ATF IS BROWN WITH A REDDISH TONE TO IT???

Discussion topics related to the radiator and transmission failures in all Nissan trucks, education of the public on this issue, and attempts to force Nissan to start a recall.

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BCpathy
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:57 am
Location: British Columbia, Canada

ATF IS BROWN WITH A REDDISH TONE TO IT???

Postby BCpathy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:47 am

Hi guys,

I have been following this forum for a while now. But this is my first post.

First of all, I would like to thank you all for the information you share on this forum. It's been a great help so far.

Here's my story:

I recently purchased a 2010 SE with 101.000 miles from a dealership. I was aware of the cross contamination problem, but for some reason I was under the impression that its 2005 to 2008 mpdels only. I only found this forum a day after I bought the truck.
When I test drove the vehicle, I checked the coolant reservoir and cracked open the radiator cap anyway. All was blue in colour and clear. No signs of milkshake. Transmission also worked fine. And as I wasn't aware of the fact that the 2010 models areaaffected as well, I didn't really think it was necessary to look at the ATF (I mean draining some).

After I had the truck home for two days, I checked the reservoir and saw that I had to top up about an inch of coolant. I also noticed on the same day, that thetransmission is shifting without any problems, but seems to be unsure if it wants to be in 3 or 4, when driven at low rpms/1000-1200. It does something like a double shift. It shifts from 2 to 3 and a few secs later goes to 4. It then hesitates a couple if seconds, before it really speeds up again, if I dont push the pedal down.
It has no problems making normal shifts, when I drive it a bit harder. And I don't mean pushing it. Just going a bit less for fuel economy.

Is this normal???

I did the bypass right away.

I did it as doctahjones described it on this forum. Only I needed about 20 cm of line and I had to buy two double barbed connectors because of that. More about that in a separate post.

My question is: when disconnected the hoses from the botom of the radiator, I cought about 20 to 30 mL of fluid. I only list a few drops, so thats all that was in the hose and came iut of the rad.
the colour was brown, with a reddish shine to it. I didnt smell burned. Neither did it look watery.
is the colour normal? Could the ATF just be aged? Or do I have a problem?

I'll have Nissan replace the radiator in three days from now. I opted for the cheaper OEM one. They say it's going to cost 750 canadian. I don't mind paying for the replacement if it saves the truck. But I don't want to pay for it, if the transmission is already damaged. If that is the case, it obviously had the defect when I bought it and I will go against the dealership for selling me a defect vehicle.
So I asked them to pull the pan and check for contamination. If they don't do it for free, I'll do it myself. What do I need to look for?

Please help me out with some info and suggestions on my case guys. Thanks


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disallow
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Postby disallow » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:57 am

Based on your description, I think you are in good shape and don't have any cross contamination.

Best way to determine this would be to do a drain and fill on your transmission. You would be able to see very quickly if you have the SMOD. (Strawberry Milkshake of Death).

And it sounds like your transmission fluid could use some freshening up anyways.

t

BCpathy
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:57 am
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Postby BCpathy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:25 am

Thanks for your promt reply Terry. Yes will drain and fill ATF. Just want the dealer to do it and check for contamination at the same time. Or are the signs for contamination obvious enough for me to see when I pull the pan myself? Are there chances that a very minor contamination has taken place and there is no SMOD yet?
I am going to take the old radiator home after it's been replaced. That way I can check for cracks. Visually and using an air compressor. Could anyone describe how to do that the most effective way?

Also, is it possible that my valve body is giving up? I'm glad if so. That's an easy fix I guess.
And if it should turn out to be the valve body, that causes the weird shifting in between 3 and 4, is there just one type of valve body available? Can you get one with a sporty or torque or fuel saving modification? Or is it just one type and modifications can only be made through the Stelenoid?

Anyway, until I know for sure that i had no cross contamination, that's my biggest concern. Everything else is not so immediate.

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disallow
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Location: Winnipeg, Canada

Postby disallow » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:05 am

you don't need to pull the pan, there is a drain bolt.

Yes it is quite obvious if there is water in it. It looks like a milky puddle of goo if there is water in it.

Sounds like your coolant may have been changed recently with premixed coolant. I also use a blue-dyed coolant in my pathy. That fact, coupled with the fact that your trans fluid looks brownish-red (older) tells me you should be OK, if there was a problem, both the coolant and the trans fluid would be new...

Any codes from the transmission? I would change the fluid and see if there is any improvement before looking at repairing/rebuilding the transmission. Aside from the Coolant contamination issue, these transmissions are nearly bulletproof. I have over 260k kms on mine and its still rock solid.

hjwd1
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:19 pm

Postby hjwd1 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:00 pm

I just had my tranny checked while diagnosing an issue, the fluid was noted as being brown, was tested and came up clean for cross contamination. (thankfully). Hope this helps. the dealer recommend a flush/fill but did not think there was any damage being done. (2010 se)

BCpathy
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:57 am
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Postby BCpathy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:36 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I had the radiator replaced today. Had the bypass done for more than two weeks now.
I had a very good mechanic at the dealership. Certainly didnt expect that much straight forwardness and honesty. Him and the service guy called me in 2hen they drained the tranny. No milkshake at all. After i hadn't found any signs of SMOD in the resevoir, rad cap or the bit of ATF that I drained of when i did the bypass, my hopes seem to be confirmed. Clear brown/reddish oil, came out of the tranny. What a blessinng.

Thanks to everyone here in the forum.

you guys helped a new pathy owner to realize the danger right away

now i gotta figure out, why my transmission does the weird swith from 3 to 4 at low rpm from time to time. Could it be the stolenoids? Does my whole valve body need to be reprogrammed? Or even replaced?
As it's very hardly to recognize anyway, and therefore not really an issue, I'll probably leave it this way for now.


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