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Your gut tells you OE fluid is best, and really you can’t go wrong using it. However, I think the cost of the Nissan fluid is something crazy like $15 a quart. That’s at the point where it’s not just paying more - but getting hosed

I’ve been through this with my BMW - paying crazy high prices for OE fluids. Then I just got tired of paying & switched to aftermarket (but correct) fluids. They cost 1/2 the price or less.

I don’t mind paying more - but I don’t like to get hosed. I used the Castrol import trans fluid in my 01 Pathfinder & will likely use it in my Pro4X.

For oil I use Mobil 1 ES or Castrol synthetic if Walmart doesn’t have the Mobil. Mobil 1 oil filters & will use their differential fluid as well.

Never have a seen or heard of anything failing from using the correct high quality aftermarket fluids. The problem comes in when people use the wrong fluid.
Talk to your parts counter or order on Amazon. You can find it pretty regular for $110/case. My parts counter guy swings between $95-120 depending on how much they're holding that month. Or go with Valvoline like smj
 

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I agree. As long as you use the appropriate spec fluid it will be fine. Valvoline MaxLife is a very good ATF. I’ll likely go with that when the time comes.

Oddly enough, the service writer at the dealership told me to stick with OEM for warranty concerns. I’m going to contact another dealer and see what they say. He clearly doesn’t know how it works.
 

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Personally, drain the trans pan every 25k and it will stay happy. Use nissan Matic S or look for what smj likes (hopefully he'll reply) for transfer case its Matic D. Also I drain & fill every 25k.
Book says to inspect fluid every 10k & if severe duty replace every 2 yr.

Transfer is more tolerant and its just a lube, and not a power transfer medium. Also no clutches to burn. But its only 2 1/8th qt so no big cost.
Trans you want to keep on top of. Pan drain is 4 to 5 qts but cheaper than a rebuild
 

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For the diffs and transfer case, I use a cheap, fluid transfer pump. They cost less than $20. View attachment 307886
I use this gear oil pump. It's super easy to pump, even at off-angles with minimal effort. The trade-off is that it's pretty slow (4-5cc per pump), but it's still an easy job.

Having been a Nissan tech and seeing a relatively new, 2013 350Z have its automatic transmission ruined when the customer had the ATF serviced at a Jiffy Lube that used Dexton III ATF, I had my own reservations about using anything else but NissanMatic "J" ATF (later replaced by "S") in my Pathfinder. The ATF needs to meet the Japanese JASO-A1 spec and Nissan was using Castrol Transmax Import Multi-vehicle ATF as the factory fill. As long as the fluid specs say it is recommended for use in NissanMatic Type "J" or "S" applications, it will work fine in the Jatco RE5R05A transmission used in 2005+ Frontiers and other Nissan vehicles that use this transmission. I have over 350,000 combined miles of use using Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF in my 06 and 08 Pathfinders (which use the same transmission) and they both shift and operate like brand-new. If there was going to be a problem using it in these transmissions, they would have showed up by now! An added bonus is now the ATF looks cherry red on the dipstick and when drained; the NissanMatic "J" ATF appears to be almost clear in the dipstick and drains a dark brownish-red color. The first time I drained my ATF I was worried my transmission was toast! The other nice thing about Maxlife is that I can get it on a 1-gallon jug for only $18, which is much cheaper than I can get NissanMatic "S" ATF. Plus, it is also compatible for Type "D," so it's actually better than the OE fluid used in the transfer case as Maxlife is synthetic and Type "D" is only the original Dexron formula (prior to Dexron III), which is not synthetic.
Thanks for the review! I've used Redline D4 in past vehicles, but the Valvoline seems like a suitable alternative that's 1/3rd the cost. Wish I knew about it sooner. I used Mobil1 synthetic ATF but switched to Redline after the new Mobil1 formulation came out, which was no longer suitable for a lot of vehicles.
 
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Both Nissan dealers told me they weren't sure if I could use another brand of ATF even if it met the Nissan spec. I'm surprised they didn't know this.
 

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I get the Matic S from my dealer for $9 a quart so its a not a big deal. If it goes up to $15+ a quart I might give MaxLife a try since everyone is having good luck with it.

I have read and talked to several diff shops and they all recommend conventional fluid for diffs and transfer cases.

 

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Both Nissan dealers told me they weren't sure if I could use another brand of ATF even if it met the Nissan spec. I'm surprised they didn't know this.
Warranty service cannot be denied as long as the parts (and fluids) are OEM-spec. The only time they can require you use a certain repair shop or parts is if they are paying for the work.

I believe if they require their own brand of maintenance parts for the warranty period, those parts must be provided free of charge.
 

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I use this gear oil pump. It's super easy to pump, even at off-angles with minimal effort. The trade-off is that it's pretty slow (4-5cc per pump), but it's still an easy job.

I have the same exact pump, for under $10 it's a steal, works great, but as OP mentioned, its slow. It'll give your biceps the Arnold treatment.
 

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I know this might hit a nerve but I use every possible AMSOIL product I can in my truck. I am an AMSOIL dealer and have been for a LONG time. When I started people would never consider an extended drain interval but it’s the norm now.
I just always knew synthetics would be the future and I won’t use anything else.
 

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Question- I have the “waterfall behind the dash” sound. People on here say that there is air in the coolant system;
I’m told that while the engine is cold, turn it on and add coolant to radiator to fill up until the neck (if I look inside I can see the top of the fins)
My resovoir I know is part of the seal system,

So my question is can I use another coolant besides the blue coolant from Nissan or what exactly do I have to do to get rid of the noise I hear from time to time?

Thanks
 

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I know this might hit a nerve but I use every possible AMSOIL product I can in my truck. I am an AMSOIL dealer and have been for a LONG time. When I started people would never consider an extended drain interval but it’s the norm now.
I just always knew synthetics would be the future and I won’t use anything else.
I was a big fan of amsoil gear oil and used thier 75w110 until I read about Synthetics thin out quickly once hot and lose their cling ratio to the metal object. So after 20k miles on so call "best gear oil" I drained it and it was like water. Really 20k miles and amsoil 75w110 is like water!!!.

Differentials need oil that cling to the gears. So Conventional for me from now on and I'll do it every two years for under $40 using Lucas 85w140.

Amsoil engine oil is a whole different story.
 

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Thank you for the reply.

I haven't had an issue "yet" and I sent the response to AMSOIL tech to see what they say.
Sorry the fluid didn't work for you and hope you found a product that does.

Joe
 

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Synthetic oils don't thin out, in fact they are naturally more resistant to shearing or losing their viscosity. Amsoil gear oils are very good. Amsoil buys basestocks from ExxonMobil (producer of Mobil 1) and uses additive packages from one of the handful of additive suppliers - Infineum/Lubrizol etc. Most all synthetic oils use a blend of Group III/III+, PAO (IV) and ester (V) basestocks. The esters and along with additives provide a durable anti-wear layer. What you experienced likely had very little to do with Amsoil. I will say without a doubt that any synthetic oil from any of the major blenders - Mobil 1, Pennzoil, Vavoline, Castrol and Amsoil will work very well. Synthetic oils are very competitive these days, more so than ever before due to the increased demand for higher performing oils.
 

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Yes synthetics are great in engines but for diffs you need something that clings onto the gears. From all the research I have done point to conventional gear oil being better for differentials thats all I'm saying. Also I did not like how watery the Amsoil looked/felt coming out of the diff after 20k miles. Synthetic can and will thin out easily once hot.

It all comes down to heat and the oil breaking down and from what I've read and seen conventional gear oil wins.

But hey use what ever you want in your diffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Drained the TC today. Should the oil be really dark brown at 30k miles? Bunch of crap on the magnet bolt too
 

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I replaced all my fluids at 30K miles and plan to replace them again at 60k. I believe that's the recommendation for "premium" maintenance schedule and for hard use. I used all valvoline synthetic at the appropriate recommended oil weights/ratings exc.
 

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JonathanM, no, it would not for the most part be normal to have a really dark drain or be full of metallic debris, but mine had been done ( or at least documented ) at around 30k and I did again at 69k and found some metal shavings, very very fine almost like a swimming film, in the drainings. Never heard any strange noises and never had any issues engaging or disengaging the transfer case, I cleaned my drain plug and refilled with Motul ATF. Now at 82k and change and everything seems fine.
 

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In my '18 I use strictly Liqui-Moly fluids and Wix/NapaGold filters.

Molygen 5W30 in the engine every 8000km
TopTec 1800 ATF in the Trans every 48,000km
TopTec 1200 ATF in the T/C every 40,000km
LM 75/90 in the front diff every 40,000km
LM 75/140 in the rear diff every 40,000km
TopTec 1800 ATF in the Power Steering every 40,000km
Brake Fluid will be done annually.
Coolant will be bi-annual.
Air and cabin filters are twice a year.
Tires are rotated every 8000km
Brakes are serviced every 24,000km
Truck is Krown'd twice a year. Fall and Spring.

I over-maintain it. I know. But I get parts at cost.
 

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I get the Matic S from my dealer for $9 a quart so its a not a big deal. If it goes up to $15+ a quart I might give MaxLife a try since everyone is having good luck with it.

I have read and talked to several diff shops and they all recommend conventional fluid for diffs and transfer cases.

Nissan specs synthetic gear oil for the rear diff, but conventional in the front. I use synthetic in both.
 
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