Piston Slap: Nissan Matic J Worth The Trouble?
TTAC commentator Kericf writes:
First, an update: I submitted a question on my Rodeo ABS and brakes before. It was just a bad sensor (probably from driving in high water). And I chose not to replace the brake lines yet after inspecting them.
Now, my new question comes way of a transmission fluid change on my wife’s 2005 Pathfinder. As usual the manual calls for only using official Nissan Matic J at almost $13 per quart. The local auto parts store sells Castrol Tranny fluid that says on the label it is a replacement for Matic J. I do not have any warranty left so I’m not so much worried about fighting over what was used, I just don’t want to have to replace the tranny because the fluid wasn’t the right spec? Am I worrying too much about it? Should I just dive right in and go?
I would also like to get some suggestions by the B&B on the best way to flush more fluid out than the standard drain 5qt out of the pan method. Is there a way to really get it all out on your own? I saw the product review on the oil extractor and was contemplating trying one out for the tranny fluid as it seems a lot easier and cleaner.
Congrats on the easy fix on the Rodeo! On the Pathfinder, use any fluid that meets the manufacturer’s specifications, and I suspect the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act agrees with me too. So yes, dive right in and go.
I seriously doubt the engine oil extractor (per TTAC review) has the balls to vacuum through the guts of a torque convertor; only the pressurized flushing systems can pull that off. If you’re lucky, you can pull the pan (and whatever trim covers the torque converter) and spin the converter 360 degrees and hope that Nissan gave you a drain plug. If not, I suspect the flushing machine is your best bet.
As previously mentioned on Piston Slap, your best bet is to do both a filter change and a flush of all the old fluid. Try to find a shop that can do both, unless your Pathfinder has well over 100,000 miles with original fluid, you might want to reconsider flushing the varnished fluid (filled with clutch material) with new slippery stuff, as that could wear out the transmission much faster. Fluid changes on old automatic transmissions are a tough personal choice, so think before you act.
Off to you, Best and Brightest.
(Send your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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