in my 2019 Nissan Pathfinder

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
15,977
Location
Buffalo, NY
I did a drain/fill of the CVT fluid in my 2019 Nissan Pathfinder today using Castrol Transmax universal ATF/CVT fluid. Currently 70K miles on the vehicle. I've done 6 drain/fills total on the CVT since we bought the vehicle used in 2019 with 25K miles on it. The first 5 were with genuine Nissan NS-3 fluid. My plan all along has been to go with a suitable for use aftermarket CVT fluid once I was beyond the 5yr/60K mile powertrain warranty.

For the sake of all that is BITOG, someone had to do it! LOL We shall see how it goes.
 
Is there a particular reason you've done 6 drain and fills in 45k miles?

I just re-checked my records. Today was the 5th drain/fill! Sorry about that.

The vehicle was purchased as an ex-rental and IMO, regular fluid changes on a Nissan/Jatco CVT is a wise thing to do if you want it to last.

The CVT fluid was black when I bought it @ 25K miles. I did two drain/fills back to back initially, then one every ~12K miles.

I found a few really good deals on NS-3 fluid off eBay at the time by the case @ $8-9/qt shipped. It's twice that per quart today.

A drain/fill is 4qts on these and is easier to do than an engine oil change. Really simple to do. The gallon jug of castrol ATF/CVT fluid was $22.64+ tax.
 
My brother has a new 2022 Altima with the 2.5 Liter and of course the Nissan / JATCO CVT. The main reason he bought it is because his wife needs very comfortable seats and a nice ride with minimum jolts because of back and neck problems. I had told him about the Nissan CVTs and also the importance of regular CVT fluid changes and that as far as I know only Nissan CVT fluid, which as far as I know is not sold by anyone other than Nissan dealers. He got the dealer to include a free fluid change at 30K miles, and got that in writing. But from what you said maybe he will have to do one on his own at around 15K or so. He does his own oil changes so maybe he will also do this. I'll show him this thread.

BTW, they got the SL without the stiff sport tuned suspension the higher trim levels have, and they both love that car and he said he plans to keep it a very long time.
 
Last edited:
I use Castrol transmax cvt fluid in the wife’s 15 Altima. If I wouldn’t have already had a couple of bottles of cvt fluid already I would have tried the universal atf/cvt fluid. Still might
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
My brother has a new 2022 Altima with the 2.5 Liter and of course the Nissan / JATCO CVT. The main reason he bought it is because his wife needs very comfortable seats and a nice ride with minimum jolts because of back and neck problems. I had told him about the Nissan CVTs and also the importance of regular CVT fluid changes and that as far as I know only Nissan CVT fluid, which as far as I know is not sold by anyone other than Nissan dealers. He got the dealer to include a free fluid change at 30K miles, and got that in writing. But from what you said maybe he will have to do one on his own at around 15K or so. He does his own oil changes so maybe he will also do this. I'll show him this thread.

BTW, they got the SL without the stiff sport tuned suspension the higher trim levels have, and they both love that car and he said he plans to keep it a very long time.
I miss my 2007 Maxima that I sold last year but it was starting to show it's age; the CVT was flawless and the most comfortable seats ever.
 
My brother has a new 2022 Altima with the 2.5 Liter and of course the Nissan / JATCO CVT. The main reason he bought it is because his wife needs very comfortable seats and a nice ride with minimum jolts because of back and neck problems. I had told him about the Nissan CVTs and also the importance of regular CVT fluid changes and that as far as I know only Nissan CVT fluid, which as far as I know is not sold by anyone other than Nissan dealers. He got the dealer to include a free fluid change at 30K miles, and got that in writing. But from what you said maybe he will have to do one on his own at around 15K or so. He does his own oil changes so maybe he will also do this. I'll show him this thread.

BTW, they got the SL without the stiff sport tuned suspension the higher trim levels have, and they both love that car and he said he plans to keep it a very long time.
Actually the authentic NS-2 can be found much cheaper than a dealer fill... I had them to do my 1st (and only thusfar) drain/fill around the 76K mile point as it was still under extended warranty and the cost was around $290. I recently found this which is the actual fluid used in Nissans, etc. from the factory just in original packaging. When bottled/labeled for Nissan it's twice as costly. I can do a drain/refill myself for 1/5 the price and mine has the dipstick so I can get the proper amount quite close.

**The Altima mentioned might use newer NS-3 fluid, but there are definitely identical quality fluids to be found cheaper than Nissan branded...

 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
I miss my 2007 Maxima that I sold last year but it was starting to show it's age; the CVT was flawless and the most comfortable seats ever.
The CVT in my 07 Maxima is perfect. The engine doesn’t use any noticeable amount of oil and still has excellent power and respectable fuel economy at 130k-ish mileage. The paint is in rough shape, though. The clear coat is all but gone in a lot of places.
 
The CVT in my 07 Maxima is perfect. The engine doesn’t use any noticeable amount of oil and still has excellent power and respectable fuel economy at 130k-ish mileage. The paint is in rough shape, though. The clear coat is all but gone in a lot of places.
Some vehicles/brands clearly have certain issues and based on the weekly newsletter on recalls I receive it affects ALL makes from Bentley, to Turdcedes, Porsche, etc. Before my current/infinite ride (NISSAN 4 LIFE) I really had no clue about CVT function, reliability, etc. After having it going on 9 yrs/95K it has been FLAWLESS. Yes the drone effect is/was noticeable (when I used to be able to hear anyway), but the very useful powerband, infinite fluid-like smoothness, etc. is light years better than any typical automatic I recall driving. I have driven my daughter's rather nice Rav4 with what is likely a 7-8 speed auto and the weak engine/terrible powerband with it shifting is a bitter disappointment to say the least.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
Just me...

But I wouldn't use a supposed " universal" atf for both regular ATF and CVT...

Regular universal ATF fluids are fine because Dexron and Mercon plus other specs do overlap quite a bit.

The CVT fluid operates off of traction coefficient vs friction coefficient for regular ATFs. There's a big difference in those two types of additive dynamics that make each on their own work effectively and correctly. From what I have read on here from extremely knowledgeable members that would be a point of concern in using a fluid like this.

It's why every regular ATF states clearly and unequivocally not to use CVT fluid in them and the same is true vice versa....

There's darn good reason behind that.

But hey... If someone wants guinea pig their own vehicle to see how it goes.. .

I say good luck.
 
Back
Top