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2017 Frontier Transmission Issue

7303 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  jgahagan
Aloha All,

My brand new shiny arctic blue Frontier PRO-4X seems to have curious transmission behavior. Nissan assure me this is normal as they could find no fault messages when plugging in their diagnostic computer. So, here goes...

At normal cruise speeds (40+ mph), when I come to a hill, instead of the transmission changing out of overdrive and staying in 4th gear (which would be quite sufficient to do the job), it jumps from overdrive and straight into 3rd. However, if I switch off the overdrive button before it automatically changes down to 3rd, the rpm increases slightly as expected and the transmission happily stays in 4th gear.

On normal driving, when accelerating from a standstill, the transmission appears to be working fine, changing up as expected till overdrive is engaged.

It is just the down-shifting that seems quite harsh, resulting in the transmission hunting between overdrive and 3rd gear.

Because no fault codes come up on Nissan's diagnostics, they say this is normal. I only have 1,060 miles on the truck!

What do you say?

Thanks in advance for helping me understand what "normal" should be.

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Have you or the dealership checked the transmission fluid level?
The dealer says they have checked the transmission fluid levels.

They also claim there are no adjustments for the transmission shift pattern, and provided no error codes come up, there is no need to take action - have we come to point where we rely on electronics to tell us if something mechanical is not right? What is monitoring the health of the electronics? (Years ago I had a Jag XJ8 whose electronic transmission controller embedded in the gearbox had to be replaced as this was eventually found to be faulty, but only after me insisting there was a problem - no error codes came up in this instance!)

Nissan said the transmission has the latest flash updates. However, they did reset the throttle body control but believed this would make no difference - they were correct.

Thanks all for taking the time to reply...
Are you driving or is cruise engaged? I found same instance has happened to me also on some inclines while using it seams it doesn't react until it is to late resulting in that drop but if just pedaling throttle worse case it'll shift out of OD.
chugging or balls to the wall is how my 2014 frontier goes. It is a very odd feeling. OD off helps and applying slightly more pedal pressure coming up to an incline also helps. I also have some long inclines, not extremely steep on the way to work. These I alway turn off OD or else it will go 3 to 4 sometimes hit OD then back to 3 and repeat a few times until the ground levels off. If I get up some speed before and turn the OD off I can make it most of the way up the hill in 4th. It might drop down to 3rd once.

Basically what you are describing is exactly how my 2014 behaves. I found it annoying at first but now I click the OD off without even thinking.
Robj80, this is exactly the same behavior! And yours is a 2014. So much for a continuous improvement strategy in technology.

Sabertooth, I have not tried in cruise control mode. Not too many places on the island that we can engage cruise control.

RobFrisco415, it seems like you may be right - I may just have to get used to it. After initially maligning the CVT in my Murano, I now love the fluid "changes" whilst cruising. But not so much from standstill.

Aloha to you all.
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