Nissan Frontier Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking through the owner's manual I noticed that the transmission requires S Matic and that if need be you can sub in J Matic. This I understand as S simply stands for synthetic ATF and J is conventional ATF with both meeting JASO-1A spec. But the transfer case calls for D Matic with no other subs. When you look at Castrol Transmax Import Multi-Vehicle it is said to meet the Nissan spec for D, J & K ATF oils. Thus my question couldn't one refill the transfer case with S Matic or Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF oil?

Also I find it very strange that the differentials have different specs too, which I cut and pasted below...
Front Final Drive: Genuine NISSAN Differential Oil Hypoid Super GL-5 80W-90 or equivalent conventional (non-synthetic)
Rear Final Drive (except for 6 speed M/T or E-Lock vehicles): API GL-5 synthetic gear oil, Viscosity SAE 75W-90

Power Steering Fluid: Genuine NISSAN PSF or equivalent or DEXRON™ VI type ATF may also be used. Wouldn't that be the same as S Matic? According the Castrol Transmax Full Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF it would be?

Brake Fluid: Genuine NISSAN Super Heavy Duty Brake Fluid or equivalent DOT 3
Why does anybody still use DOT 3 when DOT 4 is fully backwards compatible?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I'm not gona say what to put in the t-case but the dealer told me they have a 55G drum of Dex/Mercon for the T-cases, only Matic D used is for warranty svc. I would think if it Specs better D it would be fine. Mine got M1 ATF in T case, M1 75/90 in diffs and Matic S in trans @ 28Kmi.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,691 Posts
NissanMatic Type "J" ATF is synthetic; it is made by Castrol and is essentially the same as Castrol Transmax Multi-import ATF. Type "S" was developed for the Nissan 7-speed, rear wheel drive, automatic transmission used in some Infiniti models and is Type "J" with added friction modifiers. Type "S" is phasing out Type "J" ATF but there is still plenty available for those that want it. FYI, Type "D" ATF is the original Dexron formula; it and Dexron II ATF have a slightly thinner viscosity than Dexron III/Mercon. For those earlier Nissan transmissions that spec'd Type "D" ATF, Dexron III/Mercon should not be used to service the fluid because it was found to cause sticking inside the valve body; one should use Type "D" or a synthetic ATF that is recommended for use in Dexron II applications. For the RE5R05A 5-speed automatic transmission, Type "J," Type "S" and most aftermarket synthetics will work just fine. For me, Valvoline Maxlife Full-synthetic ATF is the best "bang for the buck." You can usually pick it up at Walmart for around $18 for a 1-gallon jug. I use it in the transmission of my two, R51 Pathfinders and my 03 Frontier. I use the Valvoline in my R51 transfer cases, as well, one a standard and the other an Auto mode transfer case. You can use Type "J" and Type "S" in the transfer case, but why spend all that money when you can use much less expensive, regular Dexron III/Mercon or an aftermarket synthetic? Last time I purchased Type "S" it was around $9/quart. I have over 250,000 combined miles of Valvoline Maxlife use in the transmissions/transfer cases of my R51's and they still shift like new. I do a drain and fill every 50,000 miles. I also use the Valvoline Maxlife in my power steering systems; one thing you do not want to use in your power steering is the amber or clear power steering fluids available at the local parts stores. Nissan uses red transmission fluid for their power steering systems; the clear or amber fluids are used mostly in the US domestic systems. Genuine Nissan power steering fluid is Type "D" ATF in a smaller bottle.
For the diffs, you can use full-synthetic, 75W90 gear oil in both the front and the rear and they'll be just fine. I typically use Mobil One in those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks SMJ for the reply, I should have just done more research here as I see (and should have known) that it has been discussed many times over. My questions stemmed from the desire to know what is considered safe or not safe to use and hopefully simplify the fluids needed to maintain properly. Meaning despite cost can I SAFELY use S Matic or a suitable equal in all 3 locations trans, transfer & steering or would I be better served with multiple fluids? Hopefully our Hyundai Santa Fe also used the same ATF fluids...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
493 Posts
Brake fluids: DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5.1 are very similar and all are polyethylene glycol-based fluids. But don't use DOT5 which is silicone based. Glycol based fluids are hygroscopic and absorb water, when moisture collects in the system it mixes and doesn't cause very much corrosion and won't freeze. Silicone based fluid (DOT5) does not absorb water (hydrophobic) and lets water collect in the low points where it can cause corrosion and/or freeze.

The two most common and readily available are DOT3 and DOT4, for most of us either one would be fine. DOT 4 does have a slightly higher boiling point and would be better for competition or trailer towing in the mountains.
 

·
Registered
2016 Frontier SV 4x4 Crew Cab
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
The other day i mentioned in a thread about the front diff oil. I see that most people ignore the manual and just put in some synthetic stuff in the front, even though it specifically says to use non-synthetic hypoid type.

I don't know about these trucks yet (just got mine), but as I mentioned the other day, I had an interesting situation with my wife's Suzuki Vitara. It too called for non-synthetic hypiod diff fluid, except in the rear end. I ignored it and put in Amsoil GL5 synthetic, same weight. Guess what, the rear end bound up and wouldn't turn smoothly when turning tightly. I drained it and put in some cheap conventional Kendal HYPOID fluid, and it was smooth as butter again. Will the same happen on the frontier? it's hard to say. The front is only working when 4x4 is engaged, which wouldn't be on dry surfaces where you're turning tightly anyway, so my guess is that you'd never realize if it did cause a problem. All I know is when the time comes to replace it, I'm definitely following the manual's advice, it's there for a reason... Hopefully it is fine to use synthetic though since that's what most people use (no one reads the manual)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,691 Posts
For those interested in Valvoline Maxlife ATF compatibility:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
most tranny fluids are at least semi-syn to meet OE specs, even the Tech fluids for GM dexos VI is good. a note on synthetics, almost all of todays products marketed as "synthetic" are technically group III base oils aka refined CRUDE!!! although they are a good value they fall short in severe conditions of cold or heat. PAO group IV what all amsoil WAS + Ester group V aka Redline etc are true synthesized lubricants + not refined from CRUDE!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
I use full syn Valvoline everywhere - everything works great. Have read that manual tranny synchros on Frontiers are sensitive to type/brand of oil used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
329 Posts
using synthetic fluids is generally best, even the group III highly refined CRUDE oils legally advertised + sold as "synthetic" since 1999 are a good value + better than the cheaper oils. for the seldom changed drivetrain lubes i use Redline products, their MT-90 really worked in my 200,000 mile traded 01 jetta 1.8T with the soft syncros in their O2J 5 spd + shortly after purchase of my 01 TT 225Q with their 6 spd, i put it in there + noticed improved shifting. Redline blends some of the best lubricants but you pay $$$ for that!!! factory lubes are always way overpriced + usually not as good as comparative aftermarket!! you can call or check Redlines site for proper lube recommendations from their top shelf Ester based products
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am going to go and get the max life synthetic made by valvoline at Wal-Mart. I want to change the filter as well. Anyone have any tips or tricks to get as much fold fluid out of the tranmission? I have read on here several different ways people have done diy flushes.
Thanks in advance
Kevin
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top