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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok just got a 07 4.0l Frontier (146k miles)used from a Kia dealer.

-Drove it for a week and started to feel rumble strip at around 40mph and 1k rpm.
-checked tran fluid and its grayish
-take it to amco who says it's going to need rebuilt trans
-then take it to dealer who says "we will fix problems"
-they tell me they did some computer stuff and find no problems and reset/changed some stuff on computer
-say they can't get the rumble strip feeling after 200 miles driving
-tell me gray fluid is norm for vehicle with that mileage
-tell me nothing wrong with trans and say no cross contamination
- tell me to come drive it for afew days and they will have computer hooked up and could see if there's a problem
-they believe it could be a solenoid

Are they full of it? Or could it be true what they are saying? Basically, is this truck gonna need a trans rebuilt/replaced or what would you all recommend I do since the dealer is claiming they will fix problem even though the mechanic seems to be a derp

· Premium Member
3,886 Posts
Grey/black fluid can mean lots of worn clutch material in the fluid due to heat and or poor maintenance. A trusted trans shop in the area (not Aamco...) should be able to do a fluid analysis and tell you the full story.

General Fluid color chart here:
Transmission Fluid Color | What the Colors Mean

· Premium Member
3,922 Posts
Knowing by experience, NissanMatic "J" and "S" ATF drains looking a dark brown, burnt color normally and looks almost clear on the dipstick; this is characteristic of that particular ATF, which is actually the same as Castrol Transmax Multi-import ATF. I went through the same worries with my two, R51 Pathfinders when I serviced their transmission fluid initially. I currently service both of the vehicles with Valvoline Maxlife ATF and after a couple of drain and fill services, the fluid now drains a cherry red color and looks light red on the dipstick. The 2008 has 100,000 miles in it since I first serviced it and the 2006 has 75,000 miles on it since I first serviced it and neither have any shifting or other trans issues.
As far as whether there is something wrong with "your" transmission, I cannot say, but I wouldn't condemn the transmission solely due to the color of the fluid, as long as there are no white streaks or custard in it due to coolant contamination. A faulty shift solenoid is possible, but they are hard to find and usually one needs to replace the entire TCM/valve body assembly to replace one or more of the seven solenoids. They also aren't cheap, but, cheaper than a whole transmission, if that's the case. Bad U-joints are also a common cause of driveline vibration.
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