Nissan Frontier Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I have a 2005 frontier, 6 cylinder, 4x4 king cab with 80.5k miles. I took this baby on a road trip, and on the return drive, about 800 miles into the trip, I became stuck in traffic. Anyways, once it let up and I started accelerating, we felt a large "thump" as if someone rear ended us going like 3 mph but the thump came from under the hood. It literally shook the truck and immediately the check engine light came on. Thank god I was right by an exit. I pulled into a station, checked all the fluids and serpentine belt and everything was okay. Started the engine again, put it in reverse, then put it in drive, and the truck barely accelerated at all. I turned that baby off and got it towed to the dealership. Any ideas? I at first thought it was possibly the distributing cap or timing belt, but the Toyota dealership i bought it from said from what they can tell diagnostically it has something to do with the tranny... Kind of sucks, only had this truck for 2 weeks. Thank god it came with a warranty. Thanks for any feedback!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
I'm betting cross contamination of liquids... Engine coolant made it's way into the coolant lines of the transmission. Radiator has a built in transmission cooler that is suppose to keep the transmission fluid and engine coolant in separate systems but is prone to rupturing and causing serious damage to the transmission. If it happened SUDDENLY and you didn't feel any strange vibrations or odd shifting habits before this happened, I'm counting on your ECU to be toast, bad ground somewhere probably, heck even a bad battery/terminals. My ECU's ECM(EDIT, TCM*) went crap on me and my transmission only shifted up to 3rd gear, past 45mph it would slip to neutral. New ECU and shazam, perfect, found a bad ground on the engine that was ignition related that caused the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually now that you mention it, I was feeling/hearing an odd "shaking/thumping" especially when turning right even the slightest. Between 70-80 i was feeling a shaking as well. I am not sure if that could be a U joint issue though. But the ECU going out could really have caused the car to jump up like that? Thanks for the reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
I'm going to count on the coolant/trans fluid cross contamination being the culprit.

If there is a pinkish milkshake appearance under the radiator cap at all, you've got issues ! :eek: If they can, pressure them into throwing a new transmission in there and new radiator and you're good to go. I've read a couple stories on this thread that some people have just flushed the transmission a couple times and its back to perfect with a new radiator.

The ECU has its own built in TCM [trans control] (made a typo in the previous post), it is the brain for the transmission also. So, yes... when my ECU took a crap it happened all at once instantly, after it went stupid, test driving it around, it would jerk sometimes, and only sometimes... but never shifted above 3rd gear, bad grounds fry sensitive electronics!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,129 Posts
im not sure what you mean by the ecu has a built in tcm, the tcm is in the transmission, could you elaborate a little more?
normally cross contamination is a gradual thing. no reason for a thud to happen at all.
i suspect something else maybe the cause.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It didn't even cross my mind to check the transmission fluid and I do not remember the color of the radiator fluid... When the dealer calls me back, I will be sure to mention that particular issue to them. If it is cross contamination, should I demand a new transmission?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,529 Posts
It didn't even cross my mind to check the transmission fluid and I do not remember the color of the radiator fluid... When the dealer calls me back, I will be sure to mention that particular issue to them. If it is cross contamination, should I demand a new transmission?
If you took off the coolant cap and had the cross-contaimination issue you would have noticed a nice strawberry shake substance attached to the cap. If you didn't then it is probably something else.

I have to ask thou, after the "thud" were you able to accelerate to the station or did you have to push it?

I wonder if it is the rear diff or something along those lines?

If it is the trans, they will probably source a used one for you over re-building since it may cost less for them to get a used unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After the thud, I had to push it a little harder to the station. Once I turned the truck off and back on, put it in reverse, then drive, and accelerated, I REALLY had to push it to even get it to move. It didn't feel like a rear diff, the thud came from the front end of truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,529 Posts
IDK, I would doubt that it would still move under its own power if the diff was completely gone so it may be the trans. Your friction plates may be worn out completely but the "thud" still gets me. The "thud" is uaually a tell-tale sign of a diff so idk.

Side Note: I wonder if it could be the Tcase? I also wonder if the diff would still work if the spider gears were sheared? I guess I will just have to wait to see what your mechanic says.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not to sure either about the thud. It shook the cab and made our hearts skip a beat. I guess I will just wait to see what the dealership says and let you all know whats going on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,129 Posts
IDK, I would doubt that it would still move under its own power if the diff was completely gone so it may be the trans. Your friction plates may be worn out completely but the "thud" still gets me. The "thud" is uaually a tell-tale sign of a diff so idk.

Side Note: I wonder if it could be the Tcase? I also wonder if the diff would still work if the spider gears were sheared? I guess I will just have to wait to see what your mechanic says.
mine didnt. :(

I am not to sure either about the thud. It shook the cab and made our hearts skip a beat. I guess I will just wait to see what the dealership says and let you all know whats going on.
definitely keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
The transmission has a valve body in there that controls the shifting components, but as far as I know, the engine computer (ECU) controls the shift patterns, this is how the truck does it's automatically adjusting shift patterns depending on the drivers style of driving for saving fuel or more more torque, pretty sure that's all in the ECU... All I can say is, when my ECU went retarded because of the bad ground on my engine (called the ignition system ground), it stopped communicating with the transmission correctly and if I tried to get it to go highway speeds after this by feathering the throttle, it was kicking in and out of incorrect gears and yes, it hit HARD... i mean it was a loud bang, to this day I am VERY surprised my rear differential is working perfectly after that abuse it took when my transmission/ecm went haywire, locker and all still works perfectly smoothly. As soon as that new ECU was put in there, the truck was perfect, oh.. and the new grounds so it didn't happen again, I made them throw me in a transmission, they told me it needed a new transmission, so they ordered one... I told them in the mean time of waiting for the transmission, throw a new ECU in there... it worked perfect, nice smooth shifts, full of power, brand new, had them put the new transmission in anyways. It was just a bad little situation for my truck, doesn't happen often, little stupid bad ground and the dealership was just lost and didn't know what to do, I felt like I did more thinking work than they did.

Just have them check simple things first, Reset the ECU, clean the battery terminals, try a different battery, look at all the major grounds (left of the battery bolted to the body, to the right of the air box bolted to the body, the top of the engine, right side towards the front of the truck, near the alternator on the engine block, etc)...

When my rodeo had a bad ground cable that I hadn't realized i screwed up on the battery after I installed my power inverter for using tools at work, that transmission went stupid also, same ignition system with coil/plug, same ECM/TCM setup, it kept shifting hard only randomly, when I went to accelerate.. it was just .. BOOOOOM! .. scared the hell out of me... after a while of tinkering, seem my ground was so loose it was barely touching, bolted er' back up, it's been 70k miles since and she shifts perfectly smooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very interesting Steve, I will definitely make sure they are aware of that possible issue. Unfortunately, the service department is closed this weekend, so I won't hear diddly until Monday afternoon probably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
do you have a scanner? what code are you getting?

If not go to local autzone and ask them to hook up their scanner and get the code
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I got an update from the toyota dealership. Supposedly when it went over to the Nissan dealership, the check engine light was not on, no codes were coming up, and everything is fine... They have been driving it and absolutely nothing is wrong they say. So the thud, check engine light on, and not being able to accelerate just disappeared and all is good now? Seems rather shady to me. Not to sure what else to do rather than to get the truck back and drive it myself for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
Well I got an update from the toyota dealership. Supposedly when it went over to the Nissan dealership, the check engine light was not on, no codes were coming up, and everything is fine... They have been driving it and absolutely nothing is wrong they say. So the thud, check engine light on, and not being able to accelerate just disappeared and all is good now? Seems rather shady to me. Not to sure what else to do rather than to get the truck back and drive it myself for a while.
Sounds about right from some dealerships, I had a dealership tell me that everything I took my car in for was not covered under warranty but then when the warranty was up suddenly it would have been covered if i brought it in then. sometimes i dont get it.

good luck, there is nothing worse than having to deal with that stuff on a trip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ya, I think they are not wanting to dish out the money to fix the real problem... I am just going to suck it up and pay someone I trust to take a very thorough look at it. Why offer a warranty on something but not follow through with it? Heck, then again maybe there's a small chance nothing is wrong....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,587 Posts
If there is something wrong that threw a code and it is still wrong it will throw the code again within 100 miles. When the light comes on hook a scanner to it. If the light does not come back on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, I am picking up the truck tomorrow. They told me, and I quote "There was some trash in the transmission, we drained it, filled it back up, drove 300 miles, drained it again, and filled it back up. It is running just fine. We are going to even extend your warranty for 90 more days." This is all the guy could tell me. Sounds like the infamous radiator/transmission fluid leak to me. What course of action would you recommend here?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top