I’ve a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5L, 152,000 kilometres, with a CVT Transmission which recently has been acting abnormally. At times it seems stuck in low first gear, not up-shifting as I accelerate away, with the revs heading way up to nearly 4,000 rpm. Other times it gets trapped in large sixth gear at low rates, leading to noticeable vibrations and bogging down on acceleration. I have had it looked at, but they said ‘no codes came up’ and had a flush completed also. Any ideas? — Mark
Your fourth-generation Altima was the first to use Nissan’s then-new CVT (continuously variable transmission), which employs two variable-diameter pulleys and belt offering an infinite number of gear ratios. Under normal driving conditions you shouldn’t feel any shifts since there are no conventional gears in this transmission. The beginning of internal trouble like a slipping belt or electronic equipment problem could lead the driver to believe that it wasn’t up-shifting, however.
Like all developing products, growing pains happen. The transmission in this Altima was no exception and had its fair share of issues. Nissan however, extended the warranty on the majority of these Altimas around ten years or 200,000 kilometres.
Head in to your neighborhood dealer when possible and have the vehicle examined. Your vehicle’s in-service date will be crucial, as you’re quickly approaching the age cut-off. Despite the fact that the car may have no codes stored, it’s possible it will exhibit these issues during a test drive and be substituted under this extended guarantee.
Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail , putting “Lou’s Garage” in the topic area.
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