Yes, there are a lot of people who bypass without any issues and do tow. We have a number of them at TheNissanPath,com that do it. When I say "areas that see extreme heat," I'm usually talking about areas like in Arizona where they can see 135 degrees F. on some days. That said, just because you do it and haven't had any problems doesn't mean the transmission fluid isn't taking a toll when you do tow on those hot days. We really don't know. I ran my own 2008 Pathy for a little while with the bypass. In the end, I replaced the radiator for two reasons. One, a member of the forum had a brand new Koyorad for $50 that he was selling because he traded-in his Pathfinder before he could install the radiator. Two, with aftermarket replacements (which are not known to have cooler issues) being available for less than $100, I thought, "why take a chance?" Nissan designed the transmission cooling system that way for a reason, so rather than re-engineer their design, I just replaced the part that is the known problem of the system (the failure-prone, factory radiator). When transmission and radiator repairs where going for around $7000 at the time, it was cheap insurance.This may have been covered already but I did the radiator cooler bypass at about 45k and never had a problem with my transmission after 212k. Granted, we don't see the continuous cold temps here in Tennessee like some see up north, but it does get pretty hot down here. I used to occasionally tow a 4200 lb trailer and my camper and boat and the transmission never had any issues. I never had a temp gauge to keep an eye on the temp though.
YES! My Transmission Control module failed due to this reason. Also destroyed the valve body. Transmission rebuild, the whole matzo ball. This is absolutely an issue with these models, and if it hasn't happened yet, it will.Have not made it to the dealer yet as today is Sunday. I most likely have transmission cooler/radiator failure. As I learn more, I will update the thread.
Plan for the day was to change oil/trans/front dif/rear dif/and transfer case fluids. Did oil first, then moved on to transmission.
Didn't like the color, it just seemed "off" to me. Had the "Oh chit!" moment as the thought of radiator to transmission cross contamination came to mind. Went to the radiator overfill and didn't notice anything to scare me. Went to radiator cap, and there it was, a strawberry shake in the cap.
Through this, I learned a couple of things that would be helpful to others:
Noticed a vibration around 30mph on Thursday of last week (4 days ago). Seemed like turning OD off solved the issue. Felt like very worn rumble strip. Find similar vibrations on concrete highways also.
Autozone has a part that would work if the Nissan part was not readily available.
No parts are actually needed to do this beyond the vacuum caps mentioned in post #1. Reason being if you follow the passenger side hose up the side of the radiator, there is a splice (shown in post #1) already there. Remove from the splice to where it was originally attached, and the driver's side hose will reach to that location. Here is the section of hose that I removed that went from splice to passenger's side radiator.Here is the location of the splice on the passenger's side of the radiator.
Specs on my truck = '05 Nismo w/ 77951 miles March build date. So, for those with '05 frontiers, it might be worth it to do this as others have had issues.
transmission cooler/radiator bypass --PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
had failure #1
had failure #2
had failure #3
newly added had failure #4
Thank you! I looked all over and under everything and couldn't find a part number posted on the driver side of the radiator at all. This was a former dealer owned vehicle and alot has been done prior to me being the owner.The Calsonic part number sticker you have pictured is for the A/C condenser, not the radiator. Radiator part numbers start with "21460-." However, the CSF 3196 is a part number for an aftermarket, CSF brand radiator. So, your radiator has been replaced.
If it was a genuine Nissan radiator, the Calsonic label would be on the very top of the radiator tank in plain site.Thank you! I looked all over and under everything and couldn't find a part number posted on the driver side of the radiator at all. This was a former dealer owned vehicle and alot has been done prior to me being the owner.
I have a 2007 Frontier SE (147,000 miles) and just threw a PO717 code this past week. Sorta started getting a baseline since I bought this vehicle about 4 years ago (about 100K miles) used, private sale. So, Im not entirely sure of the history unfortunately. I do have a 21460 EA215 sticker on my radiator top. From looking at my radiator, it looks like the tranny lines go into a seperate coolant loop (silver piping) which sits in front of the engine radiator? I may be looking at the wrong lines however, the pictures in this thread are all photobucket 'blurred' so I can't see any of them.Oh, now i see a seperate radiator in front on the engine radiator (all black) it is on the passenger side, so looks like I may be either good from the factory or fixed by the dealer at some point. My truck was manufactured 07/07.
My current engine coolant looks fine colorwise/texturewise and my tranny didn't have miky fluid when I flushed it out about 25K ago, just dark. Not sure if Im living on borrowed time or if the previous owner may have already addressed this. Either way, I wanted to potentially eliminate this before I dive into the direct AT 717 code with the tranny shop.
Went thru this myself, have a 2006, never heard of this smod deal. Look underneath, trans fluid goes from the trans to the bottom of the radiator, then out the radiator to the cooler you saw, then back out to the trans. I immeadtly bypassed the radiator and ordered a new one $85 at Rock auto. So, that is a cooler you saw but it still goes thru the radiator too.
It's been discussed forever, but most aftermarket radiators (even ones specified for manual transmissions) have transmission cooler in them and you just cap them off if you have a manual. It's not something specific to Nissan or the Frontier.
You need to do the BYPASS as soon as possible, to avoid ruining your transmission immediately ... it's a $6,000 - 7,000 error you don't want to experience. On the other hand, you can replace your radiator at a more convenient time ... no big hurry. Cold tranny fluid does not stay cold very long, even WITHOUT the radiator connection. I live in Kansas City where it gets pretty dang cold in the winter, and I only drive 2 miles to work every day ... not enough to warm the engine, open the thermostat, or get any heat into the radiator, so thinking that the radiator will warm the tranny fluid in this kind of situation is misguided, and my tranny has operated just fine for over 14 years. Your tranny fluid will generate heat when slipping inside the torque converter under normal driving and stop-n-go situations, long before it would attain any heat from the radiator, and with modern day synthetic transmission fluid, being so cold that it doesn't flow is not a concern. Many people only make short trips in their vehicles where the radiator never comes into play, and their transmissions operate just fine for many years with "cold fluid". The major concern is avoiding "contamination" of the fluid, and overheating the fluid, so bypassing the lower radiator connection and going directly to the external cooler in the front should be your immediate concern.Im assuming I will have some issues with my tranny fluid being too cold (especially here in Colorado where it does get fairly cold).