Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Saint Joseph
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I got the truck back today!!
Total cost to me = $75
Total cost including what I paid = $1542.23
I spoke with the service manager and mechanic's manager for some time when I picked up the truck since the warranty company declined to replace the transmission (said if transmission would fail, it would happen prior to coverage ending and then be covered as a result).
As it turns out, prior to my visit, they had only had one instance of this and the vehicle had 200K miles on it. Since I dropped my truck off on Monday, they have now had two other instances (one frontier and one pathfinder). They said out of the three this week, mine showed the least amount of fluids mixing. One of the others had fluid inside the transmission that was the consistency of strawberry yogurt. The mechanic's manager said it wouldn't be a bad idea to drop fluid and refill along with oil changes for a little while just in case.
Since they had a rash of these, they took apart my old radiator to find out where it failed. Had my camera been charged, I would have photos of the piece. You'll have to settle for a description.
Between the nipples where the vacuum caps are placed is an aluminium tub with a hollow core. Looks a lot like 1" black iron pipe (for those who know gas pipe). The "walls" of the pipe are where the transmission fluid go from point A to point B. The points (that's right, it was plural for mine) were where the nipples are joined to the pipe. They don't appear to be welded, maybe some sort of epoxy? There was a pinhole on each end at the joint. That is what allowed fluid to go from radiator to transmission and vice versa.
So, based on this thought, maybe it is failing due to the hoses moving? or it could be failing due to the bond between the nipple and the pipe not being correctly made.
Haven't driven the truck enough since I picked it up to test for the vibration I was feeling.
Now the breakdown of parts/labor/$$
Diagnose vibration -- labor = 103.33
Front driveshaft -- parts = 344.41
-- parts + labor = 447.74
Diagnose transmission -- labor = 197.27
Radiator -- parts = 377.00
-- parts + labor = 574.27
Cooling system flush -- labor = 128.51
-- parts = 61.48
-- parts + labor = 189.99
Flush transmission -- labor = 125.03
-- parts = 64.92
-- parts + labor = 189.95
Transmission fluid used was matic S.
I will see if I can go by tomorrow and get a picture of the cooler that failed. I need to find out why it only took 6 qts of transmission fluid to do this.
From what board has said in the past, and what dealer has said today, this seems like an early '05 issue.
Last edited by ffips; 03-24-2010 at 10:32 PM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost