Your Nissan Altima transmission is an essential part of your car. It helps your vehicle to reach higher speeds and save fuel when cruising all while still having enough torque to get moving from a stop. However, transmissions are complex machines and sometimes they break, especially if they haven’t been maintained well.
A transmission repair or replacement is typically covered by your warranty. However, if you are out of warranty, such as if you are replacing a 2007 Nissan Altima transmission, the cost can be quite steep. The cost of the part alone can be between $2,500 and $4,000. If you are having a mechanic do the work for you, expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,500 extra for the labor. So, you can save yourself a significant amount of money if you do the repair yourself, provided that you have the equipment.
How Does a Transmission Work?
The basic principle of a transmission is quite simple. Transmissions have an input and an output drive shaft. These are connected by some gears. If you change the ratio of rotations of the input shaft to the output shaft, you can change the number of engine revolutions that are needed to turn the wheels once.
The result of this is that you have extra torque in low gears, helping your vehicle to get started moving. When you move up to higher gears, you will be delivering less torque to the wheels, but the engine doesn’t need to work as hard to turn the wheels. Since you have inertia on your side at this point, the lower torque is fine.
Nissan Altima transmissions are slightly more complex, starting with the 2007 model year. For example, a 2010 Nissan Altima transmission is likely a continuously variable transmission (there’s also a manual option). CVTs don’t have gears. Instead, the driveshafts are connected by a belt or chain mounted on a pulley system. The pulleys can be manipulated to adjust the input to output ratio. This means that there are no pre-set gear ratios, but rather the vehicle can set the ratio to whatever suits the moment.
Symptoms of a Bad Transmission
There are a variety of signs that may indicate that your transmission is bad. These are some issues to watch out for:
- Difficulty switching gears
- Weird noises when your vehicle is in neutral or idling
- A burning smell (you should visit a mechanic immediately)
- Leaking fluid from the transmission
- Grinding or shaking as you move through the gears
- Poor responsiveness when changing gears
- Humming, whining or clunking noises
- Check engine light on (this can be checked with an OBD-2 scanner)
While some of these symptoms may be caused by other issues, you should inspect them as soon as possible. Even if your transmission isn’t the issue, they can signal serious problems.
Replacing Your Nissan Altima Transmission
With the above information, you can consider changing your 2013 Nissan Altima transmission or the transmission on any other vehicle. It is not a small undertaking, but it can be a very rewarding experience.