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Is a whining transmission doomed?

11162 Views 28 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  MiniDuti
Hey guys I have a 06 LE Auto 4x4 and talked about this problem before but now I’m wondering how long it may or could last. I had the fluid changed with filter also. It seems to shift ok I think.. haven’t had it long and it was whining when I got it so I’m not sure how these frontiers shift to start with. What I mean by that is.. that newer vehicles seem to shift a lot smoother almost like their slipping into gear, some makes and models anyways.
It shifts into 2nd, 3rd and 4th decently, not firm but decent. Going from 4th to 5th is not near as quick of a shift and a lot softer. My 08 pathfinder is real similar in shifts but a little more firm in 2nd, 3rd and 4th or at least you can see the tach/RPMs drop quickly with each shift. Both are pretty close in mileage at 122k Frontier and pathfinder 133k. Has anyone here had a whining transmission that has lasted? Any info will be appreciated, I guess I’ll wait till it starts acting up.. only problem there is that I’m afraid to go on any road trips cause I’m not sure how quick it could happen.
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5-sp automatic, right? No 6th gear in it if so.

What year? How many miles?

(Create a signature w/ your vitals so those who wish to help will know more about your truck.)
5-sp automatic, right? No 6th gear in it if so.

What year? How many miles?

(Create a signature w/ your vitals so those who wish to help will know more about your truck.)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I thought I had put that at the top.
Are you sure it's the transmission that's "whining" and not the upper timing chains of the engine, which is a fairly common issue and sounds very similar?
I’m not positive myself but my transmission guy said it had signs of antifreeze in pan and slight shavings or metallic look to the fluid. I did the bypass as soon as I got it but must have been too late. Thanks for the response.
Bringing back a slightly older post.. I don’t get a chance to drive it much but I’m really starting to think my whining problem just might be as smj999 said .. timing chain guides. I’ve tried to listen with my stethoscope at both locations and I’m just not sure. It shifts decent like I said before and 1st gear you can kick it down and it would burn rubber if wanted, same in reverse. Watching the rpm’s it looks good at every shift and you can feel it even though it’s a mild shift.
Factory radiator that was not bypassed when I got it, no contamination in radiator or resavoir. When I did do the bypass what little came out looked to be normal. Transmission guy said signs of smod in the pan, and a well know mechanic heard it and said he never heard one make that noise and said that’s not the chain.
Now I’m thinking he has just not heard the Nissan with their chain guides worn through. I’m not really sure where to go from here, is there a positive way to determine which is bad without tearing into one or the other? The whining is not pleasant to listen to but at the same time not too bad.
To me it does sound like a chain riding on or against metal. No matter what you do... in gear out of gear, idling, cruising, it goes exactly with the rpm’s.
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My 2006 SE had the guides go bad around 84k. The whining sound was more noticeable or louder at a cold startup.
When it warmed up, could hardly hear the whine. See if yours is that way.
No matter what you do... in gear out of gear, idling, cruising, it goes exactly with the rpm’s.
Transmission whine can come from a lot of different parts of the transmission - but often gets louder or softer with varying load, road speed, gear selected, etc.

Timing chain noise tends to be more constant in loudness - even though it varies in pitch with engine speed.

Incidentally, a bad alternator diode can also produce a whine that's difficult to find.
My 2006 SE had the guides go bad around 84k. The whining sound was more noticeable or louder at a cold startup.
When it warmed up, could hardly hear the whine. See if yours is that way.
Yes definitely louder at start up but the idle is higher.. I use to cringe every time I would start it cold.
No matter what you do... in gear out of gear, idling, cruising, it goes exactly with the rpm’s.
Transmission whine can come from a lot of different parts of the transmission - but often gets louder or softer with varying load, road speed, gear selected, etc.

Timing chain noise tends to be more constant in loudness - even though it varies in pitch with engine speed.

Incidentally, a bad alternator diode can also produce a whine that's difficult to find.
Maybe I can try to get a video of it at start up and when it’s warm.
These two scenarios seem to overlap and intertwine with each other in my ears. Lol
The whine sounds like a supercharger and increases with engine speed, it happens in park so I don’t think it gets confused with a transmission issue. Stop by a Nissan dealer and any tech outside can tell you in a minute.

Clint
The whine sounds like a supercharger and increases with engine speed, it happens in park so I don’t think it gets confused with a transmission issue. Stop by a Nissan dealer and any tech outside can tell you in a minute.

Clint
I does sound like a supercharger but it does it in park, reverse, nutrual and drive. So when it’s running it’s whining. If it’s idleing it’s not bad but reving it and going through the gears you can definitely hear it, as it hits top speed in high gear it’s not near as bad but still noticeable just more faint.
I’ll have to swing by Nissan and see if I can talk to a tech. Thanks for your input Clint.
More video of the whining and a drive from start to about 60 to show tach and possibly hear it. Then at 60 I apply slight throttle for downshift... just so you know that wasn’t slipping. Lol

https://youtu.be/spI5SFlGVZk

https://youtu.be/Igx97iWDoiI
That is a mystery... I'm wondering if it was damage done from coolant...
just my two cents but if you hold your phone sideways when recording then the video will fit on the youtube screen properly
That is a mystery... I'm wondering if it was damage done from coolant...
just my two cents but if you hold your phone sideways when recording then the video will fit on the youtube screen properly
Oh ok I’m not familiar with YouTube and posting yet but thanks for the tip. Every time I try that and watch it back on my phone the screen gets small.

The SMOD...coolant contamination, was my original thought but now I’m wondering if it isn’t the chain.
I'm 99% sure it's the secondary timing chain tensioners. I just had mine done about a month ago and it sounded just like that. Depending on your mileage, there is some compensation via a class action lawsuit:

https://www.falcovnissan.com/en

However, it's not enough to cover the cost of the repair. It is possible to DIY, but I'm not touching anything to do with timing. In one case I came across, a mechanic that did his own said it took him 8 hours. It's probably going to run you 1500-2000, especially since they might as well do the primary chain, water pump, and thermostat while they're in there.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I wish you luck.
I'm 99% sure it's the secondary timing chain tensioners. I just had mine done about a month ago and it sounded just like that. Depending on your mileage, there is some compensation via a class action lawsuit:

https://www.falcovnissan.com/en

However, it's not enough to cover the cost of the repair. It is possible to DIY, but I'm not touching anything to do with timing. In one case I came across, a mechanic that did his own said it took him 8 hours. It's probably going to run you 1500-2000, especially since they might as well do the primary chain, water pump, and thermostat while they're in there.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I wish you luck.
Mines an 06 with 122,000
Thank you for the input.. that would still be better than $5 for a tranny.
Yes that is definitely the timing chains. My 06 was making the exact same noise. It started around 110k and i drove it like that as it got worse until about 165k and just sold it. I took it to the local dealership and they wanted 1400 before taxes and fees. Like others have said, sorry to break the bad news to you. Your tranny looks like its shifting well at least. And good luck with the compensation... that may be hard to get.
Be sure to save any receipts or other paperwork associated with getting it fixed - If you ever decide to sell the truck, it'll be easier if you can prove to prospective buyers that the timing chain has already been done.
Yes that is definitely the timing chains. My 06 was making the exact same noise. It started around 110k and i drove it like that as it got worse until about 165k and just sold it. I took it to the local dealership and they wanted 1400 before taxes and fees. Like others have said, sorry to break the bad news to you. Your tranny looks like its shifting well at least. And good luck with the compensation... that may be hard to get.
When I first got the truck I took it in on the way home and got oil changed. I asked them about fixing the timing chain if that’s what it was.. he looked it up and got back to me and said they have a kit that includes everything, water pump and all for $4500...I laughed end basically told em they were f....... nuts!

Thanks for the info, I’m pretty positive it’s the chain now also, with your help and a YouTube video I had saved and I guess never watched sounds exactly like it and he got it fixed and that was it.
Thanks for the advice Skybane!
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