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Rough shifting when the Transmission is cold

10722 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  GSX-Rob
This winter I've noticed that my transmission really shifts hard from 1 to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. Even when driving it as gingerly as I can. Once the transmission warms up the issue goes away.

The only change I can think of is that I changed (drain/fill, not flush) the transmission fluid last fall. I don't have a bottle with me but I'm pretty sure Nissan sold me the "new" trans fluid and not the original fluid type that was in the truck.

Do you think that's the issue or is something else going on?
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Every auto vehicle I've ever had did this when it was cold out and the vehicle itself was "cold soaked", so I'd say it's normal. I don't have first had experience with the Frontiers though as mine is a 6 spd
I think it's normal for a auto. My truck has always had hard shifts when the weather's cold (below 30F).
I have the same. When it is cold the shifts suck. The only other thing to check is to make sure you didn't put too much or too little fluid back in when you did your trans service.

Once your trans heats up, it should shift smooth thou or atleast mine does.
its not an issue. and at that point and time, its better for your trans. cold fluid is champ in a tranny.
Mine does the same thing when it's cold.
Well, even though this is the first year for this, I feel a bit better, thanks. But will check the level this afternoon.
it could be a characteristic of the new fluid - but harder shifts are better for the tranny anyway, so its not hurting it.
it could be a characteristic of the new fluid - but harder shifts are better for the tranny anyway, so its not hurting it.
How exactly is a hard shift better for the tranny than a smooth shift? When I approach -4F, My tranny kicks into the next gear so hard that it sounds like I've been rear-ended, and often breaks traction on ice/snow. And this is under light acceleration. I've had a LOT of automatic transmissions, but I've never experienced anything as horrific as my Frontier. The lash to the drive train that this has to be causing makes me sick to the stomach and has me considering another vehicle since Nissan refuses to do acknowledge that there is an issue. But hey, I'm just a lowly engineer, so I could be wrong.
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