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My transmission failure


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#1 AndyGlaister Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:20 PM

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Well, my transmission went :-(

I had done about 6300 miles in four months, autocrossed a few times and driven as part of the local Porsche club HPDE's about once a month. On a recent Porsche HPDE event, the car was performing amazingly, but about 20 minutes into a run, a temperature warning came on (The transmission oil temp said ~237 at this point, which was pretty much the highest I had ever seen, even though the yellow on the gauge is at 280+), so I popped the car into automatic and took it easy. After about 3 more much slower corners, all the gears disappeared and I had to pull off the track. After turning the car on and off a few times I realized I could drive it in automatic only, in 1st gear. I limped back to the parking lot and tried letting it cool down and did a few more on/off cycles. Nothing helped; it just said TC/M failure, see dealer as well as ECU failure :-( I figured I should limp off the track at least and maybe get towed from a gas station a few miles away (Even though this was an *untimed* HPDE event, that should have been covered by the 2009 warrantee).

I had the COBB stage 1 map installed at the time, so I uninstalled the COBB completely, but it made no difference, the errors still occurred on start-up and no codes were showing. When driving out of the track it suddenly shifted into 3rd, then after a bit more speed, 5th gear. It seems as if only one clutch was working. This was good news as I was able to get it back to the dealer which was a ~50 mile drive away. Driving the car in this limp-home mode was tricky - it took about 2 seconds to shift between 1, 3 and 5th gear and would only change down at 1,000 rpm and up at 3,000 rpm, luckily there was not a lot of traffic or hills on the way to the dealer. The engine would also only allow at most -5 psi - it would not boost at all, which, combined with the very slow gear changes made the car about the same speed to drive as a Prius, but hey, it got me home.

The dealer had actually just finished replacing the transmission on another GT-R, who also took his car to the track - so that's at least two transmissions I know of that have gone with low miles. They immediately pulled the VDC/Off logs and checked to see if it was something simple (no, it wasn't and there were no VDC Off launches). They kept the car for 10 days, while they uploaded all the logs to Nissan and talked to the rep. About 3 (worrying) days after I left the car with them, the dealer gave me a call and said they were shipping a new transmission 'off the line' and it should be repaired under warrantee in about a week. They say the car had not been abused and everything would be covered - I was very relieved to hear this after the other stories I read on this forum. I guess when Nissan looked carefully at the Flicker logs they could have seen exactly where I was at the time (thanks to the GPS) and that ~16 psi of boost was being used around that time, or that an extra ECU Flash record was in the log (which they didn't mention, nor did I). Maybe the COBB uninstall, followed by multiple on/off sequences and the 50 miles of driving was enough to wipe out logs, but I find that hard to believe. I had also had the TCM update, maybe that showed up as an ECU reflash as well? We also own an Infiniti FX50S, and I have a great legal plan at work that luckily covers warrantee disputes, but I was quite relieved to hear that they were not going to quibble about the repair seeing as I have been such a good Nissan customer :-)

So, I now have the car back and it's perfect again. I don't think I will reinstall the COBB – it's just not worth it to me, the last thing this car needs is a bit more power. 300-500lb less weight maybe to be easier on the tires and brakes, sure, but more power? – The stock acceleration is so linear it's deceiving, but really controllable and never overwhelms the suspension – even in the wet. The COBB gave a nice power boost, but made 1st/2nd gear much less usable I felt, especially in the wet.

So I think Nissan were excellent in my case, but it's got me worried. What if I trade cars with a friend overnight, or leave it at a detailers, or maybe a window tint place or even a Nissan dealer and someone launches it with VDC OFF without me knowing? – Would I have been screwed at some future date? Personally, I want an update to have the VDC OFF feature *removed* from the car – I don't want any button that could cost me $20,000+ at some point in the future. Helping get the car unstuck out of snow? Please, that's never, ever going to happen, and it's a risk I'm willing to take. I also think this is worrying for the used car market – if you are going to buy a GTR, you better make sure the dealer checks it for VDC launches. If you own a GTR and have done even one VDC launch, you are on borrowed time, sell the car, or start saving.

Is this really a problem for the GTR long term? No, I don't think so. I really believe them when they say they want to examine all the 1st year failures with replacements rather than repairing them. Once they have enough failure info they can modify future transmission parts and start letting dealers repair parts rather than replace the whole unit. Many other similar cars have had similar issues (RMS failures for Porsche, Oil Coolers and brakes for BMW) and they either make cheap parts available or are very good on replacement costs. It does suck if you are a 1st year failure and Nissan won't agree to cover under warrantee or help you though….

This incident has made me a lot more worried about warrantees in general – it appears the 2010+ GTR,  Porsche's and BMW will not cover Autocross / HPDE events either, so I guess I was very lucky with the 2009 GTR. Maybe the lesson is, if you want to autocross or HPDE a car, use a car you can afford to crash / repair / replace, like a Miata, 944 or old GTI. And don't, whatever you do, ever, ever switch VDC OFF.

Andy



#2 MC Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:02 AM

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interesting info.


im betting you had a solenoid failure.     this is  one of the failures that has been popping up here and there that nissan  seems to warranty  without putting up a fight.   a couple other guys  have had cobb or  even done a  few LC's  that have had transmisisons replaced under warranty  for this issue as it was  determined it was not related


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#3 AndyGlaister Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:16 AM

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All the repair note said was 'Diagnose Code P0797', Called Tech Line, Pull Flicker Data and send to Nissan, fax codes and all freeze frame data, perform transmission pressure tests, R&R transmission and control unit per tech line.

Yes, I think it was a solenoid. I also had the front differential fluid changed at the same time and it was perfectly clean - so I think I will just wait until 18,000 miles before I do that again. I’m still nervous about tracking the car again, but hey, cars are to enjoy right?



#4 MC Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:20 AM

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yup P0797:  i knew it, alot of people are  saying this issue is from metal shavings  from the initial tranny  fluid getting in there and jamming things up.         i was so  paranoid over this so i just changed my transmission fluid last week  and even though the tech said it was clear and  in good shape  im glad i did  just to be safe

here is more info on that  code




P0797: Axis A feed pressure solenoid valve function.

This solenoid valve builds up the source pressure for the gear operation actuators for even number gears and for the clutch A solenoid valve based on the signals from TCM. The solenoid valves adjust the source pressure to drive the gears and clutches.

This DTC is caused one of the two following errors:
1. A DTC is set if the clutch A pressure sensor value is less than 0.4 MPa (4.08 kg/cm2, 58 psi) when the axis A feed pressure target value is 0.4 MPa (4.08 kg/cm2, 58 psi) or more.

2. A DTC is set if the clutch A pressure sensor value is more than 0.2 MPa (2.04 kg/cm2, 29 psi) when the axis A feed pressure target value is 0.1 MPa (1.02 kg/cm2, 14.5 psi) or less.

The problem is caused by:

-Axis A feed pressure solenoid valve

-Clutch A solenoid valve

-Clutch A pressure sensor

-Clutch A oil passage

-Harness or connector
(Open or short in the axis A feed pressure solenoid valve circuit)
(Open or short in the clutch A solenoid valve circuit)
(Open or short in the clutch A pressure sensor circuit)


To trouble shoot the problem, do the following:
1.CHECK AXIS A FEED PRESSURE SOLENOID VALVE CIRCUIT

2.CHECK CLUTCH A SOLENOID VALVE CIRCUIT

3.CHECK CLUTCH A PRESSURE SENSOR CIRCUIT

4.CHECK GROUND CONNECTION
Turn ignition switch OFF.
Check ground connections B31 and ground cable connections.

5.CHECK INTERMITTENT INCIDENT



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#5 Mick Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:53 AM

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Good old P0797
That is the seal that has failed in the clutch pack A.
You will need to pull out your gearbox and tear down the clutch pack too.

I had mine go down the same way but it can be fixed for around $1200 u.s plus labour.
Dodson motorsport made this replacement seal, works great and it much stronger than the original seal.
Posted Image
Posted Image
4200ks and still holding up strong and some guys from Singapore are also using them.


Inside the clutch pack, you will find this..
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Read this thread and you will on your way to fixing the car.
http://www.nagtroc.o...showtopic=28923

Good luck and don't stress about it, it's a simple fix.


edit: I guess it pays to read, they are fixing it under warranty.. awesome.

Edited by R35_395, 27 June 2009 - 02:05 AM.




#6 mcduck Posted 27 June 2009 - 05:55 AM

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sorry to hear about your issues, but thankful it was a known issue and Nissan did full warranty coverage on it.  IMO, this is acceptable.  There will always be a small number of vehicles that have legitimate issues which should be covered.  Unfortunately, you were one of that small number.  Fortunately, it was obvious to Nissan you did not abuse the car and they addressed the issue under warranty.


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#7 MindlessOath Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:51 PM

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so will nissan bother making these small fixes to the trans to save them from all the fuss? simple fixes like what dodson and ppg have created wont cost much as shown by there prices and will ultimatly last longer. nissan can than save the money it would from labor and warranty costs etc etc etc.



#8 NickTO Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:26 PM

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:)

Edited by NickTO, 18 September 2013 - 10:29 PM.



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I am no longer active on this site.

#9 Sharif@Forged Posted 27 June 2009 - 01:36 PM

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View PostNickTO, on Jun 27 2009, 03:26 PM, said:

While it always sucks to have a failure, it seems that in this case Nissan is owning up and repairing the faulty component.  The fact that you had a modified ECU could have been enough for them to deny coverage but at least they were level headed enough to realize the power mod was not the source of the failure, so they covered it.  

Nissan did the right thing.
That's exactly what I was thinking.  I am glad they made the correct decision, without the customer having to resort to legal action.

Curious if anyone with Willall fluid has had a transmission failure/solenoid issue?


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#10 MC Posted 27 June 2009 - 07:36 PM

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View PostSharif@Forged, on Jun 27 2009, 03:36 PM, said:

That's exactly what I was thinking.  I am glad they made the correct decision, without the customer having to resort to legal action.

Curious if anyone with Willall fluid has had a transmission failure/solenoid issue?



from what i can tell    it seems the solenoid issues are happening  with the  initial  tranny fluid.    i havent heard of it happening to an owner post change of  fluid  (be it  OEM or willall)  it might still be to early to draw a direct corelation to  that  but for the most part they tend to  be fairly low milage cars  ( maybe under  7Kish)   without a fluid change.  i  know the OP  mentioned autoX and tracking but imo  i dont think that related at all.... if i rememeber correctly this has happened to a few that have been babied aswell

i would like to  see if there is any other pattern    like a vin range



also if anyone knows of a case where this has happened  post  transmisison fluid change  (  OEM or willall)  please chime in


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#11 REK125 Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:45 PM

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View PostMC, on Jun 27 2009, 09:36 PM, said:

from what i can tell    it seems the solenoid issues are happening  with the  initial  tranny fluid.    i havent heard of it happening to an owner post change of  fluid  (be it  OEM or willall)  it might still be to early to draw a direct corelation to  that  but for the most part they tend to  be fairly low milage cars  ( maybe under  7Kish)   without a fluid change.  i  know the OP  mentioned autoX and tracking but imo  i dont think that related at all.... if i rememeber correctly this has happened to a few that have been babied aswell

i would like to  see if there is any other pattern    like a vin range



also if anyone knows of a case where this has happened  post  transmisison fluid change  (  OEM or willall)  please chime in
Maybe it's a defect in construction of some transmissions and that defect leads to early failure.  It probably has nothing to do with fluid or VIN.

Edited by REK125, 27 June 2009 - 08:45 PM.




#12 MC Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:56 PM

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very possible.  


its just  after the   launch control  fiasco  died off ....   almost every tranny issue  posted on here seems to be this exact one.  im just curious  as to  the scope of  overall cars affected


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#13 rcalcaide Posted 29 June 2009 - 01:13 PM

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View PostAndyGlaister, on Jun 27 2009, 02:16 AM, said:

All the repair note said was 'Diagnose Code P0797', Called Tech Line, Pull Flicker Data and send to Nissan, fax codes and all freeze frame data, perform transmission pressure tests, R&R transmission and control unit per tech line.

Yes, I think it was a solenoid. I also had the front differential fluid changed at the same time and it was perfectly clean - so I think I will just wait until 18,000 miles before I do that again. I'm still nervous about tracking the car again, but hey, cars are to enjoy right?

I wouldnt be nervous about tracking the car. Enjoy it! don't baby it. Nissan stood by you! You didnt abuse the vehicle. and you had the Cobb ECU too!



#14 dukestar Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:24 PM

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Have all known occurences of the P0797 been warrantied? I thought I recall one where it wasn't, maybe that one was grey market...



#15 celsius Posted 30 June 2009 - 12:14 PM

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View PostSharif@Forged, on Jun 27 2009, 12:36 PM, said:

That's exactly what I was thinking. I am glad they made the correct decision, without the customer having to resort to legal action.

Curious if anyone with Willall fluid has had a transmission failure/solenoid issue?


I haven't had any issues, yet, but I only have ~2600 miles so far, ~1500 of those with the WillAll fluid.



#16 MC Posted 30 June 2009 - 12:20 PM

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View Postdukestar, on Jun 29 2009, 04:24 PM, said:

Have all known occurences of the P0797 been warrantied? I thought I recall one where it wasn't, maybe that one was grey market...


all cases in the USA  that have been posted on here to my knowledge  have.    not sure about overseas.  i think what you are talking about is  one of our members  from singapore had an issue with  Nissan japan over this


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#17 dukestar Posted 30 June 2009 - 05:00 PM

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View PostMC, on Jun 30 2009, 02:20 PM, said:

all cases in the USA that have been posted on here to my knowledge have. not sure about overseas. i think what you are talking about is one of our members from singapore had an issue with Nissan japan over this

Correct...and he rebuilt his GR6 and is now using Pentosin as the fluid...unless that changed since his last update...

But what is key here is that it appears that a P0797 error is covered with the Cobb A/P in place...so to all the naysayers out there who claim "Nissan is voiding warranties if you do any sort of mod regardless" this is not the case...

Now I'd like to see a issue where WR35TM is involved. That'll be interesting.



#18 celsius Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:53 PM

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View Postdukestar, on Jun 30 2009, 04:00 PM, said:

Now I'd like to see a issue where WR35TM is involved. That'll be interesting.

+1, but didn't Boulder Nissan install one?



#19 Martin Donnon Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:06 AM

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View Postdukestar, on Jun 30 2009, 06:00 PM, said:

Now I'd like to see a issue where WR35TM is involved. That'll be interesting.

Yes it would be :)
Thankfully though the data shows that cars with the fault on factory fluid never have it re-occur on WR35TM....
Those that start out on WR35TM never have this fault occur...
Is it just good luck you think? :doh:



#20 Martin Donnon Posted 01 July 2009 - 03:08 AM

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View Postcelsius, on Jun 30 2009, 10:53 PM, said:

+1, but didn't Boulder Nissan install one?

Boulder Nissan fitted one of our WR35TC-F transmission coolers to their own car :doh:




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