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Nissan Altima, Transmission, Sedan
#16 of 281 2007 Nissan Altima CVT Problems - and other issues
Feb 16, 2008 (10:28 pm)
I hope this message helps others with these problems. I purchased a 2007 Altima in November 2006. After driving the vehicle for a couple of months I made a list of problems I had experienced and scheduled a service appointment with the dealer. The issues (in order of severity) were: 1) Vehicle would speed up at approximately 20 - 25 MPH during braking (same condition as described by others in this forum). 2) Vehicle had loud noise when started at cold temperatures. 3) Vehicle would wander on road with slight cross wind. As expected the dealer indicated that they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle and that no "codes" were stored in the vehicle computer. Since they could not reproduce the problem and no codes were stored they could not (would not) do anything. Their advice was to call Nissan customer service, which I did. After many calls to Nissan customer service and many return visits to the dealer, they were unable to correct (or even acknowledge) that there were any issues on the vehicle. Since I purchased the vehile soon after it was released I expected that overtime others would have the same problems that I experienced. I have not looked at this forum for almost a year. Today I find that every issue that I brought to Nissan's attention a year ago is being reported and written about by others. With others complaining about these issues I am positive that Nissan has investigated and confirmed each one. The question will be whether they will take action on the most serious issue, accelaration during braking. My plan is to take the information that I have found on this forum and go back to the dealer and Nissan customer service for round 2, and try to get some satisfaction on these issues. I'm glad I kept my case number, dealer repair orders and notes regarding these issues and my contact with Nissan! I'll post another message after my discussions with the dealer and Nissan customer service.
#17 of 281 Re: 2007 Nissan Altima CVT Problems - and other issues [altimaowner2]
Feb 17, 2008 (5:36 am)
1) Vehicle would speed up at approximately 20 - 25 MPH during braking (same condition as described by others in this forum).
I think this is normal for a Sport sedan. Sometimes, I drive the Altima and I feel the engine speed up a little bit especially when I'm going down the hill.
However, this is not much at all compare to the G35 especially when I use the DS mode (Drive Sport). Actually, I think the Altima is still very soft to my taste.
Feb 21, 2008 (12:54 am)
The CVT in my hybrid did weird stuff at first but smoothed out nicely after 10k miles. Remember that these cars also have electronic throttles and between the two, things can be funny while the system learns your driving habits.
For you, Altimaowner2, you're just going to end up frustrated with your car, Nissan, and your dealer because it genuinely doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with your car. Instead, it sounds like you learned its quirks a bit too late.
#19 of 281 Excess feedback in pedals
Mar 18, 2008 (2:36 pm)
Since most of us seem to be experiencing similar problems, does anyone feel extreme feedback in the pedals. Seems like I'm feeling everything on the road, from the slightest crack. Really looking forward to a response. Its driving me nuts.
#20 of 281 Re: CVT learns [roar02ram]
Mar 18, 2008 (2:49 pm)
I have had a 2.5 Altima CVT for 2 months now, with about 2k Miles.
I agree with you, it takes a little time to adjust to the CVT, as it is a different type of transmission. It appears (to me, anyway) that it is much more sensitive to my driving motions. In other words, it seems much more sensitive to how much I depress the accelerator, etc. I really haven't used the manual shift option much, so I can't comment on that aspect.
I have really learned to like the car, but I can see how others could have problems adapting to the car.
Perhaps Nissan should do a bit more to make prospective buyers aware of the differences....
#21 of 281 Tires
Mar 20, 2008 (7:42 pm)
One thing to keep in mind about the road noise, is that the OEM tires on pretty much any car made today are garbage.
I threw Turanza LS-Vs on my Maxima, and it was night and day. The "Turanzas" that come from the factory on our cars are in no way, shape or form related to the store tires. They last a LOT longer, are quieter, and handle better in bad weather.
I've only had my Altima 850 miles, and I am already looking forward to putting LS-Vs on it to see what the car can really do.
Mar 24, 2008 (8:32 pm)
I just want to say I love the CVT. My car is the Xterra and my wife has the Altima. Going from a traditional transmission to the cvt on the weekend, when I get to drive it, is like driving a new car every week. It is so smooth, and my favorite thing about it is the acceleration when you depress the pedal about half-way, maybe get the rpm's around 4,000 and stay there. It's such a smooth acceleration and I leave people in the dust without looking like I am flooring it.
Weird thing with the Altima is you can feel like you are flooring it, but if you push a little harder it feels like the pedal clicks a little further and you get more power. I am only sad I didn't get the 3.5 when I floor it, so I mainly stick to my half-way flooring it and get the smooth quick take-off.
CVT gets 2 thumbs up from me.
#23 of 281 Re: Love the CVT [karpediem]
Mar 25, 2008 (7:29 am)
I was spkeptical of the CVT, but after the test drive I was sold. This comming from someone that normally prefers manual transmissions, but the CVT with manual mode satisfies ALL complaints I had about traditonal automatics.
Couple of observations:
1) The motor has excellent bottom end torque. The CVT still has a torque converter to get the car moving and to engage neutral or reverse. The lowest gear ration allws the car to crawl up fairly steep grades in gear (no torque converter slip) as low as 5-6mph.
2) For economy, the CVT attempt to operate the engine as low as 1300- 1500RPM until it reaches it's highest ratio (at around 35mph). thsi does cause some "booming" due ot the low RPM's. I think Nissan could add soem active engine mounts of noise cancellation to help this (Honda NEEDS this when running on 3 or 4 cylinders on it's V6 for hte same reason).
3) EVERY automatic I've ever drien at times uses too low of a gear causing the "booming" sound. They only did it at a couple of speed sranges and as soon as you hit the gas the torque converter unloocked. On the CVT with the torquey 2.5, it can hold 1500RPM from 5mph-35mph. My '04 Honda Accord 5 speed automatic always got into 5th gear really early (35mph) and made a booming sound.
4) The best atribute of the CVT is that it's incredibly responsive, there's no waiting for a downshift.
5) My Honda Accord also used to have the RPM's jump and hte engien braking change as it downshifted while slowing down. At 10mph, my braking force would change dramatically. I haven't noticed this with the Altima, but I don't drive it aggressively in traffic. I suspect that when accleratign and braking hard in stop and go traffic, this could happen. I'll find out this Fall when my wfie and I drive back to my parents in Detroit, MI. I always forget how aggressive and fast they drive out there.
6) You do need to retrain you foot and learn to drive smoothly to get the most out of the transmission.
Don't get me wrong, the Accord has an excellent automatic trnsmission. Very responsive, but when I want to pass on a 2 lane road, I get instant power with the Altima. On the Honda and my wife's previous Altima, you have to anticipate your move sicne the transmission needed a 1/2 second to get in the right gear and provides no accelration at that moment. On the Altima accelration start immediately and increases as hte gear ratio drops as needed.
Form a engineering standpoint. What's ideal about the CVT is that the throttle positon causes an increse in RPM linerarly. Therefore horesepower increases almost directly porportionally to throttle position since the 2.5 motor has a very flat torque curve and HP is constant since you are at a constant RPM. Very similar to thrust from a jet turbine. IN a conventional automatic the RPM's change and therefore the HP varies between the shifts.
The only downside of the CVT is that hydralic force is needed to hold the gear ratio. So there are some losses with the hydralic pump. Thsi might explain why the RPM's jump around at low RPM's as the car is transitioning possibly form the torque converter to the CVT and the hydalic pump suddenly puts a load on the engine at the same time the torque converter locks up.
Here's how that works. The CVT's lowest ratio would allow for lets say 4000RPM at 15mph. If you acclerate hard, the torque converter must "slip" all the way until it can lock up when it reaches the same speed at the lowest gear range in the CVT. To make the car feel responsive and not bog down when you hit the gas, it takes some fancy "footwork" between the torque converter, throttle and CVT to make them all match up under 20mph. Above 20-25mph, you're pretty much locked up 100% on the CVT and it behaves in many ways more like a manual transmission with an fly by wire throttle except that the gear ratios are infinitly vairable between the max and mimimum ranges.
#24 of 281 The CVT is better than a regular automatic.
Jun 10, 2008 (10:59 am)
That "booming" that you hear is normal. You can't honestly expect a car to be perfect for under $30k. I've felt this in my car, and it doesn't bother you if you don't think about it. An easy way to cure this is to either shift to manual mode, or give the engine a little more throttle.
This car is a great car. The CVT is very responsive, the interior is nice on the S and wonderful on the SL, the ride is very sporty, responsive, and comfortable, and the car gets great gas mileage for the power it puts out. People need to stop complaining. Either enjoy the car or trade it for something else. I love my 2.5 SL, and I have no intention of trading it just because of the CVT has a couple drawbacks. The advantages more than make up for its shortcomings.
#25 of 281 Re: 2007 Nissan Altima CVT Problems - and other issues [altimaowner2]
Jun 23, 2008 (1:31 pm)
I have had an Altima for 1 year. 13,000 mi to date. I didn't experience weird behavior of the CVT. I expected lack of shift points to feel obvious by their absence. Not so...............
However, I experience an annoying slow pulsation in "cruise" when going downhill.
It is certainly tolerable, but noticeable. I assume it's the combination o CVT and throttle being confused.............. No biggie.