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8 Unexpected Transmission Problems Of A Nissan Murano

8 Unexpected Transmission Problems Of A Nissan Murano

If you cherish style and design over space, you might be immediately impressed by the Nissan Murano. This stylish crossover SUV brings style to the segment, but it also doesn’t forget about spoiling the driver. But we’re not here to discuss engine power and interior comfort; this blog is all about Murano’s transmission reliability. Here is a quick summary of our findings.

All three generations of the Nissan Murano from 2002 onwards have severe problems with its CVT automatic transmissions. Problems range from juddering, shaking, hesitation to accelerate, and common complete and premature failures. Nissan did very little to resolve these problems.

We talked about several Nissan models and their CVT-related problems. We analyzed the past two generations of the Murano by closely inspecting all the technical service bulletins, potential recalls, and the owners’ complaints posted on NHTSA’s and various owner’s forums. Keep reading!

If you’re interested in all problems that relate to a Nissan Murano, read the article we just linked there.

Common Nissan Murano Transmission Problems

To get a clear view of the transmission problems, we will first separate this section into different generations of the Murano and then list and analyze each of the offered transmissions separately.

Third generation – Z52 (2015-Present)

The latest, 3rd-generation Murano is already on a long production run by today’s standards. As of now, there is no talk of it being replaced, as it has minor issues (like liftgate issues) but is an all-around reliable car. Here are the currently available transmission options:

  • RE0F10J CVT Automatic Transmission
  • 6-Speed Standard Automatic

As expected, the CVT unit is the most problematic of the two. Here is what we have found out.

RE0F10J CVT Automatic Transmission

RE0F10J CVT Automatic Transmission

Right from the start, as we started to read through NHTSA’s owner’s complaints, it was evident that this continuously variable transmission suffers from significant problems. More than 20 reports of complete CVT failure for the 2015 model year alone exist. One of the owners’ reports:

CVT transmission suddenly began sputtering on acceleration from a stop, which put me at risk of causing a collision, since it was not reliable to pull out into traffic. The dealership confirmed that the CVT transmission needed replaced (which it was at my expense). The problem first appeared in 11/2021 (got it fixed in 12/21) and no warning lights came on.

NHTSA ID Number: 11441977

There are similar reports for all model years of the 3rd generation Murano and the problem has yet to be addressed with any sort of recalls. Numerous owners also report acceleration hesitation, juddering, shaking, and even CVT fluid leaks.

Nissan released a series of technical service bulletins that addressed the issue, but they haven’t fixed the core reason for those issues.

Due to the number of owners’ complaints about the juddering, shaking, bumping, and vibrating of the CVT. Nissan released the TSB reference NTB15-014b, and this bulletin provided detailed instructions for diagnosing these issues. 

This included the introduction of new diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that recorded the juddering-like symptoms. Based on these DTCs, the service technicians had less trouble identifying the part causing the problem. Oddly enough, this TSB only applied to the 2015 model year Murano.

To follow up on this TSB, Nissan later released the TSB reference NTB17-039M to provide further instructions on diagnosing vehicles that have the previously mentioned DTCs stored in the TCM. Upon further investigation, owners of the affected vehicles will be granted a complete replacement CVT unit, a new control valve, or a new valve body!

Due to the complaints of weird noises and many cases in which owners even had complete CVT replacements based on these odd noises, Nissan released the TSB reference NTB16-109b.

This TSB listed all the noise descriptions that are normal in the operation of the CVT transmission, and this significantly reduced the amount of “weird noise” based repairs and warranty claims. 

We also want to mention the TSB reference  NTB09-140C, which addressed the claims of common CVT oil leaks. This TSB provided a procedure using fluorescent dye to determine the leak’s origin. 

Furthermore, Nissan also addressed the CVT failures that occur due to the blocked CVT transmission fluid coolers. The TSB reference NTB15-013e provided the instructions for the proper flushing of the radiator and when the flushing should be executed. 

Based on the previous success of certain owners with class action lawsuits against Nissan and their CVTs, there is still an ongoing effort to include the 3rd generation Murano, to be included in a lawsuit appeal due to the numerous problems. Learn more about this here.

To conclude, if you are in the market for a CVT-equipped Murano, you should be wary of all the problems we listed above.

6-Speed Standard Automatic Transmission

This transmission was only paired with the 2.5 dCi engine, which was only available in certain parts of Europe. We have not observed any reported problems, recalls, or TSBs connected to this transmission.

Second generation – Z51 (2008-2014)

If you’d ever like to own a crossover SUV Cabrio, the second-generation Murano CrossCabriolet is your car. The 2nd generation Murano was unique in terms of shape; however, when it comes to transmissions, they only offered the following:

  • RE0F09B CVT Automatic Transmission
  • 6-Speed Standard Automatic (Diesel only)

The standard automatic transmission, which in many cases proves to be the more reliable option compared to the CVT unit, is again only available in certain parts of the world where there is also the option of a diesel engine. 

RE0F09B CVT Automatic Transmission

RE0F09B CVT Automatic Transmission

We like to kick things off by seeing what the owners say about their transmissions. A glance at NHTSA owners’ complaints quickly reveals that the RE0F09B CVT unit is not without issues.

An owner of a 2009 Murano reports:

The vehicle had catastrophic transmission failure at highway speeds. The vehicle has all regular maintenance and less than 60,000 miles on the odometer. We had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid being in a collision.

NHTSA ID Number: 11399480

Similar reports of complete CVT failure, slipping, juddering, and other transmission problems accompany this automatic transmission throughout the production span of the 2nd generation Murano. This seems to be a problem with many other Nissan models as well, including the Altima, Pathfinder, Rogue, and Versa.

This time around, Nissan released fewer TSBs that would address the issues we listed above. The 2nd generation Murano is included in the TSB NTB16-109b that addresses the origins of “weird” noises. 

As we said before, most TSBs provide instructions to the service technicians, but none address or resolve any underlying issues that cause the problems in the first place. 

However, Nissan did offer a warranty extension on all Nissan CVT models made between 2003 – 2010. This would include the first two model years of the 2nd generation Murano. This extension doubled the original powertrain warranty from 5 years or 60,000 miles up to 10 years or 120,000 miles. 

This warranty extension is not relevant anymore today; however, if you are in the market for a 2nd generation Murano, you could benefit by choosing a car that had a new CVT unit replaced under this warranty extension.

Nissan also extended the warranty on CVT models made between 2012 and 2017, but they did not feel the need to include the Murano in that campaign.

6-Speed Standard Automatic (Diesel only)

We have searched wide and far to find any information on these diesel-only standard automatic transmissions. We have not detected any complaints, TSBs, or recalls connected to this transmission.

Keep in mind that this does not mean they are perfect. Because they were only paired with diesel engines, which were only available in certain parts of the world and sold in lower numbers, there just aren’t enough owners that would mass report any problems.

If you are in the market for such Murano, ensure the transmission has regular maintenance done and that it is shifting without slipping, hesitation, or other erratic behavior.

First generation – Z50 (2002-2007)

Despite its old age, we want to point out the first-generation Murano quickly. It featured the following transmissions:

  • RE0F09A CVT Automatic Transmission
  • 4-Speed Automatic Transmission

RE0F09A CVT Automatic Transmission

RE0F09A CVT Automatic Transmission

Like the RE0F09B CVT unit mentioned in the 2nd generation Murano, this unit is also problematic. 

There are numerous NHTSA reports of premature failure, slipping, shaking, hesitation, and the cause for those problems have never been identified and resolved.

An owner of a 2003 Murano reports:

I have a 2003 Nissan Murano with 88,000 miles. the car for the most part has been reliable. recently it was diagnosed with a bad cvt transmission. Nissan said it is to old to be considered for warranty repaired, I have noticed on various websites that this vehicle has numerous complaints regarding this cvt transmission. 

Despite a warranty extension by Nissan to address this problem, it seems that this problem occurs after the vehicle has exceeded any warranty consideration…

NHTSA ID Number: 10811108

This owner perfectly encapsulated the situation. Nissan did nothing more than extend the warranty. And while this did help several owners, even more owners were left with enormous repair costs as their transmissions failed right after the warranty expiration.

Avoid these transmissions if you can.

4-Speed Automatic Transmission

We had very little luck finding any information about the 6-speed standard automatic transmission that was paired with the 2nd and 3rd-generation Murano diesel engines. 

Unfortunately, we have not found any complaints or relevant information about this 4-speed transmission. We would still advise caution solely based on the age of these cars. 

Other Problems Related To The Powertrain

The 1st generation Murano had problems with abnormal noise, vibration, and juddering of the rear differential. A TSB also addresses strange noise from the transfer case and weird vibration/noise when making low-speed turns. Both problems are also discussed with TSBs on the 2nd generation Murano.

The 3rd generation Murano had problems with clicking noise from the front or rear axle during take-off/acceleration. There were also TSBs addressing the abnormal noise coming from the rear differential (yes, again) and a transfer assembly seal replacement TSB which was prompted due to several reports of fluid leaks.

If you are ever in the market for any model year Murano, make sure you exercise your right to a test drive. If you want to be even more certain, have the car inspected by a professional.

How Long Does A Nissan Murano Transmission Last?

We base our estimates on reading numerous owners’ reports and owners’ forums. We expect the 3rd generation of Nissan Murano’s RE0F10J CVT transmission to last anywhere from 100,000 to 180,000 miles. 

As for the 2nd and the 1st generation, Murano’s CVT unit seems even worse in terms of reliability; we predict that most of these transmissions will not last longer than 150,000 miles without major repairs.

As for the standard automatic transmissions, the lack of information makes it hard to make predictions; however, if there were significant problems with them, we are sure they would be well-documented online. We predict there should be no problems for these standard transmissions to last 200,000 miles.

How Much Does A Nissan Murano Transmission Cost?

  • New CVT transmission, applies to all generations, dealership price: 3000$ – 4000$
  • CVT stepper motor, applies to all generations, eBay: 40$
  • Pre-owned CVT unit, all generations, eBay: 1000$ – 1500$
  • CVT Valve body, applies to all generations, eBay: 200$ – 300$
  • CVT chain belt, 1st and 2nd generation, eBay: 100$ – 200$ 

Closing Thoughts

As we wrap up our deep dive into the Nissan Murano’s transmission issues, we hope you now have a solid grasp of the challenges you might face with this car’s transmission. From the start in 2002, there have been ongoing issues that sadly haven’t been fully fixed by Nissan.

We’ve pulled together all the vital info from official bulletins, recall notices, and feedback from other Murano owners to give you a full picture. So, whether you’re thinking of buying a Murano or already own one, you’re now armed with the knowledge you need to navigate any transmission troubles. Thanks for reading, and we hope this guide helps you on the road ahead!

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