Skip to Content

Nissan Sentra Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

The Nissan Sentra went through eight generations of changes and updates from 1982 to the present. During its evolution, Nissan Santra did not only upgrade its exterior design, but the vehicle also transformed its interior design. The underlying objective was always to match modern contemporary motor vehicles. Among other things, it embraced safety systems and advanced technology in its infotainment. In a similar vein, we provide you today our extensive research of what transmissions the Nissan Sentra has used throughout its journey. So, let us unpack the mystery.

Throughout its eight generations, the Nissan Sentra has used several transmissions. It includes 4-,5- or 6-speed manual and 3-,4-, 5- or 6-speed automatic transmissions. Moreover, a couple of generations also incorporated the CVT.

However, it is vital to bring your attention to the fact that things are not as simple as described above. It is essential to understand that Nissan Sentra has evolved throughout its eight generations. Curiously enough, it has incorporated plenty of different models of automatic and manual transmissions. Additionally, it has included the CVT among a few generations. So, we will discuss them under the umbrella of how long these transmissions last and the ultimate cost to replace them. Besides, we will go through common problems that drivers face with different types of transmissions. Thus, here we begin.

Also read: What’s The Towing Capacity Of A Nissan Sentra?

What Transmissions Has The Nissan Sentra Used?

Here we highlight below what kind of transmission Nissan Sentra has used in its several generations.

First Generation (1982–1986)

  • 4-speed manual
  • 5-speed manual
  • 3-speed automatic

Second Generation (1986–1990)

  • 4-speed manual
  • 5-speed manual
  • 3-speed automatic

Third Generation (1990–1994)

  • 4/5-speed manual
  • 3-speed RL3F01A automatic
  • 4-speed RL4F03A automatic
  • 4-speed RL4F03V automatic
  • 4-speed RE4F03V automatic

Fourth Generation (1994–1999)

  • 5-speed manual
  • 4-speed RL4F03A automatic
  • 4-speed RE4F03V automatic
  • 4-speed RE4F03A automatic

Fifth Generation (1999–2006)

  • 5-speed RS5F51A manual
  • 5-speed RS5F70A manual
  • 6-speed RS6F51H manual
  • 4-speed RE4F03B automatic
  • 4-speed RE4F04B automatic

Sixth Generation (2006–2012)

  • 6-speed manual
  • CVT

Seventh Generation (2013–2019)

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • 5-speed automatic
  • 6-speed automatic
  • CVT

Eighth Generation (2019–Present)

  • 6-speed manual
  • CVT

Also read: The Expected Mileage Of A Nissan Sentra

How Long Does A Nissan Sentra Transmission Last?

Straightforwardly speaking, it depends squarely on the kind of transmission that goes into a Nissan Sentra. However, it is between 250,000 and 300,000 miles on average that the Nissan Sentra lasts. It is self-evident that sensible driving and regular maintenance is the prior requirement. Hence, it reveals that the average driver can run it for 16 to 20 years, with 15,000 miles annually.

Also read: The Types Of Gas A Nissan Sentra Takes (Explained)

How Much Does A Nissan Sentra Transmission Cost?

Do you want to replace the transmission of your Nissan Sentra? In that case, it is good to find out transmission costs to make up your mind. We have outlined the prices below of transmissions that go in the production span of the Nissan Sentra.

  • 3-speed RL3F01A automatic: $3,270.00 (GoPowerTrain)
  • 4-speed RL4F03A automatic: $2,422.49 (GoPowerTrain)
  • 4-speed RL4F03V automatic: $2,612.37 (GoPowerTrain)
  • 4-speed RE4F03V automatic: $650.00 (eBay)
  • 4-speed RE4F03A automatic: $1,092.25 (Automatic-Gearbox)
  • 5-speed RS5F51A manual: $700.00 (eBay)
  • 5-speed RS5F70A manual: $499.97 (eBay)
  • 6-speed RS6F51H manual: $590.31 (4ws)
  • 4-speed RE4F03B automatic: $599.00 (eBay)
  • 4-speed RE4F04B automatic: $2,194.00 (eBay)

Also read: How Well Does A Nissan Sentra Drive In The Snow?

Common Nissan Sentra Transmission Problems

Here we discuss a few problems that transmissions of Nissan Sentra pop up.


  • The RL4F03A transmission may cause faulty shift solenoids. As a result, a driver can confront delays in shifting gears or erratic shifting. Moreover, some drivers also come across failure to downshift or banging into gear. In addition, gears may get stuck in neutral, or reverse gear becomes impossible.
  • At the same time, there are usually two problems with the RL4F03A shifter solenoid. Firstly, the solenoid coil wires may get damaged. Secondly, the plunger may get stuck because of debris in the fluid.


  • Drivers with 4-speed automatic RL4F03V transmission can go into limp-home mode. In such a case, it will get stuck in a single gear, and gear changes will become impossible.
  • The problem can happen after starting the car or driving it for some time.


  • When a transmission begins to have problems, drivers feel grinding, shaking, or slipping sensations as the car switches gears.
  • In addition, a driver can begin to hear sounds like whining, humming, or clunking. It shows you may have transmission trouble.
  • These noises that emerge from your transmission can trigger by your automatic transmission fluid breaking down.


  • Drivers with RS5F51A transmission may hearknocking noises at low speeds. It may be triggered by a worn side gear shaft counterbore in the differential case.
  • Moreover, some drivers feel the vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds. It is usually a direct result of a worn or rough wheel bearing.
  • There also emerges noise from the transmission when a driver engages in one particular gear. It can be caused by tattered or damaged synchronizers or worn constant mesh gears.


  • The RS5F70A transmission may jump out of gear when a driver shifts into gear. A usual reason for the cause is a stretched, worn out, or maladjusted shift linkage.
  • Sometimes, it is hard to shift gears.It may occur when you find it troubling to maneuver the shift lever from one gear to another.
  • The transmission may also begin to leak. It happens because of poor or worn-out seals or gaskets, loose bolts, or a broken part.


  • Suddenly, there comes a problem with the RS6F51H transmissionthat makes it as something is locking up in the transmission.
  • At the same time, it also makes noises. When a driver puts it in neutral, the noise stops.

Differences Between Transmissions

The RL4F03A is a 4-speed automatic transmission. It is installed in the third and fourth generations of Nissan Sentra.

The RL4F03V is a 4-speed automatic transmission. On the other hand, it is only in the third generation of Nissan Sentra.

The RE4F03V is a 4-speed automatic transmission. Similar to the RL4F03A, it also installs in the third and fourth generations of Nissan Sentra.

The RS5F51A is a 5-speed manual transmission. In addition, it has five gears with 2.3 liters of oil capacity. It, however, installs in the fifth generation of Nissan Sentra.

The RS5F70A is a 5-speed manual transmission. Moreover, it has five gears with 3 liters of oil capacity. Like the RS5F51A, it also installs in the fifth generation of Nissan Sentra,

The RS6F51H is a 6-speed manual transmission, and it has six gears with 2.3 liters of oil capacity. Similarly, it also installs in the fifth generation of Nissan Sentra.

Transmission Fluids And The Nissan Sentra

As a general rule, several car manufacturers recommend changing transmission fluid every 45,000 miles when it comes to transmission fluids. Simultaneously, it is essential to highlight that separate transmissions need different types of transmission fluid. Here we detail the transmission fluids that work well with various transmissions of Nissan Sentra.