Universal ATF/CVT fluid in my 2019 Nissan Pathfinder

Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
1,317
I made a post about drain and filling my aisin 09g with this stuff. Im not going to lie, my transmission has been shifting funny since the 3rd drain and fill. I still have two more jugs left though, so I am going to use it all up on the drain and fills.
 

JTK

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,917
Location
Buffalo, NY
Why would they release a universal atf/cvt fluid if they had doubts it wouldn’t work and possibly have lawsuits etc..?

This has been my take on it for many years on BITOG when this topic comes up. This fluid has been around for a few years as well.

This isn't some random, no-named product of questionable origin. There is no way a corporation is going to open themselves up to potential liabilities by putting in writing that their product is "suitable for use in X" when it in fact it's not.

Of course they've got a glorious pool of attorneys to lean on, but so does everyone else in the world today.

I understand pretty well how CVTs work and have owned Subarus with them and Nissans with them in the past (4 in total) and have done fluid services on others.

I'm not saying run right out and buy Castrol Transmax universal ATF/CVT fluid, I'm just saying it's working for me and it's a viable option. People don't have to be scared into running OEM only fluids. I'll post otherwise if it works out to be an issue. There's only been about 300 miles or so put on it since the first drain/fill with this fluid.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
686
Location
New Bedford, MA
I emailed Castrol and asked if I could use The universal atf/cvt since the local auto parts stores were out of transmax cvt, they recommended against it since they are slightly different. I wish I would have kept the email to see the exact wording.

I have since wondered if I would Have done 3 drain and fills and had gotten the majority Of the transmax out would I be ok like I did when I did a 3X drain and fill from ns-3 to transmax cvt. Never know now
 

JTK

Thread starter
Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,917
Location
Buffalo, NY
I emailed Castrol and asked if I could use The universal atf/cvt since the local auto parts stores were out of transmax cvt, they recommended against it since they are slightly different. I wish I would have kept the email to see the exact wording.

I have since wondered if I would Have done 3 drain and fills and had gotten the majority Of the transmax out would I be ok like I did when I did a 3X drain and fill from ns-3 to transmax cvt. Never know now

I'm confused?

Castrol told you NOT to use transmax universal ATF/CVT in a NS-3 application or suggested that you NOT mix it with transmax CVT fluid?

Either is stated as being suitable for use in NS-3 applications.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
686
Location
New Bedford, MA
we
I'm confused?

Castrol told you NOT to use transmax universal ATF/CVT in a NS-3 application or suggested that you NOT mix it with transmax CVT fluid?

Either is stated as being suitable for use in NS-3 applications.
Sorry I didn’t word that right. Yes, they advised not Mixing the the universal atf/cvt and the transmax cvt together.

But like I said I’m sure I could do a 3X drain and fill with the universal and be ok
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
23,076
Location
Iowegia - USA
we

Yes, they advised not Mixing the the universal atf/cvt and the transmax cvt together.

But like I said I’m sure I could do a 3X drain and fill with the universal and be ok
That's weird that the Transmax CVT cannot be mixed with the Universal ATF/CVT fluid. If the Universal ATF/CVT fluid is applicable for CVT's then there must be a Friction modification (DI) clash between it and the Transmax CVT fluid.

It also makes me wonder why other blenders have not used the Afton Universal ATF/CVT DI package.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
686
Location
New Bedford, MA
That's weird that the Transmax CVT cannot be mixed with the Universal ATF/CVT fluid. If the Universal ATF/CVT fluid is applicable for CVT's then there must be a Friction modification (DI) clash between it and the Transmax CVT fluid.

It also makes me wonder why other blenders have not used the Afton Universal ATF/CVT DI package.
I wish I would have kept the email to get the exact wording. I guess I could always email them again and have them reply again 🤷‍♂️
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
Joined
Sep 21, 2020
Messages
105
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.
I'm sticking with OEM fluid for my CVT. Your single unselfish act of taking one for the BITOG team isn't sufficient to change my behavior. LOL....
 
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
542
Location
Ames, IA
I prefer to have the dealer do my CVT drain and fill, at least for the first 100k miles. I’m just nervous about doing it correctly. I do my own spill and fill on my other cars, no worries. The CVT is scary.

My 2016 Rogue has 150k miles and is now in my sons hands. It has the original transmission that got its first change at 103k miles, as it was a traveling sales person car prior. All highway miles.

There are certain things that I just prefer to have the dealer do just to cover my tail. I’ll be changing my 2019 Rogue CVT fluid at the dealer every 30k miles for sure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
948
Location
ne & sw
useful thread…while i’m wary of the nissan cvt ticking time bomb, nissan otherwise checks many blocks in my never-ending, semi-theoretical, vehicle search: base models equipped the way i like, comfortable seats, attractive prices. the nissan kicks is a conveniently upright and roomy little package. i’ve never spent any time behind the wheel of a nissan so i live through knowledgeable posters here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,311
Location
Kansas (316)
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.
When I talk to the Castrol rep about that new ATF universal by the sound of her voice is she sounded like she didn't have a lot of confidence of letting that fluid be mixed with anything else. It's one of the few times I could see people running the fluid up on jack stands for 10 to 20 minutes and then exchanging it out for more. In a standard car that holds nine quarts I would have had to do a bare minimal of three or four changes just to feel comfortable with it. I don't have a lot of faith in these multiple automatic transmission fluid slash CVT universal fluids.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,311
Location
Kansas (316)
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.
That's a good call there. The inner thought process is when you have fluids that are more compatible it would seem that they have to stretch the boundaries of what a fluid can and can't be and what it can tolerate and what it can't. Shear stability would be in question at the very least. Back in the day even in the early eighties and nineties I used to hear my folks always using Phillips 66 fuel and the trop Arctic synthetic blend. They hated using anything other because they were afraid of incompatibilities. If you look at the premium brands that are boutique style they make a CVT fluid and it's only for cvts. Unless you're like me or a few others you're better off just buying a bottle that is specific for CVT. I will say I did enjoy using the Castrol because of the red. It used to scare the technicians at first but then they got used to seeing it and it didn't bother them. It's just a dye and nothing more nothing less.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
10,019
Location
California
It also makes me wonder why other blenders have not used the Afton Universal ATF/CVT DI package.
the dealer snake oil purveyors(MOG, BG, Wynn’s) would be all over this. Many dealers don’t use OE fluid if a customer pays for a trans “flush” or a spill & fill.

I don’t have a sword in the fight, but I too would be leery unless a tear down of a CVT with the new Afton add pack reveals the variator pulleys and belt are in fine shape. Honda/Nissan(and Mopar/GM Daewoo, all the same Jatco design)/Toyota CVTs with push belts are the most common CVT - the Subaru chain CVT is the wildcard IMO.
 
Top